Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 20th March, 2024 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Gosport, PO12 1EB

Contact: Lisa Young  email:

No. Item


To receive apologies for Members for their inability to attend the meeting


An apology for non attendance was received from Councillor Johnston.


Declarations of Interest

All Members are required to disclose at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter, any disclosable pecuniary interest or personal interest in any item(s) being considered at this meeting.



There were none.


Mayors Communication


The Mayor advised that he would reserve these to be discussed under any other items.


To confirm the minutes of the Council meeting held on 7 February 2024 pdf icon PDF 460 KB


The Mayor advised that he had been formally written to by a Member detailing an omission from the minutes and had been asked to correct it. He advised that he had spoken to the Borough Solicitor to discuss the request and invited the Member to advise the Council of the request.


Councillor Raffaelli advised that he had asked a question at the previous Council meeting that drew attention to a letter from the Deputy Borough Solicitor and Monitoring Officer that identified that the Leader of the Council had breached the Members Code of Conduct using language that could have been misinterpreted and misrepresenting the facts regarding the cost of the redesigned logo.


He advised that the question had been read but that the minutes did not reflect that the Leader had interjected when reading it the statement ‘No I wasn’t’ after the question had stated he had breached the Councillors Code of Conduct. In addition, his answer he advised ‘Like I have already said, I didn’t’


He has denied the legitimate findings of the Deputy Monitoring Officer. He requested that the Leader admit that he was in breach of the Councillors code of conduct, otherwise an additional formal complaint would be made.


The Leader advised that the minutes advised what wa said at the meeting.


The Mayor advised that he had not been aware of the complaint, nor of the outcome at the last Council meeting and requested that Councullor Raffaelli read out the findings of the Deputy Monitoring Officer and Borough Solocitior.


Councillor Raffaelli detailed the letter as follows.


I write furtherto themeeting of theInitial Filtering Panel whichmet on18th July2023 to consider the submitted complaint.


As it was a complaintby another member the Panel consisted of 2Independent Persons asper thepolicy andhave reviewedthe evidence anddocumentation supplied as part of the complaint.


I, asDeputy Monitoring Officer, taking into account the views ofthe Independent Persons present, along with the information before me, came tothe view that the complaint was such thatit didengage theLocal AssessmentCriteria, as thePanel does have jurisdiction, you were a Councillor atthe time ofthe complaint and that you were subject to the Councillors Code of Conduct atthe time ofthe complaint.


My view,as DeputyMonitoring Officer, having consulted thePanel, isthat theevidence is such thatthe Code has been breached.It was found that youbreached the code by bringing the Council and your role as Councillor into disrepute by your actions. It is accepted thatsome ofyour wordingwas political jostling butthat thewording in respect of the use of funds for the logo was open to misinterpretationand misrepresentation of the actual position.


This said, I, as Deputy Monitoring Officer, was ofthe view that it would not be appropriate toinstitute aformal investigation,or arrange trainingor conciliation,but that it would be appropriate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.



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 18 MARCH 2024 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 18 MARCH 2024)



There were none.


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 19 MARCH  2024 )



4 Public Questions had been received


Question in the name of Mike Ewin


Could the Leader update the Council on progress with the £18 million 'Levelling-Up' project?


You may recall that the previous administration had applied for and not received £18m in Levelling up funding, the current administration has received £18m showing the Government’s trust in them to deliver.


Good progress was being made with UK Ports, and the work was moving forward. The £18m would improve the waterfront, the rum store which had been left in a state of disrepair, and was an important part of the history of Royal Clarence Yard. The floor, roof and walls were in poor condition and with the £13m investment, there was a future for the building. It was hoped that in excess of 200 jobs would be created in the marine sector and that the remaining £5million would be spend on the waterfront, would include the bus station area, including public art and would hopefully generate further investment from the Arts Council.


A question in the name of Lizzie Maynard to the Leader of the Council.


Could the Leader give us an update on how the new People’s Park plans are progressing?


The old bus station work was beginning to progress well following delays from the County Council. It was hoped the new facility would be completed in the summer. Once it was complete, focus would move to demolishing the old bus station, designs were being discussed between Councillors and Officers and discussions were being held into making the site a destination for residents meaning that they no longer needed to travel to Portsmouth to enjoy a waterfront view. It was hoped it would be up and running by next summer. Funds were in place and planning permission would be sought and promises delivered on.


A question in the name of Debbie Sherman


Could the Leader give us an update on the new bus station and transport interchange?


It had been delayed by Hampshire County council the bulk of the money spent had been spent on the new station, moved to the old taxi rank site. There were issues to be ironed out that included widening the new road. There was also concerns about the distance between the taxi rank and the ferry pontoon. But there was progress and it was getting there.


A question in the name of Thomas Finn to the Leader of the Council.


Could the Leader please update the Council on progress in providing new Council allotments?


The allotments were progressing and promises were being delivered on, machinery was on site and it was hoped they would be operational by the summer. This was good news for the excess of 100 people on the waiting list in Lee on the Solent and the allotment officer had done an excellent job in supporting the progress. Additional work was being undertaken to ensure as many plots as possible were viable to be used. Clearing rubbish and undertaking remedial work to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75.


To receive the following Part II Minutes of the Boards of the Council pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Community and Environment Board – 28 February 2024

Policy and Organisation Board – 13 March 2024 – to follow.


