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Paper 3 - 30 January 2004 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES
Minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2003 at the Upper Guildhall, Andover

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

T Curtis (Director of Planning and Transport)

East Hampshire

Councillor Mrs E Cartwright (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor D Onslow
W Godfrey (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh

Councillor P Wall
C Tapp (Chief Executive)

Fareham

Councillor C Hockley
Councillor J Murray
A Davies (Chief Executive)

Gosport

M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor K Thornber
Councillor A Rice
P Robertson (Chief Executive)
M Bridgeman (Environment Department)
B Lisney (Environment Department)
G Wright (Social Services Department)
N Gibbins (Assistant County Treasurer)

Hart

Councillor S Parker
J Samuels (Chief Executive)

Havant

Councillor D Gillett
T Slater

Isle of Wight

Councillor T Butchers

New Forest

Councillor M Holding
Councillor M Kendal
D Yates (Chief Executive)
C Malyon (Treasurer)

Rushmoor

Councillor J Marsh
Councillor P Moyle

Southampton

Councillor J Baston
B Roynon (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

Councillor A Jackson (Chairman)
Councillor I Carr
R Tetstall (Chief Executive)

Winchester

Councillor S Campbell
Councillor T Evans
S Eden (Chief Executive)

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Councillor J Pittfield
S Hudson (Director)

Eastleigh Community Services

K Dufton

Hampshire Fire and Rescue

D Norgate
Councillor M Cartwright

Association of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities

N Goulder (Director)
D Allen (PA to Director)

Also in attendance:

Local Government Association

Councillor M Robinson

Project Integra

S Read

46.03 WELCOME

The Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Pat West, welcomed all those present to the meeting.

47.03 APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors B Gurden and R Donnelly (Basingstoke and Deane); Councillor K House (Eastleigh); Councillors R Price and S Woodward (Fareham); Councillor S Cully, Gosport; Councillor M Woodhall (Hampshire); Councillor L Fullbrook (Hart); Councillor K Moss (Havant); Councillors B Lawson, H Rees and S Smart (Isle of Wight); Councillor P Shaddock (Portsmouth) and R Tulloch (Community Action Hampshire).

48.03 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 September were agreed as a correct record with a minor alteration to the list of attendees to show B Wright of Fareham Borough Council as Head of Democratic Services and not Councillor.

With regard to minute 42.03, Strategic Planning, Simon Eden reported that the meeting with the Regional Assembly staff on 17 November had been helpful in answering questions and concerns. The next step would be to agree terms of reference for sub-regional studies. Chief Executives and Planning Officers would continue to monitor progress and report back to the Association on the Regional Spacial Strategy. There were still many concerns about the way the new planning arrangements would apply. Those authorities not covered by sub-regional strategies would be liaising and Councillor Elizabeth Cartwright proposed calling a meeting to include some Sussex authorities.

49.03 HAMPSHIRE MATERIAL RESOURCES STRATEGY

Bob Lisney of the County Council’s Environment Grouping gave a presentation on this issue together with Steve Read of Project Integra.

Mr Lisney’s presentation focussed on the Material Resource Strategy for Hampshire (MRS). This included the contents of the Strategy and plans for the future. He spoke about the likely issues involved which included:

ˇ The substantial growth in waste
ˇ
New European legislation which would target the behaviour of both consumers and industry
ˇ
The fact that landfill provision was running out
ˇ
A new network of facilities to be built across the county including the probable provision of resource parks
ˇ
Looking at ways of reducing transportation of waste and other means of transportation
ˇ
The collection of materials, including segregation.

He gave details of the outcomes planned over the next year and the impact of the Strategy.

He felt that all local authorities could make a major contribution especially through communication with the public and by attending the MRS workshops.

Mr Lisney introduced Steve Read of Project Integra who spoke about his remit, the achievements of Project Integra over the past ten years and the changes expected. He also gave details of the strategic review of the partnership. Mr Read drew attention to a series of meetings he was arranging with each local authority in Hampshire to help draw out worries and aspirations.

During the discussion, concerns were expressed by those present including:

ˇ the potential cost to Council Tax payers
ˇ
concern about the role of the Regional Assembly
ˇ
incineration plants
ˇ
dealing with green waste collection

The Chairman thanked Mr Lisney and Mr Read for their presentations and for discussing the concerns raised.

RESOLVED

That the development of the Hampshire Material Resources Strategy be endorsed.

50.03 HAMPSHIRE WATER STRATEGY

Mike Bridgeman of the County Council’s Environment Department gave a presentation on this matter.

Mr Bridgeman gave details on the background to the Strategy which had been launched in March 2003.

