Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

Hello, please sign in to your account. New customer? Creating a new account only takes moments.

find our main contact details and opening hours or find our location.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Rosalind Reeves, Democratic Services Manager 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Councillors Clucas, Harman and Holliday

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Clucas, Harman, Harvey, Hegenbarth, Holliday and Savage.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Minutes of the meetings held on 24 April 2017 and 15 May 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With regard to the Council meeting on 24 April 2017 Councillor Stennett requested that it be marked on the minutes that he attended the meeting but left as he had declared an interest.

 

Councillor Collins wished to ensure that his apologies were recorded for the meeting held on 15 May 2017.

 

The minutes of the meetings held on 24 April and 15 May 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

4.

Communications by the Mayor

Minutes:

In the light of the tragic events which had taken place in London and Manchester the Mayor invited Members to hold a minutes silence.

 

She informed Members that in the light of the Grenfell tower fire on 14 June she had written to the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea to share our condolences. The Cabinet Member Housing, had also written to offer accommodation if any of those affected had a link with Cheltenham.  She wished to place on record her own appreciation of firefighters and those in Gloucestershire in particular.

She explained that the focus of her mayoral year would be to celebrate the ethos behind our town motto, Salubritas et eridutio -  health and education. She had already written to schools in Cheltenham asking for nominations of staff who have gone the extra mile for pupils. She also wished to hear from people who worked in the health sector who have made a difference by going above and beyond the call of duty for patients in their care.

She explained that this year her charities were Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charites Focus Fund and for the Hollie Gazzard Trust. Her charity committee were working really hard on a diverse programme of fundraising events. She informed Members that she had set up an account on justgiving for the Mayors charity appeal https://www.justgiving.com/mayorofcheltenhamscharity.

The Mayor then highlighted some mayoral engagements she had undertaken since being in office.

 

 

5.

Communications by the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader made the following announcements :

 

·         a briefing note on fire safety had now been circulated to all Members

·         the Ofsted report on Safeguarding had now been published which deemed children’s services in Gloucestershire to be inadequate with an unacceptable level of service and serious concerns expressed about the integrity of the senior leadership team. This was a cause for concern for CBC and reflected the experiences it had with the domestic homicide review. The Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles and the Cabinet Member Housing had met with representatives from the County Council in December to discuss the issues. A statement had been issued by the County with regard to the report and changes which have subsequently been made but CBC remained unconvinced that these were adequate and more discussions were required to rectify the situation. The council would be working closely with the council on this. Council may wish to debate this issue in full.

·         Councillor Williams would be replacing Councillor Sudbury on Asset Management Working Group

·         Councillor Wheeler would be replacing Councillor Sudbury on the JNC Disciplinary Panel and the Appeals Panel

6.

To receive petitions

Minutes:

None received.

7.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 71 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 13 June.

Minutes:

1.

Question from Charmian Sheppard to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

 

The CBC toolkit on Neighbourhood Planning says that before applying to your local planning authority to be designated as a forum, publicising your intentions is recommended as the first action. Holding engagement events is also recommended. The “How to set up a neighbourhood forum document. Putting the pieces together” document published by Planning Aid England is included in the toolkit and states that a prospective forum “should demonstrate that you have made every effort to secure membership from each as well as from different geographical areas and sections of the community”.

 

Schedule 9 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 states that

 

“The Council must be satisfied that the forum meets the following conditions –

  1. it is established for the express purpose of promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of an area that consists of or includes the neighbourhood area concerned.”

 

It also says that a local planning authority must have regard to the desirability of designating an organisation or body whose membership is drawn from different places in the neighbourhood area concerned and from different sections of the community in that area and whose purpose reflects the character of that area.

 

What evidence did the council gather to be satisfied that the Springbank Forum Application was established for the express purpose of promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of an area that consists of or includes the neighbourhood area concerned and that it had made every effort to secure membership from each as well as from different geographical areas and sections of the community before recommending approval to Cabinet?

 

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

The Springbank Neighbourhood Forum constitution, submitted as part of the application, states that “The Forum aims to promote or improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing and conditions in the Springbank area as shown on the attached plan (the area), particularly through the preparation and implementation of a Neighbourhood Plan.”

 

The constitution also states that “The Forum will be as representative as possible of the people who live and work in the area. Thus membership will be drawn from different places in the area and from different sections of the community.”

 

A list of 42 members of the forum was included with the application. The location of the members is spread across the ward. It should also be noted that membership of the forum is open to anyone who lives or works in the area.

 

2.

Question from Charmian Sheppard to the Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

 

Government Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning

Paragraph:025 Reference ID: 41-025-20140306 states

 

The community should consult the local planning authority before making an area application. There should be a positive and constructive dialogue about the planning ambitions of the community and any wider planning considerations that might influence the neighbourhood planning process if the outcome of that process is to be a neighbourhood plan or Order  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 76 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 13 June.

Minutes:

1.

Question from Councillor Willingham to the Leader, Councillor Steve Jordan

 

In light of the recent tragic events in London and Europe where vehicles have been used to attack innocent pedestrians, and recognising that it is not appropriate to disclose what is being done, could the Leader of the Council please confirm whether this Council is working with partners, including, but not limited to, Gloucestershire Police and Gloucestershire County Council, to ensure that unauthorised vehicles are denied access to the pedestrianised areas of our town centre, that measures are being considered to harden the town centre and other vulnerable areas against similar attacks, and that where possible measures will be implemented in a fashion that is sympathetic to the surrounding architecture and existing streetscene?

