Venue: This meeting will be held virtually and a live audio stream can be listened to via www.winchester.gov.uk.
Contact: Nancy Graham, Senior Democratic Services Officer Tel: 01962 848 235, Email: email@example.com
Membership of Cabinet bodies etc.
To give consideration to the approval of alternative arrangements for appointments to bodies set up by Cabinet or external bodies, or the making or terminating of such appointments.
Disclosure of Interests
To receive any disclosure of interests from Members and Officers in matters to be discussed.
Note: Councillors are reminded of their obligations to declare disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and/or prejudicial interests in accordance with legislation and the Council’s Code of Conduct.
Councillors Porter and Tod declared personal (but not prejudicial) interests in respect of reports due to their role as a County Councillors.
– to note the names of members of the public wishing to speak on general matters affecting the District or on agenda items
NB members of the public are required to register with Democratic Services three clear working days before the meeting (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01962 848 264).
Five members of the public spoke during public participation as summarised briefly below.
Spoke regarding report CAB3272 (agenda item 6) as a member of the Taxi and Private Hire Forum and the operator of a private hire business which undertook school journeys for the County Council. He objected to the “end of life” provisions in the proposed Policy as he considered them unnecessary for his particular business and would make it unviable. He suggested other local authorities had been able to make exceptions for operators in similar circumstances.
The following speakers all addressed Cabinet regarding report CAB3271 (agenda item 5).
Considered that the report’s proposals regarding Central Winchester regeneration (CWR) were too vague and did not offer adequate protection to the Council against a developer just seeking to maximise profits. The Council should either employ a master planner to lead on the scheme or delegate to a community based trust. The proposal disregarded the recommendation in the Supplementary Planning Document that the site be developed by multiple developers. He welcomed the quality of the Kings Walk feasibility study but considered the proposal lacked ambition and would effectively sterilise the site for 10 years.
Wendy Wyatt (Worthwhile works, co-author of the Kings Walk feasibility study)
Highlighted the current shortage of creative networks, support organisations and leadership for creatives within Winchester. Emphasised the demand for such support networks considering the high number of people working within the creative industries in Winchester and that there should be a Creative Enterprise Zone. Kings Walk offered an excellent opportunity to share and showcase talent, as well as acting as a catalyst for future initiatives.
Richard Baker (City of Winchester Trust)
Queried what response the Council was seeking to receive on the proposals as set out? Asked whether the viability assessment had included an assessment of the future proposed uses by the Council of the Cattle Market, Station Approach and River Park sites? At what stage in its proposals for CWR would the Council engage with the Winchester Movement Strategy?
Paul Spencer (Winchester BID)
Welcomed the opportunity for the BID to participate in the recent consultation on the Vision for Winchester with the Winchester Town Forum. Emphasised the wish of many Winchester businesses to see the plans for CWR progress as quickly as possible and to break the apparent cycle of continual opposition to change and development.
One member of the public, Mr T Gould, had registered to speak but technical difficulties had prevented him from addressing the meeting. He had submitted an email with comments on CAB3271 which was circulated to all Cabinet members during the meeting.
The Leader thanked all those addressing Cabinet for their comments which would be considered under the relevant reports below.
Leader and Cabinet Members' Announcements
There were no announcements made.
1. That a period of consultation on the draft Central Winchester Regeneration development proposals commence from 11th November 2020 to 12th January 2021.
2. That the project team be instructed to progress the schemes for Kings Walk and Friarsgate Medical Centre to the next stage of decision making.
3. That it be noted that the emerging delivery strategy approach is to enter in to a development agreement with a development partner and a further report be brought to Cabinet that sets out the proposal for development in due course.
Councillor Learney introduced the report and emphasised that despite the pressure facing the Council due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, the regeneration of the Central Winchester area had remained a priority. The proposals in the report sought to address the requirements of the CWR Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and to deliver a financially viable scheme.
