To receive questions from Councillors in accordance with the requirements of Standing Order 23.4(a).
Question from Councillor Carpenter to
Upon my weekly walks around my ward, Battins, I have noticed two Electric Vehicle Charge points in process of installation at Tidworth Road Car Park. This is an area earmarked for future regeneration. Could not a more suitable location have been sought, such as behind Greywell shopping centre, larger car park with toilet facilities?
The viability appraisal for the redevelopment ideas around Tidworth car park demonstrated that the initial ideas were not viable. Further work is required to understand what will be possible and any new ideas will be able to accommodate the EV charging points.
Question from Councillor
Carpenter to Councillor Bowerman:
I understand the ‘A Cllr Can’ campaign has reached over 6,770 people. Can I enquire if plans are in place for more events to extend the programme as only two were held in Havant Town Centre in September?
Response from Cllr Wilson on behalf of Councillor Bowerman:
Following the success of the pilot ‘A Cllr Can’ campaign events held this year, we do intend to hold more events in a variety of locations across the Borough. The plans for future events will be considered and implemented by the Councillor Development Panel.
Question from Councillor
Davis to Councillor Pike:
I refer to an article in "First" Magazine for local Government, November Edition -No.629
On page 5 an article refers to the "European Social Fund". Of the £3.1Billion allocated to the UK, £1.6Billion has yet to be applied for. If it is not allocated it will be returned to EU coffers. These funds can be used; to create jobs; support S.M.E.'s; deliver skills training; Invest in Critical Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Q1. Have you applied for any of this fund to help with the regeneration of our borough and provide the Critical transport infrastructure we desperately need?
Q2. Could we not plan for a Rapid Transport System (i.e. a Tram system) to help reduce our dependancy on cars, reduce our rush hour traffic and its consequent pollution? This would be a very positive and visible attraction to the people and businesses we hope to bring to our borough.
As you will be aware the Council has been successful in attracting government grant funding recent projects include the £1.2m funding for the new facilities at Front Lawn, the current £200k refurbishment of the Bartons Green changing facilities and the £3.3m Accelerated Construction Fund grant for the Civic Plaza housing proposals. The (ESF) European Social Fund remains open to appropriate bids and the Government has confirmed that access to the fund is likely to remain open until 2023 when the programme ends.
ESF projects are proposed through Local Enterprise Partnerships(LEP). Our own Solent LEP does not currently have any ESF bids in place. The nearest bids are three in the Enterprise M3 LEP area focused on skills
The idea of a bus rapid transit system is already being pursued and Havant are working in partnership with Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport and Hampshire County Council on the Transforming Cities Funding. The proposal involves the creation of bus priority infrastructure to make the bus a premium mode of travel that is better and faster than the car between Havant, Waterlooville and Portsmouth. Transport infrastructure improvements are fundamental to improving our area both for existing communities and attracting new investment. The Prime Minister recently announced that our initial bid has been shortlisted along with nine other regions to bid for a share of the £840m fund and officers are working in partnership to take that forward.
The question does raise an important point in relation to our regeneration ambitions. With our limited resources we do need to create a new focus on bidding for appropriate grant funding, including ESF. That must include working on our relationship with Solent LEP who are the gatekeepers for a wide range of infrastructure funds.
(4) Question from Councillor Davis to Councillor Turner:
Q1. Would you explain what income we receive from the " Havant Sport and Leisure Trust" contract.?
Q2. As Havant Borough Council owns this land should we not be receiving rent.?
Q3. Will this be shown in the next Budget?
Q4. How much has the Council received since this
Contract was signed?
Q1 and Q4
The Council has a Partnering Agreement with Horizon Leisure Trust (HLT) for the delivery of leisure activity in both of the borough’s leisure centres. The purpose of the partnership is to provide and continuously improve leisure facilities for our residents.
We have seen significant investment in both of our leisure centres, including an extension and refurbishment of the dry side at Waterlooville leisure centre, and extension of the gym at Havant leisure centre.
The Council’s relationship with the Leisure Trust as set out in a Partnering Agreement has evolved over time. Historically, the Council paid the Trust a management fee as well as taking responsibility for all maintenance costs. Due to the success of the Trust in running the facilities the Council no longer pays a management fee and the maintenance costs are shared with the Trust.
We are continuing to discuss with the Trust the future of our partnership to continue the provision of excellent leisure facilities for our communities.
The leases for both leisure centres were established to provide for a peppercorn rent.
The capital value of the leisure centres is reflected in the Council’s balance sheet. The next revenue budget will reflect the outcomes of the discussions with the Trust.
(5) Questionfrom Councillor Carpenter to Councillor Wilson:
I note from your report you attended PUSH joint committee recently.
Could you please indicate the highlighted ‘hot spots’ in our region, and the follow up work planned to mitigate this worrying aspect?
Did the study raise any concerns of air quality near schools and if so will these areas be treated as a priority with health of our children potentially being placed at risk?
The PUSH Sub-Regional Air Quality Study highlighted one area where Nitrogen Dioxide levels are predicted to exceed the annual average limit; on the South side of the A27 road junction for Havant & Hayling Island. The Council was already aware that this area was at risk, and monitors several locations nearby, including Bosmere Junior School. In response to the PUSH study one additional monitoring position has been established with the specific aim of verifying the result for this region. Measured data has greater certainty than the concentration predictions, and so it is not appropriate to take action without first confirming that the prediction is accurate. The relevant standard is an averaged value, so it will be several months before sufficient data is available to establish whether there is significant concern with air quality in this area. Appropriate action will be taken if measurements confirm the predictions. Air quality elsewhere across the Borough was shown to be acceptable.