EAST HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL
COMMUNITY FORUM (ALTON AND SURROUNDING VILLAGES) MINUTES
Alton Maltings Centre, Alton
27th January 2009
Cllr Chris J Graham (Chairman)
Cllr Allan Chick, Cllr Mrs Maureen Comber, Cllr Jerry Janes, Cllr Maurice Johnson MBE, Cllr Andrew
Joy, Cllr Tony Ludlow, Cllr John Smith and Cllr Glynis Watts.
Cllr David Parkinson
Business Director, Youth Council Support Worker, Community Manager, Community Project Worker
(Sport and Play) and Assistant Committee Services Co-ordinator.
Sgt Dugdale, Alton Police – Minute 61
Cllr Ken Moon, Portfolio Holder for Finance – Minute 62
Caspian Conran and Ellie Sorsby of the East Hampshire Youth Council – Minute 63
56. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. Holybourne;
Apologies for absence had been received from Four Marks;
Councillors Mrs Pam Bradford, Patrick Burridge, Selborne; and either
Ken Carter, and Mrs Pat Seward. Ropley or Bentley.
57. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES. The 59. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST.
minutes of the meeting held on the 25th There were no declarations of interest.
November 2008, which had been previously
circulated, were confirmed and signed as a 60. ANSWERS TO PUBLIC QUESTIONS.
correct record. There were no outstanding answers to public
58. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.
The Chairman felt it important that the 61. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME.
Community Forum take place in the villages Members of the public raised concerns
surrounding Alton, in order to allow local views regarding speeding, especially in Four Marks. A
to be heard. Therefore, the Forum would take mobile camera unit had been located in the
place at the Alton Maltings centre during the village, but there had been a number of
Winter months, but be held in the surrounding accidents since it had left.
villages during the Summer months.
Press reports had suggested that parts of the
He informed those present that the five villages A31 could be reduced to single carriageway, in
which the Community Forum would visit in 2009 an effort to reduce speeding.
Members of the public felt that reducing the
Beech; width of the carriageway could cause more
accidents and that the Police had not been Councillors and members of the public had a
taking enough action against speeding motorists number of questions, including: (replies in
on the A31. italics)
Sgt Dugdale replied that the Police had not What had been the hardest part of setting
been aware of an increase in accidents on the the budget?
A31 in the Four Marks area and that this area
had not been prioritised as one to target. The hardest part had been to save money,
without impacting on service quality. The focus
He informed the Forum that the Police targeted had been on detail. Each Manager had looked
areas, prioritised by the number of accidents at reducing their cost base, and as a result,
that had occurred. He gave an example of the budget monitoring had become much sharper.
A339, which had been targeted due to the high
number of accidents which had occurred. There had been a large increase in
properties around Alton, but this did not
He said that wider roads encouraged speeding, seem to tally with the proportionally smaller
but felt that the only way to reduce speeding predicted increase in revenue from council
would be to set up speed cameras. tax.
62. PRESENTATION – CONSULTATION It was explained that the building programme
AROUND 2009-2010 BUDGET. The Chairman had been looked at and a prediction had been
introduced Mr Bill Price, EHDC Business made as to when the new properties would be
Manager and Cllr Ken Moon, Portfolio Holder for occupied, and therefore pay one full year of
Finance. Council Tax. The budget had been calculated
on the prediction that 50% of new dwellings
Cllr Moon explained that compiling a budget would be occupied.
during the current economic climate had been
very difficult and that the budget would usually Had unpaid council tax been taken into
be presented for consultation in November. account?
However, this had not been possible due to the
changing economy. Mr Price explained that it had been and
informed those present that EHDC had one of
He informed the Forum that the proposed the best collection rates in the country at 99.9%.
budget had been approved by Cabinet on the 21
January 2009 and that they would like to freeze What had been the results from the income
EHDC‟s portion of council tax for the next three generation consultant, who had been hired
years. by EHDC in 2008?
Mr Price reiterated that it had been a Cllr Moon replied that the consultant had only
challenging year to balance the budget and that been hired on a short term basis to educate on
in addition to this meeting, consultation with ways to generate income. Full time posts had
Councillors and the public was due to take place been created and had only been staffed since
at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the November 2008. He said that there may be a
28 January 2009 and at a special joint small shortfall in the predicted income, but the
Community Forum, due to be held on 4 target had nearly been met.
