Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Windsor. View directions
Contact: Wendy Binmore 01628 796251
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Da Costa.
To receive any Declarations of Interest.
To confirm the Part I minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2018 be approved.
Chairman's Opening Remarks
· Update on the Council’s position on Windsor Link Railway and the Windsor Riverside Project, following decision by the Secretary of State.
· Homelessness and SWEP update.
· Installation of electric vehicle charging points update.
Windsor Link Railway (WLR) and Windsor Riverside Project
The Chairman stated the WLR proposal had not been accepted by the Secretary of State and therefore, the matter was closed. The Borough had noted in a local publication that the WLR had received another letter saying the Secretary of State was interested in parts of the proposal but, RBWM did not support any aspect of the project. The Chairman confirmed that he also was not in support of the project as both a Councillor and as a resident of Windsor, therefore the matter was resolved.
Councillor Dudley stated the promoters of WLR continued to make contact with the Council but, the Borough had no interest in the project and it was not viable. A Motion had been taken to Council in which a letter would be written to the Secretary of State and the local MP in favour of the Western Railway proposal. There had been no dialogue with WLR as there was no support for it.
The Chairman stated there was a proposal for a direct link from Terminal 5 at Heathrow to Staines and another from Terminal 4 at Heathrow to Bedfont. The Terminal 5 to Staines option had been successful.
Helen Price said the WLR had two phases. Phase one was to join the two Windsor lines together and the second phase was to join those lines with Heathrow. Councillor Dudley stated that the Council was not supporting either phase. The Council was supporting the Network Rail proposal on the Western Line and there was zero support for the WLR. Helen Price asked if the Secretary of State knew RBWM was not supporting phase one of the WLR. Councillor Dudley confirmed there was no need to contact the Secretary of State as he had spoken to his Minister over a week previously and explained there was no interest.
The Chairman stated that as the WLR had not been supported by the Secretary of State, that left the Council in a position to see what development could be undertaken at the Riverside location. That scheme had been delayed while awaiting the outcome from the Secretary of State on the WLR.
The Chairman stated the arches under the railway line had been sold to a private consortium so the Borough needed to consult with them and Network Rail to see what could be done in the area. It was a future project with consultations ongoing in the future. There was also an engineering process that needed to be carried out before anything could be done and the owners of Windsor Royal Station had to be consulted. All parties would need to be consulted before anything could move forward.
Homelessness and SWEP
The Chairman stated the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol was in place until March 2019 when the weather improved. The Council had provided a grant to the Windsor Homeless Project as they moved from the Baptist Church to Holy Trinity. He added that individuals that were staying the in the ... view the full minutes text for item 96.
Police Update for the Windsor Area
To receive an update from Thames Valley Police.
Emma Pendry from Thames Valley Police (TVP) provided members of the Forum with an update on the crime statistics for the Windsor area. The key points highlighted were:
Ø The volume of bike thefts in West Windsor remained the same. However Central Windsor had seen an 83% increase.
Ø There had been a 14% increase in dwelling burglaries in West Windsor with a 17% increase in Central Windsor
Ø Shed break ins and non-dwelling burglaries had seen a 47% increase in West Windsor and 57% increase in Central Windsor
Ø There had been a 41% of car thefts in Central Windsor with a 27% increase in West Windsor.
The Central Team had done a lot of analytical work on bike thefts and they had produced a problem profile. The point of the initiative was to prevent bike thefts and so posters had been displayed. People spent a lot of money on the purchase of their bikes but, they did not spend out on a decent lock. TVP were also working with the British Transport Police to hold bike marking events. Jeff Dicks from the Neighbourhood Watch Team said the posters would be in size A1 and would be displayed in high crime areas. He added there had been no dramatic change in dwelling burglaries in the last six months as the team were doing lots of work and were engaging with people that were released from prison to help prevent crime.
Emma Pendry explained TVP were offering a free home security surveys and advice on how to improve home security. Residents could also sign up to receive free Thames Valley Police updates and can follow TVP on Facebook and Twitter.
