Eastleigh Borough Council Cabinet Meeting - 22nd July 2020

Eastleigh Borough Council Cabinet Meeting 22nd July 2020.

Audio transcript follows - feel free to comment corrections below - would really welcome a few other people involved in this project. :slight_smile:

Keith House:

So good evening and welcome to Eastleigh Borough council’s cabinet meeting of the 22nd of July 2020 broadcast on teams live um this evening we have a fairly routine meeting of the council’s cabinet which will deal with a number of items of business all the cabinet members are here with the exception of councillor Kyrle who said he’ll be just a few minutes late and so we’ll move on to uh business

sooner rather than later there’s the sports officers that’ll be with meeting and we’ll carry on from there right so then uh this evening’s meeting uh we normally kick off with public participation but there’s no one to participate publicly this evening so we can move from that item straight into the main agenda which starts off with minutes from the last meeting which have been circulated in advance and noted our colleagues happy to note those i see people nodding at me around virtual room so that’s good we’ll take that as done.

move on to apologies which we have for lateness from councillor Kyrle we’ve had a council Kyrle is now here

welcome Rupert!

I understand that Tonya Craig’s has dropped out briefly but hopefully she’ll be back very soon we have declarations of interest many members have any uh declarations of interest on items on this agenda the moment again i’m seeing no one indicating they wish to speak so we’ll therefore move on to item five on the agenda which is the update on covid-19.

This has become a routine report a routine as much as routine can possibly be at this stage and details actions of the council over the course of the last month uh with with operating in parallel uh the issues that have been running across the country and the council’s response to them so i’ll put on record again my thanks

i’m sure all cabinets thanks to all council members of staff for all the work they’ve been doing over the next month it’s still pretty disconcerting operating in the way that we’re operating the moment whether that’s staff out on the streets doing their job in a socially distanced manner or staff who would normally be in the office who are managing to do everything from home including successfully staffing up all the phone lines into the council where we’ve provided a fantastic service i’m going to go straight to Tonia Craig who wants to speak on this item and give her the chance to give her

Tonia Craig

There’s no real update it was just to put on record really the thanks to all the staff again we’re getting our weekly updates from Natalie especially and it was just to say thanks again it’s really useful getting those updates i know things change quickly but so do the updates so thank you again.

