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Paper 2 - 24 November 2000 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Minutes of the Association meeting held at Gosport Borough Council on 29 September 2000 at 10.00 am.

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor J Evans
Councillor B Gurden
Mrs K Sporle (Chief Executive)

East Hampshire

Councillor Mrs E Cartwright
Mr E Norman (Acting Chief Executive)

Eastleigh

Councillor Mrs M Kyrle OBE, JP
Mr C Tapp (Chief Executive)

Fareham

Councillor R Price
Councillor S Woodward
Mr B Leach (Assistant to Chief Executive)

Gosport

Councillor M Hook
Mr M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor A Collett
Councillor Alan Rice
Councillor W Wheeler
Mr J Pattison (Solicitor)
Mr D Tarrant (Deputy County Surveyor)
Mr M Robertson (County Surveyorís Department)
Mr A Ciaburro (County Surveyorís Department)

Hart

Councillor P Hutcheson
Mr C James (Head of Strategy)

Havant

Councillor D Gillett (Chairman)
Councillor M Shorten
Mr R Smith (Chief Executive and Honorary Secretary of the Association)

Isle of Wight

Mr C Wells (Transport Planner)

New Forest

Councillor Mrs M Robinson
Mr D Yates (Chief Executive)

Portsmouth

Councillor F Worley
Mr C Stunell (Assistant City Engineer)

Rushmoor

Councillor J Debenham
Mr A Lloyd (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

Councillor A Jackson (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor B Palmer
Mr A Jones (Chief Executive)
Mr J Crabb (Transport Strategist)

Winchester

Councillor A Mitchell
Mr S Whetnall (City Secretary and Solicitor)

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Mrs S Hudson (Director)

Isle of Wight Association of Parish and Town Councils/Isle of Wight Rural Community Council

Mr R Craven (Secretary)

Also in attendance:

Community Action Hampshire

Mr R Tulloch (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh Council of Community Service

Mr K Dufton (Chief Executive)

Association of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities

Mr N Goulder (Policy Manager)
Mrs D Allen (PA to Policy Manager)

Hampshire Constabulary

Chief Inspector J Ballard

42.00. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor K House (Eastleigh); Councillor K Thornber (Hampshire); Mr G Jelbart (Hart); Councillor H Rees and Mr B Quoroll (Isle of Wight); Councillors S Hayes and M Kendal (New Forest); Councillors P Shaddock and T Blair (Portsmouth); Councillor G Tucker (Rushmoor); Mrs J Pittfield (HAPTC) and Mr C Byrne (GOSE).

43.00 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 June 2000 were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

Arising from the minutes:-

It was noted that Councillor Harry Rees (Isle of Wight) had attended.

Under minute 30.00 (Welcome) to note that Councillor K Thornber is Leader and not Chairman of Hampshire County Council.

On minute 37 (The Associationís Annual Report 2000 and Review of Action Plan to 2001), Councillor Alan Mitchell (Winchester) stressed the importance of joint working with health authorities and funding problems with care in the community. The Policy Manager reported that health would be a major item on the agenda for the Association meeting on 24 November. Hampshire County Council reported that discussions were continuing between Social Services and Health, supporting the contention that it would have been premature to bring the matter to this meeting.

44.00 THE ASSOCIATIONíS OFFICERS

Consideration was given to a report of the Chief Executivesí Group which set out, and asked for confirmation of, the appointment of the following officers who were appointed to serve the Association at the Annual Meeting in June 2000:-

Honorary Secretary  Robin Smith, Havant Borough Council

Honorary Treasurer  Nick Tustian, Eastleigh Borough Council

Honorary Auditor  Jon Pulsford, Isle of Wight Council

RESOLVED

That the appointment of the officers be confirmed.

45.00 TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

David Tarrant, Deputy County Surveyor introduced his report and the officers who would be making presentations on transport infrastructure. He pointed to the need to work together as Hampshire and Isle of Wight authorities to influence the key decision-makers such as Railtrack, Government, Ferry Operators and Public Transport Operators.

