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Paper 3 - 18 March 2005 Meeting

HAMPSHIRE & ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

Minutes of the Association meeting held at Southampton Civic Centre on 28 January 2005 at 10.00 am

Present:

Basingstoke and Deane

Councillor B Gurden
Councillor G Hood
G Holdcroft (Chief Executive)

East Hampshire

Councillor Mrs E Cartwright (Chairman)
Councillor A Pattie

Eastleigh

C Tapp (Chief Executive)

Fareham

Councillor C Hockley
Councillor J Murray
P Grimwood

Gosport

M Crocker (Chief Executive)

Hampshire

Councillor K Thornber
Councillor A Rice T.D.
Councillor M Roberts
P Robertson (Chief Executive)
S Jarvis

Hart

J Samuels (Chief Executive)

Havant

Councillor K Moss
G Andrews (Managing Director)

Isle of Wight

Councillor B Lawson
Councillor H Rees
Councillor S Smart
M Fisher (Chief Executive Officer)

New Forest

Councillor M Holding
Councillor M Kendal
D Yates (Chief Executive)

Portsmouth

Councillor L Mason

Rushmoor

Councillor J Marsh
Councillor P Moyle (Vice-Chairman)
A Lloyd (Chief Executive)

Southampton

Councillor A Vinson
Councillor A Samuels
B Roynon (Chief Executive)

Test Valley

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

Winchester

Councillor S Campbell
Councillor B Collin
S Eden (Chief Executive)

Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils

S Hudson (Director)

Isle of Wight Association of Parish and Town Councils

B Lawson

Community Action Hampshire

R Tulloch (Chief Executive)

Eastleigh Community Services

K Dufton

Hampshire Fire and Rescue

D Howells

Association of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities

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

Also in attendance:

Charlotte Burrows

Citizensí Advice

Paul Bevan

Regional Assembly

Local Government Association

Councillor M Robinson

1.05 WELCOME

Councillor Adrian Vinson, Leader of Southampton City Council, welcomed all those present to the meeting.

2.05 TSUNAMI APPEAL

The Chairman reported that a meeting of Chairs and Mayors would be arranged with Nirj Deva, MEP to discuss how best to co-ordinate fund-raising to help victims of the Tsunami.

3.05 APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors K House and P Wall (Eastleigh); Councillors R Price and S Woodward (Fareham); Councillor M Hook (Gosport); Councillor M Woodhall (Hampshire); Councillor J Pittfield (HAPTC); Councillor M Cartwright (Hampshire Fire and Rescue); Councillors S Wallis and S Parker (Hart); Councillor D Gillett (Havant); Councillor M Kendal (New Forest); and Councillor T Evans (Winchester).

4.05 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 26th November 2004 were agreed as a correct record.

5.05 SOUTH EAST PLAN

The Chairman introduced Paul Bevan, Chief Executive of the South East England Regional Assembly.

Mr Bevan gave a presentation which focussed on:

é What the South East plan was and what it covered
é
Details of the consultation period which would close on 15 April
é
The way the plan linked with other frameworks and strategies
é
Stakeholder and public input into the draft Plan
é
The planís vision and overall strategy
é
Growth within the region including economic, population, migration and homelessness
é
The cost of housing
é
Why new homes are needed, housing growth options, where new homes should be built and the proportion of land already developed within the region
é
The different levels of housing growth proposed
é
Other issues other than housing contained in the plan - infrastructure, transport, social deprivation, natural resources, climate change, water resources and protection of the environment
é
Core regional policies on using land
é
Details of the sub-regions and their policies.

The balancing of infrastructure provision with the needs of growth was welcomed by many of those present. It was suggested that a concordat for infrastructure be set up. It was felt that the funding mechanism for infrastructure should be changed.

It was asked whether public land had been taken into consideration.

Concerns were raised regarding high density living and quality of life. There was discussion about the issue of affordable housing.

Deprivation and sustainability needed to be addressed more strongly.

Mr Bevan addressed these comments and concerns, and explained the role of the Regional Assembly.

The Chairman thanked Paul Bevan for his presentation.

6.05 CITIZENSí ADVICE BUREAUX FUNDING

The Chairman welcomed Charlotte Burrows of Citizensí Advice (the National Association of Citizensí Advice Bureaux) to the meeting.

Consideration was given to a report by the Director on this issue which had been requested by East Hampshire District Council at the last meeting.

The report gave details of the amount of funding pledged by local authorities in the current financial year. Over 90% of funding was provided by local authorities. Problems had arisen resulting from changes in national lottery funding.

The Chairman and Director had met Charlotte Burrows, the Business Management Consultant of Citizensí Advice South East. She provided an overview of the benefits of Citizensí Advice Bureaux (CABx), current developments and the services of the national Citizensí Advice organisation. This was reproduced in Annex 2 of the report.

During the following debate concerns were expressed that CABx training had not featured sufficiently in the report. Many of those present expressed their strong support for CABx.

