Agenda and minutes
Thursday, 16 July 2009 7:00 pm
Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Leigh Road, Eastleigh
Contact: Miranda Woolfenden, Senior Democratic Services Officer Tel: 023 8068 8460; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
was sad to report that the Council’s former Borough Secretary &
Solicitor, Neil Smith, died earlier in June after a year long battle against
cancer. His career at
The Mayor also reported that one of Hampshire’s Deputy
Lieutenants, Captain John Fairey, had died earlier in
the week in a light aircraft crash in
Members stood in silence as a mark of respect for both Neil Smith and Captain Fairey.
The Mayor was pleased to announce that a number of local people had been recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List: Mary Fagan, Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire was made a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order; Alex Marshall, Chief Constable of Hampshire, was honoured with the Queens Police Medal; and Helen Somerset How, who set up the Rainbow Centre, was awarded the MBE.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meetings held on 7 and 11 May 2009.
That the Minutes of the meetings held on 7 and 11 May be agreed as a correct record.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members were invited to declare interests in relation to items of business on the agenda. Any interests declared are recorded in the relevant minute below.
(i) Cabinet - 14 May 2009
CIP Schemes Approval (Minute 13)
(ii) Cabinet - 18 June 2009
CIP Schemes Approval (Minute 28)
(iii) Cabinet – 9 July 2009
(iv) Administration Committee – 22 June 2009
Community Governance Review – New Parish Councils in the Unparished Areas (Minute 58)
Community Governance Review – Hamble-Le-Rice, Hound and Bursledon Parish Boundaries (Minute 59)
(v) Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Panel – 13 May 2009
Crime and Disorder Overview and Scrutiny (Minute 93)
Consideration was given to the following Minutes:
(a) Cabinet – 14 May 2009
CIP Schemes Approval (Minute 13)
(b) Cabinet – 18 June 2009
CIP Schemes Approval (Minute 28)
(c) Cabinet – 9 July 2009
CIP – 4 Year Strategy – Schemes Approval (Minute 225)
Property Transactions Update (Minute 227)
With regard to approving the Prudential Indicators and borrowing under the Prudential Code (Cabinet Minute 227, 9 July 2009), an additional recommendation was tabled which proposed amending the authorised limit for external debt from £26million to £80 million; and the operational boundary for external debt from £24million to £78million.
(d) Administration Committee – 22 June 2009
Community Governance Review – New Parish Councils in the Unparished Areas (Minute 58)
Community Governance Review – Hamble-le-Rice, Hound and Bursledon Parish Boundaries (Minute 59)
(b) Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Panel – 13 May 2009
Crime and Disorder Overview and Scrutiny (Minute 93)
(1) That the Minutes contained in Minutes 13, 28, 225, 227, 59 and 93 be agreed; and
(2) That the borrowing limits be increased as per the tabled recommendation set out in (c) above.
(3) That in respect of Minute 58, the following be agreed:
(i) That Option 5 be approved as the boundary for the new parish council for the Allbrook area;
(ii) That the electoral arrangements for this new Parish Council be as set out in paragraphs 11 and 12 of the report, but with a membership of eight parish councillors;
(iii) That this new parish council be known as Allbrook Parish Council;
(iv) That the warding arrangements for the new parish council for the Chandler’s Ford, Hiltingbury and Velmore area as set out in Plan E and in paragraph 21 of the report be approved;
That the area shown on Plan E be
(vi) That the Head of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to make the necessary reorganisation orders to give effect to the above arrangements to be approved by Cabinet; and
(vii) That the Head of Legal and Democratic services be authorised to establish two appropriate parish council steering committees as detailed in paragraph 30 of the report.
was given to the report of the Area Co-ordinator for
That the formation and objectives of a new Mayor’s Charity and its registration with the Charity Commission as set out at in paragraphs 4 to 6 of the report be approved.
Council considered the following amended motion from Councillor Luffman:
“That this Council believes that as a matter of urgency Eastleigh Borough Councillors expenses should be published giving a full breakdown to show separately items such as car travel, rail travel, accommodation costs, meals and subsistence, etc. as the public have been very interested in exactly what has been claimed for by our MPs. There is an ongoing need to rebuild bridges with the electorate and show full openness and transparency and this is an opportunity for Eastleigh Borough Council to lead the way and prove that its Councillors have nothing to hide and are giving good value for taxpayers’ money.”