Keith House

okay thank you very much tanya and the report does cover all the normal things we’d expect now to see in the report as an update included on the way we’ve handled our business grants we’ve had a fantastic response from from our local businesses the discretionary grant fund still has just a little bit of money left in it if there are businesses out there who or you know of who might be interested in applying for grants who haven’t already had a grant from any of the government schemes point to the discretionary schemes to make sure that those businesses are falling through the cracks have the opportunity to get their crack of the web also in fact we’ve now got our player is reopened uh which is good news for children playing uh it’s actually really good actually to see those up and running again with uh young people having some fun on the council’s play equipment we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the paddling pool at Flemming Park can’t reopen for safety reasons during the course of this summer i think that’s a practical and pragmatic response to social distancing and the issues that are particularly thrown up around water-based activities with the virus this report normally includes a detailed financial report that’s not in this paper because it’s on a separate item with our medium term financial plan this time round which looks for the future uh but the but the point of reassurance is that the council’s finances are in good order uh we have been able to cope with the issues that have been thrown at us as a result of extra costs and lost income and the medium term financial plan will just discuss later in the meeting picks up those items i’ve got nothing else i wanted to raise on this report this time do any other colleagues wish to speak i’ve got no one indicating they want to at the moment so in which case if colleagues are happy that we take that as agreed we will do just that and that then gives us the opportunity to move on to item six which is the corporate action plan uh for 2020 to 2021. This has seen quite a number of changes as a result of projects that have been delayed as a result of the virus uh prior priorities have had to be reprioritised as a result of the virus and indeed some new activities brought in uh as a consequence of some of the issues that we’ve had thrown at us over the course of the last few weeks and months the policy and performance screening panel took a look at this report i’m just going to read the panel’s notes from their consideration of the corporate action plan their recommendations that are wherever possible targets and milestones are set within year to provide a clear basis for planning and evaluation and that wherever possible measures and key performance indicators identified are incorporated into the council’s overall performance monitoring process so the relevant data is readily available for monitoring and reflection that all sounds to me eminently sensible i know that individual cabinet members have had the chance to go through the details of their portfolios with the items that are in the corporate action plan for the coming year and therefore i think most of what’s here in front of us this evening is pretty well agreed uh but does anyone want to speak to any of these items at this stage again i’m getting no one indicating they want to speak so if colleagues are happy that we take that as agreed that’s helpful and then we can move on uh to item seven uh which is a really exciting proposal uh for a tree nursery i’ll give Rupert Kyrle the opportunity to speak on this one in a moment but i’ll just um make some comments again from the policy and performance scrutiny panel uh up front so that rupert’s got a chance to digest those before he speaks um and the panel welcomes the proposal to develop a tree nursery and is mindful of the need for specialist expertise to ensure the success of the project the panel recommends that the project seek to identify any skills gaps and to hire or consult expertise as appropriate in particular so as to ensure the proposed location is appropriate views as a nursery at the intensity envisaged and to identify and mitigate any negative impacts on existing habitat the panel discussed the potential for co2 sequestered from trees from the nursery to be double counted by both the council and for example businesses that have sponsored a tree and the panel recommends that the approach to accounting for sequester carbon or other environmental benefits be developed in such a way as to prevent that double all sounds emily sensible to me but i’ll hand over to Rupert to to introduce this paper because it’s a really exciting proposal which is going to be fantastic in terms of attacking the climate change plus also growing lots of trees

