Venue: The Rose Theatre, Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, Chestnut Avenue, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 5ZA
The Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting. She gave an overview of recent Council highlights and also named a few events.
· The very successful Eastleigh Mela had brought together the Borough’s communities;
· The unique outdoor arts festival, Eastleigh Unwrapped;
· The Borough’s summer of sports gave people of all ages an opportunity to try out a new activity;
· The new development of 560 homes at Stoneham, to provide 200 affordable homes was now underway;
· The new M&S Foodhall in Eastleigh, developed by the Council as part of its property portfolio, opened in August.
· The beginning of a consultation with local residents called `Shaping Your Community’ was underway as part of the Local Plan process, to find out what was important to them in their neighbourhoods; and
· The submission of a joint bid, in partnership with Hampshire County Council, for £10 million to help deliver the planned Botley Bypass.
· The annual Christmas Light Switch-On and Fun Day would take place in the town centre on Saturday 18 November 2017; and
· Work to return Itchen Valley Country Park to ancient woodland was continuing and the Council recently approved funding for a range of improvements to the park’s facilities.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 20 July 2017.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2017 be agreed as a correct record.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are invited to declare interests in relation to items of business on the agenda. Any interests declared will be recorded in the Minutes.
Councillor Wayne Irish declared a Non Pecuniary Interest in agenda item 6a because he was a member of North Stoneham and Basset Parochial Church Council, and the Deputy Church Warden at St Nicolas Church.
The Leader reported
that the new leisure centre, Places Leisure Eastleigh, would welcome its first
customers in 40 days’ time - on Tuesday 28 November 2017. He noted the scale of
the project: a £28 million state-of-the-art replacement for Fleming Park Leisure
Centre, which offered the very latest in high quality facilities and equipment,
in a striking building set in a parkland location and built to high
delivered on time and within budget, had been co-funded by Sport England, who
contributed £2 million to the scheme. The centre would be run by Places for People
Leisure, the long-established operators of the former Fleming Park Leisure
Centre, who would manage Places Leisure Eastleigh for the next 20 years.
The new sports,
health and fitness centre, was built to a very high specification and offered
an eight-lane, 25-metre main swimming pool (an increase from six lanes at the
previous centre); a larger learner pool with an adjustable depth that made it
accessible for a range of users; one of the largest sports halls in the South,
as well as a huge fitness suite, studios, squash courts, soft play facilities
and a café that opened up onto Fleming Park.
Places Leisure Eastleigh would also be the flagship for the Council’s pioneering HealthWorks physical activity referral and advice scheme and promoting wellbeing and healthier lifestyles across the Borough.
The Council was
determined that there would be no loss of amenity during the build period and
Fleming Park Leisure Centre had remained
open for business whilst its successor was built on the adjacent site. It was
noted that the cost of construction came at no cost to the council tax payers.
In addition, the Leader reported that Cabinet had now approved funding to purchase a site in Horton Heath with a view to developing a new community including 1400 or more new homes.
The project would see the Council purchase the land that already had outline planning permission on land bordered by Burnetts Lane, Moorgreen Road and Chalcroft Business Park at Horton Heath. As land owner the Council would be able to shape the development in terms of the quantity, mix, tenure and price of the new homes.
The Council was recognised nationally for its innovative and pro-active approach to bringing land forward for development and this was a great opportunity to bring forward an existing development site and ensure much needed infrastructure was delivered alongside, rather than after, new homes. This was an exciting opportunity to take control of a scheme which delivered 1400 or more homes together with new roads, open spaces and other significant community benefits.
There was significant added value by the Council being actively involved as it could ensure the mix of tenures really did meet the needs of local people such as social housing, market rent and family homes and that the development would come with the right infrastructure and full range of community benefits. The scheme also represented a good investment opportunity and would provide the Council with a financial return.
The Council would now progress negotiations with landowners and partners to ensure the most effective delivery of the scheme.
