The video appears to be gone from youtube now, but I did have a play a while back at recording a transcription of council meetings. See what you think, I think these should exist for all meetings.
Video title: Cabinet 27 April 2020(1080p).mp4
Keith House [00:00:02] The wet web as a result of the virus and a pandemic that’s affecting the country. This morning’s broadcast is will have all all members of the council’s cabinet participating we’ve got a little slide that’s coming up now, which will show you the members of the cabinet who are here. I’m Keith House, I’m leader of the council and I’ll be chairing the meeting from my home. Everyone else is in their homes around the borough. You’ll see the Council of Paul Bicknell, deputy leader cabinet member for regeneration is here. David Airey cabinet member for transport, Tina Campbell, cabinet member for social policy. Ian Corben, cabinet member for Regeneration. Tonya Craig, cabinet member for health. Rupert Kyrle, cabinet member for the Environment and Derek Pretty cabinet Member for the Economy. We’ll be supported by a staff team through the meeting and you can see those members of the staff who are listening and they participate in the call as the meeting progresses. This meeting has got quite a lot of business related to the virus epidemic that’s affecting the country at the moment. That will be the bulk of today’s meeting will concentrate on that and break that up into sections that relate to key themes that we know are of concern to the public. But this is a routine cabinet meeting beyond that in that we have a range of council business to progress and decisions to be taken. We always say that these meetings are meetings of the council in public rather than public meetings in future meetings. We will have live participation from members of the community asking questions where you so wish to for this first meeting. Technology has not quite got us there just yet. We do think this is the. We think this is probably the first of the principal local authority meetings held online in Hampshire. No doubt some will tell us if the stock not the case. And it’s a learning exercise for the council as well. So if things go a little bit awry during the course of this cabinet meeting, we’ll try and get them right next time. But we hope everyone will back out with us. Cabinet members will speak when they’re called. We’ll see how things go as time goes by. If there is a connection problem with our event in any any reason, we’ll try and get the meeting restarted just as quickly as we can. If any reason my link goes down, then Councilor Paul Bicknell will take on responsibility for hosting the meeting. So that’s the introductions out the way we normally kick off our meetings with public participation. We have no public participation today to work with. What we do have, however, is a couple of questions from members of the council, but we’ve got several council questions that we’ll take as part of the main meeting. When agenda items are reached, but we had two questions that were put to us from Councilor Judith Grajewski in this session. Four agenda item, four items that are not on the council’s published agenda and so I’ll deal with those now because they’re part of my cabinet portfolio as leader. Judith questions are “When does council expect to take a position to respond in full to the planning inspector’s letter of the 1st of April 2020 regarding the local plan examination?” and “What is the council’s target date for the adoption of the local plan?”. Those are very timely questions, I was going to make a statement on the local plan in any case, so Judith’s questions giving me the opportunity to do that. This is the first cabinet meeting since receipts of the government inspectors letter of the first debate. Although it has taken 17 months since the council submitted the plan to the government, it’s good to know that the inspector agrees that there is a route to adoption of the plan, which is as usually the case will include modifications following further evidence that will be submitted on local gaps, the Chickenhall Lane link Road and a range of other issues. It’s encouraging, too, that the inspector has agreed the council is in a strong position to provide sufficient housing, including affordable housing for local people. I’m concerned about some of the comments that are made on local gaps, which we know are very valued with our separate and distinct communities, and also that the implication of a shorter plan period will make delivery of infrastructure harder to achieve. We’ll be bringing a report to cabinet before the summer. When our planning team has had the opportunity to liaise with the inspector on the detailed action points needed and then proceed through the process of studies and technical work required in this work is already underway. The process of modifications, consultation, further hearings and a final report all comes before adoption. Much of the timing of this is in the hands of the inspector rather the council and we’ll be seeking clarification from the inspector of how likely time availability to work with us to get to a point where the plans can be adopted. We’ll be following the local plan in detail through meetings throughout the rest of the year. Second question we have in this session before we start the formal council cabinet agenda is from council that Margaret Atkinson. Margaret says, “I appreciate that climate change is not a top priority at the moment, and indeed, an unintentional side effect of the virus may be that our CO2 emissions are significantly reduced this year. But what actions are council taking to ensure that climate change controls and eastely are continuing to be implemented and measured?”. Well, again, quite a timely question, because clearly we are seeing a reduction in CO2 emissions at the moment and an improvement indeed in our quality is really worth saying this point. The council is absolutely committed to responding to the climate process and the action plan does continue to be worked on. Timescales for some activities will inevitably change a little as a result of our immediate focus on the health crisis. But the council has maintained progress in many of the activities in the plan significantly during this challenging period. All council sites moved over to 100 percent renewable electricity. And as we move forward, the climate an environment emergency does remain high on our agenda and as such has been identified as critical work stream within the council’s Code 19 recovery program. So thank you, Judith and Margaret, for for those two questions. We’ll now start the formal meeting, which would normally be moved to apologies at this point. But all members of cabinet are present so we can move on swiftly to the minutes of the previous meeting, which were held on the 18th of February 2020. Feels like a different world. Those minutes were circulated and they’ve been published on the web. I’m just asking, Mike, my cabinet colleagues, if anyone has anything they want to add or raise questions on.
Keith House [00:07:00] And I’m taking taking silence as ascent this morning, just as we would do around the cabinet table in the borough council offices of Eastleigh House. So we’ll take those those minutes as agreed. The next item on the council agenda is called declarations of interest. And this is where any members of the cabinet can declare that they have either a financial or personal business interest in any item. The cabinet is due to discuss, so they would then remove themselves from debate on that item. Can I just see if any man has any items they want to declare an interest on?
Keith House [00:07:37] Again, I’m going to take silence as asent on on that one.
