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: Virtual WEBEX video conference via YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/user/cheltenhamborough. View directions

Contact: Bev Thomas, Democratic Services Team Leader 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Baker, Barnes, Clucas, Hay, Hegenbarth, Horwood, Jeffries, Mason and Sudbury. 

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2020 will be considered at the next meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20th July 2020 would be considered at the next meeting of Council.

4.

Communications by the Mayor

Minutes:

The Mayor confirmed that there were very few ceremonial civic events at the moment, although there were a couple of socially distanced appointments in the diary.  He reported that the Mayor’s food bank had donated £2500 to the scheme due to launch on 1st August to ensure that children who normally have free school meals would receive a hot meal over the summer holidays.  The fund also made donations to assist people who were previously homeless buy hardware goods for their new accommodation.

5.

Communications by the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader recognised all the efforts by staff involved in the holiday food scheme, and reiterated his thanks to all officers for all the efforts that they had made and continued to make. He added that Councillor Wendy Flynn would be joining the Licensing Committee.

6.

To receive petitions

Minutes:

There were none.

7.

Public Questions

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Thursday 23 July 2020.

 

**Questions must relate directly to the business of this meeting**

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

8.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 223 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Thursday 23 July 2020.

 

**Questions must relate directly to the business of this meeting**

 

Minutes:

1.

Question from Councillor Matt Babbage to Cabinet Member Finance, Councillor Rowena Hay

 

Please could you provide an updated summary of the council’s investment property portfolio, including breakdown by property type and industry/commercial sector.

 

Response from Cabinet Member 

 

Thank you for your very appropriate questions during this time which formed part of a useful discussion at the Audit, Compliance and Governance Committee last week.

 

I trust that the responses will help reduce any concerns Members may have but as I am sure everyone is aware, these are very uncertain times.

 

Here is the breakdown of our ‘investment’ portfolio:

 

General Fund

Address

Property type

Further simplification of property type

75 Priors Road

Takeaway/ restaurant

 

Food and beverage

77 Priors Road

Takeaway

 

Food and beverage

79 Priors Road

Hair dressers

 

Retail

Regent Arcade - CBC Lease (Freehold - Land)

Retail (Leasehold)

 

Leasehold

Cheltenham Enterprise Centre (multi let units)

Industrial Park

 

Industrial Park

211 High Street

Retail

 

Retail

Sainsbury’s, Prior Road

Supermarket

 

Retail

53-57 Rodney Road (multi let unit)

Office

 

Office

Ellenborough House (multi let units)

Office

 

Office

Delta Place aka 127 Bath Road

Office

 

Office

 

Overview of the General Fund Investment portfolio: 2 Food and Beverage, 3 Retail, 1 Leasehold, 1 Industrial Park (this comprises 4 occupied units, and a further 3 units are nearing completion), and 3 offices.

 

Investment HRA

Address

Property type

Further simplification of property type

1 Rowanfield Exchange

Dry Cleaners

 

Retail

6 Rowanfield Exchange

Betting Shop

 

Retail

11 Rowanfield Exchange

Cash for clothes

 

Retail

12 Rowanfield Exchange

Community use

 

Community use

18/19 Rowanfield Exchange

Supermarket

 

Retail

24 Rowanfield Exchange

Takeaway

 

Food and beverage

52 Windermere Road

Pharmacy

 

Retail

93 Tewkesbury Road

Post Office

 

 

Retail

94 Tewkesbury Road

Takeaway

 

Food and beverage

95 Tewkesbury Road

Off Licence

 

Retail

96/97 Tewkesbury Road

Betting Shop

 

 

Retail

8 & 10 Hesters Way Road

Supermarket

 

Retail

16-18 Hesters Way Road

Community use

 

Community use

3/4/5 Lynworth Exchange

Supermarket

 

Retail

19 Lynworth Exchange

Beauty Salon

 

Retail

20 Lynworth Exchange

Takeaway

 

Food and beverage

21 Lynworth Exchange

Hair dressers

 

Retail

34 Grasmere Road, Hatherley

Takeaway

 

Food and beverage

35 Grasmere Road, Hatherley

Dental surgery

 

Health Service

266 High Street

Tanning salon

 

Retail

272/282 High Street (freehold land)

Retail

 

Retail

Overview of the HRA investment portfolio: 4 Food and Beverage, 14 Retail, 2 Community Use, and 1 Health Service.

 

HRA properties are mainly small units forming parts of parades in the heart of residential areas (not town centre). Town Centre units are considered prime retail, town centre fringes are considered to be secondary units, therefore these units would be considered as tertiary units.

 

What is evident from even a quick glance is that we have an extremely diverse investment portfolio.

 

2.

Question from Councillor Matt Babbage to the Cabinet Member Finance, Councillor Rowena Hay

 

What assessment has been made of the risks to and valuations of the council's investment property portfolio?

