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Paper 3 - 23 July 1999 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Minutes of the Association meeting held at Fareham Borough Council on Friday 4 June 1999 at 10.00 am.

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor Mrs P Baker

Councillor B Gurden

Councillor J Evans

Mrs K Sporle (Chief Executive)

East Hampshire

Councillor Mrs E Cartwright

Miss J Hunter (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh

Councillor K House

Mr C Tapp (Chief Executive and Honorary Secretary

Miss E Hill (Committee Officer)

Fareham

Councillor A Mandry

Councillor S Woodward

Mr A Davies (Chief Executive)

Gosport

Councillor A Hayward

Mr M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor A Collett

Councillor A Rice

Councillor K Thornber

Councillor M Roberts

Mr T Butler (Director of Social Services)

Mr M Cole (Chief Executive's Department)

Mr T Greenwood (County Planning Officer)

Mr M Mossadaq (Social Services)

Hart

Councillor P Hutcheson

Mr C James (Head of Policy and Strategy)

Havant

Councillor D Gillett

Mr F Campbell (Director of Policy)

Isle of Wight

Councillor M Morgan-Huws

Mr B Quoroll (Chief Executive)

New Forest

Councillor P Cummings

Mr I Mackintosh (Managing Director)

Portsmouth

Councillor T Blair

Mr B Smith (Director of Corporate Services)

Mr R Watt (Policy Manager, Social Services)

Rushmoor

Councillor A Straker

Councillor G Woolger (Vice-Chairman)

Mr A Lloyd (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

Councillor T Jackson

Councillor B Palmer (Chairman)

Mr A Jones (Chief Executive)

Winchester

Councillor D Atwell

Councillor J Steel

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Councillor Mrs J Pittfield

Community Action Hampshire

Ms H Horton

Also in attendance Councillor D Sparks and Miss G Bolan (LGA), Mr N Goulder (Policy Manager) and Mrs D Allen (PA to the Policy Manager).

36.99 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mrs Kyrle (Eastleigh); Councillor Wheeler and Peter Robertson (Hampshire); Suzanne Hudson (HAPTC); Grahame Jelbart (Hart); Councillor West and Robin Smith (Havant); and Councillors Patey and Gibson (Portsmouth).

37.99 WELCOME

Councillor Roger Price, Mayor of Fareham welcomed members and officers to Fareham.

38.99 APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN

There were two nominations for the role of Chairman for the year 1999/2000, Councillor B Palmer (Fareham) and Councillor G Woolger (Rushmoor).

RESOLVED -

That Councillor B Palmer be elected as Chairman for the year 1999/2000.

39.99 APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN

There were two nominations for the role of Vice-Chairman for the year 1999/2000, Councillor T Blair (Portsmouth) and Councillor G Woolger (Rushmoor).

RESOLVED -

That Councillor G Woolger be elected as Vice-Chairman for the year 1999/2000.

40.99 THE ASSOCIATION'S OFFICERS

Consideration was given to a report of the Honorary Secretary reviewing the situation regarding the Association's three Honorary Officers:- Treasurer, Auditor and Secretary. The Treasurer (Chris Malyon, Head of Financial Services, Eastleigh) and Auditor (John Pulsford, Isle of Wight County Treasurer) for the year 1998/1999 had both offered to continue in their posts for the year 1999/2000.

Regarding the post of Honorary Secretary, the Association had agreed at its meeting in November 1998 that wherever possible the post of Secretary should be held by the Chief Executive of the Chairman's Council. The report suggested that the decision be made at the next meeting in order to allow the Chief Executive of the new Chairman's authority time to decide whether or not he or she would wish to take on the role; however, Alan Jones (Test Valley) offered to take up the Secretaryship with immediate effect.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the Association accepts the offers of the Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Auditor to continue in their posts;

(2) That Alan Jones (Test Valley) be appointed Honorary Secretary for 1999/2001; and

(3) That it should be the normal practice for HIOW to appoint its officers at the meeting following the one at which a new Chairman is approved.

