This is a meeting of the Full Council of Portsmouth City Borough Council held on the 17th Oct 2023.

The last meeting of the Full Council was on the 13th Feb 2024, and the next meeting will be 19th Mar 2024.

Meeting Status

Confirmed

Agenda Published

Yes

Decisions Published

No

Minutes Published

Yes

Meeting Location

Council Chamber - The Guildhall

Meeting Recordings

We know of no meeting recordings. If you know of one, let us know.

Agenda

Item Title Minutes
1 Declaration of Members' Interests

 

Councillor

Minute Number

 

Nature of Interest

Cllr George Fielding

 

99

Cllr Fielding was a member of the Terrence Higgins Trust.

 

Cllr Charlotte Gerada

 

92 & 93

 

 

103

Cllr Gerada was a member of the RSPB.

 

Cllr Gerada was an expectant mother.

 

Cllr Lewis Gosling

 

99

Cllr Gosling was a member of the Terrence Higgins Trust.

 

Cllr Graham Heaney

 

92 & 93

Cllr Heaney was a member of the RSPB.

 

 

2 To approve as a correct record the minutes of 18 July 2023 Council Mins 18.07.23

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Steve Pitt

Seconded by Councillor Simon Bosher

 

That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 18 July 2023 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

These were agreed by assent.

3 To receive such communications as the Lord Mayor may desire to lay before the Council, including apologies for absence.

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Kirsty Mellor and Councillor Daniel Wemyss.

 

Apologies for lateness had been received from Councillor Ryan Brent and Councillor Cal Corkery.

 

The Lord Mayor took the opportunity to welcome Natalie Brahma-Pearl, the councils recently appointed Chief Executive, to her first Council meeting.

 

The Lord Mayor also announced the sad news of the passing of Honorary Alderman Robin Sparshatt, a former city councillor and Lord Mayor.  Honorary Alderman Sparshatt had been a Portsmouth City Councillor between 1991 and 1995, and again between 2002 and 2011.  He had also been Lord Mayor in 2005.  On behalf of the Council, he offered his sincere condolences.

 

Finally, the Lord Mayor advised that he had replied on behalf of the council to a letter from the Mayor of the council's twin city, Haifa, regarding recent events in Israel.

4 Deputations from the Public under Standing Order No 24.

The Lord Mayor advised that no deputation requests from the public had been received under the provisions of this Standing Order.

5 Questions from the Public under Standing Order 25.

The Lord Mayor advised that no public questions had been received under the provisions of this Standing Order.

6 Appointments

RESOLVED that the following appointment be AGREED:

 

Governance & Audit & Standards Committee

 

Councillor Emily Strudwick to become a full member of the committee. (formerly a standing deputy)

 

Councillor George Madgwick to become a standing deputy on the committee. (formerly a full member of the committee)

 

Economic Development, Culture & Leisure Scrutiny Panel

 

Councillor George Madgwick to become a full member of the committee. (formerly a standing deputy)

 

Councillor Emily Strudwick to become a standing deputy on the committee. (formerly a full member of the committee)

 

Housing & Social Care Scrutiny

 

Councillor Raymond Dent appointed as Chair.

 

Councillor Graham Heaney appointed as Vice-Chair.

 

Langstone Harbour Board

 

Councillor Darren Sanders appointed as a PCC representative.

7 Urgent Business - To receive and consider any urgent and important business from Members of the Cabinet in accordance with Standing Order No 26.

The Lord Mayor advised that he had not been made aware of any urgent business for this meeting.

 

 

                                       

8 Sea Change (Shore Power & ZEVI update) Item 8 - Cabinet Rec - Sea Change
Report - SEA CHANGE

Council Agenda item 8 (Cabinet Minute 75)

 

Sea Change (Shore Power & ZEVI update)

 

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson objected under Standing Order 28 in order to allow the minute to be debated.

 

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Steve Pitt

Seconded by Councillor Suzy Horton

 

That the recommendations in Cabinet minute 75 be approved.

 

Following a vote, the recommendations contained in minute 75 of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 October 2023 were approved.

 

RESOLVED that Full Council:

 

(i)             NOTED the importance of investing in shore power at Portsmouth International Port (PIP);

(ii)           NOTED the existing funding for shore power in the capital programme, and the revised funding requirement for shore power; and

(iii)         Subject to a satisfactory financial appraisal approved by the Director of Finance and Resources & S.151 Officer, APPROVED to invest in shore power at a capital cost of £26.1m to be funded as follows:

·       Grant: £18,474,158

·       Prudential Borrowing: £4,625,842

·       Corporate resource: £3,000,000

9 Tipner West & Horsea Island East Regeneration Report - TRP Principles
Item 9 - Cabinet Rec - Tipner Principles

Council Agenda item 9 (Cabinet Minute 81)

 

Tipner West & Horsea Island East Regeneration

 

Councillor Steve Pitt objected under Standing Order 28 in order to allow the minute to be debated.

 

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Steve Pitt

Seconded by Councillor Suzy Horton

 

That the recommendations in Cabinet minute 81 be approved.

 

Whilst making the proposal, under Standing Order 1 (Suspension of Standing Orders), Councillor Pitt proposed that Standing Order 29 (Oral Questions by Members) be suspended for this item in order to allow questions to be put to the officers present.

 

The majority of councillors present voted in favour and therefore Standing Order 29 was suspended for this item.

 

Council debated the item, after first asking questions of the officers present.

 

Following a vote, the recommendations contained in minute 81 of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 October 2023 were approved.

