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Paper 9 - 3 June 2005 Meeting

HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

3 June 2005

THE ASSOCIATIONíS ACTION PLAN 2005-2006 AND ANNUAL REPORT

Report by the Director

________________________________________________________________________

RECOMMENDATIONS

(1)That the Action Plan be approved for consultation with inter-authority groups and partner organisations; and

(2)That the Annual Report be published on the Associationís website.

________________________________________________________________________

BACKGROUND

1. At the Annual Meeting the Association is asked to agree its main headings for action in the coming year. Members agree the work of the Association in the light of the Associationís objectives bearing in mind the review of work over the past year. The Annual Report, set out in the Annex, gives a brief review of the work of the Association. The objectives of the Association are set out below.

OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSOCIATION

2. The objectives of the Association are:-

é To provide a means for facilitating co-operation between the constituent authorities;
é
To promote the interests of local government in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight;
é
To assist member authorities in the effective performance of their duties and functions;
é
To pursue issues of common concern to member authorities and to represent their joint interests to other bodies;
é
To develop effective relationships with regional organisations; and
é
To provide a forum for exchange of ideas and experience across member authorities.

3. The Association has worked closely with the Local Government Association (LGA) at national level and other Hampshire/Isle of Wight organisations locally.

PROPOSED ACTION PLAN 2005-2006

4. Subject to Membersí views the following list sets out the main focus for the Associationís work over the coming year:

Management/Capacity Building

(1) Help authorities prepare for the 2007 round of Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA), and facilitate joint working on Local Area Agreements. (This will involve encouraging and assisting with joint preparation, ensuring the CPA Inspectors are aware of joined-up work across the area).

Lead Chief Executives: County and Unitary Authority Chief Executives plus Ian Lycett and Roger Tetstall for the District Councils.

(2) Continue to develop joint working between authorities, making best use of the Regional Centre of Excellence (Will Godfrey/Efficiency Group) and focussing on human resource issues (Dave Yates/Personnel Group).

Lead Chief Executives: Will Godfrey/Dave Yates

(3) Complete the Local Strategic Partnership capacity building pilot and develop the Scrutiny capacity-building work with local authorities in Thames Valley and South East Employers.

Lead Chief Executive: Gwen Andrews

Community Safety

(4) Develop authorities' joint working through the Chief Officersí Group with the Local Criminal Justice Board on community safety, and develop joint policy on community wardens/accredited community safety officers. Assist the Hampshire Strategic Partnership to develop its role in relation to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.

Lead Chief Executives: Peter Robertson/Chris Tapp/Andrew Lloyd

Children Act

(5) Continue to help authorities prepare for joint aspects of implementation of the Children Act. (Draft statutory guidance shows that from April 2006 the Children and Young Peoples plan for Hampshire involves roles for district councils in their licensing, housing, cultural, leisure and youth functions with a "champion" in each district council and a direct line of responsibility to the district chief executive.)

Lead Chief Executives: Peter Robertson/Jules Samuels/Dave Yates

Public Health

(6) Continue to work through the HIOW Public Health Network (representing the various parts of the NHS, Government Office and local authorities) to implement the public health white paper.

Lead Chief Executive: Chris Tapp

Planning, Accessibility, Housing and Environment

(7) Continue to work with member authorities, the Regional Assembly, Hampshire Economic Partnership and the Island Partnership to facilitate managed, sustainable economic growth. Working with the Hampshire Strategic Partnership (HSP), ensuring that affordable housing remains high on the agenda and bring a report back to Members on affordable housing work by member authorities including Hampshire County Council key worker housing initiatives.

Lead Chief Executives: Simon Eden (Planning and Accessibility)/Andrew Lloyd (Hampshire Economic Partnership and Learning and Skills Council)

(8) Renew authorities' engagement in partnership on the waste agenda: reduction, collection, disposal, procurement, efficiency and joint working. Ensure the next stage of the Material Resources Strategy - developing a new partnership system for economic development and procurement to meet the aims of the strategy - is progressed.

Lead Chief Executives: Peter Robertson/Gordon Holdcroft.