On the former Civic Offices site, the Leader was pleased to update that Hendy was due to start work on the western part of the site by the end of the month on its new car sales and repair centre. This was a major private sector investment in Eastleigh that reinforced Hendy’s commitment to Eastleigh and, as part of the Council’s commercial property portfolio, contributed to maintaining services and keeping down council tax where other councils were cutting services and increasing council tax. Design work was in progress for an office development on the eastern part of the site.
With regards to the Local Plan, the Leader provided two updates of note.
Firstly, an engagement process had been launched, “Shaping our Community”, that would run until 19 November 2017. It provided residents with the opportunity to help gain a better understanding of what they valued and felt was most important to them within their community and the new communities which would develop over the coming years, and to do so without attending meetings or writing lengthy emails. It was not just about housing, but about roads and traffic, schools and doctors, parks and open spaces, jobs and more.
The engagement programme had been promoted through the media and social media and already, after just a few days, had received several hundred replies. These results would all be collated and considered alongside the wider plan. “Shaping our Community” was on the front page of the Council’s website and the Leader encouraged councillors to share links to this on social media and to all of their contacts.
Secondly, work was progressing well with the remaining technical evidence the Council needed to take the Local Plan forward. Meetings and seminars would be held closer to the Council meeting on Monday 11 December that would take key decisions on the Plan.
The Leader noted that changes made within Future Eastleigh would also impact on councillors. The roll-out of iPads to councillors had now started, and as soon they were confident in using them with the Modern.Gov operating system, the production and postage of paper agendas would cease. This would represent not just a cash-saving over time, but a significant saving in staff administrative time, contributing to wider environmental targets on reducing carbon emissions. Although this would be a challenge for some councillors, Hampshire County Council had already progressed to paperless meetings and this had worked well.
In addition, consideration had also been given to how meetings were minuted efficiently, and again following Hampshire County Council’s practice, from this meeting, the minutes from Council would not include details of any debate on the Leader’s, or Cabinet statements, or have any answers to questions.
Finally, the Leader noted that change in roles at Eastleigh Local Area Committee, with Councillor Wayne Irish taking on the Chair and Councillor Darshan Mann the Vice-Chair roles. He thanked Councillor Steve Sollitt, and before him Councillor Paul Bicknell, for their service as Local Area Committee Chair.
Consideration was given to the report of the Monitoring Officer that recommended changes to the Council’s Constitution which included necessary changes to the Scheme of Delegation (Part 3), Rules of Procedures (Part 4) and the Management Structure (Part 7) following the introduction of stages two and three of the Future Eastleigh programme.
That the revised amendments to the Constitution be ADOPTED as set out in the report.
URGENT ITEM - APPOINTMENT TO OUTSIDE BODY
Consideration was given to an urgent item on the agenda, as the Council had been asked to appoint a trustee on the Eastleigh and Southampton Football Trust; the special purpose vehicle established to govern the Parklife Football Hub at Monks Brook. It was recommended that Council delegate the appointment to Cabinet.
That the appointment of a trustee on the Eastleigh and Southampton Football Trust be delegated to Cabinet.
(NOTE: Councillor Irish declared an interest in this item and remained in the room during its consideration.)
To receive statements, if any, by the Leader/Cabinet Councillors on Cabinet matters and to deal with any related questions.
Councillor Broadhurst, Cabinet Member for Leisure, reported that Eastleigh Activation Programme (HealthWorks and SportWorks) funded by Sport England had exceeded its three year target and engaged 5,751 residents with 49,984 individual visits over three years. The programme had been awarded a 1 year extension fund until August 2018.
Park Sport 2017 was a great success, with 10,528 hours of physical activity created over 5 weeks during the summer holidays. The programme had a total of 7,206 attendances on bookable sessions and 3,586 recorded free swims.
The Summer of Sport, which offered adults taster sessions and follow up beginner courses across the summer, engaged 290 participants in physical activity. A new Family Sport programme was delivered to engage inactive families in sport and physical activity. The programme was offered to families with children aged 5-16. The pilot engaged 95 individuals of which 35% were previously inactive. The plan was to expand this programme for next summer due to its success.