Keith House [00:07:42] But we’re going to move on to the main cabinet item this morning, which is on the key decisions that the council has taken and the response to the Covid-19 emergency, a detailed report has been produced by our council staff. I felt that it was really important for transparency and accountability that we documented all the council’s main activities so that we could work through and give a public record of the issues that are facing us and the decisions that we’ve taken. History will want to look back over this period in quite some detail to work out what went wrong, what went right, what could’ve been done better. And this paper is the first of our attempts to documents our activities. I want to put up front and I know that both of the both the opposition group leaders have been in touch to say the same thing to me on behalf of the council that we we have got such a tremendous response from our staff team across the council, many of whom have been diverted on to urgent jobs that would normally be nothing to do with their day job. I thank them. We all thank them for the work they put in and pay a special thanks to our frontline staff who were out there. The staff that are out collecting and emptying bins every day of the week have done a fantastic job in quite trying circumstances. So if you see them first in the morning where they’re asked about, give them a thumbs up, say thank you to them, they’re doing great job and they’re part of dealing with this emergency. Just same way as those people working in the frontline of our health services and social care services. Also say at this stage a massive thank you to the thousand volunteers to come forward across the borough to get involved in activities, to support our community. We really do have a tremendous borough and great community spirit around Eastleigh I know that we’ve all been touched by that. Certainly all members of cabinet have in our dealings, dealing with urgent business over the course of the last few weeks. Those a thousand volunteers are mostly unsung heroes. We have to try and work out a way of making sure that we can sing for those heroes too during the course of the coming months. But let’s put on record our thanks to everyone who your passport dealing with this emergency and giving support to their neighbors and giving support to their community. So the report this in front of us this morning picks up on the key activities that have taken place. It includes an appendix with an updated financial monitoring plan and plan for going forward, because we know that local authority finances are under stress in exactly the same way as government finances. I will come to that in more detail a little bit later on. I’m going to break this report up into three sections, one dealing with volunteers and community support services, one dealing to support for our business community and one dealing with internal issues for the council and our staff. And then we’ll pick up any other items before. But before we conclude the item, I’m just going to ask Councilor Tonia Craig if as cabinet for health, she has anything else she wants to add to this issue at the moment. Tonia?
Tonia Craig [00:10:50] Yeah, thank you, Keith. Just wanted to support your words, really, the work that the volunteers have done. I mean, firstly, the staff setting up the hubs, the community groups that have actually taken on board and are actually getting these volunteers helping our most vulnerable residents. But the one thing that you’ve missed out of the local shops and supermarkets, they’ve been absolutely brilliant in letting volunteers go in and shop for more than one person. Even when there were limits on things like milk, for example, they were allowing the volunteers to buy more than than the set amount because they were busy shopping for for more than one. So there are a lot a lot of people out there that have been absolutely brilliant and all of them unsung heroes. So if we could just add our thanks to the local shops and supermarkets that have allowed volunteers to do that.
Tonia Craig [00:11:41] Thank you.
Keith House [00:11:44] Thank you much, Tonya, absolutely appreciate that. And certainly I make a point when I go into supermarkets, I’ve tried to limit myself to a main shop once a week and an absolutely, if necessary emergency other shop. But the first thing to do is say thanks to those member of staff that are on the front door. They’re doing quite a difficult job acting as gatekeepers, and it’s really good to see that the vast, vast majority of local people have welcomed and responded positively to the social distancing that’s necessary at the moment, too. I’m just gonna, before we get into any further detail on the report as a whole, I’m going gonna ask if Tina Campbell, cabinet member for social policy, has anything she wants to add at this stage.
Tina Campbell [00:12:29] Thank you. Yes, I’d like to specifically thank those members of our staff who are supporting the most vulnerable in our community, particularly are homelessness team facing homelessness at any time is a particularly stressful experience.
Tina Campbell [00:12:48] But when you’re facing it during a global health emergency, that raises it to a whole new level. And the team have done an incredible job in recognizing the uniqueness of the current situation and the specific challenges that the lockdown has created. And they’ve prioritized the safety of our residents as adjusted the way that they work, so that anybody who is needed emergency accommodation during the lockdown has received it, even if they don’t meet the normal threshold of priority need. Similarly, the benefits team have been working around the clock to support people and implement the changes that have come about as the government have introduced their financial support package. And despite the increased demand on their services, you know, they can continuing to me or their performance targets and ensuring that everyone and many people who are having to actually enter the benefits system for the first time are getting the financial help and support that they need to help them cope during this emergency. I would obviously endorse everything that you’ve both said so far about the local voluntary response. But finally, I’d just like to also express my thanks to the communications team and at a time where everybody is so socially isolating. I’m really grateful to them for the job that they’ve done in helping us all to be connected and to reminding those people who are vulnerable and alone at home that they haven’t been forgotten, that we are here and that we care and we’ll do everything we can to help them.
Tina Campbell [00:14:26] Thank you.
Keith House [00:14:29] Thank you very much, Tina. That’s much appreciated. We’re not going to move on to a section of this paper and debate around volunteers and community support issues. We’ve got quite a number of detailed questions that have been submitted by councillor Louise Parker-Jones. We’re going to work through those next. So there’s quite a text in these questions to read out. So I’m going to put I’m going to read the questions out for the record, the preamble, which I won’t read in full from Louise, talks about, again, giving thanks to our staff, to our volunteers, which which we’ve certainly knowledge and recorded, but also talks about the resources that are coming in to support the epidemic to our business community of £5.65 million pounds, which is now rising again and questions the level of support that’s available financially for our community. I think it’s worth just saying at this point that the business support is direct grant provided by government that we are administering and we’ve got a great record of administration to come back to that in the next section on the agenda. We are not being given support from the government to support community organizations in the community at large. Again, we’ll come on to that a little bit later as part of the financial section of this paper, a key agency that’s dealing with activities on the ground around Hampshire, and that is what’s called the local response center, which is a combination of all the public sector agencies across the county. It’s being led and coordinated by the county council, by the police, the Fire Rescue Authority and all the district councils across Hampshire. And it’s one of those rare situations where we actually do manage to get and I’m really proud that we have managed to get all the public sector working together for the greater good. And that means we’re often not working just in isolation by ourselves. So sometimes we are responding working with others and running with initiatives that have been led by other organizations. The local response center has been allocated government and county council funding. And the council itself here has made funding available to support local resource center activities and the response to support our local community. And this has been communicated to the three main community groups, food banks and also to neighborhood groups working in local town, a parish council areas. And again, we put on record our thanks to Town and Parish Council. So doing their bit across the borough to all requests for funding so far received have been granted, including funds to compensate volunteers for food and petrol costs, equipment to ensure social distancing and production of PPE for use in local NHS and care home venues funds have also been used to support the council’s communications. So that target groups and the community generally are made aware of the help that’s available. The model councils adopted together with the strong and sustained response and generosity of volunteers and organizations across the borough, means that there are no major costs at this time.
Keith House [00:17:34] I think that’s a remarkable report already so far and reinforces the benefit of everyone working together. The whole point is that we are working together across the public sector. There were four more detailed questions. That Louse Parker-Jones has asked, I’m going to ask Tina Campbell to give detailed responses to each of these as part of her social policy role. So we’re going to go into Question Time type format here now, which hopefully tin is up for where I will be question master and I’ll ask the question and let’s see how Tina gets on with these. Tina, we’ve seen numerous requests for donations to the three borough basic food banks. What consideration is being given to directly support this vital service with funding?