(9) E-Government/Modernisation

Continue to work through the e-Government Partnership Board to deliver a programme of joint working, including exploring the development of common standards and information sharing protocols to enable a more integrated and efficient approach to service delivery across Hampshire.

Lead Chief Executives: Peter Robertson/Jules Samuels/Roger Tetstall.

NEW ISSUES FOR JOINT WORKING

5. In addition to the nine points for our Action Plan, it will be important to monitor new developments at national level and proposals for new legislation following the General Election on 5 May. Areas of policy development where joint working is required can be expected in:

! Adult Social Care
!
Provision for Youth/Connexions

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGIONAL FORUM

6. Councillor David Gillett, Leader of Havant Borough Council, is planning to take the Chair of the Local Government Regional Forum from November 2005. This Association will be hosting a national meeting of the Forum together with the Thames Valley and Surrey Associations in Reading in November.

ANNUAL REPORT

7. The draft Annual Report, set out in the Annex, outlines the work of the Association over the past year. It is recommended that this Annual Report be published (as required by the Associationís Constitution) on the Associationís website.

ANNEX

HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

ANNUAL REPORT 2004/05

SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION

1. The Association represents the 15 local authorities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority. It provides a forum and mechanism for the local authorities in this important sub-region of the South East to work together. Of all the eligible member authorities, only the Police Authority has failed to join despite the emphasis on Community Safety as part of the Associationís work

2. The Association works through networks of inter-authority staff, for example the Community Safety Chief Officersí Group chaired by the Chief Constable. Some 34 groups listed on our website include Planning and Transport Chief Officers, Strategic Housing, Chief Finance Officers and Chief Environmental Health Officers. New groups have been encouraged by the Association to develop policies in such areas as E-government, public health and customer service. These inter-authority groups:

ź provide policy management and support for Members
ź
report to Association meetings
ź
consider the impact of new legislation and other changes
ź
develop contacts with regional bodies
ź
help the Association look after the interests of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Their work is co-ordinated by the Association through the Chief Executivesí Group. The Chief Executivesí Group appoints lead Chief Executives to head up work in the key areas of achievement for the Association. Details are given on our website.

3.The extensive engagement of individual Members, officers and in particular "Lead Chief Executives" has meant that the Associationís direct staff resources have remained small.

4. As a result, with an expanding membership base, the Associationís subscriptions from member authorities have continued to remain below their starting level when the Association was set up in 1997 following local government re-organisation. For example, the Association represents good value to a District Council which paid £4,000 for its membership in 2004/2005. The subscription in 1997 was £4,200.

ACTION PLAN 2004 TO 2005

5. The Association set its Action Plan for the year ahead at the Annual Meeting in July 2004 and the following section of this annual report considers progress in each action area:

(1) To agree input to the South East Plan and to develop a common understanding of the development needs of Hampshire/Isle of Wight communities

The Association agreed that responses to the South East Plan consultation should be encouraged from member authorities and sub-regional groupings. We arranged for Paul Bevan, Chief Executive of the Regional Assembly, to present the draft plan to Members at the Associationís meeting in Southampton, January 2005.

We also worked with Hampshire Strategic Partnership (HSP) to organise a "Hampshire Debate" on the South East Plan at The Anvil, Basingstoke on 4 February. The debate was attended by many Hampshire partner organisations and chaired by Nicholas Witchell.

Now HSP is collating responses to the South East Plan from local organisations.

Lead Chief Executive: Simon Eden (Winchester).

(2) Local Transport Plans

We have worked with the three unitary authorities and the County Council to ensure that the new local transport plans are integrated with community, spatial and other strategies. Alison Quant of Hampshire County Council joined the Associationís meeting in March at Rushmoor to discuss this work.

The Association also joined Hampshire County Council in working on the Hampshire Strategic Partnershipís priority on accessibility. Research is now being undertaken by those preparing the local transport plans and the Hampshire Strategic Partnership will arrange an event to consult partners on improving accessibility.

Lead Chief Executive: Simon Eden (Winchester).