 

RESOLVED that Full Council:

 

                i.        NOTED the content of the report;

 

               ii.         Considered and ENDORSED the revised principles advanced by the cross-party steering group set out in Appendix A as a strategic brief to bring forward a scheme for development on Tipner West and Horsea Island East;

 

             iii.         NOTED the single overarching project objective in Appendix B that provides a high-level vision of what the Council is seeking to achieve;

 

             iv.         NOTED the masterplan options sifting process and regulatory engagement that is underway to create a shortlist of viable development options;

 

               v.         NOTED the thumbnail options in Appendix C, which are to be worked up and sifted leading to a preferred masterplan option for the area known as Tipner West and Horsea Island East to be subsequently developed; and

 

             vi.         NOTED the proposed programme for progressing the project in Appendix D.

10 Tipner West & Horsea Island East Regeneration - preparatory steps for likely planning and consenting processes Item 10 - Cabinet Rec - Tipner prep steps
Report - Tipner prep steps

Council Agenda item 10 (Cabinet Minute 82)

 

Tipner West & Horsea Island East Regeneration – Preparatory steps for likely planning and consenting processes

 

The recommendation contained in minute 82 of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 October 2023 was approved unopposed.

 

RESOLVED that Full Council NOTED the report.

11 Portsmouth Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2023-2025 Item 11 - Recs from Cabinet - Portsmouth Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2023-2025
YJA Action Plan Cover report
YJ Action Plan CABINET

Council Agenda item 11 (Cabinet Minute 78)

 

Portsmouth Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2023-2025

 

The recommendation contained in minute 78 of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 October 2023 was approved unopposed.

 

RESOLVED that Full CouncilAPPROVED the Portsmouth Youth Justice Strategic Plan 2023-2025 in line with local governance processes.

12 Treasury Management Outturn Report 2022/23 Item 12 - Cabinet Rec - Treasury Management Outturn Report 2021-22
Treasury Management Outturn Report 22-23

Council Agenda item 12 (Cabinet Minute 84)

 

Treasury Management Outturn Report 2022/23

 

The recommendation contained in minute 84 of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 October 2023 was approved unopposed.

 

RESOLVED that Full Council NOTED the actual prudential and treasury management indicators based on the unaudited accounts, as shown in Appendix B (an explanation of the prudential and treasury management indicators was contained in Appendix C of the report).

13 Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places Item 13 - GAS Rec - Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places
Report_ -_Review_of_Polling_Districts_and_Polling_Places_2023
Appendix-A-Summary-of-Representations-received
Appendix-B-map-of-Fratton-existing-polling-scheme
Appendix-C-map-of-Fratton-Returning-Officer's-proposed-polling-scheme
Appendix-D-map-of-Fratton-recommended-polling-scheme
Appendix-E-map-of-Copnor-existing-polling-scheme
Appendix-F-map-of-Copnor-recommended-polling-scheme
Appendix-G-Designated-Polling-Places
Appendix H Integrated Impact Assessment - Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places

Council Agenda item 13 (Governance & Audit & Standards Committee Minute 35)

 

Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places

 

The recommendations contained in minute 35 of the Governance & Audit & Standards Committee held on 20 September 2023 were approved unopposed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)             That the changes to the current polling scheme recommended in paragraphs 5.2 to 5.5 are APPROVED and implemented on publication of the 2024 Register of Electors; and

 

(ii)           That it be reconfirmed that the Returning Officer has delegated authority to make such variations to polling places as may be necessary arising from the availability of premises for use at a particular election.

14 Notices of Motion
14. 1 Save our local rail ticket offices

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Matthew Winnington

Seconded by Councillor Darren Sanders

 

That notice of motion (a) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

No amendments were proposed on this motion.

 

Following debate, Council voted on the motion.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

Portsmouth City Council notes with dismay the news that the Department for Transport and the 13 train operating companies it manages have announced plans to close almost all staffed ticket offices in England, totalling nearly 1000, following changes to the Government’s guidance relating to ticket office opening hours and operation. Statutory Consultations began on 5th July and closed on 26th July.

 

This Council believes that ticket offices provide a vital service to residents in Portsmouth and support passenger safety, security and accessibility. Having a central place in the station for people requiring advice and assistance provides certainty and confidence for customers who may struggle to otherwise locate station staff and also acts as a point of safety for passengers. At many stations, access to facilities such as toilets and waiting rooms is reliant on ticket office staff.

 

Not all residents are able to use ticket vending machines or online ticketing platforms. Many journeys require human assistance to ensure customers purchase the most appropriate and cheapest tickets, and do not incur penalties from mis-booked tickets. Ticket office staff have a wealth of knowledge which ensures that customers get appropriate advice for their whole journey.

 

Portsmouth City Council is concerned the closure of ticket offices will disproportionately affect disabled, deaf and older residents in our city – as well as those with poor literacy and IT skills or on lower incomes. The Council also notes the possible implications for current station staff and believes that the closure of ticket offices could lead to a de-staffing of railway stations.

 

Council therefore resolves to:

 

(i)    Instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Transport, expressing Council’s opposition to the possible closure of staffed railway station ticket offices – and in particular the offices at Cosham, Fratton, Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour stations;

 

(ii)    Instruct the Chief Executive to write to South Western Railways expressing the Council’s opposition to any plans to close the staffed ticket offices at Cosham, Fratton, Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour stations; and

 

(iii)   Request that all councillors confirm their support for ticket offices remaining open and for properly staffed railway stations.

 

This action will be to back up all those local Portsmouth residents that oppose the proposed ticket office closures during the statutory consultation period and to emphasise that this council has a strong corporate view on behalf of all residents of Portsmouth which should be taken into account before any decisions are made.

14. 2 Opt-out HIV Testing

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Stuart Brown

Seconded by Councillor Matthew Winnington

 

That notice of motion (b) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

No amendments were proposed on this motion.

