Localism Bill

Memorandum submitted by Hythe and Dibden Parish Council (L 151)

Localism Bill – Call for Evidence

The Parish Council has now had opportunity to consider your request for evidence and would like to submit the following.

The Parish Council has been in existence since 1894 and covers the areas of Hythe, Dibden and Dibden Purlieu which are sandwiched between Southampton Water and the New Forest , Hampshire. It has resident population of approximately 20,000.

Whilst the Code of Conduct has its critics it is felt that there needs to be greater clarity as the proposals seem somewhat muddled.

The Council believes that whilst the concept of referendums is good in practice the cost to smaller authorities will be disproportionate to the benefit. In our case the principal council has indicated that a referendum under the current arrangements would cost us approximately £25000 which equates to around 4.5% of our precept. A more cost effective method of assessing the public support needs to be considered. At present if this parish council proposes any substantial expenditure or project, public consultation is carried out using the newsletter and public meetings.

The Council believes that the proposed reform of housing proposals is very unlikely to produce the benefits portrayed. Making tenure less secure will not address the basic issue which is a shortage of housing. At present the New Forest waiting list for housing stands at approximately 6000. The changes in tenure will almost certainly add to homelessness and will incur significant set up costs for local authorities.

The Council welcomes the abolition of HIPs.

February 2011