Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Bev Thomas, Democratic Services Team Leader 

Note: Members of the public wishing to attend are strongly encouraged to watch the live stream of the Council meeting via our You Tube Channel <you.tube.com/cheltenhamborough> 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Prior to the formal start of the meeting, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Sir David Amess MP.

 

Apologies were received from Councillors Baker, Barnes, Basset-Smith, Boyes, Britter, Clark, Hegenbarth, Maughfling, Pineger, Sankey and Wilkinson.

 

The Mayor explained that some of the above Members were not present in the Chamber but would follow proceedings via the YouTube stream.

 

The Mayor expressed his condolences to Cllr. Sankey at the sudden loss of her father.

 

 

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Cllr. Nelson declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 11. Cllrs. Babbage and Brownsteen declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 14.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 501 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 19 July 2021

Minutes:

Cllr. Brownsteen noted that the reference to a similar ’20 is plenty’ motion being accepted by Gloucestershire County Council was factually incorrect. Subject to this being corrected, the minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2021 were approved and signed as a correct record.

4.

Communications by the Mayor

Minutes:

The Mayor thanked all Members who had attended the recent Mayor’s charity evening and for donations received.

He wished to put on record that Cllr. Angie Boyes had been re-elected as representative in the Chamber of Local Authorities at the Council of Europe.

 

Finally, the Mayor urged Members to attend Remembrance Sunday on 14th November.

5.

Communications by the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader reported that Cheltenham Borough Homes had recently submitted a planning application for Cheltenham’s first carbon neutral council houses. This was for 24 properties at 320 Swindon Road, which would be powered by air source heat pumps and energy produced via solar panels. This formed part of of the council’s £180 million investment in housing in the borough, with the declaration of a climate emergency empowering CBH to deliver.

 

The council was also bidding for funding to upgrade the least energy efficient council houses and using a scheme to test the use of heat pumps in older properties. The council was committed to minimising the use of weedkiller on the streets and was trialling alternative approaches such as rotary pavement sweepers. The Connecting Cheltenham report set out ambitions for the town, and she welcomed the progress being made by the County Council with cycle infrastructure with the long awaited extension of the Honeybourne Line.

 

Finally, she reported that the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities had visited the town and had the opportunity to hear about the council’s ambitions with the Golden Valley development. The Secretary of State also visited Gloucestershire College for the purposes of the build back investment.

6.

To receive petitions

Minutes:

There were none.

7.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 135 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Monday 11 October 2021

Minutes:

1.

Question from Tess Beck to the Cabinet Member Culture, Wellbeing and Business, Councillor Victoria Atherstone

 

It has been good to see an increase in the numbers of people coming into Cheltenham since lockdown restrictions have relaxed. Unfortunately, with The Wilson still closed until March 2022, there is no Tourist Information Centre.

 

Do the terms of the service level agreement/ contract/ arrangement between Cheltenham Borough Council and The Trust require The Trust to provide Tourist Information Centre services?

 

Is there a commitment by Cheltenham Borough Council/ The Cheltenham Trust to re-instate in-person Tourist Information Centre services when The Wilson re-opens in March 2022?

 

 

 

Response from the Cabinet Member

 

First of all can I thank you for taking the time to submit this question as this is an important issue.

 

The current specification, which forms part of the management agreement, specifies the council’s requirements for the Trust’s contribution to the town’s leisure and culture offer. The requirement to run a tourist information centre is identified within the specification.

 

The council has the right to keep the specification under review in accordance with the terms of the management agreement (and in so far as permitted under procurement law) to ensure that it continues to reflect the council’s requirements.

 

As such, a review of the specification is underway with recommendations for its revision being brought to cabinet at its December meeting. The revisions will include a review of the requirement for the trust to continue to provide the tourist information centre.

 

The revision will take into account a number of factors that include:

  • The Wilson closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic and will reopen in April 2022 following major refurbishment, that the council has supported. The investment will transform the ground, mezzanine and third floors to improve the venue as a major visitor destination in the town, and to ensure its future financial sustainability.
  • During the period of closure visitors have accessed information via digital channels. The main portal visited is visitcheltenham.com. In 2017, there were 290,000 visitors to the site. In 2021 this more than doubled with more than 600,000 visiting the site and more than 40,000 followers.
  • Marketing Cheltenham is currently working on a new pilot that tests an innovative and more agile approach to the provision of visitor information. It is planned to have the pilot in place by Christmas this year. The pilot is funded using the Welcome Back grant funding.

