Venue: Council Chamber - HCC
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Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillors Ann Briggs, Graham Burgess, David Drew, David Harrison, Wayne Irish, Melville Kendal, Hugh Lumby, Rob Mocatta, Tanya Park and Jacky Tustain, and from Honorary Aldermen Patricia Banks, Criss Connor and Marilyn Tucker.
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.
The Chairman reminded Members that a general dispensation was in place that enables Members to participate in and vote on County Council business relating to the setting of Council Tax and Precepts.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2022.
The Minutes of the County Council Meeting held on 24 November 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
There are no deputations on this occasion.
There were no deputations.
To receive such announcements as the Chairman may wish to make to the Council.
The Chairman opened her announcements by highlighting a number of awards and accolades the County Council had received:
Clare Hobbs, Manager of Wessex Dance Academy has been awarded a
British Empire Medal for services to young people in the
Apprenticeship/Diploma successes in Adults’ Health and Care
Directorate - Chelsie Grey, Sarah Baines, Nichola Stott Nash, Tess
Kirby, Tiffany Jones, Samantha Goodall, Natalie Oldfield,Laur
(Albertino) Tincu and Georgina Flint.
The Chairman reminded Members about her
Chairman’s Concert on Friday 28 April in the Great Hall,
Winchester for an evening of music from the talented musicians at
Hampshire Music Service.
Peter Kent Mason represented the Bishops Waltham division from 2001 to 2013; Milford, Hordle from 1973 and later New Milton North Division until 2017 and
The Leader and Councillors Bowerman, Branson, Carpenter, Chegwyn, Collet, Dowden, Glen, Hayre, House, Hughes, McEvoy, Kirsty North, Porter and Tod paid tribute and the Council observed a moment’s silence as a mark of respect.
To receive such reports as the Leader of the Council may wish to bring before the Council.
The Leader opened his report by expressing his deepest sympathies and condolences to all those affected by the devastating earthquakes that had recently struck Turkey and Syria. Several leading charities had launched appeals and anyone wishing to donate should visit the Disasters Emergency Committee’s website – www.dec.org.uk.
The Leader also reported that Friday 24 February marked the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The County Council will fly the Ukrainian flag outside the Great Hall on that day and take part in the national moment of silence at 11am as a mark of respect and to pay tribute to the courage of the Ukrainian people.
Over 3,000 Ukrainians (over 1,400 families) had been welcomed in Hampshire through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. The County Council, in partnership with Hampshire district and borough councils and community partners provide a wide range of services and support and the Leader thanked County Council officers, especially those in the Children’s Services Directorate, who have worked tirelessly over the last 11 months to help Ukrainian families settle in the county and rebuild their lives. The Leader also expressed his thanks to the 1,900 hosts for their compassion and generosity. The government had announced that thank you payments for Homes for Ukraine hosts across the UK will increase from £350 to £500 per month from April if their guest/s have been resident in the UK for more than 12 months, however the County Council will increase the thank you payments to £500 per month regardless of how long their guests have been in the UK.
The Leader thanked all officers for the help and support extended to residents and local communities by keeping services going during recent bad weather conditions, which had created a perfect storm of localised flooding, freezing surfaces and a significant increase in potholes. The Leader extended a special thank you to the frontline Highways Teams who had worked around the clock and often unpleasant circumstances to keep the road network safe.
The Leader referred to recent media and social media interest questioning bonus payments made to County Council staff. For absolute clarity, the Leader confirmed that special recognition payments were only made to staff members for exceptional achievement and high performance in their role, often going above and beyond to support the needs of residents. By way of context, the Leader commented that Hampshire County Council is the third largest shire authority in the country and its staff were responsible for delivering a huge number of important local services to Hampshire’s 1.4 million residents, including to growing numbers of the most vulnerable adults and children in Hampshire’s communities. The total cost of in-year and end-of-year special recognition payments for 2022 equated to only 0.19% of the pay bill, with 11.09%of staff being recognised and rewarded. The efforts of all the County Council’s dedicated staff were greatly valued and where they had proved to be outstanding in a given year, the County Council has the flexibility and capacity to be ... view the full minutes text for item 131.
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.
To receive a report of Cabinet regarding a proposed change to Standing Order 13 and changes to the Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference.
The Council considered the report of Cabinet regarding a proposed change to Standing Order 13 and changes to the terms of reference for the Health and Wellbeing Board.
In presenting the report the Leader highlighted the change to Standing Order 13 was to enable Chief Officers to answer technical questions on reports to full Council on matters which fall within their respective areas of responsibility, which should the recommendations be approved, would take effect immediately. The Standing Order has also been amended to reflect current practice as set out in Appendix 1 to the report for which a revised version had been published as a supplementary document.”
