Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Gosport, PO12 1EB
Contact: Lisa Young email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for inability to attend the meeting were received from Councillor Johnston and Honorary Freemen O’Neill and Edgar.
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.
The Mayor advised that there were two presentations to be made, the first was to Wendy Redman, who was leaving her role at the Gosport Museum and Gallery after 25 years. The Mayor thanked her for her work, and it was recognised that she would be sorely missed.
The second presentation was from Mark Smith of Gosport Fairtrade Action who was presenting a certificate recognising the Borough’s status as a Fairtrade Borough. He spoke about the things the Borough and the Council were undertaking and sought support for additional measures and support in enhancing the Fairtrade actions of the Borough.
To sign the minutes as a true and correct record.
RESOLVED: That, subject to a small amendment, the minutes of the meeting on the 19th July 2023 be signed as a true and correct record.
Deputations and Public Questions
(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 16 OCTOBER 2023 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 16 OCTOBER 2023)
The Council was advised that there was one deputation, but that it would be heard alongside the appropriate motion at agenda item 7.
(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 17 OCTOBER 2023 )
There were no public questions.
There were four Members questions
A question in the name of Councillor Casey to the Chairman of the Community and Environment Board.
Could the Chair of the C&E Board please give an update on where we are with the work and the finances for the Stokes Bay Sea Defences at the Alverbank East car park and when can we expect to see these essential sea coastal repairs completed and the car park brought back into use?
Answer: A replacement seawall has been designed. However due to the impact of inflation, the forecast cost for these works was estimated to exceeded the available funding. Hampshire County Council (Highways) and Gosport Borough Council have submitted a joint local levy funding bid to the Southern RFCC, to seek the required funds to close the current funding gap. This is being considered by the Southern RFCC committee on the 26th October 2023. To maintain progress with the project, a planning application for these works has been submitted and is currently under consideration. A Marine License has also been submitted to the Marine Management Organisation for their consideration. We cannot move the project forwards until both the funding gap is closed and these consents are secured
Supplementary question: Given that the Borough Council has committed £60,000 to the project, will this be presented to Community and Environment Board or the Policy and Organisation Board given the significant spend involved.
Answer: Yes, it would be.
A question in the name of Councillor Philpott to the Leader of the Council.
Since 2014 a Joint Museum and Cultural Hub Committee (JMC) comprising of three Gosport Borough Councillors and three Hampshire County Councillors has met regularly to review and scrutinise how the two councils use funding from both authorities in running the Gosport Museum and Art Gallery. On 10th October 2023 Members of the JMC received a letter from GBC’s Corporate Project Manager informing them that, following consultation with the current JMC Chairman, the Leader of GBC and the Hampshire Cultural Trust, the JMC was to be dissolved with immediate effect.
What were the reasons for this decision and why has the democratic oversight in the spending of public money been removed?
Answer: The Council was advised that the JMC had been in place since 1992 and the County Council Members had all been Conservative Members reducing the Democratic equality. The Committee was established as both Gosport Borough Council and Hampshire County Council contributed financially to the Museum. Hampshire County Council no longer contributed or managed the museum and were cutting funding to the Cultural trust, and there was therefore no need for County Council Members to be involved.
Moving forward the Museum would be invited to present annually to the Council, similarly to the Citizens Advice to present a summary of activity to the Members.
Supplimentary question: What did Hampshire County Council say when they were advised of the changes by the Leader?
Answer: I did not advise Hampshire County ... view the full minutes text for item 40.
It was reported that Councillor Huggins had given notice of the following Motion in accordance with Standing Order 3.2 as included within the agenda.
Oceans and rivers motion.
It was reported that Councillor Beavis had given notice of the following Motion in accordance with Standing Order 3.2 as included within the agenda.
Equal Treatment for Remembrance Services in Gosport Borough.
Two notices of motion were received in the name of Councillors Huggins and Beavis, as detailed in the agenda.
A deputation had been received from the Lee on the Solent Royal British Legion with regard to the motion on Lee on the Solent Remembrance Service, read by Mr Watt as follows.
The local Branch of the Royal British Legion have been asked for their views on this motion as we were unaware that it had been submitted and since the Branch formed on 12th December 1932 it has been intricately involved with the Service.
Until the mid-2000s the Branch co-ordinated with some of the local Councillors and the local Community and the Parade commenced from the Branch’s premises in the High Street culminating at the Memorial.
The route then changed and the Parade now commences at Beach Road Car Park.
Prior to Covid this was the norm and no costs for road closures were incurred.
Hampshire County Council then introduced the ruling that road closures had to be organised by a Traffic Management Company.
This brought slight problems as the RBL cannot use its charitable donations to fund road closures and in 2021 and 2022 funding was obtained locally to ensure that both Services at the Memorial in the Sunken Garden and FAA Memorial could go ahead.
It is acknowledged that GBC is meeting the request of the LGA’s letter dated August 2023 in that it is facilitating the Civic event at the War Memorial Hospital on 12th November.
It is further acknowledged that although the Deputy Mayor attends the Service at the Sunken Garden it is not a Civic event.
Funding has once again been obtained to cover the costs of the road closures for both services this year.
Again, as previously stated we were unaware of this motion until recently and as future costs for the Services will be sourced from local community grants cannot understand the need for it.
We have a good rapport and support from some of the local Councillors who diligently promote the work of the RBL both publicly and in the giving of their time during the local Poppy Appeal and long may this continue.
Members sought clarification as it was believed that the RBL were not permitted to use their fundraised funds to pay for road closures and traffic management, which is why support had previously been gained by local Councillors.
This also highlighted a concern from other Members that the traffic management and road closures for the 2023 service had been organised without consultation with the RBL.
A Member advised that the LGA guidance was that the Local Authority should fund the Civic Remembrance event, and in Gosport, this was held at the War Memorial.
Members recognised the importance of Remembrance activities within the Borough and t was acknowledged that the Lord Lieutenant attended the event at the War Memorial, but there was also attendees from the military at the other events and all were considered important.
It was ... view the full minutes text for item 41.
Community and Environment Board - 20 September 2023
Housing Board – 27 September 2023
Policy and Organisation Board – 4 October 2023
RESOLVED: That the Part II Minutes of the following Boards
Community and Environment – 20 September 2023
Housing Board – 27 September 2023
Policy and Organisation Board – 4 October 2023
Any Other Items
RESOLVED: That Roy Gillett be appointed to the Alverstoke Trust until October 2027.