Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Tuesday, 29th September, 2020 10.30 am

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Members Services: Email: members.services@hants.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

201.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

All Members were present and no apologies were noted

202.

Declarations of interest

All Members who believe they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting must declare that interest and, having regard to Part 3 Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members’ Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code.  Furthermore all Members with a Personal Interest in a matter being considered at the meeting should consider, having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 4 of the Code, whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 5 of the Code, consider whether it is appropriate to leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.

Minutes:

Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter considered at the meeting they must declare that interest at the time of the relevant debate and, having regard to the circumstances described in Part 3, Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code. Furthermore Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Personal interest in a matter being considered at the meeting they considered whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 5 of the Code, considered whether it was appropriate to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.

 

Councillor Woodward declared a personal interest in the Changes to the Planning System, Major Developments and Infrastructure Funding and the M27 Junction 10 Scheme Update items by virtue of being Leader of Fareham Borough Council. With regards to the latter, he indicated his intention to respond to any Cabinet Members’ questions at the beginning of the item and then leave the meeting.

 

Councillor Heron declared a personal interest in the Changes to the Planning System, Major Developments and Infrastructure Funding and Waterside Vision items. 

203.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and agreed.

204.

Deputations

To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.

Minutes:

A deputation was received from Anne Stephenson, representing the Hampshire Climate Action Network, with regard to the “Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2025”. Ms Stephenson welcomed the work that had been undertaken to prepare the action plan and noting the expertise within her organisation, highlighted a willingness to provide a link between the County Council and local people. She questioned why not all of the suggestions arising from the stakeholder forum had been included and highlighted the need to develop the action plan further with timescales and estimated costs and savings to guide prioritisation.

 

A deputation was received from Sarah Gooding, representing Winchester Action on Climate Change, with regard to the “Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2025”. Ms Gooding welcomed the commitment from the County Council to the climate change programme and noted the high attendance at the August stakeholder event, although had hoped for more analysis of the community proposals set out in appendix three. She suggested that the action plan needed more work to link it to the climate change strategy, to make it quantifiable and for actions to be prioritised according to carbon savings and cost.

 

The Leader thanked both of the deputees for their contribution.

205.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.

Minutes:

The Chairman highlighted the ongoing objective of reducing the spread of the virus, which could be achieved by supporting each other. The need for greater testing and laboratory capacity was recognised as essential to monitoring and isolating the spread. It was anticipated that home working would largely continue for many people and the risks of social isolation were recognised. The successful reopening of schools was welcomed and it was noted that attendance in Hampshire had been above the national average.

206.

A Progress Report of The County Council’s Response to the COVID-19 Crisis pdf icon PDF 627 KB

To consider a report of the Chief Executive regarding the County Council’s continuing responses to and process (and leadership) of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Executive regarding the County Council’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

 

At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillor Keith House addressed Cabinet. Councillor House thanked all involved for the work that had been done to keep the country and the county running. He noted that most areas were back to business as usual, with some residual issues relating to phone access. In light of possible future restrictions, Councillor House hoped that decision making would be consistent and well communicated to avoid confusion and help to ensure a positive path to recovery.

 

The Chief Executive introduced the report, highlighting public health responsibilities and the outbreak control functions. It was noted that rates of infection in Hampshire were rising but still relatively low and that across the country there was a significant range. The current position of testing capacity was drawn to Cabinet’s attention and recent decisions regarding fairs in Hampshire were set out. It was confirmed that the County Council was working closely with District colleagues to ensure that events that did go ahead complied with their mitigation commitments. With reference to the report, other key developments across the Council were highlighted and it was noted that although the phone lines did not have their original capacity, there was a robust system of service delivery in place through a variety of contact methods.

 

Cabinet welcomed the report and recognised that a highly efficient service continued to be offered despite the difficulties that were being faced. The possibility of improving testing with a rapid result option was discussed and it was noted that all testing provision was currently limited by laboratory capacity.

 

Members wished to emphasise the ongoing importance of social distancing and the actions that everyone could continue to take to prevent wider spread and infection. A particular strength of the County Council’s in-house adult care provision being able to take people out of hospital safely, avoiding onwards transmission was highlighted and welcomed.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were considered and agreed. A

decision record is attached to these minutes.

207.

Financial Update pdf icon PDF 290 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Corporate Resources providing an update on the Council’s financial position.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Corporate Resources providing an update on the financial position of the County Council.

 

With the agreement of the Chairman, Councillor House addressed Cabinet. He recognised that it appeared unlikely that the Government would now reimburse the full financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore the situation would remain very difficult. The possibility of another lockdown, with potential additional financial pressures, was recognised and the importance of local government emphasising its position as a key driver of response and recovery was highlighted.

 

The report was introduced and a number of key areas drawn to Cabinet’s attention. It was noted that concerns about medium term sustainability already existed when the budget was agreed in February. There was now a strong likelihood of a single year financial settlement from government, which may not take the significant levels of inflation in service delivery into account. The Covid-19 crisis had exacerbated existing pressures through the unexpected extension of services, loss of income and increase in demand. There had furthermore been delays to saving expected under T21 as a number of programmes had been paused. The losses and other financial impacts set out in the report were outlined and the urgent need for proper compensation was emphasised. It was confirmed that the scenarios set out did not include the potential for further lockdown.

 

Members welcomed the comprehensive and unambiguous nature of the report and acknowledged the position it set out. It was clarified that government reporting requirements were very specific to ensure that a consistent comparison between areas could be achieved.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were considered and agreed. A

decision record is attached to these minutes.

208.

