Agenda and minutes
Venue: Grey Room - York House
Contact: Wendy Binmore 01628 796251
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllr Bateson. Cllr Muir was attending as a substitute.
To receive any Declarations of Interest.
There were no declarations of interest.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on July 18th 2019 be approved, subject to the following amendments:
The minutes of the meeting held on March 12th 2019 should be amended to say “Susy Shearer said she echoed the comments of Helen Price relating to More Than A Shelter, who had been asked to provide accommodation for an additional two week period and funding had been agreed with RBWM”.
The thirteenth paragraph of the Update From Thames Valley Police item should be amended to say “The police were aware that for some car crime and burglaries, people did not always bother reporting them and very few people were reporting bike crime”.
Chairman's Welcome and Actions Arising from Previous Meeting
To receive the Chairman’s opening remarks and confirm the actions arising from the previous meeting, and to include:
· Update on Legal Action against Heathrow’s Third Runway
· Homelessness Task & Finish Group
· Update on King Edward VII Hospital plans.
Regarding the update on legal action against the proposed third runway at Heathrow, the Chairman stated that this was still subject to judicial review but was currently in abeyance due to the upcoming General Election.
Regarding the Homelessness Task and Finish Group, the Forum was informed that this was scheduled to take place the following week and would concentrate on rough sleepers and sharing examples of good practice with other local authorities. Chris Nash, Community Protection Principal, stated that a bid for funding had been made for additional cold weather provision, which would help to support the Council’s existing SWEP. The Forum was told that More Than A Shelter would be providing services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and would be implementing the same eight-week programme of support services from mid-January.
Regarding King Edward VII Hospital, the Chairman read a statement from the CCG website informing residents of the plans for redeveloping parts of the site for housing under the Borough Local Plan. The statement said that the CCG wanted to reassure residents that the King Edward VII and St Marks Hospitals would continue to supply services from their current locations and it was hoped that older buildings that were not suited to modern healthcare needs could be replaced with upgraded facilities; however funding had not been secured and no agreement had been made. The Forum was reminded that comments on the Borough Local Plan could be received up until December 15th. Cllr Knowles noted that the police site on Alma Road had been released from the list of potential sites suitable for development, suggesting that Thames Valley Police had a long-term use for it.
Thames Valley Police Update
To receive the above update from Thames Valley Police.
Louise Warbrick, Thames Valley Police, introduced the item and gave an overview of policing in Windsor. She gave an overview of recorded crime figures in the distinct Windsor West, Windsor East and Windsor Central policing areas from July 1st to November 1st, based on the priority detection areas.
Theft From Motor Vehicle
50 occurrences in Windsor West with 7 arrests; 57 in Windsor East with no arrests and no detections; and 52 in Windsor Central with 4 arrests.
Theft Of Motor Vehicle
9 occurrences in Windsor West with 1 arrest; 17 in Windsor East with 1 arrest and 1 detection; and 9 in Windsor Central with 6 arrests
Theft Of Pedal Cycle
10 occurrences in Windsor West with 1 arrest; 3 in Windsor East with no arrests; and 37 in Windsor Central with 3 arrests. The figure for Windsor Central could be higher as cycles were stolen from the railway stations, but this would be a matter for British Transport Police.
6 occurrences in Windsor West with no arrests; 10 in Windsor East with1 arrest and 1 detection; and 19 in Windsor Central with 6 arrests.
33 occurrences in Windsor West with 6 arrests; 39 in Windsor East with 4 pairs of arrests in one job and two other separate arrests; and 22 in Windsor Central with 3 arrests.
Between October 2018 and November 2019 there had been a total of 126 burglaries in Windsor West 126, 109 in Windsor East and 97 in Windsor Central. An offender from London had recently been charged in connection to burglaries in Windsor.
Cllr Shelim stated there had been an increase in cars being stolen from driveways after the keys were cloned. Louise Warbrick said advice had been issued on combatting this and there were simple ways to prevent it.
It was agreed that figures for serious crimes would be presented to a forthcoming meeting.
Louise Warbrick confirmed that there was a policing operation plan for New Year’s Eve in Windsor. Thames Valley Police were waiting to confirm the input from South Central Ambulance Service. There would be some input from specialist officers from the Council. Consideration was being given to implementing a one-way system to alleviate traffic congestion. It was confirmed that Atik would be open until 4am under a Temporary Event Notice; there had been no grounds under crime and disorder that the police could realistically object to. Louise Warbrick stated that Atik would be employing additional security. She said that staff at a number of venues in Windsor would be using body worn cameras to assist in crime prevention and detection. This system was already in place at Atik, and consideration was being given to including it as one of the venue’s licence conditions.