(3) Joint Working on Efficiency and Improvement

The Chief Executivesí Group developed the potential for efficiency and improvement through joint working. The Group completed a survey of joint working across authorities - available on the Associationís website. We set up an Efficiency Group led by Bill Price (East Hampshire) which will be reporting its action plan to Members. This Group is working closely with the South East Centre of Procurement Excellence (COPE) whose Director, Andrew Larner, has attended both the Efficiency Group and the Chief Executivesí Group. Hampshire County Council has taken a lead role in directing the work of the COPE with two of its staff on the Board.

Lead Chief Executive: Will Godfrey (East Hampshire).

We gained ODPM Capacity Building funds to assist our work in developing the Scrutiny Function. Councillor Fred Allgood (Winchester) represents the Association on the Steering Group for this work which is project-managed by South East Employers. We shall be reporting on this work to Members. This work on Scrutiny complemented an existing initiative (reported last year) which aims to strengthen Local Strategic Partnerships.

Lead Chief Executive: Gwen Andrews (Havant).

A separate officer group is considering how human resources, personal management, recruitment, training and development can be improved through joint working. We shall be reporting on this work.

Lead Chief Executive: Dave Yates (New Forest).

(4) Developing joint work through the Public Service Agreements (PSAs)

Building on the existing PSAs, the second generation of local PSAs has involved extensive work between authorities, particularly between Hampshire County and the eleven District councils which are closely involved in the Hampshire local PSA.

(5) Children and Young People

David Pettitt (Isle of Wight Council) and Peter Robertson (Hampshire County Council) briefed the Association meeting in November 2004 on this work which has extensive implications from substantial re-organisation to information-sharing between public authorities.

(6) Affordable Housing

Affordable housing has remained a major concern for all member authorities who have tackled the issue in a variety of ways at local level. We are planning to report back on this work following our conference facilitated by Hampshire County Council in October 2003 (details on the website).

ISSUES ARISING FROM MEMBERS

6. In addition to the planned work of the Association resulting from the 2004 Action Plan, Members introduced the following issues during the year:

(1) Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABx)

East Hampshire and other authorities have become concerned at the increasing burden of funding local CABx over recent years. We worked with the National Association of CABx to form an agreement which:

- continues to give full local authority support to the CABx which lever in voluntary resources to provide an invaluable service;

- limits future growth of local authority subsidies.

The National Association is now working with local CABx to develop:

- efficiency measures e.g.a review of the potential for joint working amongst the separate CABx charities in New Forest

- service level agreements
- gift aid.

Our joint work has led to other areas of engagement such as

- involvement of CABx in the Hampshire Rural Pathfinder
- closer involvement of CABx with libraries

Hampshire County Council, having re-iterated its very strong support for CABx is assisting CABx with additional support. The National Association has found additional funds for East Hampshire. We are now considering the potential for joint training initiatives for CABx staff and volunteers.

We have also raised this issue with the LGA at national level and it will be included in evidence to the ODPM to assist with spending assessments.

(2) Asian Tsunami Disaster

Following this disaster, the Association arranged a meeting for Mayors and Chairmen to consider co-ordinated work in the charitable field. The Associationís Chairman introduced Jay Sellahewa of the British High Commission in Sri Lanka at this meeting which was also attended by Ian Hoult (Hampshire Chief Emergency Planning Officer). Subsequently Ian Hoult visited a part of Sri Lanka badly affected by the disaster and Hampshire County Council arranged specific help for the Hambantota local authority area on the east coast. Ian Hoult has provided a briefing for other member authorities on this work. Bournemouth Borough Council and Chichester District Council are considering joining Hampshire in this work.

(3) Health Care in South Hampshire

The Association gave its full support to Gosport Borough Councilís campaign for adequate healthcare resources, particularly on the Gosport peninsula.

(4) Litter on Trunk Roads

The Association supported Hampshire County Councilís representations to the Government that the Highways Agency should take over litter collection on trunk roads.

(5) Change Up

The Association received a report from the Voluntary Sector on building capacity in the sector, and discussed its relationship with the Voluntary Sector Compact.

(6) Quality Parish Councils

The Association also received a report from the Associations of Parish and Town Councils on building capacity.

(7) Bees

The Association supported representations from New Forest District Council about proposed cuts in funding of the National Bee Unit.