Rupert Kyrle

uh thank you chair yes uh you’re absolutely right this is incredibly exciting this is something that i’ve had uh very close to my heart for a number of years in effect that actually this is the right approach for councils across the country in effect to actually take the approach of growing your own trees in effect which obviously clearly cuts down on mileage and clearly obviously you can then use that opportunity in effect to offset your carbon uh footprint if you like in the activities that the council have as you know we have the climate environment emergency um action plan and a key part of that actually was to have a tree nursery and clearly obviously the benefits which i’ve just obviously outlined to yourself and in February there was a commitment by this council in effect to plant 160,000 trees uh over a 10-year period which basically would equate to a tree for every person within the borough which is obviously an incredibly um fantastic thing to do but it will give us a lot long-term benefits and effect to our borough um it will obviously extend our tree numbers but also the tree canopy within the borough which clearly obviously has uh major environmental uh benefits uh which obviously we and also future generations will also they would be able to enjoy um so yes this is the proposed paper in front of you of how we uh sort of propose to sort of set out to want to do this clearly the first element is obviously to uh sort of involve businesses um and where there will be further phases in effect where we’ll be able to obviously involve uh community groups or members of the public maybe schools you know community groups like cub scouts all those sorts of things and clearly we want to get as many people involved in this initiative as possible over the period of time that we have and clearly another important element of that is obviously including businesses where they want to offset their own carbon emissions and clearly that will obviously help us towards the 2030 target um but also being mindful of the fact that we have our 2025 target to to meet and clearly obviously we want to do that by obviously planting a number of trees over that period of time and i hope actually that beyond the 10-year period that this will be something that the council will want to take potentially in perpetuity that actually it’s the right thing to do to locally source trees which is clearly good for the environment clearly good for the borough and our residents so i i’m happy to come in this is really exciting um uh proposal a really exciting project and i do hope that cabinet members uh will embrace this and and approve it um i do have updates with regards to the issues and comments that were raised from policy and performance i’m very happy to go through those with you now if you wish chair and cabinet members okay okay fair enough could do that or i could take it at the end if there were any other comments or or um we have checked um with the uh with our consulting ecologists on some of the issues that were raised from policy and performance um and just to inform you and i do apologise but there are actually quite a few uh points that were raised from that meeting but i think it is actually really important um that we we’re clear on these issues and that we have actually taken some of the points and concerns that were raised incredibly seriously because they absolutely want to make sure we do do this right um and right from the start um and we’ve received this information from as i say the consultant ecologist um and basically he has said uh yes there is a common pip store back roost within one of the buildings which is currently on the site and there is a planning application to demolish one of those buildings and obviously clearly within that there would be required mitigation for that bat roost the timing of the setup of the nursery will therefore need to take account of the timetable for the building demolition no reptiles have been recorded within the site however the site is suitable for reptiles and therefore any vegetation rubble etc or clearance should be undertaken under precautionary method of works to avoid uh potential killing or injuring of reptiles which clearly is obviously common practice barn owls which was raised at the meeting i know are unlikely to be affected anyway by the proposals uh as they have not been recorded apparently um i’m sorry sir if they’ve not been recorded on site um nesting or roosting in the location nor is it likely that the conversion of arable land for crop production into land for production of trees will have a significant effect on the intent extent or quality of foraging habitat available to barn owls and i know that was specifically raised by one of the members of the panel um it goes on about obviously the retention of the southern boundary of trees which should be kept and obviously any excavation developed within the site should be outside the root protection area of those trees which again is a common um um sorry a common um thing that is with planning applications um and obviously there is a point that was raised about obviously the impact of tree nursery on the site ecology uh as a whole and um there doesn’t it apparently appear to be any matters arising from the above which would prevent the establishment of a tree nursery at this location um however the project group for the nursery will obviously liaise with Eastleigh borough council’s ecologist which obviously i’m proposing that they are put on the group that overlooks this project anyway to ensure that any necessary mitigations of the impacts are implemented as the site is developed i think that would clearly be a positive thing to do um another issue obviously was counting trees towards the climate mitigation um and the nursery project team will indict will obviously identify a scheme which is going to be transparent and clearly needs to be auditable to ensure that trees are not counted twice for the purchase of the purpose of climate mitigation um and clearly this will need to go before the climate board to be approved um because obviously clearly if we are aiming for a target we need to absolutely make sure that there isn’t double counting going on because that is counter productive for everybody and that clearly we need to make sure that there is traceability and accountability with regards to achieving the targets we want to by 2025 and clearly obviously the further target of 2030.

um so that sort of covers that point as well um and uh i think i think oh yes um and there is guidance on from the woodland trust uh with regards to to trees uh and clearly we would be following their best practice guidance um and obviously wanting to make sure that we are doing absolutely the right thing because otherwise at the end of the day we wouldn’t be achieving what we want to which is obviously trees that we can then take out and plant within our local communities and wide open spaces and just on the issue of um expertise um just to clear that up um there has been an identified member of staff who actually has clearly has got um significant experience of working actually as a uh trees treeman or whatever they are plantsman i think they’re called um and basically also a head of direct services also got extensive uh expertise within this area as well so actually we are very well uh blessed in that area but clearly obviously if there is any gaps then clearly obviously we would obviously uh look to fill those gaps but currently it certainly seems as though we do have enough qualification within our existing staff to be able to get this off the ground thank you chair

Keith House

right thank you Rupert i really did thought you’d you’ve come to a natural conclusion about a few few minutes ago but uh but there we are thank you for that that’s a really detailed explanation not just of the points that were raised uh in public um by a policy informant screening pal in terms of their decision but also the issues that were discussed at that meeting so i’ve got uh questions and commentary from around the room and there’s a question from tanya yeah firstly i’d just like to say um it’s a really good project um and you know something that we we really wanted to take off the ground the question is i’ve had a few residents recently asking me whether they can actually have trees to plant in their own garden and whether they could be monitored in a way that that would um meet our targets as well so are there any plans for us to open it to residents for planting in their own gardens we’ll come straight back to rupert on that one um yeah as far as i’m concerned this will obviously be there are several phases to this obviously the first one obviously is the business which we’re launching now which we obviously want to get underway in September um yeah but my certainly my view and clearly obviously the group that will be formed to take this project forward will obviously come forward with proposals for the next phases um but certainly my view of this project would be that we would be encouraging in fact members of the public and other groups etc to get involved in this and clearly i would see no reason why people wouldn’t be able to purchase their own trees if they wish to do so um but clearly obviously that needs the details of that need to be worked out in the future but this is obviously the first of the stepping stones but clearly yes i would hope that actually we would want to open this out to everyone in the borough if they wanted to get involved in some way thank you thank you Rupert let’s go straight to Paul Bicknell now.

