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Paper  3 - 29 November  2002 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Minutes of the Association meeting held at Hampshire County Council on 27 September 2002 at 10.00 am.

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

Mr G Holdcroft (Director of Community Services)
Ms C Griffiths (Planning, Environment and Transport Department)

East Hampshire

Councillor Mrs E Cartwright (Vice-Chairman)
Mr P Burton (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh

Councillor D Airey
Mr C Tapp (Chief Executive)

Fareham

Councillor R Price
Councillor A Mandry
Mr A Davies (Chief Executive)

Gosport

Mr M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor K Thornber
Councillor M Woodhall
Mr P Robertson (Chief Executive)
Nick Gibbins (Assistant County Treasurer)

Hart

Councillor Mrs L Fullbrook
Ms J Samuels (Chief Executive)

Havant

Ms S Hopkins (Director of Community Services)

Isle of Wight

Councillor H Rees
Councillor Mrs S Smart

New Forest

Councillor Mrs M Holding
Mr D Yates (Chief Executive)

Portsmouth

Councillor E Shimbart
Mr B Partridge (Head of Chief Executive’s Department)

Rushmoor

Councillor J Marsh
Councillor P Moyle
Mr A Lloyd (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

Councillor A Jackson (Chairman)
Councillor B Palmer
Mr A Jones (Chief Executive and Hon Secretary of the Association)

Winchester

Councillor K Learney
Mr D Cowan (Chief Executive)

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Councillor Mrs J Pittfield

Community Action Hampshire

Mr R Tulloch (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh Community Services

Mr K Dufton (Chief Executive)

Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Mr D Howells (Director of Corporate Services)

Association of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities

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

Also in attendance:

Hampshire Constabulary

Chief Inspector J Campbell

Mr S Norris

Chairman of National Cycling Strategy Board

Mr F Offen

Department of Transport

27.02 WELCOME

The Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Peter Hutcheson, welcomed all those present to the meeting.

28.02 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R Donnelly and B Gurden (Basingstoke and Deane); Councillor S James (East Hampshire); Councillor K House (Eastleigh); Councillor S Woodward (Fareham); Councillor S Cully (Gosport); Councillor W Wheeler (Hampshire); Councillors R Benford and S Parker (Hart); Councillor K Moss (Havant); Councillor Mrs B Lawson (Isle of Wight Council and Isle of Wight Association of Parish and Town Councils); Councillor S Hayes (New Forest); Councillors Blair and Shaddock (Portsmouth); Councillor T Evans and S Campbell (Winchester); Councillor M Cartwright (Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority); Councillor Mrs M Robinson (LGA).

Members asked that their best wishes be conveyed to Councillor Wheeler for a speedy recovery.

29.02 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 June 2002 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

30.02 TOWARDS A CYCLING STRATEGY

The Chairman introduced Steven Norris, Chairman of the National Cycling Strategy Board and Fred Offen of the Department of Transport.

Steven Norris spoke about his role on the Board and its work. He drew attention to Alan Jones’ report on Towards a Cycling Strategy with the agenda for this meeting. He highlighted the fact that car usage in the UK was one of the highest in Europe and that many car journeys were of one mile or less. However he stressed that the Board was not trying to make car users feel guilty. The Board was aiming to address concerns that cycling was dangerous and change perceptions of cycling as purely a sporting or leisure activity. It should be seen as part of everyday life. He felt that proper provisions should be made in towns and cities for cyclists and that civil engineers had an important part to play in well designed cycle routes. He gave details of the Government’s target to increase cycle usage to 8% of journeys by 2012 and examples of good cycling promotion in certain towns and cities.

He highlighted a series of pilot exercises to be undertaken in local authorities across England, one of which would be Test Valley.

He concluded by thanking all those in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight who were already committed to cycling.

The Chairman thanked both Steven Norris and Fred Offen.

Steven Norris then answered questions and addressed concerns from those present including addressing the dangers of schoolchildren cycling to school by providing safe, discrete cycle lanes; provision of showers and lockers in workplaces for cyclists. He explained that there was not a standard colour or surface for cycle lanes. He felt that the impetus to encourage using cycles for short journeys should be on local authorities to build good cycle routes into local transport plans. He felt that the weather in Britain should not be an excuse for not cycling.

He agreed that the railway operators should be encouraged to provide for cyclists on trains or alternatively provide areas at journey-end stations for commuters to leave their bicycles for onward journeys.

New Forest drew attention to the problems of implementing the strategy in rural areas where people needed to use cars.

The Chairman reported that Alan Jones would be willing to come and talk to local authorities about the work of the National Cycling Strategy Board.

31.02 REVIEW OF REVENUE GRANT DISTRIBUTION, INCLUDING THE AREA COST ADJUSTMENT

Nick Gibbins of Hampshire County Council introduced a report on this subject prepared by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Chief Financial Officers’ Group.

Mr Gibbins commented on the six areas of concern outlined in the report.

The Chairman thanked Mr Gibbins for his presentation.

Mr Gibbins answered questions and addressed concerns from those present.

The Isle of Wight thanked those present for their support and highlighted areas of specific concern to them.

Fareham sought support against the proposed merger of Rate Support Grant and Non-Domestic Rates.

Hart asked for support for its "Hartbroke" campaign. It would be submitting a representation on behalf of the six authorities affected in England.

Hampshire felt that a strong response was needed from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and gave examples of how these proposals would affect the area as a whole. There was concern that the South East attracted less support from the Government compared to Scotland and the North of England. It was felt that funding for the North should come from Central Government and not provided by transferring funds from the South East. Comparisons were given as to how much Council Tax payers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight would have to contribute compared to those in the North. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight also had its share of deprived areas.

The Policy Manager thanked the Chief Financial Officers’ Group for its report which had been commended throughout the South East.

RESOLVED

That the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Local Government Association be informed of Members’ views, as set out in the report, and a letter be sent to MPs in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

32.02 NEXT MEETING

The next meeting would be held on Friday 29 November at Rushmoor Borough Council at 10.00 am. (NOTE: the venue was subsequently changed to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council).

Last update: 20/11/2002
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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