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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices, Severn Room

Contact: Democratic Services Tel: 01684 272021  Email:  democraticservices@tewkesbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

53.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

53.1           Apologies for absence were received from Councillor C Softley.  

54.

Declarations of Interest

Pursuant to the adoption by the Council on 26 June 2012 of the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct, effective from 1 July 2012, as set out in Minute No. CL.34, Members are invited to declare any interest they may have in the business set out on the Agenda to which the approved Code applies.

Minutes:

54.1           The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Tewkesbury Borough Council Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 26 June 2012 and took effect from 1 July 2012.

54.2           The following declarations were made:

Councillor

Application No./Item

Nature of Interest (where disclosed)

Declared Action in respect of Disclosure

P W Ockelton

Item 9(d) – Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts.

Declaration made in accordance with Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the meeting for the consideration of this item.

S A T Stevens

Item 9(d) – Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts.

Declaration made in accordance with Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Would not speak or vote and would leave the meeting for the consideration of this item.

54.3          There were no further declarations made on this occasion.

55.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 399 KB

To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2019 and the Extraordinary meeting held on 26 November 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

55.1           The Minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2019, and of the Extraordinary meeting held on 26 November 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

56.

Announcements

1.   When the continuous alarm sounds you must evacuate the building by the nearest available fire exit. Members and visitors should proceed to the visitors’ car park at the front of the building and await further instructions (during office hours staff should proceed to their usual assembly point; outside of office hours proceed to the visitors’ car park). Please do not re-enter the building unless instructed to do so.

 

      In the event of a fire any person with a disability should be assisted in leaving the building.  

 

2.   To receive any announcements from the Chair of the Meeting and/or the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

56.1           The evacuation procedure, as noted on the Agenda, was advised to those present.

56.2           The Mayor welcomed the Independent Remuneration Panel members to the meeting for Item 7 – Scheme of Member Allowances and indicated that a one minute silence would be held to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

57.

Items from Members of the Public

a)   To receive any questions, deputations or petitions submitted under Council Rule of Procedure.12.

 

(The deadline for public participation submissions for this meeting is 22 January 2020).

 

b)   To receive any petitions submitted under the Council’s Petitions Scheme.

Minutes:

57.1           There were no items from members of the public on this occasion.  

58.

Member Questions properly submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To receive any questions submitted under Rule of Procedure 13. Any items received will be circulated on 28 January 2020.

 

(Any questions must be submitted in writing to Democratic Services by, not later than, 10.00am on the working day immediately preceding the date of the meeting).

Minutes:

58.1           The following questions had been received from Councillor Jordan to the Lead Member for Built Environment.  The answers were given by the Lead Member for Built Environment, Councillor Gore, but were taken as read without discussion.

Question 1:

Following a protracted dispute between a traveller family and Gloucestershire County Council/Tewkesbury Borough Council, have Gloucestershire County Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council agreed on a strategy to solve this problem?

Answer 1:

                  The individual circumstances of this case are complex and had involved both Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council and a number of Parish Councils in the Borough which had been required to use their powers.  Discussions had involved both the planning and housing advice service to seek suitable alternative solutions. The County Council was also doing what it could to ensure a place could be found for the family.

                  Question 2:

                  This issue, although complex, highlights the fact that the site allocation for travellers does not seem to be fit for purpose. What does Tewkesbury Borough Council propose doing to address that need?

                  Answer 2:

                  The adopted Joint Core Strategy set out the established needs for Gypsy and Traveller pitches in the Borough between 2016 and 2031. With planning permissions already granted since 2016, and the site allocations proposed in the emerging Tewkesbury Borough Plan, the full Joint Core Strategy needs for those who met the government’s definition of a traveller had been satisfied, as required by the national Planning Policy for Traveller Sites. Nevertheless, demand for additional pitches from individuals/families may occur in the plan period, outside of the identified need in the Joint Core Strategy. However, the Joint Core Strategy provided a criteria-based policy under which additional sites may be considered, through the planning application process, providing they were in accordance with the plan's policies.

                  It was recognised that, county-wide, there was likely to be an additional need for separate public/affordable pitch provision, and how any public provision would be delivered and maintained. This issue was being explored jointly with the six Gloucestershire local authorities and the County Council and the need for any sites would be considered through the ongoing review of the Joint Core Strategy.

58.2           The Mayor invited supplementary questions and the Member asked the following:

                  Question 1:

                  Do Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council have an action plan/timetable for the actions identified in question and answer 1 above?