 

I hope that answers your question

 

2.

Question fromAndrew Cater to the Cabinet Member Waste, Recycling and Street Services, Councillor Iain Dobie

 

Council car parks - a few of them have no wheelchair access to the machines - on plinths / too high etc. Would you consider allowing disabled drivers to remain there with Blue badges but without tickets?

 

Response from the Cabinet Member

 

All Council-owned public car parks (other than the Regent Arcade which does have mobility accessible parking payment machines) are free of charge to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Member Questions pdf icon PDF 213 KB

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Monday 11 October 2021.

Minutes:

1.

Question from Councillor Tim Harman to the Cabinet Member Waste & Recycling & Street Services, Councillor Iain Dobie

 

My understanding is that the Recycling Skips at Morrisons Supermarket were removed at the request of the Shop.

My observation is that other sites such as Bath Road have come under greater pressure particularly with regard to Cardboard .

 

Has the Cabinet Member assessed the impact of the closure of the facility formerly at Morrisons both on door set collections and alternative sites such as Bath Road ?

 

 

Response from Cabinet Member

 

As Cabinet Member for Waste, Recycling and Street Services I am committed to providing residents in Cheltenham with the best waste and recycling service we can within available resources and it is very unfortunate that the work at Morrisons in Hatherley has necessitated the removal of the recycling bring banks.

 

Officers are still seeking an alternative site where the bring banks could be safely relocated, however, in the meantime to ensure the other bring bank sites nearby have sufficient capacity to cope with any extra recycling, one additional cardboard recycling bank was already installed some weeks ago at each of the following sites: Sainsbury’s in Oakley; Sainsbury’s on the Tewkesbury Road and at Bath Terrace car park.  This is three extra cardboard bring banks that have already been deployed some weeks ago.

 

I am pleased to say that Cheltenham offers a really good kerbside recycling service to residents.  Every fortnight cardboard; paper; glass; plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays; aluminium cans; steel cans; clean foil; dry textiles and shoes; small electrical items and batteries can all be sorted and put in the kerbside boxes for collection from homes.  We are also the first local authority to sign up to collecting coffee pods at the kerbside and are the best performing authority out of those delivering this service.

 

Residents don’t need to use the bring banks for all the items I have listed, these items can be collected at kerbside although I do understand sometimes we all have an extra quantity or certain items that it is easier to dispose of in the bring banks.

 

I would like to remind everyone that the bring banks are for domestic household recycling items and are not for businesses to use, businesses should have separate arrangements in place for disposal of their waste and recycling.  Equally, on the odd occasion where bring banks are full, I am sure my colleagues would support me in urging residents NOT to leave recycling or refuse bags of waste, old doors or other items on the floor.

 

In response to a supplementary question the Cabinet Member confirmed that he would ensure that consideration would be given to supplementary collections at Christmas

 

2.

Question from Councillor Flo Clucas to the Cabinet Member Customer and Regulatory Services, Councillor Martin Horwood

 

Tewkesbury Road/Elm Street

As the Cabinet Member may be aware, over the last 18 months or so, a number of road traffic accidents have occurred at the above location, requiring both  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Appointment of Interim Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Report of the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Managing Director Place and Growth introduced the report on behalf of the Chief Executive.

He explained that formal notification was received by the council in June from Tewkesbury Borough Council terminating the Secondment Agreement of the Monitoring Officer (MO). A review of potential options, (including the possibility of sharing with another authority) to fill the post was then considered and the Appointments & Remuneration committee met at the end of September and recommended to Council to appoint an interim Monitoring Officer for a period of approximately 6 months (subject to a permanent recruitment). This would allow for a further assessment of need, particularly in light of the council’s current organisational review.

A panel was established to recruit to the interim role and that panel unanimously recommended that Howard Norris be recommended for Council appointment.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) THAT

With immediate effect, Howard Norris be appointed as interim Monitoring Officer for the Borough Council in accordance with section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. This will be for an period of approximately 6 months or until a permanent MO is recruited.

