Agenda and draft minutes

County Council - Thursday, 24th November, 2022 10.15 am

Venue: Council Chamber - HCC

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

Media

Items
No. Item

111.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Lulu Bowerman, Adrian Collett, Gavin James, Kirsty North, Roger Price, Patricia Stallard and Seán Woodward, and from Honorary Aldermen Christopher Carter and Phrynette Dickens.

 

112.

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 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.

 

113.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2022.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the County Council held on 29 September 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

114.

Deputations

To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.

Minutes:

The Council received the following deputations:

 

1.     Abe Allen and Mak Johal – ‘Bin the Bunds’

2.     Pamela Charlwood – ‘Titchfield Haven’

3.     Caroline Kirkman and David Learmonth – ‘A Safer Cart & Horses Junction’

 

115.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive such announcements as the Chairman may wish to make to the Council.

Minutes:

The Chairman opened her announcements by highlighting a number of awards and accolades the County Council had received:

·         The Arts Council had recently announced their future National Portfolio and funding for the County Council area which had increased significantly, with £2million per year coming into Hampshire annually for the next three years.  Of particular note is the County Council’s partners, the Hampshire Cultural Trust, who had been awarded £500,000 per year.  In addition, many organisations had been awarded funding to work in Arts Council priority places such as Rushmoor, Gosport and the New Forest.

·         Planning, design, and construction of Romsey town’s central space in Market Place by the County Council had been recognised as Solent’s best new public space.  The scheme won both the Judge’s Award and People’s Choice Award in the Partnership for South Hampshire’s Solent Quality of Place Awards – the first time in the Awards’ 10-year history that a scheme has achieved winning two accolades.  The County Council’s design team worked with Test Valley Borough Council in close consultation with the Romsey Steering Board (whose members were senior representatives from the County Council, Test Valley Borough Council and Romsey Town Council, as well as local community interest groups).

·         An innovative joint project between the County Council and Milestone Infrastructure and OCL  that recycles large quantities of old road material for re-use across Hampshire’s road network resulting in significant carbon savings and reduced reliance on external supply chains had won the Environmental Sustainability Award, the Special Merit award and were Highly Commended in the category for Partnership Working at the National UK Highway Awards.

The Chairman also reported on several events she had pleasure in attending on behalf of the County Council:

·           25 and 40-year long service celebrations

·           Law Sunday Service (9 October)

·           Official opening of Sparsholt College’s Animal Health and Welfare Research Centre by HRH The Princess Royal (1 Nov)

·           Staff Remembrance Service (11 Nov)

116.

Leader's Report

To receive such reports as the Leader of the Council may wish to bring before the Council.

Minutes:

The Leader opened his report by echoing the Chairman’s comments on the prestigious awards that Hampshire County Council had received and extended his congratulations to the officers and partners involved.

 

Turning to finance, the Leader confirmed that the detail of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was being closely looked at to understand what it would mean for the long-term budgetary pressures faced by the County Council.  The Chancellor’s announcement of additional funding for adult social care and schools was welcomed, although disappointing that the grants had only been confirmed for two years.  Despite the County Council’s strong track record of responsible financial management, the Leader reported that without immediate financial assistance and a clear plan for long-term financial sustainability, forecasts indicate that the County Council would not be able to close future budget gaps through its own actions alone, with the worst case scenario being the need to issue a Section 114 notice within the next two years. The Leader emphasised the timeframe of ‘within the next two years’, not within a few months, as mistakenly suggested in recent news reports.

The Leader referred to the recent letter to the Prime Minister, Chancellor, Levelling Up Secretary and local MPs sent by himself and the Leader of Kent County Council, Cllr Roger Gough, clearly setting out the financial position for both Councils, requesting urgent financial assistance, and for legislative changes and fundamental reform of the way local government is funded and allowed to raise revenue together with meaningful dialogue by the end of the year.  The Leader commented that whilst it was acknowledged that Government had given greater flexibility to local authorities around council tax, it was not the remedy to the sector’s overall funding challenges particularly at a time when household budgets were already facing considerable strain.

The Leader also referred to devolution and greater freedoms and powers and was encouraged by the Government’s ongoing commitment to roll out more devolution deals across the country.  The County Council would continue to work with partners to maintain progress in regard to a County Deal for the Pan-Hampshire area for which a prospectus had been submitted to Government.

 

In the meantime, the provisional local government settlement next month was awaited, which would provide the detail required to prepare the County Council’s budgets for 2023/24.

