Agenda and minutes

Winchester Town Forum - Wednesday, 8th November, 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: Walton Suite, Winchester Guildhall and streamed live on YouTube at

Contact: Claire Buchanan, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01962 848 438 Email:


No. Item



To record the names of apologies given


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Prest, Scott and Tod.



Disclosures 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.


If you require advice, please contact the appropriate Democratic Services Officer, prior to the meeting.



There were no disclosures made at the meeting.


Chairperson's Announcements


The Chairperson welcomed Councillor Hiscock, Hampshire County Council, to the meeting.


The Chairperson announced that scaffolding had been erected in the High Street where investment works were currently taking place and that the structure of the new doctor’s surgery was being progressed on the corner of Upper Brook Street/Friarsgate; two positive updates since the last meeting had taken place.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 255 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2023 be signed as a correct record.




That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 September 2023 be approved and adopted.



Public Participation

To receive and note the questions asked and statements made from members of the public on issues relating to the responsibility of this Forum.


Members of the public and visiting councillors may speak at the Forum, provided they have registered to speak three working days in advance. Please contact Democratic Services by 5pm on Thursday, 2 November 2023 via or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details.



Ian Tait spoke during public participation, a summary of his comments are set out below.


In addition, Councillor Lee addressed the forum in relation to Item 6 (Winchester Town Account Medium Term Financial Position). His comments are summarised under the relevant item below.


In summary, Ian Tait made reference to the following points:


·       Spoke at Cabinet in January 2023 raising the matter of the state of the public conveniences in the city centre and welcomed the report and the proposals considered by Cabinet at its meeting in September 2023 on this matter.

·       Referred to the revised cleaning and maintenance regime with one person being responsible for both the Abbey Gardens and Market Lane public conveniences which had seen little improvement.

·       The lack of baby changing facilities at Market Lane due to anti-social behaviour remains unresolved.

·       Broken cubicle doors, overflowing basins, lack of toilet paper and low pressure on water fountains remained outstanding at the Market Lane facilities. Suggested regular cleaning and maintenance checks were essential to mitigate these ongoing issues.

·       The costly damage from anti-social behaviour to the conveniences at River Park must be overcome.


In response to the matters raised by Mr Tait, the Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency emphasised the importance of public conveniences across the district and raised ongoing concerns surrounding anti-social behaviour and drug misuse in facilities, particularly Market Lane. This had prevented baby changing facilities being reopened and would be looked at as part of a wider action to tackle behaviour in this location with a view to bring this back into use. The cleaning and maintenance regimes in place would continue to be monitored going forward.



Winchester Town Account Medium Term Financial Position (Draft budget options) (WTF324) pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Lee addressed the forum on this item. In summary, he made reference to the following points:


·       Speaking as Winchester district resident, trust member and city councillor who cherishes the city’s unique historic surroundings and the part the city plays in the wider district.

·       Signposted an opportunity to address the rising environmental economic financial and planning challenges for the city and environments.

·       He stated that whilst master plans were welcome, there must be strong mitigating joined up actions for the unique locality covering energy, transport, economic social climate and nature crisis including the need to create and attract businesses.

·       Incomplete considerations of the best planning outcomes for the city and wider district.

·       Made reference to the Station Approach risk register under the timing risk, namely for Central Winchester Regeneration, Station Approach, the former leisure centre, entry junction 9, St John Moore Barracks, northern park and ride Bar End and Bushfield. Whilst these developments would run independently, it was clear significant cross collaboration to integrate and address challenges to ensure sustainable development, co-benefits and proper affordability and viability tests were achieved. Following recent preview of the regulation 18 amends for the new local plan, he could not see how, without a city-wide neighbourhood plan, the challenges could be addressed in sufficient detail for the best planning development outcomes.

·       Councillor Lee stated that the local plan and the masterplan should be considered to be deficient, as without a city-wide neighbourhood plan, there would be insufficient detail to deal with the interlinked critical challenges.

·       Considered that the Winchester Movement Strategy should be put into the context of a city-wide plan to further improve Winchester.

·       A Winchester city neighbourhood plan would empower the community to create a shared vision and deliver the local sustainable development challenges.

·       In conclusion, he urged the forum to reinvigorate an approach for a neighbourhood plan led by a community group using the vision created in 2021and the work previously undertaken by the Town Forum (Planning for the future) Informal Group.


In response to the matters raised by Councillor Lee, the Chairperson stated that whilst the forum shared the aspirations, these matters did not fall within the scope of the report or the remit of the forum. The Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency made reference to the quantity of resource required for work of this scale and clarified that there were no available resources within the town account. It was noted that there was ongoing work on a North Winchester plan, but the consensus in communities was that they would like individual community plans, rather than one for the entire city.