He hoped that around four new projects would
The finalised budget was due to be heard at the come to fruition over the next month and details
Full Council meeting on the 25 February 2009. of these would be publicised once they had
He then gave a PowerPoint presentation,
attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes. What percentage of the income from council
tax remained within 20 miles of the area?
Cllr Moon replied that EHDC had used local He felt it disgusting that churchgoers should
businesses and had sub contracted to local have to pay to worship on a Sunday.
workers. Cllr Moon said that EHDC had been Cllr Moon replied that Alton residents had not
very keen on the concept of keeping the been the sole users of Alton’s car parks on a
economy local. Sunday and explained that there would still be
free car parks in Alton for people to use.
The issue of shop closures in local towns
was mentioned, which in the current The Chairman had some sympathy for church
financial climate had been predicted to goers in Alton, who may have to pay for parking
become a continuing trend. What measures on a Sunday. However, he preferred the notion
would EHDC be taking to help? of paying for parking and being guaranteed a
space than not being able to find a space, due
Cllr Moon had been very conscious of small to the car parks being full.
business closures. He explained that non
domestic rates had been paid directly to Central RESOLVED that the presentation and the
Government, however, small shops could get a Forum‟s comments be NOTED.
50% rebate. In East Hampshire only 37
businesses had taken advantage of this during 63. PRESENTATION – THE EAST
2008. HAMPSHIRE YOUTH COUNCIL (EHYC). The
Chairman introduced Caspian Conran and Ms
Cllr Moon encouraged small businesses to claim Ellie Sorsby of the EHYC and Mrs Lara Nolan,
this 50% rebate and said that EHDC Officers Youth Council Support Worker.
would be willing to offer guidance with the
process. The EHYC comprised of 16 Councillors and was
open to those aged between 11 and 21. All
Cllr Ludlow asked those present to consider major areas of East Hampshire had a Youth
what was fair. He stated that the previous Councillor, to ensure that the views of all young
administration had reduced EHDC‟s portion of people throughout East Hampshire were heard.
the council tax for two years in a row.
The EHYC had been given a lot of training and
He questioned whether it was a good idea for had attended a residential training course at
EHDC to pledge not to increase their portion of Dunford House in March 2008. This course had
the council tax, if the council tax freeze would hit covered a variety of topics including,
harder in other areas. He cited car park communication skills, understanding democracy
charges as an example. and team building.
Cllr Janes stated that if an Alton resident were Members of the EHYC had also successfully
to park in Alton on a Sunday, the money that completed CAT Mark training. Being a CAT
they would spend over the course of a year on Mark assessor meant that a young person could
Sunday parking charges would equate to a 17% assess a body that provided a service for young
increase to the EHDC portion of their council people and rate its ability to meet their needs.
The EHYC had visited Parliament in June 2008,
The Leader of the council had said that it would which had included a tour of the Palace of
be only fair to charge car park users for the Westminster. The EHYC had very much
wear and tear caused to the car park, but Cllr enjoyed the visit, finding it both fun and
Janes pointed out that other car parks in the educational.
district, including, Bordon and Grayshott would
have free parking on a Sunday. In August 2008 members of the EHYC had
attended the British Youth Council conference,
He questioned how this could be fair, especially where representatives from all of the Youth
as the car parks in Alton which would have Councils in the country had met to discuss a
charges would be the ones near to churches. variety of issues. One of the highlights of the
conference had been a panel debate with MP‟s.
The EHYC liked to raise its profile by supporting Mr Damian Hinds, Conservative Parliamentary
local events. Events that they had supported candidate for East Hampshire, asked how
during 2008 had included Culture in the Park politics could be made more engaging for young
and Butserfest. The EHYC had also presented people.
and judged the “Show Off” talent show in April
2008 and in September 2008 had been judges Mrs Nolan felt that a lot of young people
for the best young person‟s website at the became disinterested in politics between the
Hantsweb awards. ages of 16 and 18. She explained that young
people aged 15 or 16 were taught about
On the 7th November 2008 the EHYC had taken democracy at school and had shown
over the EHDC offices at Penns Place! During enthusiasm for the subject. However, they
this day members of the EHYC shadowed staff could not put the theory into practice until they
members and Councillors and were asked for could vote. She urged politicians to get behind
their views on various policy matters. In many the ‘Votes at 16’ campaign.
cases their views had mirrored the actual
decisions made by Officers and Councillors. Ms Sorsby replied that more publicity directed
toward younger people would be required, in
Two projects were undertaken by the EHYC order that they understand who they were voting
during 2008, raising the profile of the EHYC and for and what they stood for.