 

Following debate, Council voted on the motion.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

The government has committed to ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030.

 

As part of the roadmap to reaching zero by 2030, the HIV Commission recommended that opt-out HIV testing become routine across the health service.

 

As part of the HIV Action Plan 2022-25, the Government made £20 million available from NHS England for opt-out testing in areas classified by the UK Health Security Agency to be areas of ‘very high prevalence’ on HIV and ‘high prevalence’ areas in London.

 

Portsmouth is part of the next tier, as an area of high prevalence of HIV outside of London, with 2.3 people per 1000 living with HIV.*

 

In the Adult HIV Testing Guidelines, the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV and the British Association of HIV recommends HIV testing for all individuals who have not previously tested who are:

 

?    Accessing healthcare in areas of high HIV prevalence (2–5 per 1000) and undergoing venepuncture (a blood test);

?    Accessing healthcare in areas of extremely high HIV prevalence (>5 per 1000), whether or not they are undergoing venepuncture for another indication.

 

Opt-out testing has been successful. In the first eleven months of opt-out HIV testing in London, Manchester, Brighton and Blackpool, 268 people were newly diagnosed with HIV and a further 139 found who were lost to care.

 

Opt-out testing has also been effective in diagnosing Hepatitis B and C. In ten months, 730 people have been newly diagnosed with Hepatitis B and 299 newly diagnosed with Hepatitis C. 

 

Opt-out HIV testing is an effective tool for addressing inequalities and finds people who don’t traditionally access other ways of testing. People of Black African heritage, women and older people who are more likely to be diagnosed late are also more likely to be diagnosed through opt-out testing than other methods (for example in sexual health services or through postal testing). 

 

Portsmouth is already working with the Royal Navy to do opt-out testing for Navy personnel, funded by Public Health at Portsmouth City Council.

 

Portsmouth City Council recognises:

 

The work that is being done to progress opt-out testing in Portsmouth by Public Health and NHS partners.

 

That a business case is currently being looked in to at QA Hospital to enable this testing to take place.

 

The support that has been given by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board’s (ICB) Chief Medical Officer for this testing last year.

 

The impact that opt-opt testing will have on reducing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

 

That there is no additional funding for local hospitals to introduce this testing outside of their existing budgets.

 

Therefore this council resolves to:

 

(i)    Fully support a business case to introduce opt-out testing at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust;

 

(ii)   Request the Cabinet member for Community Wellbeing, Health & Care, and the Director of Public Health write to the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care to ask for funding for opt-out HIV and hepatitis testing for Portsmouth and all other high prevalence areas;

 

(iii)   Propose that opt-out testing is discussed at the next meeting of Hampshire & Isle of Wight ICB; and

 

(iv)  Approach Portsmouth’s local MPs, local community groups, and liaise with the leadership at Southampton City Council as the other high prevalence areas in Hampshire & Isle of Wight Integrated Care System area, to mobilise a campaign to bring funding for opt-out HIV testing to the area.

 

*Areas with a high prevalence of HIV (2-5 people per 1000 living with HIV) outside of London are:

 

Luton; Leicester; Wolverhampton; Milton Keynes; Slough; Coventry; Southend-on-Sea; Birmingham; Leeds; Sandwell; Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole; Reading; Derby; Bedford; Thurrock; Southampton; Peterborough; Bristol; Walsall; West Northamptonshire; Rochdale; Nottingham; Portsmouth; Liverpool; Tameside; Stoke-on-Trent; Bury; Bolton; North Northamptonshire; Trafford; Torbay.

 

14. 3 Portsmouth Stroke Recovery Service

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Graham Heaney

Seconded by Councillor Charlotte Gerada

 

That notice of motion (c) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

No amendments were proposed on this motion.

 

Following debate, Council voted on the motion.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

Full Council notes:

 

·       In the UK there are over 1.2 million stroke survivors. [1] Stroke can impact anyone, at any age and at any time and is the fourth biggest killer in the UK. [2]

 

·       Portsmouth City Council has funded a Stroke Recovery Service, delivered by the Stroke Association for 14 years. 

 

·       Portsmouth stroke survivors and their families have raised concerns about the planned closure of the Portsmouth Stroke Recovery Service, which was announced in April 2023 for closure in June 2023.

 

·       A short temporary extension was put in place in May 2023 by Portsmouth City Council to continue the service until the end of December 2023.

 

·       A campaign and a petition started by a local young stroke survivor to save the recovery service on change.org has been signed by over 1,100 residents. [3]

 

·       The service provides support to survivors and their families. Offering emotional and well-being support, as well as signposting to services and linking access to vital services. [4]

 

·       These services are not only used by the survivors, but their families and caregivers are users too. They provide a support service which is not found elsewhere (such as the NHS) for stroke survivors.

 

·       In the budget consultation research 2023-24 published by Portsmouth City Council about prioritising pandemic recovery it states:

 

1.   ‘Improving health and care for our local communities’ is by far the top priority identified by respondents - over half (54%) would like the council to focus on this area for recovery from the pandemic. [5] 

2.   Each postcode district selected ‘improving health and care for our local communities’ as their top recovery priority – this corresponds with the full sample level where it is by far the most common priority. [6]

 

·       This service is a lifeline to many and often the only ongoing support available once a patient has been discharged from the community stroke rehabilitation team (NHS) as well as the survivors' families seeking supporting family members with their ongoing recovery.

 

Full Council believes:

 

·       Portsmouth residents should receive adequate support and access to vital services after a critical illness.

 

·       Portsmouth City Council must do all it can to ensure residents have access to services that support and give every survivor the best possible chance of recovery.

 

·       It is a priority of the council, Integrated Care Systems and the NHS to engage in more preventative work at the community-level to prevent further health issues and illness.

