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Paper 2 - 30 January 1998 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Minutes of the Association meeting held at the Rushmoor Borough Council on Friday 28 November 1997 at 10.00 am.

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor Mrs P Baker

Councillor J Evans

Ms K Sporle (Chief Executive)

East Hampshire

Councillor D Clark

Miss J Hunter (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh

Councillor K House (Chair)

Councillor Mrs M Kyrle OBE

Mr C Tapp (Chief Executive and Honorary Secretary)

Mrs D Thompson (Committee Officer)

Mrs E Hill (Committee Officer)

Fareham

Councillor Mrs D Burton-Jenkins

Councillor R Price

Mr A Davies (Chief Executive)

Gosport

Councillor A Hayward

Mr M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor A Collett

Councillor F Emery-Wallis

Councillor W Wheeler

Mr P Robertson (Chief Executive)

Mr T Greenwood (County Planning Officer)

Hart

Councillor D Cleaton

Mr G R Jelbart (Chief Executive)

Havant

Councillor R Bellinger

Councillor K Moss

Mr R Smith (Chief Executive)

New Forest

Councillor J Vernon-Jackson

Mr I Mackintosh (Managing Director)

Portsmouth

Councillor J Patey

Mr B P Partridge (Corporate Projects Manager)

Mr C Piper

Rushmoor

Councillor G J Woolger

Councillor J Whittingham

Mr A Lloyd (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

Councillor Mrs M K Haselden

Councillor B Palmer

Winchester

Councillor D Atwell

Councillor A Mitchell

Mr D Cowan (Chief Executive)

Isle of Wight Council

Councillor R A S Cowley

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

S Hudson (Director)

Councillor Mrs J Pittfield

Also in attendance Mr N Goulder, Policy Officer, G Bartrip (GOSE), H Horton (Community Action Hampshire), Richard Foster (Regional Director - Employment Service), Rhiannon Williams (Employment Service) and Alan Gill (Employment Service).

37.97 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Mr F Hetherington (Isle of Wight Council), Councillor Mrs Jarman (Isle of Wight), Mrs B Lawson (Isle of Wight Association of Parish and Town Councils), Mr A Jones (Test Valley), Councillor D Miles (Gosport), Councillor Coles (New Forest), Councillor Mrs Rickus (New Forest).

38.97 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26 SEPTEMBER 1997

The Minutes of the meeting were accepted as correct, with the exception that as a result of a printing error some of the names of those attending had incorrectly been aligned with the wrong organisation on page 2.

39.97 A PRESENTATION ON THE NEW DEAL AND WELFARE TO WORK

Richard Foster, Regional Director of the Employment Service, London and the South East Region, and Rhiannon Williams, Southampton District Manager, gave a presentation on the Government’s New Deal and the Welfare to Work Programme. He discussed this Government’s new style of doing business and outlined where the New Deal fitted into their priorities for action. Welfare to Work lay at the very heart of the Government’s political agenda. The following points were clearly indicative of the high level of commitment the programme was being afforded:-

* The New Deal was one of only 5 Manifesto pledges which had a specific funding commitment.

* The New Deal was the first Cabinet paper to be considered by the new Government (within 4 days of the General Election).

* The New Deal represented the leading edge of the Government’s wider Welfare to Work agenda.

* Funding of up to £3.5 billion was added to the Employment Budget - secure for the lifetime of the present Government. The funding had been secured from the windfall levy on the utilities and hence there was obviously pressure to spend it expeditiously and effectively.

The main thrust of the New Deal was employment or employability and included the following schemes:-

- New Deal for Young People - designed to assist 18 - 24 year olds who had been unemployed for 6 months or longer (available in Pathfinder areas from January 1998 and nationally from April 1998);

- New Deal for Long Term Unemployed - available for 25 year olds and over who had been unemployed for 2 years or more;

- Lone Parent initiatives were also being developed (this included the £300m Child Care Support Scheme for lone parents which had recently been announced by the Government).

Under the terms of the Welfare to Work, the following options were available to clients: employment; voluntary sector work; environmental taskforce and full time education. Significantly there was no fifth option (for ‘life on benefits’).

Whilst the Employment Service had been asked to take the lead on Welfare to Work, the key to the programme was partnership working with lead agencies. The level of involvement of the Employment Service would vary dependent on local needs. The Employment Service had engaged in an extensive public consultation exercise regarding the provision of its services and would be taking these comments on board. It was also consulting widely with its partners on the Welfare to Work programme.

