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Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Councillor Keith Evans, the Executive Member for Planning and Development, who sadly passed away on Sunday 27 December. His funeral service was held at the Wessex Vale Crematorium, West End on Monday 18 January.

 

Councillor Evans was a well-respected Borough Councillor who represented the wards of Sarisbury from 1988 to 2002, Titchfield Common from 2004 to 2012 and Locks Heath from 2012 to 2020.  He was also a County Councillor, serving the Fareham Warsash division continuously from 2005.

 

During his time as Councillor, Keith Evans made a significant contribution to the work of the Council, most notably presenting the Local Plans in complex detail at Scrutiny Panels, the Executive and most recently to this Council meeting in October of last year.

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence given for this meeting.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 17 December 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Mayor be authorised to sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 17 December 2020.

3.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that with Lockdown in place since Christmas it has not been possible to accept any face to face engagements. However, along with the Mayoress, the Mayor was pleased to have been able to take part in some virtual and telephone engagements instead.

 

The Mayor also announced that unfortunately, due to Government guidelines, the 2 dates proposed for her charity ball this year have had to be cancelled as HMS Collingwood will not be re-opening until September.

4.

Executive Leader's Announcements

Minutes:

The Executive Leader announced that he would be asking the Mayor to convene a special Council meeting to take place immediately before a future scheduled Council meeting for the purpose of considering the investiture of Honorary Alderman on Councillor Keith Evans, who sadly died on 27 December 2020.   The Executive Leader went on to explain that although a date cannot be confirmed for this at the moment, as National Lockdown continues to be observed, it would be appropriate to schedule the special meeting when Members are able to come together in the Council Chamber to commemorate Keith’s service as a Councillor.

 

The Executive Leader also made an announcement in respect of the Covid-19 Lockdown and what the various steps of the Prime Minister’s road map will mean for the Council. 

 

The Executive Leader explained that the “stay at home” rule still applies at the opening stage which will begin on the 08 March and that there would therefore be no changes to current working practices. However, the Council will be opening sports pitches and tennis courts for bookings from 29 March. Skate parks, outdoor gyms and outdoor play areas will also be open.The Executive Leader further explained that, assuming the various tests are met, the Government plans to move into Step 2 from 12 April.  At this stage, the shopping centre will re-open again, the town centre will become busier and the Civic Offices will re-open to customers.

 

At Step 3 the Government will look to continue easing restrictions on seeing friends and family and it is at that stage that larger events in the local community can take place. Mayoral events will also resume and restrictions on leisure centres will be lifted.

 

At Step 4, which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the Government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact and it would be at that stage that consideration would be given to whether some of the safety measures that have been put in place in terms of working practices at the Civic Offices and the depot can be removed.

5.

Executive Members' Announcements

Minutes:

Councillor J E Butts joined the meeting during this item.

 

The following Executive Member announcements were made:

 

Councillor T M Cartwright, MBE

 

Firework Motion presented at the last Council Meeting

Councillor Cartwright announced that he was able to confirm to Members that he wrote to the relevant Minister on the 16 February as requested.  To date no answer or acknowledgement has been received but Members will be kept informed.

 

Police Crime Panel

Councillor Cartwright gave an update to Members on the recent meeting of the last Police Crime Panel, where it was unanimously agreed to support a precept increase of £15.00 per annum for Band D properties. Councillor Cartwright reported that the Chief Constable gave a very compelling case for this increase, bearing in mind Hampshire Constabulary is a very low-cost Force for its size, receiving over £40m less than the average Force throughout the country. 

 

Councillor Cartwright went on to advise Members that in the year 2021/22, 153 new Officers will be recruited who will need to be trained and equipped. This number of new, additional Officers is above the existing budgeted estimate as part of the second tranche of the Government’s commitment to increase Police numbers by 20,000.  The Chief Constable made the point at the meeting that with these additional Officers, there will be more front-line staff in the right place at the right time, and they will be better equipped. The Hampshire Constabulary establishment numbers are as follows:

 

31 March 2020:        2681

31 March 2021:        2962 (which is 25 extra over the establishment of 2937)

 

These numbers are looked at on a quarterly basis by the Police Crime Panel Working Group to ensure they are meeting their targets.

 

Councillor Cartwright was pleased to report that the recruitment of new Officers is going very well, meaning there are more Officers “on the beat”, which all residents have requested.

 

 

Councillor S D Martin.

 

Councillor Martin reported that the Carbon Reduction Plan is progressing well and will be presented to Members at the June Executive meeting.  There will also be a special Policy and Resources Scrutiny Panel meeting in May to enable scrutiny of the Reduction Plan prior to consideration by the Executive.

 

Councillor Martin explained that the Plan looks at the short, medium and long term for reducing the Council’s carbon emissions.  It is very clear what is needed for the short and medium term and we are already in the early stages of many projects, such as understanding what our vehicle replacement options are.  However, there is still a lot of work to do. Planning for neutrality in the long term will be driven by where the greatest carbon savings can be made.  These projects require a lot of detailed work to explore costs, carbon savings and resources.  An annual review will be undertaken, updating the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Panel of progress made towards carbon neutrality.  We also expect that as new technologies and legislation emerge there will be even more options to help us meet our goal.