 

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

While Gloucestershire Highways would lead on any infrastructure changes to the town centre, this issue will be looked at a part of the current design of improvements to the High Street. In addition Councillor Andrew McKinlay is leading a review of town centre security issues. The £250k rollout of upgraded CCTV equipment will also commence shortly.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Willingham asked whether the Leader had sufficient confidence that Gloucestershire Highways have the ability to deliver the measures necessary to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable given that the pedestrian area of the High Street has a pavement area which has been badly destroyed by vehicles together with the bus only section and bollard access.

 

The Leader responded that the council would be working closely with Gloucestershire Highways to make the necessary improvements to the lower High Street. They would bear in mind recent events but any additional safety measures must be balanced with the need to ensure adequate access.

 

2.

Question from Councillor Willingham to Cabinet Member Development and Safety, Councillor Andrew McKinlay

 

Within the Borough, there are locations, including some in the ward I represent, where operational Network Rail land is substantially defaced by litter, and despite having reported these issues to Network Rail on multiple occaisions, and after many months of waiting, nothing appears to have been done by them to clear this litter.  Would the Cabinet Member please ask Officers to work with ward members who have Network Rail litter-hotspots in the wards they represent, to identify the offending locations with the aim of issuing a litter abatement notice (under s92 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) against Network Rail, requiring them to both clear the existing litter and also keep those litter-hotspots clear of litter in the future?

 

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

The Environment division’s enforcement team has actively pursued Network Rail (NR) in response to complaints about the condition of the parcel of land at the Cheltenham Spa Station end of the Honeybourne Line. As a result of this action, the land was fully cleared in October last year. However, this anti-social behaviour-related problem, which has been fully reported to NR, appears to be recurring and is one which clearly needs to be addressed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

West Cheltenham (JCS) petition pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Report of the Leader

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Jeffries read out a statement on behalf of the West Cheltenham Greenbelt Group which is attached in full to these minutes.

 

The Leader responded to the comments and made the following points :

 

·         The reference to asthma was more due to the location of the town at the base of the Cotswold hills rather than the impact of development

·         Nitrous oxide was found in hotspots in the town such as the inner ring road of the town centre due to the volume of stationary traffic. This would be addressed via the Cheltenham Transport Plan and the wider review of traffic and transport in the town.

·         He understood the concerns regarding the Severn Trent sewage works and highlighted that the intention was to manage the issue through the technological management of the procedure or move the existing plant to somewhere different. This would be reviewed within the framework of the JCS through a sustainability appraisal and habitat assessment and would be subject to debate in the examination in public. Should there be a planning application an Environmental Impact Assessment would form part of it, developed by the consortium for that area.

·         The JCS Examination in Public was likely to be around 10 July. There would be a full debate of the new areas and would give the public the opportunity to express their concerns to the Inspector in terms of soundness of the plan.

 

The Leader proposed that officers would reference this petition as part of the presentation to the Inspector. This was seconded by Councillor McKinlay.

 

A Member commented that whilst there were known air quality hotspots around the town centre it was reasonable that professional technical advice be sought regarding the impact of the loss of green land absorbing air pollution from the M5.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously)

 

To instruct officers to reference the petition (that has been submitted by West Cheltenham Greenbelt Group to the Joint Core Strategy Proposed Main Modifications consultation) and strength of feeling behind it in their opening statement to the inspector at the commencement of the next set of Joint Core Strategy hearings.

10.

Revenues and Benefits Management Restructure pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Corporate Services

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Corporate Services introduced the report which sought approval from Council for the deletion of the post of Benefits Manager and consequential costs with a proposed implementation date of 1 July 2017.

The Cabinet Member explained that the restructure was a direct result of the introduction of Universal Credit which was an ongoing process up to 2022. In December 2017 CBC would go live on all new claims for Universal Credit which would see the start of a drop in workload over the following 12/18 months. It was anticipated that in 2019/20 any remaining working age caseload would be transferred to the Department of Work and Pensions meaning CBC would just process council tax support claims for working age customers and rent benefit/council tax support for pensioners until 2022/23 when the rent benefit side may transfer to pension credit.

The Cabinet Member explained that revenues and benefits were currently separate departments at the council, however the restructure, which would create a post to provide technical support across all functions of the revenues and benefits service, would involve the deletion of one post at a combined cost of in excess of £100,000. This would deliver a budget revenue saving of £47,500 per annum.

 

In light of the fact that the transfer to universal credit would be ongoing until 2022 a Member asked whether the council had sufficient resources to manage the transformation process. In response the Cabinet Member confirmed that due to the creation of other posts within the service there would be sufficient resources to manage the department in the future.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) that

 

The deletion of the post of Benefits Manager and consequential costs with a proposed implementation date of 1st July 2017 be approved.

11.

Notices of Motion

Minutes:

None received.

12.

Any other item the Mayor determines as urgent and which requires a decision

13.

Local Government Act 1972 -Exempt Information

The Council is recommended to approve the following resolution:-

 

“That in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining agenda items as it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraph 3, Part (1) Schedule (12A) Local Government Act 1972, namely:

 

Paragraph 3; Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular

person (including the authority holding that information)

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining agenda item as it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraphs 3 and 5, Part (1) Schedule (12A) Local Government Act 1972, namely :

 

Paragraph 3 : Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

Paragraph 5 : Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings

14.

Exempt Minutes

Exempt Minutes of the meeting held on 24 April 2017

Minutes:

The exempt minutes were approved and signed as a correct record subject to minor amendment.