Paul Bicknell

thank you chair and tony is sort of almost asked the question i was going to ask but i was going to take it a little step further i mean it’s a fantastic project and you know there’s nothing not to like about it at the end of the day but i say expanding on on councillor Craig’s on question and that would reference the purchase of trees as we go further down the line because obviously you can’t do it right from the start would there be the ability to actually become a supplier of trees you know not just for the fact that actually you know we’re going to plant 160,000 but would there actually be the possibility that you know we could supply trees for other councils for instance and such like or is that sort of pushing the boundaries a bit far and and obviously then that would actually make it um you know as well as meeting our environmental credentials and co2 and that actually would also give us a commercial angle as well.

Keith House

i’ll just pick that up myself briefly paul uh yes potentially we’ll see where it goes um this is this could be a really long term project that is a that is a effectively business for the council so it takes the box in terms of climate action it takes the box in terms of growing trees but it also does that in a sustainable way which can supply trees to other other businesses and other councils in the future and when we move on from the Horton Heath site quite possibly to other locations as well when we need to move on from from that location right so we’re going to go to Derek Pretty next.

Derek Pretty

Thank you chair, as everyone said i think it’s very exciting project i think for me the benefits will be that we have healthier trees in the in our possession we import so many from abroad they come in perhaps with diseases that we’re unaware of and obviously shorter times between uplifting and planting again make the probability of healthy establishment even better i think overall excellent idea i don’t know how long it will take to get trees to a suitable size but when i go around the various housing developments that i’m involved with i see some of the trees that the developers have put in they look sick they look rather tired and totally unhealthy i think this is an excellent way of trying to make sure that when we do ask for a planting scheme we get quality trees in the right place at the right time so well done to all. thank you.

Keith House

Thank you Derek, that’s a good point and i’m sure they’ll be taken on board i’ll go straight to Tina Campbell next Tina.

Tina Campbell

thank you chair, I obviously totally support this but for many of the reasons that have already been stated but i additionally wanted to welcome the two new apprenticeships that are outlined to be part of this and the opportunity for the voluntary sector to get involved with it that’s that’s really welcome I love the idea that um you know this is about businesses and schools and hopefully individual residents getting involved and i’m really grateful that we’ve picked up in the equality impact assessment the importance of making sure that residents who may have disabilities making sure that they’re able to fully participate in this scheme so i’m grateful for the acknowledgement of that and i note in terms of social deprivation that we talk about possibly the trees will go to areas of social deprivation to obviously enhance the environment there and i would just like to say that possibly when we get to that stage of individual uh householders being involved and perhaps we could also think about making sure that those who are affected by social deprivation that they are able to participate because i note that there is a you know a 10 pound charge um to get involved with this so maybe when we get to that stage we might be able to think and make sure it is fully inclusive because it’s an absolutely cracking idea and i’m sure our residents will want to get involved thank you chair.

Keith House

thank you Tina this is the work in progress obviously as we know and so there’ll be some changes between now and when we launch and when we have trees available to move out into the community around the borough or for some wider planting i’m going to go to David Airey next.

Muted. You’re muted David.

