News for Local Councils

Hampshire County Council headquarters in Winchester

An update from Hampshire County Council

May 2016

News for Local Councils

Picture montage in the shape of Hampshire

Public consultation planned on future of local government in Hampshire

The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, has announced that a public consultation will go ahead shortly on options for local government in Hampshire in future.

The announcement made on 13 May at the County Council’s AGM, follows recent devolution negotiations which stalled earlier this year when central Government hardened its line on elected mayors being a requirement for devolution deals, even in rural areas. As a result, some Hampshire councils have been collaborating to form separate combined local authority areas in the south and north of the county – the Solent, and Heart of Hampshire plans. These proposals would essentially split the county in two, initially for highways and transport but with the potential for more and more services to be split between the two areas under their respective mayors.

In the face of these moves to split Hampshire, the County Council recently commissioned an independent study by Deloitte to provide an initial analysis of how services could be better provided across the whole county, at lower cost. One suggested option was the creation of a unitary authority for the county of Hampshire, like those councils which already exist for the Southampton and Portsmouth areas. This option would see the abolition of the county and district councils, to be replaced by a new unitary council, but would leave town and parish councils untouched. According to the independent report, the concept of a new unitary ‘Hampshire Council’ could provide residents with the greatest level of continuity in services, the highest savings and the lowest cost of implementation. Councillor Perry believes this option has the potential to give much more influence and power to local Town and Parish Councils, thereby strengthening local democracy. Other counties that have become unitaries, such as Wiltshire and Cornwall, have shown what can be done by creating extensive ‘Area Committee’ structures and devolving significant resources to town and parish councils.

However, before there are any changes in local government structure across Hampshire, whether it is for combined authorities, an elected Mayor or a unitary council, Councillor Perry has made it clear that there must be a full and genuine public consultation with residents.

Electronic traffic sign

New policy on traffic management schemes lets local councils make decisions for their communities

A new approach to non-safety related traffic management schemes in Hampshire has been put in place to  ensure that the County Council prioritises road safety measures within the reduced resources available to it, while giving town and parish councils more flexibility to promote local measures in their communities, which they can fully fund themselves.

A new system has been put in place, whereby if a scheme is not prioritised by the County Council on proven safety grounds, town and parish councils, and local residents’ groups, can fund some straightforward local traffic management enhancements themselves, which the County Council will help to develop and implement on their behalf.

Traffic management enhancements Town and Parish, District and Borough Councils, and community groups may wish to consider in their local communities include:

  • Village gateways
  • Enhanced village place name signs
  • Traditional finger post signing
  • Sign de-clutter works
  • Vehicle activated speed limit reminder signs
  • Minor signs and carriageway lining alterations
  • Bollards to prevent footway overrun
  • Informal crossing points for pedestrians

All proposals from local councils and community groups will be subject to assessment in order that any new measures are consistent with those implemented by Hampshire County Council across Hampshire.

Local councils are asked to contact their local county councillor, in the first instance, to discuss and progress proposals.

Cupped hands supporting a small house

Affordable insurance for homes in flood risk areas

The Flood Re Insurance Scheme  is now in place, following work between the Government and UK insurers to establish a new way of dealing with and offering flood cover on home insurance through a not-for-profit scheme that’s funded by insurers.  

The scheme has been introduced to help households who live in flood risk areas find affordable insurance, and aims to:

  • Enable homeowners to find affordable insurance if an eligible property is at risk of flooding
  • Help tenants to find affordable contents insurance if they live in an eligible property
  • Help local authorities and communities across the UK to be better prepared for flooding
  • Create a ‘level playing field’ for UK insurers, which means they can still offer homeowners an affordable range of appropriate policies to those homes at risk of flooding.
Residents and staff emptying a car at a Waste and Recycling centre

Consultation on Household Waste Recycling Centres open until 25 May

There are still a few days left  until end of the ten week public consultation on HWRCs (household waste recycling centres), where residents have been asked their opinions on a range of options for reducing the running costs of this service.


No decisions will be made until the consultation has finished and all the evidence has been carefully considered. It is a genuine opportunity for Hampshire residents to have their say on how a financially sustainable service for the whole county can e established for the future, as Government funding reductions for councils are set to continue.

The consultation is open until midday on Wednesday 25 May 2016.

Finding homes for Hampshire children logo

Foster Care Fortnight

During Foster Care Fortnight (16 – 29 May), Hampshire County Council’s Adoption and Fostering Team, with the help of local foster carers, will be hosting a series of information events across the county to encourage more people to consider fostering and adoption. Members of the public will be able to find out what it is really like to be a foster carer by talking to the Adoption and Fostering Team.

For more information and the location of events, visit the Adoption and Fostering website.

Vulnerable adults preparing food in a kitchen

Shared Lives expanding

Do you know someone who has a passion for helping vulnerable adults, and could offer them a live-in place in their home?

If so, Hampshire’s Shared Lives team want to hear from you as they are recruiting more carers. For more information about becoming a Shared Lives carer, visit the County Council’s webpages.

Elderly man drinking a cup of coffee on a bench

Transforming and investing in day activities for older people and those with physical disabilities

The County Council is developing day opportunities for older people and people with physical disabilities in order to meet future and emerging needs, and to improve the choice available to them.

Investment of up to nearly £13 million over the next few years will ensure the County Council moves away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to introducing more personalised services in a range of locations.

More information is available on the County Council’s website.

Woman watching her husband read a boook

Dementia Friendly Library Service

Hampshire County Council’s Library Service strives to support people living with dementia, and those caring for them. Many staff have completed dementia awareness sessions to become Dementia Friends.

If anyone needs advice about dementia, or knows someone who needs it, the Library Service holds Books on Prescription collection as recommended by the Reading Agency, and items to stimulate memories in the Reminiscence Collection.

Some libraries hold dementia friendly drop in sessions where there is support on offer for friends and carers of people living with dementia.

Woman receiving food on a tray

Bon Apetito – celebrating three years of Meals on Wheels in Hampshire

Apetito and Hampshire County Council are celebrating their three year partnership this year. In the past year alone, some 5,000 people have received Meals on Wheels support.

Meals on Wheels customers can also benefit from the County Council’s Food and Friendship Service, delivered by Age Concern Hampshire.

Meals can be ordered from one to seven days per week. Anyone who is interested should contact 01962 779 338 or complete an online application

Hitting the cold spots logo

Hitting the Cold Spots Central Heating Fund

Hitting the Cold Spots’, Hampshire County Council’s response to winter fuel poverty, has been successful in securing grant funding from the Government to install central heating into the properties of vulnerable older people and families that have previously had none, and are not on mains gas supply.

Do you know anyone who may be eligible? If so, contact call 0800 804 8601.

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