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Paper 2 - 27 November 1998 Meeting 

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Minutes of the Association meeting held at Hart District Council on Friday 25 September 1998 at 10.00 am.

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor Mrs P Baker

Councillor B Gurden

Mrs K Sporle (Chief Executive)

East Hampshire

Councillor D Clark

Mrs D Gardner (Head of Policy)

Eastleigh

Councillor K House (Chair)

Mr C Tapp (Chief Executive and Honorary Secretary)

Mr M Dawson (Chief Financial Accountant)

Mrs E Hill (Committee Officer)

Mr T Wright (Assistant Head of Planning Policy)

Fareham

Councillor R Price

Councillor M Prior

Mr A Davies (Chief Executive)

Gosport

Councillor P Edgar

Mr M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor W Blackett

Councillor A Collett

Councillor F Emery-Wallis

Councillor A Rice

Councillor W Wheeler

Mr P Robertson (Chief Executive)

Mr J Ekins (County Surveyor)

Mr T Greenwood (County Planning Officer)

Hart

Councillor P Hutcheson

Mr G Jelbart (Chief Executive)

Mr C James (Head of Strategy)

Havant

Councillor R Bellinger

Mr R Smith (Chief Executive)

Isle of Wight

Councillor R Barry

Councillor G Kendall

Mr D Jaggar (Director of Development)

New Forest

Councillor J Coles

Mr I Mackintosh (Managing Director)

Portsmouth

Councillor Mrs E Baker

Councillor J Patey

Councillor S Rapson MP

Mr C Stunell (Assistant City Engineer)

Rushmoor

Councillor M Roberts

Councillor A Thame

Mr A Lloyd (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

Councillor B Palmer

Councillor J Morgan

Mr A Jones (Chief Executive)

Winchester

Councillor D Atwell

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Councillor Mrs J Pittfield

Mrs S Hudson (Director)

Community Action Hampshire

Ms H Horton

Dorset Councils Association

Councillor Mrs S Stone (Purbeck District Council)

Mr P Croft (Chief Executive, Purbeck District Council)

Also in attendance Mr N Goulder (Policy Officer).

59.98 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Gibson and Brian Partridge (Portsmouth), Councillor Moss (Havant), Councillor J Evans (Basingstoke & Deane), Councillor Mrs M Robinson (New Forest), Councillors Morgan-Hughes and Rees, and Felix Hetherington (Isle of Wight), Councillors Mrs Martin, Steele and Mrs Verschoren (Winchester), Councillor Mrs M Kyrle (Eastleigh), Councillor Greer (Hampshire), Lucy Robinson (GOSE) and Brenda Lawson (IOW Association of Parish and Town Councils).

60.98 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 1998 were agreed with the following amendment:-

- that Councillor M Prior (Fareham), and Helen Horton and Robin Cooke (Community Action Hampshire) be added to the attendance list.

61.98 INTEGRATED TRANSPORT - PRESENTATION

Professor Mike McDonald of the Transportation Research Group at Southampton University gave a presentation on Integrated Transport and the White Paper.

The Labour Party's manifesto commitment had finally been realised in the Paper, which was long overdue. The Government had promised to "safeguard the environment, and develop an integrated transport policy to fight congestion and pollution". The tradition in transport had been to predict demand and prepare for it; however, the new approach centred around finding ways to modify demand.

An important part of the new strategy was to bring back integration in order to make public transport realistic. Currently it was in some areas impossible to carry out an entire journey on public transport, as the various services did not necessarily tie up together. The nature of modern lives depended on transport to increase prosperity and tackle social exclusion, therefore a sustainable transport system was vital to the country's future; however, there was a price to pay in terms of health and the environment caused by the steady increase in the use of cars.

Although the location of basic services such as hospitals, schools, and shopping centres necessitated the use of a car, only 7 out of 10 homes in the UK owned one car. Public transport could not be relied upon to provide an adequate service to the 3 out of 10 car-less homes. The problems with transport in the country would now have to be urgently addressed, as we would be facing a dramatic increase in traffic over the next 20 years, with car traffic growing by a third if left unchecked.