David Airey

carrying on from the points that Derek was making about seeing sort of poor standard of trees on the states and so on much of that’s because of poor aftercare and this is a real key issue i think trees in their early years in particular need a hell of a lot of water to to get established if we have a dry winter then of course they’re going to get even bigger problem but even in summer months they do need water and so on so that type of management of the trees is really really important to get that right you’re always going to get a proportion that die off for whatever reason it’s about then the replacement of those particularly if somebody’s sponsored a tree and uh our families or whether it’s a business doesn’t matter so i think you know those are some of the issues that are going to be thought about which which um will be developed as the policy gets developed along the line the other thing i was going to talk about was the options we’ve got here about procurement of them and i was just wondering in the first year possibly the first 18 months whether there’ll be a sort of mixed procurement approach in other words we get out during that time we get our tree nursery established up and coming but actually start the first year of planting trees with actually ones we brought bought in from near local other nurseries that have quality trees for sale as possible or another authority which might have trees that we can buy from them that are of quality so that we can actually get the things started people see see what’s happening at the same time as we’re developing our tree nursery which is going to take a little bit of time and it’s not something you’re going to be able to pick off of the tree ready made it will take time so thank you

Keith House

pick off the tree ready made yeah. We’re going to give Rupert the chance to come back on that in a moment i think the points about maintenance are absolutely really important and we have seen with some developments around the borough and i am going to name one the beltway development latitude to the south of hedge end where the tree management by the developer has been absolutely appalling and we’ve had to take enforcement action on that which is regrettable but it’s important we get these things right for our residents whether they’re new residents or or long-established residents i’m going to go to Ian Corben next and then i’m going to ask Rupert to sum up

Ian Corben

thank you chair i was i was going to cover the um the aftercare as well but that’s been well covered with with David we can we can we can all name name developments where we’ve had issues and and that feeds into into into into the main point around parish and town councils hopefully they will have access to um to this as well and i think from a from a a knowledge point of view having making sure that that that they know that we that we that we will have this facility i’m hoping as well some education there as well because they won’t all be lucky enough to have to have specialists they’ll have okay they’ve got they’ve got some ground workers and and staff but but the point is really well made by David and Keith at least and and Derek these trees need a lot of care when they go in Dowd’s farm in hedge end north is a really good example where with the best intentions a lovely promenade of of trees which we’re going to be a feature i think we’re on the second lot now i think and there a number of those are are showing signs of realty now that will be the ground it’ll be the preparation it’ll be the water and everything will be will be there but i but i do think this is a really really important project and and and initiative clearly i’m going to support it and and hopefully that the town and parish councils will come come on the journey with us as well thank you

Keith House

Thank you very much Ian now Rupert you were nodding quite furiously during a lot of those last contributions last chance for final words on this and to answer any of the questions

Rupert Kyrle

Thank you chad i won’t uh dwell too long i think we’ve covered everything I think there is there are huge opportunities here for everyone i mean i take up the points that Tina was saying clearly we want to include people from across the borough from all different backgrounds all different abilities uh um and ages as well i think that’s a really positive thing you know it ticks all of the boxes this is this has the opportunity and the potential to be something really very special and we’re really good at doing that in Eastleigh i think and i really would like to hope that you know putting my name to this in effect and and us as a corporate body um that actually we will but to be able to deliver a first-class facility in effect with with developing our own tree stock and clearly with developers yes we want developers to come on board in fact we’re hoping in fact that they will that they will buy their trees from us and that actually we will be able to use those on developments and clearly some of those trees will actually stay on the nursery side for a period of longer to make sure they are a bit more established but the actual view of the nursery in effect is that we’ll be bringing on tree stock that will only be probably sort of two years old in effect really before they are then taken out because that’s the actual optimum time to plant those sorts of trees because they that the the root the roots take a lot better with the soil rather than some of the mature specimens which is one of the reasons possibly maybe that they are failing as indeed they are on some of our development sites because they are more mature trees and and it’s sort of the shock if you like of going into into the ground and clearly there are maintenance issues i’m afraid and Boorley Park is another one where actually you know the developer hasn’t even been planting the trees they said they were going to which is not particularly great let alone looking after the ones which clearly have sadly passed because they’ve not been maintained properly um there have been some great points that have been raised this evening by all members um and clearly as i say you know i think genuinely this is an open door if you like we’re pushing at and that all of those points will be very well much welcomed um and clearly we’ll want to take those on board and and incorporate them into our strategy and our delivery plan for this project

thank you chair thank you very much.

