Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Gosport, PO12 1EB
Contact: Lisa Young email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive apologies for Members for their inability to attend the meeting
Apologies for non-attendance were received from Councillors Gledhill and Huggins.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor Mrs Cully declared a non- pecuniary interest in the Capital Programme as her husband owned an allotment.
To confirm the Minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 20 July 2022 PDF 86 KB
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on the 20th July 2022 be signed as true and correct records.
To consider any Mayor's Communications
The Mayor advised that he wished to place on record his thanks to the team that had delivered the events that had occurred following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Deputations in accordance with Standing Order No. 3.4 and to Public Questions pursuant to Standing Order No.3.5
(NOTE: Standing Order No. 3.4 requires that notice of a Deputation should be received by the Borough Solicitor NOT LATER THAN 12 O’CLOCK NOON ON MONDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2022 and likewise Standing Order No. 3.5 requires that notice of a Public Question should be received by the Borough Solicitor NOT LATER THAN 12 O’CLOCK NOON ON MONDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2022 )
There were two deputations.
Mr More – Chairman of the Allotment Stakeholders Consultative Group and Chairman of the Gosport Allotments and Gardeners Association.
Council has sought to provide new allotment plots at the Manor Way site in Lee on Solent for a number of years.
The new allotments and a memorial garden were due to commence works this financial year.
The withdrawal of funding you are being asked to approve is the total for both the new allotment site and memorial garden at Manor Way.
I would ask to you to consider restoring enough funding to get the allotment site commissioned with the basics to get people working on a plot as soon as possible.
New plots take a lot of hard work.
This could be as simple as installing the access road, parking area and internal track to allow plot holders to deliver manure and sheds to their new plots.
Mother Nature does not wait for meetings or budget cycles. Plants and weeds will grow with the seasons. We too need to work with the seasons and this is digging season.
The benefits of allotment activity to individual health and especially mental health are widely recognised. There are over 400 people waiting for an allotment in Gosport and Lee On Solent. Manor Way will take 55 people of the list.
Additionally, in this cost of living crisis any help people can get to grow their own vegetables on an allotment is a positive step in reducing food costs. I am sure the Council will be respected for supporting its residents in this.
Finally, before HMQ passed away I had asked for this new site be named Platinum Jubilee Allotments to mark her long reign. I think this is still a fitting tribute but to do so means the site will need to start this year.
Mr Chapman – Chairman – DDay Fellowship
He advised that he was disappointed that the memorial at Stokes Bay had been cancelled when it was more important than ever to keep the stories alive. He advised that thousands of people had left from Stokes Bay and that as the remaining DDay Veterans were no longer with us it was important a memorial was created.
The soldiers that left from Stokes Bay were brave, and should be remembered as they were in other embarkation points around the coast.
In answer to a Member’s question the Board was advised that the fellowship had been established for 15 years and that they had been hoping for a memorial since the group had started.
There were four public questions.
Mr Patrick Davies to Councillor Chegwyn - This Public Question draws on election campaign literature pamphlets where the LibDems itemised what it saw as the previous administration’s failures. What is the Council (Council Leader) going to do differently to the previous administration and will it (the Council) make clear to the electorate what its agenda is for the current term.
Answer: We are going to do many ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
Questions (if any) pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.3
(NOTE: Members are reminded that Standing Order No. 3.3 requires that Notice of Question pursuant to that Standing Order must be received by the Borough Solicitor NOT LATER THAN 12 O’CLOCK NOON ON TUESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2022)
Councillor K Bradley to Councillor Chegwyn - 'What review has been undertaken of the Council's funding for Christmas decorations across the Borough and will Lee still receive a Council-funded Christmas Tree?
There will be a future review of all of the Christmas decorations, particularly after last year’s tree had to be replaced as the quality was poor. The tree in Lee would be provided this year but it was acknowledged that other areas such as Alverstoke, Hardway and Bridgemary did not have their own trees. A review would be undertaken in the new year to look at ways to get businesses involved with the festivities.
