Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Hampshire Senate - the way forward

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The importance of maintaining effective partnership working in Hampshire has been reinforced by members of the Hampshire Senate at their latest meeting (10 July 2013).

In a show of commitment which acknowledged the essential nature of collaborative working between partner organisations, the Senate has agreed to review how it works in future, its function, membership and responsibilities, and explore how it can move forward and address the needs of residents in Hampshire amid the ongoing financial challenges from the current economic climate which are faced by all sectors; public, private and voluntary.

Leader of Hampshire County Council and Chairman of the Hampshire Senate, Councillor Roy Perry said: "I have been very encouraged by the positive and useful discussions that have taken place at our latest Senate meeting, where we have all agreed that partnership working is crucial to Hampshire's future. Whatever the future of the body, we are all very much committed to ongoing collaboration and fully recognise that collectively we can achieve so much more if we work together with our partners.

"Hampshire is a great county and I want it to remain a prosperous place for residents and businesses, but we must balance this against the need to protect our exceptional environment in Hampshire and maintain its quality and beauty. With this in mind, we are now in a position to look again at the Senate, what it stands for, what it wants to achieve, and who is represented, to ensure we are on the right track; breaking down silos and avoiding duplication so we are working in the most efficient and effective way, for the benefit of Hampshire residents."

Among the options discussed was a change of name, as well as the expansion of the Senate's membership to encourage a broader spectrum of views to ensure the right organisations in Hampshire are working together to address the needs of residents.

Cllr Perry said: "I firmly believe that the solutions to our individual problems can lie in the knowledge and expertise of the other sectors, and I would like to see more voices represented here and membership broadened. I think there is great value in having the voice of young people represented on this forum, as well as that of Hampshire's universities and further education colleges. Hampshire is an agricultural county and the farming community also has much to offer. The contributions from the Church and faith groups should also be explored.

"With the unanimous support of our member organisations for continuing our successful collaborative work to date through a similar form of partnership body, we are now looking ahead to future arrangements and how these can be inclusive while avoiding duplication with other partnership bodies such as HIOWLA (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Government Association).

"We are therefore taking the opportunity to discuss options and preferences, and seek to find a position to go forward and build upon, and I look forward to our discussions in the coming months. Recommendations for how we wish to work in future will go before the Senate at its autumn meeting where we will decide our new direction."

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