Rhiannon Williams (Southampton District Manager) followed on from Richard Foster’s presentation. She was responsible for the delivery of the New Deal in partnerships with others in her District. On behalf of District Managers she took the opportunity to thank local authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for their support. Local Delivery Plans were being forwarded to Ministers for final approval and would become public documents shortly. Contract briefings were now commencing, bids needed to be back by 7 January 1998.

The next stage was translating the Strategy into action and getting the service right in Job Centres. In her District there were currently 599 clients eligible for the New Deal. Ideally the goal would be to extend this type of service to their other 8,000 or so clients. The Employment Service was actively seeking to engage local employers in the delivery of the New Deal and was keen to promote local government participation. Local Government partners were invited to take a look at their local Job Centres and help the Employment Service to change.

A question and answer session followed which allowed members to engage in a wide ranging discussion on all aspects of the New Deal and Welfare to Work. At the end of the session, the Chair thanked Richard Foster and Rhiannon Williams for their important contribution which had assisted in teasing out some of the issues and problems surrounding the implementation of the programme. He went on to express the commitment of local government in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to the success of the New Deal.

RESOLVED:

That Richard Foster and Rhiannon Williams be thanked for their presentation.

40.97 WELFARE TO WORK: THE NEW DEAL

Consideration was given to a paper of the Policy Officer which outlined the partnerships in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with respect to the Government’s new Welfare to Work Programme.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the partnership arrangements in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight be welcomed; and

(2) That the position be monitored and a further report prepared once the results of the recent planning work are clearer.

41.97 HAMPSHIRE COUNTY STRUCTURE PLAN REVIEW: PROGRESS REPORT.

Tim Greenwood, the County Planning Officer, provided Members of the Association with a progress report on the Hampshire County Council Structure Plan (Review).

Following the last meeting of the Joint Advisory Panel (JAP) on 14 November 1997 he reported that it had been agreed that each District Council be invited to attend as an observer (either member or staff). The Panel had also considered a paper concerning matrix working and had generally endorsed it. With regard to housing numbers and Dibden Bay, the Panel had been unable to reach an agreement but had agreed that a representative from GOSE be invited to attend the next meeting on 22 December 1997. The intention being to get insight into GOSE’s likely advice to the Secretary of State regarding key issues such as housing numbers. In the meantime technical work was continuing on two fronts:-

(1) Matrix work.

(2) Analysis of all the Examination in Public recommendations - with a suggested response for each one (except housing distribution/strategic gaps).

The Chair thanked the County Planning Officer for his progress report.

Mr C Piper (Portsmouth) contributed to the discussion and provided members with a perspective from Portsmouth City Council. He commented that both City Councils considered the Structure Plan should meet Regional Planning Guidance and that at this stage it was premature to either include or exclude any development options until the further technical work had been done. The three structure planning authorities were working jointly and hoped to make the system work on a voluntary basis and reach an early agreement. He commented that the Cities were aware of the Districts’ concerns about the increasing delay and the impact on issues around land supply and rolling forward Local Plans beyond 2001.

Councillor Emery-Wallis (Hampshire) mentioned that the County Council would now be mounting a corporate campaign to oppose Dibden Bay.

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.

42.97 OBSERVER STATUS

Consideration was given to a report of the Policy Officer which examined giving the voluntary sector in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight observer status at meetings of the Association.

RESOLVED:

(1) That two representatives from the voluntary sector in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight be invited to attend meetings of the Association as observers in accordance with paragraphs 9 and 10; and

(2) That a further report be considered on the possibility of extending observer status to neighbouring authorities.

43.97 HAMPSHIRE YOUTH SERVICE SUB-COMMITTEE - APPOINTMENT OF DISTRICT COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE

Consideration was given to a report of the Policy Officer requesting the Association to appoint a District Council representative to the County Council’s Youth Service Sub-Committee.

RESOLVED:

That Councillor Richard Coleman be appointed to serve as the District Council representative on the County Council’s Youth Service Sub-Committee of the Education Committee.

44.97 MEMBERSHIP OF THE LGA COMMITTEES

(a) Consideration was given to a list of LGA Committee membership. Members looked forward to receiving reports from appointees in the future.

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.