Friday Night Football reported 4,509 visits from September 2016 to August 2017, with an average of 92 participants taking part each week. The project not only offered access to affordable weekly activity, it also gave young people the opportunity to volunteer and develop their leadership skills which helped with employability and skill development.
A Health Event was held at Centre 2000. This was an event organised by the Hedge End Medical Centre Patient Group. The event was attended mainly by older adults which provided a good opportunity to promote the Steady and Strong falls prevention classes and also to network with organisations such as Weight Watchers and good neighbour schemes.
A Macmillan stand at the Countess Mountbatten 40 year anniversary event held at the Hilton Ageas provided opportunity to promote the Macmillan Physical Activity Scheme and network with various health care professionals.
Meetings had taken place to discuss HealthWorks being involved with a Wessex Cancer Alliance project called Westfit. The project involved getting individuals fit for surgery via a 3 week intervention of prescribed 30 minutes sessions on an exercise bike 2-3 times per week.
He also reported that funding of £280,000 had been approved for improvements at Itchen Valley Country park, which included improvements to the catering facilities within High Wood Barn visitor centre and installation of some indoor play equipment and an extension to the play trail. The aim was to encourage visitors to stay longer at both Itchen Valley and Lakeside Country Parks.
New Board Walks which were made from recycled plastic had been installed at Hocombe Mead Nature Reserve and were ready to be used.
The Point/Berry Theatres had been successful with a proposal to the Sainsbury Family Linbury Trust and had been awarded £115, 665 over three years to offer high level programmes for aspiring dancers and graduates with a special link to the Rambert School in Twickenham. The ambition was that The Point would be the ‘go to’ place in the South to prepare for a career in dance and young dancers from Eastleigh and Hampshire would be on world stages in the future. The Daily Echo and Solent TV had run features on this.
Dan Hill and the team had also produced a film called ‘Suspended in a Sunbeam’ which looked at the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation which had been identified as a significant issue in Eastleigh and Hampshire. The film contained members of the Point’s Youth Theatre and was shot in various locations around Eastleigh and was premiered at Eastleigh Film Festival. There had been an overwhelmingly positive response and the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner was looking at funding distribution to every secondary school in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to build awareness and safeguarding for the future.
Councillor Broadhurst congratulated all the staff involved in the above activities and noted that it was a pleasure to work with such a dedicated and committed team.
Councillor Pretty, Cabinet Member for Economy, provided an update in reference to Wessex House, the Business Centre. Although there was a drop in tenancies during the summer the occupancy of the Centre was now back up to approximately 85% of lettable space with on-going marketing to try and maximise this figure even further.
The Techhub, which formed part of the Centre, appeared to be still under performing, and this was under review to see what could be done to increase occupancy. It was a very useful space which needed promotion and greater usage.
The Southern Entrepreneurs advice and support scheme which used to be offered to the tenants of Wessex House and others was no longer operative. An alternative membership of MiVentures, which was a similar scheme that offered practical advice to small businesses, was being looked at as an alternative. This was likely to be fully funded in the first year and if successful, would be offered in future years by subscription and would be open to businesses based in Eastleigh.
Earlier in the year there were issues with the tenancy of the Sorting Office coming to an end, as well as the partners A-Space terminating their management agreement. This caused much concern among the tenants of the building but an extension to the lease had now been agreed and management was being overseen in house. This appeared to have re-assured the tenants and there had been an increased interest in the units.
There continued to be consideration given to ideas to regenerate the town and local centres and this was a long term project working with partners. This was essential to maximise the benefit of local businesses as a result of the increased housing that would take place. He noted that we must also be alert to changes in footfall in the shops, and in particular the recreational offerings which resulted from competition from other centres, such as Whiteley and West Quay, where there may be free parking or new facilities.