                  Answer 1:

                  It is difficult to provide a timetable due to the need to work with other authorities but more detailed information can be circulated following the meeting.

                  Question 2:

                  With regard to answer 2 above, whilst I am aware of the table of need identified for sites in the Tewkesbury Borough plan, I am unaware of the actual sites identified; could the locations of the suggested sites be emailed to all Councillors. 

                  Answer 2:

                  The locations of the sites will be emailed to all Members.

58.3           The following questions were received from Councillor Ockelton to the Lead Member for Built Environment.  The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

Scheme of Member Allowances pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To determine the Scheme of Allowances to take effect on 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021 having regard to the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel.   

Additional documents:

Minutes:

59.1           The report of the Head of Democratic Services, circulated at Pages No. 13-26, asked Members to determine a Scheme of Allowances to take effect on 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2021 having regard to the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel set out in its report at Appendix 1 Pages No. 17-18. 

59.2           The Mayor invited the Chair of the Panel to address the Council. The Chair thanked the Council for inviting the Panel to introduce its report. He explained that, over the years, the Panel (with one new member having joined in the autumn) had met with a large number of Councillors and over the forthcoming year intended to speak to as many new Members as possible. He felt this was extremely important in helping them to understand the hard work and level of commitment shown by Members to both their local communities and the Council.  The Panel had looked at the allowances nationally, across the County and at local level. In recent years, the Panel had increased Special Responsibility Allowances as well as introducing a new allowance for Support Members. Previously, the Panel had indicated that it could not suggest an increase in the Basic Allowance given that it was already consistently one of the highest in the country; however, the Panel understood that this was effectively a cut in real terms and felt that this continued approach was no longer sustainable. It was for that reason that a £150 per year increase in the Basic Allowance was recommended.

59.3           The Leader of the Council thanked the Panel for its hard work and proposed the recommendations as set out in the Panel’s report at Appendix 1 to the report. The recommendation was seconded.

59.4           During the discussion which ensued, Members questioned whether there was a need for the Panel to review the allowances on an annual basis or whether it could be extended to two/three years and what the cost of the Panel meeting on an annual basis was. In response, the Panel Chair explained that the allowances did not have to be reviewed on an annual basis, indeed the Panel could recommend a scheme for a four-year period; however, the Panel felt it was able to offer better advice on an annual basis rather than over the longer term which would be based on a certain amount of speculation. In terms of costs, the Panel received a small retainer, paid on an annual basis, to ensure it was available for work on allowances at any time, this meant the costs would be the same no matter how frequently the scheme was reviewed. In terms of the increase recommended, the Chair of the Panel indicated that, given the Council was in the top quartile of Basic Allowances paid in the country, it would be easy to recommend a freeze in allowances but actually, as the allowances had been the same for the last five years, in real terms Councillors had seen a cut – the recommended  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

60.

Appointment of Civic Heads for the Municipal Year

To recommend the appointment of Civic Heads for the Municipal Year 2020/21.

 

1.    Mayor  

 

It is usual practice that the current Deputy Mayor be appointed Mayor for the ensuing Municipal Year.

 

2.    Deputy Mayor

 

To receive nominations for the appointment of Deputy Mayor for the ensuing Municipal Year.  

Minutes:

Mayor

60.1           Upon being proposed and seconded, it was

                  RESOLVED          That Councillor Andrew Reece, be appointed Mayor for the                                ensuing Municipal Year.

                  Deputy Mayor

60.2           Upon being proposed and seconded, it was

                  RESOLVED          That Councillor John Murphy be appointed as Deputy                                         Mayor for the ensuing Municipal Year. 

61.

Recommendations from Executive Committee

The Council is asked to consider and determine recommendations of a policy nature arising from the Executive Committee as follows:- 

61a

Council Plan 2020-2024 pdf icon PDF 229 KB

At its meeting on 8 January 2020 the Executive Committee considered the Council Plan 2020-2024 and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the Council Plan 2020-2024 be ADOPTED subject to some of the more business-related photographs being replaced by photographs of tourism/environment related areas.  

 

(Please Note: the Council Plan document as attached includes the new photographs).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

61.1           At its meeting on 8 January 2020, the Executive Committee had considered the new Council Plan for 2020-2024 and recommended to Council that it be adopted subject to some of the more business-related photographs being replaced by photographs of tourism/environment related areas. 

61.2           The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 27-48 and Members were advised that the Council Plan document, attached to the current Agenda, included new photographs.