 

Councillor Martin further explained that the Council must ensure that climate equity is addressed, so we will be looking at how we can help the most vulnerable in our society.  For example, the Housing department is currently looking at ways to implement energy saving measures in existing stock and building more energy efficient properties in our new social housing developments.  As well are reducing emissions, this will help drive down costs for our tenants.

 

Councillor Martin commented that the carbon reduction suggestions from Members have been welcomed and have been very useful as a basis for the Plan.  It has not been possible to include everything as, for example, some ideas are in the control of Hampshire County Council.  Members will now have received an update on their suggestions, but further ideas continue to be welcomed.

 

Councillor Martin advised Members that the Greening Campaign has unfortunately been put on hold because of the pandemic.  To avoid any further delay, it has been decided to roll out the Greening Campaign via the new online format.  This will initially be introduced in Titchfield Village.  The village has close knit community groups who have worked closely with us in the past.  It is these groups that are so valuable to the success of the campaign; the ties to the community are key in delivering this project, especially in these challenging times.

 

Finally, Councillor Martin announced that the Council is going to show support for the ADEPT “blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level”.  This document identifies five priorities for how Government can accelerate a green recovery and set the foundations for longer term solutions.  It details the actions Local Authorities want to take and how Government can support them.  Several Local Authorities have already shown their support, including Hampshire County Council.

 

Councillor Miss S M Bell

 

Councillor Miss Bell was pleased to announce that tickets for the Fareham Lottery went on sale on 08 February.  At that point, 58 good causes had registered an interest. By comparison, Havant Borough Council had 55 good causes registered at launch and Gosport Borough Council had 48.  There have been 730 tickets sold to date and the annual income for good causes is £22,776.  Fareham School of Gymnastics, The Cat Welfare Group and 1st Fareham Scouts have managed to raise £1,000 for the year from ticket sales so far.  The number of good causes has now risen to 59 and the first draw will take place on 13 March.

6.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members in accordance with Standing Orders and the Council’s Code of Conduct.

 

Members are reminded that the Monitoring Officer has granted a dispensation to all Members to enable discussion and a decision to be taken at item 14 – Finance Strategy, Capital Programme, Revenue Budget and Council Tax 2021/22.

Minutes:

Councillor R H Price, JP declared a Disclosable Pecuniary interest in respect of item 14(2) as he leases an allotment in Portchester.  He confirmed that, should the need arise, he would not take part in any debate regarding allotments.

 

Councillor J M Englefield also declared a Disclosable Pecuniary interest in respect of item 14(2) as he leases an allotment in Titchfield Common.  He confirmed that, should the need arise, he would not take part in any debate regarding allotments.

7.

Presentation of Petitions

To receive any petitions presented by a Member of the Council.

 

Note: any petition so presented will be dealt with in accordance with the Council’s petition scheme.

Minutes:

There were no petitions presented at this meeting.

8.

Deputations

To receive any deputations of which notice has been given.

Minutes:

There were no deputations given at this meeting.

9.

Reports of the Executive

To receive, consider and answer questions on reports and recommendations of the Executive.  Minutes of the meetings of the Executive and a schedule of Individual Executive Member decisions are appended.

9(1)

Minutes of meeting Monday, 4 January 2021 of Executive pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that:

 

(a)   the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on Monday, 4 January 2021 be received: and

 

(b)  the recommendations contained in minute 10(2) be considered under item 17 of the agenda.

9(2)

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 26 January 2021 of Executive pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on Tuesday, 26 January 2021 be received;

9(3)

Minutes of meeting Monday, 1 February 2021 of Executive pdf icon PDF 299 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that

 

(a)   the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on Monday, 1 February 2021 be received;

 

(b)  the recommendations contained in minute 8(1) be considered under item 14 of the agenda;

 

(c)  the recommendations contained in minute 8(2) be considered under item 15 of the agenda;

 

(d)  the recommendations contained in minute 8(3) be considered under item 16 of the agenda; and

 

(e)  the recommendations contained in minute 8(4) be considered under item 17 of the agenda.

9(4)

Schedule of Individual Executive Member Decisions pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Schedule of Individual Executive Member Decisions be received.  

10.

Reports of Other Committees

To receive the minutes of the following Committees and to consider and answer questions on any reports and recommendations made.

10(1)

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 16 December 2020 of Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 be received.

10(2)

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 13 January 2021 of Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 be received.

10(3)

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 20 January 2021 of Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 312 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that: 

 

(a)  the minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on Wednesday, 20 January 2021 be received; and

 

(b)  the recommendations contained in Minute 6 – Spending Plans 2021/22 be accepted and accordingly that the Council agrees:

 

                              i.        the revised budget for 2020/21; and

 

                            ii.        the base budget for 2021/22.

