Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online access
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APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Bowden. Councillor Sharpe was substituting. Also apologies for absence were received from Paul Roach, Windsor Town Manager and Catherine Griffiths, TVP.
To declare any Declarations of Interest.
No declarations of Interest were received.
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: that the minutes of the last meeting be approved as a true and accurate record.
Councillor Tisi asked for an accurate update on Alexander Gardens as there was lots of different conflicting information being heard. Councillor Rayner commented that there were no plans to build on Alexander Gardens.
Ed Wilson, resident, asked about an update on the poor conditions of cemeteries and war memorials in Windsor and adding this to the work programme. Councillor Rayner commented that the Tivoli contract was going to be discussed at Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel so conditions of cemeteries could be covered in that discussion and residents could inform Councillor Rayner and Andrew Scott so that these could be cleared up.
The Actions from the previous meeting were completed as followed:
· Exploring resident season ticket – in progress
· Written response to Mr John Webb circulated to Forum Members – clerk
· Review bins for recyclable and non-recyclable waste – ongoing project
· Alexander Gardens information on website
· Remembrance Events – British Legion poppy appeal and all events to be addressed by Town Manager at appropriate time
· Mr John Webb asked about e-petitions being highlighted in the Forum – Monitoring Officer’s email read out
Thames Valley Police Update
To receive the above item.
Jeff Pick updated the Forum in the absence of Catherine Griffiths. Jeff Pick discussed the statistics that had been sent to the Forum prior to the meeting. Some of the items covered include:
· 12 volunteers were being trained for the clear car campaign. They would be taking shed alarms with them for vans.
· If any IT Security help was required, Jeff Pick knew an IT Guru who was volunteering to help people. Jeff Pick could be contacted.
· A new burglary campaign was beginning on 21 July 2021.
· Three community speed watches had been completed in Ascot, Cookham and Wraysbury. Forum Members could email Jeff Pick if they wanted a road or area added to the list.
· Home security surveys had resumed.
Councillor Knowles found the information interesting. Councillor Knowles was concerned that 22 bikes had been stolen and this number was still high. This figure did not include bikes stolen from sheds. Thames Valley Police was working closing to attend all cycling events. Councillor Knowles commented that it would be good to have a press article around the awareness on online web fraud. Jeff Pick commented that a campaign was currently running.
Councillor Price commented that there were no stats for crime against persons, sex offenders. Jeff Pick offered to have these prepared and sent to Councillor Price.
ACTION: Add Crime stats to web
Councillor Price suggested having scams featured in libraries to bring to the attention of residents, but Jeff Pick commented that there were too many and so many new scams.
Councillor Tisi asked where car keys should be kept in the house and Jeff Pick suggested that they should be at least 30 feet away.
Councillor Tisi asked about dispersal orders that were being used for the town centre. Could these be used elsewhere? Jeff Pick commented that roads and areas that were already covered and others could be added. Councillor Cannon commented that the dispersal orders were only on Sundays at present but these could be expanded if needed.
Councillor Cannon asked if there had been any advertising or publicising of the spark water event. Jeff Pick was not sure, but it was starting on the 21st and was being organised by the Chief Inspector Bins and Sargent Collings. David Scott added that he had received a letter from the Deputy Commander asking for ward members to be briefed so that would be done. There was going to be some advance warning because of the specific hot spots that have been targeted. Councillor Cannon also asked about Speed Watch which he had an interest in. This had been subject of some discussion at the Maidenhead Town Forum but was a borough wide initiative. Councillor Cannon asked where the volunteers were from because there had been a lack of activity of Speed Watch in his ward. Jeff Pick commented that the volunteers would go anywhere. These were carried out in Councillor Cannons ward, but they were probably not publicised well. All Speed Watch’s done were reported ... view the full minutes text for item 210.
Town Manager Update
To receive the above report.
The screen was shared with Paul Roach’s update.
ACTION: To include with minutes
Councillor Knowles commented that there was talk at the moment about quite an unexpected retail bounce which had occurred across the UK, which was as a result of people just being happy to go out and carry out the physical act of shopping. Councillor Knowles was wondering if the Hart and Garter Hotel, which was a substantial site
in the middle of Windsor and their current plans for the rest of the year. Were there plans beyond that because it seemed to be existing in a bit of a vacuum at the moment
for such a large property. Councillor Rayner commented that the Council knew that this was owned by the crown estate and they were obviously in the process of trying to market as soon as possible. It was a very impressive building and was a very important building to Windsor.
