Home | All about HIOW | Members and Officers | Association meeting dates | Key documents | Links | Election Results | ResponsesOfficer Networks  | Other Useful Information |


Back to 2003 Meetings Index | Back to Agenda Page

Paper  3A - 28 March 2003 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Minutes of the Association meeting held at the Explosion Museum on 31 January 2003 at 10.00 am.

Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor B Gurden
Mr G Holdcroft (Acting Chief Executive)

East Hampshire

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

Eastleigh

Councillor K House
Councillor P Wall
Mr C Tapp (Chief Executive)

Fareham

Councillor R Price
Councillor A Mandry
Mr B Leach

Gosport

Councillor S Cully
Councillor P Edgar
Councillor K Searle
Mr M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor K Thornber
Councillor A Rice
Councillor W Wheeler
Councillor D Kirk
Mr P Robertson (Chief Executive)
Mr B Lisney (Head of Natural Resources Initiative)
Mr A Hagger (Supporting People County Manager)
Mr I Parker (Head of Estates Practice)

Hart

Councillor S Parker

Havant

Councillor A Briggs
Councillor K Moss
Ms G Andrews (Managing Director)

Isle of Wight

Councillor Mrs B Lawson
Mr M Fisher (Head of Paid Service)

New Forest

Councillor Mrs M Holding
Mr D Yates (Chief Executive)

Portsmouth

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

Rushmoor

Councillor J Marsh
Mr A Lloyd (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

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

Winchester

Councillor S Campbell
Councillor T Evans
Mr D Cowan (Chief Executive)

Isle of Wight Association of Parish and Town Councils

Mrs B Lawson

Eastleigh Community Services

Mr K Dufton

Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Councillor M Cartwright

Local Government Association

Councillor Mrs M Robinson

Association of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities

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

Also in attendance:

Electoral Commission

Mr S Younger (Chair of the Electoral Commission)

Southampton City Council

Mr M Dumper (Acting Head of Democratic Services and Chair of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Electoral Administrators’ Conference)
Councillor R Williams

University of Portsmouth

Dr Celia Clark

1.03 WELCOME

Councillor Shaun Cully welcomed all present to the meeting.

2.03 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor R Donnelly (Basingstoke and Deane); Councillor S James (East Hampshire); Councillor S Woodward (Fareham); Councillor M Woodhall (Hampshire); Councillors R Benford and L Fullbrook (Hart); Councillor D Gillett (Havant); Councillors H Rees and Mrs S Smart (Isle of Wight); Councillor M Kendal (New Forest); Councillor P Moyle (Rushmoor); Councillor B Palmer (Test Valley).

3.03 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2002 were approved.

With regards to the item on Health Scrutiny, the Policy Manager gave details of the four District Council representatives appointed to the County Council’s Health Review Committee. Councillor Brian Bayford had produced a report on the meeting of the County Council’s Health Review Committee which would be circulated to all District Councils.

4.03 ENHANCING THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND VOTER TURNOUT

The Chairman welcomed Sam Younger, Chair of the Electoral Commission.

Mr Younger outlined the status and remit of the Commission. He gave a background to the various reviews being undertaken and in particular the key reviews on funding electoral services, absent voting and registration. He gave details of the future agenda of the Commission. He paid tribute to the initiatives of the local authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

He particularly highlighted the problems encountered with postal voting.

The Chairman thanked Mr Younger for his presentation. He also pointed out that David Cowan (Chief Executive, Winchester City Council) and Malcolm Dumper of Southampton City Council were local contacts on election issues.

The question was asked as to when all out postal voting would become standard practice. Mr Younger replied that the Declaration of Identity issue would need to be overcome before this could take place.

Those present made the following comments:-

ˇ Concern was expressed about the collection of elderly and infirm voters by particular political parties. However, Mr Younger felt that too much discouragement of candidates and agent involvement could be counter-productive.