Residents attending the Forum raised a number of concerns regarding serious offences being committed in central Windsor, including drug taking, serious assaults, urinating in public and sexual assaults. Residents said offences were being committed on a regular ... view the full minutes text for item 114.
Update on the Windsor Neighbourhood Plans
To receive updates on the two Windsor Neighbourhood Plans; with a brief update on the progress on the Borough Local Plan.
Susy Shearer thanked Cllrs Price and Davey for their assistance in setting up four public meetings to provide information on the Borough Local Plan. She said these had been helpful and made residents feel represented.
Susy Shearer told the Forum that the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan was going to examination. It was unclear when the Examiner would respond with its findings, although it was likely there would be the possibility to make further changes.
Regarding feedback from a recent Windsor 2030 workshop, the Chairman read a statement from Paul Roach, Windsor Town Manager. Attendees had been asked to place coloured dots on a map to indicate places they liked and did not like, and areas they would like improved. Concerns were raised about the insufficient design of Windsor’s main shopping streets and the effect this had on visitor numbers. Visitors to the workshop also discussed uses for future infill sites and potential improvements to the riverside area.
The Forum was told that the programme of Christmas events had been posted out. Unfortunately it had not been possible to host the proposed Christmas market in Windsor. This was partly due to a preference to host it for six weeks, but some areas of the town could not be used due to existing commitments. Hosting a Christmas market in 2020 would be a priority for 2020. It was suggested that leaflets outlining the programme of Christmas events could be included in Around The Royal Borough, with separate leaflets going into the magazines to be distributed around Windsor and Maidenhead.
To discuss the potential for a quiet cycle route between Dedworth and Windsor Town.
Gordon Oliver, Principal Transport Planner, introduced the item and outlined the Cycling Action Plan that had been formally adopted in January 2019 after being developed through the Cycle Forum. This set out a clear vision for cycling and was supported by objectives, targets, actions and an annual monitoring programme. A list of high priority schemes had been identified valued at £5million. Road safety, permeability and cycling potential had all been taken into consideration when formulating these schemes. Cycle wayfinding was also a key priority.
The Principal Transport Planner told the Forum that there were 2,345 cyclists per day entering or leaving Windsor town centre. Windsor Bridge was by far the most popular access point, followed by Barry Avenue, although Victoria Street was considered to be underperforming given the number of residential properties that it served. It was noted that only 16 per cent of cyclists in Windsor were female, and a need to provide cycle parking at points where people arrive in the town centre and at transport interchanges had been identified.
The Principal Transport Planner stated that the main barrier to cycling between West Windsor and the town centre was Clarence Road roundabout. This junction had a poor cycle casualty record, but it was not considered feasible to provide a safe surface-level cycle route. In addition the subways were too narrow to convert to shared use and it was considered too expensive to widen them. When designing new cycle routes, the Principal Transport Planner said that use of traffic-free routes wherever possible was desirable, and that quiet roads would be used where this was not possible, or where segregation could not be implemented. Filtered permeability to give cyclists priority and using cycle symbols on the main carriageway across side turnings had been mooted. Individually branded routes to form a coherent network had been created, and it had been decided that it would assist cyclists if travel times were shown in minutes rather than distance in miles. The Forum was told that a route between Maidenhead and Windsor would be considered next.
Cllr Knowles suggested that in some locations, where appropriate, pavements could be taken out to make way for dedicated cycle lanes. He stated that this had been done successfully in Woolwich. However residents also raised concerns that in some locations cyclists were ignoring signs and using routes designed for pedestrians only. This was being tackled by the Council’s Community Wardens, who now had the power to issue fixed penalty notices to cyclists.
To receive an update on air pollution reduction methods employed in Windsor.
Chris Nash, Community Protection Principal, told the Forum that the figures collated by the Council relating to air pollution had been ratified by Defra. The principle source of air pollution in the Royal Borough came from car emissions, and factors such as congestion and overdevelopment work could exacerbate air pollution levels. Continuous real-time monitoring of nitrogen dioxide levels had taken place at the Clarence Road roundabout in Windsor, in addition to Frascati Way and Aldebury Road in Maidenhead; all three locations had given readings below the national objective of 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre of air. The Community Protection Principal stated that air quality levels in Windsor were improving and there had been a 20 per cent decrease in nitrogen dioxide levels, although there were no plans to scale back on the efforts in place to keep reducing, not the air quality management areas. Proposed traffic management schemes for major projects and, as previously mentioned, cycle schemes were considered important ways of continuing to alleviate air pollution.
