Agenda and draft minutes

Economy and Housing Policy Committee - Tuesday, 20th February, 2024 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Matthew Watson, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01962 848 317 Email:


No. Item


Apologies and Deputy Members

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


Apologies for the meeting were noted as above.


Declarations 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.



1.    Councillor Horrill declared a personal and non-pecuniary interest due to her husband being a board member of Trinity.

2.    Councillor Westwood declared a personal and non-pecuniary interest due to being the council nominated representative to Trinity and the Winchester Beacon.


Chairperson's Announcements


No announcements were made.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 28 November 2023 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

That the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record.



That the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 28 November 2023 be approved and adopted.


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


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 complete this form ( ) by 5pm on 14 February 2024 or call (01962) 848 264 for further details.



The Chairperson advised that the following had registered to speak at the meeting:


1.     Agenda item 6 – Tony Goldsby on behalf of Trinity Winchester, and Tracy Jones on behalf of the Winchester Beacon.

2.     Agenda item 8 – Councillor Wallace

3.    Agenda item 9 – Monica Gill on behalf of Tenants and Council Together (TACT) who had registered to speak but was subsequently unable to attend and so a written submission had been received.


These contributions were summarised within the following agenda items.


Accommodation Strategy for Homeless Households pdf icon PDF 232 KB


That the Policy Committee reviews and provides comments on the options available to address predicted homelessness demand and that they will be subject to consultation before agreement at Cabinet Committee: Housing.



Councillor Chris Westwood, Cabinet Member for Housing introduced the report, ref EHP48 which set out proposals for the “Accommodation Strategy for Homeless Households”, (available here). The introduction included the following points.


  1. He highlighted the national increase in homelessness, with councils in England spending £1.7 billion annually on temporary housing.
  2. That Hampshire County Council's spending review to save £132 million, would affect social inclusion services in the district.
  3. That Winchester City Council was committed to preventing and relieving homelessness through partnerships with organisations like Trinity and the Winchester Beacon.
  4. The district's efficient use of housing stock to keep bed and breakfast usage low, amidst concerns over rising homelessness and potential funding cuts.
  5. The report aimed to assess the projected level of homelessness in the district and explore options for managing this growth and its financial impact on the Council.

Karen Thorburn, Service Lead - Strategic Housing provided the committee with an update which included the following:


  1. She highlighted the projections based on past and future demands for temporary accommodation, as shown in Appendix 2 of the report.
  2. That without adopting new strategies or exploring alternatives, the shortfall in bed spaces could reach 139, significantly impacting both the council's finances and individuals facing homelessness.
  3. That the potential financial burden of emergency accommodation was discussed, with costs ranging from just under £80,000 for short stays to nearly half a million pounds for longer stays in bed and breakfast accommodation.
  4. Several options were presented to bridge the gap, including the potential management changes of Sussex St to provide additional bed spaces, and revising the move-on policy to accelerate the transition of households from temporary accommodation.
  5. Other strategies included support for Trinity to convert spaces for additional accommodation, reviewing the letting strategy for sheltered accommodation, and utilising Eastacre for shared temporary accommodation.
  6. The report also considered the financial and operational implications of each option and outlined the next steps, including responding to budget consultations and revising policies to manage the costs of emergency accommodation.
  7. The importance of stakeholder and resident consultations as part of a comprehensive strategy to address homelessness, and that the intention was to present a full accommodation strategy to the Cabinet Committee: Housing later this year.

Tony Goldsby, on behalf of Trinity, addressed the committee and highlighted the following points.


  1. That the closure of key support facilities, Westview and Sussex St. was regretted.
  2. He wanted to commit to overcoming the challenges posed by these closures and supported the strategies outlined by the report.
  3. That Trinity wished to expand its provision of quality housing with comprehensive support services, emphasising the critical role of support in successful housing and community integration.
  4. He referred to the introduction of a project which aimed to establish emergency overnight rooms and was currently seeking planning approval to provide immediate relief to the issues discussed.
  5. He advised of efforts to secure additional accommodation through land donations, working in collaboration with local authorities and stakeholders.
  6. He stressed the importance of an integrated approach with local charities, shelter workers,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Winchester District Cultural Strategy (Presentation) pdf icon PDF 942 KB


The Policy Committee is asked to review and comment on the direction of the strategy including the vision, values, themes and priorities.



Councillor Lucille Thompson, Cabinet Member for Business and Culture, Andrew Gostelow, Service Lead - Economy & Tourism and Emalene Hickman, Culture and Creative Sector Development Officer introduced the agenda item which set out proposals for the Winchester District Cultural Strategy, (available here). The introduction was accompanied by a presentation and included the following points.