Tina Campbell [00:18:21] Thank you. And I really welcome these questions on on the food bank. I’ve been volunteering there myself for the past year. So it’s a facility that I am really very aware of the need. As you can imagine. Excuse me. The supply of food has been a key concern for the local response center and even before Covid, we were seeing increasing demands at our food banks. Officers have been liaising with the three food banks in the borough and with local supermarkets, and they are closely monitoring the situation for the early were warning signs of demand exceeding supply of food and whilst there has been an in demand at one of the banks and food banks at the moment, they are all meeting the current demand. So the call for donations is more about making the supply of food sustainable for engaging the local supermarkets and at the moment, all the food banks do have their own funds, which they can use if they need to purchase extra supplies. However, the council has made it clear that we will support food banks with specific funding for food supplies if that need arises. But at this moment in time, they have indicated to us that that’s not the support that they need and they don’t need to draw down on that funding. But what they have asked us to do is to assist with collection of food donations from supermarkets and the delivery of food parcels to prevent the need of people coming into the food banks. And so that’s the kind of support that we’ve been doing.
Tina Campbell [00:20:07] Thank you.
Keith House [00:20:09] Thank you very much Tina. The floor is still going to be with you for three more questions. Firstly, “given the burden being placed upon basic banks of food, has the council considered making places for leisure or another suitable venue or designated central hub to package and deliver food bank boxes” and lets see Tina respond to that?
Tina Campbell [00:20:33] Thank you, chair. So we did consider quite early on the idea of a centralised central hub for food supply. But this decision was made to actually build on the existing supplies that, you know, supermarkets and for people in financial hardship, food banks. The council has been very actively involved and I can personally attest to this in assisting food banks to scale up to meet the anticipated demand and to change practices if necessary, so that social distancing both within and around food banks isn’t problematic. The council is now acting as the main contact point for all of the food banks in the borough, receiving requests and passing on referrals for food banks. Reducing the need for people to go into the food bank and get vouchers and at the current time, this model is meeting demand. However, if there is a rapid increase in demand, the council is actually very well-placed using in both its own resources and those of other organisations within the borough to implement a different approach a"nd that’s obviously exactly what we’ll do.
Keith House [00:21:48] Thank you very much, Tina.
Keith House [00:21:51] So “How will the council tackle personal inability to meet the essential costs of residents? For example, those who don’t have access to online or phone banking?”
Tina Campbell [00:22:01] Yeah. So this is obviously for some people a real challenge. Essential food, toiletries and medicines will be provided either via food banks or the local response center. And obviously, I’ve already alluded to our own benefits team who are working incredibly hard to support local residents as well as obviously the Department for Work and Pensions and Citizens Advice who are all there to provide much more longer term sort of solutions to help people who are struggling at the moment and where residents do have essential costs that they have to meet. And normally this would be done using maybe cash or checks, something like that. Then we would be encouraging all our residents to contact the retailers or contact the utility supplier so that they can discuss alternate payment methods and payment plans.
Tina Campbell [00:22:58] Thank you.
Keith House [00:23:00] Thank you much, Tina. These are really, really helpful responses to get out there to the wider community, especially a related area. The final question that’s just been submitted from Louise Parker Jones “Will the council consider taking on mass prescription collections and delivery to reduce pharmacy contact?”.
Keith House [00:23:18] Tina?
Tina Campbell [00:23:19] Thank you. Yeah. Another really important area. So along with food supply, the provision of prescription medicines has obviously been a priority issue for the local response center. Many pharmacies don’t offer a delivery service as part of that commission contract. But those who do have been, you know, struggling to maintain it because of the supply. The local response team has appointed a lead who has been liaising with the local pharmacies and the initial very high level of demand is actually started to decrease. And our local pharmacies are really being supported very well by local volunteers and voluntary groups. The council has considered setting up a team who who would offer a delivery service, and they’ve established a protocol with the Hampshire Pharmaceutical Committee to look at actually doing this. And really local pharmacists who are obviously best placed to tell us about the demand and about the safety and risks involved with our customers. They’re telling us that at this moment in time that’s not needed. But as ever, we’ll keep this under review and we’re set up ready to go if need be.
Tina Campbell [00:24:38] Thank you.
Keith House [00:24:41] Thank you much, Tina. I think the point is really coming across as it is the coordination role the council has with the local response center and with voluntary organisations across the borough and all communities. That gives us the ability to really add value, and again, I’d like to add my facts and support to everyone that’s doing any part of that process. I can open up into a general discussion on volunteer and community related issues. Rupert Kyrle said that he wants to speak on this item. And so Rupert the floor is yours.
Rupert Kryle [00:25:18] Good morning, everybody. Hope you’re all keeping safe and well at this time, I just really wanted to take this opportunity to echo your thoughts and your comments share with regards to all the significant hard work that is going on out there from being provided by our frontline waste service operatives, et cetera. I think it’s incredible the job that they’ve been doing and I just wanted to put on record my sincere thanks for all of their hard work. I know it’s incredibly difficult to try and sort of keep things running normally, as it were, but I think we have managed to achieve that. And that’s a real true testament to the actual efforts of all the staff in direct services, but especially our operatives out in the community. And I certainly know that residents very much appreciate actually seeing. And I do know that they do wave out our staff as they go round. Indeed, I’ve actually started doing that myself and I’m sure they do appreciate that because they’re always very, very cheerful when they’re going around. Well, I know the residents very much appreciate that. So I just wanted to put on record my sincere thanks for all of their hard work, collecting all of our waste and continuing things as normal as they possibly can be at this difficult time. Thank you, Chair.
Ian Corben [00:26:40] I’m sorry. I’m muted, sorry Ian Corben here, sorry!
Keith House [00:26:44] It didn’t help the fact i didn’t have my microphone on.
Ian Corben [00:26:46] Absolutely, we were both talking to nobody weren’t we? Good start! Sorry. I just wanted to particular mention partner organisation, one, one community. I think when we think of the huge amount of work that’s going on and that to deal with this with the virus, the extended needs of the residents are really important. I just wanted to mention one where an elderly resident resident has has has no need for deliveries. No need for the for the headline bits and pieces that are going on. But really for business as usual point of view. They were feeling particularly frail and and being being unable to get out and drive. And the request went in on, I think Tuesday morning, last week for a an alarm bell, too, that they can wear around their neck and around their risk. And one community actually delivered that and installed it on Tuesday afternoon and and that type of business as usual thing can can very easily get lost. I think in the in the in the discussions and so I just wanted to particularly mention that And Councillor Kryle’s point about the about the refuse to collection when when we see the residents putting putting signs up as they did in Collet close in Hedge End last week, thanking the staff for delivering. And and it clearly makes a difference and it’s it it comes out in lots of things that we see. It’s the small things that clearly make a difference and yeah, I would certainly reiterate all of those and all of those things. Thank you.