41.99 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26 MARCH

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 1999 were agreed as a correct record.

42.99 LGA ECONOMIC REGENERATION COMMITTEE

Councillor David Sparks, Chair of the LGA Economic Regeneration Committee, gave a presentation on the LGA's economic regeneration policy priorities for the coming year. These priorities included regional and local competitiveness, regeneration of local communities, Welfare to Work/New Deal for the unemployed, European policies, and communications. Currently the member structure of the LGA was up for review, and it was proposed that better links with regions and sub-regions would be needed to promote successful working. Councillor Sparks ran through his report (paper 7) in more detail:-

Regional Development Agencies (RDAs)

- The LGA had lobbied relevant Committees and Ministers on the shape of RDAs, stressing the need for RDA's and Regional Chambers to work together. Regional boundaries would need to be redefined in due course.

- The future of Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) was coming under review, with more emphasis being placed on partnerships with local authorities.

- The Government was committed to a new Small Business Service. The Service would have a major impact on the role of TECs as a key partner in Business Link.

Regeneration of Local Communities

- Regeneration was not solely focussed on 'physical' regeneration - issues such as social inclusion were also important.

- Central and local government would need a commonly agreed strategy to replace the less structured approach taken in the past.

- A conference to be held later in June would allow a more in-depth review of the issues, promoting a focussed approach to report on the findings of the Phase One pathfinders.

- Research had been carried out into Credit Unions and a redirection of strategy would be necessary in order to make the Unions stronger.

Welfare to Work

- Although no longer an LGA corporate priority the issue still had important links to current priorities, and the progression of the agenda would be monitored.

European Regional and Employment Policy

- Considerable activity was underway to lobby for reform of European Structural Funds in order to generate more European funds for local authority regeneration activities.

- New criteria would be adopted in judging applications for funding and emphasis would be placed on matching resources to need.

Contribution to Environment and Regeneration Board/Cross Cutting Initiatives

- Under the current LGA Structure Economic Regeneration was one of several committees coming together on issues such as transport, leisure, etc.

Communications

- The annual LGA Economic Regeneration conference would be held in late November. Details of the programme would soon be available.

In closing Councillor Sparks emphasised his view that regeneration should reflect local needs and issues, from information gained through essential local partnerships.

During the discussion the following points were raised:-

- No guarantees could be made that the new structure would prove more effective for the TECs; however, the need to concentrate on training/skills shortages in order to help competitiveness had been recognised.

- Regarding Credit Unions and community businesses, involvement with the LGA would be on two levels; with officers on technical changes, and members through steering groups. Integration of Social Exclusion Unit priorities would depend on local circumstances.

- No confirmation was available as yet on what would replace TECs; however, it was hoped the new structure would encourage regionally based organisations.

- Regarding environmental taxation, a report recently presented to a conference in February was currently being re-written in line with the Treasury's requests. It was hoped there would be developments over the next few years, taking into account the lack of success of existing taxation.

RESOLVED -

That Councillor Sparks be thanked for his presentation.

43.99 REVIEW OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION MEMBER STRUCTURES

The Policy Manager introduced his paper outlining the consultation on a revised structure for the LGA. The LGA had reviewed its member structures and decided its committee structure was 'too big, too cumbersome and takes up too much time for too little result'. There were over 1,000 places on LGA committees and panels but involvement figures were not so high. 79 local authorities were not involved in any LGA committee at all. The review carried out by the LGA concluded that the structure must change to support an Association which was quick on its feet and engaged individual authorities to a greater extent.

The Policy Manager also reported on a more recent LGA consultation seeking views on the role of regional and sub-regional local authority associations such as HIOW. He proposed that HIOW reiterates its agreement with other associations in the South East Region as follows:

* two electoral colleges for the South-East, one based on the six counties (Ha

mpshire, Isle of Wight, East and West Sussex, Surrey and Kent)

* consultation through the sub-regional associations such as HIOW.

Members agreed that the LGA decision-making process needed to be streamlined and that it was important that the LGA should not duplicate the work of regional assemblies.