PRESENTATIONS

7. Association meetings received presentations on the following subjects:

- Ministry of Defence Lands
- The Standards Board
- Broadband Developments
- Hampshire Pension Fund
- Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
- South East Plan
- Developments in Community Safety.

Whilst the majority of these had been requested by Members, it is important to limit presentations and ensure adequate time for Member involvement at regular Association meetings.

A VOICE FOR HAMPSHIRE AND THE ISLE OF WIGHT

8. The interests of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight differ from those of Kent or Milton Keynes with whom we share the same Government Office and Regional Assembly. The Association has formed a regular dialogue both with Government Office South East and with other regional partners.

9. Government has recognised the significance of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as a sub-region in its drive to "modernise" and "join up" public services. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority, Learning and Skills Council, Connexions service and other organisations such as those within the Criminal Justice system are arranged on a HIOW basis. GOSE has a Hampshire and Isle of Wight directorate represented on the Chief Executivesí Group. This Association is the voice for local government in the dialogue with GOSE, regional and sub-regional agencies.

APPOINTMENTS TO OUTSIDE BODIES

10. The Association has an Appointments Panel and has appointed members to those bodies shown in the Appendix. The Panel consists of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Association plus Councillor Sheila Campbell of Winchester City and Councillor Iris Binfield of Gosport Borough. The Panel reports to the September meeting of the Association.

ORGANISATION AND COSTS

11. The Association meets regularly at Member level and is managed in between meetings by the Director and PA. As a staff development initiative an officer from Test Valley Borough Council (Elaine Gault) stood in for the Director on occasions.

12. The Associationís papers are shown on our website (www.hiow.gov.uk). The full costs of the Association are given in a separate report on this agenda.

13. The Chairman of the Association elected for the year was Councillor Elizabeth Cartwright of East Hampshire District Council. The Vice-Chairman was Councillor Peter Moyle of Rushmoor Borough Council.

14. The Association employed one full time Director, Nick Goulder, and a part time Personal Assistant/Office Administrator, Diane Allen. These staff are based at Civic Offices, Eastleigh on a fully-refunded basis. Eastleigh Borough Council provides the Associationís accountancy and office support services. The Borough Treasurer, Nick Tustian, is the Associationís Treasurer. The Isle of Wight Council Chief Finance Officer, Paul Wilkinson, is the Associationís Auditor.

Date: May 2005

APPENDIX

APPOINTMENTS TO OUTSIDE BODIES 2004-2005

Outside Body

Representative(s)

Local Authority

Committee for Rural Hampshire

Councillor Peter Boulton
Councillor Maureen Robinson*

Test Valley
New Forest

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

Councillor Alan Rice

New Forest

Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust

Councillor Elizabeth Cartwright
Councillor Mark Fullbrook
Councillor Cecily Sutton

East Hampshire
Hart
Winchester

Hampshire Economic Partnership

Councillor Tony Jackson

Test Valley

Hampshire Playing Fields Association

Councillor Ian Carr
Councillor Hugo Eastwood
Councillor Ken Moss
Councillor Therese Evans

Test Valley
Hart
Havant
Winchester

Hampshire County Council Early Years Development Advisory Group

Councillor Mike Roberts

Rushmoor

Hampshire County Council Youth Panel

Councillor Andrew Pattie

East Hampshire

Hampshire County Council Health Review Panel

Councillor David Welch
Councillor Keith Evans
Councillor Allan Mitchell
Councillor Criss Connor

Rushmoor
Fareham
Winchester
Basingstoke and Deane

Hampshire Strategic Partnership Steering Group

Councillor Elizabeth Cartwright*
Councillor Peter Moyle

East Hampshire
Rushmoor

Combined Youth Justice Standing Conference

Councillor Marion Kerley
Councillor A Claxton

Test Valley
East Hampshire

Hampshire Pension Fund Panel

Councillor Ian Carr
Councillor Tom Blair+

Test Valley
Portsmouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Standing down
+ Appointed by Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils jointly

Last update: 20/05/2005
Author: Nick Goulder, Director

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* Standing down

+ Appointed by Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils jointly