Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Wendy Binmore  01628 796251

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Items
No. Item

83.

Appointment of Chairman

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Councillor John Bowden be appointed as Chairman for the meeting.

84.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Alexander and Rankin.

85.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any Declarations of Interest.

Minutes:

None.

86.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2018 be approved subject to the following amendment:

 

Claire Milne, a local resident and Co-Chair of the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan (WNP) resident led plan, stated ‘…a consultation referendum on the Regulation 14 Consultation had taken place at the end of 2016 which had thrown up some issues…’

 

87.

Actions Arising from Previous Minutes and Chairman's Update

To receive an update on the actions raised at the previous meeting; and also to include an update from the Chairman on the following:

 

Ø  Measures to prevent Traveller encampments.

Ø  Car Parking Machine Replacements – River Street and Victoria Street Car Parks

Ø  Windsor Riverside Update

Ø  Update on the Borough Local Plan.

Ø  Windsor Link Railway

Ø  Information regarding the Aviation Forum.

 

Minutes:

Measures to prevent Travellers Encampments

 

David Scott, Head of CEP (the Head of CEP), stated Members of Cabinet had considered and confirmed a number of sites which would be protected in a phased way. The Borough had experienced a higher number of traveller encampments in 2018 but, they were still at lower levels than many other local authorities (LAs); however, he was still committed and determined to prevent illegal encampments.

 

Work had started at the Whiteleys site with another site at Dedworth Manor due to begin works. The sites will be hardened to prevent encampments. The Head of CEP explained the borough had looked at a range of options to reduce risks and local residents were being consulted with directly on local proposals. The works were being programmed and would be rolled out by the end of the financial year 2018. A bid had been submitted for funds for the financial year 2019 and if that bid was approved, further sites and works would be identified. He added the current works being carried out would be continued between now and March 2019 with a possible continued programme into the next year before the next traveller season began.

 

Councillor Da Costa asked what measures had been considered and what legal measures were considered. He asked if the Borough could talk to residents and as what measures they would prefer to see at Dedworth Manor. The Head of CEP responded that the Borough had looked at injunctions and it was unlikely that a judge would grant an injunction and a judge was likely to ask what hardened measures had been implemented before issuing an injunction. He added that due to the lower levels of encampments experienced in the Borough, it was unlikely the borough would be able to secure a pre-emptive injunction. The Borough would talk to residents in Dedworth Manor and would also consult on the range of possible measures.

 

Councillor Da Costa stated in 2018, £80k had been made available for the measures. He asked how much the Head of CEP was proposing to spend in 2019. The Head of CEP replied the team was seeking another £80k but he did not know if it would cover all the Borough’s sites that had been identified. The first site that had works carried out had cost less than originally estimated as materials from other sites were re-used so all costs will be  based on a site by site basis.

 

Helen Price asked if a permanent site for travellers had been identified in the borough. The Head of CEP stated the Council was in the process of looking at the needs of the travellers and discussions were taking place as part of our Planning processes and that the way forward would be revealed in time. Councillor Bowden stated there were clean-up costs, requests for travellers to move on and hardening measures that had to be implemented. The budget needed to be there. Helen Price asked when a decision would be made regarding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.

88.

Update from Thames Valley Police

To receive an update from Thames Valley Police.

Minutes:

Louise Warbrick, Thames Valley Police (TVP), provided the Forum with an update on events in Windsor. She stated she had received a question regarding burglaries in Windsor and proceeded to provide Members with the figures obtained relating to that.

 

Ø  Burglaries – dwellings – between April to October 2018 across RBWM saw a decrease of 4.8%

Ø  Burglaries – dwellings specifically in Windsor – between November 2017 and November 2018 were as follows:

o   Windsor Central – 32 (decrease of 32%)

o   Windsor East – decreased by 20%

o   Windsor West – decrease of 5%

Ø  TVP had begun a burglary campaign from 1 December 2018.

Ø  The campaign around exploitation of vulnerable adults, children and safeguarding had ended.

Ø  Theft from motor vehicles – up to 31 October 2018 – 502 which was a 5.9% increase across the Borough.

Ø  Increase in theft of keyless cars and high value cars saw an increase from 69 to 136 which was a 97.1% across the Borough.

Ø  Bike thefts – 30.2% increase across the Borough.

 

Susy Shearer, a local resident, asked if there was a pattern to the bike thefts. Louise Warbrick stated TVP had key locations such as Windsor Leisure Centre and the train stations. Bike thefts were also common in Eton. Louise Warbrick confirmed Gordon Oliver the Principal Transport Officer regularly invited representatives from TVP to attend the Cycle Forum, she added she was happy to exchange information with David Scott, Head of Communities Enforcement and Partnerships. TVP also worked with the British Transport Police and encouraged residents and cyclists to register their bikes with Bike Register. The Police were looking at additional funding to introduce that scheme to policing.

 

Helen Price stated there was a lot of drug paraphernalia such as needles at Vansittart Park. Louise Warbrick responded the Police would like to link with the Council to provide information on those areas. It would be Street Cleaning services that would send the information over to TVP. The Police carried out regular sweeps with Community Wardens and that did regularly reduce harm in public areas.