The Integrated Transport Policy would aim to promote the use of different types of transport in order to work successfully in conjunction with environmental, land use planning, education and health policies. One of the problems faced by policy makers was the cost of travel to the consumer, which had now reached a point where it was actually cheaper to travel by car than on public transport.

The Government was endeavouring to hand responsibility to local authorities by giving councils the power to charge road-users for driving into towns, thus discouraging use of the car. Local Authorities had so far regarded this issue with trepidation, well aware of the fact that in encouraging the use of public transport, car users may feel they are being penalised. One way to avoid this problem would be to increase park-and-ride facilities.

Improvements to public transport were put forward in the Paper, with bus services leading the way in making changes, and local councils encouraged to work on their quality partnerships with all relevant service providers. Better integration was hoped for with the introduction of new powers for bus and other transport operators, better planning, and more extensive research in order to identify the key problem areas.

Strategists would have to address wider issues such as the increasing distances people were required to travel to work, schools, shopping and leisure areas, which may lead to a review of other related policies. Extensive publicity would be required to ensure the public would be willing to make the changes that were needed.

Professor McDonald explained that while he felt the White Paper proposed all the right ideas, it had yet to be proven that the strategies would actually work.

John Ekins (Hampshire) followed up the presentation with some comments on the recent National Transport Conference. Councillor David Begg, Convenor of Transportation at Edinburgh City Council, had made the opening speech, a copy of which would be circulated with the minutes.

It was generally perceived that local authorities would have a key role to play in implementing the White Paper. Guidance was due in late October with regard to incorporating national, regional and local policies into local transport plans. In Hampshire the plans would be the responsibility of the County Council, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. They would be regarded as a transport blueprint, and a replacement for TPP's. Consultation would be carried out with district councils before the plans (which would cover the period 2000/1-2004/5) were submitted in 1999.

The Highways Agency was likely to be given a new role as network operator, which may raise some issues for local democracy involvement. Mr Ekins suggested that this new role should be welcomed, but that the County Council (as contractor to the Highways Agency) should ensure that the involvement of other agencies and local councils be maintained.

RESOLVED -

That Professor McDonald and John Ekins be thanked for their presentation.

62.98 INTEGRATED TRANSPORT - THE ROLE OF THE ASSOCIATION

Consideration was given to a joint report of Alan Jones (Test Valley) and the Policy Officer. The Government's White Paper on the future of transport had been published in July, followed by a further paper which set out the policies for trunk roads in the context of the Government's Integrated Transport Strategy.

The issue of integration required partnership between all tiers of local government and other organisations in the public, private and voluntary sector. In order to ensure success in this joint approach leadership and co-operation at senior Member and Chief Executive levels were crucial.

During earlier discussions regarding SERPLAN it had become clear that integrated transport was inseparable from strategic land use planning. It was therefore proposed that the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Planning Officers Group (HIPOG) should be expanded to address transport issues. It was also proposed that if more detailed discussions were required at Member level than were possible at full Association meetings, the SERPLAN Co-ordination Group could be expanded to allow for this. It was suggested that HIPOG report back to the Association with recommendations for future liaison arrangements with transport organisations, and the preparation and co-ordination of local transport plans.

During the discussion the following points were raised:

- There was some concern between Members that decisions on transport issues should only be made at Member level. This was fully recognised, along with the need for effective support arrangements at officer level.

- It was suggested that member Councils should be looking more at future transport issues, using technology to improve services and options.

- It was recognised that thorough marketing would be required in order to ensure the public buy into the concept of increasing public transport use, and decreasing car use.

- It was pointed out that a more negative impact of increased mobility was the relocation of key services such as hospitals to areas that were not provided for by public transport.

- One of the bigger problems associated with encouraging increased use of public transport was the need to increase and improve the various services. Due to privatisation, it may prove difficult to ensure a national standard.