RESOLVED -

That the Policy Manager respond to the LGA consultation paper regarding regional activities, to suggest it streamline the decision making process, and provide a more coherent flow of information to local authorities.

44.99 HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMMES

Terry Butler, Director of Social Services, Hampshire introduced a report by the joint HIOW health leads providing an update on the first Health Improvement Programmes (HImPs) which covered the year from 1 April 1999 to March 2000. HImPs were a series of Health Authority area strategies for improving local health and health care. The key components of HImPs were to assess the health needs of the local population, meet the health care requirements of local people and manage the investment required in local health services to meet those needs.

Mr Butler stressed that the issue of promoting good health was not purely the responsibility of the NHS, and the need was greater than ever for local councils to recognise health needs and respond to them. He explained that HImPs would be working with local authorities and their partners to carry out a health needs assessment of the population, and establish a financial framework over 5 years to support health initiatives. It was agreed that issues relating to a holistic approach to occupational health care should also be considered.

RESOLVED -

That the following action points be agreed:-

(1) Local Authorities should work to ensure the next HImPs reflect a public health, and long term ill-health prevention agenda (a 'social model' of health)

(2) Local Authorities should work towards synchronising their various objectives and towards HImPs reflecting strategic and local issues in a broadly based way. Over time this "synchronisation" should lead to real integration in the context of an increasing number of issues and actions.

(3) The timescale should be realistic to achieve widespread ownership and support.

(4) Local Authorities should link with PCGs to ensure Healthy Alliances objectives are reflected in PCG based HImPs.

(5) The Association should press for Councils to have an increased level of representation on Primary Care Groups to strengthen both operational and democratic/community links.

(6) Local Authorities should help the HImP processes relate more effectively to community links.

(7) The potential of, and support for, a cross-Health Authority/Local Authority forum in Hampshire and the Unitary Cities should be assessed. Pending that, the current Corporate Health Group should have strengthened District Council representation.

(8) Links between Hampshire and Isle of Wight health services should be reviewed if the Island's Health Authority were brought within a mainland Health Authority area.

(9) Participation in the reviews of Joint Planning processes should seek to ensure that all requisite plans can be developed and delivered. Those processes also need to take account of the contribution of Heath Alliances and Drug Action Teams and other related cross-cutting working.

45.99 REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

Mohammed Mossadaq (Social Services, Hampshire) and Rob Watt (Social Services, Portsmouth) presented a joint report on the changing issues surrounding the handling of refugees and asylum seekers. There were two categories of asylum seekers, 'at port' who were individuals who declared themselves and were therefore entitled to benefits, and 'in country' illegal entrants who were not entitled to benefits but became the responsibility of social services.

The Government was introducing legislation to manage the dispersal of asylum seekers in order to alleviate the burden on London and the South East and on local authorities in general. If enacted, the direct costs of asylum seekers' presence would be met by an Asylum Support Directorate of the Home Office. Indirect costs would continue to be met by local authorities and others.

Regional Consortia were being established throughout the country to manage dispersal of asylum seekers in partnership. The Consortium for this area covered Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton, the Isle of Wight, Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset (known as South Central) and was currently based on Portsmouth Social Services.

Kosovan refugees (technically evacuees, not necessarily asylum seekers) may be accommodated in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It was recommended that the South Central Consortium arrangements be used to co-ordinate information locally on potential accommodation.

A programme was in place to accept 14,500 refugees between now and the end of August, most of whom would be sent to Northern England. By the end of June it would become clear whether Hampshire and the Isle of Wight would be expected to take refugees, starting in September. If this were to happen, 3,000 refugees would need to be housed across 7 authorities in the consortium. They would be supported for the first 3 months in emergency centres, after which time local authorities would be expected to provide accommodation. Funding would consist of 3,000 per evacuee while in emergency centres, followed by care rates and benefits thereafter.

Mr Watt pointed out that there were already refugees in this area, and that the Consortium would be negotiating with the Government before any more were accepted. Concern was expressed over the need for fully trained staff, and it was proposed that should full time staff be taken on they could learn from experience gained in other parts of the country.

