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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 were noted from Councillors Kurn and Pearson.
Declarations of Interest
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.
Councillor Warwick declared non-pecuniary interests concerning items on the agenda that may be related to her role as a County Councillor and as County Council Executive Member for Climate Change and Sustainability. Councillor Warwick also declared a non-pecuniary interest as she was a board observer to Play to the Crowd, which was relevant to the report HEP011 elsewhere on the agenda.
Councillor Tippett-Cooper declared non-pecuniary interests as Director of ‘Unit 12’ whose tenants were referred to within report HEP011. He was also employed by Capsticks Solicitors whose charity partners included Trinity Winchester which were also referred to in HEP011.
The Chairperson made no announcements.
Minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 July 2021.
That the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 6 July 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.
NB members of the
public are required to register with Democratic
(contact: email@example.com or 01962 848 264).
Phil Gagg (WinACC - Transport and Planning Action Group) and Chris Gillham (Winchester Friends of the Earth) spoke under public participation regarding report HE0014 as summarised under the relevant minute below.
At the request of the Chairperson, Councillor Murphy advised the committee that a meeting of the Air Quality Steering Group would discuss new targets recently issued by the World Health Organisation. A report would be brought in due course to the committee in response to this update.
The Chairperson also confirmed that an item on the Future of Waste and Recycling was scheduled for the December meeting of the committee.
That the work programme for 2021/22 be noted.
Councillor Clear introduced the report. In summary, the committee were advised that the current 3 year funding cycle was ending March 2022. There were currently 15 organisations in receipt of core funding and the council was in a position where it had to consider a 20 per cent reduction to funds available as part of the council’s overall balancing of its budget.
Members asked a range of questions which were responded to by the Strategic Director and the Corporate Head of Economy & Community as summarised below. Officers acknowledged the fundamental support during the Covid-19 pandemic of its strategic partners, alongside those of priority outcome organisations.
· There was not an ‘open competition’ to become a new strategic partner, however any organisation who believed that they might fit the existing criteria requirements were able to contact the council.
· ‘Relationship Manager’ arrangements were in place and any impact on organisations from reduced funding was able to be discussed. It was acknowledged that the percentage ‘hit’ on priority outcome grants was potentially greater than for strategic partners.
· The committee acknowledged the council’s existing budget shortfall of approximately £2.4 million and requested clarification how Cabinet had determined prioritisation of savings, as the impact of the work of partner organisations across the district were significant in terms of delivering valuable, key services that the council was unable to deliver itself in isolation.
· The committee requested that there should be a caveat on the level of grant awarded and that this would be reviewed in 1 year when the Council’s budget position may be clearer.
· The committee noted that data sets were provided by organisations to help the council benchmark its priority areas for funding and requested these be reviewed and in particular it was considered as important to provide mental health services for young males as it is females.
At conclusion of debate, Councillor Clear thanked the committee for its comments on the report and advised that she would would work with cabinet colleagues to help support and maintain an acceptable level of budget for strategic and priority grant funding going forward.
That the committee:
1. notes the achievements and successes of the current Strategic Fund and Priority Outcomes Fund and timescales for the next funding round.
2. provides the following comments on the proposals outlined in the report:
· In acknowledging the valuable work of both strategic and priority outcome organisations in supporting communities, cabinet member carefully reconsider prioritisation of budget cuts to help address the overall shortfall
· welcome assurances that while the council might agree a 3 year funding package, if the council’s budget position changed then this current position could be reviewed
· regard be had to the relative impact of the reduced grant available to priority outcome organisations and the level of service able to be provided
· the council explore all opportunities for potential government funding that may become available as the country recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic
· the council explore potentially establishing a charitable trust for grant funds which was able to ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Mr Gilham (Friends of the Earth) addressed the Committee and in summary raised the following matters:
Referred to the council’s declaration of climate emergency which had acknowledged the contribution of road transport as the most important contributor to carbon emissions across the whole district and was the least well performing sector in making reductions. There was nothing in the report that addressed this and there was a need for a system approach against this objective with associated timescales.