Building rental costs were a problem because Bureaux needed to be in high rental areas. It was felt that the CABx needed to look at efficiency savings. Suggestions from those present included "aid in kind"; sharing of expertise; charging for training; asking other organisations such as the NHS who refer people to the CABx for funding; use of FAQs on the website and central purchasing of goods and equipment through the Hampshire procurement strategy.

It was mentioned that local authorities referred people to the CABx. If they did not exist, local authorities would have to take on the service.

Charlotte Burrows thanked all those present for their financial support. Citizensí Advice was already looking at some of the ideas suggested.

There was no replacement for core funding. Also there was no statutory requirement for local authorities to provide funding although it was essential to keep CABx going.

The Chairman thanked Charlotte Burrows for attending the meeting.

RESOLVED

(1) That member authorities recognise:

é The importance of the service provided by Citizensí Advice Bureaux
é
Local authority funding cannot continue to increase beyond the rate of inflation
é
The importance of long-term security of funding for CABx;

(2) That Citizensí Advice and local Citizensí Advice Bureaux consider:

é Cost containment and efficiency savings
é
Income enhancement from customers and non-local authority bodies which benefit from their services;

(3) That member authorities exchange information on the use of Service Level Agreements with Citizensí Advice Bureaux; and

(4) That this Association consults the LGA at national level about experience elsewhere.

7.05 LITTER ON TRUNK ROADS

Consideration was given to a report of the Director on this subject.

The report pointed out that at present responsibility for litter clearance on trunk roads fell on district councils although responsibility for road maintenance rested with the Governmentís Highways Agency. The County Council considered that the presence of litter on trunk roads degraded their general amenity and environment. Its members had investigated the arrangements for litter clearance.

The County Council had written to the Secretary of State for Transport following a presentation from the Highways Agency requesting a change in the arrangements whereby they took on the responsibility for litter clearance. The Governmentís response pointed out that some local authorities might object to the proposal which would remove a power and related funding from all local authorities.

The County Council was seeking support from this Association to take the matter forward via the Local Government Association with a view to lobbying the Government.

RESOLVED

That the support of the Local Government Association be sought for the County Councilís proposals.

8.05 HAMPSHIRE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP, COMMUNITY STRATEGY AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Consideration was given to a report by the Lead Chief Executives and the Director on this subject.

The report gave details of the work this Association had undertaken in developing Local Strategic Partnerships and Community Plans and its involvement in the Hampshire Strategic Partnership (HSP).

The HSP had produced a Community Plan for Hampshire "Shaping our Future Together" which included six priorities to be taken forward by various "Co-ordinating Agencies":

Priority

Co-ordinating Agency

1.

Tackle Deprivation

Community Action Hampshire

2.

"Promote a common understanding of the development needs of Hampshire communities over the next 20 years"

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Government Association

3.

Improve Accessibility

Hampshire County Council

4.

Reduce inequalities

Strategic Health Authority

5.

Enhance the environment

Environment Agency

6.

Support the economy

Hampshire Economic Partnership

The Chief Executives Group had considered a suggestion from the County Council that the Co-ordinating Agencies for priorities 2 and 3 should be changed to show HIOW/HCC for both because the two priorities are closely related, concerns regarding the Associationís limited resources and the fact that County Council resources are needed to pursue these priorities. The main activity under priority 2 had been to arrange a "Hampshire Debate" in Basingstoke on 4 February. Proposals were also being developed to arrange a conference on accessibility to tie in with local transport plans.

RESOLVED

That the Association works with the County Council to co-ordinate activity on Hampshire Strategic Partnership priorities 2 and 3 (Development Needs, and Accessibility).

9.05 SUBSCRIPTIONS AND BUDGET FOR THE ASSOCIATION 2005/2006

Consideration was given to a report by the Honorary Treasurer and the Director.

The report gave details of the level of subscription for 2004/2005 and the level of subscription for 2005/2006 which would remain at the same level as last year.

The annex to the report set out the previous yearís expenditure and outturn for this year and the budget proposed for next year.

The report gave details of the assistance the Association had given to local authorities for capacity building and support for Local Strategic Partnerships (LSP) and the amount of ODPM grant obtained for LSP capacity building over three years.

It was proposed to continue to reduce accumulated reserves over the coming year.

RESOLVED

(1) That the budget for 2005/2006 be approved; and

(2) That the Associationís membership subscription unit be continued at the present level of £2000 for the year ahead.

10.05 FUTURE AGENDA AND "FIVE MINUTE SLOT"

The Director introduced his report which highlighted the matters which would be discussed at future Association meetings. He reported that the Children Act would be added to the agenda for the March meeting.

RESOLVED

That the report be noted.

11.05 NEXT MEETING

The next meeting would be held on Friday 18th March 2005 at Rushmoor Borough Council.

Last update: 08/03/2005
Author: Nick Goulder, Director

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