 

·       Being proactive in engaging stroke survivors in rehabilitation activities, helps to reduce the chances of further strokes and other critical illnesses. This could save healthcare and other services money in the long-term and helps to improve quality of life for stroke survivors, their carers and families.  

 

Full Council Resolves:

 

(i)    To welcome the decision of the cabinet to continue support for the Portsmouth Stroke Recovery Service until December 2024 and asks the relevant cabinet member(s) to continue to lobby the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board to establish a care pathway for stroke survivors by December 2024;

 

(ii)     To invite Portsmouth City Council to further investigate and fully understand what the service provides Stroke survivors and their families as the programme is not something that can be found in other services or the NHS; and

 

(iii)    To request that Portsmouth City Council reviews budgets and considers the wider financial, economic, social and wellbeing impact closing the service would have on other local services such as mental health, social housing and adult social care.

 

References

 

[1] Stroke Association data and statistics: https://www.stroke.org.uk/what-is-stroke/stroke-statistics#:~:text=Key%20statistics%3A&text=100%2C000%20people%20have%20strokes%20each,stroke%20survivors%20in%20the%20UK 

 

[2] Brain Research UK statistics 

 

[3] Change.org petition: https://www.change.org/p/save-the-portsmouth-stroke-recovery-service 

 

[4] Portsmouth City Council Budget consultation research 2023-24: https://yourcityyoursay.portsmouth.gov.uk/budget-consultation-research-2023-24/ 

 

[5] As above.

 

 

[5] As above.

14. 4 Continuing support of Portsmouth Pride

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor George Fielding

Seconded by Councillor Mary Vallely

 

That notice of motion (d) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

No amendments were proposed on this motion.

 

Following debate, Council voted on the motion.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

Full Council notes:

 

·        Pride is a political movement about the inclusivity of a marginalised community. While there have been improvements in LGBT+ rights with significant changes both in legislation and policy for LGBT+ people, these protections are currently under threat by potential changes to the Equality Act 2010. [1]

·        There has been a sharp increase in hate crime towards LGBT+ people and in particular towards the trans community in recent years. This is having a significant impact on public safety and while the numbers of reported crime are increasing, it’s still not possible to quantify the full extent of hate crimes that exist.

·        Reports of homophobic hate crimes in England more than doubled in five years, from 10,003 in 2016-17 to 26,824 in 2021-22. [2] Transphobic hate crimes increased by 240% from 1,292 reports in 2016-17 to 4,399 five years later. [3]

·        Within Portsmouth there has been growing visibility for the LGBT+ community. This has been demonstrated by the increased attendance at Portsmouth Pride’s main day event. In 2017 an estimated 500 attended Portsmouth Pride, compared with 2023 where an estimated 30,000 attended. This increase in attendance is largely down to the community outreach work Portsmouth Pride volunteers has undertaken between 2022-23. 

·        In South Hampshire, there are five Pride events and Portsmouth Pride is the only large-scale event that is free and unfenced. It’s a volunteer-led charity and only operates due to the passion and drive of the volunteers who give up their time to run the event, while ensuring the event reflects the community within Portsmouth.

 

Full Council believes:

 

·       Portsmouth Pride has demonstrated an exponential trend in community engagement, which can offer the ability to quantify the scope of hate crime in Portsmouth towards the LGBT+ community.

·       Portsmouth Pride is one of the most important events in the city’s annual calendar. By being free and unfenced it enables increased intersectional inclusivity. It enables those from global majority or religious backgrounds to attend without fear of repercussions from family or their community.

·       Portsmouth Pride celebrates the true diversity of LGBT+ culture in our city, as well as championing the voices of the city’s trans community.

·       By keeping Portsmouth Pride free, the event plays a critical role in enhancing community cohesion - bringing together people from different backgrounds, economic status and identities.

·       Portsmouth City Council should play an active role in ensuring the longevity of this important event and enabling the organisers to hold on to its integrity as a community event.

 

Full Council resolves:

 

(i)     To request that Portsmouth City Council through Cabinet, seeks to recognise the annual Portsmouth Pride as an important event in the city’s calendar;

 

(ii)     To request that Cabinet explores the possibility of allocating funding for Portsmouth Pride within Portsmouth City Council’s annual budget, to support Portsmouth’s LGBT+ community; and

 

(iii)     To request that the Leader of the Portsmouth City Council and all Group Leaders write to Portsmouth Pride Trust trustees and volunteers to thank them for their hard work in making Portsmouth a visible destination for LGBT+ people in the South East.

 

References

 

[1] The Guardian, 5 April 2023:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2023/apr/05/what-would-changing-the-equality-act-mean-for-trans-people-and-single-sex-spaces

 

[2] Pink News, 15 August 2022:

 

https://www.thepinknews.com/2022/08/15/anti-lgbtq-hate-crime-police-uk/

 

[3] As above.

 

 

Councillor Cal Corkery joined the meeting during this item.

14. 5 Debate Not Hate Amendment to Agenda Item 14e - Debate not hate (by Labour: Cllr Gerada and Cllr Heaney)

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Leonie Oliver

Seconded by Councillor Emily Strudwick

 

That notice of motion (e) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

As an amendment it was

 

Proposed by Councillor Charlotte Gerada

Seconded by Councillor Graham Heaney

 

To add new third paragraph (with the existing third paragraph becoming the fourth paragraph):

 

'This council also notes that personal attacks, hurtful commentaries and disrespectful debate can have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of councillors and their families. Therefore, councillors and political parties have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards in public office, including regarding conduct and behaviour to other councillors and council officers.'