The Head of Programme gave a presentation on the proposals (presentation contained as Appendix B to the report). Councillor Learney also set out the timetable and contact options for the proposed consultation (further information available at www.winchester.gov.uk/cwr)
At the invitation of the Leader, Councillors Hutchison, Mather, Horrill, Brook and Lumby addressed Cabinet as summarised briefly below.
Welcomed the report and presentation and agreed with previous public speakers that the project should move forward as quickly as possible. However, with the exception of the proposals for Kings Walk, the report lacked detail and raised a number of questions (which she expected would be answered as the project proceeded). Listed a number of detailed points and queries for further consideration, including around the selection of the development partner, producing a master plan for the area and how would the Winchester Town Forum and other stakeholders be involved.
Highlighted the amount of consultation that had been undertaken on the CWR project already, for example in producing the SPD, and believed residents were weary of further consultation. Welcomed the proposals for Friarsgate surgery and the Kings Walk study, but with regard the latter, disputed whether the ideas would be commercially viable. Agreed with the idea of working with a development partner, but hoped that lessons would be learned from past experiences.
Emphasised the extensive consultation undertaken by JTP in formulating the SPD and requested that future proposals adhere as closely as possible to these findings, including retaining the central bus hub. New ideas were welcomed where appropriate but the Council should not seek to “reinvent the wheel”. The proposed consultation event should be district wide. The development should be approached incrementally and the Council could seek to draw on the Oxford City Council’s experience of working in collaboration with specialist developers.
Generally welcomed the proposals outlined in the report and thanked the Projects Team for their work. Believed that the proposals for Kings Walk mirrored previous ideas for meanwhile use of the bus station and questioned whether additional monies were being spent unnecessarily on work already carried out. Welcomed the idea of a Creative Hub for Winchester. Considered that the project should be progressed by a cross party group.
Requested further clarity on the future timetable for the project and what further approvals would be required. Welcomed the useful questions asked by Councillor Hutchison. Believed there were other development options available than the three presented in the report. Considered that the preferred approach should be to develop the area in sections using different developers. Further clarity was required on a number of questions, such as what would happen ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
1. That the amendments as highlighted yellow in Appendix 1 of report CAB3272 be approved, and;
2. That the Statement of Licensing Policy with respect to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles, Drivers and Private Hire Operators (as amended) be approved and adopted as set out in Appendix 1 of report CAB3272.
Councillor Porter introduced the report, noting that the Policy had been produced following consultation with drivers and passengers. It was recommended for approval by Licensing and Regulation Committee on 15 September 2020 where a number of drivers had addressed the meeting, including Mr Fairey who had also made comments in the public participation session above (minute extract contained as Appendix 2 to the report). Following further forum meetings with drivers where the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic was raised, it was now proposed that the introduction of some sections of the Policy be delayed as detailed in the report.
The Licensing Manager acknowledged the comments made by Mr Fairey (who was also a member of the Taxi and Private Hire Forum) and emphasised that the recommendation to delay the implementation of the Policy would go some way to mitigate the impact. However, the Council was required to balance the difficulties faced by the taxi and private hire trade against the overarching responsibility to ensure public safety and also to address the climate emergency by removing older, higher polluting vehicles.
At the invitation of the Leader, Councillors Read and Brook addressed Cabinet as summarised briefly below.
Noted that a number of drivers had made comments at the Licensing and Regulation Committee and referred Cabinet to the minutes of that meeting where a number of other matters were raised, including the disability awareness training of drivers. Expressed concern that the Working Party established to review the Policy did not include cross party membership.
Welcomed the Policy review and the consultation undertaken with drivers. Supported the report and the Policy as proposed.
Councillor Porter responded to comments made and thanked Councillors for their support.
Cabinet agreed the following for the reasons set out above and outlined in the report.
1. That the amendments as highlighted yellow in Appendix 1 of the report be approved, and;
2. That the Statement of Licensing Policy with respect to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles, Drivers and Private Hire Operators (as amended) be approved and adopted as set out in Appendix 1 of the report, with effect from 1 December 2020.
That the list of future items, as set out in the Forward Plan for December 2020, be noted.