61.3           The Chair of the Executive Committee proposed the recommendation and thanked all Members for their involvement in the creation of the Plan which he felt neatly set out what the Council’s priorities were for the period.  The recommendation was seconded by the Vice-Chair.

61.4           A Member indicated that one of the opening photographs in the document was of the M5 motorway and she questioned whether that was how the Council wanted to promote the Borough; in response, the Head of Corporate Services indicated that he would take that comment away for consideration. Another Member questioned whether the garden town was in the right place given concerns about flooding and infrastructure. She hoped it would prove to be the first truly sustainable garden town but for that to happen the government needed to act with changes to planning laws etc.; she felt the Council should not be prevented from doing its best in that regard. She also expressed the view that, whilst the inclusion of sustainability in the document was a good start, and she thanked Officers for making the changes she has suggested, it must be clear that words were not enough and deeds had to follow. In supporting those comments, a Member advised that he felt the Council Plan did not go far enough in terms of the climate change emergency or sustainability – the clock was ticking and he felt the Council’s commitment to making a difference needed to be stronger. The County Council had a ten-point plan which it was working towards and he felt Tewkesbury Borough Council needed to have a commitment like that to tackling climate change. In terms of Tewkesbury Garden Town, he was also exceptionally concerned about the flood risk which would be brought to the existing Tewkesbury Town.

61.5           The Leader of the Council indicated that the Council Plan set out the Council’s priorities and specific reference had been made to flooding and climate change with one of the objectives being to work with the County Council in delivering its climate change agenda. It was a fact that the County Council had the authority and resources to take the lead on climate change, as such, the Council’s priority to support that work was the correct way forward. It was also necessary to bear in mind that the Council Plan was a ‘live’ document that would be revised throughout the four-year period to take out achievements and bring in new objectives.

61.6           Accordingly, it was

                  RESOLVED          That the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61a

61b

Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 233 KB

At its meeting on 8 January 2020 the Executive Committee considered the Medium Term Financial Strategy and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21-2024/25 be ADOPTED.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

61.7           At its meeting on 8 January 2020, the Executive Committee had considered the Medium Term Financial Strategy and recommended to Council that it be adopted. 

61.8           The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 49-71.

61.9           The Chair of the Executive Committee proposed the recommendation which was seconded by the Vice-Chair. The Chair advised that this was the latest version of the Medium Term Financial Strategy which the Council was required to have to protect it for the next five years. Currently, the document was a best guess as there were many areas of the Council’s finances which were out of its control and the next 12-months would be a critical period.

61.10         Accordingly, it was

RESOLVED          That the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21-2024/25 be ADOPTED.

 

61c

Treasury and Capital Management pdf icon PDF 145 KB

At its meeting on 8 January 2020 the Executive Committee considered a suite of reports in respect of Treasury and Capital Management and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that the following strategies and policies be ADOPTED:

·         Capital Investment Strategy 2020/21.

·         Investment Strategy 2020/21.

·         Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2020/21.

·         Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21.

·         Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

61.11         At its meeting on 8 January 2020, the Executive Committee had considered a suite of reports in respect of Treasury and Capital Management and recommended to Council that the strategies and policies be adopted. 

61.12         The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 72-105.

61.13         The Chair of the Executive Committee proposed the recommendation which was seconded by the Vice-Chair.

61.14         A Member questioned why the 2021 debt was higher than in previous years. In response, the Head of Finance and Asset Management explained that, in October, a report had been considered by the Council which approved further expenditure on the Council’s commercial property portfolio; this anticipated £15,000 spend in the current year and the rest the year after which was what the figure in the report related to. In terms of checks and balances on the spend of that funding, Members were advised that the Commercial Investment Strategy set out how the investments were made. Treasury advisors were used to undertake due diligence and make recommendations and the Commercial Investment Board was made up of six Members who supported the decision-making process.

61.15         Accordingly, it was

                  RESOLVED          That the following strategies and policies be ADOPTED:

·         Capital Investment Strategy 2020/21.

·         Investment Strategy 2020/21.

·         Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2020/21.

·         Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21.

·         Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Policy 2020/21.

61d

Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts pdf icon PDF 161 KB

At its meeting on 8 January 2020 the Executive Committee considered Council Tax  Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts and RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL that:

1.    The default Council Tax Reduction Scheme be ADOPTED to be effective from 1 April 2020 with a minor revision to the national working age regulations to allow for a de minimis tolerance for income changes.

2.    Authority be delegated to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to agree the uprating of the working age regulations incorporated into the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in line with those announced by the Department for Work and Pensions.

