AT A MEETING of the POLICY AND RESOURCES POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE of the COUNTY COUNCIL held at The Castle, Winchester on 5 September, 2002
Councillors: S.A. Hayes (Chairman); I.F.E. Beagley; J.V. Bryant; M.F. Cartwright; P.J. Chegwyn; B.D. Dash; C. Davidovitz; R.J. Ellis; W.J. Filer; J.K. Glen; K House; M.J. Kendal; Mrs. C.A. Leversha; P. Luffman; M.J. Roberts; M.L. Sheehan; Mrs. M. Snaith; J.K. West.
Also in attendance were Councillors P.A. Heath; D.A. Kirk and M.J. Woodhall.
58 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest reported to this meeting.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 9 July, 2002 were confirmed, as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.
Reorganisation of Postal Services and Impact on Sub-Post Offices (Minute 43)
The Head of Economic Development was asked to write to the Committee with an update on this matter.
60 CHAIRMAN'S COMMUNICATIONS
The Chairman reported that the Best Value Inspectorate were currently carrying out two concurrent inspections of reviews conducted by this Committee.
· Support to the Voluntary and Community Sector
· Economic Prosperity
Members raised concerns about the burden on officers' time in supporting the inspectors' work and noted that similar concerns had been represented consistently when responding to government consultation on Best Value.
61 MEMBERS' QUESTIONS
There were no Members' questions to this meeting.
There were no deputations made at this meeting.
63 BEST VALUE REVIEW OF DEMOCRATIC SERVICES - PROJECT BRIEF
The Committee considered the report of the Chief Executive (Item 6(i) in the Minute Book) setting out the project brief of the Best Value review of Democratic Services.
That the Best Value review of Democratic Services proceeds in accordance with the approach detailed in the submitted project brief.
64 BEST VALUE CROSS-CUTTING REVIEW OF PASSENGER TRANSPORT
The Committee considered the report of the County Surveyor (Item 6(ii) in the Minute Book) about the implementation of the action plan for the completed cross-cutting Best Value review of Passenger Transport.
In welcoming the progress already made the Committee felt it would be helpful to strengthen Member involvement in the development of new ideas. Also, in considering the Improvement Plan they wished to add "services provided by other providers particularly health" to Objective/Outcome 2 of the Plan.
In conclusion, Members felt it would be helpful to receive an update about the recently introduced "Cango" service and its associated Call Demand Centre.
Accordingly, it was
(i) That the progress made on the Action Plan of the Passenger Transport Cross-Cutting Best Value Review be noted and support be given to the amendments to the future programme and to "services provided by other providers particularly health" being included as part of Objective/Outcome 2 of the Implementation Plan.
(ii) That Councillor W.J. Filer be appointed by this Committee to participate, together with Councillor T. Knight in developing new ideas to meet the cross-cutting agenda in partnership with the Officers' Steering Group.
(iii) That the County Surveyor write to the Committee with an update on the new "Cango" service and associated Call Demand Centre which had introduced from 1 July, 2002 fully-accessible demand-responsive mini-buses on a series of routes in Andover.
65 STATEMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, SERVICES AND DEVELOPER CONTRIBUTIONS
The Committee considered the report of the County Planning Officer (Item 7 in the Minute book) on a proposed draft statement on developer contributions, infrastructure provision, service requirements and negotiating protocol which was to form the basis of a public consultation exercise.
During discussion Members raised various points on the planned new arrangements and these were clarified and noted by the County Planning Officer in order that they might be drawn to the attention of the Executive Member for Policy and Resources who was due to consider the matter at his next decision day meeting.
The Committee supported the draft statement recognising its purpose was to enable the County Council in due course to establish the infrastructure and services required for the calculation of developer contributions and negotiations with the local planning authorities to ensure that all necessary contributions are included in obligations as part of planning consents.
That the Executive Member for Policy and Resources be advised to:
(i) Approve the principle and format of the draft Statement as a basis for public consultation after the inclusion of detailed financial information from all departments;
(ii) Agree the principle of appointing a Developer Contribution Co-ordinator to implement and manage the statement.
66 REVIEW OF THE ROLE AND RESOURCES OF THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE
The Committee considered the report of the Head of Economic Development (Item 8 in the Minute Book) analysing the needs arising out of the review and setting out options to achieve the desired outcomes of the Improvement Plan.
In discussion the Committee commended the report and the important work of the Economic Development Office (EDO). They noted the actions arising from the Improvement Plan and particular areas, in which the EDO might find it difficult to develop new initiatives within its current budget. Among the issues highlighted at the meeting were the various options for integrating tourism with the EDO or other departments of the Council; possible financial assistance to enable individuals/small businesses to set-up their own web-sites; raising the profile of the EDO and its role and interaction with other agencies including businesses in Hampshire.
The Committee were advised that their comments would be further investigated as would the detailed costs involved in taking forward the business plan for Hampshire's economy.
That the Head of Economic Development prepare a future report to the Executive Member for Economic Development giving further details of the costs involved in developing a prioritised list of the proposals contained within the Improvement Plan and include those issues raised by the Committee at this meeting, prior to the matter being determined, at the appropriate time, by the Executive Member for Policy and Resources.
67 CONSULTATION PAPER AND GRANT DISTRIBUTION REVIEW OPTIONS
The Committee considered a request by Councillor M.J. Roberts that a report be prepared by the County Treasurer on this matter for the next meeting.
That the request be not supported as the Committee would have an opportunity to "call-in" the decision of the Cabinet on this item if this was felt necessary.
68 COMMITTEE TIMETABLE OF FUTURE DECISIONS
The Committee received and noted the report of the Chief Executive (Item 10 in the Minute Book) on forthcoming key-decisions which may be made by the Leader and the Committee's timetable of future activity which had been updated since the last meeting.