Venue: Walton Suite, Guildhall Winchester and streamed live on YouTube at www.youtube.com/winchestercc
Contact: Claire Buchanan, Senior Democratic Services Officer Tel: 01962 848 438 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies and Deputy Members
To note the names of apologies given and deputy members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed members.
There were no apologies for absence given at this meeting.
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 a personal (but non prejudicial) interest concerning agenda items that may be related to her role as a County Councillor.
Councillor Tippett-Cooper declared a personal (but non prejudicial) interest in respect of item 6 (Cost of Living Programme) due to his role as volunteer/director for the community food pantry at Unit 12 which had been referenced within the report.
The Chairperson announced that at the previous meeting held on 4 July 2023 that had been a work request put forward to the committee by Councillor Wallace, on behalf of Councillor Lee, this had been considered by the Cabinet Member and officers. As a consequence of the motion passed by Council at its meeting on 20 September 2023, it was considered that the work request had now been resolved.
The Chairperson made reference to a number of work programme items that had been suggested by the committee at its last meeting these included, requests for updates on the carbon neutrality action plan where it was noted that members had recently received a briefing during the week and in relation to the public conveniences strategy which has since been approved by Cabinet and had also featured in the Hampshire Chronicle.
Minutes of the previous meeting held on 4 July 2023.
That the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 4 July 2023 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).
In summary, Councillor Wallace made reference to the following points which were responded to accordingly by Councillor Becker and relevant officers:
· Residents had been hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis with high numbers of residents turning to The Trussell Trust and other foodbanks for emergency food parcels, with a significant rise in the number of households requiring support over the last three years.
· He supported the report and thanked officers for their hard work of those directly involved in the cost-of-living programme and those across the council who provided short term crisis support, including the revenues and benefits, housing, communications and customer service team, as well as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau who provide invaluable support for residents.
· Consideration of a feasibility study (possibly funded from the rural prosperity fund) to provide a mobile advice service to support those in rural locations throughout the district where vulnerable residents may be unable to access public transport and require face to face advice and support – The Service Lead: Communities and Wellbeing reported that the council’s work with Citizen’s Advice Bureau had enabled them to increase their outreach work to service in rural areas and work with existing partners and activities targeted at vulnerable groups. Continued dialogue on this matter would take place.
Councillor Becker introduced the report which provided an update on the on-going cost of living help and support that has been and continues to be delivered by the council as a result of the economic crisis, the impact on everyday living costs for residents and organisations and set out the key objectives and aims of the programme and outcomes to date. Furthermore, the report outlined the interventions that had been put in place to help since 2022 and also looked ahead to the provision of support for the future.
It was noted that a cost-of-living webpage was available on the council’s website providing the latest up to date information for those requiring support and that the work of the Social Inclusion Partnership and the outcomes of the Summit held in November 2022 continuing to bring organisations together to address the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and wider inclusion goals.
The Town Centre and Community Manager reported on partnership working across council teams and with stakeholders and advised that the council had provided £60k in financial support through emergency grant funding to organisations that supported over 5,000 vulnerable residents across a range of beneficiaries and additional practical support was given to Citizen’s Advice Bureau and used further financial support to strengthen their resources and increase capacity. This also improves their business case for funding from other organisations going forward.
The committee proceeded to ask questions and comment on the following matters which were responded to by the Cabinet Member, the Service Lead: Community and Wellbeing and other relevant officers.
(i) Continued discussions with local Parish Council’s to work with hard-to-reach vulnerable residents, particularly in rural communities, to bring services to isolated people.
Councillor Wallace addressed the Committee on this item.
In summary, Councillor Wallace made reference to the following points:
· Four years into the ten-year Winchester Movement Strategy (WMS) plan he stated that progress had been poor, whilst officers highlighted the small steps that had taken place, he suggested that resident’s deserved better than any pretence that the plan was on track.
· Councillor Wallace stated that no reference had been made to the delays to the LTP4, the City’s local walking and cycling infrastructure plan, the Winchester district walking and cycling infrastructure plan and spending on new cycle parking which was also behind plan, whilst infrastructure projects continued to be approved to increase traffic in the city centre.