Councillor Hilton commented that visiting Windsor was a great idea and there was nothing better than actually marketing the area and telling the world exactly what there was on offer. Councillor Hilton had noticed that the parking in the car park was lagging with very few coaches and that the organised coach trips to Windsor had still not started.
Councillor Tisi commented that she had noticed that Windsor Yards had reduced their parking to try and entice people back and wondered whether the council needed to think
about reintroducing some sort of discount or something to encourage people to come back and maybe reduce the parking slightly. The other point that Councillor Tisi raised was the platinum jubilee and the plans for that and asking people if they needed any support. Councillor Tisi wondered if one of the things that could happen was that some of the rules and the red tape around organising street parties could be relaxed a little to help people to organise those kinds of parties particularly if we were still thinking about social distancing and being apart.
The Chairman suggested anyone wanting information on street parties to contact Paul Roach as he had the documentation of how it could work.
Councillor Price commented that since the Panel had last met, Windsor had celebrated the Queen's birthday and Windsor had got really snarled up where people were stuck in traffic jams for hours on end which had affected people widely and they couldn't get from Windsor to Old Windsor, they couldn't get to hospital appointments, shop appointments and businesses suffered. Councillor Price wanted to ensure that there
were lessons learned from what happened on that occasion so that it wouldn’t happen
again and that the same mistakes were not made again.
The Chairman commented that all these points were being looked into.
Councillor Carol Da Costa raised a point about all the exciting events that were likely to happen in the coming year such as the platinum jubilee and the world cup and asked if it would be possible to have ... view the full minutes text for item 211.
To receive a presentation and update on the latest COVID-19 data and related activity.
The Chairman explained that this would be in two parts, a general covid update from David Scott and a covid memorial update from Councillors Stimson and Taylor.
David Scott covered the covid update in three sections, first a little bit around the current rates and cases, second area would be a little bit of an update on where we were with vaccinations and then finally just picking up on the implications for the borough as we move towards the government's roadmap step four. David Scott made use of the Berkshire Public Health website. The graph showed the rates over the last four months and you showed that since early June, there had been a steady increase in the rates and this had been widely discussed and was not unique to us. The position now was that actually the wider southeast picture was overtaken and if the England figure was added, then it was even higher. The current rate was196 for the overall population per hundred thousand in terms of the seven-day picture so case rates were increasing and people needed to be aware of that. David Scott showed the Forum in table form of how the borough compared with its neighbouring boroughs. David Scott then referred to the vaccinations and the borough was sitting at 80 percent which was towards the top end of the range in the county. It was really important to continue to push the vaccination rates David Scott then referred to the heat maps and age ranges. The Forum were asked to consider the three age brackets, the 15 to 19, the 20 to 24 and the 25 to 25 and note there was a deepening of the dark colour which demonstrated the intensity of infection rates. David Scott was pleased to report that although there had been the rise, predominantly the result of the delta variant which was now the dominant variant in the community and it was much more transmissible and therefore it was important that we continued to be covid safe to try and restrict the community transmission. The team were working really hard to get the message to young adults and promote the vaccinations. There was now good evidence that supported the fact that the vaccination was certainly reducing the seriousness with which people suffered from a covid infection and also reduced the number of hospitalizations and the time people were needing to spend in hospital.
The Chairman gave a big shoutout to all the volunteers that were helping out at the vaccination centers, moving from the racecourse now to lakeland and other venues.
Councillor Davey asked if a thousand, under 25’s got covid, how many of them would end up in hospital? David Scott commented that there was no conversation rate but the borough had had two hospitalizations in the last week and the rates of hospital admission were much lower but these were expected to rise because of the increase in infection transmission rates. David Scott commented that ... view the full minutes text for item 212.
Cycling Action Group (CAG) Tranche Funding
To receive and update on the above item.