 

The Leader reported that he and the Deputy Leader had engaged in useful discussions with Hampshire MPs about the seriousness of the County Council’s financial position and was pleased that some of the MPs had written and spoken to Ministers as a result of these discussions.  The Leader and Deputy Leader would continue to keep Hampshire MPs updated and work closely with them in the coming weeks and months.  In the meantime, the County Council would remain focussed on continuing to deliver its services and make the case for a long-term fairer funding settlement for the local government sector as a whole to place it on a more sustainable long-term financial footing.

 

The Leader drew attention to Item 8  ...  view the full minutes text for item 116.

117.

Questions under Standing Order 16.1.1 pdf icon PDF 616 KB

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.

Minutes:

Executive Members responded to questions submitted, as published, in accordance with Standing Order 16.1.1.

 

118.

Constitutional Matters pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider a report of the Chief Executive regarding a number of constitutional matters.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Chief Executive regarding a number of Constitutional matters.

 

In presenting the report, the Leader outlined these matters, namely:

 

1)     a change in responsibility for Executive Functions (taking effect on 1 January 2023);

2)     consequential upon the changes in 1) above, a corresponding revision to Scrutiny functions, also taking effect on 1 January 2023;

3)     a revision to the Terms of Reference for the Pension Fund Panel and Board and its sub-committees regarding deputations; and

4)     the introduction of digital voting in certain circumstances, as detailed in the report.

 

The Leader clarified that the former Policy and Resources Select Committee will become the Hampshire 2050, Corporate Services and Resources Select Committee; the former Transport and Environment Select Committee will become Universal Services – Transport and Environment Select Committee, the former Countryside, Culture and Communities Select Committee will become Universal Services – Countryside and Regulatory Services.

 

In regard to 2) above, the Leader confirmed that membership of the above Select Committees would remain the same for now, however to enable all Political Group Leaders to make any changes from the date of this meeting and before 1 January 2023, the Leader proposed an additional recommendation as follows:

 

“f)    That the County Council delegates authority to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the relevant Political Group Leader, to make any changes to membership of the Select Committees as referred to at Appendix 2, between the date of this Council Meeting and 1 January 2023.”

 

A correction to paragraph 3.3, line 4 of the report was noted and should read as follows:

 

“Hampshire Pension Fund members who are not local government electors ……”

 

RESOLVED:

That the County Council:

 

a)     Notes the revised Executive portfolios as referred to in this report and attached at Appendix 1, to be effective from 1 January 2023.

 

b)     Agrees the revised Select Committee responsibilities as referred to in this report and attached at Appendix 2, to be effective from 1 January 2023.

 

c)     Approves the changes to the County Council’s Standing Orders and to the Terms of Reference of the Pension Fund Panel and Board, set out at Appendices 1 and 2 respectively of the Cabinet report attached at Appendix 3

 

d)     Agrees that Standing Order 22 be amended to include provision for digital voting.

 

e)     Authorises the Monitoring Officer to make necessary updates to the County Council’s Constitution to give effect to the recommendations at a), b), c) and d) of this report.

 

f)      Delegates authority to the Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the relevant Political Group Leader, to make any changes to membership of the Select Committees as referred to at Appendix 2, between the date of this Council Meeting and 1 January 2023.

 

119.

Appointments pdf icon PDF 47 KB

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.

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Chief Executive as presented by the Leader of the Council.

 

The Leader proposed an additional appointment of Philip Reynolds as a Substitute Scheme Member representative on the Pension Fund Panel and Board.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the County Council approve the appointments set out in the report.

 

120.

Appointment of Monitoring Officer and appointment of Data Protection Officer pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider a report of the Chief Executive regarding the appointment to the statutory roles of Monitoring Officer and the Data Protection Officer with effect from 1 January 2023.

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Chief Executive seeking approval of the appointment of the Monitoring Officer and the Data Protection Officer for the County Council.

 

In presenting the report, the Leader confirmed that these appointments would support the implementation of the new organisational structure and both would take effect on 1 January 2023.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the County Council:

 

a)     Approves appointment of David Kelly as the County Council’s Monitoring Officer with effect from 1 January 2023.

 

b)     Approves appointment of Steph Randall as the County Council’s Data Protection Officer with effect from 1 January 2023.

 

c)     Authorises the Monitoring Officer to make the necessary amendments to the County Council’s Constitution consequential upon these appointments. 

 

121.

Amendments to the Members' Allowances Scheme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To consider a report and the recommendations of the Employment in Hampshire County Council Committee regarding amendments to the Members’ Allowances Scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Employment in Hampshire County Council (EHCC) Committee seeking approval of amendments to the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2022/23 including a general adjustment to Basic Allowances and Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs), following the recent staff pay award.

 

The Chairman reminded Members of the dispensation from the Conduct Advisory Panel allowing all Members to speak and vote on this item.  It was taken as read that Members had declared an interest.

