Eastleigh Borough Council Cabinet Meeting - 21st May 2020

Eastleigh Borough Council Cabinet Meeting 21st May 2020.

If you didn’t read my previous few posts, I had the grand idea of transcribing all the council meetings out so they are searchable so people can more easily find out what’s going off. :slight_smile:

Any suggestions, or if you’d like to get involved and help out - feel free to contact me or comment. :slight_smile:

Keith House

Good evening and welcome to these Eastleigh councils cabinet meeting on this Thursday 21st of May 2020 being broadcast courtesy of Microsoft teams live to residents and anyone interested in watching across the borough and beyond this is a council meeting held in public rather than a public meeting and it’s designed to make sure that the council continues doing business as a matter of routine during the covid-19 emergency.

During this evenings meeting we’ll be hearing from a range of cabinet members and those that are participating in the meeting I may come up on your screen now.

…and we have apologies at the moment from counsellor to Rupert Kyrle who has some internet problems we’re trying to sort out. All the members that you see on the screen will be taking part in this evening’s meeting. We have support from staff during the course of the meeting we are pop in and make comments if necessary on any reports that they’ve written.

But in the mean time my name is Keith house and I’m chairing this evenings meeting and we’ll be running through the business that we have in front of us.

Now we start off with public participation as our meetings it’s a regular slot which is an opportunity for members of the public to raise issues that they have and indeed councillors to raise issues that are not on the agenda they want to be considered by the cabinet. I have one request from a member of the public to speak which I’m not going to take this evening I’ll explain why. I have a very long and detailed question and statement from Dr. James Taylor from Hedge End who raises some really interesting points about traffic regulation orders and the policy that’s attached to those. Traffic regulation orders under the council schema delegation are a matter for our local area committees to decide on and so Dr. Taylors statements will go to that meeting which takes place in a few weeks time I’ve had email correspondence with Dr. Taylor during the course of today so he understands the rationale behind the councils approach and will be will be come to him then and we wish him good luck in fact that he send us his statements does mean that we have an opportunity for staff to look at the issues that he wants to raise to make sure that we’re able at that meeting to give him a full response.

During the course of this evening’s meeting we have an independent counsellor counsellor Parker Jones who wishes to contribute on the covid-19 item and will be interesting count will be introducing counsellor Parker-Jones at that point in the meeting but at the start of the meeting given there’s no members of the public wanting to speak but there is a counsellor wanting to speak I’ll ask counsellor Gin Tidridge from Bishopstoke to raise her question now, Gin.

Gin Tidridge

Thank you and I’ve got a question for the leader of the council which doesn’t relate to an agenda item so thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to ask it. Can the leader state where the Eastleigh Borough Council will be asking for provision in Winchester City Council’s next local plan for the road that EBC had proposed to link the SGO north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak to the B3335 at Highbridge now that the inspector has requested that the SGO be deleted from ABC’s local plan, thank you.

Keith House

Thank you for much for your question Gin. The inspector wrote to the council for those who’ve not followed this at the beginning of April with a quite detailed letter setting out her areas of concern and interest in support for the council’s local plan that went through its examination in public during the course of the last year having submitted to the government 18 months ago. In her letter she set out a range of areas where she thought the council could move towards an adopted local plan asked for some additional work to be taken place on a range of policy issues and also asked for the council to delete the policy for a strategic growth area north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak. There are a range of other quite complex and interrelated issues in the inspectors letter and the council has taken a position of not responding to detailed inquiries on the inspectors letter at this stage until we are able to give a comprehensive response and that I can assure you Gin will happen at the cabinet meeting at some point in the next two months where we have a quite lengthy session on the local plan and so I’m not in position this evening to answer one question in isolation about the contents of the local plan and how we want to proceed with the Labor’s, given there are a whole stack of issues not just about housing supply but also about environmental protection and how we manage to get traffic congestion off our roads and reduce air pollution and all those issues need to be considered together rather than in isolation so did you have any supplementary on that one for this evening Gin.

Gin Tidridge

No thank you it was simply about the interaction between Eastleigh’s local plan and Winchester’s local plan and the link Road but presuming from your answer that will be dealt with later.

