As it was one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Mayor paid tribute to the Ukrainian community and their hosts in the Winchester district. There was to be a moment’s silence on Friday 24 February at 11am, a candle lit vigil in Abbey Gardens and the Ukrainian flag would also fly from the Guildhall and the clock face lit in yellow and blue.
The Mayor then sent her condolences to the people of Turkey and Syria following the recent earthquake which had taken so many lives and had displaced communities.
Before reporting on forthcoming charity events, the Mayor welcomed Simon Hendey, who had recently started at the council as a Strategic Director. The Mayor then concluded her announcements by advising that those nominated for an annual Mayor of Winchester’s Community Award would shortly receive their invitation to attend the ceremony on Tuesday 14 March.
The Leader then made several announcements.
In summary, the Leader also referred to the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine. He thanked hosts for welcoming refugees into their homes and also officers and volunteers for their support. Finally, the Leader paid tribute to the Ukrainian families who were now valued members of the community.
The Leader than referred to the recent failures in water supplies across some southern parts of the district. He advised that he was working with Leaders from other affected authorities to send a joint response to Southern Water concerning the failure of their systems and also their support to those affected. The Leader referred to the forthcoming meeting of the Health & Environment Policy Committee, at which representatives of Southern Water would be attending – in line with the council’s motion regarding waste water pollution. A follow-up meeting with Southern Water was to be arranged to cover the issues raised following the most recent water outage.
The Leader then updated Council on the latest position regarding Hampshire County Council’s ‘county deal’. He reported that district councils had requested that they be represented in negotiations alongside Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight unitary councils, who had also separately highlighted interest in a more southern deal to include Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and based more on a Solent geography.
The Leader also advised that the council would continue to work with other Partnership for South Hampshire authorities on a joint response to planning issues, including the government’s NPPF consultation and also regarding ‘urban uplift’ to the standard method calculation for housing targets.
The Leader then reported that he had recently spent time with the Winchester City Neighbourhood Policing Team and he thanked them for their professionalism and commitment to work for our city and its residents, despite all the challenges they face every day.
Finally the Leader advised that he had recently also thanked those who worked to keep the city centre clean. He had also spent time with the council’s street scene officer and also the team who have been jet-washing the High Street and who had also worked with the council and the Business Improvement District to remove graffiti. He had also taken the opportunity to thank a colleague from ID Verde who was litter-picking the High Street.
The Chief Executive announced apologies for the meeting.