There continued to be businesses which had chosen to locate in Eastleigh Borough, which included the new M&S store in Eastleigh itself, with Smyths Toy Store and Pets at Home in Hedge End. There had also been the national logistics company DX Network Services to become the first company based in Alpha Park, Chandlers Ford. A micro-brewery would also be opened just over Bishopstoke Bridge.
Eastleigh remained an attractive location for businesses and it was important not to become complacent to competition and to continue to try and make Eastleigh even better.
Councillor Craig, Cabinet Member for Health and Community Safety, reported that Helen Coleman had moved on from Eastleigh Borough Council after more than 20 years’ service and wanted to put on record a thank you for her hard work and commitment to the Council and its community groups and wished her well in her new role. Amanda Adams and Ross McClean had been doing a fantastic job in continuing the work within the Health strategy.
The Community Safety Partnership Executive had agreed funding for the third educational film to be made which had now been launched. ‘Suspended in a Sunbeam’ was the latest hard hitting Youth Theatre production which dealt with issues around Child Sex Exploitation. This followed on from ‘Smashed’ which featured drugs and alcohol abuse and ‘Error 404’ which was based around cyber bullying. These were to be rolled out around schools in Hampshire and sold nationally to schools, community groups and even the Police for training purposes. She thanked the staff and Police for their acting parts in the film and use of their homes as vehicles, The Point, the Youth Theatre Group, Melvyn Hartley for instigating the latest production and Daniel Hill who wrote and director the amazing short film. Councillor Craig confirmed that, as yet, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) had not funded any distribution.
The Youth Conference was due to take place on 15 November 2017 and the theme this year would be cyber safety. All secondary schools and both colleges had confirmed that they would be attending.
Our Active and Well for Staff change plan had been handed over to HR to take forward with the support from the health team. Stress Management training for Managers and staff would form part of this. It was hoped to hold another meditation programme before Christmas following the well-attended course which had already been given and the good feedback that had been received.
The Handyperson Scheme was launched in mid-August and there had already been a steady stream of enquiries and over fifty jobs already completed.
The Cancer Prehab/Rehab programme had gone from strength to strength which had resulted in increased physical activity and psychological therapy on clinical outcomes of cancer patients’ pre and post treatment.
There continued to be work with other local partners to provide new ways to stay fit and well for residents and decisions on funding to implement some new schemes were awaited.
Councillor Kyrle, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, reported that November would see the introduction of a ‘parish style sweeper scheme’ in the Eastleigh town area, Chandlers Ford and Botley and West End parishes. There would be a dedicated operative with a sweeper barrow in each area who would be clearing detritus and sweeping pavements, the operatives would also have access to electric powered equipment to aid their work and help reduce the Council’s carbon footprint.
Our Streetscene team would be working closely with parish councils and the Local Area Committees to deliver this initiative in each of the areas. The aim was to roll this out across all areas of the Borough over the next year.
In relation to Eastleigh’s Garden Waste Service, he updated that there were currently 17,955 garden waste customers, which was 917 more customers subscribed to the service compared to this time last year. National benchmarking data from APSE (Association of Public Service Excellence) indicated that this was the highest uptake of residents for a paid service of this type.
Large goods vehicle drivers required a Certificate in Professional Competency qualification to support their vocational driving license. 35 hours training must be undertaken every five years. 20 of Eastleigh’s 56 LGV drivers had completed the course which meant that their qualification lasted until 2024. The remaining drivers would undertake the course before September 2019.
The Council would also support this training with a bespoke course which addressed driver awareness, health and safety, legal and vehicle compliance issues. This training would be tailored specifically to their drivers and include an appraisal element as they sought to improve professional standards.
Onto the Energy Switching Project, details of which were published in the autumn edition of the Borough News. The aim of the project was to try and encourage residents to look at switching their energy supplier, which was easy to do and could save them money, which for many households, especially those on low incomes, could make a difference to their everyday quality of life.
Currently 50 households had signed up through the scheme, collectively saving over £15k per year; the average saving was around £270 each which was 16% above the national average (normally £240). One household was set to save nearly £800.