Keith House [00:28:20] Thank you again, and now we’ve got the microphones again sorted out. I’ve had thanked Rupert for his contribution. So thank you again. A related issue on waste perhaps worth picking up is that the household waste recycling centers are aren’t open at the moment. The government advice is mixed on this DEFRA, the government body responsible for environment and waste wants them opened and yet the county council isn’t confident that they are able to open them. We’ve asked the county council to give consideration to potentially opening the HWRC’s, even if on a phased basis or on an appointment system or whatever is necessary to make them safe. Because we recognise that for some residents, some waste, particular non-domestic waste is now building up to quite significant levels. I’ll put an advert in here, it is still possible to join the council’s garden waste collection system. It’s still running regularly at the moment. If anyone wants to join the house or the garden waste collection system, go online. You can sign up and I’m sure that you will get a bin delivered out to you just as quickly as possible and you can put your grass cuttings and clippings from your garden into it into that. Now, I’ve got no one else at the moment saying they want to speak on the health and volunteer section of this item. So if that’s the case, we’ll move on to business support issues. And I’m going to ask Derek Pretty next to answer a question that’s been tabled by Councilor Margaret Atkinson. So beware. This one, Derek. Margaret says “Under the small business grant funds, great scheme, but get whatif back in guidance published on the 1st of April. Government stated that local authorities will contact eligible businesses to arrange payments of grants”, so Mararet says. “Why did the borough council delay making this contact with small businesses until the 20th of April? When letters were issued? What’s the story behind this one?”, Dereck?
Derek Pretty [00:30:15] Right. Thank you, chair. Thank you councillor Atkinson for your question hope you’re keeping well. Our approach was in line with the advice that was given by the gov.uk website, which stated that eligible businesses will be contacted by their local authority. Some local authority decide to operate applications process. The application process was deemed to be the most advantageous to businesses with initially admissible a very successful over £10 million pounds being paid out already thought of 800 businesses. So far so good. In fact, we’ve had excellent feedback from those businesses and we’ve had coverage of BBC TV, the report with the local businesses, Netley, which benefited from the grant. Whilst the application process was being dealt with, the specialists said they’re working through the revenue system to identify all qualifying businesses and make sure that they have all been written to. In case there are any that haven’t been applying for them, I’d like to thank the staff who we’ve worked so hard in these difficult times to ensure the applications that have been received have been dealt with quickly and smoothly and efficiently and will continue to be so. And finally, I’d like to thank and advise colleagues that our commercial environmental health teams have been out visiting properties within the borough to to comply with the current regulations and have found acts that very high levels of compliance with only a very small number of issues being really relate to social distancing, which includes in some of this will source. I think overall staff has been working so hard. The businesses will need the support in order to make sure when the recovery process kicks in they will be there to help our economy grow again. So I hope that answers Margaret’s question. Thank you very much.
Keith House [00:32:24] Thank you so much, derek it certainly does and I know that we’ve diverted as council quite a lot of staff effort to making sure that those business applications are processed quickly. Really important that we help keep businesses going at such a difficult time. We know that the difficult times are really just starts with some of the pressures that are going to be on businesses over the course of the coming weeks and months before we get to anything like whatever a new normal turns out to be. Tonia Craig wanted to speak on this item.
Tonia Craig [00:32:53] Thank you. I just wanted to add that one of the local groups, a social club that’s very local here, had the grant from Eastleigh Borough and so appreciative. They were really concerned that they wouldn’t be able to pay their staff. Obviously, being a social club, they have no visitors at all. So we’re not actually bringing any income in. They still have their outgoings. Obviously, with with electric and and keeping cellars cool and all that sort of thing. They were really appreciative because they said that had it been another two weeks, they wouldn’t even be able to pay their staff. And we’ve already heard from Tina about how the food banks have gone up and how people are applying for grants and benefits. So this was really appreciated. So, again, thanks to all the staff that have actually gone above and beyond to make sure that all these grants are actually met so that the small businesses keep going. Thank you.
Keith House [00:33:49] Thanks so much, Tonia. That’s much appreciated. I’ve got no one else to speak at the moment on business related items, but I miss David Aerie wanting to speak on on the earlier section. So, Sir David, would you like to come in now?
David Airey [00:34:06] Thank you. You know, it actually applies to the business stuff as well. I was going to say that that you probably a better moment to speak now. I was just going to say that I think it’s so important now that we as well as the stuff we’ve done together across local authorities that we’ve stopped also thinking very clearly about the recovery process and recovery planning, because I think that’s really important to get to get the framework exactly in place so that when things do start getting back to, we can actually plug those in properly at the same time. And Derek grants that he’s talking about that of courset that was called and that’s that’s why it’s perhaps more appropriate for me to speak now rather earlier. Yeah. We’ve thanked lots of people, people working in our own authority and solid people working in the voluntary sector. And that’s absolutely right. And all of them have done a brilliant job and they’re doing a brilliant job and will continue to do a brilliant job. Listen, I know it is that very often one of the areas of people who perhaps get knocked out will not notice so much. Perhaps now transport workers who are who in different companies who are keeping transport networks going limited, that they are with Sunday bus services or special bus timetables and Sunday train timetables and so on. Soon, hopefully they will be called on to start increasing those services as part of the recovery program, but I wouldn’t want us to have gone through all this turmoil without those those people being thanked as well for the amount of work they’ve put in and put in over time. And I think, too, that’s a need to remind ourselves that there are a lot of workers who are now furloughed or short times or one or two who will have lost their jobs and so on and so forth and we need to think about the ways in which we can help them.
David Airey [00:36:14] Thank you.