3.    The following Council Tax discounts be ADOPTED to be effective from 1 April 2020:

·         The discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties is 25% for a maximum period of six months.

·         The discount for properties which are vacant and require major repair work to render them habitable is 25% for a maximum period of 12 months.

·         The discount for unoccupied furnished properties (second home) is zero.

·         An empty homes premium of an additional 100% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years.

·         An empty homes premium of an additional 200% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than five years.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

61.16         At its meeting on 8 January 2020, the Executive Committee had considered the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts and recommended to Council that the default Council Tax Reduction Scheme be adopted to be effective from 1 April 2020 with a minor revision to the national working age regulations to allow for a de minimis tolerance for income changes; that authority be delegated to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to agree the uprating of the working age regulations incorporated into the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in line with those announced by the Department for Work and Pensions; and that the following Council Tax discounts be effective from 1 April 2020:

·         The discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties was 25% for a maximum period of six months.

·         The discount for properties which are vacant and require major repair work to render them habitable is 25% for a maximum period of 12-months.

·         The discount for unoccupied furnished properties (second home) is zero.

·         An empty homes premium of an additional 100% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than two years.

·         An empty homes premium of an additional 200% is levied on properties that have remained unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for more than five years.

61.17         The report which was considered by the Executive Committee had been circulated with the Agenda for the current meeting at Pages No. 106-115.

61.18         The Chair of the Executive Committee proposed the recommendation which was seconded by the Vice-Chair.

61.19         Referring to Page No. 107, a Member welcomed the fact that claimants would not need to be continually reassessed; however, he questioned whether £10 was the maximum allowed or whether there was any flexibility. In response, the Revenues and Benefits Manager explained that the team had explored many options but the recommended way forward would make Tewkesbury Borough consistent across Gloucestershire.

61.20         Accordingly, it was

RESOLVED     1. That the default Council Tax Reduction Scheme be              ADOPTED to be effective from 1 April 2020 with a minor   revision to the national working age regulations to allow for a de minimis tolerance for income changes.

2.   That authority be delegated to the Head of Finance and Asset Management, in consultation with the Lead Member for Finance and Asset Management, to agree the uprating of the working age regulations incorporated into the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in line with those announced by the Department for Work and Pensions.

3.   That the following Council Tax discounts be ADOPTED to be effective from 1 April 2020:

·      The discount for unoccupied and substantially unfurnished properties is 25% for a maximum period of six months.

·      The discount for properties which are vacant and require major repair work to render them habitable is 25% for a maximum period of 12 months.

·      The discount for unoccupied furnished properties (second home) is zero.

·      An empty homes premium of an additional 100% is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61d

62.

Proposed Compulsory Purchase Action to Support Delivery of the Proposed West Cheltenham Development Scheme pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To initiate the process of utilising compulsory purchase powers to acquire land and rights necessary to deliver a comprehensive development of the overall West Cheltenham site to help meet the housing and employment needs of the Joint Core Strategy area as defined in the strategic level development plan

Additional documents:

Minutes:

62.1           The report of the Head of Development Services, circulated at Pages No. 116-123, detailed proposed compulsory purchase action to support the delivery of the proposed West Cheltenham Development Scheme which Members were asked to agree in principle.

62.2           The Head of Development Services explained that the adopted Joint Core Strategy had allocated land at West Cheltenham, Policy A7, for approximately 1,100 homes and 45 hectares of employment land to be focussed upon a cyber security hub. Significant progress had been made regarding the comprehensive development of the allocation, including a masterplan and acquiring Garden Community status etc., and the report therefore sought a resolution for a Compulsory Purchase Order to be used, if necessary, to support the delivery of that development. This would be an ‘in principle’ decision at this stage as the power was only to be used as a last resort.

62.3           The recommendation, as set out on page No. 117, was proposed and seconded and, accordingly, it was

RESOLVED                  1. That, in principle, for reasons set out in the report, the Council may need to use compulsory purchase powers to acquire the land within the area described in the report and shown edged red on the plan attached at Appendix 1 to:

a)  secure delivery of the West Cheltenham development and its housing and job-creation objectives;

b)  facilitate the development of the site in partnership with an appointed developer by assembling the land interests within a reasonable timeframe and at a reasonable cost; and

c)   contribute to the promotion and improvement of the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Tewkesbury and Cheltenham Boroughs.