RESOLVED -

(1) That all member authorities subscribe to the South Central Consortium arrangements based on Portsmouth City Council;

(2) That the South Central Consortium arrangements be used to co-ordinate information on accommodation for evacuees from Kosovo; and

(3) That the officers report further on the corporate implications of these developments.

46.99 REFORMING THE HOUSE OF LORDS

Consideration was given to a report of the Policy Manager providing a summary of the Royal Commission's consultation paper on reforming the Upper Chamber.

Reform of the House of Lords was by far the most significant part of the Government's modernising agenda. It would have far-reaching Constitutional implications for all parts of Government including local government. The Royal Commission, which was considering the potential role, functions, powers, procedures and composition of a new Upper Chamber, had been asked to report by the end of 1999. Written evidence was sought by 30 June and public hearings would continue until mid-July. The paper outlined the consultation and the responses from the LGA, South East England Regional Assembly, and Hampshire County Council.

It was suggested that the Association agree consensus points in order to put together a response to the consultation paper.

RESOLVED -

That the Policy Manager respond to the Royal Commission on behalf of the Association, taking in the response by the South East Regional Assembly and the proposed response from Hampshire County Council.

47.99 ANNUAL REPORT

Consideration was given to a report of the Policy Manager providing a review of the Association's work in the year 1998/99.

HIOW had added value to member authorities in its first two years. It had:-

*provided a platform from which individual authorities can have a real say in regional affairs

* assisted its members to prepare for, respond to, and influence the Government's agenda

* helped to develop a consensus amongst elected members so that the best results for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight can be achieved in fields as diverse as planning and the environment, health and community safety.

At a time when regional institutions were developing, HIOW had enabled local authorities to form a strong sub-regional identity in central southern England, forging cross-border links with Bournemouth/Poole, with the Thames Valley Region and with Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

Over the past year the Association had worked on wide range of issues including the development of regional institutions, regional planning in the South East, improving local governance, developing best value and major policy issues such as the Structure Plan Review, Social Inclusion, and Community Safety. Members noted a correction to paragraph 6 of the report, to show that the three district councils piloting new arrangements for highway maintenance were Test Valley, Eastleigh and East Hampshire.

RESOLVED -

That the Annual Report be published in the form of a Newsletter giving information about HIOW and its work.

48.99 ACTION PLAN 1999-2001

Consideration was given to a proposed roll-forward action plan for the Association for the next two years put together by the Chief Executives' Group. The plan followed on from the Association's original action plan covering 1997/99 and included priority areas of policy.

RESOLVED -

That the Action Plan 1999/2001 be approved.

49.99 THE ASSOCIATION'S BUDGET AND SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 1999/2000

Members noted a report by the Policy Manager providing details of the budget for 1999/2000, a budget monitoring report for 1998/99 and subscription costs for the coming year. The Association's budget of 74,640 had been fixed at the annual meeting in 1998, and a full breakdown of costs was attached to the report. The subscription cost set at 2,400 at the inaugural meeting of the Association could now be reduced by 6% in accordance with a resolution the Association made in January 1999. It was suggested that Southampton City Council be invited again to join the Association, and that Hart District Council should become a full member.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the budget monitoring report for 1998/99 be noted;

(2) That the budget for 1999/2000 be approved; and

(3) That the subscription unit of 2,250 plus VAT, agreed by the Association in January, be confirmed.

50.99 APPOINTMENTS TO OUTSIDE BODIES

Consideration was given to a paper providing details of appointments to outside bodies and reporting procedures, with a list of all the outside bodies requiring representation from District Councils attached as the annex. The overall objective was to appoint an individual who could provide continuity of service, whilst achieving both a geographic and political spread amongst District Council representatives. The Association had approved guidelines for report-back procedures in 1997. Members representing District Councils were expected to report back annually on the work and main issues of the outside body to which they were appointed. A copy of appointments made at the meeting are attached as an Annex to the minutes.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the appointments shown in theAnnex to the minutes be agreed; and

(2) That the reporting back arrangements be noted.