RESOLVED -

(1) That work on the issues be moved forward; and

(2) That a paper be presented to the next Chief Executives' Group meeting regarding operating protocols for Association working on strategic issues.

62.98 MODERN LOCAL GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER

Consideration was given to a paper by the Policy Officer which provided a review of the Government's White Paper on modern local government. The proposals in the Paper could be divided into six categories:-

- ways of working and new political structures
- local democracy and elections
- a new ethical framework
- promoting the wellbeing of communities
- financial accountability and arrangements
- Best Value

Member authorities were now considering what action to take regarding these issues. With regard to local democracy and elections, it was noted that it would be particularly important to co-ordinate public awareness campaigns in order to attempt to increase electoral turnout.

It was important to build on existing joint work, and the Association could provide a forum for ensuring best practice. Discussions were currently being held with GOSE regarding a Government proposal to hold a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Conference on Local Agenda 21 and the White Paper.

RESOLVED -

That the Association aim to provide added value to the development and implementation of the White Paper proposals by:

(i) providing a forum for debate and comment;

(ii) developing joint programmes for public awareness about local democratic choices, and sharing best practice on improving turnout at elections;

(iii) developing the new ethical framework;

(iv) jointly commenting as necessary on the new financial proposals; and

(v) developing local approaches to Best Value in partnership with "pilot" authorities.

63.98 THE STRATEGIC DEFENCE REVIEW

The Association considered a paper by Malcolm Crocker (Gosport) which provided an update on the Strategic Defence Review. The review had been published in July, and raised a number of issues and implications for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The Review was short on detail, and it was proving difficult for individual authorities to predict how their areas would be affected.

Both Hampshire and the Isle of Wight qualified for support through the KONVER programme, due to the high percentage of defence dependency throughout the area. The report included some detail on area specific issues, as well as a summary of the Review in the Annex. It was suggested that the Association keep a careful watch on the development of the issues, and support member authorities and particular areas if necessary.

Some concern was expressed over the Haslar Hospital in Gosport, which had not been mentioned in the review.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the Association maintains a watching brief on the Strategic Defence Review as issues and principles set out in the paper are clarified;

(2) That where appropriate, the Association lends support to individual authorities where decisions flowing from the Review affect particular localities; and

(3) That the Association recognises and supports the work of member authorities, the Economic Partnership, TEC's and Business Link in supporting defence dependent firms and encouraging diversification into other areas, and presses for continuing support through the KONVER programme and suitable successor programmes.

64.98 EUROPEAN FUNDING FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

David Jaggar (Isle of Wight) introduced a paper which set out the case for support for the Isle of Wight's bid for European structural funding. The Island was designated a defence dependent area under the KONVER programme, a Rural Development Area, and had Intermediate Assisted Area Status, however the Government did not give adequate recognition for the costs and issues related to being an island. The cost this year to the Isle of Wight for being an island was 6.3m, which equated to 6% of the Council's 1998/99 budget.

The Isle of Wight was now asking the European Ombudsman to investigate the Island's failure to be designated a NUTS II area, and should this prove unsuccessful it would seek to be included on the Government's list of Objective 2 regions (those regions experiencing structural difficulties not designated Objective 1), in order to ensure proper support and recognition of the Island's geographical and economic position.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the Association supports the Isle of Wight's bid for European Structural Funding; and

(2) That a letter be sent to the MEP indicating the Association's support for the Isle of Wight.

65.98 HAMPSHIRE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP - PROGRESS REPORT

Andrew Lloyd (Rushmoor) introduced a report which outlined the background and structure of the Hampshire Economic Partnership (HEP) and set out a number of important current and emerging issues.

The partnership had been set up to bring together representatives from Local and Central Government, businesses and training centres in order to improve the long term economic prosperity of the region. The HEP was shortly to become a limited company, and there were eleven Task Groups working to implement its action plan and programme.