ˇ Rushmoor and Basingstoke and Deane reported that their bids for e-voting had been accepted.

ˇ With regards to compulsory voting, the Commission would be looking at this issue over the next year. It was also looking at the possibility of lowering the voting age to 16.

ˇ It was felt that the existing system of voting should be extended rather than just setting up new systems.

ˇ The importance of candidates campaigning was highlighted.

ˇ Concerns were expressed about newer methods of voting such as text messaging. Mr Younger felt it was important to experiment with newer methods of voting to encourage younger people to vote.

ˇ One of the most important issues was to get people interested in politics by having relevant and interesting policies.

ˇ The possible introduction of individual registration was welcomed. It would prevent voters, registered in two places, for example students, from illegally voting twice. A National Electronic Database would pick up this discrepancy, but there would be civil liberties issues to overcome.

ˇ Concerns were also expressed regarding boundary discrepancies whereby voters living close to a particular voting station were not able to vote there. Winchester pointed out that there was a solution to this problem and advised people to contact their local authority.

In conclusion, the Chairman thanked Mr Younger for taking the trouble to consult Hampshire and Isle of Wight leading members and staff on these important issues.

5.03 IMPACT OF MoD LAND SALES

Malcolm Crocker, Chief Executive of Gosport Borough Council, introduced this item.

He reported on Gosport’s experiences with regard to disposals of MoD land which had been good in parts. The situation had improved but there was still a long way to go. He felt that wider dialogue was required between the community and the MoD. He felt that LSPs could be used to foster communications.

Councillor Mrs Cartwright gave details of problems encountered in East Hampshire especially with regards to the lack of consultation. Mrs Cartwright introduced Dr. Celia Clark who expanded on the points raised in her summary circulated with the agenda which set out the findings of a Civic Trust meeting held to consider the impact of MoD land sales on the historic heritage. She also tabled the full list of MoD disposals proposed for the South East.

The Chairman thanked Dr Clark for her contribution.

Those present voiced various concerns and commented as follows:-

ˇ Rushmoor reported on its experience with the MoD which had been good overall. It felt that the Treasury rules should be relaxed and that heritage sites in particular should not be included in the standard disposal process.

ˇ The problems faced by local authorities in all public land disposals were highlighted, particularly where the local authority wanted to see affordable housing developed.

ˇ It was reported that the Deputy Prime Minister would be highlighting the shortfall in the housing completion rate in the South East. He would be looking to MoD "brown land" releases to help.

ˇ Hampshire County Council gave details of the method it used with regard to its own land releases. The County Council worked with local authorities early in the planning process. Quality in urban design and provision of affordable housing had been achieved. Tighter development briefs would be required by local authorities in the light of new legislation. The County Council would be happy to share its experiences with District Councils, and its track record could prove a useful model for future MoD releases.

RESOLVED

(1) That the Association write to the Deputy Prime Minister and other Government departments in support of the representations from East Hampshire, whilst acknowledging that some MoD disposals have been handled well within the existing guidelines; and

(2) That a formal structure/joint committee be set up through this Association to deal with the problems with regards to MoD land disposals.

6.03 HAMPSHIRE NATURAL RESOURCES INITIATIVE

The Chairman introduced Mr Bob Lisney, Head of the Hampshire Natural Resources Initiative (HNRI).

Mr Lisney reported on the work which had taken place so far, the impact of the initiative for local authorities and the work which would be carried into 2003/04 especially relating to land use planning and community engagement. He also drew attention to the emerging vision of the HNRI. He also reported that a new planning framework would be required.

RESOLVED

(1) That the substantial progress be noted;

(2) That the multi functional role of the Hampshire Local Authorities in achieving the objectives of the Hampshire Natural Resources Initiative be endorsed; and

(3) That the timetable to achieve a deposit draft Minerals and Waste Local Plan by February 2004 be supported.

7.03 PROJECT INTEGRA

Councillor Mrs Cartwright spoke to a paper which she circulated on Project Integra. The paper focussed on concerns regarding the way in which Project Integra was funded at present and a counter-proposal put forward by one or two local authorities that funding should be set up on a more formal, subscription basis. Mrs Cartwright also stressed the importance of Project Integra and highlighted the need for more work on recycling.

The Chair of Project Integra stressed the importance of Integra and the quality of its services, and he highlighted concerns about its possible unravelling. There should be no party politics involved.

New Forest - one of the authorities seeking more formal, permanent funding methods - stressed its full commitment to the objectives and principles embodied in the Project Integra partnership.

It was felt that the funding issue needed to be considered in more detail.

RESOLVED

(1) That the Association reiterates its continuing commitment to the Integra Partnership and Integra’s overall objectives as set out in the Constitution, unanimously approved some two years ago;

(2) That the partners who have expressed concerns about future funding proposals unanimously endorsed by the Integra Policy Review and Scrutiny Committee be reassured that alternative proposals will be explored; and

(3) That in addition to seeking their commitment to the partnership, the Association seeks assurances that all member authorities will co-operate as a matter of priority in exploring these options and regaining consensus within the partnership.

8.03 SUPPORTING PEOPLE

The Chairman introduced Alan Hagger, the Supporting People County Manager.

Mr Hagger gave details of the work of Supporting People which was a partnership between several agencies. After three years of preparation, the initiative would come into force on 1 April 2003.

He reported in particular that:

ˇ The County/District arrangements were working well. There was a central team based with Hampshire County Council and local implementation in District Councils with Local Co-ordinators.

ˇ The role of the Local Co-ordinators would be critical in monitoring service delivery and expenditure. Local Co-ordinators would need to review the specialist service providers and this would mean working across District Council boundaries.

ˇ The central team needed strengthening and this would be financed by a reduction in Local Co-ordinators from seven to the six originally agreed by the Association.

ˇ The joint steering group would be advising the Association on how the annual strategy should be agreed in future. One option was to continue with the "shadow" process which means that each agency signs off the strategy individually. At this stage he was simply seeking views. A further report would be made in a year.

RESOLVED

That the report be noted.

9.03 SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUDGET FOR THE ASSOCIATION 2003/2004

The Policy Manager introduced a joint report prepared with the Honorary Treasurer. It was pointed out that as a result of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service joining the Association in 2003, the subscriptions for the year ahead would be reduced.

It was felt that encouragement should be given to Southampton City Council and the Police Authority to join the Association. The Honorary Secretary acknowledged this point.

RESOLVED

(1) That the monitoring report for 2002/2003 be noted;

(2) That the budget for 2003/2004 be approved; and

(3) That the Association’s membership subscription unit be reduced by 7% to £2100 to reflect the expanding membership base.

10.03 DISTRICT COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS TO OUTSIDE BODIES - PROPOSAL FOR AN APPOINTMENTS PANEL

The Honorary Secretary introduced a joint report which set out the proposals for setting up a panel to deal with district council appointments to outside bodies.

RESOLVED

That an Appointments Advisory Panel be set up as set out in the report.

11.03 FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS AND FIVE MINUTE SLOT

The Policy Manager introduced his report which set out items to be discussed at future Association meetings. The Chairman encouraged those present to suggest future items through their Chief Executives or the Chairman or Vice-Chairman.

Under the five minute slot, the Honorary Secretary drew attention to the fact that from April 2003 the Police would no longer accept stray dogs at police stations. The burden would fall on local authorities. He reported that a meeting would be held on 12 February between Chief Environmental Health Officers and the Police Authority to discuss the issue.

RESOLVED

That the report be noted.

12.03 NEXT MEETING

It was reported that the next meeting of the Association would be held on 28 March.

Last update: 18/03/2003
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

Web Space  provided by Hampshire County Council

TOP OF PAGE