Venue: Council Chamber, Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX
Contact: Penny Milne Democratic Services Team Leader - 023 9244 6234
The Chairman opened the meeting with a short prayer.
At the invitation of the Chairman, the Leader took the opportunity to thank Mr Tom Horwood for his significant contribution as Executive Director (Governance) in recent years and, on behalf of the Council, wished him well in his new role as Chief Executive for Waverley Borough Council.
Presentation - Charter for Elected Member Development
The Chairman to receive the formal Award to the Council of the Charter for Elected Member Development from Councillor Rory Love, Chairman of South East Employers
Councillor Rory Love, Chairman of South East Employers had been invited to attend the Council meeting to formally present the Charter for Elected Member Development. Cllr Love praised the Council for its clear commitment to Councillor training and development and congratulated the Council on its achievement.
The Chairman was delighted to formally receive the award of the Charter and, on behalf of the Council, thanked Councillor Love for taking the time to visit East Hampshire DC to make the presentation.
Apologies for Absence
To receive and record any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Abdey, Drew, Orme, Parker Smith, Waterhouse and Williams.
Declarations of Interest
To receive and record any declarations of interests from members present in respect of any of the various matters on the agenda for this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
Confirmation of Previous Minutes
To confirm the minutes of the extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 5 December 2017 and the scheduled meeting held on 14 December 2017, circulated separately.
The minutes of the extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 30 November 2017 and the scheduled meeting held on 14 December 2017 were approved as a correct record.
To deal with any public questions notified at least two clear working days before the meeting.
The Council received the following Questions submitted under notice in accordance with Standing Order 13.4(f)(i).
Question 1 – from Jan Treacher
The council have indicated that their budget for the coming year contains no provision for any grant to Alton Community Centre despite the fact that East Hampshire funding has previously covered a very large amount of the centre's running costs. I have here a petition of over 1000 Alton people who are horrified by this huge cut and we want to hear how the Centre, which is an indispensable resource for the people of Alton and beyond is expected to continue with such a large amount of funding being withdrawn. We further ask that the grant be maintained at last year's level with an increase to allow for inflation.
Joint response from the Leader supported by Councillors Butler, as Portfolio Holder, Cowper and Shepherd
There have been several consultations and workshops with our Partner Funded Organisations over the last three years, with the aim of supporting these organisations to move towards delivering the valuable services they provide in our communities in a more financially sustainable way going forward.
I have taken note of the comments that have been made, and the questions that have been asked, and I am minded to recommend to the Cabinet that we reinstate this funding stream of up to £51,500 in 2018/19. This will be for a fixed 12-month period and I will be appointing a Member Project Lead to support Councillor Butler, in working together with the PFOs during this period, to develop a new strategy for financial sustainability.
Question 2 – from Mrs Pat Lerew, Chairman of the Alton Community Association
In light of the Leader’s response to the previous question, and whilst expressing some disagreement about the perceived degree to which the PFO’s had been consulted previously, Mrs Lerew withdrew the following questions.
Question 3 – from Mr Roger Mullenger
(Mr Mullenger had been unable to attend the meeting and the question was read by the Chairman)
I have a question relating to item 11 on the agenda, "COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS DURING “PURDAH” ". Unfortunately I cannot attend, so would like this to be a written question.
This agenda item is as a result of a cabinet decision on 8th February and clarifies as far as is possible the existing rules.
Based on this agenda item, would the Daily Mail article with statements by Cllr Cowper be covered, since they were made during the election period of the Bell Hill by-election. The article contained statements which could be interpreted as containing items which may be disputed and controversial and which could affect the election process.
Response from Cllr Cowper:
The pre-election publicity restrictions, or ‘purdah’, apply to the Council’s publicity and its use of resources, they do not fetter candidates, Councillors other individuals or the press, who are free to campaign during a pre-election period.
RECOMMENDED to full Council
APPROVES the appointment of Councillor Glynis Watts
as a Trustee of the Whitehill and Bordon Community Trust Board,
following the resignation of Mr Tom Horwood;
NOTES the appointment by the Leader of Councillor
Julie Butler as Deputy Leader, in accordance with Article 6 of the
Constitution, effective from 22 January 2018; and
(3) NOTES the appointment by the Leader of Councillor Ben Bentley as Member Project Lead supporting the Customer Relations Portfolio Holder, in accordance with Council minute 12/5/2017 and effective from 1 February 2018.