Chris Joyce informed the Forum that council had already adopted the cycling action plan and that the team were now undertaking a process to convert that into the department for transports in terms of infrastructure plans for cycling and walking which was a local cycling and walking infrastructure plan. The borough were planning, as part of that process, a big conversation and engagement, to get everyone's input into how we developed the cycling action plan into a more detailed infrastructure plan for walking and cycling. The first phase of that had been meeting and offering meetings to all ward councillors to take their views and get an understanding of the issues in their areas and proposals that they had as well as parish councils. The second phase of that would be a public consultation that was due to take place over the summer so August and September and as part of that consultation, everyone would have the opportunity to comment on the ideas that had been put forward so far in the process and have an opportunity to give their views on different forms of improvements that may help people to walk and cycle more and be able to put forward their own proposals in terms of ideas for improving walking and cycling across the borough. Following the consultation, all the feedback would be reviewed and later in the autumn, a local cycling and walking infrastructure plan would be produced. This would then need to be approved by Cabinet.
Councillor Tisi asked if the consultation was related to the options that were presented about low traffic neighbourhoods and safer streets for those people rather for just car drivers. Chris Joyce commented that they would be presenting the concepts again in the consultation to help explain them to residents and to ask them if they thought those measures were good ideas and where they might work in the borough. There would be other ideas coming forward so we would be effectively presenting all the different types of options and things bought forward to help improve walking and cycling and give people the opportunity to give their views generically on those ideas but also specifically in terms of putting forward where they thought they might work in the borough. Specific proposals that had come out from the first phase of the engagement would also be included, where ward councillors and others had put forward ideas to seek residents views and community views on whether they thought those proposals were worth developing further and taking forward.
Councillor Cannon asked about one of the big disincentives to cycling in the borough which was the safety issue of the bikes, was any schemes being considered to provide some sort of cycle storage in the towns which would allow people to bring their bikes in and leave them secure or safe? Chris Joyce responded that cycle parking would be one of the measures that would be consulting on as part of that consultation. People would have ... view the full minutes text for item 213.
To consider the Forum’s work programme.
Ed Wilson commented that he had requested in the past that the Forum discusses houses with multiple occupation or HMO’s within and he noted that the recently approved Housing Strategy didn't actually mention HMO’s anywhere.
Ed Wilson also wanted Cedar House added to the work programme and a discussion on how that was progressing to house homeless people in Windsor suggested combining these items and having a Housing Overview.
ACTION: Invite Tracey Hendren to Forum
Susy Shearer wanted to check that under the Windsor Consultations item, that was listed for the next meeting, the cycling and walking consultation would be included. The Chairman commented that it would be mentioned but not discussed.
ACTION: To include the Cycling and Walking Consultation in the Windsor Consultations Item
Councillor Knowles suggested an item on the Armed Forces day 2022 in November as the plan would be mature by that point and to make people aware.
ACTION: To add for November meeting
The Clerk advised the Forum that two consultations had been highlighted which were the Windsor Town Centre active travel measures consultation and the day opportunities consultation. Another consultation that had been highlighted was that the civil aviation had an ongoing consultation on night flight proposals, so if people were interested and wanted to participate, they should visit the Civil Aviation website and submit their comments there.
The Clerk suggested contacting her in the first instance if there were any other consultations that members wanted highlighted. The Clerk also suggested that it would be better to provide a link to the borough's consultations and therefore members could go in there and look at all consultations including Windsor consultations.
Councillor Tisi expanded on what the day opportunities consultation was about, which was about day centres and activities and events for people with learning difficulties, people living with dementia and so on. Councillor Tisi also commented that she thought the active travel measures consultation was an old one.
ACTION: David Cook to look into this and respond to Councillor Tisi
Jeff Pick suggested adding the consultations link in the email that he sent out so that more residents responded to the consultations.
ACTION: Send link to Jeff Pick before every Windsor Town Forum
Councillor Price commented that the overall link was a good idea.
Councillor Davey suggested tidying up the work programme as there were many items on there that had not yet been scheduled and others had been dealt with.
ACTION: Clerk to work with Chairman to schedule items to meetings for next meeting
DATES FOR FUTURE MEETINGS
All future meetings to be held on the following dates (at 6.15pm):
· 13 July 2021
· 2 September 2021
· 16 November 2021
· 13 January 2022
· 8 March 2022
· 17 May 2022