 

In presenting the report Councillor Gary Hughes, who chaired the EHCC Committee meeting on 8 November, summarised the proposals in the report including the revised formulas for calculations of SRAs for Minority Group Leaders and Minority Group Spokespersons, recognising the present political makeup of the Council, and at the same time future proofing calculation of the allowances for administrations in the future.  Councillor Hughes confirmed that the proposed amendments had been considered by the Independent Renumeration Panel in accordance with the requirements of the Members’ Allowances Regulations and, if approved, would be backdated to the Annual General Meeting in May this year.

 

For the record it was noted that Councillors Prad Bains and Louise Parker-Jones voted against the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the County Council, taking into account the recommendations of the IRP, approves:

 

a)     An SRA for the Deputy Leader equivalent to 70% of the Leader’s SRA be added to the Members’ Allowances Scheme, to be backdated to the 2022 County Council AGM (19 May 2022). That this be subject to review in 12 months’ time.

 

b)     That the SRA for Opposition Group Leaders should amount to 55% of the SRA for the Leader of the Council, divided proportionally between all Opposition Groups (consisting of two Members or more) according to the number of seats held by that Group on the County Council. That this be backdated to the 2022 County Council AGM (19 May 2022), but any detrimental impact should not result in any SRA already paid in 2022/23 by the time of the County council’s decision being subject to repayment. That the SRA for Opposition Group Leaders be subject to review in 12 months’ time.

 

c)     That the SRA for Opposition Group Spokespersons should be paid to Opposition Group Spokespersons on each of the County Council’s ordinary Select Committees and the Health and Adult Social Care Committee and the Regulatory Committee. This should be calculated using a three-stage method (current figures included by way of illustration):

 

a.    Number of Committees for which an Opposition Spokespersons role applies (currently 6) x 55% of an ordinary Select Committee Chairman SRA (currently £12,604) = Opposition Spokesperson Fund (currently £41,594)

b.    Sum of number of appointed Opposition Spokespersons for each Political Group x number of Members in that Group (currently: (6x17) + (5x3) + (4x3) = 129)

c.    For each Group: Fund (£41,594) divided by total from part b (129) x number of Members in Group (17, 3 or 3) = SRA per Opposition Spokesperson in that Group

o   £41,594 / 129 x 17 =  ...  view the full minutes text for item 121.

122.

Update to the Local Protocol for Regulatory Committee pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To consider a report of the Regulatory Committee recommending a Local Protocol for dealing with planning matters.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Regulatory Committee seeking approval of a Local Protocol for dealing with planning matters.

 

The report was presented by the Councillor Peter Latham, Chairman of the Regulatory Committee.  In summarising the report, Councillor Latham confirmed that the Protocol had been given in-depth consideration by the Committee with several iterations leading to the final version that was agreed by all members of the Committee.

 

During the course of debate it was also noted that under the new Protocol,  non-attendance by any member of the Regulatory Committee at site visits would be a matter for the respective Group Leader to deal with.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the County Council:

a)     Agrees to the adoption of the updated Local Protocol on Planning, Rights of Way, Commons and Village Greens Registration for Members of Regulatory Committee, Substitute Members of Regulatory Committee and Officers appended to this report at Appendix 2.

b)     Authorises the Monitoring Officer to make necessary updates to the County Council’s Constitution to give effect to the recommendation above.

 

123.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority

123a

H&IOWFRA Questions

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.

Minutes:

No questions had been received in accordance with Standing Order 16.3.

 

123b

H&IOWFRA Report

There is no report of the Authority on this occasion.

Minutes:

There was no report of the Authority on this occasion.

 

124.

Constitutional Arrangements - Appointments to the Health and Wellbeing Board for Hampshire pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To receive a report from the Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board for Hampshire notifying the Council of appointments made to the Board under delegated authority.

Minutes:

The Council received and noted the report of the Health and Wellbeing Board for Hampshire reporting changes to the membership of the Board taken under delegated authority by the Head of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

125.

Executive and Committee Reports

To receive for information the reports of the following:

Minutes:

The Council received the following reports:

 

125a

The Leader/Cabinet pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To receive a report of the Leader/Cabinet.

Minutes:

·           Driving towards Economic Strength

·           Corporate Risk Management

 

125b

Executive Lead Member for Children's Services pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To receive a report of the Executive Lead Member for Children's Services.

Minutes:

·           Henry Tyndale School provision at the former Park Primary Children’s Centre, Aldershot

125c

Executive Member for Climate Change and Sustainability pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To receive a report of the Executive Member for Climate Change and Sustainability.

Minutes:

·           Climate Change Annual Report

 

The Meeting closed at 12 midday.