Consideration would be given to the feasibility of ‘no idling’ signage toin the future as part of the Council’s continued plans to reduce air pollution. Idling was considered by residents present at the Forum to be a particular problem on Clewer Hill Road. However the Community Protection Principal said that any roll out of these proposals would depend on the feasibility testing as explained.
It was asked by residents at the Forum if consideration had been given to monitoring pollution levels outside schools. Feliciano Cirimele, Environmental Protection Officer, stated that this had been done two years previously and that higher concentrations of pollutants existed in localised areas along roads, with limited risk foreseen for schools. It was suggested by the Community Protection Principal that a review could be updated in the first instance to identify which schools, if any, were at increased risk than others (such of those within an Air Quality Management Area) and to see whether any monitoring may be necessary at these locations. It was noted by residents attending the Forum that Windsor Boys School was in an Air Quality Management Area and Windsor Girl’s School was between two.
The Environmental Protection Officer explained that whilst readings above the national objective of 40 micrograms had been recorded at three monitoring locations, none of these were directly adjoining residential properties. As there was some distance between the monitor and the nearest residential façade, the risk was reduced or mitigated. It was explained that these figures had been collected through the process of calculating the annual mean result and did not point to the 1 hour objective of 200 being exceeded. Even the results at the continuous real-time monitoring did not exceed the one-hour mean objective. The Environmental Protection Officer explained that action would need to be taken if the annual mean exceeded 60 micrograms (as an indicative value giving rise to suspicion of a site likely to risk breaching the 1 hour target) of nitrogen dioxide per ... view the full minutes text for item 117.
Windsor Parking Restriction
To discuss the arrangements for residential overnight parking.
Cllr Cannon introduced the item and stated that the various residents’ parking schemes in Windsor had been introduced on an ad hoc basis. Often this had simply moved problem parking from one road to another and had not solved the issue. Cllr Cannon stated that the schemes were under review in order to provide better mitigation for residents. He said there was the possibility that some schemes could be removed if they were no longer required or workable. There was no timescale for the review taking place, but Cllr Cannon said he hoped to receive the relevant data, and with it the proposals to take forward, within the next few weeks.
Cllr Cannon stated that enforcement of parking on yellow lines had been intermittent, but staffing levels had been increased by 25 per cent to improve enforcement. Rural areas and identified hotspots would be targeted initially. Cllr Cannon said that the ‘report it’ function on the RBWM website allowed residents to report problem areas for parking, such as persistent parking on yellow lines or abuse of resident-only scheme areas. The Forum was told that all yellow lines and resident-only schemes had to be authorised by the Council, even those that were resident managed. Members were reminded that parking offences committed outside of those areas – for example, parking across a private driveway – was a police matter. Cllr Cannon said concerns could also be reported to a resident’s ward member.
It was noted that the feedback regarding the installation of the ANPR system at the Victoria Street car park had been positive, and it had helped to decrease antisocial behaviour.
Potential Future Agenda Items
For suggestions of items that may be added to the agenda for future meetings, to include an item on Windsor’s Youth Services Update.
Cllr Knowles said he would like to receive updates from the Town Centre Manager regarding ongoing plans, although it would not be necessary for this to be done every meeting.
Susy Shearer asked if there was any truth to the rumour that the tourist information point at Central station was being closed. The Vice Chairman said there were no plans to close it, although its opening hours may be reviewed. On the subject of speculation within the town centre, the Chairman said that empty shop units were not the responsibility of the Council and it was down to individual landlords to fill them. It was noted that the branch of William Hill had recently closed, and that it would be necessary for a change of use to be submitted if applicable.
Regarding a question about cycle storage, the Forum was reminded that the centre of Windsor was a Conservation Area so ‘safe storage’ devices may be met with some opposition. The Principal Transport Planner added that it was not possible to install two-tier storage racks at either of the railway stations due to the Conservation Area.
Regarding a question about the future of Combermere Barracks, the Vice Chairman stated that the Council had not been informed of any proposals. Cllr Knowles said the MOD had recently announced its disposal plan up to 2030, and Windsor was not mentioned. The Vice Chairman suggested that the Council’s work with the armed forces could be included on a future agenda item and suggested a presentation from Vanessa Faulkner, who had done a lot of work on the Armed Forces Covenant.