  1. The strategy aimed to develop, promote, and celebrate Winchester's cultural offerings, highlighting a year-long journey from conception to conclusion.
  2. A collaborative team was formed to ensure ongoing development and implementation of the strategy, which aimed for broader community engagement and support beyond the council.
  3. Partnership and collaboration were identified as core to the strategy's success, focusing on building a robust and resilient cultural and creative sector through stakeholder engagement and shared values.
  4. The strategy's priorities were designed to address the district's unique cultural and economic landscape, aiming for inclusive, ambitious, and environmentally responsible cultural development.
  5. Specific goals by 2030 included establishing a youth-led cultural movement, harnessing placemaking for community pride, expanding events and festivals, and bolstering the economy and creative industries.
  6. Themes of environmental responsibility, health and well-being, and inclusion and diversity were integrated across all priorities to ensure a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach.
  7. Investment and financial resilience were highlighted as critical for the sector's sustainability, with suggestions for collective funding initiatives and partnership with the corporate sector.
  8. The strategy aligned with national and regional cultural initiatives, emphasising local collaboration and broad stakeholder engagement to inform its development and implementation.
  9. The next steps would involve seeking feedback for the strategy's adoption by the Cabinet on March 14th, 2024, followed by the development of detailed action plans across themes and priorities to achieve the strategy's objectives by 2030.

The committee was asked to review and comment on the direction of the strategy including the vision, values, themes and priorities. The committee proceeded to ask questions and debate the report. In summary, the following matters were raised.


1.    The evaluation of current activities against identified themes and their geographic distribution across the district, especially considering perceptions of a “Winchester-centric” cultural offer.

2.    Clarification regarding the breadth of organisations consulted to ensure the inclusion and diversity theme was thoroughly enabled and whether educational sector inputs beyond tertiary institutions had been sought to support the overall strategy.

3.    Clarification on the approach to scaling cultural activities, questioning whether there was support for significant events and initiatives to grow, including potential strategies for attracting major creative industries to the district.

4.    Some concern was raised that the current number of events and festivals might undervalue the district's cultural offerings and that a broader acknowledgement of community events and activities was appropriate.

5.    Discussion on the formation and governance of a forum ensuring a diverse stakeholder mix to achieve the strategy's objectives.

6.    Suggestions for establishing clear success indicators for the forum, emphasising the importance of strategic mobility, joint funding bids, and broader PR activities to showcase the district's cultural and creative sector.

7.    Whether officers could recirculate the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Green Economic Development Strategy Action Plan 2024/27 pdf icon PDF 105 KB


The Policy Committee are asked to:

1.    Note the review of the action plan 2022 – 2024


2.    Review and comment upon the GEDS Action Plan 2024 – 2027


Additional documents:


Councillor Lucille Thompson, Cabinet Member for Business and Culture, introduced the report ref EHP50, outlining the proposals for the Green Economic Development Strategy (GEDS) Action Plan 2024/27 (available here). The introduction included the following points:


  1. The strategy offered a framework aimed at guiding the district's economic development over the next decade, aligning with the Council's goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
  2. There was an emphasis on the Council Plan's objective to foster a vibrant local economy by seising green growth opportunities. The strategy set out these opportunities and detailed actions for the Council and its partners to promote green growth within the district.
  3. There would be an evaluation of the accomplishments from the past two years and an assessment of the changing landscape, influenced by the pandemic, international conflicts, inflation, and the cost of living crisis.
  4. She stressed the importance of maintaining the agility of the strategy and its operational plans amidst these evolving circumstances, ensuring that the core themes of GEDS remain relevant and actionable.
  5. It was proposed to review the governance arrangements surrounding GEDS to facilitate effective implementation. The establishment of a Winchester District Climate and Green Economy Partners forum was proposed, with a new set of terms of reference available in Appendix 1 of the report.

Councillor Malcolm Wallace addressed the committee and highlighted several points which could be summarised as follows:


1.    He welcomed the integration of green aims throughout the GEDS, acknowledging the strategy's alignment with environmental objectives.

2.    That there were concerns about the strategy's connectivity to other council strategies, specifically the integration with the Council Plan and the Carbon Neutrality Action Plan (CNAP).

3.    Regarding governance arrangements, he suggested inviting cross-party representatives to the Climate and Green Economy Partners Forum to foster collaborative work.

4.    He was concerned about the transparency and public accessibility of the Carbon Neutrality Action Board's meetings and minutes and asked for their availability to members and the public.