That the motion be adopted in the following amended form:
‘That this Council notes that Eastleigh Borough Councillors’ expenses are published alongside Councillors’ allowances to aid transparency and openness, and will look into providing greater detail on the breakdown of expenses for consideration at a future Council meeting.’
MOTION - FLUORIDATION CONSULTATION
Council considered the following motion from Councillor Irish:
“That this council, having regard to the public response to the Fluoridation consultation for this area, calls on the South Central Strategic Health Authority to hold a formal referendum on whether to fluoridate the water supply and to abide by the results.”
That the motion be adopted.
To receive statements, if any, by the Leader/Cabinet Councillors on Cabinet matters and to deal with any related questions.
Councillor Mrs Fraser, Cabinet Member for
Health, reported on the Council’s role in tackling childhood obesity
rates. She referred to the number of
free activities offered by the Council including the MEND course which took
Councillor Mrs Fraser also referred to the Healthy Community Team and Area Co-ordinators’ presence at the recent Music Festival and Mela. The stands had been very interactive and generated very positive feedback. She thanked staff for their work in making the presence of the Council much more visible and for raising greater awareness of work that the Council was doing. In particular, the STAR (Start Tackling Alcohol Responsibly) project had received excellent publicity, and residents had indicated that they would like to see this rolled out to all areas. The evaluation of the current STAR project was progressing well and its roll out was programmed to go to two other areas in the next year.
The mobile skate ramp was a great success at a Young Carers Event held at Fairthorne which included Team Extreme. The Council was also developing more ways of working with Fairthorne Although the Council did not win the Municipal Journal top award for getting more people active, the Council were runners up.
Councillor Airey, Cabinet Member for Transport
and Streetscene, advised that
The extension of the hospital taxi service, now to be known as the
Medical Taxi Service, took place from 1st June in all areas except
for BHH. All services were now under
contract to A2B and there had been very positive feedback to date.
Work on the improvements and pedestrian refuge
at the junction of
The Transportation and Engineering Unit was involved in designing and
implementing, on behalf of Hound Parish Council, the recently completed
enhancement work at The Hard, Netley Abbey by the
entrance to the
New cigarette bins by the bus station were proving successful and were
planned to be rolled out to other key locations in
Councillor Winstanley, Cabinet Member for Social Policy, congratulated the Asian Welfare and Cultural Association for the key part they played in making the Music Festival, and in particular, the Mela, such a success. She was pleased that £38,000 had been received from the Government’s Repossession Prevention Fund to enable local authorities to give small loans to families at risk of homelessness through repossession or eviction, which may be occurring more as a result of the recession. This was in addition to monies received since 2003 for homelessness prevention. As the money would be used for loans rather than grants, as repayments were made the money could be recycled to provide further loans and so help could be provided to more people. The fund could be used with both mortgage arrears and rent arrears, and in respect of both private and social landlords. Help should be for households who had come into mortgage or rent arrears due to reduced income from loss of employment or reduced working hours and who did not have previous history of high arrears. Recipients would also need to act on money and debt advice to resolve their problems.
Broadhurst, Cabinet Member for Leisure, reported that the
Broadhurst reported on the success of Team Eastleigh at the recent Hampshire
The Park Sport brochure, which detailed the many free sporting activities being provided over the school summer holidays, had now been published. Councillor Broadhurst commended the generosity of the sponsors who made the event possible and thanked the Sports and Active Lifestyles team for all their hard work and efforts in bringing this to fruition.
Councillor Broadhurst advised that Gregory Nash, Director at The Point, would be leaving in the next few months to take up another post. Gregory had put The Point on the international scene and had offered a varied and exciting programme of events during his tenure. He would be greatly missed and a hard act to follow. Councillor Broadhurst wished him well with his new post, and demonstrated the ever increasing reach of The Point by showing its inclusion in a recent national publication as an example of good and creative practice.
The Music Festival had again received a very positive response despite the inclement weather, and a number of traders present there this year had indicated that they would like to return next year. He thanked all the staff and the Asian Welfare and Cultural Association who were involved in organising the event and for their presence over the weekend. In concluding, he was pleased to see first-hand how well the Recreation Ground had been cleared up over the last few days.