This was a great initiative, something quite simple to do and he encouraged Members and residents of Eastleigh to have a look and to see whether they were getting the best deal possible and save money off their energy bills.
And finally, Councillor Kyrle thanked the Countryside team for all their hard work on the excellent boardwalk replacement scheme at Hocombe Mead, which was a project undertaken in partnership with Veolia and was a transformation which would be welcomed by new residents and used and enjoyed by them for many years to come.
Councillor Winstanley, Cabinet Member for Housing and Customer Services, updated Council on the affordable Housing Association properties which would come into use this financial year: both those already in use and those forecast for completion before next April.
As affordable housing was now required to be fully funded by the developer as part of Section 106 agreements, Members were not made as directly aware of these. In addition, there used to also be Housing Corporation and Housing Association (HA) funding which meant there would be boards outside the site proclaiming the HC and HA contribution. However the sites now only had developer boards which proclaimed their market sale properties. This led residents to comment that new development could not be helping with housing need as it was only housing that Eastleigh residents could not afford.
By the end of October 2017, there would be 85 new affordable homes for rent in the Borough. These had been at Crowdhill Green and Knowle Lane in Fair Oak, Stoke Park Farm in Bishopstoke, Foord Road in Hedge End, Hamble Lane, Moorgreen in West End and Toynbee Road in Eastleigh. The registered landlords are Stonewater, Aster, Radian, and Vivid (previously Sentinel and First Wessex). There would be a mixture of one, two, three and four bedroom houses, one and two bedroom flats which included a few for those with disabilities, usually for a specific tenant. In addition there had been 38 for low cost home ownership and six for shared equity. These were two and three bedroom houses and a couple of two bedroom flats. As well as the sites already mentioned, there were rentals in Bridge Road, Bursledon, White Tree Farm, Fair Oak, and Dog Kennel Farm, West End. That was 129 much needed new homes since March 2017.
Looking forward over the rest of the financial year the predicted completions were 77 new affordable houses for rent – on Woodside, Toynbee Road and Travis Perkins, Eastleigh, Stoke Park Farm, Bishopstoke, Crowdhill Green, Fair Oak, Boorley Green, Botley, Moorgreen, West End, Foord Road, Hedge End and Bridge Road, Bursledon. These were a mixture again of one and two bedroom flats and two, three and four bedroom houses with again some specifically for those with disabilities. For low cost home ownership there were 41 completions to come on sites already mentioned and also The Mallard Centre, Eastleigh with a new landlord – St Arthur Homes.
This meant that overall a total of 247 new homes would be available this year of which 162 were for rent, 79 for low cost home ownership and six for shared equity.
Councillor Winstanley added that she went with Councillors House and Kyrle, to have a look at the Boorley Green site on a tour led by Linden Homes and Aster, which included some of the affordable housing under construction there. This was very impressive and certainly a site that the Council could be proud of having in its Borough in the future.
To deal with questions from Members to the Leader and Cabinet Councillors on Cabinet decisions, performance and strategy.
The Members’ questions, as set out in the Agenda, were answered by the Leader.
RESOLVED ITEMS - FOR NOTING AND QUESTIONS ONLY
That the Minutes of the following meetings be received:
(a) 13 July 2017
(b) 20 July 2017
(c) 10 August 2017
(d) 14 September 2017
(e) 12 October 2017
Audit & Resources Committee
(f) 11 July 2017
(g) 18 July 2017
(h) 9 August 2017
(i) 27 September 2017
(j) 9 October 2017
(k) 10 October 2017
Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath Local Area Committee
(l) 12 July 2017
Bursledon, Hamble and Hound Local Area Committee
(m) 21 September 2017
Chandlers Ford and Hiltingbury Local Area Committee
(n) 13 September 2017
Eastleigh Local Area Committee
(o) 25 July 2017
(p) 26 September 2017
(q) 17 October 2017
Hedge End and West End Local Area Committee
(r) 11 September 2017