Councillor Ecclestone asked the Recycling, Environmental Services and Car Parking portfolio holder the following question:
As the largest landlord for logistics businesses in the borough, can the Portfolio holder advise us what concrete and specific measures the borough is taking to create a more amenable environment for truckdrivers in proximity to the logistics hubs in the borough? Can the portfolio holder advise us where the nearest amenity facility for truckdrivers to Andover is?
Councillor Adams-King replied that both short and long haul lorry drivers had a challenging job to fulfil. The Council had not been made aware that there were issues with amenities from drivers in the borough.
There were many logistics companies which were based in Andover who provided their own facilities for their drivers. In addition there were services on the A303 at both Weyhill and Longparish as well as Rownhams in the south of the borough which provided some facilities. Whilst these may not be ideal they did provide a solution to some of the challenges that lorry drivers faced.
Councillor Ecclestone asked the Community, Leisure and Tourism portfolio holder the following question:
Can the portfolio holder provide statistics upon membership of the Andover Leisure Centre as at October 31st 2019, 2020 and now 2021?
In response, Councillor Drew confirmed the total paid memberships of the Andover Leisure Centre as of October 2019 was 3083, as of October 2020 was 2646, and as of September 2021 was 3029. It was noted that the Council did not yet have the confirmed figure for October 2021.
Councillor Drew clarified that this didn’t highlight the growth in membership that continued from Andover Leisure Centre opening from April 2019, to October 2019 and right up to Feb 2020 when membership numbers had increased further still to 4484 (at which level it was forecast to remain). Therefore although membership numbers in Sept 2021 were just below the number at October 2019, they remained approximately 1400 behind forecast. The Council would continue to monitor recovery on a monthly basis.
Councillor Ecclestone asked the Finance and Resources portfolio holder the following question:
In light of the wave of grievances and code of conduct complaints in the borough can the portfolio holder please advise the amount budgeted (and actually spent), in Council financial year 2020, 2021 and 2022 for the provision of barristers and outside investigators for this activity. Can the portfolio advise councillors as to how much has been charged back to parish and town councils for the grievances originating therefrom?
Councillor Flood replied thatthere was no budgeted sum for external spend on Code of Conduct investigations. These sums were met from contingencies or existing legal service budgets. In 2020 the actual spend was £1,000 + vat and for 2021 the actual spend to date was£2,167+ vat.
Councillor Flood confirmed that no facility existed to charge back such expenditure to parish/town councils in relation to complaints against their members. The Localism Act 2011 required Test Valley Borough Council to have arrangements in place to investigate allegations of Code of Conduct breaches in respect of Town and Parish Councils. The costs cannot be recharged and were borne by the Borough Council.