He drew attention to the implementation of the strategy and the role of local authorities in Hampshire. He also highlighted concerns over water consumption, the impact of climate change and pressures on water supply through new building developments. He feared that there would be more cases of drought and flood and that the area could be facing a drought the following year.

Mr Bridgeman drew attention to the detailed action plan. Local authorities had a key role to play in both this and the Hampshire Water Partnership.

Those present raised some concerns including:

ˇ How well Hampshire faired in relation to the rest of the south east with regards to water supply
ˇ
The provision of more reservoirs in Hampshire
ˇ
the difficulty faced when dealing with water companies over sewerage for new developments.

Mr Bridgeman answered these concerns and agreed to supply a list of key contacts in each of the water companies to those who requested it.

RESOLVED

(1) That the Hampshire Water Strategy be broadly welcomed as an attempt to balance the needs of the county’s population with those of its freshwater environment; and

(2) That an individual officer be nominated by each district and unitary authority for the Hampshire Water Partnership to liaise with during the implementation of the Hampshire Water Strategy.

51.03 "EVERY CHILD MATTERS" GREEN PAPER

Graham Wright, of Hampshire Social Services gave a presentation on this topic, in conjunction with Jules Samuels and Dave Yates.

Mr Wright reported that this was the biggest change in children’s social services for 30 years. He gave details of the content of the response from Hampshire County Council on the Green Paper which would be sent that day. A copy would be circulated to each local authority.

He highlighted some of the main areas which Government would like to see improved. He also gave details of the issues included in the Queen’s Speech earlier that week.

Mr Wright reported on the Children and Young People Strategic Partnership set up by Hampshire County Council. He acknowledged that other local authorities had set up similar bodies.

The LGA representative drew attention to the essential role of the library service. She also asked that the work of the voluntary sector be included in the response. Mr Wright pointed out that the Green Paper included an obligation for local authorities and the voluntary sector to work together better.

Councillor Thornber (Hampshire) commented on the structural changes proposed in the Green Paper and highlighted his concerns over its delivery. He felt it was important to increase the status of social workers and that the Green Paper did not go far enough in this regard.

RESOLVED

That Graham Wright be thanked for his presentation.

52.03 COUNCIL TAX ON SECOND HOMES

Nick Gibbins, Assistant County Treasurer, reported on this item.

He gave details of the draft regulations which the Government planned to make to allow local authorities to reduce the discount in Council Tax currently allowed to owners of second homes. This was likely to take affect from 1 April 2004. The County Council supported the reduction of the discount and agreed that its share of any proceeds be used for countywide priorities for community services.

Mr Gibbins also reported on the possible development of a protocol.

Concerns were expressed by some authorities that the new system would be unlikely to be up and running for the year 2004/2005 with the possible loss of additional income. New Forest proposed that the Council Tax raised from Hampshire County Council and the District Councils should be pooled for affordable housing and should be spent in the district councils concerned and not spread across the county. It was agreed that a pilot protocol should be drawn up and tested as soon as possible by all interested parties, although Havant felt it would be too soon for them.

It was agreed that the County Council would arrange to meet all interested parties to discuss the drawing up of a protocol.

RESOLVED

That a meeting be convened of all interested parties to discuss the drawing up of a protocol.

53.03 AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONFERENCE

Consideration was given to a report of the Director in conjunction with the Planning and Housing Officer Groups on this matter.

The report gave details of the Affordable Housing conference held on 17 November.

In order to move the matter forward it was proposed that the Housing and Planning Officer groups establish a short life joint working group to develop an Agenda for Action.

RESOLVED

(1) That the Planning Officers Group and Strategic Housing Officers Group be requested to establish a short life joint working group to draft an Agenda for Action to develop our joint work on affordable housing;

(2) That the Agenda for Action should identify what needs to be done, by whom, and include a realistic timescale for implementation; and

(3) That a progress report be provided as soon as practicable.

54.03 STRAY DOGS

Councillor Carr of Test Valley highlighted the problem with regard to the police withdrawing from the collection of stray dogs and the impact this would have on local authorities. He asked that a response be made from the Association to request a change of mind.

Some of the local authorities present gave details on how they dealt with the problem and would pass on suggestions to Councillor Carr.

The Chief Executives’ Group had considered this matter and would report back to Councillor Carr.

55.03 FUTURE AGENDA

Consideration was given to a report of the Director which set out potential future agenda items for the meeting on 30 January 2004. The report also gave details of a forthcoming event for Members on Public Health and Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) and a capacity building event for staff involved in community strategies and LSPs.

56.03 NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Association would be held on Friday 30 January 2004 at Fareham Civic Offices.

Last update: 19/01/2004
Author: Nick Goulder, Director

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