The report also sought approval to a change to
the Terms of Reference for the Health and Wellbeing Board, namely:
to receive updates and reports from the Hampshire Health and Social
Care Place Board and that the Health and Wellbeing Board
contributes to the Integrated Care Partnership Strategy for both
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board and that of
Frimley Integrated Care Board.”
During the course of a short debate, the Leader confirmed that the proposed change to Standing Order 13 would not apply to his Leader’s Report that was a standard item on the agenda for full Council Meetings.
That the County Council:
a) Agree an amendment to Standing Order 13 as set out at Appendix 1 (as revised) to the Cabinet report.
b) Agree the revised Terms of Reference of the Health and Wellbeing Board as referred to at the recommendation at Paragraph 4 of the Cabinet report.
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 the recommendations of Cabinet for the Revenue Budget and Precept for 2023/24 and the Capital Programme 2023/24 to 2025/26.
The Council considered the Revenue Budget and Precept for 2023/24 and the Capital Programme for the period 2023/24 to 2025/26.
In presenting the report the Leader opened by stating that the system of local government finance was broken, resulting in the County Council having to contend not only with cuts to government grants since 2010 but also having had to deal with largely unfunded social care pressures. This position had been exacerbated over the past year with post covid demand pressures across children’s and adult services, hyper-inflation and workforce pressures across many of the County Council’s key services. This had led to an unprecedented increase in Directorate cash limits over those set for 2022/23 - a total increase of nearly £300m in a single year.
A council tax increase of 4.99% was being recommended which was below the rate of inflation. However, the Leader commented that he did not underestimate the impact this would have on household finances but there really was no choice against the pressures faced, now and in the future.
The Leader highlighted that the County Council could not continue to make savings to meet the growth in demand for social care services and he would therefore continue to lobby the government and Hampshire MPs very strongly in the lead up to the next Spending Review, which might be the last chance to address the fundamental flaws in a broken local government finance system.
Despite the difficult circumstances faced, the Leader highlighted that the County Council would continue to have one of the lowest county council, council taxes in the country. Services had been transformed over the last decade and over £0.6 billion pounds had been saved. The County Council continues to provide some of the best services in the country, as judged by residents and government inspectors. The capital programme totalling £1.2 billion was creating investment, jobs and infrastructure to help grow the local economy. Furthermore, the Leader reported that an ambitious and forward looking prospectus for a county deal had been produced and as referred to in his earlier Leader’s report, the County Council was now working with the Government and partners on a potential deal for the pan-Hampshire area.
Looking to the future, the Leader was optimistic that the position could be turned round. With strong political leadership and the newly restructured Corporate Management Team, he expressed confidence that the County Council would get through this and maintain Hampshire as a place to be proud of.
The Leader commended the budget
to Members and moved the recommendations.
To consider a report of the Employment in Hampshire County Council Committee recommending Hampshire County Council’s Pay Statement for the financial year 2023/24.
The Council considered a report of the Employment in Hampshire County Council (EHCC) Committee, as presented by Councillor Kirsty North in her capacity as Chairman of the EHCC Committee, seeking approval of the County Council’s Pay Statement for the financial year 2023/24 as set out in the Report and Appendix A to the Annex.
There were no questions or debate and it was
Notice of Motion
To consider a Notice of Motion, submitted in accordance with Standing Order 18.1 by Councillor Malcolm Wade and seconded by Councillor Jonathan Glen as follows:
“ With reference to the outstanding payment of altered state pension benefits for women born after 1950, this Council requests that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions arrives at an early solution.”
“This Council also requests that fair compensation is made to the surviving spouses and family of the affected beneficiaries who have died during this process. “
Councillor Kim Taylor declared a personal interest as someone affected by the change of state pension benefits.
The Council considered the Notice of Motion proposed by Councillor Malcolm Wade and seconded by Councillor Jonathan Glen, submitted in accordance with Standing Order 18.1:
“With reference to the outstanding payment of altered state pension benefits for women born after 1950, this Council requests that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions arrives at an early solution.”
“This Council also requests that fair compensation is made to the surviving spouses and family of the affected beneficiaries who have died during this process.”
No amendments were proposed.
During the course of debate the Motion
received much support and several Members spoke about how the
changes to state pension benefits had affected family members and
constituents in the areas they represented.
The Motion was put to the vote and was carried. It was therefore
With reference to the outstanding payment of altered state pension benefits for women born after 1950, this Council requests that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions arrives at an early solution.
This Council also requests that fair compensation is made to the surviving spouses and family of the affected beneficiaries who have died during this process.
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.
The question submitted in accordance with Standing Order 16.3, as published, was responded to by the Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority.
There is no report of the Authority on this occasion.
There was no report of the Authority on this occasion.
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.
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 Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board.
Executive and Committee Reports
There are no Executive or Committee reports on this occasion.
There were no Executive or Committee reports on this occasion.
The Meeting closed at 2.40pm.