51.99 CRIME AND DISORDER AND COMMUNITY SAFETY

Consideration was given to a joint report of the Chief Executives of Hampshire, Basingstoke & Deane and the New Forest providing an update on the issues and priorities including the audit process, themes and budgets, priority themes and proposed projects, district partnership issues involving County Council actions, and a draft County Council Strategy. Crime and Disorder Strategies had been put together by local partnerships across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and reflected local issues and priorities. The next steps for all partnerships would be the development of detailed action plans.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted.

52.99 SERPLAN CONFERENCE HELD ON 20 APRIL 1999

Tim Greenwood, County Planning Officer, Hampshire spoke to a paper produced by Councillor Mrs Baker (Basingstoke and Deane) providing an update on the conference held in April, and the public examination which was running from 18 May - 25 June. Although new figures showed a decline in the overall number of households across the country, Hampshire showed the biggest increase nationally. He explained that GOSE had been critical of the SERPLAN Strategy and would reopen the public examination if there were conflict between the Regional Economic Strategy and the Planning Strategy.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the report be noted; and

(2) That Councillor Mrs Baker be thanked for her work in representing the District Councils on SERPLAN.

53.99 REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS (SOUTH EAST ENGLAND REGIONAL ASSEMBLY (SEERA), SOUTH EAST ENGLAND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, (SEEDA))

Councillor House (Eastleigh) Chair of SEERA, provided a verbal update on regional developments. The SEEDA draft Regional Economic Strategy was due to be published at the end of June. Any conflicts would need to be resolved before this by SEEDA/local authorities and businesses. SEERA would set up a 'rapid response team' to work with SEEDA and look at the needs of the South East as a whole. SEERA was looking at rationalising regional structures, as SERPLAN would be winding down and handing over planning responsibility over the next 2 years to a new organisation reflecting Government Office boundaries. If the planning guidance was to be based on the same boundaries as Regional Chambers or RDAs, there would be a need to pull London, the South East and Eastern regions together. SEERA was seeking designation as a voluntary regional chamber, and would be moving into its new offices in Guildford at the end of June. The first full time Director had been appointed: Paul Bevan, currently Assistant Chief Executive for Brighton.

RESOLVED -

That Councillor House be thanked for his report.

54.99 HAMPSHIRE STRUCTURE PLAN REVIEW - PUBLICATION OF MODIFICATIONS

Consideration was given to a report of Tim Greenwood, County Planning Officer, Hampshire on the proposed modifications published on 14 May. A leaflet explaining in summary the key modifications was attached to the agenda for information. The closing date for comments was 25 June.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted.

55.99 PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS 1999/2000

Members noted the dates and venues of meetings for the coming year.

56.99 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

It was noted that the next meeting would be held on Friday 23 July 1999 at Portsmouth City Council.

ANNEX

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Meeting held on 4 June 1999

Minute no. 50.99 - Appointments to Outside Bodies

ORGANISATION

REPRESENTATIVE(S)

Committee for Rural Hampshire

Cllr Mrs S Band (Hart) Cllr A Jackson (Test Valley)

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Cllr S Hayes (New Forest)

Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust

Cllr N Walker (Fareham)

Hampshire Economic Partnership

Cllr G Woolger (Rushmoor)

Hampshire Federation of Victim Support Schemes

Cllr Mrs E Burley (Fareham)

Hampshire Playing Fields Association

Cllr I R Carr (Test Valley) Cllr M Curtis (Fareham) Cllr H Eastwood (Hart) Cllr K Moss (Havant)

Hampshire Early Years Development Partnership

Cllr M Roberts (Rushmoor) Cllr Mrs M Snaith (Gosport)

SERPLAN

Cllr P Hutcheson (Hart) Cllr A Jackson (Test Valley)

Hampshire County Youth Service Sub-Committee

Cllr A Mandry (Fareham)

Southern Regional Environmental Protection Advisory Committee

Cllr Mrs B Smith (New Forest)

Last update: 11/10/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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