Keith House [00:36:19] Thank you, David, that’s really appreciated and it’s good to pull up the point about the recovery. I think perhaps people might think that the council works on the crisis and works on the recovery. Actually, the work on the recovery has to happen in parallel with work on with work on the actual crisis itself, because planning for that and hopefully to get to a smooth process is really important and we are we will try and work very closely with other public sector agencies to make sure that happens just as smoothly as we can. Did anyone else of cabinet wish to speak on business related items on this agenda? I can’t see anyone wanting to speak at the moment. In which case we’ll move on to some some internal issues. So for anyone watching this, this might be the dullest section of the meeting. Apologies for that. But we are doing business as usual here. I’ve got a range of questions that have been put by Councillor Margaret Atkinson on council finance and internal issues. I’ll pick those up now if I can just ask cabinet members whilst I’m reading through this, there’s quite a lot of us make sure that their microphones are on mute so if they want to cough and splutter they can do. But I’ll carry on from here. So Margaret asked “What plan does Eastleigh Borough Council have to acknowledge our staff’s commitment to their work? Perhaps an additional holiday leave granted”. Well, funnily enough, Councillor in Corben I’ve been discussing holiday leave with Nick Tustain and management team for a little while, but I certainly raised some of these issues some some time back and we are working as cabinet with management team looking at the best way to thank staff for the outstanding contributions commitments they’ve shown during the crisis. And I can reassure you that our fantastic workforce really are absolutely appreciated. Margaret then asked about our meeting processes and says “When will easily by council have the process in place to allow audit and resources committee to convene in order to scrutinise the financing Council, as I’ve concerns about financial position of council, bearing in mind commercial investments, the council has particular leisure and the dependants it places on rental incomes that’s used to provide essential services”. Well, I can confirm that all resources are due to meet in May to ensure the scrutiny function continues and as I said earlier on the meeting, one of the papers that we’ve attached as an appendix to this report is an updated meeting, some financial plan which picks up as best as we are aware at the moment our long term planning right now through to 2025 and that is very positive. It sets out a route forward and I’ve every confidence that we will achieve that. So we are financially in a good place as far as many of us in local governments are concerned. Margaret then asks “How much extra borrowing was raised in this process? What will the borrowing rates? How will this extra borrowing be repaid? And what is now the current level of Eastleigh Borough Council’s borrowing?” so an extra £25 million pounds was borrowed over and above normal Treasury practices. I know these sums sound quite small compared to the billions that the government is talking about and that money was invested directly with the government’s debt management office until such time as needed, ensuring security of funds and in line with our long term treasury management strategy. The extra borrowing was taken on a short term basis at 0.5% interest APR. This allows the flexibility to repay where best suited to the council’s cash position. Extra amounts borrowed were all within the approved limits of the council’s authorized limit and operational boundary as part of the prudential indicators set by council and seen elsewhere on the agenda. The council’s current level of borrowing is now £483 million pounds, with the majority being long term, which is significantly below our authorised limit of £553.8 million for the current financial year. Margaret then asks if new homes bonus reserves required to be used by council to support any shortfall in the general fund reserves as suggested in the agenda. What will happen to the capital projects that have been earmarked and already agreed to be funded with new homes, bonuses, moneys? And I can give a very reassuring answer to Margaret and to any any of the members of the council or community that are concerned on that point. It is the council’s policy not to use new homes bonus to support our revenue budget. Legally, we could do if necessary. Many councils have we don’t consider it to be a good financial strategy because it’s money you can only use once and so you can’t prop up your revenue budget with it. So it’s unlikely we’ll need to go down that route. And also, we’ve not made allocations to future new homes bonus in all existing projects and commitments are therefore able to be met and that’s pretty important. We have quite a number of capital projects around the borough. Some of those are on pause at the moment, inevitably as a results of social distancing and supply chains in the construction sector. One or two of them are up and running. We have some fairly lightweight construction going on on a couple of our housing schemes and we have restarted work this morning at the Budgens site on Hedge End are completing work on the car there, which will be there on a temporary basis until the future retail application comes forward. Two more questions from Margaret Atkinson, “How much of the government grant funding of each tranche of £1.6 billion pounds made available to councils has been received by the borough council”. This has had quite a lot of wide press publicity. The government has touted that it’s made £1.6 billion pounds available to local authorities and and is about to allocate an additional £1.6 billion pounds. Well, I have to be clear, none of that’s actually been received so far by Eastleigh Borough Council. I’m not sure whether anyone else has got any of this cash in government. But we haven’t so far off the £3.2 billion and announced detailed commitments only from the first half I’ve been given by by government and Eastleigh’s share of that £1.6 billion is £45,502. That is 0.00142% of the government’s funding to local authorities.
Keith House [00:42:30] Almost all funds are being allocated to county and unitary councils. Now, clearly, counties and judiciaries have got very specific social care responsibilities that are a major burden to them at the moment. District councils provide a lot of frontline services and to make sure that services continue when income is particularly restricted. We’re making arrangements with many residents for council tax payments, we don’t have car parking income, etc. It does mean that there are pressures on council budgets. So we’re hopeful that the government’s second allocation of funds will be somewhat more generous than the first one. We were, of course, told by the Chancellor that money won’t be an object for this. Margaret’s final question “As a result of the coronavirus pandemic Eastleigh Borough Council has changed its ways of working. Many of our staff are now working from home, which must result in cost and environmental savings, which are beneficial to the council. So will the Borough Council continue to adopt some of these practices once we return to normality, whatever normality might be in the future?” Well, thank you for that question, Margaret, very timely. Whatever normality might be in the future is the key answer, I think. But the answer’s got to be yes. The scope of the council’s recovery group includes reviewing improvements that can be made to the way we work going forward, including consideration of climate change impacts, as we’ve already discussed this morning. And despite the terrible circumstances that we’re in at the moment, there will be many improvements in the way we work that we can identify and build on to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Like many other organisations across the country and across the world, I’m sure we’ll see more homework in the future. I’m sure we’ll see more video conferencing, and there must be must be opportunities as part of that to reduce some some business trouble. So we’ll come back to all that was part of recovery. I’ve got one final question on this section, which had been submitted by our councillor Louise Parker-Jones, which relates to the council’s employment arrangements at The Point and Berry theatre’s. A long preamble, which I summarise. Louise says that the point based that there are some say employees at the point Berry that were laid off on the 1st of May and she’s concerned that this is worrying perhaps some of those some of those most on the staff and questions whether they’re on zero hour contracts. She goes on to ask how we’re going to deal with these issues and what can we do? No other opportunities to use some of these staff on Covid-19 related activities rather than to lay them off. So let’s be clear, we’re actually not laying any staff off as a result of the pandemic. We can’t use the government’s furlough scheme, or at least we’re advised not to use the government’s furlough scheme within the public sector. It is designed for private sector organisations. But we did take the decision where we had casual staff that we would continue to pay them in line with the hours that we’re rota’d, right the way through March and April. At 100% of the usual hourly rate, even if it turned out there was no work available for them. So we honored all the commitments that were given to those staff that work on a casual basis. For any casual worker who is unable to work in May because their workplace is closed or