Keith House

Rupert i don’t think we’re going to call it the Rupert Kyrle nursery but no i didn’t mean i’m sure the intention is exactly right now everybody has spoken on this and all spoken in support so i think we can take it that that has been agreed by all colleagues i’ve learned more about trees.

Through this process I’ve learnt more in the last 30 minutes than I have in a long time not being a natural gardener and not being a natural arboriculturalist but there we go right so we’re going to move on next item on the agenda in what is clearly the Rupert Kyrle show this evening is to talk about revisions to our domestic waste and recycling policy and there is a document that’s been circulated the policy and performance panel again has had a look at this and they’ve suggested that in addition to making extra additional green bins uh we should prepare to make additional food waste bins available too, and i’ll let Rupert introduce this and respond to the policy and performance panel, Rupert.

Rupert Kyrle

yes thank you very much indeed chair. um uh apologies that it does seem to be my show, but yes we’ve reviewed the domestic waste and recycling policy it was actually quite a period of time that we’ve actually looked at this so it was actually timely that we did this as part of a larger piece of work which we’re undertaking at the moment and we just wanted to make sure that actually our policy was reflecting good practice that clearly it was up up to date and um and that obviously we were then able we would be able to enable this so that residents in effect knew what we were sort of expecting from them and obviously clearly they can understand what they’re expecting from us with regards to the service, so yes there has been some updates and some tweaks to our original policy which are obviously in the document that’s before you there isn’t really a great deal more to say on that really to be honest because it is very self-explanatory i think the paper but it just sets out the clear framework and updated framework and effect of our domestic waste and recycling policy.

thank you

Keith House

good thank you very much Rupert now we’ve got a what’s described as a quick question from Paul Bicknell so we’re moved to to Paul Bicknell.

you’re muted paul.

Paul Bicknell

Right thank you now it is a quick question it’s probably what not one that was in the old policy because i think it’s more of a sort of if you like um sort of gentlemen’s agreement but um will there still be the amnesty at Christmas for overflowing black bins please, thank you?

Keith House

Ruperts nodding.

Does anyone want to contribute on this or not at this stage i’m going to take Rupert’s nod as ascent on that which is then

Fine if no one else wishes to you do want to come back

all right you can come back

Rupert Kyrle

very quickly sorry when I meant the amnesty is with regards to one extra black bag that we allow at the um the collection after Christmas so it’s not an amnesty that people can just pile everything up outside you know buy their bins but and clearly recycling obviously we will want to take as much as we possibly can from people and obviously it’s clearly in the in the report as to how we would like people to do that but yes there is the amnesty for a single black bag extra for the collection immediately after Christmas yes and then just in response to the PNP if i may chair, yes it clearly it it is in the report about that you are able to have extra bins or or receptacles if you like for recycling but it just didn’t seem as though it possibly was clear enough with regards to the food waste caddies but clearly if people do require more than yes obviously they are entitled we are very happy to let them have more if they requested them yes.

Thankyou chair.

Keith House

okay so that was yes then that’s fine

good, right.

I think we can probably just look around the room and see if everyone’s happy with that i’ve got no one shaking their head everyone’s nodding their head so we can take that item as agreed thank you very much colleagues and thank you Rupert for all your work in that area and of course the staff team behind we’ll move on to item nine of the agenda which is an update on the council’s finances over the last year this has been circulated and worked through by portfolio holders in terms of the council’s financial out turn and i think it’s probably fairly straightforward so anyone wants to speak on this item no one does so we’ll take that as agreed thank you very much colleagues that then moves on to item 10 which is the council’s medium-term financial plan and this does look forward to the issues that are coming at us and is a pretty solid story which is really helpful uh the council’s finances are in a good strong solid position which is pretty remarkable considering the events we’ve had over the course of the last three months i’d like to thank staff for all the work that’s gone into that the recommendation in front of us is that we note the financial position that we give protection to our local area committees in terms of their budgets for their funding where they’ve been affected by loss of income and allocate additional funding from new homes bonus that can contribute to the improvements at the Wildern swimming pool.

