Agenda item

Portfolio Holder's Update

An opportunity for the Portfolio Holder’s to provide an update to the Panel on developments within their portfolio.


The Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability addressed the Panel. He gave the following update:


·       The Portfolio Holder had, in the last two weeks, visited three of the District’s depots: Lymington, Ringwood and Totton to meet with staff members.

·       The Council’s service showcase was a success and the Portfolio Holder met with various Council crews and staff members to discuss their concerns and ideas for improvements.

·       On fly tipping, there had been a spate of concerning incidents across the District and the Portfolio Holder reiterated that the council would continue to work with partners to address this issue and that ideas such as the placement of CCTV cameras and/or signage would provide a proactive approach to catch and prosecute offenders.

·       The Solar Together Hampshire project had recently been launched with Council partners to enable the purchase of Solar Panels at below market price.

·       Barton public toilets would be open and operational within the next few weeks following a slight delay in the supply chain.

·       Coastal groin repairs would be taking place in Autumn starting on 25 September with works being carried out by local contractor.



The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economy addressed the Panel. He gave the following update:


·       A new Chief Executive of the Freeport had been appointed and the programme was moving into the delivery phase, with 4 tax sites to be established across the District that will contribute 5000 more jobs across the lifespan of the scheme.

·       The Rural England Prosperity grants fund had been launched and could be utilised for infrastructure in the community and would be open to applicants until the 31st October 2023. The scheme would run in parallel to the Council’s own Capital Grants fund. These were being promoted to all District Councillors, Town and Parish Councils, voluntary and community associations too.

·       The Council’s start-up business support scheme had been a success and it saw 70 of the District’s residents supported in the development of new businesses. The option to renew this scheme next year was being reviewed currently.


Following the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economy’s update, questions and comments were given by the Panel. These were as follows:


·       There was concern from the Panel that the District’s infrastructure would be unable to meet the demands placed on it by the increase in workers created by the Freeport. The Portfolio Holder explained that the predicted increase in employment would not be immediate but would be over the lifespan of the Freeport.

·       A Panel member stated that the Government were undertaking a railway review and new systems were being considered over the next 5 years.

·       Concern was raised on the viability of railway development in the Waterside areas of the District. It was heard that Hampshire County Council would not be funding a viability assessment on railway development.

·       The Panel expressed a desire to be involved in the progress of any developments in the District so as to ensure that infrastructure on a larger scale would support the projections in the near future.