The major initiatives being progressed by the partnership included:-

- finalising the limited company arrangements
- setting out key issues to be addressed by the RDA
- arranging the HEP Conference (to be held on 5 October 1998)
- preparing a business plan for 1999/2000.

RESOLVED -

That the Association:

(i) note the increasingly important role being played by the Hampshire Economic Partnership in the economic development of the region; and

(ii) confirm the appointment of Councillors Sabine (Winchester), Woodhall (Hampshire) and Hancock (Portsmouth) as co-opted members of the newly constituted Board; and

66.98 ECONOMIC STATEMENT FOR THE SOUTH EAST : SERF CONSULTATION DRAFT

The Policy Officer introduced a joint paper prepared with Robin Smith (Havant) which appended a summary of the key issues from the consultation draft on the Economic Statement for the SERF region. The Statement had been produced by consultants under the direction of a SERF Officer Group, and in its final form would be a statement of the region's key economic development priorities. The draft Association response to the statement was attached at Annex 2, and following approval by the Association would be moved forward to wider consultation.

RESOLVED -

That the response in Annex 2 be approved.

67.98 HAMPSHIRE COUNTY STRUCTURE PLAN (REVIEW) 1996-2011 - PROTOCOL FOR MULTI-AGENCY NEGOTIATIONS ON LARGE DEVELOPMENT SITES

Tony Wright (Eastleigh) presented a paper from the Large Sites Implementation Group which had been formed by HIPOG. The Group had been set up to examine the issues associated with the implementation of major development areas (there were proposals for four of these areas within the Deposit Hampshire County Structure Plan (Review) for 1996-2011) and other large-scale development proposals.

One of the most important issues being addressed by the Group was the process of securing the provision of infrastructure and facilities to serve the developments and their future residents. A protocol had been developed for joint working to address these and other concerns and this was attached to the report. The principles of the protocol were that:-

(i) the public authorities jointly agree on a schedule of infrastructure and facilities to be secured;

(ii) the public authorities present a united front in negotiation with landowners and developers; and

(iii) the local planning authority co-ordinates negotiations and is the central point of contact for the negotiating team.

The protocol had been endorsed by the County Surveyor and HIPOG. Subject to adoption by the Association it would form a part of the best practice guidance notes to be produced by the Group for consultation later in the year.

RESOLVED -

That the protocol for multi-agency negotiations on large development sites be adopted.

68.98 STRUCTURE PLAN (GENERAL)

A discussion was held regarding the Structure Plan generally, initiated by concerns raised by Councillor Roberts (Rushmoor) regarding the lack of agreement between the County Council and Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils.

Tim Greenwood (Hampshire) provided the background to a recent Joint Advisory Panel (JAP) meeting where agreement on the housing figures for the Structure Plan had not been reached. Panel members had been presented with three options:

(i) to move forward by publishing the modifications based on the County's figures of 42,000;

(ii) to admit to a breakdown in communication and therefore ask the Secretary of State for advice: or

(iii) to withdraw the current Plan, with each authority preparing a new plan for its own area.

Prior to the JAP meeting GOSE had sent a letter to the three strategic authorities urging them to move the process forward by agreeing on option (i). No decision had been made at the meeting and it was likely that the two Cities would be writing to the Secretary of State for guidance. He would then have three options:-

(i) to insist the three authorities work together to resolve the issues;

(ii) to provide direction on key issues; or

(iii) to call in the whole plan.

Mr Greenwood urged the Association to resolve the problem locally as he felt it would be regrettable to lose local control.

During the discussion the following points were raised:

- It was generally agreed that the current unresolved situation was potentially disastrous for all the member authorities.

- Delays in agreeing the Structure Plan would lead to complications in the preparation of Local Plans.

- On a positive note, although several major issues remained unresolved, 96% of the key points had been agreed.

- It would be dangerous to go back to the Inspector's original report as the figures in that report were considered to be incorrect.

- District Councils were feeling frustrated due to the lack of influence they had in the Review procedure, whilst being in the front line dealing with the development pressures as local planning authorities.