Adults’ Health and Care – Year 2 Strategy Progress pdf icon PDF 526 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Adults’ Health and Care providing Cabinet with an update on the continued progress made by Adults’ Health and Care over 2019/20 (the 2nd year) in relation to the Departmental Vision and 5 Year Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Adults’ Health and Care providing Cabinet with an update on the continued progress made by Adults’ Health and Care over 2019/20 (the 2nd year) in relation to the Departmental Vision and 5 Year Strategy.

 

The report was introduced and it was confirmed that the three core priorities continued to provide a strong basis. Despite the challenges of recent months, service provision and relationships with partners remained strong and reliable.

 

Members welcomed the report and noted that all of the measures to achieve savings were also focussed on improving the quality of life for residents.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were considered and agreed. A

decision record is attached to these minutes.

 

209.

Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2025 pdf icon PDF 246 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment presenting the Hampshire County Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2025.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment presenting the Hampshire County Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2025.

 

The report was set out and a number of key points were highlighted. It was confirmed that work was being carried out with the Carbon Trust to establish a baseline and the potential carbon savings hadn’t been calculated for each individual action because of the complexity and resources required to do so. Decision making tools were also being developed with the Carbon Trust to allow the impact of decisions on climate change to be understood and taken into account. The Plan was structured around the Climate Change Strategy, on the basis of its overarching areas, but was only to 2025 to allow flexibility and responsiveness. Many of the actions within the Plan could not be progressed within the County Council’s budget and the ability to deliver was dependent on government funding. With regard to the specific proposed action of investing the Hampshire Pension Fund in the green economy, it was clarified that this would require a decision of the Pension Fund Panel and not Full Council.

 

At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillor Warwick addressed the meeting, highlighting the three components of strategy, plan and framework. She emphasised the value of community engagement in the process and suggested that a similar event could be held for parish and town Councils. Councillor Warwick noted the importance of the work with the Carbon Trust and praised the efforts of the team in reaching this stage.

 

Cabinet noted the guiding principle of “avoid, replace, reduce, offset” and were supportive of putting the County Council in the best possible position to bid for any government funding that became available, whilst also encouraging businesses and individuals to become more sustainable. It was recognised that the Action Plan was a live document, which could be reviewed and incorporate new opportunities that arose. The high level of positive community engagement and input, through both the stakeholder event and through the deputations that had been received was welcomed. It was acknowledged that there was much more to do, but agreed that a strong starting position had been reached and that by embracing a realistic approach to change, genuine progress would be achieved. 

 

The recommendations set out in the report were considered and agreed. A

decision record is attached to these minutes.

210.

Changes to the Planning System, Major Developments and Infrastructure Funding pdf icon PDF 530 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment updating Cabinet on changes to the Planning System, Major Developments and Infrastructure Funding.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

[Councillor Woodward declared a personal interest as Leader of a District Council. Councillor Heron declared a personal interest as both a planning consultant and a member of a District Council]

 

Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment updating Cabinet on changes to the Planning System, Major Developments and Infrastructure Funding.

 

At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillor House addressed Cabinet. He welcomed the report and highlighted a number of points regarding the dual planning and housing responsibilities of District councils. It was suggested that housing allocations would be better decided locally or regionally within a wider national target and recognised that developer contributions needed to be shared consistently.

 

The key aspects of the forthcoming changes arising through new legislation were highlighted with reference to the report. It was confirmed that the Government’s new distribution formula has the effect of pushing development to more rural areas, which contradicts other policies. A number of major developments in Hampshire were set out. Members heard that there was an opportunity to take advantage of a return to Section 106 developer contributions, which had been successful in the past and therefore should be utilised for as long as possible.

 

Cabinet welcomed the report and supported a return to Section 106 funding as well as the progress of the major developments. Members agreed that local determination of housing need and distribution would better meet local requirements. There was concern that the changes would add to uncertainty and reduce the delivery of housing and also disappointment that the changes did not include a requirement for fibre broadband as an essential service.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were considered and agreed. A

decision record is attached to these minutes.

211.

Waterside Vision pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment regarding the Waterside regeneration proposals.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

[Councillor Heron declared a personal interest as both a planning consultant and a member of a District Council]

 

Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment regarding the Waterside regeneration proposals.

 

Members welcomed and supported the statement of ambition for the area from the three relevant authorities and noted the opportunities for growth, sustainability and benefit to the community.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were considered and agreed. A

decision record is attached to these minutes.

212.

M27 Junction 10 Scheme Update pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment regarding the M27 Junction 10 improvement scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment regarding the M27 Junction 10 improvement scheme.

 

In introduction to the report, the Director confirmed that the proposed local development could not be realised without significant improvements to the motorway junction. The County Council’s position as scheme promoter and the funding of the scheme from the Solent LEP was clarified. It was noted that County Council resources for the design could not be committed beyond the funding that was available and there would be a need to review the position of scheme promotor at the end of phase three.

 

Councillor Woodward declared a personal interest as Leader of Fareham Borough Council. He noted that the report had been prepared prior to a funding offer from the Solent LEP. He emphasised the importance of the scheme and the risks of delay. He confirmed no work would be undertaken until necessary infrastructure was identified and funded and full funding for the scheme was in place. Following his statement, Councillor Woodward left the meeting.

 

Cabinet acknowledged the position set out in the report and were supportive of the scheme taking place, whilst recognising that full funding needed to be in place for it to go forward. It was noted that positive engagement was underway with the Solent LEP with regards their funding offer and that it was hoped that mutually acceptable terms for the funding could be reached shortly.

 

The recommendations set out in the report were considered and agreed. A

decision record is attached to these minutes.