there’s no work available for them. We’re very keen for them to register their interest for work on any alternative projects to support the council’s efforts in response to the Covid-19 epidemic, and that’s a really important point. We’ve taken our commitment as employer incredibly seriously throughout this entire process and will continue to do. The arts sector in particular works very much on the basis of cash and employment with and with employees often working on multiple sites for multiple organisations at once and the arts sector is particularly under pressure at the moment and we’ll be having to work very carefully and very closely with making sure those venues get up and running with full support for our staff as we move forward into the recovery phase over the course of the coming months. So that was all the questions that we had. The questions are actually rather helpful. So thank you to colleagues who submitted those questions. They gave us an opportunity to flesh out some of the items that we’ve been working with as a council over the course of the last few weeks. Just checking to see were there any other cabinet member has any other item on this paper on Covid-19 they want to speak on. I can’t see anyone else wanting to speak at the moment. I see some shaking heads and general pictures that are on the bottom of my screen, so I’ll take that as confirmation. The paper had recommendations for those who don’t follow live government debates very closely. We tend to work on the basis of balance, usually reports being presented and its recommendations being put forth for us to consider the recommendations that are on this paper are the cabinet notes. The action taken by the council in response to the Covid-19 pandemic notes the key decisions taken on delegated powers for the period 16 of March to 14th of April 2020 unless anyone else wants the same thing on this item. I’m happy to take that as agreed by colleagues. No, as indicating they want to speak. So thank you very much. Let’s move on to five further items on capital agenda. I suspect these will be somewhat brisker than the last item, as you might expect. First, those is the paper actually on the process of holding virtual public meetings. And as I said earlier, I think we might be the first of Hampshire’s local authorities to broadcast one of our cabinet meetings on the Web. So for both of our viewers, thank you for joining us today. It’s important to get this process right in the future. We will look to have active live public participation in these meetings. As I said earlier, that eluded us technically just today for our first one and we’ll start the process on our web site for members of the public to say how they want to get involved in that. We’ll be restarting our local area committee meetings in a month’s time. There’s local area meetings are really important because they take the local decisions that are really important around our borough, including local planning applications and we want to make sure we do have an active and live public participation in those. I had a question from from from one of my colleagues on this paper asking how are you doing on this and what technological multiple issues were? I hope I was able to reassure her by email as to some of the issues. But it is important we get the security around this. This process, right. There are quite of reports are of meetings like this being being bombed in various ways and being broken into on another service provider than the one the council is using. We’ve made sure we’ve got that right in line with government guidance and we’ve got a process that means that we can stream our meeting to the Web and we can get meetings up interests as quickly as possible. Again, for those who are viewing this meeting who wouldn’t normally be watching council meetings. April is normally a time when councilors are out knocking on doors in local elections rather than sitting in meetings like like this one. We’ve obviously not been knocking on doors out for election this year because the election has been postponed probably until May of next year. But as a result, we’ve not cancelled many meetings that deal with normal business. April is normally a silent month for council decision making meetings. And so I think we councils one cabinet meeting. We’re picking up most of the items that were on the agenda in this meeting. And one local area committee meeting where some of the business was decided, decided virtually by e-mail and some will come forward to a future meeting.
Keith House [00:50:21] So that public scrutiny is really important. Did any member of cabinet want to speak on this item. Doesn’t look like they do from the shaking hands. So we are recommended to note amendments to the Rules Procedure section of the Constitution that’s attached to the report that was presented and as approved by the council’s chief executive and emergency powers and note these additional operational rules are implemented from today’s date. Well, I’ll take again silence as an assent on that one. Next agenda item is around Hampshire County Councils, libraries consultation and in a moment, I’ll ask Councilor Tina Campbell as cabinet member for social policy to speak on this item. This was one of the papers that was delayed by our March cabinet meeting not happening. We have submitted the response of the county council to make sure we fitted in with that timetables. But I’m gonna ask Tina a few words about libraries. Thank you so much. Tina.
Tina Campbell [00:51:26] Thank you, Chair. I really appreciate having the opportunity to introduce our consultation response, which, as you say, we submitted back in March, because this is an issue that is really important to me and it’s very close to my heart. So I will try and keep it to a few words, but I think this is a really important response. We have clearly indicated how how important we believe libraries are and the county council just don’t seem to appreciate the impact these proposed cuts would have on our local community and particularly on those residents who are living in poverty and who are already battling against social inequality. I cannot help wondering how often those people proposing these cuts actually use their local library because they do not seem to appreciate what an absolutely vital lifeline they are for the many who do. This council has made it clear that we oppose the closure of Fair Oak Library. We oppose the reductions in opening hours of our libraries, and we oppose taking community run libraries out of the Hampshire Library Service without providing appropriate support. There are many things that I could point to that justify our position, but I would like to just briefly highlight how these proposals risk harming further those who are already the most vulnerable in our communities. Firstly, the county council doesn’t seem to appreciate that not everybody has access to internet at home and for many of our poorest residents, Libraries are one of the few places that actually provide free online access so that they can complete their universal credit application or provide evidence of their job search to the DWP to get printing and photocopying done or search for cheaper gas and electricity supplier. Cutting the library service just makes life harder for those who are already struggling the most. The demand hasn’t been cut. You’re just cutting access. Secondly, it shouldn’t be underestimated. The important role that libraries play in bringing the community together, providing a shared community space that is inclusive of everybody, a safe space for those who need it, a welcoming place for those who are socially isolated. A much needed source of free fun and entertainment for children whose parents are on low incomes and can’t afford to pay for children’s activities. Cutting the library service makes the vulnerable more vulnerable and our communities less inclusive. Thirdly, and for me, maybe most importantly, libraries promote a love of books, language and learning for children living in poverty. A library may be their first introduction to books. They dont have bedtime stories necessarily. Their first opportunity to discover a world outside of their own direct experience and a sense of what life could be. For many, it will continue to be their only access to books and online resources outside of school. Cutting the library service just makes it harder for these children already battling social deprivation to reach their full potential. And this is why this council has taken a much more enlightened approach to libraries working hard to increase capacity within the borough. For example, in Hedge End, West End, Bursildon are most recently in Hamble, and it is why we will work with the County Council to find a more suitable location for Eastleigh Library so that the service can be expanded further by example offering access in the evenings. There is so much more that I could say on this issue, but I’m sure my cabinet colleagues will also want to contribute. So I’ll stop there. Thank you.
Keith House [00:55:52] I must remember to turn my microphone on. Well, we’re gonna have to do it. We’re gonna have to get that right. I think that’s just me being being dilatory. Thank you Tina for that contribution really, really useful. We’re going to queue up to speak at the county council on that I think, because that was a passionate speech in support of our libraries. Now, I’ve got four colleagues wanting to speak on this item. I’m going to go north to south. I think that might might make it easier for people. So I’m gonna ask Paul Bicknell if he wants to speak first. I’m then going to go to Counsellor’s Pretty Kryle and Craig. So, Paul, your first.