Phil Gagg, WinACC Transport and Planning Action Group addressed the Committee and in summary raised the following matters:
Also expressed disappointment in the report which should have explored all options to help deliver what was required regarding reducing carbon emissions, such as improvements to schemes to reduce traffic.
Councillor Tod outlined the current activities being undertaken, including the council’s work in partnership with the county council as the lead a Highway Authority. LTP4 (Local Transport Plan 4) was at the heart of this work and had specific regard to reducing carbon emissions. The Movement Strategy was initially focussed on air quality but now had its focus on carbon emissions and he reported on work (with Solent Transport) to achieve improvements to and promotion of public transport services into Winchester.
The Head of Programme introduced the report and in summary, advised that some detailed designs were already being worked up as part of the Movement Strategy for implementation and there would be significant engagement which would help achieve additional government support funding. Councillor Tod gave further information regarding available funding to support priority projects which would also be supported at the local level.
Mr Hobbs from Hampshire County Council gave a detailed presentation (available on the council’s website) regarding the county council’s approach to reducing carbon emissions as part of LTP4. It was recognised that there was much work to be done, which included a need for rapid, local action and the county council’s need to work closely with each of its 11 district and borough partners.
Members asked a range of questions on the presentation which were responded to by Mr Hobbs, and officers present. The questions asked included topics as summarised below.
· regarding encouraging people to work at home and how this may impact on increased heating of homes (as opposed to a larger office spaces).
· a carbon footprint report for the city council (year commencing April 2020 – March 2021) would show the relative impact on the council’s own carbon footprint from greater remote working of staff.
· the impact of travel into and out of Winchester to work and how there would be some offset of carbon emissions from more home working.
· the monitoring of the impacts from changes to roads in Winchester during the pandemic at North Walls and Hyde Street and the ‘squaring’ of LTP4 with the expansion of Southampton International Airport and projects to upgrade to smart motorway status the M3 and M27.
The committee then proceeded to ask a range of questions on the content ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
The Chairperson welcomed to the meeting Chris Holloway, Bob Whitmarsh from WinnACC and Will Adeney and Tammi Sinha from the Wessex Green Hub.
The Service Lead introduced the report together with Ms Holloway and Mr Adeney. In summary, the committee was advised that having regard to resources available, the council was looking to identify the measures that would make the most difference and how to implement these in a timely manner.
Ms Holloway gave a presentation (available on the council’s website) on data available on district carbon emissions and how this illustrated what must be undertaken if there was to be carbon neutrality achieved by 2030. The council must continue to take a lead on this work.
The committee then proceeded to ask a range of questions of Ms Holloway and others present. The questions asked included topics as summarised below.
· Winchester had a higher level of carbon emission compared to other areas due to its relative average affluence and although progress compared to other authority areas to achieve carbon neutrality was less easy to determine, data sources for Winchester were not extrapolations were therefore accurate reliable.
· as well as an emphasis on technological advancements or changes of behaviour to help reduce carbon emissions; there should also be legislative change to support this.
Mr Adeney referred to his detailed report and gave a presentation on a roadmap to a position where carbon neutrality could be achieved and the various pre conditions that may need to be achieved throughout this period.
Mr Adeney and others present responded to a range of questions as summarised below. The questions asked included topics as summarised below.
· confirming that although communities and individuals would continue to flourish; the 2030 target could not be achieved without some trade-offs
· regarding a geographic ‘scope’ of making the necessary change across the district; the key groups that should be engaged across the district to frame an approach was explained and what ‘trade off’ may need to be applied
· conversations needed to be had with residents regardless of socio-economic position and unintentional consequences that may become apparent - the need for a whole team approach by the council
At conclusion of debate, the Chairperson thanked everyone present and endorsed that where there was currently a will across all communities that this work must be expedited. She advised that she would speak to Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency as to the best forum to present the full WinnACC report of the latest carbon emissions data.
That the committee:
1. Note the latest emissions data emerging from WinACC’s distrct emissions report for 2019, and
2. Notes the intention to procure consultancy support to develop a roadmap to decarbonisation of the district