Agenda item

Notice of Motion - Rule 12

To consider Motions proposed by Councillors Gidley and Adams-King.



Councillor Gidley proposed an amendment to the first motion as set out in the agenda. The meeting signalled its consent to the amendment without discussion.


Council considered the following motion moved by Councillor Gidley and seconded by Councillor Gregori:

This council notes that the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB) is consulting on proposed changes to acute hospital services in and around Basingstoke and Winchester.

The favoured Option is to provide a new specialist acute hospital near Junction 7 of the M3 and changes to the services currently provided by Winchester Hospital.

Given the significant impact on many of the residents of Test Valley, this Council makesrepresentations to the ICB, outlining the concerns of Test Valley residents, including longer travel times, downgrading of Winchester A and E dept and the reduced birthing choices available.

Each political group is invited to nominate two councillors to assist the CEO in formulating a response.


Upon being put to the vote the Motion was carried.



Having declared a Personal Interest in the second motion Councillors L Lashbrook and P Lashbrook left the room for consideration of the next motion.


Deputy Mayor, Councillor Bailey took the chair for the remainder of the meeting.


In accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme, Mr Burley made a statement on the second motion as set out in the agenda.


Council considered the following motion moved by Councillor Adams-King and seconded by Councillor Mark Cooper:


This Council notes:

·  At the time of Large Scale Voluntary Transfer of Council Housing in 2000, Test Valley Borough Council transferred its housing stock to Testway Housing Association (later Aster Housing Association).

·  At this time approximately 350 homes at 19 locations in Test Valley where sewerage was provided through communal sewerage treatment plants were included in the transfer.  Of these 263 are privately owned, where the owners are required to pay a proportionate amount toward the cost of maintenance and management of the sewerage treatment plants.

·  At the time of transfer all communal sewerage treatment plants were in working order and were compliant with environmental warranty standards.

·  Concerns about lack of maintenance and consequently rising costs were raised by Alderman Tony Ward, when a councillor between 2009 and 2014.  Aster at this point agreed to resolve these issues in return for TVBC relinquishing any nomination rights to the Aster Communities Board.  Work was undertaken to independently assess the work needed to resolve the issue, resulting in reports on the condition of each site being commissioned through Ridge Consultants.

·  The recommendations of the Ridge reports do not appear to have been implemented.

·  In 2021 Aster let a new contract for management of their sewerage services to Willow Pumps Ltd, based in Kent, who charge on an hourly basis for their work - resulting in significantly higher costs than those charged by local sewerage contractors.

·  At this point in time none of the sewerage treatment plants are working as they should.  Most are stoppered off and waste is being removed from them by tanker. As a result costs have increased exponentially in the last three years, resulting in monthly charges as high as £496.36 being levied to home owners. Conversely, Aster tenants are charged around £60 per month (with Aster paying any additional amounts on the tenants’ behalf).

·  The owners of the 263 former council homes include single parents, young families, widowed residents living on single person state pension, carers; their income levels are not greatly different and in many cases less than Aster’s tenants.


Therefore, this Council calls upon Aster to:

·  Recognise its responsibility to both tenants and homeowners and also to the wider community by addressing their failing sewerage treatment plants as a matter of urgency.

·  Re-tender its sewerage treatment service contract for Test Valley, appointing a contractor whose costs are comparable to those charged by local suppliers.

·  Review the charges made to homeowners since 2015, identifying where costs have been higher than might reasonably be expected had the recommendations of the 2015 Ridge reports been implemented.

·  Create a plan to bring all sewerage treatment plants into fully working, environmentally compliant, order. The cost of which should recognise their failure to maintain the plants or plan for their replacement, and not place undue financial burdens on homeowners and tenants alike. 


Furthermore Council requests the Chief Executive write to Mr B Howard, CEO of Aster Group:

·  Requesting detail of the maintenance and management of the Sewerage Treatment Plants at all 19 Test Valley locations between 2000 and 2023.

·  Reminding him of their 2016 statement that Aster will be investing to improve and maintain assets.

·  Expressing this Council’s dismay that, after almost ten years, the solution has not been identified and passing on the outcomes noted by this motion and reservingthis Council’s position in relation to any future action.


Upon being put to the vote the Motion was carried.

Supporting documents: