District Councillors Annual Report 2018

Meeting details
  • Date: 3rd April 2018
  • Duration: 18:45 - 1:00


Meeting minutes:

Some highlights of the year at East Hants District Council

Council Tax

EHDC 

Approved the Budget at their meeting on 22nd February - Council tax rate of £131.11 was set for a band D property a 0% Increase in the current rate.

Fees and Charges will increase by 1.5% in 2018/19

Revenue support grant for EHDC has now ceased. The new homes bonus scheme is still under consultation.

The 2018/19 budget assumes a 2% pay award. Pension contributions have also increased by 1%.

Strategic Property Investment Strategy

The Council approved in the last financial year an investment strategy borrowing up to £200 million over the next 5 years £40 million max per year this was from the Public Loans Board.

As a result, the 5 year projection shows that we will break even in 2018/19 (a balanced budget) with a surplus of just under £5 million in 2022/23

Taking care of our area

East Hampshire residents can join a campaign that is aiming to get half a million people across the country to clean up their local community in March 2018.

The National ‘Great British Spring Clean’ event comes to East Hampshire between Friday 2 and Sunday 4 March 2018.

East Hampshire District Council is encouraging and supporting groups and individuals, who want to ‘do their bit’ to join the growing team of Litter Heroes and help clear up the litter that blights our towns, villages and countryside.

People taking part in the event, will be able to use litter picking equipment supplied by East Hampshire’s street cleansing contractor, Idverde, to clear litter from an area of your choice.

RAPP Get Active8d

RAPP and Get Activ8d will be running over the Easter holidays, Monday 2 April - Friday 13 April 2018. More information will be made available nearer the time.

The Rural Areas Play Project (RAPP) began in 2006 thanks to a big lottery grant and investment from Hampshire County Council.

RAPP was created by EHDC's former Childcare Development Worker, Alison Hemmings. There is a swathe of East Hampshire where there is no sustainable play or childcare facilities during the school holidays. This is still the case today especially in the more rural spots of the district.

In the ten years RAPP has been running it has won both national and regional awards for its work; The Partners in Excellence Award for Health & Wellbeing was first in 2007, right up to Play Champion status in 2015. The project aims to be as inclusive as possible for children of all ages and abilities.

RAPP has seen over 21,000 children & young people attend its sessions during the past decade. The core activities are for ages 4yrs+; children less than 8yrs must be accompanied by an adult at all times at the session. Over 8’s can stay providing all details are left for emergency contacts.

Free Parking at Christmas 2017

East Hampshire District Council gave away three hours of free parking to people visiting Alton and Petersfield on one of the busiest weekends of the year.

Anyone parking in Petersfield and Alton could do so for free for the first three hours on both Saturday 2 December and Sunday 3 December.

The first Saturday of December is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year and both towns hosted their own Christmas festivals on the Sunday.

The give-away encouraged shoppers and visitors to the towns to browse local stores and enjoy the festivals, giving local businesses a vital boost.

Saturday 2 December is also Small Business Saturday - a nationwide campaign which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to support the small businesses in their communities.

The council has altered its parking meters to allow the three-hour tickets to be issued for free on those days.

EHDC aims to be one of the UK’s most business-friendly councils and this parking give-away is another example of how we try to help local businesses thrive.

Animal Welfare Team winning Gold Medals

EHDC’s Animal Welfare Team has established itself as one of the best in the country after winning a haul of gold medals from the RSPCA.

The team won three golds out of a possible four, only one other council in the country did so well.

EHDC officers Neil Thompson-Burton and Jen Rowberry scooped gold for their care of stray dogs, contingency planning and for their regulation of animal businesses around the district.

The team’s work had been assessed by the RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprint Awards, a nationwide organisation. The London Borough of Lambeth was the only other local authority in the country to win three golds and match EHDC’s success. 

Caring for stray dogs – the council’s stray dog service was commended for its efficiency and care. It picked up 91 lost or unwanted dogs last year.

Contingency planning – awarded for having strong plans to look after animals displaced in the event of a public emergency.

Monitoring animal businesses – strict regulations are enforced to make sure animal businesses, including kennels, riding stables, catteries, pet shops, dog breeders and even a local bird park maintain the highest standards of welfare.

Keeping the Roof over head

East Hampshire District Council helped 580 households avoid homelessness last year.  Even in affluent areas, homelessness is still a threat.

If a family or an individual suffers a change in circumstances, such as an illness to the main bread-winner or if someone loses their job, it can quickly become difficult for them to stay in their home.

In East Hampshire private rents are high and demand for social housing outstrips supply.

Some people can be left feeling there is nowhere to go. That’s where EHDC’s Housing Team comes in. It works with people threatened with homelessness to try to find a way to keep a roof over their heads.

Very often this can mean finding a way to keep people in their current home. If family relationships have broken down, leading to someone moving out, or if a landlord and tenant cannot agree, the team will mediate between the parties to help find a resolution.

New rules governing homelessness are being introduced by the Government, including a further £170,500 of extra funding for this area. Some of this money is being used to employ two new Housing Support Officers to help keep people in their homes.

580 households were prevented from becoming homeless last year.

Taking the lead in Electric Cars

Ahead of Government plans to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040 East Hampshire District Council is leading by example and promoting electric cars.

The council has two electric vehicles available for staff to use.

Swapping the previous petrol pool cars with a Nissan Leaf car and a Nissan e-NV200 van not only demonstrates leadership in this emerging technology but also makes financial sense.

Since they were bought during 2016 they have clocked up more than 15,000 miles between them, saving the council more than £5,500 in running costs.

Running costs for the vehicles has dropped from 40p per mile to just 4p per mile.

It is predicted there will be a widespread switch-over to electric cars in the mid-2020s, when electric cars will out-compete petrol and diesel ones on factors like cost.

The government offers grants to support the transition to electric vehicles including grants towards buying a new vehicle and installing a charge-point at home.

Fuel cost per mile – 40p

Electric car cost per mile – 4p

Cllr Ken Moon EHDC

Cllr Nigel Wren EHDC

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