2. That the Deputy Chief Executive undertake any preparatory work required for the compulsory purchase order process in collaboration with Cheltenham Borough Council and noting that, as an outcome of this preparatory work, if it is necessary and appropriate, for one or more compulsory purchase orders to be made, that a further report will be taken to Council seeking approval to the making of an Order.

63.

Schedule of Meetings pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To approve the Schedule of Meetings for 2020/21. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

63.1           The report of the Head of Democratic Services, circulated at Pages No. 124-127, set out the proposed Schedule of Meetings for 2020/21. Members were asked to adopt the Schedule as set out at Appendix 1 to the report.  

63.2           The Leader of the Council proposed that the Schedule be adopted. Upon being seconded, it was

                  RESOLVED          That the Schedule of Meetings for 2020/21, as set out at                                    Appendix 1 to the report, be ADOPTED 

64.

Royal Garden Party

To agree the nominations for the Council’s representation at the Royal Garden Party in May 2020.

 

The dates provided are 12, 19 and 27 May 2020.

 

Nominations MUST be made by Monday 3 February 2020 at the latest. 

Minutes:

 64.1          It was 

                  RESOLVED          That Councillor Mary Jordan and guest accompany the Mayor                           and his guest as the Council’s nominees at the Royal                                              Garden Party in May 2020.

64.2           It was agreed that Councillor Paul Smith be nominated as a reserve to attend in the event that Councillor Jordan should be unable to make the date. 

65.

Notices of Motion

65a

Notice of Motion - Review of Delegated Planning Powers to Officers

Councillor Munro will propose and Councillor Stanley will second:

In early 2019 an application was received to develop 11 units in 4 buildings for light and general industrial use, 8.5m high on land zoned for industry at Furlong Park in Bishops Cleeve. The site was identified in the Borough Local Plan for employment use. The application was advertised in the local paper and a notice put up on site in accordance with the Council’s Scheme of Community Involvement and requirements laid down in the Town and Country Planning (Development management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. No objections were received from Bishops Cleeve Parish Council, which was consulted on the application, or local residents.  In accordance with the  powers delegated to officers , the application was approved by the allocated Case officer and senior Planning Officer  and building work started in summer 2019. The expected completion date is May 2020.

The site is opposite housing and the first local residents knew about the development  was when building works started. Residents were concerned with the height and scale of the units, proximity to houses, the number of  car parking spaces and additional traffic on the Bishops Cleeve by-pass. A formal complaint was raised against the Council and the local MP asked to become involved. It was found that the Council had followed due process.

The matter raises some general points of concern as set out below:

1)    Visibility of planning applications to local residents.  There is no question that the Council did not follow procedure correctly but the upshot of current practice is that local residents were not aware of the application for a large industrial unit in close proximity to their homes.

2)    The lack of opportunity for scrutiny and debate of the application by the Planning Committee.

3)    Training provided to Parish Councils to ensure that planning applications are effectively scrutinised.

In view of the above the Council is asked to:

1)    Set up a working group to review its Scheme of Community Involvement with a view to considering consultation methods that will enable more visibility of applications to local residents. It is accepted that this will have to be feasible from a cost perspective and should include opportunities to use digital methods where possible.

2)    Set up a Working Group to a) review the Delegated Authority to Officers and consider the effectiveness of the current scheme of delegation and b) investigate  whether further safeguards should be put in place in terms of notification to the Planning Committee and local members of applications being approved under delegated powers.

3)    Offer training to all Parish Councils on the planning process.

Minutes:

65.1           The Worshipful the Mayor referred to the Notice of Motion set out on the Agenda and indicated that, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, it was necessary for the Council firstly to decide whether it wished to debate and determine the Motion at this evening’s meeting, or whether it wished to refer the Motion, without debate, to a Committee for consideration with authority either to make a decision on the matter or to bring a recommendation back to Council. Upon being put to the vote it was agreed that the Motion would be considered at the current meeting.

65.2           In explaining her reasoning for presenting the Motion, the proposer indicated that she understood Officers would be bringing forward a review of the Statement of Community Involvement and the Planning Scheme of Delegation and, subject to receiving an assurance that this was the case, she was prepared to withdraw the Motion. The Head of Development Services confirmed that a review of the Statement of Community Involvement in plan-making and development control matters and the Planning Scheme of Delegation were in the Development Services service plan for 2020/21.