10(4)

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 14 January 2021 of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Committee pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that:

 

(a)   the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Committee held on Thursday, 14 January 2021 be received;

 

(b)   the recommendations contained in Minute 7 – Spending Plans 2021/22 be accepted and accordingly that the Council agrees:

 

                             i.   the revised budget for 2020/21; and

 

                            ii.   the base budgets for 2021/22

 

(c)    the recommendations contained in Minute 8 – Fees and Charges 2021/22 be accepted and accordingly that the Council agrees the Fees and Charges for 2021/22.

11.

Reports of the Scrutiny Panels

To receive, consider and answer questions on reports and recommendations of the meetings of the Scrutiny Panels.

11(1)

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 5 January 2021 of Policy and Resources Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Panel held on Tuesday, 5 January 2021 be received.

11(2)

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 6 January 2021 of Leisure and Community Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Leisure and Community Scrutiny Panel held on Wednesday, 6 January 2021 be received.

11(3)

Minutes of meeting Tuesday, 19 January 2021 of Health and Public Protection Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Health and Public Protection Scrutiny Panel held on Tuesday, 19 January 2021 be received.

11(4)

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 28 January 2021 of Streetscene Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Streetscene Scrutiny Panel held on Thursday, 28 January 2021 be received.

11(5)

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 4 February 2021 of Housing Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Housing Scrutiny Panel held on Thursday, 4 February 2021 be received.

12.

Questions under Standing Order 2.12

To answer questions pursuant to Standing Order 2.12 for this meeting.

Minutes:

There were no questions submitted for this meeting.

13.

Motions under Standing Order 2.6

Members will be informed, prior to the meeting, of any motion duly notified in accordance with Standing Order 2.6 but received after print and dispatch of the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no Motions submitted at this meeting.

14.

Finance Strategy, Capital Programme, Revenue Budget and Council Tax 2021/22

14(1)

Suspension of standing order 2.15 and 2.16

To consider suspending the provision of Standing Order 2.15 to allow the Executive Leader of the Council to speak on the matters referred to in items 14(2) and 14(3) for longer than five minutes and the spokesmen for the Opposition Groups to speak for not more than ten minutes; and to consider suspending the provisions of Standing Order 2.16 to allow the Executive Leader of the Council to speak on the matters referred to in items 14(2) and 14(3) more than once to respond to points raised in debate.

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs K Mandry joined the meeting at the start of this item.

 

Having been duly proposed by Councillor T M Cartwright, MBE and seconded by Councillor Miss S M Bell, it was RESOLVED that:

 

(a)  the provisions of Standing Order 2.15 be suspended to allow the Executive Leader of the Council to speak for longer than five minutes on items 14(2) and 14(3); and also to allow the Opposition Spokesmen to speak for not more than ten minutes; and

 

(b)  the provisions of Standing Order 2.16 be suspended to allow the Executive Leader of the Council to speak on matters referred to in items 14(2) and 14(3) more than once to respond to points raised in debate.

14(2)

Report to the Executive - 01 February 2021 pdf icon PDF 207 KB

The Minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 01 February 2021, to be presented to Council at its meeting on 26 February 2021 at item 9(3), contain recommendations on the revenue budget and the level of Council Tax for 2021/22.

 

(Note a copy of the report agreed by the Executive is included in this agenda pack).

 

If Members accept the Executive’s recommendations, formal approval will be sought of the following matters:

 

(a)  the capital programme and financing of £53,902,000;

 

(b)  an overall revised revenue budget for 2020/21 of £9,606,500;

 

(c)  a revenue budget for 2021/22 of £10,271,900;

 

(d)  a council tax for Fareham Borough Council for 2021/22 of £170.22 per band D property, which represents a £5.00 increase when compared to the current year and is within referendum limits; and

 

(e)  an unchanged Council Tax Support scheme for 2021/22

 

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) regulations 2014, there will be a recorded vote on the budget decision.

Minutes:

Councillor R H Price, JP declared a Disclosable Pecuniary interest in respect of this item as he leases an allotment in Portchester.  He confirmed that, should the need arise, he would not take part in any debate regarding allotments.

 

Councillor J M Englefield declared a Disclosable Pecuniary interest in respect of this item as he leases an allotment in Titchfield Common.  He confirmed that, should the need arise, he would not take part in any debate regarding allotments.

 

It was proposed by Councillor S D T Woodward and seconded by Councillor T M Cartwright, MBE that the Council accept the recommendations of the Executive and approves:

 

(a)  the capital programme and financing of £53,902,000;

 

(b)  an overall revised revenue budget for 2021/22 of £9,606,500;

 

(c)  a revenue budget for 2021/22 of £10,271,900;

 

(d)  a council tax for Fareham Borough Council for 2021/22 of £170.22 per band D property, which represents a £5.00 increase when compared to the current year and is within referendum limits; and

 

(e)  an unchanged Council Tax Support scheme for 2021/22

 

In presenting the budget proposals, the Executive Leader gave a review of the Council’s performance, success stories and notable achievements from the year and outlined the agreed priorities.

 

The Executive Leader announced that the Council continues to face significant challenges and that he would outline how we will ensure that we continue to offer excellent services to our customers, whilst remaining within budget. He began the budget presentation by placing on record his thanks to all officers who have worked so hard, led by the Chief Executive Officer, through these difficult times. Thanks were also extended to finance officers who have worked so hard producing the budget; not just the one for 2021/2022 but the unprecedented COVID-19 emergency budget during the current year.