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

The Councils surveyors who are responsible for the Asset Valuations and act on behalf of the Council as Portfolio advisors have been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Financial Outturn 2019/2020 and budget monitoring report April-June 2020 pdf icon PDF 737 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader introduced this item in the absence of the Cabinet Member Finance. He praised the significant work undertaken by the finance team and in particular the Executive Director Finance and Assets, in a difficult and unprecedented situation. He also thanked the Cabinet Member for her contributions.

 

He outlined the financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis, noting that in normal times, the council would be able to declare a surplus around this time. By the end of March 2020, however, £72,000 of extra Covid-related costs had already been accrued, on top of some £400,000 in lost income, mostly from car parking. Initial government support was meagre (around £50,000), due to how the first tranche of support was mostly aimed at authorities with social care responsibilities. In that context, he suggested that being able to declare an overspend of only £47,000 was remarkable. He added that there were a number of carry forward requests, as was to be expected.

 

He praised how the Golden Valley Cyber Central project had been able to continue during the pandemic. A number of groups were bidding to become the project’s development partner, and this had been whittled down to six at the time of the meeting. He welcomed the fact that the council’s key affordable housing projects were up and running, and thanked Cheltenham Borough Homes for their significant efforts in that respect.

 

The Leader acknowledged that after the end of March, the situation had changed dramatically. The current forecast was for a total loss of income of £3.5m, as well as extra costs of £1.7m. He added that the total government support received as of the end of June was £1.2m, and noted the gap between these figures.

 

He noted that CBC received £173,000 out of the government’s latest £500m support package to local government, and that the government had also pledged to underwrite 75% of local authorities’ losses. The situation was less clear when trusts were involved, for example in the question of leisure centres. Future announcements were expected from central government to clarify this. He reported that Cabinet had endorsed the report for Council approval on the 28th July.

 

One Member thanked finance officers for their work in a difficult time, and stressed the importance of central government’s pledge to underwrite local authorities’ losses. He was hopeful that the Chancellor’s forthcoming Autumn Statement would offer further support to local government. He also praised the Holiday Hunger Fund, and placed on record his hope that this support would continue during the winter. The Leader of the Council responded that the Autumn Statement would be of considerable importance, and he hoped that CBC could ‘phase’ some of its losses over the next few years, although the size of these losses was not yet clear. The budget was likely to be reviewed towards the end of September, although they were still waiting on key aspects of government advice.

 

The Chair of the Budget Scrutiny Working Group added his support for the report, and asked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Adoption of revised Sexual Entertainment Venue Policy pdf icon PDF 416 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Development and Safety

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Development and Safety introduced the item as per the published report.  He explained that the revised policy did not take a moral position on sexual entertainment as it was permitted by law. Under the 2009 Act, sexual entertainment could take place by law under certain conditions without the requirement for a licence permitting the activity.

 

He reported that there had been a minor change the Policy, as outlined in Section 7 of the report. This encompassed the lower end of Bath Road and the High Street, at this was a location for an SEV. There were new conditions to provide additional protection for staff.  Consultation on the revised policy had taken place between November and January, with limited, but not particularly negative, feedback.

 

Councillor Harman proposed the following amendment:

 

“Council believes that there is no place within the Borough of Cheltenham in which it would be appropriate to licence a sexual entertainment venue. 

Therefore Council resolves to adopt a nil limit of sexual entertainment venues for the whole of Cheltenham Borough implemented through smaller relevant localities.  The relevant localities would be each of the twenty wards in the Borough to ensure that the characteristics of the relevant localities are taken into account.”

 

In speaking to the amendment, Councillor Harman explained that the last time this was debated by Council, it was lost by only one vote. He emphasised that Members should be free to express their own views, and that action was needed to deliver equality for women. He reiterated his belief that Cheltenham should not be a venue for SEVs.

 

One Member stated that passing the amendment would be a political and dangerous step.  While he sympathised with those opposed to the policy, it was the best practice to have a policy to regulate sexual entertainment. He suggested that national government had let local authorities down by including a loophole which allowed any premises to put on sexual entertainment once a month. This could allow businesses to move regularly to other venues, putting more people at risk and making the town more dangerous.

 

In seconding the amendment, Councillor Cooke emphasised that although adults should be free to choose, the easier you make it to visit these premises, the more likely you are to have more of them.

 

A point of clarification was then raised by the Chair of Licensing who explained that the debate regarding changing the rules for SEV’s included contributions from the police, GRASAC (Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre), Chelt Fems, operators, performers and ward councillors.

 

Councillor Harman then summed up by stressing that the proposal was not political, and thanked Councillor Cooke for seconding the motion.

 

The amendment then went to a vote and was lost.

 

For:                  3

Against:           23       

Abstentions:    2

 

The following points were raised on the substantive motion:

 

-       One member noted that this was the final step to complete the licensing review.  Evidence was taken into account from all involved, including performers, operators, the police and local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Notices of Motion

Minutes:

There were none.

12.

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

Minutes:

There were none.