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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Council Chamber - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions

Contact: Lucy Fleming 

No. Item


Membership and chairing arrangements

Explanatory note:

At its meeting held on 4 September 2023, the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board agreed:

a. that the Call-In Sub-Committee would be comprised of 7 non-executive members to be nominated by the party group whips (2 Green, 2 Labour, 1 Conservative, 1 Liberal Democrat, 1 Knowle Community Party). 

b. that the chairing of meetings of the Call-In Sub-Committee would rotate between the political groups. In line with this agreement, a Labour member (Councillor Ali) will chair this meeting of the sub-committee.



Welcome, introductions and safety information pdf icon PDF 103 KB


Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.

Any declaration of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.



Public Forum pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Explanatory notes:

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for public forum. 


Members of the press and public who plan to attend a public meeting at City Hall are advised that you will be required to sign in when you arrive. Please note that you will be issued with a visitor pass which you will need to display at all times.


Any member of the public or councillor may participate in Public Forum. The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda. Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:


Questions - Written questions must be received at least 3 clear working days prior to the meeting. For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5.00 pm on Thursday 21 March 2024


Petitions and Statements - Petitions or written statements must be received at latest by 12.00 noon on the working day prior to the meeting. For this meeting, this means that petitions or statements must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Tuesday 26 March 2024


In relation to this meeting of the Call-In Sub-Committee, members of the public are also asked please to note the following:


The purpose of the meeting is to consider a Call-in for scrutiny (submitted by Councillors Martin Fodor, Lorraine Francis, Tom Hathway, Christine Townsend and Tim Wye) of the Cabinet’s 5 March decision on Allotment Rents and Water Charges.


This Cabinet decision has been called-in by these councillorsbecause they believe they have evidence to suggest that the Cabinet did not take that decision in accordance with Article 14(decision taking) of the Council's constitution.


Please note that this Call-In Sub-Committee meeting cannot itself alter the Cabinet’s decision. That is ultimately a matter for Cabinet alone.


The function of the Call-In Sub-Committee at this meeting is to review the way in which the Cabinet reached its decision. After considering the matter, the sub-committee will come to one of the following 3 conclusions:

1. To take no further action (in which case the 5 March Cabinet decision stands at it is).

2. To refer the matter back to the Cabinet - with issues (to be detailed in the minute of the meeting) for the Cabinet to consider before taking a final decision.

3. To refer the matter to Full Council for a wider debate (note: Full Council may then decide either to take no further action, or to refer the matter back to Cabinet with specific recommendations for the Cabinet to consider prior to their final decision taking).


Members of the public are able to make public forum submissions at this meeting but please bear in mind that the purpose of this meeting is to review the way in which the Cabinet reached its decision and to consider the issues as set out in the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 4.

Additional documents:


Call-in of 5 March Cabinet decision on allotment rent and water charges pdf icon PDF 172 KB

The Sub-Committee is asked to consider the call-in of the 5 March Cabinet decision on allotment rents and service charges.


Additional documents:


1. At the outset of the meeting, the Legal Advisor informed the meeting that members of the sub-committee had received a letter from the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities.  The text of that letter is included at Appendix 1 to these minutes.


2. It was noted that in light of the letter from the Cabinet member, the Call-In Sub-Committee members had indicated that they were minded to agree to take no further action on the issues raised in the Call-In, on the understanding that:

- the 5 March Cabinet decision would not be implemented;

- the decision would be referred after the election to the new Public Health and Communities policy committee and that the committee should first make a decision about allotment rents and water charges, and subsequently consider allotment regulations.


3. Following initial discussion, the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities explained the background and context relating to this issue from her perspective and outlined her reasons for sending the letter to the Call-In Sub-Committee.


4. 10 public questions and 15 public statements had been submitted to this meeting. The questions (together with written responses) and the statements were published on the Council’s web site alongside the agenda papers for this meeting. Individuals in attendance in the public gallery were given the opportunity to present their statements.


5. Following further discussion, the Call-In Sub-Committee


RESOLVED (unanimously):


That (with reference to the letter included at Appendix 1), no further action should be taken in relation to the issues identified in the Call-In, on the understanding that the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities and the Director: Management of Place undertake not to act on the Cabinet decision that had been called-in, and that the decision will be referred to the future Public Health and Communities policy committee, who will consider whether any further information is required and take into account the issues raised in the call-in and in the public forum questions and statements submitted to this meeting. The Call-In Sub-Committee recommends that the Public Health and Communities policy committee makes a decision first in relation to allotment rents and water charges and then subsequently considers the allotment regulations. ?





Text of letter dated 27 March 2024 to Call-In Sub-Committee members from Cllr Ellie King, Cabinet member for Public Health and Communities


Dear Call-In Committee member


As you’ll know, later today we are meeting to discuss the Call-in from a group of councillors of a decision taken by Cabinet in March regarding Allotment rents and water charges, alongside a Parks and Green Spaces and Allotments and Food Growing Strategy.


You will have seen from the published Appendix E- ‘Executive/ Officer response to the Call-In' document prepared by Bristol City Council officers that we have a robust defence against the points raised by the call in. Expert officers from our parks, consultation, equality and inclusion and legal teams have all advised that this decision was made legitimately. The consultation complied with the council’s duty to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.