 

To add an additional recommendation (viii):

 

'to send a reminder to members about the Nolan 7 Principles of Public Life, the council’s Code of Conduct for Members and the obligations they have to ensure the safety, dignity and respect of fellow councillors and council officers. This reminder should also emphasise the importance of refraining from engaging in personal attacks of fellow councillors, spreading misinformation and targeting councillors’ families that could harm councillors’ wellbeing and safety.'

 

Following debate, the proposer of the original motion, Councillor Leonie Oliver, agreed to subsume the amendment put by Councillor Charlotte Gerada into the motion.

 

Council voted on the motion incorporating the subsumed amendment in the name of Councillor Charlotte Gerada.

 

Following the vote, the motion was declared carried.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

The intimidation and abuse of Councillors, in person or otherwise, undermines democracy, preventing elected members from representing the communities they serve, deterring individuals from standing for elections, and undermining public life in democratic processes.

 

This Council notes that increasing levels of toxicity in public and political discourse is having a detrimental impact on local democracy and that prevention, support, and responses to abuse and intimidation of local politicians must improve to ensure Councillors feel safe and able to continue representing their residents.

 

This council also notes that personal attacks, hurtful commentaries and disrespectful debate can have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of councillors and their families. Therefore, councillors and political parties have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards in public office, including regarding conduct and behaviour to other councillors and council officers.

 

Portsmouth City Council therefore commits to challenge the normalisation of abuse against Councillors and Council officers and uphold exemplary standards of public life and political debate in all it does. To support this, the Local Government Association has launched its Debate Not Hate campaign with the aim to raise public awareness of the role of Councillors in local communities, encourage healthy debate and improve the response to and support those in public life facing abuse and intimidation.

 

Therefore, Full Council resolves:

 

(i)    that the Council signs up to the Local Government Association’s Debate Not Hate campaign;

 

(ii)    that the Leader of the Council writes to the local Members of Parliament to ask them to support the Debate Not Hate campaign;

 

(iii)   that the Leader of the Council writes to the Government to ask them to work with the Local Government Association to develop and implement a plan to address abuse and intimidation of politicians;

 

(iv)  that a reminder goes out to all Councillors and officers of the process of how to report incidents of harassment and abuse;

 

(v)    that the support available and relevant training to Councillors in relation to abuse and intimidation and Councillor safety is included as part of the 2024 Member Induction Programme and also offered to all current members of the Council;

 

(vi)   to work with the police to make sure that there is a clear and joined-up mechanism for reporting threats and other concerns regarding the safety of Councillors, officers and their families and discuss the need to take a preventative approach that accounts for the specific risks that they face, as they do with other high-risk individuals such as MPs;

 

(vii)   to take a zero-policy approach to abuse of all Councillors and Council officers; and

 

(viii)   to send a reminder to members about the Nolan 7 Principles of Public Life, the council’s Code of Conduct for Members and the obligations they have to ensure the safety, dignity and respect of fellow councillors and council officers. This reminder should also emphasise the importance of refraining from engaging in personal attacks of fellow councillors, spreading misinformation and targeting councillors’ families that could harm councillors’ wellbeing and safety.

 

Councillor Ryan Brent joined the meeting during this item.

14. 6 Introduce a Parental Leave Policy for Portsmouth City Council Councillors

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Charlotte Gerada

Seconded by Councillor Graham Heaney

 

That notice of motion (f) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

No amendments were proposed on this motion.

 

Following debate, Council voted on the motion.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

This council notes:

·       That data released by the Fawcett Society shows that only 34 percent of councillors elected in the bumper May 2021 local elections were women, meaning that only 35 percent of councillors overall in 2021 were women. The data shows that if this continues at a similar rate, we won’t reach equality in local government until 2077 [1];

 

·       As of the May 2023 local elections in Portsmouth, the number of women councillors went down, from 13 to just 10 out of 42 councillors;

 

·       As of February 2022, 33 councils have passed the LGA Labour Group’s Parental Leave policy [2], and an additional 7 councils have their own parental leave policy in place;

 

·       In 2019, the LGA co-produced the 21st Century Council's Equalities Toolkit with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The toolkit recommends that councils adopt a parental leave policy, and they link to the LGA Labour’s Parental Leave policy as a model to adopt [3];

This council believes:

·       That the role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of their background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may want to start a family to remain as councillors;

 

·       That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender or sexuality, and that it should also cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

This council resolves:

(i)  To recommend that Cabinetconsider adopting a parental leave policy as suggested by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce to give all councillors an equal entitlement to parental leave after giving birth or adopting or becoming a parent upon whatever legal basis, thereby ensuring that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate;

 

(ii) That the CEO notifies the LGA that this council has passed a motion at full council to recommend that Cabinet consider adoptinga parental leave policy;

 

(iii)To promote the existing Carers Allowance policy to support councillors to attend meetings and events; and

(iv) To task the relevant Portfolio Member in conjunction with relevant officers to work up and scope a proposed policy to be moved to Cabinet for consideration, such policy to be produced having considered the LGA model as referred to within the below references.

References

 

[1] The Fawcett Society, 2021, ‘We won’t see gender equality in local councils until 2077 – new data shows’, https://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/news/local-council-data-2021 

 

[2] LGA Labour, ‘Parental leave policy for councils’: https://www.local.gov.uk/lga-labour/our-work/parental-leave-policy-councillors/parental-leave-policy-councils 

 

[3] The Local Government Association, March 2019, ‘Twenty-first Century Councils’: https://www.local.gov.uk/publications/twenty-first-century-councils 

14. 7 Bringing Community Wardens back to the North of the City Amendment to Agenda Item 14g - Bringing Community Wardens back to the North of the City (by Liberal Democrat: Cllr Holder and Cllr Pitt)

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Chris Dike

Seconded by Councillor George Madgwick

 

That notice of motion (g) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

As an amendment it was

 

Proposed by Councillor Ian Holder

Seconded by Councillor Steve Pitt

 

Fourth paragraph, first line:

 

Replace 'look at the possibility of relocating a small team of wardens to the north of the city for a trial period.'', with 'agree a review of service demand'

 

Fourth paragraph, fourth line:

 

Replace' is reported back to all councillors in the north of the city before March 2024' to 'is reported back to all councillors before March 2024'

 

Following debate, the proposer of the original motion, Councillor Chris Dike, did not wish to subsume the amendment put by Councillor Ian Holder into the motion.