 

The Leader advised Members that following his presentation he would recommend a council tax increase for 2021/2022.  He then went on to state that, despite the unprecedented nature of the past year, there have been many notable achievements:

 

In September, funding of £10,000 was approved for the launch of Fareham Community Lottery.  Run by the charity One Community, the first draw is on 13 March with around 60 local good causes being supported. 

 

Residents will soon be able to benefit from improved facilities at both Holly Hill and Fareham Leisure Centres, after we approved £6.8m of improvements.

 

In October, the name of the new arts and entertainment venue was announced, with residents voting for Fareham Live as their favourite.  This followed approval of the outline planning application in May. 

 

Holly Hill Woodland Park and The Sensory Garden in the town centre were awarded Green Flag Awards for the 13th and 11th year running, designating them as two of the best parks in the country.

 

Last summer, Fareham in Bloom went ahead, albeit online, with over 100 entries.  The public’s favourites were then chosen by a vote on social media.

 

The Council’s carbon footprint was calculated for the first time ever and will continue to be monitored annually. A report due later in the year will also detail our plans to ensure our 2030 target for carbon neutrality is achieved.

 

Children and their families were asked to help choose new play equipment for the Burridge, Metcalf Avenue, Salterns and Newtown play areas that will be installed later this year.  The brand-new aviation themed Daedalus Common Play area was also opened on the north-western edge of the Solent Airport.

 

The Council reached an important milestone in the development of the Local Plan, consulting on the Publication Version of the Plan in November. In response to COVID-19, an innovative virtual exhibition was used, with over 1,300 people taking part online.

 

Welborne Garden Village made good technical progress during the year. A funding solution for Junction 10 of the M27 has been developed, with additional funding from the developer and the Government which, when finalised, will mean that the junction improvements can go ahead, and homebuilding can commence.  Last month, the Planning Committee also approved revisions to the Welborne Outline Planning Application which reflected these new funding arrangements.

 

In June, construction was completed on five new 3-bed and 2-bed properties at Oak Tree Close in Park Gate. Tenants from the housing waiting list have moved in paying rents well below the market rate.

 

Plans for coastal parking charges were approved in September in order to assist in the support of essential services. Hourly charges alongside heavily discounted season tickets will be introduced in our coastal car parks this summer.

 

In October, a new wheelie bin garden waste collection subscription service was developed. Launching in February next year, residents will benefit from the increased capacity and convenience that wheeled bins offer. First year early bird discounts will be offered to those signing up to the scheme in the autumn.

 

In November, new anti-social behaviour measures were approved, with a £40,000 investment in town centre CCTV cameras and funding for deployable cameras in locations of concern. Following the success of the town centre security trial, two additional officers will also join our Enforcement Team.

 

The Executive Leader then turned to the Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and announced that, first and foremost, the Council has focused on supporting residents and businesses through these difficult times: 

 

To date the Council has paid over £45 million in government grants and relief to thousands of businesses in the Borough that have suffered during the pandemic.

 

The Council’s Enforcement Team aided the reopening of local businesses, providing free safety signage and advice on risk assessments.

 

The Enforcement Team has also played an important role, encouraging social distancing in public places, and taking on the role of COVID Marshals in November.

 

A COVID-19 testing site was also set up for symptomatic people at Cams Alders Car Park ensuring residents were able to receive a test quickly. There is now also a testing centre for the asymptomatic at Fareham College.

 

In August, the Shop Local Shop Safe and Eat Local Eat Safe campaigns were launched. These encouraged the support and use of local businesses whenever possible.

 

The Executive Leader stated that the Council has had a key role, facilitating, and supporting the activities of a number of community groups during the pandemic.  For example, he was delighted to have helped set up a food distribution centre for Acts of Kindness in one of the Council’s business hangars at Solent Airport at Daedalus. We also assisted in the setting up of new food bank sites so that charities could respond to increased demand.

 

Small grants of £250 were offered to community groups, many of whom continue to provide important support and services to residents throughout the pandemic.

 

From early in the pandemic, flights to and from Solent Airport involved the delivery of medical equipment and essential supplies, as well as aiding repatriations.

 

Working with partner agencies, rough sleepers were moved quickly to sheltered accommodation at the beginning of lockdown.  We also worked with Citizens Advice to keep residents informed and supported the Government’s You Are Not Alone initiative, designed to aid domestic abuse victims.

 

As a sign of gratitude for their hard work, the Council provided free car parking to key workers and NHS staff during lockdown as well as launching a free parking permit for NHS hospital staff in October.

 

In August, leisure centres were provided with an emergency support package of £1.8 million to help ensure that residents continue to have access to good quality facilities once restrictions are eased.

 

The Executive Leader commented that he was glad to say that we were still able to celebrate VE day in May, as the Council launched online resources for children and encouraged residents to put up their bunting.

 

The annual Christmas light switch-on also went ahead, with the Mayor switching the lights on virtually from home this year.