65.3           Accordingly, the Notice of Motion was WITHDRAWN by the proposer and seconder.

65b

Notice of Motion - New Primary School in Bishop's Cleeve

Councillor Munro will propose and Councillor Stanley will second:

As a consequence of the significant house building to the north of Bishop’s Cleeve, the County Council has identified the need for an additional 3FE primary school in the village. The County Council has commissioned an Options Appraisal document which suggests extending the age range of Cleeve school to incorporate the additional primary school places and while the siting of the new school is not specifically disclosed, mention is made of land off Kayte Lane, on the south side of the village, used by Cleeve school as playing fields  and in the green belt. The County Council has said, at the time the Options Appraisal was commissioned, no viable alternative sites were available to allow it to meet its statutory duties within the resources available and it was not able to secure additional land for primary school provision as the individual planning applications in Bishop’s Cleeve did not justify the need for a school site

There are a number of concerns with this proposal:

1)    The potential site for a new school is at the opposite side of the village to where the need is. The new housing is north of the village and the proposed site is in the south of the village, close to the existing primary schools. The County Council policy B8 of the School Places Strategy 2018-2023 says that where the need for a new primary school arises from a new development, the new school should be provided within the development, with the  site ideally within walking distance of most of the development.  A site to the south of the village is as far from the new houses as it is possible to be in Bishop’s Cleeve.

2)    It is unlikely that children will walk to a school in the south of the village and the reality is that this will lead to more traffic in an already congested area. This is also contrary to the County Council’s endorsement of the Government’s declaration of a climate change emergency and need to reduce carbon emissions by 2050.

In view of the above the Council is asked to:

1)    Support the provision of adequate primary school places in Bishop’s Cleeve in line with the County  Council’s own policy that any such school should be within walking distance of most of the new developments in Bishop’s Cleeve.

2)    Investigate as a matter of urgency the suitability of sites in the area for local school provision.

3)    Work with the County Council and any other interested party  to find a solution that works for everyone. 

Minutes:

65.4           The Worshipful the Mayor referred to the Notice of Motion set out on the Agenda and indicated that, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, it was necessary for the Council firstly to decide whether it wished to debate and determine the Motion at this evening’s meeting, or whether it wished to refer the Motion, without debate, to a Committee for consideration with authority either to make a decision on the matter or to bring a recommendation back to Council. Upon being put to the vote it was agreed that the Motion would be considered at the current meeting.

65.5           The Motion, as set out on the Agenda, was proposed and seconded.

65.6           The proposer of the Motion explained that the intention was to try and address issues with primary school provision in Bishop’s Cleeve which had arisen as a consequence of development in the area. The Member understood that education was a County Council responsibility but she felt that Tewkesbury Borough Council had a responsibility to help the County Council achieve the best for residents of the Borough. Bishop’s Cleeve had grown significantly in size in recent years with a lot of the new development being in the north of the village. There were three existing primary schools in the south and east all within 0.5 miles of each other; there was also a secondary school in the south. This meant that in the north there were no schools at all. The County Council had increased capacity in the existing primary schools but there had been an error in the calculations for school numbers which meant the area actually required another primary school for the amount of development. There were concerns that the same error could also have been made in other areas of the Borough which would need to be considered. The County Council had undertaken an options appraisal and this favoured a site known as land at Kayte Lane but this was also in the south side of the village which meant children as young as four years old would have no choice but to walk two miles to school every day. It was felt strongly that schools should be located within walking distance of new development and it was hoped that Tewkesbury Borough Council, working closely with the County Council, could achieve the best outcome for residents. The seconder of the Motion agreed with the comments made and felt that, whilst this was an urgent consideration for Bishop’s Cleeve, it was something that could potentially affect many other communities across the Borough. He also explained that the County Council’s own policy stated that schools should be in the heart of development which the suggested site clearly was not. In addition, the proposed site was an existing playing field and he felt this should remain a field. Air pollution and the climate emergency faced surely meant that children should be able to walk to school rather than having to be driven when it was really not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65b

66.

Separate Business

The Chairman will move the adoption of the following resolution:

That under Section 100(A)(4) Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

66.1           The Mayor proposed, and it was  

                  RESOLVED          That, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act                               1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following                              items on the grounds that they involve the likely discussion of                                    exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the                          Act.  

67.

Separate Minutes

To approve the separate Minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2019.  

Minutes:

67.1           The separate Minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor. 

68.

Joint Waste Partnership - Staffing and Current Position

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

 

To consider the current position and staffing in connection with the Council’s Joint Waste arrangements

Minutes:

(Exempt –Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 – Information relating to any individual) 

68.1           Members considered and approved the new staffing structure in connection with the Council’s Joint Waste arrangements.