Venue: Walton Suite, Winchester Guildhall
Contact: Matthew Watson, Senior Democratic Services Officer Tel: 01962 848 317 Email: email@example.com
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 from committee members were noted as above.
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.
Councillor Lumby declared a non-pecuniary interest concerning items upon the agenda that may be related to his role as a County Councillor.
That the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record.
That the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 21 September 2021 be approved and adopted.
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 contact Democratic Services by 5pm on 24 November 2021 via firstname.lastname@example.org or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details.
David Chafe and David Light of Tenants and Council Together (TACT) spoke regarding agenda item 5 – “Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Asset Management Strategy". They advised that TACT supported the proposal regarding the provision of fire doors in the medium-rise flats at Winnall as ultimately it would improve the safety of residents. Regarding bathrooms, they felt that the replacement period should be reduced. On the wider issues described within the Asset Management Strategy, they advised that they were meeting with officers shortly to review the report in greater detail.
Report Ref: BHP021 and CAB3264
It is recommended that the Policy Committee comment on the priorities and principles of the HRA Asset Management Strategy:
a) The Asset Management Strategy’s overall outcomes (Section 11.3)
b) The criteria for disposals and acquisition. Where an asset is identified in the first instance as being surplus to requirements that it be appraised through an options appraisal and an asset is assessed for purchase using the acquisition eligibility criteria. (Section 16.4)
c) The proposal to fund the provision of fire door sets to leasehold properties in the medium rise flats at Winnall (Section 16.2)
(Report Ref BHP021 and CAB3264)
The Corporate Head of Housing introduced the report and provided the committee with an overview of the rationale of producing the strategy and its key aspects. Members were advised that its purpose was to ensure the council made the best use of its housing stock for current and future housing needs. The three big challenges for the council’s housing stock were summarised as the safety of homes, reducing carbon emissions of homes, and increasing the supply of local, affordable homes. The Corporate Head of Housing advised that the strategy would be presented to Cabinet in 2022 and officers sought the committee's views regarding the priorities and principles of the HRA Asset Management Strategy and specifically
a) The Asset Management Strategy’s overall outcomes (section 11.3 of the report)
b) The criteria for disposals and acquisitions. Where an asset was identified in the first instance as being surplus to requirements that it be appraised through an options appraisal and an asset was assessed for purchase using the acquisition eligibility criteria. (section 16.4 of the report)
c) The proposal to fund the provision of fire door sets to leasehold properties in the medium-rise flats at Winnall (section 16.2 of the report)
The committee asked questions on a range of subjects including:
· whether there was adequate provision to meet the costs for retrofit of energy efficiency & carbon reduction measures.
· clarifying the policy regarding the needs of older persons and accessible bathrooms.
· concern over the ability to acquire and/or develop sites in rural areas.
· liaising with South Down National Park Authority (SDNPA) concerning the availability of land.
· creating green and open spaces to form part of this strategy.
· consideration to be given to buying land to assist with nitrate mitigation.
· did the strategy make specific reference to climate change challenges?
· demand levels increasing above expected numbers following the next intake of students with the University of Southampton.
· within the disposal criteria, what action would we take on a property that we were disposing of because of the costs to improve its carbon efficiency were too great?
· within the disposal criteria, the criteria that refers to “unsuitable for future needs of the council” – could this be amended to also say “and also couldn’t be made suitable for future needs of the council”?
· whether in rural areas that housing allocation and local demand be closer aligned to local need.
· awareness of schemes and models that had the potential for external partners to forward fund carbon reduction measures within new build properties.
· balancing the requests for adaptations that may give rise to cases of under occupancy.
· the current housing provision and support for older residents with mental health issues.
On the specific proposal regarding fire doors at Winnall, the following questions and comments were made:
· what are the obligations of leaseholders?
· is this approach being undertaken elsewhere in the district?
· why is WCC prioritising the medium rise blocks at Winnall?
· what is the value of the door?
· what are the disadvantages of ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Report Ref: BHP023
The Policy committee are asked to:
1. Note the up-dated Winchester District High Streets Priority Plan.
2. Note the progress made on project delivery to date.
3. Make comments and provide direction on the proposed forward plan of work to March 2022.
The Corporate Head of Economy & Community introduced the item and provided the committee with an overview of the contents of the report. The report provided the committee with an updated High Streets Priority Plan, a progress report on its delivery and a forward plan of activity to be delivered under the plan to March 2022. The report sought to update the committee on these points and asked the committee to make comments and provide direction on the proposed forward plan of work to March 2022.
The committee asked questions on a range of subjects including:
· difficulties experienced by market towns in accessing the relevant funding.
· the “5 things to do” campaign.
· the confidence of getting all actions done in the timescales set.
· the measures of success being used.
· the reduction in use of the car park in Wickham.
· promotion/awareness of Busket Yard and the potential use of Busket Yard as part of the lights festival.
· the food market.
· comparator plans for when updates were provided.
· the awareness and performance of "shopappy”.
· the reach of the radio advert.
· the appearance of some of the public realm and its impact to visitors to the city.
The questions were responded to by the Corporate Head of Economy & Community.
The committee agreed:
a) to thank officers for their support to local businesses and welcome the additional resources to the team.
b) that the committee’s comments be noted
c) that an update on “shopappy” and the digital islands be provided at the March 2022 meeting of the committee
Digital Update - Verbal Update
The Chairperson provided a verbal update on behalf of the task and finish group. On 23 November 2021, the group hosted an open conversation attended by over sixty participants which discussed the four key topics of infrastructure, access, opportunity, and future potential. A summary of the discussions would be available on the city council’s website. Several outcomes were identified which particularly related to reliable connectivity, digital change impacting local and national growth, that a digital divide exists in the district, whilst online retail was vital residents valued the high street. The Chairperson advised that the group would report back again to this committee. Members raised several points following the update which related to access and connectivity issues in their wards.
a) That the update be noted
b) That Councillor Bronk become a member of the task and finish group.
That the work programme be noted.