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Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors Ryan Brent, Rob Mocatta, Stephen Reid and Michael Thierry, and from Honorary Alderman Robin McIntosh.
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.
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 Non-Pecuniary 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.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2023.
The Minutes of the County Council meeting held on 28 September 2023 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive any deputations under Standing Order 12.
A deputation was received in accordance with Standing Order 12 regarding plastics recycling.
The Executive Lead Member for Universal Services thanked the deputation for their attendance and will respond to them in due course.
To receive such announcements as the Chairman may wish to make to the Council.
The Chairman had pleasure in announcing a
number of awards the County Council had received together with
Council and community events attended since the last Council
Grace Osborne in Property Services who recently
passed her Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and is now a Chartered
Surveyor within the Estates Management team.
For the tenth successive year the Sir Harold Hillier
Gardens were awarded a Gold Award for Britain in Bloom, South &
South East, Heritage and Parks 2023 at the end of
Presenting the staff 40 year Long Service Awards at
Serles House on 5 October, followed by attendance at the 25 year
Long Service Awards in the Great Hall, meeting many members of
staff who all talked very positively about their time with the
Attendance at Winchester Cathedral for the Law
Sunday Service on 8 October.
Attendance at the 30th Anniversary of the
Farnbrough Air Sciences Trust on 23 October, recognising the
contribution made to aeronautical science over more than a
century. The Trust seeks to make
available to the public the story of Farnborough’s unique
A very interesting visit to Butser Ancient Farm with
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester on 27 October.
Attendance at a Festival of Remembrance on 29
October hosted by the Royal British Legion, at The Point,
Eastleigh. The Chairman found this was
a very moving occasion and was especially heartened to see so many
young people in attendance, and acting as Standard
In regard to services of
remembrance, the Chairman hoped Members would be able to join her
for the County Council’s Staff Remembrance Service on Friday
10 November at 10.55 am outside the Great Hall.
To receive such reports as the Leader of the Council may wish to bring before the Council.
The Leader opened his report by referring to the distressing events in the Israel-Gaza conflict. His thoughts were with all victims, their families and loved ones including those in Hampshire who may have family and friends in the region.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum declared a major incident last week in response to Storm Ciarán. The Leader thanked the emergency services, local authorities and partner agencies for their collaborative response together with the County Council’s Highways Team; Education and Inclusion Officers supporting schools to ensure safety of pupils; communications officers providing crucial warning and information messages including travel and safety advice, and to frontline team supporting communities across Hampshire.
Last month the County Council renewed its pledge to the Armed Forces Covenant demonstrating the Council’s continuing support and gratitude to all members of Hampshire’s Armed Forces community. The Leader thanked everyone involved in organising the Covenant renewal ceremony and paid tribute to Councillor Andrew Joy, the County Council’s Member Champion for the Armed Forces, and to Kate Steels, Senior Armed Forces Programme Manager. The Leader was also looking forward to attending the Remembrance Service at Winchester Cathedral over the coming weekend.
The Leader reported on the consultation regarding important changes to nursing and specialist care accommodation for older adults against the backdrop of difficult choices the County Council faced as a result of exceptional cost pressures in adult social care services. The Leader emphasised the importance of the Council continuing to deliver the right services in the longer term and to prepare for growing demand from an ageing population. The consultation is open until 11.59pm on Sunday 12 November.
The Leader also reported on the consultations regarding proposed changes to the Council’s school and post-16 transport policies to provide more flexible transport arrangements to better respond to children and young people’s needs, demand and to external market pressures, whilst responding to the latest statutory guidance from the Department for Education. The Leader confirmed the proposals were not part of a savings programme and do not include changes to the eligibility criteria. Anyone wishing to respond should do so by Wednesday 6 December. Analysis of the consultation feedback and final recommendations for both policies will be considered by the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services at a Decision Day in 2024.
On World Mental Health Day last month, the Leader was pleased to announce Councillor Zoe Huggins as the new Member Champion for Mental Health who will be raising awareness across Hampshire and within the Council as well as actively supporting various initiatives such as the Council’s “Chat About” scheme launched last November. Sessions have been held in 28 libraries welcoming over 5,700 people to chat over a hot drink, connecting with others in their local community and finding out about additional support if it was needed.
The Leader referred to the resolution of Council in July on underage vaping and welcomed the Government’s recent announcement creating a smokefree generation with additional funding for local Smoking Cessation ... view the full minutes text for item 188.
To deal with questions pursuant to Standing Order 16.1.1. Where a member has submitted more than one question, their second and subsequent questions will not be answered until all members’ first questions have been dealt with.
Executive Members responded to questions submitted, as published, in accordance with Standing Order 16.1.1.
Question 5 - Councillor Porter declared a personal interest as a user of the Cart and Horses junction and is the Cabinet Member for Place and Local Plan at Winchester City Council.
To consider a report of the Chief Executive to make any Member appointments or alterations as required to the membership of committees and standing panels of the County Council, to statutory joint committees, to other proportional bodies the County Council is represented on, or to any other bodies which are not subject to proportionality rules.
The Council considered the report of the Chief Executive as presented by the Leader of the Council.
That the County Council approve the appointments set out in the report.
To consider a report of Cabinet regarding the overall financial strategy for dealing with the budget gap to 2025/26 in light of the various options available to the County Council and the high level outcomes from the public consultation exercise on balancing the budget.
The Council considered the report of Cabinet setting out the overall financial strategy for dealing with the budget gap to 2025/26 in light of various options available to the Council and the high level outcomes from the publication consultation exercise on balancing the budget.
