Venue: Ashburton Hall - HCC. View directions
Apologies for absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were noted from Councillors Debbie Curnow-Ford, Rod Cooper and Rhydian Vaughan.
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 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
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the last meeting were reviewed and agreed.
To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.
Councilllor Mark Cooper spoke on item 8 of the agenda, Traffic Management Policy Update: 20MPH Speed Limits and Zones, as the local Member.
To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.
There were no formal announcements.
To pre-scrutinise a report going to the Executive Lead Member for Universal Services on the proposed capital programme.
The Chairman agreed to receive the presentation and allow questions and debate for items 6 and 7 of the agenda together under item 6.
The Director introduced the proposed capital programme for 2024-2027 and the Revenue Budget for 2024/25. Members heard that:
· The December settlement was broadly neutral, although slightly lower than forecasted expectations.
· The cash limit for Universal services had increased by 6%, predominantly to meet a £7m increase for inflation, primarily resulting from increases in the highway maintenance and waste disposal contracts.
· C.£1 had been added to the budget for the impact of the removal of charges for DIY waste at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) based on savings when charges were introduced, however the full impact was expected to be double this based on current costs.
· Income and recharges contributed approximately 45% of the overall revenue budget for Universal Services.
· £9.5m of T2021 and SP2023 savings were to be achieved throughout 2024/25, and Members were assured that should the projected savings not be delivered in year then any deficit would be met from the cost of change reserve.
· From 2025/2026 funds for capital investment would only be transferred from the revenue budget on an as needed basis, to avoid any unnecessary build up in the capital investment reserve.
· It was highlighted that the deterioration of the highways network, particularly following the winter of 2022 and unfavourable conditions during winter 2023/24, was a key challenge for the department and spending plans.
· Through the Stronger Roads Today Programme the County Council had secured additional resources to support maintenance of the network and taking this innovative approach had placed the Council in a more favourable position than others.
Staff retention, resilience and wellbeing was an ongoing focus, with the directorate recognising the importance of keeping staff motivated to deliver the best service for Hampshire residents. Members heard it had been a demanding year with staff supporting and embedding a new, large directorate coupled with development of SP25 proposals, but that officers had risen to the challenge and the Council’s innovative approaches and ways of working enabled it to be better placed than some other authorities and businesses in the private sector.
In response to Members questions it was heard that:
· Provision was made centrally for the annual staff pay award, and once the award level was confirmed the necessary budget would be transferred to individual directorates to meet any costs.
· Whilst income already represented 45% of the revenue budget, the directorate continued to look for opportunities to maximise and increase this. It was noted, as an example, Hampshire Transport Management was fully self-funding/sustaining.
· Allocation of central government funding for highway maintenance was based on network length, rather than usage, with those areas with higher classification roads receiving increased funding. It was considered that the formula was a reasonably fair method.
· The Council held extensive metrics around claims for damage caused by potholes. Data was not specifically held regarding the types of tyres damaged, although it was understood that lower profile ... view the full minutes text for item 39.
To pre-scrutinise a report going to the Executive Lead Member for Universal Services on the revenue budget for 2024/25.
That the Select Committee Supports the recommendations being proposed to the Executive Lead Member for Universal Services in section B of the attached report.
The Chairman called a 10 minute adjournment at this point.
To pre-scrutinise a report going to the Executive Lead Member for Universal Services regarding 20mph speed limits and zones.
The Committee received a report from the Director of Universal Services outlining the recommendations of a review of the existing position on 20mph speed limits for pre-scrutiny ahead of consideration by the Executive Lead Member for Universal Services.
In response to Members questions it was heard that:
· Flexibility in location for Speed Indication Devices (SID) was needed, and the County Council could provide sockets and posts to support local councils to place these in locations where 20mph limits were being considered.
· Driver compliance would be key in delivering any 20mph speed limit changes without significant demand on police enforcement measures.
· An initial £175 application assessment fee was proposed, to be met by the applicant, to allow any unsuitable application to be ruled out before significant investment in time or financially was made by local councils and residents.
· The Council would continue to work with developers to identify where it would be appropriate to include 20mph speed limits at the planning stage.
· The Directorate would, wherever possible, look to batch Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) to reduce costs, however it was noted that this was unlikely to be appropriate where there were multiple locations applied for.
· Six areas had been identified which were non parished and therefore the County Council would work with the appropriate District Council, if the scheme was approved, to look at how applications from residents in these areas could be supported.
· Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding could be considered to support applications.
· The scheme was proposed to operate on a full cost recovery basis and to meet demand the Council would draw in additional capacity as needed from consultants and public sector partners.
Through debate it was suggested by the Committee, if the proposal was agreed by the Executive Lead Member that:
· The Committee receive a report in 12 months, to review the procedure and the use of the scheme and that this be added to the Committee’s work plan. Whilst it was proposed that the scheme be reviewed by the Committee after a year, any issues should be brought before that time if necessary.
· That self-assessment documentation be created, including an outline of potential costs, to enable potential applicants to de-select themselves if their application would not be eligible. Through this the Committee would suggest that there would be a reduction in demand on the workload of the Directorate and would allow applicants to avoid unnecessary costs.
The Executive Lead Member welcomed the Committee’s views and discussion, which would be taken into consideration when reviewing the decision to be taken.
That the Universal Services Select Committee supports the recommendations being proposed to the Executive Lead Member for Universal Services in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the attached report.
To review the current work programme for the Universal Services Select Committee.
It was noted, as per discussion under item 8 of the agenda, that a review of the Traffic Management Policy Update: 20 mph Speed Limits & Zones would be added to the work programme for January 2025.
That the Universal Services Select Committee discuss and agree potential items for the work programme that can be prioritised and allocated by the Chairman of the Universal Services Select Committee in consultation with the Director of Universal Services.