Tony Ciaburro, the County Councilís Head of Transport Policy, presented the key issues affecting the region and how the Countyís Transport Strategy was being implemented. In particular he drew attention to the following issues:-

key improvements to roads

improving radial routes to London and access along the south coast

improving access to the north of England.

He also pointed out the key strategic issues, the various studies being undertaken and the implications of them.

Mr Ciaburro stressed the importance of working together and highlighted the various Area Transport Strategies, joint panels and Member working groups.

He gave details of the County Councilís Local Transport Plan and the policies contained within it including such elements as 40% reduction in child road casualties, the modal shift planned as a result of South Hampshire Rapid Transport avoiding widening the M27, and the quadrupling of expenditure on cycling schemes. He pointed out the size of the programme, which was the biggest ever.

Chris Wells, Transport Planner, Isle of Wight Council, gave a presentation from the Isle of Wightís perspective. He started with the vital links with Hampshire and went through statistics relating to the Island, drawing attention to issues such as high unemployment, low car ownership and public transport problems. He gave details of the Islandís Local Transport Plan which included plans to address freight and tourist traffic.

Charles Stunell, Assistant City Engineer, Portsmouth City Council gave a presentation on the City Councilís transport priorities and the importance of the integration of transport. He drew attention to various elements contained in Portsmouthís five year strategy. He showed how the City Council was working closely with authorities in South East Hampshire.

Mr Stunell drew attention to other important aspects such as safety and Best Value. He pointed to the significance of strategic initiatives such as Hindhead and the M27.

Alan Jones, Chief Executive, Test Valley Borough Council, pointed out the role of District Councils in agreeing and implementing the Local Transport Plan. He also drew attention to the significant District Council expenditure on concessionary bus fare schemes. In conclusion he reported that he felt happy with the level of involvement of District Councils in Hampshireís Local Transport Plan and urged that it should be continued.

The Chairman thanked the speakers for their presentations.

Various concerns were raised by those present:-

Test Valley asked Hampshire County Council for an update on the situation regarding Andover High Street. The County Council reported that it had considered the matter again in June that year when it was noted that Test Valley Borough Council could proceed using Town and Country Planning Act powers to pedestrianise the High Street. If approval was gained via this process following any Public Inquiry that was necessary, then the County Council had agreed that it would make the necessary Traffic Regulation Orders.

New Forest raised concerns about developersí contributions. They felt that these should be available for use at the beginning of building schemes and not at the end. The County Council agreed with this. It was felt that supplemental guidance was needed and this was being worked on by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Planning Officersí Group.

Winchester voiced concerns regarding improvements to junction 9 of the M3. The County Council reported that some improvements had been made and further improvements were dependent on the A34 study. It was pointed out that the local authorities needed to work together to influence the Highways Agency who were responsible for junction 9 of the M3 and that it was therefore important to see an early start on the A34 north of Southampton Study.

Hampshire County Council reported that they were members of the Charging Development Partnership and had been allocated money by Government for studies into congestion charging and workplace parking levies. The County Council had no intention of introducing charging regimes but wished to be "at the table" when it was discussed in order to share experience, and have an influence on any outcomes.

Basingstoke and Deane felt that the presentations had been somewhat biased towards the south of the county. They drew attention to the importance of the study to be undertaken into the Heathrow (Terminal 5) link and other schemes in the north.

Hampshire County Council agreed and recognised the transport issues in the north of the County but had highlighted of the issues related to the involvement of the Isle of Wight.

Test Valley raised concerns about the quality of paving slabs and the fact that they were easily damaged by lorries mounting pavements and parking on them.

