Venue: Committee Room, Civic Offices, Leigh Road, Eastleigh
Contact: Cheryll Kemsley, Democratic Services Officer (Tel: 023 8068 8112; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 August 2011.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 August 2011 be confirmed and signed by the Chair 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.
Members were invited to declare interests in relation to items of business on the agenda. Any interests declared are recorded in the relevant minute below.
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which proposed new conditions for the seating width in hackney carriages and private hire vehicles.
The Licensing Department, Depot staff and Trade representatives had held several meetings regarding this matter and agreement had been reached that the measurement for the rear seat should be measured in a straight line across the centre of the seat from edge to edge and not be less than 1200mm.
That the following condition be adopted in the Private Hire and Hackney Carriage handbook:
“That the width of the seat be measured in a straight line across the centre of the seat from edge to edge of the seat and shall not be less than 1200mm. In the case of a two-seater seat, the measurement shall not be less than 800mm”.
Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which invited the Committee to consider the current consultation by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) on initial proposals for new parliamentary boundaries, with a view to submiting its views accordingly.
Members were very concerned that under the new proposals announced by the BCE, the current Eastleigh parliamentary constituency would be split into two constituencies: a revised Eastleigh constituency; and a new seat of Hedge End and Hamble-le-Rice. The revised Eastleigh seat would include the Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) wards of Eastleigh North, South, Central, Bishopstoke East and West, Fair Oak and Horton Heath, and West End North, as well as taking on Chandler’s Ford East and West, and Hiltingbury East and West from the current Winchester constituency. In addition, three wards from Test Valley Borough, and one from the City of Southampton, would be added to the new Eastleigh seat.
The new seat of Hedge End and Hamble-le-Rice would contain the EBC wards of Botley, Hedge End Wildern, Grange Park, St Johns, West End South, Hamble-le-Rice and Butlocks Heath, Bursledon and Old Netley, and Netley Abbey. Added to these wards, there would be five wards from the borough of Fareham, and one ward from the City of Southampton.
Members were also concerned that these proposals would divide the Borough in two, creating two constituencies spread out over several local authorities with the new Eastleigh seat crossing three local authorities (Eastleigh, Southampton and Test Valley). Hedge End and Hamble-le-Rice seat also crossed three local authorities (Eastleigh, Fareham and Southampton).
More importantly, it would split West End North from West End South, ignoring Parish boundaries and local community ties and leave the City of Southampton with four different MPs representing different parts of the city.
Members were worried that the proposals ignored long-standing distinct community identities within this Borough, dividing the southern parishes of this Borough that have been grouped together in the same constituency since 1983. It also included areas within the same constituency with no common links or community ties. For example: placing Fair Oak & Horton Heath in the same constituency as Swaythling, Baddesley and Ampfield and Braishfield within the Eastleigh seat, and putting Bitterne and Fareham’s western wards in with part of West End and the south of the Borough in the Hedge End and Hamble-le-Rice seat.
Members felt that the proposals broke the Boundary Commission guidelines by disregarding the River Hamble, which acted as a natural barrier between Hamble-le-Rice (Eastleigh Borough), and Warsash/Sarisbury (Fareham Borough); and failed to take into account the fact that the current Eastleigh parliamentary constituency already had the right size of electorate as set out by the BCE’s own mission statement for this boundary review.
In conclusion, Members stated that the BCE’s proposals were not in the best interests of Eastleigh Borough residents, and would create confusion over representation, and tension over the artificial divides created within communities and villages.
That the Council opposes these proposals but recognises that with this review Hampshire must lose one Member of Parliament reducing its total to seventeen Members of Parliament and concludes:
(1) That there was no reason to change from the 2010 boundaries, and would strongly back proposals that took into account community ties by reverting to 2005 boundaries for the most part;
(2) That by reverting to 2005 boundaries for Hampshire, allowing for small changes, the Boundary Commission could realise its aim to reduce the number of MPs to 17, whilst taking into account natural barriers, community ties, and ... view the full minutes text for item 4.