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Paper 2 - 26 January 2001

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Minutes of the Association meeting held at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on 24 November 2000 at 10.00 am.

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor B Gurden
Mrs K Sporle (Chief Executive)

East Hampshire

Councillor Mrs E Cartwright
Mr P Burton (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh

Councillor Mrs M Kyrle OBE, JP
Councillor P Wall
Mr T Calverley (Deputy Chief Executive)

Fareham

Councillor R Price
Councillor S Woodward
Mr A Davies (Chief Executive)

Gosport

Mr M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor A Collett
Councillor K Thornber
Councillor W Wheeler
Councillor M Woodhall
Mr P Robertson (Chief Executive)
Mr A Brooker (Assistant Director of Social Services)
Mr I Hoult (County Emergency Planning Officer)

Hart

Councillor P Hutcheson
Councillor R Jones
Mr C James (Head of Strategy)

Havant

Councillor D Gillett (Chairman)
Councillor T Hart
Mr R Smith (Hon. Secretary and Chief Executive)

Isle of Wight

Councillor H Rees

New Forest

Councillor S Hayes
Councillor Mrs M Robinson
Mr D Yates (Chief Executive)

Portsmouth

Mr B Partridge (Head of Chief Executive’s Dept.)

Rushmoor

Councillor J Debenham
Mr A Lloyd (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

Councillor A Jackson (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor B Palmer (Chairman)
Mr A Jones (Chief Executive)

Winchester

Councillor A Mitchell
Mr B Merrett

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Mr A Lovell

Also in attendance:

North and Mid Hampshire Health Authority

Mr G Cruddace

Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Health Authority

Ms N Hartley

Community Action Hampshire

Mr R Tulloch (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh Community Services

Mr K Dufton

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

58.00 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor J Evans (Basingstoke and Deane); Councillor F Cowper (East Hampshire); Councillor K House and Mr C Tapp (Eastleigh); Mr G Jelbart (Hart); Councillor M Shorten (Havant); Councillor G Nichol and Mr B Quoroll (Isle of Wight); Councillor M Kendal (New Forest); Councillor P Shaddock (Portsmouth); Mrs J Pittfield and Mrs S Hudson (HAPTC); and Mr C Byrne (GOSE).

Hart reported that Grahame Jelbart was making good progress and was hoping to attend the next meeting of the Association on 26 January. In the meantime Felix Hetherington was standing in part-time as Chief Executive.

59.00 MINUTES

It was noted that Councillor Mike Woodhall, Hampshire County Council, had attended the meeting. With this amendment it was:-

RESOLVED -

That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2000 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

60.00 HEALTH ISSUES

The Chairman introduced Gareth Cruddace, Chief Executive of North and Mid Hampshire Health Authority, and Andrew Brooker, Assistant Director of Social Services, Hampshire County Council.

Gareth Cruddace gave a presentation on the NHS Plan and on the recovery plan for the North and Mid Hampshire health services. Andrew Brooker circulated a description of the revised joint planning arrangements between local authorities and the NHS. He also reported on the work of the Corporate Health Group.

During discussion the County Council drew attention to the anomalies in the provision of NHS beds per 1000 population comparing London to Hampshire. Mr Cruddace drew attention to the additional funds coming to Hampshire under the NHS Plan. He pointed out that a planned reduction in beds in North and Mid Hampshire was being deferred until the picture became clearer. He reported that the Health Authority had commissioned the University of York to carry out research into areas of weakness in the funding formula which militated against the North and Mid Hampshire area.

Mr Cruddace stressed that any representations to Government should focus on the funding formula rather than straightforward comparison of beds per 1000 population.

Winchester City Council made a plea for a long term strategy for the elderly, building upon the pilot in Eastleigh North. Councillor Alan Mitchell drew attention to the significance of the local authority housing strategy in care of the elderly.

The Isle of Wight drew attention to concerns about the possible decline in private sector nursing home places as a result of new standards imposed by the Government.

Andrew Brooker pointed out that additional funds had been allocated this winter to cope with the anticipated increase in the need for beds.

Councillor Mrs Robinson reported that the LGA was undertaking work on the future scrutiny role of local authorities.

RESOLVED -

(1) That Ministers and MPs be informed of the local authorities’ serious concern at the anomalies in the NHS funding formula which disadvantage Hampshire and Isle of Wight Health Authorities, in particular the North and Mid Hampshire Health Authority; and

(2) That the Corporate Health Group be asked to report back on joint planning arrangements in each health authority area; and

(3) That Councillor Mrs Robinson be thanked for her report-back on the work of the LGA Social Affairs and Health Executive and Forum.

61.00 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 2000 - MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS

Peter Robertson introduced the report which the Leader of the County Council had referred to the Association. The County Council’s Standards and Procedures Sub-Committee had approved the response to the Government’s consultation on the Model Code with two additional comments which were set out in the Policy Manager’s covering report. The second of these about Members’ interests in representing their constituents’ concerns, was particularly important.

He suggested that development of the Code should be referred to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Secretaries and Directors’ of Administration Group (SADA) for consideration.

East Hampshire had discussed the Government consultation and had reached some different conclusions. They did not feel they could sign up to the County Council’s response as it stood at present. Nevertheless Winchester and others present felt it would be useful to have a joint code.

The County Council did not seek to persuade District Councils to sign up to their response but they asked that points of difference be highlighted. They acknowledged that different authorities had different approaches. They suggested that a Sub-Committee might be set up to discuss the Code and that other authorities such as the Police Authority be invited to attend.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the case for a joint code for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight be agreed in principle;

(2) That consultation on the contents of a joint code - to involve the HAPTC - be carried out through SADA; and

(3) That there should be a report-back to the Association in March 2001, or after publication of the National Code if not published by March.