Paul Bicknell [00:56:27] Thank you, chair and good morning to everyone that’s watching this first live virtual meeting of Eastleigh Borough Council’s cabinet. I fully endorse the statement and we’ve actually sent to Hampshire County Council with reference to the libraries and all all the points that Councillor Campbell has made with how important libraries are to to the communities within the borough. There’s just a couple of points that some object one and one is is slightly expand on and just actually make a point that some obviously libraries are a statutory responsibility of Hampshire County Council and that they actually take their council tax precepts. The 70 percent of which your council tax is, you just go to Hampshire County council, and so there’s is their responsibility. So Eastleigh Borough Council is not going to doesn’t receive any money from the council tax precept for running running libraries and so obviously, we’re not we’re not going to agree to effectively have the cost shunted from Hampshire County Council onto Eastleigh Borough Council tax payers. Tina mentioned about Eastleigh’s library. Now, Eastleigh Library has survived this round of cuts from from Hampshire, which actually is the second round second review of libraries in recent years, but is known by Hampshire that Eastleigh is underperforming and that is due to its location as a lot of people that probably dont realise that Eastleigh’s library is on the first floor of the Swan Center, hidden away and not very well advertised or signposed. So being cabinet member for regeneration in the north of the borough. I’m very keen to work with Hampshire County Council to find a new location for the library. So I hope that Hampshire. I hope that Hampshire and I hope that Hampshire are prepared to work with Eastleigh Borough Council in a proactive way to find a library, a new home that will broaden its appeal to enable all the things that Councilor Campbell said to come into fruicion for the residents of Eastleigh Town and the surrounding area and that’s all I have to stay on libraries. So I think very much, Chair.
Keith House [00:58:53] Thank you, Paul. That’s really helpful. Certainly improving Eastleigh’s libraries will be high up on our wish list for library provision. Let’s get to Dereck Pretty in Hedge End and see what he has to say about library issues.
Derek Pretty [00:59:05] Thankyou Chair. I’d like to fully endorse what Councillor Campbell has said about libraries are sort of essential to communities in general. But I think often we overlook the fact that our local libraries are place was in town or village centers. How much additional business they bring to the small local shops. People go to the library or to go public to the post office will look down there. I think it’s important to remember that they are integral to everything we do in community life. I think the County Council has to bear in mind that it’s vital that we keep those communities to life. That’s all we really wanted to say. Thank you.
Keith House [00:59:51] Thank you much, Derek. Now, lets go to Botley. Botley is one of the few communities in the borough that doesn’t have its own standalone library. Botley residents have to rely on Botley and Fair Oak. So Rupert Kryle?
Rupert Kryle [01:00:07] Thank you very much indeed, Chair. And I would just like to also echo Councillor Campbell’s impassioned speech there. This is something that is very close to my heart. I used to remember visiting the local library in Chandlers Ford when it was just at the end of our road, actually, before moving up to Fryern Pavilion. I understand Chandlers Ford library is a very well used library, actually, and remains so as being a community hub where a lot of people actually go and not just look at books and take books out, etc. But it is looked upon as being one of the focal points and indeed of that part of Chandlers Ford. I quite agree with Councillor Pretty as well that the local shops obviously benefit from that footfall of people actually making multiple journeys and also visiting the libraries and the local shops. So I totally agree with those comments as well as you’ll probably remember yourself. Chair I’m a member of the Economy, Transport and Environment Select Committee at the County Council, and it was only a only a few years ago. I would suggest that we were looking at losing all of our mobile library services. And I remember speaking at the meetings at that time vehemently opposing the fact that actually rural communities would be literally cut off by the fact that they weren’t to have mobile libraries. Mobile libraries were then literally with the stroke of a pen cut and removed, socially, isolating all sorts of communities across rural Hampshire and certainly rural Hampshire, where obviously bus services that are obviously being reduced as well. We’re now, as you probably remember, in the more recent distant recent past, we had a reduction of ours against library and we and we campaigned against that. We actually worked very successfully indeed with the County Council Library Service to extend the provision at age end, working very, very closely with them. When I was chair of the local area committee and we were very thankful of that and so was the community. There are real opportunities, I think, that the county council could look at it expanding that offer. I think that picks up on councillor Bicknells points as well. I think it’s an absolutely terribly retrograde step to just look at your bottom line and not actually look at the social value that libraries do present and the opportunities that they can present for communities. It isn’t just about money. It’s about the social value that those buildings, those people and the services that they provide. Councilor Campbell’s absolutely right. When we are moving further and further into this digital age and we’re finding this out obviously ourselves this morning, we are leaving some people behind. Some people aren’t able to either grasp the technology. They don’t have the funds available to be able to have this technology in their homes. And people will be left behind by by the fact of the service being removed because they won’t have be able to have the access to the Internet. And so much more is being done online. Yes, clearly there are efficiencies and that’s the reason why they are doing it. But for a a much a small, much minority of people within our communities, it is a retrograde step that there is no nothing in between and that therefore there is further reliance on people like one community, et cetera, to step into that, because the county of them removed the funding from a vital service from our communities. So I’m very much welcome. The response we sent back to the to the county council on this. I do hope I do hope that they listen to this and that they don’t close Fair Oak, that they don’t reduce the hours on on other libraries within within Eastleigh borough, but also within within the county as a whole. My fear, unfortunately, is that it is a fait accompli given that they’ve passed their budget. And clearly with the cuts that are being proposed, I’m afraid libraries was on the list. But again, as I say, I think it will be at the detriment to our local communities if this provision is removed or reduced further. Thank you, Chair.
Keith House [01:04:10] Thank you so much, Rupert. But it’s good to pick up the point on Fair Oak, there. Fair Oak is the one full time library or least fully staffed library that’s proposed to be cut by the county council and other council and Nick Couldry in Fair Oak has been working very hard with the community in Fair Oak and the parish council trying to secure a future for that library. We wish him every success with that. The other library that is set for funding being removed from the county council. This is Bursledon. So we’ll ask Councilor Tonia Craig talk about library issues in the south of the borough.
Tonia Craig [01:04:46] Thank you, Chair. I was just going to touch on Hamble first, if I may, and just say how this borough actually supported the parish to get the library up and running, which was a new community building that we we actually built down there for the library before it was actually complete. Hampshire pulled their game on that one with no books being some books being put into the library, but nowhere near enough that we supported the parish council to get it up and running and we are now supporting a volunteer group that is hoping to take this over because they actually see the how useful the libraries are on a social level with regards to Bursledon, they did have some support. They had the kiosks, et cetera, in the library where people could order books from other libraries. Just, you know, you stock coming in that sound kind of thing. It really concerns me about the deprivation in our borough. We have pockets of it all over and how the children use these libraries for their education. So we really do need to be looking at the bigger picture. They will not be able to use these these libraries for the books. They need to do their homework, which is so they know their future education. The bigger picture also is if the stocks are going to be very limited, our users using them are going to get very, very bored with the same old books. They’re not going to be able to order books from other libraries. That won’t be a rotation of stocks. There won’t be new stock coming in. And it seems to me this is a way of just at actually making sure that all like libraries will just cease. It is about the bigger picture. They need to be looking at that, the social part of that and the social isolation. People stop going out when they stop reading. It’s the dementia that then sets in. We have a lot of people with the social isolation and dementia going through the roof.