 

Frontline staff continued to provide essential services for residents so life could continue, as much as possible, as normal.  Bins were still emptied on time and green spaces were maintained to a high standard. Fareham Housing also continued to repair any damages and keep residents safe throughout lockdown.  By establishing safe workspaces when lockdown rules were relaxed, we remained accessible to residents during times of increased stress and anxiety.

 

The Executive Leader advised members that COVID-19 has had a big effect on Council finances during the current financial year and will do so going into the next financial year.  In September, the Executive approved an emergency budget for the first time ever, including approval for the use of council reserves.

 

There has been a huge drop in income from services such as car parking, leisure centres and businesses struggling to pay their rents.  Other areas such as trade waste, land charges and market income have all been affected. 

 

The Executive Leader went on to explain that it is not just the income side of the Council’s finances that have been affected.  It has cost money to help the leisure centres remain viable businesses, make our offices and the town centre safe places to be and to ensure as many people as possible have a safe place to stay.  The government has provided Fareham with almost £3million in COVID-19 grants and grants for lost income and in the next financial year, we will receive a further £3/4 million. In order to achieve a balanced budget £2.5million has been taken from reserves which will not be sustainable going forward.

 

The Executive Leader commented that the Council is well aware of the pressures on businesses and individuals and reported that since March 2020 we have been distributing grants and applying rate reliefs. The value of grants has been over £25million and the value of rate relief around £20million, all of which has been well received by businesses and traders within the Borough. There has also been extra demand for benefit payments and as part of this service we have been paying test and trace grants. Of great value to individuals required to isolate as a result of the test and trace system, we have processed over 350 claims paying out over £50,000 in grants.

 

The Executive Leader stated that even though the Council has achieved a great deal already, further savings need to be made and new income opportunities need to be explored. The financial year 2021/22 will see another one-year settlement offered to councils due to further delays in the Fair Funding Review.  The outcome of the review is not expected to be good news, mainly due to pressures such as social care, education and the pandemic’s impact on government finances.  We are also expecting to see a business rate reset, with changes to rateable values affecting how much we collect in business rates and potentially how much gets distributed back to Fareham. There have also been calls for the Government to extend the COVID-19 reliefs for another year.

 

The Executive Leader went on to explain that the last 6 years, following years of council tax freezes, have seen district councils being able to increase council tax by £5 per year. However, this fixed sum is seeing a lower increase in percentage terms.  For example, the district with the highest Band D council tax in the country will see their council tax increase by £7.35 if they take the 2% increase allowed, £2.35 more than Fareham. In light of this, the Executive Leader advised Members that he has asked officers to request to the Government that Councils with the lowest 25% Council Tax for a Band D property, be given an option of increasing their share by more than £5 per year.. Since 2018/19, the last year that Fareham received any Revenue Support Grant, Council Tax and business rates have supported the Council’s budget, with council tax providing almost 75% of the net budget albeit just 15% of the gross budget.

 

The Executive Leader stated that, as well as funding reductions, the Council must also plan for other budget pressures. The Medium-Term Finance Strategy is showing a gap over the next 3 years of £1.7million, even if we do continue to raise council tax by £5 a year.  There will be a need to respond to changing demand for parking income, Hampshire County Council’s arrangement for recycling, the emerging waste strategy from the Government, the cost of planning appeals, the increasing pressure of maintaining our assets and managing our woodlands, all of which come at a cost to the council and its taxpayers.   Also, we have expectations and demands from our customers that can come at a cost, particularly around areas such as keeping the Borough tidy or maintaining the high standards of our parks and open spaces.

 

At this point, The Executive Leader turned to the Council’s capital programme, reporting that the General Fund capital programme for the next 5 years is a very generous £54 million, focussed on delivering schemes which accord with our Council Priorities.  This is a fully funded programme, paid partly from resources that the Council has accumulated, and also with a large proportion attracted from external sources, thereby protecting our taxpayers.  At the end of the 5 years it is estimated that there will be a surplus of £7.5 million which represents a contingency of 14% of the overall programme, but this relies on every scheme being completed on time and within budget. Surplus resources are required to cover these situations and for any new schemes that may come online during the next 5 years.  It is also important to realise that the programme relies heavily on capital receipts, revenue contributions, grants of over £16 million and borrowing arrangements of just over £29 million to fund the programme.

 

The Executive Leader went on to state that despite all of the committed capital spend it is important to note that there will be a need to spend just under £200 million in the next 30 years to make sure that all of our assets remain fit for purpose and to keep them operational.  With these financial sensitives in mind, in November, the Council pressed pause on the development of Fareham Live. This decision was made in light of the continued COVID-19 lockdown measures, and in particular, their effects on the entertainment industry. This decision will be reviewed in April.

 

Turning to the revenue budget for Council housing, the Executive Leader reported that the cost of running the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) in 2021/22 will be an estimated £12.4 million. He explained that almost 90% of the annual income is from rent of dwellings and garages, with the average weekly rent in Fareham being £93.37 in 2021/22, a 1.5% increase from the previous year.   As part of the Housing Revenue Account, the next 5 years will see a £32 million investment in our properties including improvements, acquisitions and a new build programme of 8 schemes.  In October 2018, the Government abolished the cap on HRA borrowing which, although good news, must be treated with caution as borrowing needs to be serviced without undermining the financial stability of the Council's HRA.