 

Following a vote, the amendment in the name of Councillor Ian Holder was declared LOST.

 

Council voted on the original motion.

 

Following the vote, the original motion was declared carried.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

This Council notes that Community Wardens are a valuable asset to the city. Many years ago Community Wardens would be stationed at different key buildings throughout the entire city so they had the ability to respond rapidly and be available within the communities when required. During cost saving measures the Community Warden staffing numbers were cut and they were relocated out of communities and into the civic offices.

 

Communities across the north of the city had strong ties and relationships with their local Community Wardens. Communities across the north of the city now feel that they don't see local Community Wardens anymore and they'd like a presence and base returned to the north of the city.

 

There are many suitable bases, such as Paulsgrove Housing Office, that could be used to relocate a small number of Community Wardens so that they are based equally in both the north and south of the city.

 

Therefore, Full Council resolves:

 

to ask the Cabinet Member for Community Safety to look at the possibility of relocating a small team of wardens to the north of the city for a trial period. It is asked that an answer to this proposal, along with a plan, is reported back to all councillors in the north of the city before March 2024.

14. 8 Celebrating 60 years of twinning between Portsmouth and Haifa

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Matthew Atkins

Seconded by Councillor Yinka Adeniran

 

That notice of motion (h) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

No amendments were proposed on this motion.

 

Following debate, Council voted on the motion.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

Portsmouth City Council resolves to note with celebration the 60th Anniversary of its twinning link with the Israeli city of Haifa which passed this summer. The cities were first twinned in 1963 in part in recognition of the Naval link between the cities which continues to this day.  At the time many Israeli naval personnel were visiting the city to train with the Royal Navy.

 

The success of the twinning proposal was also due to the tenure as Lord Mayor of Harry Sotnick, a prominent member of the Portsmouth Jewish community and a former city councillor known for his steps in increasing care provision for the elderly.

 

The city council further

 

(i)   Offers its thanks and gratitude to the volunteer members of the Haifa Committee for their ongoing hard work in organising celebration events in November to mark this occasion;

 

(ii)    Calls on the Council Administration to do everything it can to support and publicize these efforts. Including, if necessary, with modest and appropriate financial support, potentially from the Leader's budget or reserves of the Council;

 

(iii) Calls on the administration to organise a display of artefacts gifted to the City Council which celebrate the twinning with Haifa and the history of the Jewish Community in Portsmouth;

 

(iv) Offers its thanks to the congregation of the Portsmouth and Southsea Synagogue and the wider Jewish Community in Portsmouth for their invaluable contribution to the Civic Life of the City; and

 

(v)  Calls on the Lord Mayor and all group leaders to write to the Mayor of Haifa offering the warmest regards of the City Council to the people of Haifa and celebrating the continuing friendship of the two cities.

14. 9 Ensuring Varied and Sustainable Synthetic Pitch Provision in Portsmouth

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Matthew Atkins

Seconded by Councillor John Smith

 

That notice of motion (i) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

No amendments were proposed on this motion.

 

Following debate, Council voted on the motion.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

In recent years Portsmouth, like the rest of England, has seen a substantial switch from traditional sand based astroturf to so called ‘3G’ artificial surfaces. The majority of these pitches are ‘long pile’ and use a rubber crumb filling to support the reinforce the synthetic turf. While the increase in the number of sports in Portsmouth facilities and the modernisation of pitches is in general to be welcomed, this transition to ‘3G’ is having some significant negative drawbacks.

 

The most serious is the substantial impact on Hockey provision in the city. The recent closure of the University sand-based Astroturf pitch at Langstone has highlighted that the only similar City Council or public provision is through Admiral Lord Nelson school, which has a single suitable pitch which now services both school sports and nearly 20 Portsmouth Hockey Club teams. This has left the club unable to find sufficient provision in Portsmouth and they are having to travel out of the city to find suitable training and match facilities.

 

Council regrets that the club has been forced into this position and reaffirms its support for Hockey provision as a valuable part of the sporting excellence of the city.

 

Further it has been recognised that rubber crumb contributes to the release of microplastics into the environment and so may face a future prohibition by the European Union or domestic legislation. At present there is not an approved alternative technology to replace this microplastic in a cost-efficient way.

 

While all synthetic pitches contribute to some degree to the loss of grass and soak away space, there is a valuable leisure benefit. The council has already commissioned a number of synthetic pitches in recent years and will likely do so in the future and this motion is intended to inform any future discussions around synthetic pitch provision in the city.

 

A firmer, shorter pile form of synthetic pitch also provides a different experience which can be more suitable for children and casual sports users who do not necessarily want the increased scope for contact and ‘going to ground’ that 3G pitches provide.

 

A focus on ‘3G’ provision has left Portsmouth, and many other parts of England, with pitch provision which lacks diversification and therefore at risk of not providing for all present and future needs. While most wheelchair sport uses hard surfaces, sand based AstroTurf is suitable while 3G sometimes is not due to the pile length, and wheelchair users have reported being incorrectly refused access to 3G surfaces. The city should aim to ensure it can provide the full range of necessary surfaces for different sport and recreation in the city, and should also ensure it is keeping up to date with emerging technologies which merge synthetic support with natural grass.