- Districts were especially concerned about the possibility that developers could be given permission by appeal, thus reducing control over the location and form of development.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the Association supports the resolution of the issues at local level; and

(2) That a meeting of all the District Councils be held on 16 October 1998 to discuss their views and whether the Districts might be able to help the three Structure Plan Authorities resolve their current impasse.

69.98 HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMMES - A LOCAL AUTHORITY PERSPECTIVE

Consideration was given to a joint report by Chris Tapp (Honorary Secretary) and the Health Policy Manager (Eastleigh) which provided details of the challenges and issues facing local authorities in the development of Health Improvement Programmes.

The paper recommended that the Government's White Paper "Modernising Local Government", in particular the proposed statutory duty to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of communities, along with the Health White and Green Papers, provide the framework for developing a coherent approach.

The paper also set out the local authority perspective and proposals for a more localised approach to health improvement, working with Primary Care Groups and local communities. Members were asked to give consideration to a draft list of local authority guiding principles for contributions to Health Improvement Programmes, which was included in the report.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the guiding principles for Health Improvement Programmes set out in paragraph 25 of the report be adopted;

(2) That the Association encourages the sharing of best practice; and

(3) That Members discuss at a future meeting their thoughts on key policy mechanisms and how the Association can respond to the policy document.

70.98 THE ASSOCIATION'S ACCOUNTS FOR 1997/98

Consideration was given to a report of the Honorary Treasurer which appended the financial statements for the year 1997/98. The Association had made a surplus in this first financial year, and its considerable cash resources would allow for investments to be made.

RESOLVED -

That the accounts be adopted.

71.98 SERF - REGIONAL CHAMBER CONFERENCE 18 SEPTEMBER

The Chair gave a verbal update on the SERF Conference held on 18 September.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted.

72.98 "TOWARDS A VISION FOR URBAN SOUTH HAMPSHIRE AND THE CITIES"

The Policy Officer introduced his paper which explained that the report "Towards a Vision for Urban South Hampshire and the Cities" had been commissioned by a group of member authorities as a response to the proposed designation by SERPLAN of part of the Association's area as a Priority Area for Economic Regeneration.

The report had been produced by Portsmouth University and a summary was provided in the Annex to the paper, including a joint statement of key measures.

RESOLVED -

That the report "Towards a Vision for Urban South Hampshire and the Cities" be noted.

73.98 IMPROVING LOCAL GOVERNANCE

The minutes of the Hampshire County Council/Hampshire District Councils Improving Local Governance Steering Group meeting on 24 June 1998 were provided for information.

The Group had discussed the following topics:

- joint highways working parties
- recreation, heritage and tourism
- environmental health/trading standards
- the millennium
- countryside issues.

RESOLVED -

That the minutes be noted.

74.98 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION TRANSPORT MEETING - 29 JUNE

1998

Consideration was given to a report from Councillor Greer (New Forest) which provided a summary of the Transport Committee meeting held on 29 June. He had also provided a note on a more recent meeting held on 19 August. Several key issues had been discussed at the meetings, in spite of the disappointing news that the Government would not be prepared to allow time for a Bill on an integrated transport system in the next session of Parliament.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted.

75.98 EARLY YEARS DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP (FORMERLY THE UNDER EIGHTS' STEERING GROUP)

Councillor Mrs Verschoren (Winchester) had provided a report back on the year's developments in the area of Early Years education. Discussion had included:

- the interim EY Development Plan
- funding issues
- training
- special education needs
- equal opportunities
- baseline assessment.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted.

76.98 APPOINTMENTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION COMMITTEES

Consideration was given to a report by the Policy Officer which appended a list of Association appointments to LGA committees.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted and the representatives of the LGA be thanked for their work.

77.98 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

It was noted that the next meeting would be held on Friday 27 November 1998 at East Hampshire District Council.

NOTE: A copy of the annex "Setting the Scene" attached to these minutes is available on request

Last update: 21/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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