Ii’ve got Paul Bicknell wanting to come in with what again is described as a quick question you still that’s it i thank you now the quick question was to Rupert about the Christmas piece, i wasn’t quite quick enough to pass comment on agenda item number nine but if you’re wrapped up in number ten i just wanted to thank the staff also for preparing both these reports for the afternoon and the medium term and financial plan and obviously the the other thing is i just wanted to mention um is the fact that due to um you know the staff’s diligence and constant monitoring and bringing us new you thoughts Eastleigh borough council is in a good financial position there’s many councils out there that would love to be in the position where but some sense you know that they’re not and that’s down to say the you know the diligence of the staff and bringing these reports to us and our monitoring what have you so i just wanted to say to thank the staff for putting us and therefore our residents in such a good financial position going forward and the fact that our residents won’t basically end up having to have average cuts imposed on them by Eastleigh Borough Council because we are in a sound financial position so thank you very much chair

Keith House

thank you Paul

Yes i think it is worth remarking on there have been quite a lot of press stories around the country of councils that are close to being bankrupt at the moment technically called section 14 position which means they could they have to stop incurring discretionary expenditure we’re we’re absolutely not in that position we do have sound and solid finances and the medium term financial plan accounts for all the issues that we’re aware of so far makes reasonable vision for those that we don’t know about yet that are a result of the covid-19 epidemic we have seen elsewhere just locally at Hampshire we know that Hampshire is is 103 million pounds down so far on covid-19. i’ve had to agree to 120 million pounds of additional cuts and of four possible financial scenarios looking forward three of the four of those show that the council is not financially viable the responsibility must be to to central government on all these items central government made a commitment at the start of the epidemic that that local government would be reckoning recommends pence for spending that was incurred and for lost income and so far it’s happened partially but it’s not happened fully and it was essential for the continued provision of public services whether you’re Eastleigh resident or Winchester resident or Portsmouth resident, whatever, and that requires government support to make these things work and it’s not fully there yet.

I’ve got David Airey wanting to speak on this item so David the floor is yours.

David Airey

Thank you i was gonna you mentioned Wildern school this is Wildern school swimming pool isn’t it yes, and that takes me back to the county council because i looked at who was the contributors to funding the repairs and rep improvements there which is great that’s that i’m not not criticising the project but it surprised me the county council wasn’t listed as well as the contributors and i was wondering why that was.

Keith House

I think David that’s a sad reflection of the way the world is these days on a lot of these projects. We have sports facilities on a number of school sites around the borough you’ll be very aware of the ones that we provided at Hamble with a very significant financial contribution from Eastleigh Borough Council we’ve done the same over the years at Wildern in Hedge End and the objective was was set many years ago when we concluded that we had done a great job as a local authority back in the 1970s in providing the Flemming Park leisure C enter more recently in reproviding the Flemming Park leisure Centre as Places Leisure Eastleigh but wanted to make sure that we had a decent provision of leisure facilities in the south of the borough so that people didn’t have to trek to Eastleigh and our conclusion many years back now was that the best way of doing that was to double up on school sites even though we’re not a local educational authority and hence the provision of additional facilities at several of our secondary schools we have in the past provided them at Crestwood in Eastleigh we have at Wyvern in Fair Oak and more significant facilities in the south of the borough at Hedge End with the Wildern leisure centre, and at Hamble with the leisure facilities and fantastic dynamo gym that is still going on strong and i had a message from dynamo just a couple days ago saying they’re about to relaunch. Good luck to them because they do a fantastic job for young people and getting young people physically fit and active and doing teamwork in gymnastics but the responsibility for a lot of the finances on these projects is borne by Eastleigh borough council and sometimes with help from the schools and Wildern have helped enormously with on-site provision of finance for their projects with the um project at the pool in Hedge End which is replacing what was meant to be a temporary roof erected in 1979 so it hasn’t done badly to the last 40 years. We did find a number of issues in terms of in terms of the physical condition of the building the structure in that requires required additional expenditure along with the delays that have come about as a result of the virus we got work restarted pretty quickly so there’s the minimum disruption to the education of young people particularly when they go back after such an extended break in September so the the new pool facility will be available not too long after that but the new roof the new seating around the pool will make for a much better facility and yes the financial liability for that has largely been worn by this council and as we know Hampshire sadly, really sadly is broke.

