Agenda and draft minutes

Business and Housing Policy Committee - Tuesday, 9th February, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held virtually and a live audio stream can be listened to via www.winchester.gov.uk.

Contact: Dave Shaw, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01962 848 221 Email:  dshaw@winchester.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies and Deputy Members

To note the names of apologies given and Deputy Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Rutter.

 

2.

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, and non disclosable 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.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Hiscock declared a personal (but not prejudicial) interest in respect of various agenda items due to his role as a County Councillor.

 

Councillor Scott declared that he was a council tenant in respect of the matters relating to the Housing Restoration presentation.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 1 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That subject to Councillor Rutter being shown as being in attendance and Councillor Clear (deputy member) being shown as not in attendance, the minutes of the previous meeting held on 1 December 2020 be approved and adopted.

 

4.

To note the Work Programme for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Work Programme for 2020/21 be noted.

 

5.

Chairperson's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairperson welcomed to the meeting TACT representatives Mrs M Gill and Mr D Light.

 

6.

Public Participation

To receive and note questions asked and statements made from members of the public on matters which fall within the remit of the Committee

 

NB members of the public are required to register with Democratic Services three clear working days before the meeting (see below for further details).

 

 Members of the public and visiting councillors may speak at the Policy Committee, provided they have registered to speak three working days in advance.  Please contact Democratic Services by 5pm on Wednesday 3 February 2021 via democracy@winchester.gov.uk or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details.

 

 

 

Minutes:

No members of the public were present to make representations.

 

7.

Briefing on Economy and Housing Restoration Work - presentation pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Lead – Economy and Tourism and the Strategic Director – Services gave a presentation on the Covid 19 restoration work.

 

Members asked questions and raised various comments which were addressed by Councillors Ferguson and Learney and the relevant officers.

 

The Chairperson stated that it would be of benefit to report to a future meeting an updated allocation of grant funding table to show how the grants that had been dispersed to businesses had been distributed throughout the district and where the benefits had had been gained.

 

Responding to questions, officers emphasised that the priority had been to support the sectors most affected during the pandemic.  The objective was to increase pedestrian footfall on the district’s high streets and to be in the strongest position to bring people back when restrictions eased.

 

The Chairperson observed that the recovery strategy was not about one big project but rather about transformational change. The green economic development strategy was fundamental and getting the digital infrastructure in place was key to remaining competitive.  Working in partnership across the district and with neighbours was also essential to enable the transition.

 

Officers explained that the landscape for retail had irreversibly changed and that developing the experiential component of the high street offer would be critical to future success.  The e-commerce platform was supporting independent retailers.  The high streets would be used by the public in a different way; festivals and markets would play an important role in animating them.

 

Support through ‘Love Local’ had been rolled out across the district into the market towns.

 

Members discussed a range of ideas for rebuilding economic activity.  These included optimising the use of assets in the district to attract employment and inward investment.

 

The Design Festival would showcase the strengths of Winchester’s economy and exemplify why locating in the district was good for business. Partnerships were seen as key to filling the gaps in broadband/digital infrastructure. The Chairperson undertook to seek clarification on the objectives and membership of key partnership groups outlined in the presentation.

 

In response to questions about the e-commerce platform, the officers and Cabinet members clarified that there were expectations that businesses would make a small contribution at a future date but the council was committed to ensuring that the platform was sustainable.

 

The strategy for the digitally enabled economy would provide a road map for transition to a greener, more sustainable, digitally enabled economy and the key was to obtain buy-in from the whole business community for a shared vision.

 

In respect of housing recovery it was noted that, despite the challenges presented by Covid measures, the housing team had been operating very much as business as usual.  New homes completions were coming forward and the council was on target to meet its 1000 homes objective; tenancy services and property services were operating to business as usual and plans were coming forward for delivery of the housing response to the climate emergency.

 

The “Everyone in” programme for the homeless continued and the no eviction  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

 

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