In conclusion, it was suggested that Councillor Lee address the matters raised with Cabinet Committee: Local Plan going forward and review previous forum papers where this matter was discussed in 2019 and 2020.


Councillor Learney provided an overview of the report as member of the Town Accounts Informal Group who had reviewed the medium-term financial position. Councillor Learney outlined the ambitious programme of works and facilities provided to residents  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Budget Review: Play Refurbishment Programme - Final Proposals (WTF326) pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Community and Engagement and the Service Lead: Community and Wellbeing introduced the report which was provided as part of the medium-term financial strategy planning, requested by the forum, to review areas of its expenditure and identify ways that costs could be reduced; this included the play area refurbishment programme. The report set out the proposed new five-year programme and how the programme of work will be manged to ensure the play areas remain safe, high quality and accessible for everyone.


It was proposed that going forward equipment would only be replaced when it was deemed necessary. Although the proposal did have an increase to the reactive maintenance budget in order carry out an increased number of ‘fit for purpose’ inspections and any necessary repairs to equipment, the revisions to the refurbishment programme overall would deliver a financial benefit to the forum, as set out in the report.


Members asked a range of comments and questions which were responded to by the Cabinet Member for Community and Engagement and the Service Lead: Community and Wellbeing, these included the following matters:


·       Costs included within Appendix 1 relate specifically to the KGV play park, rather than the skate park.

·       Damage caused due to anti-social behaviour.

·       Changes to consultation approach with play area users on reactive repairs to individual sites to be considered on a case-by-case basis.


At the conclusion of debate, the forum supported the report and its positive prudent financial impact and thanked officers for the work carried out. 





1.         That the five year refurbishment programme to play areas, as    set out in Appendix 2, be approved: and 


2.          That an increase of £5,841 to the Town Account budget from       2024/25, in respect of an increased reactive maintenance and       annual life expectancy reports on play equipment as detailed in      paragraphs 2.6 and 2.7, considered as part of the town        budget process for 2024/25, be approved.



Informal Group - Verbal Update

Optional: The Chairs of any of the informal groups may briefly update the Forum on any recent developments from their group.


The Forum received individual updates from the Chairpersons of various Town Informal Groups, where updates had not already been provided within the items considered above. Each summarised the work that had been carried out by the respective groups over the previous two-month period. 


Councillor Batho – Town Vision Group

Progress updates from the group included:


(i)       An initial meeting of the town vision group had taken place to review        and reflect on what had taken place, with a report that comes to the     forum on an annual basis on this matter. The direction of travel for the      vision going forward would be reviewed at the next informal group    meeting next month. It was noted that this was a vision and planning           group to discuss the policies going into the local plan for the town area.


Councillor Tippett-Cooper – Heritage Group

Progress updates from the group included:


(i)       The Buttercross and Hyde Abbey Gateway – there had been positive discussions with Historic England and matters were on track to submit the draft application for the restoration works by the end of this year, with a view to commence works by Spring 2024. 


(ii)       Roman Wall at The Weirs – special maintenance was due to treat and       remove weeds at the exposed area of the roman wall at the Weirs     shortly.


(iii)      Nunnaminster – It was noted that a bid had been placed with the         shared prosperity fund for rejuvenation of this site and investigate the restoration of the interpretation boards.




                     That the updates received from the Town Informal Groups, be    noted.



Work Programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To note the latest Work Programme for 2023/24.


The Chairperson reported that due to a number of reasons, several items that were due to be considered at this meeting had been moved to the next meeting in January on the work programme.


In addition, the Chairperson had requested that an item be added to the work programme for allocation in the next municipal year, this should be amended to be read ‘Update from the Friends of St Giles Hill Park’.



                                                                                                                                                                                              That, subject to the amendments set out above, the work programme for 2023/24 be noted.


Registering to speak at meetings of the council:

The information below relates to the majority of meetings of the council but please note that different rules do apply for registering to speak at meetings of Full Council, Licensing Sub Committees, Planning Committees, Open Forums, and the Standards Hearing and Human Resources Sub Committees and the Appointments Panel. Further information can be obtained using the contact details above.

Members of the public may speak at this meeting, provided they have registered to speak three working days in advance. Please contact Democratic Services via or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details - which can also be found on the individual meeting agenda front sheets.


Winchester Town Forum on Wednesday, 8th November, 2023, 6.30 pm{sidenav}{content}