 

This motion calls on the administration to ensure that the strategy for playing fields in the city is not over-reliant on a single synthetic surface type and that there are plans in place for diverse provision which is suitable for the full range of sporting activities that residents may wish to enjoy, and which is kept up to date with newer more environmentally friendly options.

 

Portsmouth City Council resolves to ask the administration to

 

(i)     consider where new provision of sand-based AstroTurf (or another surface which is approved by England Hockey and diversifies the facilities in the city), might be sited in the future;

 

(ii)     hold discussions with Admiral Lord Nelson School, the Portsmouth Hockey Club, the Mountbatten Centre and other stakeholders about possible expansion of their facilities to provide more varied pitch surfaces; and

 

(iii)   carefully consider the type of surface used in any new developments such as the proposed new centre at Bransbury Park.

14. 10 Male Sanitary Bins

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Ryan Brent

Seconded by Councillor Lewis Gosling

 

That notice of motion (j) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

No amendments were proposed on this motion.

 

Following debate, Council voted on the motion.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed, rising to 1 in 4 for Black men. As many as 69% of those treated with surgery may experience urinary incontinence as a result. 1 in 25 men aged over 40 will experience some form of urinary leakage every year. 1 in 20 men aged 60 or over will experience bowel incontinence in the UK.

 

Men who need to dispose of their sanitary waste (including incontinence pads, pouches, stoma, catheter, colostomy, ileostomy waste by-products) often have no direct access to a sanitary bin in male toilets. A survey of men living with incontinence reveals that 95% feel anxiety due to a lack of sanitary bins in men’s toilets for disposing of pads hygienically. Nearly one third of men surveyed have been forced to carry their own waste in a bag.

 

This Council believes that men should be able to safely and hygienically dispose of incontinence products easily and with dignity wherever they go and that men who need to dispose of their sanitary waste should have direct access to a sanitary bin in male toilets.

 

Therefore, the Council resolves to support Prostate Cancer UK's 'Boys need Bins' campaign by requesting:

 

(i)       the Cabinet to consider a report for decision as soon as reasonably practicable on the provision of at least one sanitary bin in all council male toilets – both public and in council buildings;

 

(ii)       the leaders of all parties send a letter to businesses within Portsmouth that aims to encourage other providers of public and workplace toilets to make male sanitary bins available in their facilities; and

 

(iii)      the Leader to send a letter on behalf of the council to both Portsmouth MPs asking them to support Prostate Cancer UK’s ‘Boys need Bins’ campaign and their request for Government to update any necessary regulations to ensure that ‘suitable means for the disposal of sanitary dressings’ is provided in all toilets.

14. 11 Rail Safety Amendment to Agenda Item 14k - Rail Safety (by Liberal Democrat: Cllr Horton and Cllr Oliver)

It was

 

Proposed by Councillor Hannah Brent

Seconded by Councillor Simon Bosher

 

That notice of motion (k) as set out on the agenda be adopted.

 

As an amendment it was

 

Proposed by Councillor Suzy Horton

Seconded by Councillor Leonie Oliver

 

To delete recommendation (ii) and add the following to the end of recommendation (i):

 

….and that the Deputy Director for Education promotes this, and any other resources, through the Deputy Director's weekly message to Headteachers and through the Portsmouth Education Partnership's weekly bulletin to all education stakeholders.

 

Following debate, the proposer of the original motion, Councillor Hannah Brent, agreed to subsume the amendment put by Councillor Suzy Horton into the motion.

 

Council voted on the motion incorporating the subsumed amendment in the name of Councillor Suzy Horton.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

The death of Jake Norman at Cosham railway station caused shock waves across our entire community. This was a tragic incident and epitomises the impact that fatal accidents on train tracks have on many individuals and groups across our communities.

 

The council commends the work that Network Rail is undertaking to reduce fatalities, including the suicide prevention programme and other railway safety campaigns around topics containing trespass and level crossing misuse. However, the fatalities that occur on the rail infrastructure from trespassing need further addressing.

 

Since 2017, 132 individuals have died as a result of trespassing, across all rail networks within Great Britain, and severe hospital admissions have risen by over 30% annually with a total of 211 people impacted within the six-year period.

 

The council resolves that further rail safety awareness is necessary. This will highlight the dangers associated with the rail infrastructure to all schools and colleges within Portsmouth and aim to prevent any further loss of life from fatal accidents.

 

Therefore, the council Resolves:

 

(i)   To request that the leaders of all parties send a letter to Network Rail and British Transport Police to develop bespoke awareness training for our local schools and colleges and that the Deputy Director for Education promotes this, and any other resources, through the Deputy Director's weekly message to Headteachers and through the Portsmouth Education Partnership's weekly bulletin to all education stakeholders; and

 

(ii)  To request that the Cabinet member for Traffic and Transport to engage with Network Rail to identify areas of the rail network within Portsmouth that require safety improvements, which include possible access point locations onto railway lines. To bring a report back to full council with an action plan of prevention improvements.

15 Questions from Members under Standing Order No 17. Member Questions - 17 October 2023

Five questions from members had been received under Standing Order No 17.

 

The first question was from Matthew Atkins.

 

" What consultations with local residents have been undertaken in choosing new locations for the city fireworks display this November?"

 

This and supplementary questions were answered by the Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, Councillor Steve Pitt

 

 

The second question was from Councillor Charlotte Gerada.

 

" If the Cabinet Member for Transport doesn’t believe a Clean Air Zone is an effective measure to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles, what other measures in his belief would be effective and should be implemented immediately by the Administration to bring down emissions?"