Tonia Craig [01:06:45] So is it something we need to be aware of and we need to make them aware of? It is a facility that we really do need. Thank you.
Keith House [01:06:54] Thank you much, Tonya. That’s some really useful points there are around the wider usage and wider importance of our libraries and also the book funds. And like my council colleague in Gosport, Peter Cheguin has been a passionate supporter of maintaining the Book Funds Accounts Council over over many years, which have been cut and cut and cut. Libraries need books. It’s quite simple. Straightforward, really, isn’t it? I’ve got no indication anything else wants him to speak. Thank you, colleagues, for your contributions on the recommendation here is to note the reports because we’ve already submitted the consultation in response. But I think we can just add to that that we will make sure we make further representations as needed during the process. Given the County Council has yet to take a final decision on closing a course of Hampshire’s libraries and reducing the library hours, perhaps 25 percent of all of the rest, if not anything else to say on that item. I’ll take those recommendations as agreed and move on to a straightforward paper on the council’s asset management strategy from 2020 to 2025 detailed paper behind this is quite detailed, quite complex. Getting our asset management structure is absolutely vital for for the council given the reliance we put on all our assets. The paper has already been to the Audit Resources Committee on the 10th of March and recommendations that are made from that committee have already been taken on board as part of the strategy. Does anyone put out anything else on that item?
Keith House [01:08:23] I see some nods around around the borough. Oh, there was suddenly a voice. No. It’s gone.
Paul Bicknell [01:08:32] Yes. I’d like to make. Come in, please if I may chair.
Keith House [01:08:38] Go for it.
Paul Bicknell [01:08:40] Yes. Thank you, Chair. It’s just picking up a point on something that some Councillor Airey mentioned when we were discussing and talking about Corona virus and Covid-19. It’s a very detailed report. Welcome report because actually the report and the contents in there will actually form part of the recovery going forward as we as we move on. So that’s what I just wanted to thank you, Chair.
Keith House [01:09:08] Okay, thank you very much, Paul, I appreciate it. Anybody else? If not, we’ll take that as agreed. We can then move on to community investment programs, given approval. This is a technical paper which comes to us every month. Sometimes the major schemes attached to it for agreements here were just formally agreeing approval of £10,000 funding for body worn video equipment for our city enforcement officers around around the borough. Does anyone wish to speak on this paper? I suspect probably not. Nope. We’ll take that as agreed that the final item in front of us this afternoon now is the paper on nitrates mitigation charging policy. Now, that sounds desperate, complicated. It is desperate, complicated. This is a mechanism to try to make sure that we can still manage to issue planning permissions for development to get the right homes in the right places across the borough. Following some conclusions from the government around nitrates and nitrate pollution of the solent, we need to make sure that we’re not making that we’re not allowing new development to create additional pollution in the solent. I’m working with a range of other agencies. We have a temporary scheme being put forward here that gets us to a point where we can we can continue to issue planning commissions. The longer term solution will require government action because this is primarily a debate to be had between government agencies and our water utilities, which of course are private providers who are more driven by the bottom line of opportunity profits to shareholders than servicing the community’s needs. I’ll ask Paul Bicknell to speak on this. He wanted to make some contributions. He’s been representing the council at some south-hammpshire wide meetings. Paul.
Paul Bicknell [01:10:58] Yes. Thank you, Chair. Yes. As you say, I’ve represented the council at Hampshire and IOW local goverment, I’d have liked local governments to see action and I once advised at the partnership South Hampshire. The paper is very welcome, and I’m not going to go through the details of the paper. I have been following it quite closely. It is a shame that actually local councils are having to make these decisions because they only actually short term. I say it’s a shame not because actually, you know, we should be taking polution of the solent seriously. I say a shame because actually it is national governments that haven’t made any inroads in this on this subject at all and that is forcing local councils to have to make these very short term recommendations to enable planning applications to go ahead. I know that an awful lot of the Councils are very frustrated across the southern Hampshire at the lack of intervention or even direction or any idea from national governments. There’s been a number of questions I’ve asked with reference to the science regarding this and the source of whether the nitrates are coming from. But there are no answers because nobody seems to be wanting to have a look at the science and to get to grips with this. So whilst I welcome this recommendation and we’ll carry on working with the Hants and IOW on the local association. Fingers crossed that government might actually start taking what is a serious problem actually seriously in the in the not too distant future. So that’s what it sounds like.
Paul Bicknell [01:12:52] Thank you, Chair.
Keith House [01:12:55] Thank you so much, Paul. I’ve got anyone else indicates want to speak on this item at the moment. I don’t think. No we don’t. Okay. Right. So the recommendations in front of us is that we note the introduction of a charge of £4,500 pounds per dwelling to developers and £1800 per room for tourism development and care homes from the 19th to March 2020. Secured through plently obligations where developers opt to take advantage of the council’s mitigation offer and where they’ve not made their own arrangements. And I’d just like to add to that that we will make continued representations to the government’s post-crisis to give this item much more serious consideration, because it does need to be resolved for the longer term so we can secure decent, proper housing supply without additional burdens being placed on development that should be borne by the government and indeed by the water sector. So if there’s no other participation on that item, we will take that as agreed. Colleagues are happy to do so with those comments. I see some nodding around the borough, that’s helpful. That ends the formal items that are on the agenda. I’m just going to go round the room and see if anyone wants to add anything else. I’ve got indications from Tonia that she wants to say something. If anyone else can just indicate to me. But I’ll take Tonia next.
Tonia Craig [01:14:22] Tonia, thank you, Chair. I was just going through some some notes that I had. And one that I forgot to mention with the Covid. It was about people seemed to be a bit worried about visiting GP’s. at the moment. I just wanted to make the plea that anyone that feels they need to see the GP on a face to face. We have what are called hot and cold surgeries in the borough. A cold surgery being people not showing any symptoms of Covid at all and a hot surgery that are people that are showing any symptoms. So it doesn’t really a plee to anyone in the borough that has any issues where they feel they need to see a GP face to face to continue to do so, because what we don’t want them getting really poorly and then ending up in a hospital. So please, please, if you do need to see anybody make that appointment.
Tonia Craig [01:15:19] Thank you.
Keith House [01:15:21] Thank you so much, Tonia. It has been remarked across the health service that some people who have been at risk have not sought medical help, it really is important that people who are at risk for non virus related issues do seek medical help if they need to. And don’t worry about burdening the health service. The health service is there to provide the support that people need, and it’s important that people use that. So thank you for raising that Tonia. Does anyone else have anything else they want to raise? Before we conclude the meeting? No, in which case I’d like to thank everyone for their attendance today at the first of the council’s virtual cabinet meetings. And at that point, I conclude the meeting. Thank you very much.