RESOLVED

(1) That the Association welcomes the Governmentís ten year transport plan and its implications for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight;

(2) That, individually, the authorities agree to promote the strategic transport priorities of the area on behalf of the Association;

(3) That the Association explores ways of closer working with the Isle of Wight Council in the southern area strategies; and

(4) That a further report on the implications of infrastructure proposals contained in the ten year plan be considered by the Association at a future meeting when more details are available.

46.00 PASSENGER TRANSPORT REVIEW

The Chairman introduced Martin Robertson of the County Surveyorís Department. He introduced his report which provided an update on the revision of the County Councilís Public Transport Policies and the current Best Value review of public transport by the County Council. A report-back on the best value review was due in January 2001. Mr Robertson highlighted Passenger Transport funding through Hampshire County and District Councils.

Various concerns were raised arising from the report:-

Basingstoke and Deane drew attention to the problems created by bus timetable changes, despite extensive consultation. They felt that the report was a good starting point but that bus operating systems abroad should be looked at. They quoted the bus service provided in their German twin town. Hampshire County Council reported on liaison with the relevant bus company about the problems in Basingstoke and Deane.

Hampshire County Council highlighted the success of community transport schemes particularly in rural areas. It was felt that they should be encouraged and developed.

Test Valley drew attention to problems relating to home to school transport. The County Council reported that the Schools Transport Action Group had been looking at possible legislative changes but to date there had been no progress to report.

Test Valley made proposals for a radical shift to public transport, for example by increasing car parking charges, ring-fencing the increased income and using it to introduce free bus services. Basingstoke and Deane moved that the Association seek a further report from the officers on "breaking the mould", improving public transport to engineer a fundamental shift from private to public transport at least in the major urban areas.

RESOLVED

That the officers be asked to report further on proposals to work jointly on a modal shift using Basingstoke as a pilot area.

47.00 MEMBER DEVELOPMENT - THE ROLE OF THE NON-EXECUTIVE MEMBER AND GUIDELINES ARISING FROM THE ASSOCIATIONíS SEMINAR ON 21 JULY

Consideration was given to a report of the Policy Manager which gave details of the seminar held on 21 July and set out a preliminary set of guidelines to help authorities consider the role of the Non-Executive Member. These guidelines complemented work by the Local Government Association at national level.

Robin Smith reported the success of the event and the possibility of a joint session on Member Training and Development with the IDeA at the Local Government Association Conference in Harrogate next year.

RESOLVED

(1) That member authorities note the guidelines on the role of the Non-Executive Member and provide further comments so that the guidelines can be developed alongside national work at LGA/DETR level;

(2) That the informal workshop approach be repeated when the Association next considers the impact of the current Local Government legislation on organisational structures, and on other occasions when Membersí opinions are needed in an informal setting: and

(3) That the preliminary proposals for a joint session with the IDeA at the LGA Annual Conference 2001 be approved.

48.00 AREA COST ADJUSTMENT

The Policy Manager introduced this report which sought the nomination of a District Council Member representative to attend a meeting regarding the Area Cost Adjustment arranged by SEERA to be held on 17 October 2000.

Councillor Tony Jackson, Test Valley Borough Council, nominated Councillor Brian Palmer also of Test Valley to attend the meeting.

RESOLVED

That Councillor Brian Palmer be nominated to attend the Area Cost Adjustment meeting on 17 October.

49.00 THE HAMPSHIRE COMPACT

Sue Wilson of Hampshire County Councilís Corporate Policy Unit introduced her report which set out the progress made in developing a Compact between Hampshire County Council and the voluntary and community sectors in Hampshire. It outlined the consultation exercise currently being undertaken. The consultation period would run until the end of the year.

The report also recommended that local authorities in Hampshire co-ordinated their Compact development activities as far as practicable to promote a consistent approach and avoid confusion.

It was hoped that the agreement would improve relations between the County Council and the voluntary sector.

The Chairman thanked Ms Wilson for her report.

RESOLVED

That the Association:

(1) endorses in principle the Hampshire Compact, its undertakings and its aims for future development through the process outlined in the report, and

(2) supports the suggested approach that district councils take account of the Hampshire Compact when developing local district compacts to ensure consistency.