Keith House

yes it will and thanks so much the question is good one it’s one that we had already started to think about because there are lots and lots of implications from the inspectors letter how about how we make sure that we do get our housing supply for the future and also how we achieve the whole range of other council policies that are in place for environment protection and over and beyond that are important to residents right the way across the borough as well as the long-term issues of growth that need to be considered and will need to be part of the council’s review is local plan which will be starting off very quickly after the adoption of a local plan. So thank you Gin for that that’s the only item of public participation that I have for this evening’s meeting so we can go on to the meeting proper and I just check apologies Rupert Kyrle has sent apologies for not being able to get his internet working so far. I’m sure that’s a technical issue that at the council end before rather than Rupert would pick that up and apologies to Rupert for… oh Rupert has just joined us just as we speak so we’ll use that as an opportunity to walk and Rupert amazing thank you for being able to log in just as we’re about to move into inter main business of the meeting Rupert.

So, we have all members of cabinet now in attendance so there are no apologies to be given the next item on our agenda is the minutes of the last meeting which was the first online meeting and we are pretty sure was the first online live broadcast cabinet meeting of any council in Hampshire so thanks for those who participated in that the minutes have been printed and circulated in advance are there any issues on those minutes that anyone wishes to raise before we adopt them.

Now for the benefit of those who are watching this broadcast I’m looking at my screen which means that I can see nodding heads or shaking heads rather of cabinet members around the table and no one’s saying they want to raise any items so I will take that as ascent to agree the minutes of the meeting held on the 27th of April Thank You colleagues for that.

Now the next item on our agenda is a standing item is to ask councillors if they have any items they want to declare as a matter of interest these are items that would preclude councillors from taking part in any debate or voting on any items we ask those be recorded at this stage as part of transparency just general probity to make sure that we’re doing the right thing not just doing the right thing but also being seemed to do the right thing.

Are there any declarations of interest to anyone wishes to raise no and I’m getting a mixture of head shaking there and that’s fine good thank you much colleagues.

So we move on to the first substantial item on our agenda this evening which is covid-19 and the council’s response we had a lengthy debate on the covid-19 issues that our cabinet meeting in April really helpful debate and know some very helpful questions that were raised by councillors around the Borough too. We’ve tried to give those due diligence because we weren’t able at stage to include more members on line being broadcasts as past the meeting and so the bulk of meeting was actually taken up by answering questions from councillors but that in effect gave us the cue to debate the issues that were concerned around covid-19 and the council’s response. The council along with dealing with the issues that are of relevance that all members of the public at the moment is continuing to make sure we maintain public services our primary responsibility is to make sure that we protect the safety of residents and the safety of businesses and the safety of our council staff at this at this quite difficult time beyond that we want to make sure that we’re starting to support thinking about recovery.

Whilst we’re all staying safe by mainly staying at home and staying alert as the buzz word from the government is okay we do need to make sure that we did work on economic recovery as well as environmental protection and protecting the health of our residents and businesses that process is now started what can - one of the items related on the agenda around support for businesses and additional grant funds where we have a million pounds available best part million pounds available to support local businesses that haven’t qualified for other grants but this paper that’s in front of the cabinet this evening gives a further update of activities over the course of the last month as well as another financial health check to demonstrate that we are prudent with our finances and we’ve planned for the future with some confidence and therefore we are we’re moving ahead smoothly.

There’s a lot of activity going on, I want again put on put on record my thanks to some absolutely fantastic work that’s been taking place from from council staff over the borough I think we’ve all seen pictures of stickers on bins where residents of thanked staff that have been collecting waste but also we’ve seen staff out doing grounds work around the place clean the streets cutting the grass all those things that are really important to our residents and they’re doing that in some quite challenging circumstances overall and so by putting our thanks to them on record that I think is is really important for us to do.

The wide public sector is of course dealing with a whole raft of other issues and we all think a lot about the work of staff in our hospitals in our care homes who are putting themselves in jeopardy on a daily basis for the greater protection of everyone and that’s just quite remarkable our hope is a country where in the future to probably recognise that by actually making sure we properly fund our NHS and probably fund healthcare and social care in a way that we haven’t always in the past and that will be I think one of the lessons that we’ve learned from this this pandemic.