5.    He emphasised the need for efficient resource utilisation to achieve the Council's net-zero target by 2030, suggesting a revision of the report to include SMART goals for clearer direction and accountability.


These points were responded to by Susan Robbins, Corporate Head of Economy & Community and Andrew Gostelow, Service Lead - Economy & Tourism accordingly.


The committee proceeded to ask questions and debate the report. In summary, the following matters were raised.


  1. Clarification was sought regarding the graph on page 90 depicting the percentage of energy-efficient houses in the district and how this percentage was determined for houses that had not been sold for some time.
  2. The necessity for indicators within the documents to quantify the delivery mechanisms, often beyond the Council's direct control, and suggesting the inclusion of useful indicators from the report to observe changes over time.
  3. Resolving the tension between biodiversity and food security, particularly considering the current emphasis on “Regeneration” and Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) exemplar Farms and querying how these practices could be expanded across the food production sector in the district.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Scoping Document For The Older Persons Accommodation Strategy - Initial Thoughts. pdf icon PDF 258 KB


That the Policy Committee note the report, and are asked to provide particular comment on the proposed and emerging priorities for the Older Person’s Accommodation Strategy 2024-2029, namely:

1.    The supply of housing is sufficient, affordable and appropriate accommodation in the right place, at the right time for older  people.

2.    The district’s current provision of all older person’s accommodation is fit for purpose and delivers choice for older people across tenures.

3.    The accommodation needs and aspirations of older people in the district of Winchester are met.

4.    The accommodation issues raised by older persons because of the consultation are addressed.

5.    The strategy is aligned with the priorities of Health and Adult Social Care to use technology as an enabler, supporting older people to remain living independently for as long as possible.

6.    The market is fully reviewed.

7.    The council’s current policies relating to the allocation and charges for  older persons affordable accommodation are reviewed and revised.



Councillor Chris Westwood, Cabinet Member for Housing introduced the report, ref EHP49 which was a scoping document for the Older Persons Accommodation Strategy, (available here). The introduction included the following points.


  1. That almost 11 million people in the UK were aged 65 and over, representing 19% of the population, with 3.3 million of these individuals living alone.
  2. It was noted that nearly 65% of those aged 70 and over reported being in good health, which dropped to less than 50% by age 80 and further reduced to less than 30% by age 90.
  3. He emphasised the increased prevalence of age-related health concerns, including mental health conditions such as dementia, and loneliness exacerbated by families being more geographically spread.
  4. That there was a national, social care crisis which impacted families, and it was important to address this complex issue both nationally and locally.
  5. He acknowledged the financial strain on Hampshire County Council in meeting adult social care needs and emphasised the importance of reviewing the impact of an ageing population in the Winchester District.
  6. The proposed review would include how to meet the accommodation needs and aspirations of older persons in the district across all tenures, outlining an approach in the paper to understand future requirements.

In addition, Karen Thorburn, Service Lead - Strategic Housing provided the committee with the following information:


  1. That the definition of 'older persons' for this review was anyone over the age of 55.
  2. She highlighted the necessity for the council to adapt to changing accommodation needs for older persons, acknowledging significant shifts in policy and older individuals' aspirations since the last full assessment in 2015.
  3. That older persons' accommodation encompassed a wide spectrum, from owner-occupiers to those living in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), not just council or retirement homes.
  4. That local demographic data and statistics from the housing register illustrated the accommodation needs of older persons, noting that many over 55s were in insecure housing, which might not be adaptable as their needs change.
  5. She emphasised the goal of providing sufficient, affordable, and appropriate accommodation that was future-proofed and offered a choice, aligning with the ten HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) principles.
  6. She outlined the need for a thorough review of the market and current policies, and an extensive evidence review, as detailed in section 3.1 of the strategy document.
  7. She advised of plans for a broad and meaningful engagement and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including Hampshire County Council, landlords, the council's disabled facilities grants team, private treatment home providers, residents, councillors, and parish councils, utilising various forums and consultation methods.

The Chairperson advised that Monica Gill, Vice Chair of Tenants and Council Together (TACT), was unable to attend, and so a written statement from her would be shared as follows :


  1. She expressed her agreement with the report's recommendations, emphasising the importance of consulting with older tenants before finalising plans.
  2. She highlighted a specific issue where previous installations of new fire doors, led to problems for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


To note the Work Programme for February 2024 pdf icon PDF 50 KB




The current work programme was 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.


Economy and Housing Policy Committee on Tuesday, 20th February, 2024, 6.30 pm{sidenav}{content}