50.00 MODERNISATION OF THE LICENSING LAWS

The Honorary Secretary introduced this report. He reported that a response, circulated with the agenda for this meeting, had been made on behalf of the Association welcoming the reforms to the Licensing laws.

RESOLVED

(1) That the Associationís response, welcoming the Governmentís proposals and making the comments set out in Annex 1 to the report be approved; and

(2) That Member authorities consider the potential impact of the proposals, both individually and through the Community Safety joint arrangements.

51.00 CLOSING THE ACCOUNTS FOR 1999/2000

The Policy Manager introduced the Honorary Treasurerís report on closing the accounts for 1999/2000. He thanked his PA, Diane Allen, for her substantial contribution to the savings which had been identified.

RESOLVED

That the Statement of Accounts for 1999/2000 shown in Annex 2 to the report be approved subject to the report by the Honorary Auditor.

52.00 THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT

Consideration was given to a report prepared by the Heads of Legal Services of Hampshire County and East Hampshire District Councils in conjunction with the Policy Manager.

The main provisions of the Act would come into effect on 2 October 2000. It would introduce into UK law the European Convention on Human Rights, which were drawn up following the Second World War. Up to now these rights had not been enforceable in the UK courts, but had required litigants to proceed to the European Court of Human Rights.

The report outlined the implications of the Act on local authorities and District Councils in particular.

Hampshire County Council had held a seminar on the Human Rights Act and urged Members to consider whether the Association should also arrange a Seminar on the issue.

RESOLVED

That the report be noted.

53.00 HAMPSHIRE EARLY YEARS DEVELOPMENT AND CHILDCARE PARTNERSHIP - UPDATE FROM A DISTRICT COUNCIL PERSPECTIVE

Consideration was given to a report from the Community and Leisure Services Manager, East Hampshire District Council and the Childcare and Play Development Officer, Eastleigh Borough Council.

The report gave details of the Early Years Development Partnership and its work to date.

Councillor Mike Roberts, the Associationís representative on Hampshire County Councilís Childrenís Joint Sub-Committee also reported-back on issues such as eligibility of nursery places and increased Government funding for provision of this facility, the fact that there were gaps in provision in certain areas of Hampshire and the importance of getting key workers back into the workplace.

The Chairman thanked Councillor Roberts and the officers for their reports-back.

RESOLVED

That the report be noted.

54.00 LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGIONAL FORUM

The Policy Manager introduced his report on this subject. Councillor Brian Palmer had attended the inaugural meeting of the Local Government Regional Forum on 6 June. The minutes of that meeting were appended to the report. For the purposes of the Forum, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were grouped with the "six counties", including Kent Sussex and Surrey.

Councillor Brian Palmer reported-back on the meeting and voiced his concerns on the centralisation of power from local to central government.

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the inaugural meeting of the Local Government Regional Forum be noted.

55.00 LGA SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND HEALTH EXECUTIVE

Consideration was given to a report of Councillor Maureen Robinson which detailed items discussed at the LGA Social Affairs and Health Executive meetings held on 26 July and 5 September 2000. Councillor Mrs Robinson drew the meetingís particular attention to the discussion on the NHS National Plan and the response to the Royal Commission on Long Term Care. These had a very significant impact on local authorities.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted.

56.00 THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

The Policy Manager introduced his report which set out the details of a joint plan agreed by the Association at its meeting in March 2000.

Attached to the report was a report-back from Councillor Brenda Smith on a meeting of the Southern Region REPAC held on 19 July 2000.

RESOLVED

That the report be noted and that Councillor Brenda Smith be thanked for her report-back.

57.00DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Association would be held on Friday, 24 November 2000 at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. This would be followed by a discussion with Keith Hellawell, the Governmentís National Drugs Co-ordinator, at the Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke.

Last update: 22/11/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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