It be noted that following the completion of an appropriate review, the Appointments & Remuneration (A&R) sub-committee will progress with the recruitment of a permanent MO to be put forward to Full Council for approval in due course. If CBC elects to appoint a permanent MO shared with another authority, interview panels will be agreed in consultation with the A&R sub-committee and partnering authority.

10.

Interim Review of Polling Districts, Places and Stations pdf icon PDF 348 KB

Report of the Electoral Registration Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Electoral Registration Officer introduced the report and first reflected on the elections which were held in May 2021. The combination of four elections led to the generation of 118,000 ballot papers for verification and counting, notwithstanding thecomplications posed by the global pandemic. As a consequence of the latter, some of the venues were not available due to health and safety considerations and in some cases alternative venues for school premises were found, due to the disruption to education.

 

As the acting Returning Officer for the constituency of Cheltenham, in light of the above, he had requested a review of polling districts, places and stations to comply with the authority’s statutory duty. The formal commentary with regard to existing polling stations and those which may be used in future was detailed at Appendix B of the report.

Further to the closing date he had considered comments received as outlined in Section 2 of the report. He confirmed that those comments had been factored into the final determinations as set out in the recommendations.

The Leader wished to put on record her thanks to the Electoral Registration Officer for the important review which had been undertaken and the changes proposed, which would benefit residents.

In response to a question, the Electoral Registration Officer explained that in the case of Lakeside School in Up Hatherley, parents and voters had requested the church as the alternative polling station venue, despite it not being in the ward.

Members recognised that out-of-area polling stations did occur elsewhere in the borough. Other Members regretted the move away from schools as it provided children the sight of democracy in action. 

The Mayor wished to put on record his thanks to the Electoral Registration Officer and the Elections team for their work in conducting the elections in May 2021.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) THAT

 

The following be approved :

Charlton Park Ward, polling district EB – move the polling station from Leckhampton Baptist Hall, Pilley Lane to Squash Court, Old Patesians Sports and Social Club, Everest Road

Charlton Park Ward –  merge polling district ED with polling district EB

Lansdown Ward, polling district HC – move the polling station from St Gregorys RC School, Knapp Road to The Old Priory Room, St Gregorys RC Church, Clarence Street

Leckhampton Ward, polling district IA – move the polling station from Zion Hall, Pilley Lane to Leckhampton Baptist Hall, Pilley Lane

Leckhampton Ward, polling district IB – retain polling station at Leckhampton Primary School

Leckhampton Ward, polling district IC -  move the polling station from Leckhampton Primary School, Hall Road to The Pavilion, Burrows Field, Moorend Grove

St. Mark’s Ward, polling district OA – retain polling station at Rowanfield Junior School

Up Hatherley Ward, polling district SA -  move the polling station from Lakeside Primary School, Hatherley Road to St Philip and St James Church Centre, Cold Pool Lane

11.

Safety of Women at Night pdf icon PDF 493 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Safety and Communities

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Safety and Communities introduced the report and thanked officers involved in the issue. She noted that the police had also agreed to attend a seminar with Members if they so wish. She hoped that the Home Office funding being bid for would help, but noted that there were also things that could be done without funding to ensure that the concerns of women in the town were not ignored.

 

These included using licensing policy to ensure that staff in pubs and restaurants knew what to do when approached about drink spiking and general harassment, and working with both teachers and pupils in schools to reduce abuse. With the funding from the OPCC there would also be money from more security cameras and the development of an app for people to anonymously report abuse. She stressed that women needed to feel safe when walking around the town.

 

In response to Member questions, the Cabinet Member stated that they were working with the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure that women knew they could report sexual harassment and see real action. There was also confirmation that if the grant was awarded it would need to be spent by March 2022. She assured Members that regardless of the success of the bid, the council would make the streets safer for women.