RESOLVED: That the Part II Minutes of the following Boards


Community and Environment Board – 28 February 2024

Policy and Organisation Board – 13 March 2024


Community and Environment Board


A Member was advised that there was no update to the Alverstoke and Seafield schemes but there had been an update to the Stokes Bay work, this was all in the hands of the Coastal Partners.


Tenders had been received as part of the procurement process and were moving forward, in was crucial to receive the marine license to allow the work to progress and this was being sought.


Seafield, the scheme was on hold pending match funding, however concern was expressed that the walls in the area were low and deteriorating.


Concern was raised that the Coastal Panel had not met, there and that this was different to the Coastal partners meeting. Enquires would be made with regard to this as it was felt that they were a good opportunity for discussion.


Concerns about the seawall at Fort Blockhouse were also reiterated.


Policy and Organisation Board.


Members reiterated that they were not happy with the EY service and that the audit presented was for 2021/22 and it was acknowledged that this was a national problem for Local Authorities and that it was antedated that audits would skip a year to catch up and that this was not acceptable.


Concern was expressed that no external audit would be undertaken for the year, which was essential to ensure the Council were on the right track.


A Member advised that findings in 2021/22 had identified some issues but these had bow been rectified


Members welcomed the biodiversity policy, and also reiterated the suggestion that it should sit within the remit of Community and Environment Board. Members also dealt that that climate change strategy should be resurrected as it seemed to have been lost with the dispantion of the climate change board, along with the action plan. The climate change officer had not had their contract renewed.


The Council were advised that the biodiversity policy was a duty the Council had to undertake.


A Member advised that they appreciated the hard work of the previous conservative council on climate change and understood that the biodiversity was a duty.


The Council was advised that work undertaken on climate change would not be wasted and that was a link between biodiversity and climate change.



A Member reiterated concern they had previously made with regard to the gap between Regulation 18 and Regulation 19 and reiterated the seriousness of the issue, waiting until 2025-2026 was not acceptable and concerning and requested urgent consideration be given to it.


Members recognised that the Policy and Organisaton Board minutes reflected the proposed amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework which was one of a number of issues created by the current Government but some Members felt that some of the issues raised were scaremongering


It was clarified that the conversation regarding the future of the LEP would be shared,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.



The approval by full Council of the Capital Strategy is a requirement of the Prudential code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (Prudential Code), and the Treasury Management in the Public Services Code of Practice and Cross-Sectoral Guidance Notes (Treasury Management Code) which were updated in December 2021.



Consideration was given to a report of the Borough Treasurer detailing the Capital Strategy as required by the prudential code.


Members recognised the work undertaken by the Borough Treasurer and the Head of Finance on the report.


A Member identified that under the Governance requirement of the report, it detailed that large scale schemes would follow a full business case proves, and insure that options appraisals with risks had been considered. It was felt that with the criterion had been purchased and was moving forward without any of this and therefore the Council were in breach of their own agreed policy.


The information of the on the business case that had been released was that the venue was unlikely to be viable, requiring input from the Council of £250000 per annum, at least £550000 capital spend followed by another £6.7million in capital for the work.


There was no detail of where the finance for this would come from.


£35000 was being spent on consultants because the first consultant did not report what had been desired and there was still no viable business case, or if there was it had not been seen.


The People’s Park proposal had caused the Council to lose significant funding as they had been required to hand back £1.35million to One Public Estate as proposals for new housing had been removed.

The report was welcomed and a named vote was requested.


A Member advised that they were unhappy that the Conservatives were constantly critical of arts and culture in the Borough and that the People’s park would create opportunities for families at a time that was difficult and that following World War II, another difficult time investment was made and the importance of culture recognised to overcome adversity and consider better times ahead.


A Point of Order was requested under standing order 4.11.11 in that the Member advised the Conservatives were not against culture, but were stating that the Council was unable to uphold the recommendations it was being asked to consider because no business case had present for the criterion.


A Member advised they felt that the Conservatives were negative towards everything positive being done in the Borough.


A Member advised the Council that procedures were being followed as this had led to the delay in the new Council houses being constructed.


The Leader reiterated that it was inappropriate to attach officers and that the Conservatives did not want improvement in the Borough.


Under Standing Order 4.11.11 a Point of Order was raised. It was clarified that no attack was being directed at officers, the concern was how the governance of the report was being carried out by the administration.


The Leader advised that the Government were supporting the Council’s commitment to culture and calls had been undertaken with the DCMS praising Culture. Culture budgets were being reduced and removed at struggling Councils but Gosport was stepping up and delivering.


It was requested that a name vote be undertaken.



That the Capital Strategy for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.



The approval by Full Council of an Investment Strategy is a requirement of the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (Prudential Code) and the Treasury Management in the Public Services Code of Practice and Cross-Sectoral Guidance Notes (Treasury Management Code) which were updated in December 2021


Consideration was given to a report of the Borough Treasurer detailing seeking the approval of an investment strategy as per the prudential code for capital finance in local authorities.


RESOLVED: That the Investment Strategy be approved.


Any other items


Members thanked the Mayor as it was his last meeting as a Mayor and a Councillor.


Members paid tribute to outgoing Councillors Beavis and Gledhill and thanked them for the work they had undertaken.


The Mayor reflected on his year and reiterated the importance of the voluntary sector to the town and extended thanks to both officers and Members of the Council.