The police were running problem profiles to help tackle thefts from cars and the police were educating people on how to prevent car crime; one reason car crime happens is because people did not lock their cars so those people needed reminding. Jeff Dicks added residents should double check their door when locking a car using a key fob. The signal of the key fob could get intercepted so keyless car keys needed to be kept in a metal cage device to block the signal being cloned or scanned.
Emma Pendry informed the Forum that posters of known shoplifters were being displayed in high crime areas and the police had built good relationships with security and shop staff and wardens. All parties were now using the radio system in town to keep everyone informed and it was working well with some good results and some prolific shoplifters being arrested.
The week commencing 11 March 2019 was knife crime week with lots of different operations taking place. There would be a higher police presence in town and the problem solving team had been doing a lot of work around County Lines with a significant arrest being reported in the local paper. Emma Pendry added the police would be doing sweeps in local parks in Windsor and Datchet, including Dedworth following ... view the full minutes text for item 97.
Update on the progress of the two Windsor Neighbourhood Plans
To receive an update from the two Windsor Neighbourhood Plan Groups.
Sally Stevens informed Members that the Windsor Central Neighbourhood Plan had had a productive meeting with Jenifer Jackson, Head of Planning and Jenifer Jackson had offered two workshops on design guild and also to review retail policies. She thanked the Head of Planning for her help and told the Forum she would confirm the dates for the workshops. The Windsor Central Neighbourhood Plan Group were waiting on a formal response on the draft Neighbourhood Plan before submitting.
Claire Milne of the outer Windsor Neighbourhood Plan stated they were almost at the final draft stage. They had been through pre-submission and the consultation was almost completed including pre-submission comments. The final draft would be submitted by the end of April 2019 then the Borough would carry out a Regulation 15 Consultation.
Councillor Quick stated a huge amount of work had been done by volunteers and she thanked the volunteers for their hard work. Councillor S. Rayner added she attended one of the consultations and was very impressed and thanked all the volunteers.
Town Managers Update.
To receive the above update.
Paul Roach, Town Manager stated he wanted to note the work carried out by Community Wardens in helping rough sleepers, he had also been working with them and a lot of work had also been done working with vulnerable adults.
The events programme had been released and the first event was pancake day; over £900 was raised and split between three charities which included the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice and More Than a Shelter.
Negotiations had been ongoing with American High School Marching Bands and approval had been sought to host 16 high school bands on the grass moat of the Castle and 16 school choirs to sing at the Windsor Parish Church. The event was due to begin on 9 June 2019 and would run until the end of July 2019. The Town Manager was formalising dates for the bandstand programme of events.
Windsor would host two sculpture trails. The first was from World Welfare Horses Charity and would be 10 miniature horses and would be linked to the Windsor Horse Show. They would be installed in April until the end of July 2019. The second sculpture trails would consist of lions and would be installed by the Windsor Lions around October 2019. Both of the trails would end in an auction and the money would go to charity. The Windsor Lions Sculpture Trail would include up to 60 lions across the whole of the Borough and they were still looking for suitable locations and were happy to receive suggestions.
Shop vacancies were running at approximately 5% but three new shops had opened including Sea Salt and House of Hyde. The national vacancy rate was approximately 9.9%.
There had been an increase in footfall to December 2018, up by 0.6% on last year. Businesses were facing challenges due to online shopping and the Town had to make sure what it offered was attractive and so they were looking at a number of retail specific events. The Town Manager had been working with both shopping centres and were looking at dedicated events in the Town. He added the fruit and veg market would begin again at the end of March 2019 and there had been discussions with a potential tenant on taking over O’Driscolls Fish Mongers but, the talks were unsuccessful and it was decided that that potential tenant would instead hold a stall two days a month selling wild fish in Peascod Street.
The Chairman stated he attended the Tourism Development Forum on 11 March 2019 and a representative from the Royal Household attended and confirmed they had seen a surge in visitors at the Castle and were expecting more visitors when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved to Windsor.
Claire Milne asked if Windsor had considered a Christmas Craft Market in Windsor as a lot of other historic towns had them. the Town Manager said it had been discussed over many years and there was about to be a tender document being sent out. there had been ... view the full minutes text for item 99.