62.00 LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE

The Policy Manager introduced the joint response produced by the Chief Financial Officers’ Group in conjunction with the Honorary Secretary. He reported that the green paper was very consultative, and concerned the future funding of services, capital finance, the business rate and Council Tax and the system for distributing grant.

East Hampshire proposed a number of changes to the joint report which were adopted:

* Extra income from Council Tax on second homes to benefit the relevant local authorities, not to be taken off grant to those authorities.

* Increased costs resulting from Best Value to be reflected - especially in relation to smaller authorities which are less likely to benefit.

* Recognise the higher wage costs of those authorities on the Surrey/Berkshire borders.

* Fees for planning applications to reflect the cost.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the Chief Financial Officers’ Group be thanked for drafting the response; and

(2) That the joint response be approved with the amendments noted above.

63.00 AREA COST ADJUSTMENT

Consideration was given to a report-back from Councillor Brian Palmer on a meeting to discuss the Area Cost Adjustment (ACA) held on 17 October.

RESOLVED -

That the importance of the Area Cost Adjustment be recognised and that Member authorities be prepared to lobby MPs and others as part of concerted action co-ordinated at regional level.

64.00 PROCUREMENT FOR BEST VALUE

The Policy Manager introduced his report on this subject, which he described as "work in progress".

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Supplies Group had provided examples of co-operation between the Hampshire County Council, District Councils and Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils.

The report also set out details of the Central Buying Consortium which consisted of 17 County and Unitary Authorities nationally including Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth. The benefits of the Consortium had now been opened up to District Councils.

RESOLVED -

(1) That existing joint working arrangements for procurement be noted; and

(2) That District Councils consider whether they can reduce costs by making more use of County Supplies and the Central Buying Consortium.

65.00 LGA CONFERENCE 2001

Consideration was given to a report by the Honorary Secretary setting out suggestions for Association involvement in the LGA Conference 2001.

The report suggested a presentation to be given jointly by the Association, South East Employers and the IDeA on Member Development. It also suggested that the Association co-host an exhibition stand with South East Employers, and some Member authorities. Members were not convinced that the stand would ‘add value’ and this proposal was rejected.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the further development of proposals for a session on Member Development as part of the main programme of the LGA Conference 2001 be noted; and

(2) That the Association considers the Charter for Member Development at a future meeting.

66.00 SEMINAR ON E-GOVERNMENT

The Honorary Secretary introduced a report which proposed a seminar on e-Government following the Association meeting on 26 January. Deloitte, BT and the DETR Modernisation Team would attend and make presentations.

The seminar would aim:-

* to outline best practice in the use of electronic technologies

* to outline Government policy

* to outline responses within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Authorities, including the work of the Joint Telecoms Group, the Customer Service Development Group, etc.

* to outline experience elsewhere, e.g. Liverpool.direct

RESOLVED -

(1) That the Chief Executives’ Group/Policy Manager be asked to arrange a seminar on e-Government to take place following the next Association meeting on 26 January;

(2) That the seminar be open to the normal Hampshire and Isle of Wight Association attendance plus two from each Member authority; and

(3) That a charge of £25 be made to other attendees.

67.00 EMERGENCY PLANNING RESPONSE TO THE RECENT FUEL CRISIS AND FLOODING

Ian Hoult, the County Emergency Planning Officer, introduced this report.

The report outlined the recent activities of emergency planners in relation to the two recent incidents of the fuel crisis and the flooding which affected this area. It also gave details of national and local initiatives in relation to emergency planning.

Hart District Council thanked all those organisations who had helped during the recent floods. However they felt that more money should be spent to alleviate unnecessary flooding. Hart also gave an instance of poor information and communication between the various agencies during the floods. A more joined-up approach was required. Mr Hoult reported that a meeting had been set up with all the agencies concerned to look at a more joined-up approach. He gave information about a public helpline set up by Hampshire County Council. The County Council felt that all local authorities, including Parish Councils should act together to co-ordinate local information about flooding. The County Council’s Planning and Transportation Committee would be meeting with the Environment Agency to discuss this.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted.

68.00 HAMPSHIRE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE AND PROGRESS

Consideration was given to a report by the Chief Executive of Rushmoor Borough Council.

The report gave details of HEP’s annual conference which had been held on 10 October attended by over 120 local authority and business representatives. The theme of the conference had been "Connecting Skills with Hampshire’s Economic Needs". The report set out the excellent work being undertaken by various task groups.

RESOLVED -

That the report be noted.

69.00 LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGIONAL FORUM

Consideration was given to a report of the Honorary Secretary which set out a draft protocol for joint working between the South East six counties (Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Surrey, East and West Sussex and Kent). Approval by the Association for the protocol was sought. The other Associations would also be considering the protocol.

The report also gave details of the November meeting of the Local Government Regional Forum.

RESOLVED -

(1) That the protocol for joint working within the South East six counties be approved subject to the views of the County groupings within the southern six counties;

(2) That the report-back from the Local Government Regional Forum be noted; and

(3) That the offer of a senior government briefing on the urban and rural white papers to a future meeting of the Association be taken up.

70.00 ANTI-DRUGS POLICY - REGIONAL MEETING WITH THE UK CO-ORDINATOR

The Chairman gave details of the regional meeting that afternoon with Keith Hellawell, the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator.

71.00 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Association would be held on 26 January at the Harlington Centrfe, Fleet. This would be followed by a seminar on e-Government also at the Harlington Centre.

Last update: 22/01/2001
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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