Proposed by Councillor Mouland and seconded by Councillor Butler, it was
(1) Councillor Glynis Watts be appointed as a Trustee of the Whitehill and Bordon Community Trust Board, following the resignation of Mr Tom Horwood;
the appointment by the Leader of Councillor Julie
Butler as Deputy Leader be noted; and
(3) the appointment of Councillor Ben Bentley as Member Project Lead, supporting Councillor Julie Butler, be noted.
Budget Speech by the Finance Portfolio Holder
As Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor Cowper presented the annual Budget Speech to Council, focusing on the significant shift towards delivering services differently, through innovation, partnership working, selling services, investment and a crucial attitudinal change to local authority funding across the organisation. The Budget for 2018 was balanced and, going forward, the 5-year medium term financial strategy supported the Council’s aspiration to become free of both Revenue Support Grant and Council Tax.
Council and Council Tax Resolution
(B) Revenue and Capital Budget 2018/19 and Medium Term Financial Strategy to 2022/23
Councillor Cowper presented a report and recommendation setting out the Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and the Medium Term Financial Strategy to 2022/23.
Councillor David Evans, as Vice Chairman of the Governance, Audit and Scrutiny Committee reported that the Committee had held a workshop with the Chief Finance Officer and Executive Director.
Councillor Cowper took the opportunity to extend his gratitude to the Chief Finance Officer and her Team, and to the Chief Executive and Heads of Service, for the intensive effort by all to rigorously review all service budgets to facilitate a balanced budget for the forthcoming year.
Proposed by Councillor Cowper and seconded by Councillor Millard, it was
RESOLVED that the Council
approves the proposed Revenue and Capital Budgets for 2018/19, including a council Tax rate of £131.11 at Band D, representing a 0% increase on the current charge;
agrees the Treasury Management Strategy and Prudential Indicators; and
Notes the Cabinet decision of 8 February 2018 to apply during 18/19 a minimum increase of 1.5% to those fees and charges that are not otherwise constrained by statute, to be determined by the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder.
(The detailed Council Tax calculation is set out in the Annex to these minutes)
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 the voting on this item was recorded as follows:
For the Motion:
Councillor Brooks Jackson
Councillor D Evans
Councillor L Evans
Councillor A Glass
Councillor G Hill
Councillor M Johnson
Councillor A Joy
Councillor M Kendall
Councillor C Louisson
Councillor R Millard
Councillor R Mocatta
Councillor K Moon
Councillor B Mouland
Councillor T Muldoon
Councillor N Noble
Councillor D Phillips
Councillor L Pienaar
Councillor S Pond
Councillor R Saunders
Councillor S Schillemore
Councillor G Shepherd
Councillor M Smith
Councillor R Standish
Councillor I Thomas
Councillor E Tickell
Councillor G Watts
Councillor N Wren
Against the Motion:
Councillor D Orme
Councillor Y Parker Smith
Councillor A Waterhouse
Councillor A Williams
The Council to consider the following recommendation from the Cabinet at its meeting held on 8 February 2018.
RECOMMENDED to full Council that the Policy Statements as set out in paragraph 6.1 to 6.7 of the attached report be approved.
Councillor Cowper presented a report and recommendation to Council, setting out a draft policy for communications during periods of ‘Purdah’. The report clarified the Council’s mandatory obligations under the Local Government Act 1986 and, in particular, provided additional guidance on the application of the purdah obligations during elections not affecting East Hampshire District Council.
RESOLVED that Policy Statements 6.1 to 6.7 as set out in the report be approved.
Questions under Procedural Order 23.4 (a)
(Notice of questions from Councillors must be given in writing at least 48 hours before the meeting)
There were no questions under Standing Order 23.
Questions under Procedural Order 23.4(b)
(Questions from Councillors relating to urgent business, of which notice has not been given under Procedural Order 23.4(a), to be received at least two hours prior to the start the meeting).
There were no urgent questions.
To receive the minutes of the following Committees:
Licensing Sub-Committee – 5 January 2018
Planning Committee – 11 January 2018
Joint Environmental Services Committee – 24 January 2018
Community Forum, Whitehill and Bordon – 30 January 2018
Community Forum Alton, 6 February 2018
Cabinet, 8 February 2018
Planning Committee – 12 February
The minutes of Committees held since the last meeting of the Council were received.