Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday, 7th November, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX

Contact: James Harris  Deputy Democratic Services Team Leader - 01730 234098

Items
No. Item

42.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any reports the Chairman wishes to make.

Minutes:

The Chairman thanked all those who had attended his comedy night held on 26 October and encouraged all Councillors to read the LGA Guidance on Purdah.

43.

Apologies for Absence

To receive and record any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr D Tennyson.

                                               

44.

Declarations of Interest

To receive and record any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

45.

Confirmation of Previous Minutes

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 September 2019, previously circulated.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 19 September 2019 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

46.

Public Questions (Standing Order 13.4(e) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To deal with any public questions notified at least two clear working days before the meeting and in accordance with the Council’s protocol for public questions.

 

http://easthants.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s9789/ProtocolforPublicQuestionsatEHDCCouncilSept2018.docx.pdf

Minutes:

The following public questions were received and published on the Council’s website.

1. Question from Mr G Ford to Cllr Millard, Leader

 

‘The Council is due to deliver several key strategies before the end of the year, including a new Corporate Strategy, Energy Strategy, and Climate and Environment Strategy.  What measures are the Council taking to ascertain and include residents’ priorities in the development of these strategies and what are the plans for public consultation while these documents are at draft stage?’

 

In reply, Cllr Millard confirmed that a number of strategies were being developed, including the Welfare Strategy.  There were a number of opportunities for engagement, including the Council’s ‘Let’s Talk’ events, the Residents’ Survey and engagement with Councillors.  In turn, it was expected that District Councillors would cascade information to Town and Parish Councils for wider dissemination to communities.  Once the outline proposals had been drafted, additional opportunities for residents to comment and input could include Partners magazine and the Council’s website.

 

 

2. Question from Ms A Gabriel to Cllr Butler

 

‘After the declaration of a Climate Emergency in July, the Council created two climate panels (The Climate and Environment Liaison Panel and the Climate and Environment Funding and Lobbying Liaison Panel) to advise on immediate, medium and longer-term actions to make EHDC compliant with national carbon reduction targets, and advise on local and national best practice, among other things.  The panels were designed to give “wider engagement, transparency and member involvement” in decisions in this area. EHDC’s constitution also requires decisions to be taken transparently, and to support accountability to and involvement of residents and other interested stakeholders. The EHDC Code of Conduct for Councillors requires those serving on sub-committees and cabinet panels to put the interests of residents first, to listen to all parties, take all relevant information into consideration, to be accountable, to contribute to making the Council's decisions as open and transparent as possible, and to restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands. 

 

In light of these aspirations on transparency and inclusiveness, will the chair of the climate panels commit to (1) make the panels’ minutes and other working documents public and (2) invite residents and other stakeholders to

join the panels?’

 

In reply, Cllr Butler clarified that the Cabinet Liaison Panels referred to were cross-party groups established to advise her on decisions.  Part of the Council resolution in July 2019 agreed that a full report, presented by the Climate Change Champion, would be considered by Council by April 2020.  This report would be public and contain all of the information required to allow a full debate on the matter.  The panels were at an early stage and were currently setting priorities.  There would be a number of opportunities for the public to engage and the Climate Change Champion, aided by Cllr Oppenheimer had already attended a number of events and visited a number of groups.

 

3. Question from Ms C Cockburn to Cllr Mocatta

 

The climate liaison panels were created  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

Appointment of the S151 Officer pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Minutes:

Cllr Carter, Chairman of the Joint Human Resources Committee introduced the report.

 

Proposed by Cllr Williams and Seconded by Cllr Hill, Council RESOLVED to:

 

(i)         Ratify the appointment of Lydia Morrison (Director – Corporate Services and Chief Finance Officer) to the statutory post of S151 Officer; and

 

(ii)        Link the post of Chief Finance Officer (S151) to the Director of Corporate Services post.

 

Lydia Morrison, Director of Corporate Services, rejoined the meeting.

48.

Constitution Update pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Drew, Chairman of the Joint Constitution Sub-Committee introduced the report and highlighted that any recommendations would always be considered by Full Council.  The Monitoring Officer confirmed that the second meeting of the sub-committee proposed to be held on 13 December 2019 would be delayed due to the Parliamentary Election.

 

Proposed by Cllr Hunt and Seconded by Cllr May, Council RESOLVED to NOTE the contents of the report.

49.

Portfolio Holder Reports to Council pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman invited members of the Council to put questions to the Cabinet Portfolio Holders in connection with their published reports.

 

(1)          Cllr Davies to Councillor Millard. With regard to the waste contract with NORSE, could the Leader confirm whether this had been the most successful roll-out since the introduction of kerbside glass collection?

Cllr Millard confirmed that in the past 13 years he had been involved in the implementation of three waste collection contracts and that the implementation of the current contract with NORSE had been the most successful.  Any initial teething problems had been resolved and five weeks into the contract the collection rate was 98.5%.

(2)          Cllr Evans to Councillor Butler.  Cllr Evans had found the recent briefing on Homelessness very useful.  When his wife had been Chairman her Civic Event had been an all-day seminar on homelessness. It had been attended by Chairmen and Mayors from across Hampshire who had heard from Two Saints, Radian and others about the types of housing problems that they dealt with on a daily basis. Gaining this insight was very helpful when considering policy, therefore he asked whether it would be possible to arrange a similar event for members?

In response, Cllr Butler agreed that the seminar had been very useful, and that Councillors would gain further insight into the topic if others were held.