 

Moving to the overall position, the Executive Leader stated that the cost of providing services to Fareham residents will be £12.8 million in 2021/22, which is an increase of £3.2m on the current year.  In order to achieve a balanced budget, we are reliant on a further £751,000 of COVID-19 funding from the government but we must also use over nearly two million of our own reserves. 

 

The Executive Leader explained that the budget has been prepared in line with the Medium-Term Finance Strategy considered by the Executive in January of this year. He went on to report that, despite receiving one of the lowest levels of Government support in Hampshire and taking account of the impact of the unprecedented economic climate, it has been possible to set a net budget of £10.3 million for 2021-22, £660,000 higher than the base budget for the current year.  With one-off funding from the Lower Tier Services Grant, income from business rates and the collection fund, that leaves the sum of £7,456,402 that must be raised from Fareham’s Council taxpayers.  Fareham’s Council Tax base for 2021-22 is 43,804.5. This is along with around 2,738 properties receiving assistance through the council tax support scheme.  Dividing the amount to be raised from our taxpayers by the tax base gives a Council Tax for band D properties of £170.22. As in previous years, we have asked residents if they supported council tax increases. The vast majority accept the need for increases with most also willing to go higher than the proposed £5 increase in future years. 

 

With Fareham’s proportion of the council tax rising £5 this year, The Executive Leader stated that it remains a small element of the overall increase of £85.54 for 2021/22.  The Police and Crime Commissioner will be increasing his share of council tax by £15 with the Hampshire Fire Service showing an increase of £1.37. The biggest increase will be from the County Council, which will be raising its council tax by the maximum allowed – 5%. The increase will be 3% for the social care precept and 2% going on ordinary council tax which gives a total increase of 5%, or a £64.17 rise, for a band D property.

 

Stating that times remain tough, the Executive Leader announced that after another very significant grant reduction this year from Government and with further reductions to come, the Council was in a position where it must say to our customers that Council Tax for Fareham will need to increase for a sixth time since 2009. In real terms, this is still well below the level had we increased Council Tax in line with inflation each year.  The overall position for Fareham’s taxpayers will therefore be:

 

           Fareham Borough Council £170.22

           Hampshire County Council £1350.45

           Police and Crime Commissioner £226.46

           Hampshire Fire and Rescue £70.43

 

This gives a total for a Band D property of £1,817.56, which represents a 4.2% increase over the 2020/21 figure.

 

On that note, the Executive Leader asked Members to approve the recommendations set out under Item 14(2) on the agenda, commenting that this makes Fareham's Council Tax one of the lowest "district" rates in England. Quite impressive when considering that, at the same time, 90% of councils will receive more Government support per dwelling than Fareham.

 

During the debate on this item, several Councillors asked that their thanks be placed on record to Officers who work hard to deliver the services of the Council.

 

Following debate on this item, and on being put to the meeting, the recommendations (a) to (e), as outlined on page 4 of the agenda, were CARRIED unanimously.

 

(Councillors K A Barton, I J Bastable, Mrs S M Bayford, Miss S M Bell, F W Birkett, J E Butts, T M Cartwright MBE, Mrs L E Clubley, S Cunningham, P J Davies, T Davies, S Dugan, Mrs T L Ellis, J M Englefield, G Fazackarley, M J Ford JP, J Forrest, Miss T Harper, Mrs C Heneghan, Mrs C L A Hockley, L Keeble, J G Kelly, Mrs K Mandry, S D Martin, Ms S Pankhurst, R H Price JP, Mrs K K Trott, N J Walker and S D T Woodward voting in favour)

 

RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Executive be accepted and accordingly that the Council approves:

 

(a)  the capital programme and financing of £53,902,000;

 

(b)  an overall revised revenue budget for 2021/22 of £9,606,500;

 

(c)  a revenue budget for 2021/22 of £10,271,900;

 

(d)  a council tax for Fareham Borough Council for 2021/22 of £170.22 per band D property, which represents a £5.00 increase when compared to the current year and is within referendum limits; and

 

(e)  an unchanged Council Tax Support scheme for 2021/22.

14(3)

Council Tax for 2021/22 for Fareham Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service pdf icon PDF 416 KB

Having made the necessary calculations in relation to its own budget, the Council must proceed to set the Council Tax for 2021/22 taking account of the amounts in precepts issued to the Council by Hampshire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Hampshire Fire Authority.  These precepts will not be issued before the publication of this agenda and will therefore be reported at the meeting, with provisional figures being given for those that are not yet approved.

 

In order to enable Council Tax bills to be issued within the statutory timescale, it is recommended that the Council agrees to delegate authority to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer to amend the Council Tax 2021/22, in the event that any of the precepting authorities change their precept calculation from that expected and reported at the Council meeting.

 

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 there will be a recorded vote on the budget decision.

