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 welcomed the Climate Change Update provided to the Panel and encouraged further debate on the matter along with the measurable data that would be analysed in the future.

·       On the Garden Waste rollout, members heard that 19,000 requests for the Garden Waste service had been submitted. 7000 Garden Waste bins had already been rolled out to households across the District. The service is set to start in April 2024 and to support this start date electric bin lifts had been installed to vehicles to facilitate the collections from April.

·       A communications project had been started to remind people to dispose of electrical items correctly following some electrical fires occurring in collection vehicles.

·       Initial feedback on car park clocks shows that the short and long stay car park clocks are continuing to sell with pace, with demand remaining consistent and showing value for regular parkers.

·       Recent storm weather had affected the coastline with land slips occurring in Milford and Hordle where some beach huts had been lost with others being at risk. The Portfolio Holder placed on record his thanks to all staff who had worked over the Christmas period and through the storms to provide services to residents.


Following the update, members of the Panel were able to ask questions and make comments. These were as follows:


·       On parking clocks, full data on selling rates compared to last year were not yet available but the indication was that some locations had asked for additional clocks to be supplied to meet demand. Further data would be provided later in the year.

·       On the performance dashboards, the Panel heard that the new dashboards, following implementation of the Council’s new Corporate Plan, would reflect the quarterly performance in line with the corporate priorities.




The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economy gave the following update:


·       The Local Plan Review was a major piece of work that would see benefit across the District, enabling the Council to take essential control of the planning sites and prevent inappropriate applications and developments occurring. There would also be plans to develop the Freeport and to upgrade relevant infrastructure through the Local Plan.

·       On economy, new initiatives were being implemented by the Council and the Portfolio Holder was pleased to report the return of the mystery shopper scheme which provides feedback to owners of businesses in the District.

·       The Starter Business Support programme was also about to start where advice would be given to newly formed businesses for self-employed people in the District. This programme would support new businesses and help them develop with Council guidance.

·       The Rural England Prosperity Fund was still open for bids, including capital expenditure within the rural fund area. This would be open to March and left over funds would be reallocated to the community fund.


Following the Portfolio Holder’s update, the Panel were able to ask questions and make comments, which included the following:


·       On the Mystery Shopper scheme, a member requested further information on the number of businesses that engage with this. Further information was requested on the New Starter Business Support scheme and whether it was provided via a third party. The Portfolio Holder stated he would respond to the member with further information.

·       On performance dashboards, further information was requested on certain areas of performance. The Panel were reminded that the dashboards would soon be reviewed so as to relate to contemporary information and align with the new corporate priorities.