In presenting the report the Leader highlighted that since 2018 the Council had repeatedly highlighted that if the funding regime for local government did not change, the Council would not be financially sustainable in the longer term as it could not continue to make savings in other services to fund the demand pressures faced across social care, special educational needs and school transport services. This position was brought to the attention of Government again in 2022 in the Council’s joint letter with Kent County Council, making it clear that if there wasn’t change in the medium term, the Council would not be financially sustainable, given that by 2023/24 it will have taken £640m from its budgets over the last 13 years.
By 2025/26, based on current information from Government, the Council would be in the position for the first time of being unable to close the predicted two year budget gap of £132m through the identification of recurring savings alone. The proposals represented some very difficult choices however, the County Council must set a balanced budget by law.
The Leader reported that he would be sending a further letter after the meeting, which he would be asking Hampshire MPs to support, urging the Government to provide more support to Councils in the 2024/25 settlement with a view to fundamentally changing the way that local government is funded in the next Comprehensive Spending Review. The Leader had also met with a range of other County Council Leaders and it was clear that all were facing the same position. A joint letter from those Leaders would be sent to the Chancellor to add further weight to the voice of local government.
Despite the challenges faced, the County Council’s financial prudence and the strength of the position of its reserves mean that the Council remains confident that it can balance the budget in 2025/26, assuming there were no further major financial shocks.
The Leader drew attention to the proposed range of stage 2 consultations that would commence in the new year, which would be seeking residents and stakeholders’ views on the options under consideration for changing services from April 2025 onwards. The Leader encouraged everyone to participate in the consultation exercise.
Despite the challenging circumstances faced, the Leader was pleased to report that the County Council continues to provide some of the highest performing services in the country whilst still investing in new projects, in particular:
· Children’s Services are outstanding and after 10 years of supporting the Isle of Wight Children’s Services, the County Council would be leaving that relationship in the knowledge that they have the skills and processes to ensure children remain safe on the island and educational standards have increased significantly.
· £22.5 million investment into highways ... view the full minutes text for item 191.
To consider a report of Cabinet on proposed updates to the adopted Hampshire Statement of Community Involvement (2017) for planning matters.
The Council considered the report of Cabinet seeking approval of proposed updates, as detailed, to the adopted Hampshire Statement of Community Involvement (207) for planning matters. In presenting the report, the Leader confirmed that thedevelopment plan document must be updated every five years and sets how the County Council will involve consultees and interested parties in the preparation of Local Plan documents and planning applications.
That the County Council adopts the updated Hampshire Statement of Community Involvement as a statutory planning document in accordance with the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
To consider a report and recommendations of the Employment in Hampshire County Council Committee regarding a review of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA’s) in the Members’ Allowances Scheme 2023/24.
The Council considered the report of the Employment in Hampshire County Council (EHCC) Committee seeking approval of recommendations following a review of Special Responsibility Allowances in the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2023/24 having taken into account the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel.
That the County Council, taking into account the recommendations of the IRP and the EHCC Committee, approves:
a) No changes to the current SRA for the Deputy Leader of the Council.
b) No changes to the current level of SRAs for the Opposition Group Leaders.
c) No changes to the current level of SRAs for the Opposition Group Spokespersons.
d) That no new SRA for Pension Fund Panel and Board members is created, and no other changes are made to the current Members’ Allowances Scheme, save for the adjustments to Basic Allowances and SRAs with effect from 1 April 2023, in line with the recently agreed pay award of 3.88% for Senior Managers at Grade H, in accordance with the terms of the existing Scheme.
To consider a report from the Executive Member for Education on the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) seeking approval of the Advisory Council’s updated Constitution and to approve an amendment to the terms of reference for the Education Advisory Panel (EAP).
The Council considered the report of the Executive Member for Education seeking approval of the updated Constitution for the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE), and to an amendment to the Terms of Reference for the Education Advisory Panel (EAP).
A question was asked about paragraph 3.11 of
Appendix A (SACRE’s Constitution) regarding collective
worship in schools as set out in the Education Act 1996 was put to
the Executive Member who was asked if he would consider writing to
the Secretary of State for Education requesting that the decades
old Education Act be amended to change the default position
regarding religious worship in schools and instead reflect a more
diverse and modern society. A further
question asked for the belief of Humanism to be taken into account
and included in any letter sent to the Secretary of
State. In response, the Executive
Member responded that he would consider the request of writing to
the Secretary of State, in consultation with officers. The Executive Member did not consider the second
question relevant to the report before the Council and would take
this matter up offline.
A suggestion that these matters could be considered at a future meeting of the Children and Young People Select Committee was noted.
a) That the County Council approve the updated Constitution for Hampshire’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education as agreed by the Advisory Council at their meeting on 4 July 2023 and contained in Appendix A to the report.
b) That the County Council approve the proposed changes to the Education Advisory Panel’s Terms of Reference as detailed in Appendix C to the report.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority
To deal with any questions which have been submitted pursuant to Standing Order 16.3 concerning the discharge of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority’s functions.
No questions had been received in accordance with Standing Order 16.3.
To receive a report of the Authority.
The Council received the report as presented by Councillor Rhydian Vaughan, in his capacity as Chairman of the Authority.
Executive and Committee Reports
To receive for information the reports of the following:
The following information reports were received:
To receive a report of the Executive Lead Member for Children's Services.
Children’s Services Procurement – Approval to Spend (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Educational Psychology)
To receive a report of the Executive Member for Education.
Additional Specialist Education Provision
The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the Meeting at 1.45pm