I’ve got one councilman to ask a question on paper so we moved to councillor Louise Parker- Jones to ask a question on the paper and then we’ll see what that takes us in terms of debate and commentary from from there so Louise over to you.

Louise Parker-Jones

Thank you yes I’m actually asking about the health of their Council’s finances during covid-19. I became aware of an article that was published in the local government chronicle on the 15th of May and it said within that article it stated Eastleigh Borough Council is more exposed than most councils to risk because of its reliance upon its property portfolio and the income it generates so within that article the chief executive and stated that yes he was but we are very reliant and in the short term that we’re not expecting that to be a massive problem, which is great but beyond that there is a complex picture building up that we might lose perhaps some major tenants and that is a real difficulty that we might have so I suppose as a result of that article I have two kind of questions that arise from it. One is it states in the short term will be fine well how long is the short term, how long do we feel we can weather this downturn and the potential loss of income from our property portfolio and what other plans that the council is now putting into place just in case this is a very very long and drawn-out recession where we do lose those major businesses and that major income. Does that make sense?

Keith House

Yeah okay thank you very much questions those are those really good points and I know that residents will have seen commentary in the press and on TV screens about the state of public sector finance over the course of the last few weeks and councils are as exposed as anywhere else in the public sector in some ways councils are more exposed in the rest of public sector because we’ve relied for most of our income from income that comes from places other than government grant we’ve rely on income from our council tax, from business rates being shared across the country, and we also rely on our commercial income and from fees and charges one thing that we’ve been really really careful on as a council over the course of the last couple of months is very very carefully scrutinising our finances working through projections of where we think income is going to go where we think expenditure is going to change and so the appendix to the paper but we’re circulated for councillors to read shows a medium term financial plan that goes right there through to 2025 based on current best estimates of where both income and expenditure will be including any changes arise from from either changes from government funding or indeed from the councils income streams.

We are in a better position than many councils because we have got a diverse set of income streams coming into the local authority so far as our commercial investments are concerned we took a very clear view many years ago to make sure that we had a wide cross-section of investments in our local economy and that we understood each of those investments very carefully. Now there is clearly a risk for some councils mainly other parts of the country that took a decision to borrow heavily to invest in property outside of their area we have done that we have a small number investments outside the borough boundary but the vast vast majority of our investments are held locally which means that we have a very very close relationship with our tenants we know about the issues of problems that they’re facing and we’re working with them on a day-to-day basis so our property team our asset team and our finance team have been working very closely on those issues over the last couple of months. The consequence of that is that the medium term financial plan update that we’ve circulated today and again that’s an update on the one that was circulated last month shows that our financial position is pretty robust.

The local government Chronicle did publish report a few days ago which as you can expect with any journalists, a journalist will look for the juicy comments that they want to report and not necessarily put the whole picture in context. So I’m very pleased to have this opportunity and thank to Louise for her question this evening to be able to give me assurance that all the work that we’re doing suggests that our finances are secure that we have a plan to make sure that that remains the case. We also have significant reserves built up in our property account which were purposely designed to carry the burden in the event of any short to medium-term loss of income that reserve is substantial and gives us a great protection that most councils haven’t got. Over and beyond that many local authorities have taken capital brands and put them into their revenue income stream and just spent them as revenue so many councils are spent their new homes bonus which is a grant from government to prop up their revenue accounts we have not done that we have taken a much more prudent and careful careful response to make sure that we only use those one-off source of income for one-off projects.

Louise is there any follow-up you want to raise to my response at the moment.

Louise Parker-Jones

no thank you, I just wanted to make sure we were all sited on it and what was actually going to happen so I’ll be looking at the medium-term financial strategy on a regular basis now.

Keith House

Thank you very much appreciated and your question is very helpful and I’m sure that’s helped people understand some the issues a little bit more. We will spend as much time as it takes off-camera making sure that all the financial issues are secure as we move forward because it is really really important that we get that right for all of our residents.

So I’m going to turn to colleagues around the cabinet table and ask if anyone wants to speak on any of the covid-19 items this month there’s an opportunity for anyone to say anything about their portfolios that they consider to be relevant right now or likely to be going on over the course of the coming weeks.