 

The matter then went into debate where the following points were raised:

  • The Chair of Licensing Committee emphasised his full support for the measures.
  • Poor design of new buildings was a factor in both men and women feeling unsafe.
  • There needed to be joined-up reporting of people who are dangerous. As part of the Night Safe scheme there was a centralised list of people excluded from establishments, and all of them are men.
  • International action was needed on the subject of social media as online abuse can cause significant mental health problems.
  • Women should not feel the need to be escorted home.
  • Better lighting in public areas like parks would improve the situation.
  • The council should work with GCC to deliver safer streets.

 

The debate concluded with cross party thanks to the Cabinet Member for her work on this issue.

 

RESOLVED THAT

 

  1. The results of the survey as set out in section 2 be noted.
  2. The submission of the grant application to the Home Office as set out in section 3 be noted.
  3. Cabinet be requested to consider the proposals to progress a range of projects, set out in para 7.2 onwards, should the bid not be successful.

12.

Annual Report on Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Report of the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of Overview and Scrutiny, Councillor Chris Mason, introduced the report and highlighted the breadth of subject matter the committee had examined. He thanked former Members of the committee and existing ones and the Democratic Services team for their support.

He believed the committee was now challenging Cabinet Members to a greater degree and there was increased input as policies were being developed.

In the debate that ensued, the Leader wished to put on record her thanks to Members who serve on the committee and welcomed the changes which had taken place in terms of holding the executive to account.

Thanks were also given to the Chair of O&S for his hard work in preparing the meetings and the respect in which business was conducted.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously) THAT

 

the Annual Report of Overview and Scrutiny 2020-21 be noted.

13.

Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Minutes:

Motion A

This council:

 

- recognises the value of local green space to fighting climate change, promoting biodiversity, combatting particulate pollution and cleaning our air, providing areas of tranquillity and increasing the physical and mental wellbeing of local people;

 

- therefore welcomes the inclusion since 2012 of the Local Green Space designation for green areas of local community value in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

 

- further welcomes and reiterates its support for the designation of Local Green Spaces (LGS) through the Cheltenham Plan of 16 Local Green Spaces at Swindon Village, Fairview Green, St Mark’s, Lynworth Green, Albemarle Orchard Gardens, Colesbourne Road, Harrington Drive, George Readings Way, Henley Road, Newcourt Green, Cheriton Park, Holmer Park and Greatfield Park, Pilgrove Way and the Leckhampton Fields;

 

- Recognises that most if not all of these Local Green Spaces have been designated thanks to campaigns fought over many years by local communities, campaigners and residents, Parish Councils and ward councillors;

 

- Notes that all LGS sites have been tested through public examination and have been found to meet the criteria in the NPPF and that the Cheltenham Plan Inspector’s acceptance of the LGS sites has also been supported by the courts and the period for legal challenge has now passed.

 

On that basis, this council declares its intention to defend all the LGS sites in future plan-making processes, whether at JCS, local or neighbourhood level. Should zoning be introduced in any government changes to the planning system, this council will regard LGS sites as being protected areas alongside the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other protected areas.

 

This council further resolves to contact the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and our local MPs urging them to protect the Local Green Space designation

 

The motion was proposed by Cllr. Horwood and seconded by Cllr. Fisher.

 

In proposing the motion, Cllr. Horwood explained the importance of local green spaces (LGS) as a valuable commodity for simple enjoyment and getting people away from looking at screens all the time.  It was a great illustration of inter-party working due to the 2012 coalition national policy framework to protect green spaces. The council had made full use of this policy and it gave proper protection to LGS so local communities did not have to fight to protect their green spaces. He stressed that there should be pride that new homes were being built whilst preserving local green spaces.  The motion was brought to Council as there may be changes to the planning system at a national government level. He urged Members to contact the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to protect green space policy going forward, and reiterated that the motion was a clear  declaration that LGS were not up for grabs.

 

The Mayor moved to debate, where Members made the following points:

·         It was not just local green spaces that needed protection, but also local wildlife sites. Hopefully, the 6 local wildlife sites would become part of the Local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Any other item the Mayor determines as urgent and which requires a decision pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Minutes:

None.

15.

Local Government Act 1972 -Exempt Information

The committee 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 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)

16.

A Financial Matter

Report of the Leader

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report, which related to an exempt financial matter. Members commented on the report and asked questions, to which the Head of Property, Finance and Assets responded.

 

The Mayor moved to the vote, where the recommendations were approved.