Councillor Bloom, Cabinet Member for Environment, advised that the kitchen waste scheme had now been rolled out to all areas of the borough with the exception of some blocks of flats which were now being addressed. The waste collected was now being taken to Otterbourne (rather than Dorset) and being compacted there. Such waste would now be put in compostable corn starch bags or wrapped in newspaper/brown paper. The Council’s new glass vehicle had now arrived and, by the end of July, all parts of the borough, including flats, would have their glass collected.
supervisors were now working split shifts at the Depot so that calls and
queries in the latter part of the afternoon could be answered. The Recycling Team were attending a number of
local events including recycling week at
reported on the successes and good feedback in respect of the Fair Trade and
Environmental Health stands at the Music Festival – for Environmental Health staff
it was their first time there. On 26
August the second ‘Dog Fun Day’ was taking place at
The Countryside Team
were entering discussions with a company to provide a ‘Go Ape’ aerial runway
Councillor House, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, reported on the Cabinet’s approval in March to the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to purchase vacant housing stock and provide guarantees on land values to enable housing developments to proceed. The SPV, a separate legal entity to the Council, was required as, following the transfer of the housing stock to the housing associations (LSVT), the Council was no longer a housing authority and could not directly purchase housing stock without re-opening the Housing Revenue Account. The Council would lend the money to the SPV to purchase houses on selected sites which would then be let at intermediate or market rents with the option for tenants to buy the houses when the market conditions were more favourable. The basic legal structure had been established and Counsel’s opinion in June 2009 advised to seek the Secretary of State’s approval. GOSE had now cleared the proposal and, following the recent meeting with financial and legal advisers, the document was now being finalised. Discussions had been held with both Bovis and Barratts and the Council awaited the identification of specific properties from them. Discussions were underway with a number of Managing Agents including housing associations who would manage and maintain the properties.
also advised on the Council’s recent action to ensure that that plans to
transform The Rose Bowl at
In response to questions, Councillor House confirmed that other Councils were welcome to talk to the Borough Council about the approach taken with the Rose Bowl development, and that the matter had been considered fully by the Resources Scrutiny Panel. The arrangement posed an acceptable risk, was part of the Council’s asset management strategy, met regeneration objectives and reflected the Council’s Local Plan. Members would be kept up to date, particularly when each milestone had been achieved. In respect of the SPV, Councillor House advised that this project was at a very early stage but would again keep Members up to date.
To deal with questions from Members to the Leader and Cabinet Councillors on Cabinet decisions, performance and strategy. (Written notice of questions to be given to Democratic Services or Assistant Head of Legal and Democratic Services by noon on 14 July 2009.)
(1) Councillor Norgate asked the following question of Councillor Winstanley:
“The Cabinet member has been given executive powers to negotiate money from Eastleigh Borough Council with housing associations.
· Can she give an update on what stage the negotiations are at, which housing associations are involved, and the amount of money that is on the table for negotiation?
· Some of the housing associations are registered under a number of different company names. Can she clarify which housing associations use different names, what these names are, and whether each company is a charity, a non-profit making organisation, a provident society or a profit making organisation?
· Who regulates and audits each of the companies making up each housing association and are they registered with the FSA rather than the charity commission or provident society?”
Councillor Winstanley replied that she was not clear which decision of Cabinet/Council was being referred to, and also did not believe that she had been given power to personally negotiate with housing associations. This was left to the Council’s officers who had the relevant expertise. Councillor Winstanley confirmed that officers did consult her when any negotiations were in hand to help guide their responses. She confirmed that she had been given executive powers to approve the results of negotiations and allocation of funds to housing associations from time to time to enable a development to take place where the housing association had a shortfall in the grant offered by the Housing Corporation, now HCA, for the funds required. Where such executive powers were used, it was always reported to the next Cabinet meeting as part of the CIP report. Councillor Winstanley gave examples of past allocations. Total capital sums available to spend on housing came from three sources – the remainder of the LSVT receipt, RTB receipts and commuted sums from other developments. As well as subsidy for housing association developments this capital had to fund the DFG grants made every year. It had been agreed that there would be a plan to use the LSVT receipt over a number of years to help provide additional social housing. As at 31 May there was just over £7.1million available. Consideration was also being given to using some of these funds to joint fund extensions to existing housing association properties for overcrowded tenants with a 5 or more bed need. A request to allocate funds for this will be presented to Cabinet shortly.