 

(Note: a schedule will be tabled at the meeting for approval, showing the formal calculations the Council must make, incorporating any figures recommended by the Executive.  Members will also be advised of the wording of the formal resolution they must adopt to set the Council Tax for 2021/22, taking account of the requisite calculations and the precepts of Hampshire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Hampshire Fire Authority).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered information tabled at the meeting: a schedule showing the formal calculations for setting the Council Tax and a graphical breakdown of council tax rates, as attached to these minutes.

 

On the recommendations being put to the meeting, they were declared CARRIED with 26 voting in favour, 2 voting against and 1 abstaining.

 

(Councillors K A Barton, I J Bastable, Mrs S M Bayford, Miss S M Bell, F W Birkett, J E Butts, T M Cartwright MBE, Mrs L E Clubley, S Cunningham, PJ  Davies, T Davies, S Dugan, Mrs T Ellis, G Fazackarley, M J Ford, J Forrest, Miss T Harper, Mrs C L A Hockley, J G Kelly, Mrs K Mandry, S D Martin, Ms S Pankhurst, R H Price JP, Mrs K K Trott, N J Walker and S D T Woodward voting in favour, Councillors J M Englefield and L Keeble voting against and Councillor Mrs C Heneghan abstaining).

 

RESOLVED that the Council:

 

(1)  notes that on 26 February 2021 the Council calculated the Council Tax Base 2021/22 for the whole Council area as 43,804.5 [Item T in the formula in Section 31B(1) of the Local government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the “Act”]

 

(2)  calculates that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2021/22 is £7,456,402.

 

(3)  notes that the following amounts be calculated by the Council for the year 2021/22 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:-

 

(a)

£48,371,100

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils.

(b)

£40,914,698

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.

(c)

£7,456,402

being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act.)

(d)

£170.22

being the amount at 3(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year.

(e)

£0.00

being the aggregate amount of all special items (Parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act

(f)

£170.22

being the amount at 3(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3(e) above by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no Parish precept relates.

 

(4)  notes that the County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner along with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued precepts to the Council in accordance with Section 40 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for each category of dwellings in the Council’s area as indicated in the table below:

 

(5)  notes that the Council, in accordance with Sections 30 and 38 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, hereby sets the aggregate amounts shown in the tables below as the amounts of Council Tax for 2021/22 for each part of its area and for each of the categories of dwellings.

 

Valuation Bands

 

Fareham Borough Council

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

113.48

132.39

151.31

170.22

208.05

245.87

283.70

340.44

 

Hampshire County Council

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

800.03

933.36

1,066.70

1,200.04

1,466.72

1,733.39

2,000.07

2,400.08

 

Hampshire County Council – Adult Social Care

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

100.27

116.99

133.70

150.41

183.83

217.26

250.68

300.82

 

Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

150.97

176.14

201.30

226.46

276.78

327.11

377.43

452.92

 

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

46.95

54.78

62.60

70.43

86.08

101.73

117.38

140.86

 

Aggregate of Council Tax Requirements

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

1,211.70

1,413.66

1,615.61

1,817.56

2,221.46

2,625.36

3,029.26

3,635.12

 

 

(6)  notes that, in accordance with the set of principles set by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for the year, it is determined that the relevant basic amount of council tax for 2021/22 is not excessive.

15.

Housing Revenue Account Budget and Capital Plans 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 286 KB

The minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 01 February 2021, to be presented to Council at its meeting on 26 February 2021 at item 9(3), contain recommendations on the Housing Revenue Account Spending Plans including the Capital Programme for the years 2020/21 to 2024/25.  If Members accept the Executive’s recommendations, formal approval will be sought of the following matters:

 

(a)  rents be approved for Council Dwellings as set out in paragraph 21 of that report with effect from 01 April 2021;

 

(b)  rents for Council garages be increased by 1.5% with effect from 01 April 2021;

 

(c)  the revised budget for 2020/21 be approved; and

 

(d)  the base budget for 2021/22 be approved.

 

(Note a copy of the report to the Executive is included in this agenda pack)

Minutes:

On being put to the meeting, the recommendations, as outlined on page 5 of the agenda were declared CARRIED unanimously.

 

(Councillors K A Barton, I J Bastable, Mrs S M Bayford, Miss S M Bell, F W Birkett, J E Butts, T M Cartwright MBE, Mrs L E Clubley, S Cunningham, P J Davies, T Davies, S Dugan, Mrs T L Ellis, J M Englefield, G Fazackarley, M J Ford JP, J Forrest, Miss T Harper, Mrs C Heneghan, Mrs C L A Hockley, L Keeble, J G Kelly, Mrs K Mandry, S D Martin, Ms S Pankhurst, R H Price JP, Mrs K K Trott, N J Walker and S D T Woodward voting in favour)

 

RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Executive made at its meeting held on 01 February 2021 in respect of the Housing Revenue Account Budget and Capital Plans 2021/22, be accepted and, accordingly, the Council approves that:

 

(a)  rents be approved for Council Dwellings as set out in paragraph 21 of that report with effect from 01 April 2021;

 

(b)  rents for Council garages be increased by 1.5% with effect from 01 April 2021;

 

(c)  the revised budget for 2020/21 be approved; and

 

(d)  the base budget for 2021/22 be approved.