· The Mini-Holland project had been cancelled by the Government so funding for this initiative was no longer available.
· Bus services in the district continue to be reduced or cut in some areas.
· Although many of the issues raised were out of the council’s control, Councillor Wallace stated that the council should not be part of perpetuating the myth that there was an effective plan being worked.
· A need to re-evaluate matters going forward to align with the council’s net zero priorities.
· The priority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
· He suggested that the emissions savings from each of the schemes needed to be quantified to help with prioritising the key actions.
· The next steps need to be bolder to have any significant impact on reducing traffic in Winchester and the carbon impact across the district.
In response to the points raised above, Councillor Learney stated that whilst she understood the sentiment expressed by Councillor Wallace, it needed to be recognised that transport schemes were extremely costly and that government funding requirements to support these schemes were fast-changing, with the competitive process requiring a council to place significant resource into putting bids together. Currently local authorities were struggling and needed to work practically within the resources that were available to them.
The Chair welcomed Geoff Hobbs and Stewart Wilson of Hampshire Highways to the meeting to contribute to the presentation and answer questions thereon.
The Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency introduced the item which provided an update on the Winchester Movement Strategy. The committee were reminded that the strategy was a joint city and council transport strategy agreed in 2019, with the aims of reducing traffic, increasing levels of walking and cycling and improving air quality whilst supporting economic growth. Since the agreement, there had been many changes with the declaration of the climate emergency. However, given the timescales involved in transport projects, the benefits of the long-term partnership work and continuing the workstreams of the Strategy, still remained strong and would result in significant benefits to the city for the future.
The Transport Planner and the Hampshire Highways representatives gave a detailed presentation which provided an update on the Winchester Movement Strategy and transport actions, its priorities and set out the latest on the plans, schemes and workstreams involved within the process.
The committee proceeded ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
The Chair welcomed Alison Lewis of Everyone Active to the meeting to provide an update and answer questions thereon.
Councillor Becker introduced the report. The Service Lead: Community and Wellbeing and the Area Manager (Everyone Active) provided a detailed background regarding social value and an update setting out the findings used to calculate the social value generated by Winchester Sport and Leisure Park and Meadowside Leisure Centre. Both centres have been operated by Everyone Active for the last two years, with use of both sites continuing to flourish and the contract performing well. The committee noted that the report focussed on social value which Everyone Active were not contractually required to report, but which they provided voluntarily, giving a valuable perspective on the added value the contract delivered. It was reported that the sports and leisure park had generated social value of over £3.5m last year indicating that the contract was delivering far more than access to sport and aligned with council priorities.
The committee proceeded to ask questions and comment on the following matters which were responded to by the Cabinet Member, the Service Lead: Community and Wellbeing, the Contract Manager and the Area Manager, Everyone Active.
(i) The levers for driving a positive outcome for social value overall.
(ii) Targeting different demographic groups – increasing use by the older generation and hard to reach groups of people with specific needs.
(iii) Encouraging visitors to walk or cycle to use the leisure facilities.
(iv) Plans to improve the uptake and provision for swimming lessons.
(v) Any review of the charges for under two-year-olds.
(vi) The use of relevant metrics in benchmarking and the interpretation of figures.
(vii) Geographic and demographic data collection.
At the conclusion of debate, the committee thanked Alison Lewis and officers for their attendance and providing useful and detailed information regarding social value.
That the contents of the report be received, and the comments raised by the committee, as summarised above, be noted
To note the work programme for 2023/24 and the table of items suggested by the committee at the last meeting, as attached.
At the previous meeting, the committee made a request for various items during 2023/24 and these were set out within a table of actions and outcomes circulated with the agenda which outlined how these items had been or would be addressed for information purposes.
The committee suggested that an item be added to the work programme for 5 December 2023, to request that a representative from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust attend the committee to provide an update on water quality.
1. That the response to the committee’s work programme requests, as set out within the table of items circulated with the agenda, be noted; and
2. That, subject to the inclusion of the following item for 5 December 2023 (added subject to attendance confirmation at this stage), the work programme for 2023/24 be noted.
(i) Water Quality Update – Attendance from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (tbc)