At the moment I’ve got no one, yes I have David Airey wants to come in so very count member for transport and infrastructure.

David Airey

(Garbled scrambled speaking) issues raised there but we also other investment banks have lost a fair percentage of their their value over the last few weeks now and I’m just wondering what the situation is with regard to the council’s investments in that area the other thing I was going to raise under this one I’m speaking is, and it’s the recovery area which I’m most interested in as we start moving back into recovery and we start people start using public transport again as I hope they will return to do very quickly. It’s been suggested that people have to wear masks and I can understand that that’s a huge difficulty in getting hold of masks and places where you can buy them. If you go to a pharmacy ask there just laugh at you some of them was if you up something coming one of those little green men from space that was mentioned earlier on.

So I’m wondering what’s the opportunity for us to look into it in two ways of perhaps vending machine say at the bus station and also getting in touch with South West Trains and asking them about provision of similar at main stations I’m not expecting the small stations to have them but Southampton Airport Parkway which is to each the Southampton Central and so on because this will make life a lot easier for a lot of people and attract people back it’s happening our German stations I know because I’ve seen photographs of it and so I said see no reason why it shouldn’t happen here thank you.

Keith House

Thank you much David now sadly your internet connection was breaking up quite badly during a loss of your contribution David so I know not all colleagues have managed to hear a lot of what you said but I hope that’s okay David. So I think so the areas that I think you were covering firstly around the councils exposure to to cash investments and into banks we are nothing. We are not exposed in any real extent with the banking sector so there’s not an issue there.

So far as masks are concerned, we’re going to have to wait for government initially to come up with some thoughts on this because at the moment you’re absolutely right there we have got no ability to supply people with masks in any quantity other than those they make themselves because shops simply don’t sell them. So a lot of thought is gonna have to be given to that whether we’re in a position to intervene in that market and create a market for ourselves for the benefit of residents is something to think about, but government’s clearly need to respond.

Rupert Kyrle wanted to come in. Rupert, we’re really pleased that you managed to get your Internet up and running that’s very good as well as getting home from work which I know was a bit of a bit of a trial this evening so your turn

Rubert Kyrle

Thank you very much indeed chair, hopefully you can hear me my apologies for being a bit late in having a few internet problems hopefully they’ll get resolved and relatively shortly. I just really wanted to turn to the report and very much echo your comments in effect about the how our staff have been dealing with this issue frankly to be honest with you and actually our quite low sickness record giving through this given the significant issues and stresses and strains that obviously every everybody but also every family have been experiencing throughout this crisis. Also the professional way in which all of our staff frankly have been carrying out their duties on a daily basis which I certainly know has been very much well received by all the residents and I know that things gifts if you like a being left out for bin men and and and our operatives etc and I know that any sort of sense of normality shall we say is very much welcomed by the general public at large but also just wanted to pass on my thanks in effect as well to that we are actually recognising the stresses and strains the potentially our and the and the financial stresses that our staff may be experiencing at this time along with a lot of other people and the fact that we have committed to paying a hundred percent of people’s wages not just taking an easy option in effect of only paying eighty percent where we what might might be able to do so but by committing to do that actually it clearly shows that we are prepared to look after our staff and invest in our staff because we want to retain them into the future and this is all part of coming out of the lockdown but also it’s also making sure we’re supporting our staff during this very difficult time so I just wanted to draw members and also members of the public’s attention to the fact that the Borough Council are taking this responsible stance with regards to paying their employees the full amount 100% through this difficult time which clearly shows our intent of wanting to retain staff into the future to provide those services for our residents.

Keith House

thanks so much Rupert that’s absolutely right and I’ve been really impressed to see photos of staff doing jobs anything like their regular day job coming as a matter of routine and the way people have been just prepared to adapt and do things differently I think he’s been absolutely amazing and a great testament to actually the wider community spirit that we’re seeing right across the Borough with volunteers popping up people from all sorts to different jobs and backgrounds and careers volunteering to do things. There are some great strengths in our community and it’s good to see those perhaps giving a bit of a light into these times of darkness. Derek Pretty wants to come in now on this paper so we’ll ask him for his contribution Derek

Derek, your microphones muted moment.

thank you Derek you’ve muted again I’m afraid.