 

(3)          Cllr Woodard to Cllr Millard.  Cllr Woodard was pleased that the tree planting project was underway, however she had concerns about the number of trees being lost due to Ash Dieback. She also understood that it would take four replacement trees of a different species to create the same level of biodiversity provided by one Ash tree. Could the Council undertake a survey on the trees lost to this disease in order to ensure a net gain of 120k trees?

In response, Cllr Millard agreed to liaise with Cllr Drew to look into the points raised.

(4)          Cllr Denton to Cllr Millard.  In respect of the 98.5% waste collection rate referred to in question 1, could the actual number of missed bins be provided?

In response Cllr Millard confirmed that during the past week less than 100 bins had been missed.  The new contract operated with a very effective monitoring system to address and rectify any missed collections.

(5)          Cllr May to Cllr Glass.  In respect of the Local Plan Large Sites Consultation events, had the attendance at the Alton session been representative of the others held?

 

In reply, Cllr Glass confirmed that it had been and commended officers on organising the sessions.  A lot of work had been undertaken to ensure that the plan would be compliant at examination and feedback received following the sessions had been very positive.

(6)          Cllr Cowper to Cllr Costigan. Could the recent press item by Cllr Maroney on using the former Metro Inns site on the A3 in Liphook for homeless accommodation be commented upon?

In reply, Cllr Costigan confirmed that this had been considered as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Questions under Procedural Order 23.4(a) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To deal with any questions from Councillors received at least 48 hours before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 23.4(a).

Minutes:

The following questions had been received in accordance with Standing Order 23:

 

(i)        Cllr Langley to Cllr Moon - High Street and Small Business Support. I would like to ask you directly what you are doing in order to support existing small businesses in Alton?

 

In reply, Cllr Moon confirmed that small businesses across East Hampshire had access to the small business rate relief and hardship rate relief, both of which were utilised by businesses in Alton.

 

(ii)       Cllr Langley to Cllr Moon - What strategies are in place to stop small shops from going under and will help to build the thriving independent High Street that Alton needs in order to attract the visitors your policy seems to think will come?

 

Cllr Moon explained that a two-year business development programme jointly funded by Alton Town Council and EHDC had concluded in December 2018, with footfall increasing due to tourism initiatives and the high street being shortlisted for the Great British High Street Awards. The new Enhance East Hants programme would work with Alton Town Council to help realise its main aspirations for the town centre. 

 

EHDC's apprenticeship scheme currently supported 16 apprentices in small businesses, five of whom were based in businesses in Alton.    

 

EHDC worked in conjunction with other organisations to provide advice and support to small businesses including Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hubs, The Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses. It had encouraged a Google Digital Garage Day in Alton to support improved digital skills and encourage online trading where appropriate amongst small businesses, which was attended by over 100 people.

 

(iii)      Cllr Langley to Cllr Butler - Alton Community Centre/Coors Site, I would like to ask you why you have cut funding for Alton community centre?

 

In response Cllr Butler explained that in 2018/19 EHDC underwent a comprehensive grants review, visiting all of the organisations which received funding previously from EHDC. In April 2019 EHDC launched a new grants regime, the Supporting Communities Grant where all organisations could apply, and indeed Alton Community Association did apply for funding. The Council had received 75 applications totalling over £1.3 million for this funding and unfortunately Alton Community Association were not successful.  Many good applications had been received and all decisions had been based on specific criteria and an all party Cabinet Liaison Panel had been established to make the final recommendations. Through the Council’s contract with Community First they were assisting those organisations who were not successful in this funding to find other sources of funding and how to improve the applications going forward.

 

(iv)      Cllr Langley to Cllr Costigan - With regards to the fire safety work carried out at the Alton Community Centre - surely it would have been a good use of council resources to fund improvements to this building fully and not just under the terms of the lease?

 

In reply Cllr Costigan confirmed that at the time of the Fire Safety works in 2018, there had been a community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Questions under Procedural Order 23.4(b)

To deal with any urgent questions received in accordance with standing order 23.4(b).

Minutes:

No Urgent Questions under Procedural Order 23.4(b) had been submitted.

 

 

                                               

52.

Motions Received under Procedural Order 14.1 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

The Council to debate the attached Motion, received in accordance with standing order 14.1, proposed by Councillor Dolan and seconded by Councillor Langley.

Minutes:

Councillor Dolan proposed the following Motion to Council, seconded by Councillor Langley:

 

‘This Council resolves:

 

(i)         To invite Hampshire County Council to require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people.  The leader of EHDC, Cllr Millard, will share this motion with them;

 

(ii)        to actively promote a public awareness campaign via social media and other ‘Let’s Talk’ opportunities about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks - and ensure there is a budget for this prior to November 2020; 

 

(iii)       that the Leader of EHDC, Cllr Millard, write to the UK Government urging them to introduce legislation to limitthe maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays.  A suggested draft letter can be found at Appendix 1; and

 

(iv)       to share this information with the local suppliers of fireworks to encourage them to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.’

 

Council debated the Motion and was supportive of its aims.  However, a number of Councillors felt unable to support it as drafted because they did not believe that it was suitably worded to provide the desired result.

 

The Chairman adjourned this item, to allow a suitably worded amendment to the motion to be drafted and considered at the next Council meeting.

 

 

 

                                               

53.

Committee Minutes

To receive the minutes of the following Committees held since the last meeting of the Council: (all previously circulated):

 

Cabinet – 5 September 2019

Overview & Scrutiny Committee – 10 September 2019

Planning Committee – 12 September 2019

Joint Environmental Services Committee – 17 September 2019

Joint Human Resources Committee – 18 September 2019

Planning Committee 3 October 2019

Standards Committee – 10 October 2019

Joint Human Resources Committee – 16 October 2019

Cabinet – 17 October 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of committees held since the last meeting of the Council be received.