(b) Consideration was given to a note by Councillor Roger Price (Fareham) reporting back on a meeting of the LGA Regeneration Committee on 17 September 1997. Once the Association had seen the report it would be forwarded to other areas (W Sussex).

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.

45.97 COMMUNITY SAFETY

Consideration was given to a report of the Policy Officer which examined community safety in the context of the new role which the Government expected local authorities to play.

On behalf of the Association’s Lead Officer’s Group on Community Safety, Peter Robertson (Hampshire) provided the members with a verbal update. It was reported that the Crime and Disorder Bill was expected to be published the following week (no significant changes were expected). A mapping exercise had been commissioned to determine what organisations were already doing to address community safety issues and to establish the public’s principal concerns.

The Chair suggested that the next meeting of the Association could be used as a forum for discussing Community Safety in more depth.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the response of the Association on the new framework for local action, "Getting to Grips with Crime" be noted; and

(2) That the Chief Executives’ Group report further on arrangements for Community Safety generally and for a local focus on youth crime in particular; and

(3) That a presentation be given to the next meeting of the Association.

46.97 STANDARDS OF CONDUCT IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Consideration was given to a report of the Policy Officer detailing the Association’s response to the Nolan Report.

Councillor Emery-Wallis (Hampshire) pointed out the potential conflict between the Nolan Report and Lord Hunt’s Bill. Councillor Bellinger (Havant) commented that Lord Hunt was also President of the LGA.

The Chair responded that although Lord Hunt was President of the LGA, he did not as yet have cross-party support for his paper as the Liberal Democrats did not agree with the principle of elected Mayors or a cabinet-style local government.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the response of the Association to the Nolan report be noted;

(2) That the Chief Executives’ Group report further on the issues raised in this paper, when the Government’s response to Nolan is available; and

(3) That the future work of the Association in paragraphs 9 and 10 be noted.

47.97 SOUTH OF LONDON ‘PETAL’

The Policy Officer presented his paper describing the latest developments towards co-operation across the southern six-county area within the South East region. The Kent Association of Local Authorities had decided not to support the idea of the confederation at this stage, but wanted to maintain a watching brief.

Councillor Collett (Hampshire) recognised the importance of maintaining good relations with the South of London counties. However, he felt that relationships with the northern counties (ie Thames Valley) should not be ignored. The Chair commented that to an extent those ‘northern’ relationships had already been well developed through the Association of Councils in the Thames Valley Region (ACTVaR), and stressed the importance of maintaining a strong sub-regional identity. Cllr Cleaton (Hart) commented that he would welcome more discussions with Thames Valley, although he felt that the Association did not need to worry about boundaries too much. Nick Goulder confirmed that he was already involved in joint working with ACTVaR and attended regular meetings with his counterparts in Thames Valley and Surrey.

RESOLVED:

That the Association note the development towards co-operation across the southern six-county area within the south east region.

48.97 SERPLAN - DEVELOPING A SOUTH EAST REGIONAL STRATEGY

A SERPLAN paper was circulated (copy attached to the Minute Book) which provided an update on the Members’ Policy Group meeting on 20 November 1997.

The Chair stressed the urgent need for the Hampshire and the Isle of Wight authorities to ensure that a proper mechanism was in place which would determine the shape of the south east for the period up to 2016. The papers would need to be fed back into discussions at individual Council level. Councillor Collett (Hampshire) commented that the importance of this issue could not be overstated, (this reflected the general view of the Association). He also expressed concern about the continuing trend of inward migration into Hampshire. Councillor Emery-Wallis (Hampshire) followed up this point, adding that proper consideration needed to be given to the areas where the population growth should be accommodated. It had been a great mistake to move people to areas where communication/transport links were not necessarily in place to support them.

Councillor Baker (Basingstoke & Deane) emphasised that SERPLAN looked at policy for the South East as a whole. She also drew attention to the Government’s assumptions about household numbers, which were currently the subject of dispute. Agreement was needed on the validity of the base figures.

RESOLVED:

(1) That the timetable for revision of the regional planning guidance be noted; and

(2) That the Chief Executives’ Group report further on developing mechanisms for ensuring that the interests of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are expressed as effectively as possible during SERPLAN’s preparation of a regional strategy.

49.97 DATES AND VENUES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

Members noted the dates for future meetings. The next meeting would be held on Friday 30th January 1998 at Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester.

The meeting concluded at 12.20 pm.

Last update: 05/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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