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Contact: James Harris Deputy Democratic Services Team Leader
To receive any reports the Chairman wishes to make.
There were no announcements that the Chairman wished to make.
Apologies for Absence, Confirmation of Attendance and Declarations of Interest
To receive and record any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors Denton and Standish.
Confirmation of Previous Minutes
To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 14 January 2021.
Proposed by Cllr Moon and seconded by Cllr Ashcroft it was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 14 January 2021 be approved as a correct record.
To deal with any public questions notified no later than 12 noon three working days before the meeting and in accordance with the Council’s protocol for public questions.
Questions from members of the public received under Standing Order 27.5 were received and answered in turn by the respective Portfolio Holders. The list of public questions with the associated answers is attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes.
Cllr Louisson, Portfolio Holder for Finance, introduced the budget and took the opportunity to thank the work of officers during the past year and congratulate the S151 Officer and Finance Team in respect of the proposed budget which would deliver over £4m of targeted investment.
The budget had been built to support and deliver the corporate and supporting strategies, whilst also realising £788k of cost savings identified through the various budget challenge sessions with services.
In terms of Government funding, a further £1m would allow the Supporting Communities Fund to continue to 2025, a new £1m fund to support the delivery of the new Digital Strategy, a further £250k towards the Climate Fund, a further £1.25m to the Property Investment Fund and £1.31 for the Financial Stability Reserve.
A 2% Council Tax increase was proposed, which represented £2.68 per annum for a Band D property.
He believed that the budget demonstrated a commitment to supporting communities, investing in the regeneration of towns in the district, maintaining council assets and taking a lead on environmental issues.
Cllr Hunt delivered the speech on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Group. He thanked Cllr Louisson for the proposed budget but highlighted that many families were struggling in terms of their wellbeing and finances. Businesses had also suffered, and he thanked the council for the speed with which the Council had administered the various covid grants.
He referred to the amendments submitted by the Liberal Democrat Group, which sought to financially recompense town and parish councils which had supported residents and businesses during the pandemic. The amendments also aimed to reinvigorate footfall in town centres via a 30-minute free parking initiative and support the climate agenda with the appointment of a Climate Assistant to assist the Climate and Environment Lead.
Cllr Louisson thanked Cllr Hunt for his speech and in respect of town and parish councils believed that a number had very substantial reserves and were therefore well placed to withstand the hardship. In respect of Councl Tax, did enhance the scheme by more than would usually be required to take into account the hardships experienced.
Cllr Langley spoke on behalf of the Labour Group and thanked officers for their hard work during the year. She was thankful for the positive working relationship that the group had with the ruling party. She believed that the Council was doing the best that it could with what it had; however she did not believe that what it had was enough. Many residents continued to face hardship and rely upon charity. She didn’t believe that anybody should be worried about food, heat or shelter and that local government should be sufficiently funded to allow it to put forward a budget that put people and public services first to address poverty, debt, low wages and housing. She encouraged the Conservative group to lobby central government to guarantee funding for council services to ensure those most in need were supported.
In response to the budget speeches the Leader explained that ... view the full minutes text for item 70.
To consider the attached report together with any recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 23 February 2021.
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, a recorded vote will be taken on this item.
The recommendations in respect of the 2021-22 Revenue Budget, Capital Budget, Reserves and Balances, Capital Strategy, Treasury Management Strategy and Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) as included within the agenda were proposed by Cllr Louisson.
This proposal was duly seconded by Cllr Williams.
The Chairman advised that amendments to the proposed budget had been submitted by the Liberal Democrat group and considered by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 23 February 2021.
The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny, Cllr Dolan, presented the findings of the committee which had resolved not to support the amendments.
Cllr Hunt introduced and proposed the following three amendments, which had been included as part of the five amendments previously submitted:
1. To provide additional funding to help High Street businesses recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by enabling one hour of free parking per visit to Town Centres for a 6-month period starting when all businesses are allowed to open after covid19 restrictions;
2. To provide additional funding to employ an assistant to the Climate and Environment Officer; and
3. To pass down to Town and Parish Councils a share of central government financial help for covid-19 that has been received by East Hampshire District Council.
These amendments were duly seconded by Cllr Maroney.
Council debated the amendments. Members of the Liberal Democrat Group spoke in support of the amendments, however other members expressed concern that the financial detail or background data to substantiate them had not been submitted. Members believed that sufficient 30 minute free parking spaces existed within Alton and Petersfield and noted that the cost of funding the proposal would need to be spread across all council tax payers within the district, regardless of whether they owned a car.