No, one click, that’s it, well done!

Derek Pretty

I’ll keep your hands clear this, I’m sorry that’s firstly one little minor point on item 41 the borough-wide flyer that was supposed to be sent to all parts of the borough by Royal Mail. I don’t think Grange Park or many parts of Hedge End ever received it. Can I take it there will be either reissuing it or tracing royal mail up for an apology that’s a minor point second point on the recovery process I’m concerned that in order to try and keep social distancing in Eastleigh where the pavement so very now relatively narrow or we’ve got parked cars both sides road, we as a Borough Council take to consideration of how we’re going to manage that because obviously the shops are quite small they mainly want one maybe two people in at the time people maybe wanted to do outside on the pavement and to maintain that to one half to two metres distance and there has been talk about trying to temporary closed roads to enable social distancing to take place but if you really want to make sure that’s on the agenda for our staff and they’re preparing the recovery plan for for the economy I think it’s it’s important to encourage people into the town centre by making them feel as safe as they possibly can. That’s really my my important point and I hope that colleagues on ELAC would agree with me on that, thank you.

Keith House

thank you much Derek. So lets deal with those points in reverse order. The issue of access around our town centres is something which I know the County Council asked our Highway Authority is beginning to look at and consider what changes need to be made to make sure that free movement as near as possible is able to take place while still ensuring social distancing. Those are quite difficult issues in many of our centers particularly those that have as as you say have got narrow pavements and there could be could be congestion. I think people are generally going to be pretty sensible they have been so far in most cases, fortunately we haven’t got Southend beach here and I would hope that pattern of sensible behaviour will continue over the coming weeks we will be liaison with the County Council on a lot of those issues.

On the first point on the Royal mail, I’m glad you’ve raised that because I’ve not had the Borough Council’s leaflet delivered to me in Hedge End and of all the people I’ve spoken to who live in the hedge end area so far I’ve only found one person who had who’s had their leaflet from Borough Council and that was only received yesterday and yet these leaflets were sent to the Royal Mail now a month ago to be delivered within a week or so it is very disappointing to get about service from the Royal Mail. We know that there are still significant tracks of Eastleigh and Horton Heath that have not had the leaflets and most parts of Hedge End and the fringes of Bursledon haven’t yet - we have not had satisfactory replies from Royal Mail as to why our literature hasn’t been delivered given that we’ve paid them to deliver it or we’ll pay them at least we’ll pay them some of what they’re asking for, but as well as that we have incurred print costs to get literature out at a time which is it’s quite critical. The content is some of that leaflet is now a little bit dated because it was written now every month ago what are the core issues at all contacts that have there still remain the same we’ve published some of that information on our website through social media on Facebook and on Twitter but nothing beats getting something pushed through your letterbox by the friendly postal staff I’m sure it’s not the individual postal staff that have the issue here there’s a management mistake that’s happened somewhere along the line which hasn’t resulted in our literature being delivered to help our residents. So yes we are pressing that and we’ll continue to do so because I’m certainly not satisfied I know that many people also aren’t.

So we’re going to go to Paul Bicknell next who wanted to come in after we’ve heard and Paul were here from Tanja Craig and so Paul over to you now.

Paul Bicknell

Thank You chair. I just wanted to well for the first day I agree with everybody that some mentioned reference to our staff and it is quite and it’s quite reassuring when you put up and post on on some of the local forums on Facebook the the amount of likes that you get from members of the public and with the positives and stories of bin men and our street scene team keeping our areas nice and what-have-you. So obviously public appreciate our staff as well that is clear to see as do we all appreciate them and obviously it’s not just the staff that we actually see on the streets. We know but our staff are like an iceberg what you see is the top third ie our refuse collectors and street scene but there’s a whole host of people behind the scenes that nobody ever sees putting this together that don’t necessarily get publicly thanked but I’d like to publicly thank all those staff that sit behind the scenes and pull this all together now.