16.

Treasury Management Strategy and Investment Strategy 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 01 February 2021, to be presented to Council at its meeting on 26 February 21 at item 9(3) of this agenda, contain recommendations that the Treasury Management Strategy and Investment Strategy 2021/22 be submitted to Council for approval.  If Members accept the Executive’s recommendation, formal approval will be sought that the Council approves the Treasury Management Strategy and the Investment Strategy 2021/22.

 

(Note: a copy of the report to the Executive together with the Treasury Management Strategy and Investment Strategy 2021/22 are included in this agenda pack).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Executive made at its meeting on 01 February 2021, contained at item 9(3) of the agenda be accepted and that, accordingly, the Treasury Management Strategy and Investment Strategy 2021/22 be approved.

17.

Capital Programme and Capital Strategy 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

The minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 04 January 2021, to be presented to Council at its meeting on 26 February 2021 at item 9(1), contain recommendations on the Capital Programme and Capital Strategy 2021/22.  If Members accept the Executive’s recommendations, formal approval of the Capital Programme and Capital Strategy for 2021/22 will be sought.

 

(Note: a copy of the report to the Executive, together with the Capital Programme and Capital Strategy for 2021/22, is included in this Agenda pack).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Executive made at its meeting on 04 January 2021, contained at item 9(1) of the agenda, be accepted and accordingly that the Council approves the Capital Programme and Capital Strategy 2021/22.

18.

Approval of Pay Policy Statement 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

The minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 04 January 2021, to be presented to Council at its meeting on 26 February 2021 at item 9(1), contain a resolution by the Executive that the Medium-Term Finance Strategy be approved.

 

Attached to the Medium-Term Finance Strategy as Annex 2 is the updated Pay Policy Statement 2021/22. Council is now asked to approve the updated Pay Policy Statement 2021/22.

 

(Note: a copy of the updated Pay Policy Statement for 2021/22 is included in this Agenda pack).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Executive made at its meeting on 04 January 2021, contained at item 9(1) of the agenda, be accepted and accordingly, that the Council approves the updated Pay Policy Statement 2021/22, as annexed to the Medium-Term Finance Strategy.

19.

Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 77 KB

A report by the Head of Environmental Health which presents the Statement of Licensing Policy 2021-2026 to Council for adoption.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Executive made at its meeting on 01 February 2021, contained at item 9(3) of the agenda, be accepted and accordingly, that the Council approves Statement of Licensing Policy 2021-2026.

20.

Appointments to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Standing Order 1.9.1 requires the Council to make appointments to outside bodies, other than appointments which are required by law to be made by the Executive. Appended to this agenda is a report which schedules appointments that need to be made.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report by the Head of Democratic Services on the appointments to be made to Outside Bodies.

 

In considering the appointment to Abshott Community Association Management Committee it was AGREED that Councillor J M Englefield be appointed as Deputy for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

In considering the appointment to Hammond Memorial Hall Trust it was AGREED that Mr Roy Parker be appointed as a Trustee for a 4-year term of office.

 

In considering the appointment to the Hampshire 2050 Partnership it was AGREED that Councillor S D Martin be appointed as Deputy for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

In considering the appointment to the Local Government Association Coastal Issue Special Interest Group it was AGREED that Councillor S D Martin be appointed as the Representative for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

In considering the appointment to the North Whiteley Development Forum it was AGREED that Councillor S D Martin be appointed as Deputy for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

In considering the appointment to Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) it was AGREED that Councillor S D Martin be appointed as the Representative for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

In considering the appointment to South East Employers it was AGREED that Councillor F W Birkett be appointed as Deputy for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

In considering the appointment to the Solent Transport Joint Committee it was AGREED that Councillor S D Martin be appointed as the Representative for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

In considering the appointment to the Standing Conference on Problems Associated with Coastline it was AGREED that Councillor S D Martin be appointed as the representative for the remainder of the current municipal year.

21.

Appointments to Committees pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To make any changes in appointments to the seats on committees in accordance with the wishes of political groups.  Such appointments will take effect from 01 March 2021.

Minutes:

A document was tabled in respect of this item for Council to note the Conservative Group’s revised appointments to Committees following the sad loss of Councillor Keith Evans.

 

The updates for the Conservative Group were as follows:

 

Policy and Resources Scrutiny Panel – Councillor I J Bastable in place of Councillor M J Ford JP (Councillor Mrs L E Clubley as Deputy).

 

Leisure and Community Scrutiny Panel – Councillor Miss T Harper in place of Councillor M J Ford JP (Councillor Ms S Pankhurst as Deputy).

 

Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Committee – Councillor Mrs T L Ellis in place of Councillor K D Evans as Deputy.

 

Planning Committee – Councillor Mrs C L A Hockley in place of Councillor K D Evans (Councillor S Dugan as Deputy).

 

The Leader of the Independent Group requested that the Council note the appointment of Councillor Mrs C Heneghan to the Audit and Governance Committee in place of Councillor S Cunningham.

 

RESOLVED that the Council notes the revised appointments to Committees made by the Conservative Group and the Independent Group.  

 

 




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