 

This and supplementary questions were answered by the Cabinet member for Transport, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

 

 

The third question was from Councillor Asghar Shah.

 

" The future leisure use of the King George the fifth recreation ground and sport facilities will be controlled by a private company on behalf of the city council.  As council tax payers who reside in Portsmouth and will be paying for the reconstruction of the facilities, will there be any compensation in terms of cheaper hire fees for those residents and will there be any in-built benefits for Portsmouth tax payers who use the facilities to ensure they do not get squeezed out by users from outside the city?"

 

This and supplementary questions were answered by the Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, Councillor Steve Pitt.

 

As the 45 minutes allowed for questions had passed, the Lord Mayor advised that as per Standing Order 17h, written replies to the remaining questions would be circulated to all councillors.

 

Meeting Attendees

Councillor Brian Madgwick photo
Committee Member
Councillor Brian Madgwick

Portsmouth Independents Party

Present, as expected

Profile
Councillor Chris Dike photo
Committee Member
Councillor Chris Dike

Portsmouth Independents Party

Present, as expected

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Councillor Emily Strudwick photo
Committee Member
Councillor Emily Strudwick

Portsmouth Independents Party

Present, as expected

Profile
Councillor George Madgwick photo
Committee Member
Group Leader
Councillor George Madgwick

Portsmouth Independents Party

Present, as expected

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Councillor Raymond Dent photo
Committee Member
Councillor Raymond Dent

Portsmouth Independents Party

Present, as expected

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Councillor Russell Simpson photo
Committee Member
Deputy Group Leader
Councillor Russell Simpson

Portsmouth Independents Party

Present, as expected

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Councillor Abdul Kadir photo
Committee Member
Councillor Abdul Kadir

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Chris Attwell photo
Committee Member
Councillor Chris Attwell

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Darren Sanders photo
Committee Member
Cabinet Member for Housing and Tackling Homelessness
Councillor Darren Sanders

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Dave Ashmore photo
Committee Member
Cabinet Member for Environmental Services
Councillor Dave Ashmore

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE photo
Committee Member
Cabinet Member for Transport
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Hugh Mason photo
Committee Member
Cabinet Member for Planning Policy & City Development
Councillor Hugh Mason

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Ian Holder photo
Committee Member
Cabinet Member for Safety in the Community
Councillor Ian Holder

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Jason Fazackarley photo
Vice-Chair
Deputy Lord Mayor
Councillor Jason Fazackarley

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Kimberly Barrett photo
Committee Member
Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Greening the City
Councillor Kimberly Barrett

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Lee Hunt photo
Committee Member
Cabinet Member for Resources
Councillor Lee Hunt

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Leo Madden photo
Committee Member
Councillor Leo Madden

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Leonie Oliver photo
Committee Member
Councillor Leonie Oliver

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Mark Jeffery photo
Committee Member
Councillor Mark Jeffery

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Matthew Winnington photo
Committee Member
Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, Health & Care
Councillor Matthew Winnington

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Peter Candlish photo
Committee Member
Councillor Peter Candlish

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Steve Pitt photo
Committee Member
Leader of the Council (with portfolio responsibility for Culture, Leisure & Economic Development)
Councillor Steve Pitt

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Stuart Brown photo
Committee Member
Councillor Stuart Brown

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Suzy Horton photo
Committee Member
Deputy Group Leader; Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education
Councillor Suzy Horton

Liberal Democrat

Present, as expected

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Councillor Asghar Shah photo
Committee Member
Councillor Asghar Shah

Labour

Present, as expected

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Councillor Charlotte Gerada photo
Committee Member
Leader of the Labour Group
Councillor Charlotte Gerada

Labour

Present, as expected

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Councillor George Fielding photo
Committee Member
Councillor George Fielding

Labour

Present, as expected

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Councillor Graham Heaney photo
Committee Member
Deputy Leader of the Labour Group
Councillor Graham Heaney

Labour

Present, as expected

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Councillor Judith Smyth photo
Committee Member
Councillor Judith Smyth

Labour

Present, as expected

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Councillor Mary Vallely photo
Committee Member
Councillor Mary Vallely

Labour

Present, as expected

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Councillor Tom Coles photo
Chair
Lord Mayor
Councillor Tom Coles

Labour

Present, as expected

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Councillor Yinka Adeniran photo
Committee Member
Councillor Yinka Adeniran

Labour

Present, as expected

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Councillor Cal Corkery photo
Committee Member
Group Leader
Councillor Cal Corkery

Independent

Present, as expected

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Councillor Kirsty Mellor photo
Committee Member
Deputy Group Leader
Councillor Kirsty Mellor

Independent

Apologies

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Councillor Benedict Swann photo
Committee Member
Councillor Benedict Swann

Conservative

Present, as expected

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Councillor Daniel Wemyss photo
Committee Member
Councillor Daniel Wemyss

Conservative

Apologies

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Councillor Hannah Brent photo
Committee Member
Councillor Hannah Brent

Conservative

Present, as expected

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Councillor John Smith photo
Committee Member
Councillor John Smith

Conservative

Present, as expected

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Councillor Lewis Gosling photo
Committee Member
Councillor Lewis Gosling

Conservative

Present, as expected

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Councillor Matthew Atkins photo
Committee Member
Councillor Matthew Atkins

Conservative

Present, as expected

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Councillor Ryan Brent photo
Committee Member
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group
Councillor Ryan Brent

Conservative

Present, as expected

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Councillor Simon Bosher photo
Committee Member
Leader of the Conservative Group
Councillor Simon Bosher

Conservative

Present, as expected

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Source

This meeting detail is from Portsmouth City Borough Council website