The purpose of actually wanting to speak was to pick up on councillor Parker-Jones point the reference to the conferences and is a very good point and it’s very encouraging to see that some do to our very prudence and financial management over the years we’re in a very strong position. There is obviously a recovery phase we might still be in the pandemic phase but whilst you’re still in a pandemic phase you have to start going into recovery phase because obviously the two, one will tail off well hopefully one will scale down as some the recovery phase then starts to scale up, and there’s an overlap and and local councils will have a very large part to play in the recovery. Not just for all the health reasons that are widely reported in the media but for my cabinet portfolio actually also our local centres and businesses. In councils that have predominantly up until now and definitely going into the future that will be regenerating our town centres. That process had already started because there had already been a shift in in the way that people were, that their shopping habits have changed and the high street was changing now that is, you know potentially going to change dramatically and it’s local councils that you know that will be able to intervene and reshape those and those town centers and those communities. With the best will in the world government is not going to be able to throw money every single Town Council or every single town village and city in the country to support town Center’s rejuvenate, regenerate, re-do traffic management to increase footpaths and suchlike all the things that count a lot of councils and we were moving forward to up until this pandemic. So it’s very encouraging to see that they do to our investments over the years and of course you never have all your eggs in one basket though we have got the financial reserves to to get us through this and still enable us to carry on looking at some at the regeneration of our local centers, albeit we be looking at things in slightly differently than than we were three months ago so that’s very encouraging so that’s what I wanted to comment on thanks chair.

Keith House

Thanks so much Paul I think that’s absolutely right and the flexibility that we’ve got because we are a significant investor in our place means that we are able to be more responsive to a lot of the issues that they’re going to become very very important over the course of the coming weeks and months and years as the economy changes to reflect people’s change lifestyles and those are serious they really are important. Now I was gonna go to Tonya next but I just had a prod from stage left that Rupert needs to come in because he has interested to declare.

Could be straight into talking about the Royal Mail.

Rupert Kryle

yes thank you chairman. Sorry as we were referencing Royal Mail and obviously the delivery that the Borough Council commissioned for all mail to deliver house to house I just wanted to declare an interest on reasons of openness and transparency as I actually am an employee of Royal Mail however I just want to clarify the fact that I’m not actually a management level which clearly would have been dealing with this particular item for delivery probably more on the receiving end rather than the other end but just wanted to declare that for openness and transparency thank you.

Keith House

Okay we won’t shoot the messenger than ever at least not not this stage just yet so thank you for that and I don’t think we’re blaming you either. This isn’t about blame is about systems and clearly there’s been a systems breakdown it does need to be good got sorted out because communication matters more rather than less at the moment and that’s really important. Right now I’m looking to go to Tonya next

There’s a bit of an internet problem in Bursledon at the moment which suggests that I can’t bring Tonia up to broadcast the world just at the moment. Was there anyone else looking to speak before we before we go there. Not at the moment it seems. Right and we now have got the connection to Bursledon restored, so let’s see if we can get back, bringing in Tonia.

Tonia Craig

I’ve been here, there’s not been an issue but it might be an Hedge End problem, don’t blame Bursledon.

It’s been already at what I was going to say again I just want to put my thanks on record to the staff who really are going above but beyond but my point that is really of reassurance for both Lou that was on earlier and members of the public that as cabinet members our portfolios are already looking at recovery so we’re looking at putting things in place we’re talking about what things that we’re going to be needing to encourage people not only back to work but back into the public back into public places, so that is already going on in the background. It was more of a reassurance thing that we are looking at that already but yes there’s so many people to thanks like you say the staff have been absolutely but volunteers our resilience helps I know we’ve done this before but they just need to be kept up to praise I think because it’s it’s changing on a daily basis but I think a lot of these resilience hubs are going to get busier before they actually fall off so there’s a lot of work around there as well still thank you.

Keith House

Thank you much Tonya I think it’s absolutely right to keep pointing that out because we know that certainly we’re all spending more time on recovery now than we are think about the issues from the direct issues but the recovery is going to is going to have attached to it a very very substantial recession so alongside the continued impact of the pandemic with social distancing and as we move towards antibody tests and vaccinations hopefully at some point in the future and returns the work in one moment are totally inappropriate spaces and getting more use of public transport we’re also going to have to think about all those issues that linked to the recession.