The EHYC had a revised website, new t-shirt Following the discussion it was
designs and wished to attend as many events
and EHDC meetings as possible. RESOLVED that the presentation and the
Forum‟s comments be NOTED.
The EHYC had decided to use £3,000 of its
£10,000 budget to fund grants to groups of 64. PRESENTATION – ‘GET ACTIVE’. The
young people living in East Hampshire. Chairman introduced Mrs Kirsty Cope,
Community Project Worker (Sport and Play),
This scheme had been entitled the “EHYC who gave a PowerPoint presentation, enclosed
Money Pot” and could give grants of up to £250 as Appendix 2 to these minutes.
to fund a variety of activities or equipment for
groups of young people aged 11-21 who lived or „Get Active‟ incorporated a number of initiatives
worked in East Hampshire. that EHDC had been running, with the aim of
promoting all physical activity, sport and leisure
The EHYC‟s vision for the future was to try to opportunities to East Hampshire residents.
ensure that every young person in East
Hampshire knew who the EHYC were and what A number of targets had been set in 2005,
they could do to get them involved in making which were on track to be met. EHDC strongly
decisions. believed that success would come from
partnership working with the public, private and
Councillors and members of the public had a voluntary sectors.
number of comments and questions, including:
(replies in italics) Mrs Cope outlined a number of projects which
had been undertaken with partners.
Cllrs commended the work of the EHYC and the
splendid work that they had done. Walking to Health had been a free project aimed
at those either new to activity or recovering from
Cllr Janes said that national politics had been illness or injury. Across the district the project
going through a poor stage over the past 20 had received an average attendance of 10
years and that people needed to value people at each session, whilst Alton had shown
democracy. He was delighted to hear what the an above average attendance with an average
EHYC had been doing and felt that the future of of 15 people per session.
democracy was in good hands.
The Active Lifestyles initiative also incorporated
Chairobics and Mature Movers. Mature Movers
had followed on from Chairobics and catered for The lack of provision for safe cycling in the area
older people who wanted more active exercise was mentioned. The traffic on the roads was
than Chairobics. thought to be too fast to enable those getting
back into cycling, or children learning to ride, to
An exercise referral scheme had also formed a gain confidence.
part of the Active Lifestyles initiative, where
doctors could refer a patient onto a 12 week Mrs Cope informed that EHDC had recently
scheme of exercise. 200 patients had been taken on a Cycling Development Officer who
referred during 2007-2008, with a 52% would be running 10 week courses to
completion rate. encourage people to return to cycling. These
courses would also include night time cycling.
A Primary Care Trust survey had shown that
East Hampshire had the most overweight Following the discussion, it was
eleven year olds in the county. To tackle
tomorrow‟s potential health problems, the RESOLVED that the presentation and the
MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do-it) Forum‟s comments be NOTED.
programme had been introduced, in co-
operation with local leisure centres, with the aim 65. HISTORIC BUILDING GRANT 2008-
of treating childhood obesity and future 2009. The Report of the Principal Conservation
prevention. Officer, PP.62/2008, which had been previously
circulated, was considered.
Free swimming for the over 60‟s had been a
much publicised Government initiative and was The grant was for £1,000 towards the costs of
due to commence from the 1 April 2009. repairs to the exterior of The Church of Holy
Mrs Cope closed by promoting the „Get Active‟
partnership website, which had been launched Councillors unanimously supported the
in April 2008. To date 78 members had joined application.
and the site had received 6,313 unique visits.
Following the discussion, it was
The „Get Active‟ website could be found at:
RESOLVED that the following Historic
www.getactivenow.org.uk Building Grant be APPROVED:
Councillors and members of the public had a £1,000 towards the costs of repairs to the
number of comments and questions, including: exterior of The Church of Holy Rood,
(replies in italics) Holybourne.
The meeting concluded at 8.32pm
During the course of the meeting 14 members of the public and no members of the press were present.