Where are we at in terms of speakers I’ve got Ian Corben wanting to speak I think

Ian Corben

Thank you chad i was just going to i was just going to add just with regards to the to the medium term plan how secure and how how pleased i am to see from from an income point of view um things things things holding up clearly we don’t know what’s around the corner but the due diligence that goes into all of the financial transactions that we that we go into particularly with the commercial property we do we do look at lots of downsides and i think again a mention to the to the staff they’re clearly working very closely with without with our tenants and undoubtedly providing support which which can range across a number of things an arm around the shoulder to financial help but across all of those areas and i think this really just comes back to what we’ve said before at various various times largely at budget because that’s the time when we when we focus on these things that the the diversity of the of the of the property portfolio is is is what will what will undoubtedly help through through through this difficult difficult period so we don’t know what’s ahead but this is this is very strong and and we’ve said it before but there are plenty of councils out there that would like to be to be sat where where Eastleigh Borough Council is sitting is sitting at the moment

Keith House

thank you thanks very much Ian

absolutely agree with all those comments

Derek Pretty wants to come in so i’ll go straight to him

You’ve just re-muted yourself Derek

Derek Pretty

How about that perfect perfect it’s the big fingers no i just like to really endorse what Ian has said I think we’ve been very cautious with a granted of diligence in the investments we’ve undertaken there was an article on the news this evening as it’s Camberley that we’re building a new 5g shopping centre 100 million pounds with outside backing as well that is really going in without due diligence i think they’ve ever stretched themselves Eastleigh have been extremely cautious they’re very savvy to the marketplace and i think we’ve done a very good job our staff are very cautious they advise us well and i think we’ve got a good portfolio and i think more like that would see us very well established in the future

Keith House

thank you derrick those are good points and i think that one of the issues that’s caused some other local authority’s difficulties is that they’ve invested a lot in places outside their area we have largely invested in Eastleigh the vast majority of our commercial properties within the borough some of it is actually legacy property we’ve owned for decades but the consequence of all that and very careful portfolio management has been that we’ve had a degree of protection that not everyone has had the opportunity to to gain from we need to monitor very closely of course but the council’s underlying financial position is incredibly strong and that’s testament to long-term policy-making for the borough council and some really good work by by our staff team across a range of disciplines and including a lot in that is also the way we’ve developed our contracts because uh there have been councils that have been exposed to difficulties with weak contracts that put them at the risk of leisure operators in particular in recent times that’s not the case in our position.

Right well we’ve seen agreement on those issues i think around the room i’ve got no one else indicating they want to speak so i’m going to take it as agreed with the recommendations that are on the agenda paper that’s been published that we accept the medium term strategy plan as it’s at at the moment with the additional funding for Wildern and the protection of our budgets for our local area committees excellent now we have one private item of business to consider which is a commercially sensitive one around around the land transaction which requires us to go into private session so if colleagues are happy that we do that we will at this stage ends the public broadcast of this cabinet meeting we will be back in September in this format again because we’re going to stick with this for a while just a little bit longer given all the issues around social distancing and the importance of making sure that we can transact our business in a safe way for the benefit of our residents so from me, Keith House leading the council i wish everyone watching this good evening thank you very much for for watching and listening and learning a little bit about the way the Borough Council does its business so thank you all and good night

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