Councillor Raffaelli to Councillor Chegwyn (Question and answer listed)
The Liberal Democrat administration has claimed that they have saved council taxpayers over £32,000 in Councillor Allowances when, in fact, the allowance increases that they voted through at the Council Meeting on 22 July 2022, which were over and above that recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel, has actually reduced the savings to Gosport residents which had already been delivered by the previous Conservative administration as presented to Council Meeting held on 2 February 2022 as part of the 2022/23 Budget. In order to set the public record straight, could Councillor Chegwyn please provide the following information:
“The total, annualised cost of Councillor Allowances, excluding travel expenses, at the following points in time:
1. 4 May 2022 (the day before the Local Elections – reflecting the costs prior to the implementation of the reduction in Cllrs from 34 to 28).
2. 6 May 2022 (the day after the Local Elections – reflecting the costs with 28 Cllrs as approved by the previous Conservative administration).
3. 20 May 2022 (the day after the Liberal Democrat administration carried a vote to reduce the number of Boards, reflecting the savings that could have resulted from implementing those Board reductions in themselves).
4. 20 July 2022
a. The costs had the Independent Remuneration Panel’s recommendations been approved as proposed by the Panel.
b. The costs following the approval of the amendment submitted by Cllrs Chegwyn and Hylands as approved by the Liberal Democrat administration.
Answer: Councillor Raffaelli already has these figures.
The figures saw a reduction in £40000 following the election which was indicated in the budget for the previous year, this reduced by £15000 with the reduction in Board numbers. Implementing the proposals of the panel would have resulted in an increase of £14000, but the administration voted to add another £10000 to the allowances and claimed that they had saved £32000.
Will the Leader apologise for the misleading statement that money has been saved?
Answer: The allowances are a £32000 less than was spent the previous year under the previous administration.
Cllr Beavis to the Leader of the Council Cllr Chegwyn
Why in the Capital Programme has funding been withdrawn from the Manor Way Allotments and Rest Garden at a time when there is a huge waiting list for allotments in Gosport and ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
To receive the following Part II minutes of the Boards of the Council PDF 184 KB
To receive the following Part II Minutes of the Boards of the Council
Extraordinary Housing Board 25 August 2022
Community Board 21 September 2022 – To follow
Policy and Organisation Board 22 September 2022 – To follow
The PART II Minutes of the following Boards were presented and accepted by the Council.
Extraordinary Housing Board – 25 August 2022
Community and Environment Board – 21 September 2022
Extraordinary Policy and Organisation Board – 22 September 2022
Report to follow
Consideration was given to a report of the Borough Treasurer detailing the revised Capital Programme 2022/23 - 2024/25.
Concern was expressed at the removal of funds for the renovation of the splash park at Stokes Bay. The site had been surveyed to establish the refurbishment that needed to take place and it was previously deemed that this would be the best option for the site.
The splash park had broken down this year and had not reopened and concern was expressed that if it broke down again it would not reopen at all.
The Council was advised that the splash park had broken down 72 times, 46 of which had been repaired by the same company and that it was time for a specialist to undertake repairs.
Analysis of costs had been undertaken and it would be cheaper to continue to repair the facility than to refurbish it. The Splash Park would be open in 2023 and the Council was determined to keep it open as a very popular, successful, affordable activity.
A Member expressed concern that £1.65 million was being spent on a cinema when other, larger chains, were in financial difficulty. Concern was expressed that this amount was a significant proportion of Council Tax payers’ money, not just this year but for the next 3 years.
Members expressed concern that the meetings were being held in confidential session, at odds to the transparent and open claims of the administration and that it was not clear that the proposals would result in a loss to all of those that used sports facilities within the Borough, team sports, ice skaters, walkers, those wishing to use outdoor gyms would all be impacted.
Concern was also expressed that the spend to save initiative at Grange Farm was being removed.
A Members advised that there were cuts to play parks, sports pitches, allotments and lighting provision.
The Council was advised that significant meetings had taken place to ensure that the proposals were sound and were not based on guesswork. There were different pots of funding available such as CIL and developers contributions and that people were delighted to see the proposals come forward. It was not a vanity project but one that would deliver for Gosport residents and was a decision that was hoping to progress the Borough.
Members reiterated that there was concern over the lack of a business plan. The concept of an entertainment venue was to be commended, however, this was a significant risk that gambled with tax payer’s money. Money the Council cannot afford to lose.
Members were advised that projects that had been worked hard on, that had undergone significant consultations with stakeholders were now being dismissed.
A Member advised that the administration had a can do attitude to getting things done within the Borough. There had been ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
Any other items
There were none.