Council support the response of the Chief Finance Officer which confirmed that an apprentice for The Climate and Environment Officer would be secured during the 2021/22 financial year and believed that this represented a good solution to the points raised by the Liberal Democrat group. It was also highlighted that the provision of officers was the responsibility of the Head of Paid Service.
In respect of Town and Parish Councils, Council noted the greater degree of flexibility that existed in respect of the level of their precepts and the level of reserves that many held.
Council voted on each of the three amendments put forward by the Liberal Democrat group in turn. Following the votes, the three amendments were declared LOST.
Following a debate, Council voted on the substantive motion as proposed by Cllr Louisson and seconded by Cllr Williams, it was RESOLVED that Council:
approves the proposed Revenue and Capital budgets for 2021-22
including a Council Tax rate of £136.41 at Band D,
representing a 2% increase on the current charge;
agrees the proposed Medium Term Financial Strategy, Capital
Strategy, Treasury Management Strategy and Prudential
c. agrees the Fees & Charges schedule for 2021/22; and
d. agrees the Council Tax Resolution at Appendix 3 of these minutes
In accordance with the Local Authorities ... view the full minutes text for item 71.
Recommendation arising from the meeting of the Cabinet held on 4 February 2021
(A) PUBLIC SPACE PROTECTION ORDER (DOGS) UNDER ANTI SOCIAL
BEHAVIOUR AND POLICE ACT 2014
Public Space Protection Order (Dogs) Under Anti-Social Behaviour and Police Act 2014
Proposed by Cllr Thomas and seconded by Cllr Moon it was RESOLVED that that the Council makes a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in relation to the control of dogs under the Anti-Social Behaviour and Police Act 2014.
(i) To include the following offences:
a. Person in charge of a dog must remove faeces deposited by that dog.
b. Failure to put the dog on a lead when requested to do so by an authorised officer.
c. Exclusion of dogs from fenced and gated play areas.
d. Dogs must be on a lead in East Hampshire District Council owned cemeteries.
(ii) That £100 fixed penalty notices are adopted to tackle offences disclosed; and
(iii) Authority be delegated to the Head of Service for Neighbourhood Support in consultation with the portfolio holder to carry out all necessary publicity required by virtue of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Public Space Protection Orders) regulations.
1) Councillor Hunt asked the Leader when litter picking would commence along the A31, as he understood that this would happen once the Brexit triage had been removed.
In reply, the Leader understood that this would be the case and that now the restrictions had been removed the littler picking would commence imminently.
2) Councillor Maroney asked Cllr Louisson what had happened to the £716k of surplus reported to members at the Budget Briefing and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee?
In reply, it was confirmed that a written response would be provided (Appendix 2 of these minutes).
3) Councillor Boxall asked Cllr Drew whether iPads would be issued to Councillors as previously indicated by the Leader when the climate emergency was declared?
In reply, Cllr Millard believed that this wasn’t specifically promised, however options would be looked at as part of transitioning to paperless. This was something which Cllr Drew was examining as part of his review of the service.
Cllr Drew confirmed that a number of aspects were being assessed as part of the review which included, security, cost and necessity. This piece of work was ongoing, and he confirmed that he would be happy to update further as the project progressed.
Recommended that the following appointments to the Planning Policy Committee be approved:
Chairman: Cllr Angela Glass
Vice-Chairman: Cllr Graham Hill
Cllr Keith Budden
Cllr David Evans
Cllr Bill Mouland
Cllr Sally Pond
Cllr Sara Schillemore
Cllr Anthony Williams
Cllr Steve Hunt
Cllr Elaine Woodard
Following a vote it was RESOLVED that the membership of the Planning Policy Committee comprise of the following Councillors:
Chairman: Cllr Angela Glass
V-C: Cllr David Evans
Cllr Keith Budden
Cllr Graham Hill
Cllr Malcolm Johnson
Cllr Charles Louisson
Cllr Sally Pond
Cllr Anthony Williams
Cllr Steve Hunt
Cllr Elaine Woodard
Questions under Procedural Order 27.4.1
To deal with any questions from Councillors submitted by 12 noon three working days before the meeting.
There were no questions received under Standing Order 27.4.1.
Questions under Procedural Order 27.4.2
To deal with any urgent questions received no less than two hours prior to the start of the meeting and in accordance with standing order 27.4.2.
There were no urgent questions received under Standing Order 27.4.2.
To receive the minutes of the following Committees held since the last meeting of the Council:
Cabinet – 10 December 2020
Cabinet – 14 January 2021
Proposed by Councillor Carew and seconded by Councillor Butler it was RESOLVED that the minutes of Committees held since the last meeting of the Council were received.