Councillor Winstanley then ran through each of the housing associations, their constitutions and their regulation and audit arrangements.
(2) Councillor Norgate asked the following question of Councillor House:
“At our budget setting meeting on 23rd February 2009, the Leader informed Councillors that £290,000 has been spent defending our property interests in Hedge End at Wildern Mill and that this is a still unresolved conflict. Can the Leader give an update on whether any more money has been spent on this unresolved conflict, what provision has been accrued in the Council’s accounts to further progress the conflict, and at what stage this unresolved conflict is at?”
Councillor House replied that £8000 had been spent since the March Cabinet report was considered. The final accounts include a note of contingent liability of £100k. A hearing was likely to be held in October.
(3) Councillor Norgate asked the following question of Councillor Winstanley:
“Can the Cabinet member advise how many housing association properties there are in the Borough for people under 60 years of age with disabilities and what the average waiting time is for that group of people? Does she agree there is a need to review this age limit in order to provide this group of people with an opportunity for suitable housing?”
Councillor Winstanley replied that it depended on what was meant by disabilities and whether Councillor Norgate was referring to purpose built properties or adapted ones as well. There had been several purpose built for wheelchair users on recent developments and the Council always sought to include some in larger schemes during negotiations. There were two at the Church of the Resurrection, a couple on the Pirelli site, one on The Meadows, two at Portal Road and there would be some on Velmore, Bodmin Road and one on the garage asset management site proposed for redevelopment. The Council agreed a policy a year ago of trying to provide 3% properties suitable for wheelchair users on new housing schemes.
There were also many properties both private and social rented which had been adapted through DFG for someone with a disability. Neither the housing associations nor the Council had the numbers for these, split between all ages and over-60s. Staff had researched numbers of social rented properties which have had work carried out with a DFG and looked at a sample to see the proportion for over 60s. Since 1991, the Council had funded DFG’s for 388 Atlantic properties but would need to investigate ages. Councillor Winstanley advised that, if Councillor Norgate wanted more exact details of numbers of properties suitable for tenants with disabilities, he would need to discuss with the Housing and Environmental Health Unit exactly what information he wanted and what information staff could obtain. Where a property purpose built for a wheelchair user was vacant it was pre-allocated to someone on the register who needed it. Where a property had had major adaptations fitted was vacant these would be mentioned in a Homechoice advert with a statement that priority would be given to people requiring these adaptations. But when someone with a wheelchair need was in the urgent band on the Homechoice register, the Council would assist them by identifying a vacant property that could be adapted funded by DFG. Looking at 4 lettings in the past year to those with wheelchair need in the urgent band, they were housed in an average of 10 weeks. This was very marginally better than the average urgent band waits. Housing did a similar check several years ago and again found that wheelchair users had a waiting time much the same as others in the same band. So Councillor Winstanley could not agree that there was a need to review age limits on lettings of certain properties for applicants. The age limits were set by the social landlords rather than the Council. Presumably he was considering bungalows that First Wessex restricted to over-60s. Their fear was that if this was relaxed the exemption from RTB could be challenged. If such a challenge was successful it would apply to not just that property but all similar homes on the estate. Again Councillor Norgate would need to discuss with the Housing Services Unit exactly what he needed to know.
(4) Councillor Norgate asked the following question of Councillor House:
“Would the Leader of the Council make a statement about the Audit Commission’s report highlighting the areas that have been identified as poor performance? What recommendations will he be presenting that will improve our standards?”
Councillor House advised that the Audit Commission did not highlight any areas of poor performance so there was no statement to make.
(5) Councillor Norgate asked the following question of Councillor Winstanley:
“Covering the last financial year would the Cabinet member report the lost revenue on empty properties and also give us the figure of how many housing association dwellings have laid idle and for how long?”