Now I’ve got no one else waving at me around so have Ian Corben wants to come in let’s see if we can bring in in and in you need to unmute.

Ian Corben

Thank You chair. Yeah hopefully you can hear me I just wanted to I was pleased to see in the in the report we mentioned about parish and Town Council’s and I just wanted really to just to emphasise the hard work that has clearly gone into those perished areas of the of the borough and the support that they’ve given to residents. I’ve got a sign on my thing saying unmute your mic you are live but your mic is muted are living games we can hear you. So really it was just to acknowledge really the parish councils and also their structures because clearly they’re being they’re being run and and the services that they provide a clearly very welcomed by by residents and again it goes back to really what Paul was saying earlier about some mostly about things that are happening behind the scenes and I think it’s important that we we’ve quite rightly recognised that and I and I note chair that you wrote to the parish councils and parish and town councils I’m obviously involved with Hedge End Town council and I know the hard work and the yeah the time and due diligence that goes into into running that and to the and to all the grounds workers there to keep things going so I just wanted to acknowledge that in this meeting thank you very much.

Keith House

Thank you much Ian and as you say parish councils and town councils across most of Borough, it’s only a part of Eastleigh which is not parished at the moment. Eastleigh town have had to pick up quite a lot of the leg work around our open spaces and providing some additional services to our residents. They’ve all risen to that challenge most of them management held virtual meetings something like this not quite broadcast on teams life but certainly having teams meetings or zoom meetings as the world is moved to teams and zoom land and its credit to them for managed to do that so it’s so quickly.

Now I really do have no one else wishing to speak at this stage so I’m gonna take the recommendations on the paper which is in note the paper as read if colleagues are happy for me so to do and that be the case from nods around the table so we move on to the next item which is appointments to outside bodies now we have a raft of outside bodies to a point to for those members of the public watching please look up on the council’s website the various bodies that we’re talking about I want to take all these on blocks I think they’re all straightforward I saw a colleagues happy that we take these items 6 7 and 8 as printed again I’m seeing nods here, Tonya wants to speak and was that speaking or nodding what’s that speaking Tonia no it was just waving okay anyway

We have now got David questions coming in so we take David now.

You’re on mute again David. No. David Internet’s connection is clearly difficult time right we have I’m afraid to lost our connection to Netley at the moment so we’ll hopefully get in David’s comments a little bit later in the meeting. Apologies to David that we can’t take you live at the moment we’re just, those was watching our wider screen see that David is just temporary disappeared.

David you’ve got your camera off now let’s see if we can speak get get you involved. Let’s see stop if you can take yourself off mute David, we’ll try now.

David Airy

Right thank you Paul yeah there’s a question with regard for some of the other outside bodies which people sit on for example, I’m on the airport consultative committee you do south-east councils and I’m just wondering whether we need to have those added in somewhere so as to reconfirm those who attend those meetings and know some of some of these outside bodies they’re filled by people from local area committees which is slightly different but I was just thinking some of these bigger ones that come through the cabinet thank you.

Keith House

yeah thank you David for that so let’s deal with each of those in turn some of the bodies that you mentioned actually are tucked away here so southeast councils, actually not it says employees here. There are a number of appointments that are routine and made simply by council and ourself perpetuating and they go with cabinet positions so those are on this report those those appointments that are that relate to local area committees will be going to the next available local area committee meeting for them to agree so when you get to your burden handle around local area committee at the beginning of next month you’ll see those local appointments are on the agenda as you normally would. So this is not quite the same as normal because the issues that would normally be covered as part of the council’s main committees at the annual meeting has simply rolled over in the same way that appointments to the cabinet have and indeed the mayor and deputy mayor have I think I’ve now got the point where we are finally concluding the appointments outside bodies so I’ll take that as agreed we have one additional agenda item this evening which has come along quite late but it’s a really important one which is around discretionary business grants policy I’m going to ask pretty to speak to this in just a moment but this is an unusual opportunity for us to make some direct choices on support for businesses around the bar over and beyond where government has directly allocated funds for particular businesses so Derek would you like to speak to this paper thank you.

Derek Pretty

Just a brief introduction I think the paper is fairly straightforward but probably put up after the lockdown government announced a number of financial measures to assist businesses to mitigate their losses and costs amongst those were the small business and the retail leisure and hospitality grant funds these have a very successful received well by the business community but there are some small and micro businesses who haven’t for various reasons qualified for these funds and don’t qualify for funds or other forms of support. This grant fund which is just under a million pound is aimed at those those businesses that haven’t received previous grants and contributions towards the ongoing property related costs. Their businesses who offer a lot of the Borough by creating business and generating interest in the town centre and I think it’s important that we give them a big support we can the applications will take place as from next Monday if the recommendations have accepted finished on the 12th of June and hopefully we will then be making payments or recommendations then on the 15th of June so that these businesses will have money in their banks by BACS payment within days of that date and other than that brief overview I’d like to commend the Flickerman bish to colleagues and ask them to support it thank you very much.

Keith House

thank you much Derek now I would like to thank staff of the amount of time that’s gone into putting this item together because we’ve had to consider quite a lot of issues quite short notice to be able to get this up and running but typically given that we do want to make sure that these funds can be dispersed to businesses sooner rather than later so anyone connected with the business community that is watching this now we will be advertising the package quite widely on social media and on our website and www.eastleigh.gov.uk is the place to go if you haven’t already got contact with any members of council staff on these discretionary business grants.

I’m gonna take Paul Bicknell next, Derek Pretty wants to come back but if anyone else wants to come in after Paul now is the time to indicate to me, Paul.

Paul Bicknell

Thank you chair yes I just wanted to just say that so I do what councillor Pretty said I do support this paper and I think that this is a very good way of being able to help our local businesses I understand obviously that the money is coming from central government but I think it is the right thing to do that the actual money comes directly to Eastleigh Borough Council because we know our business is you know we know where the micro businesses are they don’t have to go searching they don’t have to fill in whole room try and get you know a government website with humteen and tens of thousands of other businesses across the country so and knowing how Eastleigh Borough Council works and has worked so far to date with administering loans to businesses and that then yeah I’m confident that Eastleigh Borough Council will be able to administer this and quickly and get the you know get the money to those businesses that apply and that qualify swiftly so that some they are supported as best they possibly can so yeah fully support the paper, thank you chair.

Keith House

okay let’s go straight back to Derek pretty then.

Derek Pretty

yes thank you chair. I should have mentioned at the time about to express my thanks for all the team that have been administrating the grant so far to date. They’ve awarded grants of I think nearly 15 million pounds for over eleven hundred and fifty businesses locally I think it’s a grand effort by them and I think and should go right to them. I think this one will be similarly dealt with they’ve got a lot of information from the previous applications that they couldn’t approve so I think the intention is to try and look at those and say well you didn’t qualify for that we think you made to here if we could have a little bit more information so I think a lot of the informations already in there I’m sure that we’ll be able to help a lot of business fairly quickly thank you.

Keith House

Thank you very much Derek I’m just going to ask Tina Campbell if she wants to come in on this item on the basis that Tina has herself got a small micro business and must have the connections with other small micro businesses just in terms of the general support that’s been available to her and indeed anyone else on these issues.

Tina Campbell

Thank you chair I certainly would like to add my support for this initiative and I’m very aware of the stress that this current situation has put people under and I’ve had as I’m sure many of us have had members of our community contacting me because they haven’t been able to apply for you know other support and grants so this is a really welcomed initiative and I’m very grateful to the team for putting this together so quickly and comprehensively thank you chair.

Keith House

I’ve got no one else wanting to speak on this item that I can see so I colleagues happy to agree the paper that’s here with the policy attached to it for dispersing business grants hopefully we will get those out the door just as soon as possible thank you very much for that. That brings us to the end of our meeting this evening so I’d like to thank everyone for their attendance there’s been a good debate and good series of discussions.

Thank our visitors along the way too and all the staff support behind the scenes that make this possible and with apologies that broadband at different points in both Netley and Bursledon wasn’t quite as good as we’d like it to have been. I’m sure that BT is under some stress as well getting this stuff to work so thank you much colleagues for your attendance and that concludes the end of this meeting good night good night thank you.