Councillor Winstanley replied that it was uncertain exactly what information Councillor Norgate required. In terms of lost revenue did he mean Council Tax and/or anything else? Additionally was he referring to empty properties or just housing association properties? Empty properties were 0-rated for 6 months and after that at 10% reduction (was 50% before April 2004). The Revenue and Benefits Unit had numbers of all properties exempt from Council Tax which came under 23 classes, covering a variety of circumstances which were occupied and unoccupied - empty in the first 6 months, solely student occupied, following death of occupant until grant of probate. Councillor Winstanley had information on numbers of housing association properties which had been vacant for 6 months or more as this was included in data given to PSH each summer for their work on empty properties. The Council had been given estimates of monthly loss of Council Tax for these empty RSL properties, assuming average B/C Band. These were: 2007 - £11K p.m; 2008 - £19K p.m; and 2009 - £16K p.m. The numbers were as follows:
These properties had been empty for 6 months or longer. All information had been gathered from Council Tax. The vast majority of these were awaiting demolition prior to redevelopment which will result in much better properties when completed. The Council had talked to RSLs about doing short term lets on these empty properties, but there could be problems with level of repairs, redecoration and safety checks needed.
(6) Councillor Norgate asked the following question of Councillor House:
“Can the Cabinet member confirm that a remembrance service will take place this year at Royal Victoria Park bearing in mind the historic military importance of this venue?”
Councillor House replied ‘no’.
(7) Councillor Luffman will ask the following question to Councillor House:
“Can the Cabinet member give an update on the
Councillor House advised that the Hampshire County Council Environment
Department and Engineers were now engaged in detailed work on the
(8) Councillor Norgate asked the following question of Councillor Broadhurst:
“Could the Cabinet member confirm the reported overspend on The Point and what the correct figure is? Are there likely to be any more unexpected costs added to this figure as the project seems to be poorly managed? Where will the money come from to cover this overspend and what projects are likely to be put back because of this? Can he explain, bearing in mind his electrical background, how the power sub station came to be missed out of the original costs?”
Councillor Broadhurst replied that the project remained within the 10% tolerance
limit. At the June Cabinet meeting
provision had been made for it to go up to that limit. Unfortunately the gas main was not where it
was originally thought to be and this had had cost implications. Southern Electric had insisted that the
Council move the power supply to the
(9) Councillor Norgate asked the following question of Councillor Broadhurst:
“Can the Cabinet member explain why the work required on the Bishopstoke
Road Playing Fields was not done at the time of redevelopment of the Hub? Was
this another poorly managed project where the money for the fields was used for
the overspend of the Hub development? Can he confirm the reported amount of
overspend and give us more details why ELAC taxpayers now need to pick up a
substantial amount of money over a number of years to maintain the grounds to
the minimum standard so we comply with our licence? This is going to have a direct impact on the amount
of Council Tax paid by the non-parished area of
Councillor Broadhurst advised that Councillor Norgate had already received lengthy replies from the Active Lifestyles Manager and Nick Tustian on this matter. In short, there was not an overspend at The Hub. Officers had come to an indicative figure and the project had come in on budget after consultation with the clubs. Funds had originally been set aside for improvements where the tennis courts now were. There had been many ongoing repairs here, and there was a lot of land of strategic importance in this area. As such there had been more use of central funds rather than those of the Local Area Committee’s, where only a small amount of funds had come from. A one-off sum had been allocated this year.
That the Minutes of the following meetings be received:
Cabinet – Thursday 14 May, Thursday 18 June, Thursday 25 June and Thursday 9 July 2009
Audit and Risk Management Committee – Tuesday 23 June 2009
Administration Committee – Monday 22 June 2009
Standards Committee – Monday 29 June 2009
Resources Scrutiny Panel – Thursday 11 June, Wednesday 24 June and Tuesday 7 July 2009
Environment Scrutiny Panel – Thursday 25 June 2009
Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Panel – Wednesday 13 May 2009
Prosperity Scrutiny Panel – Tuesday 19 May 2009
Bursledon, Hamble-le-Rice and Hound Local Area Committee – Thursday 21 May and Thursday 2 July 2009
Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath Local Area Committee – Wednesday 20 May and Wednesday 1 July 2009
(NOTES: An amended version of the Cabinet Minutes for 25 June 2009 were tabled. (1) This included an additional note and the correct reason for Councillor Olson’s declaration of interest. This version would be the version that would appear in the signed minute book; and (2) It was noted that Councillor Kyrle was also present at this meeting and declared an interest in the Rose Bowl item as he had received hospitality from them in the past).