 

David Scott, Head of Communities Enforcement and Partnerships, stated he was not aware of drug paraphernalia in parks but, he was happy to take that away and see if there were any incidents recorded. The Council’s contractors recorded incidents when they clear up so could bring that information to the next Forum meeting.

 

v  Action – The Head of Communities Enforcement and Partnerships would ask colleagues who manage the parks to bring information on incidents of drug paraphernalia being found in parks in Windsor back to the next meeting of the Windsor Town Forum.

 

Councillor Da Costa stated there was evidence of drug use in Sutherland Grange. Helen Price asked if resident concerns raised at the unofficial meeting of Windsor Residents that took place on 29 October 2018 had been passed on to the relevant officers or departments. Councillor Bowden said comments from residents had been noted and passed to the relevant teams.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.

89.

Homelessness Strategy and Support Before Enforcement

To receive the above update.

Minutes:

David Scott, Head of CEP, stated there were two reports considered by Cabinet in November 2018. One was seeking approval for the updated Homelessness Strategy for the next five years and also an update on the Council’s housing allocations policy where the report was approved in October 2018.

 

In September 2018, Cabinet considered a report on Support Before Enforcement which meant the Council would adopt a support before enforcement stance, which would see positive outcomes for individuals and mechanisms on how the Council resolved problems. The recommendations were around the principal of support first and use enforcement as a last resort. Cabinet approved the proposals. The Council adopted the MEAM initiative and hired a MEAM Coordinator to provide intensive wraparound care. The Council received support from the national MEAM Scheme. A lot of work was done when working with individuals that were rough sleeping.

 

SWEP Protocol was approved at 22 November 2018 Cabinet which would provide additional support and offered emergency housing. There had been successes where individuals took up offers of accommodation.

 

A number of individuals that presented to the Council as homeless were not always homeless and so thorough checks on individuals were completed in line with our statutory duties,  to assess how the Council targeted vulnerable people whose circumstances varied.

 

Councillor Da Costa asked if the Council had assessed how much funding was required to provide care and facilities and what was being put aside. The Acting Managing Director confirmed the Council assess what it needed to implement the strategy for homelessness which was included in the housing budget. A report was taken to Cabinet in March 2018 to increase the budget in order to pay for the MEAM Coordinator.

 

Sally Wright of the Windsor Homeless Project (WHP) stated they were not told when SWEP was being implement. She asked if the Council had taken into consideration why their guests did not take up SWEP. Sally Wright stated it was because the accommodation was outside the area. The MEAM Coordinator was making a huge difference so she congratulated the Council for providing that service as it was money well spent.

 

The Acting Managing Director stated he understood that SWEP was communicated widely and if it was not, he apologised. He had had numerous discussions with WHP and other organisations regarding SWEP. With regards to the temporary emergency accommodation, the Council had reviewed its housing services and the approach taken by housing services to temporary and emergency accommodation. It had been decided to try not to place individuals outside of the Borough where possible, but it was not always possible to find spaces inside of the Borough. The Acting Managing Director added it was a much better approach and the Council were housing many more people inside the Borough in either emergency or temporary accommodation.

 

The Head of CEP stated the Support before Enforcement approach was approved by Cabinet to develop a strategy and then consult on it. The Cabinet report was not the implementation of the policy,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

Hostile Vehicle Measures Update

To receive the above update.

Minutes:

The Head of CEP explained to Members that a report went to Cabinet in September 2018 which was linked with a phased approach moving from temporary Hostile Vehicle Measures (HVM) to permanent designs. Cabinet gave authorisation to proceed with the work to develop the designs. The first phase was to implement more temporary barriers in locations linked with ceremonial events. The Head of CEP explained the |Borough and its partners were revisiting the solution at St Albans Street and Castle Hill. Due to costs and underground conditions, the Council was looking to see if the designs could be remodelled and linked where necessary with other schemes such as with work being done by the Royal Collection. He added they were looking to get the balance right and provide extended periods of protection during busier times in key locations.

 

More detailed surveys had been carried out and options work was being completed. Proposals were being drawn up and then a consultation would take place. Extensive surveys had been undertaken and there was a balance between using gates and rising bollards. Rising bollards were susceptible to failure but gates were becoming a more effective and reliable option.

 

Local meetings would be arranged in order to obtain feedback and the Borough had continued to seek external funding. Funding had been secured from TVP and the Royal Collection Trust. One challenge was the significant queues to the Castle before the Castle opened and how the Council dealt with group entries to the Castle. The number of vehicle movements in and out of the Castle were significant and the Head of CEP explained that this was a sub-project in its own right and the project group was looking at the impact on Highways which all needed to be considered.

 

The Head of CEP stated he was confident a more shared space approach could be found. The Council expected a degree of challenge and the scheme was nearly at the final draft stage. The permanent measures would look much better.

 

Local residents asked when they would be able to see the final designs. The Head of CEP said he was hoping they would be ready by January 2019. The Council would also look to provide costs. Installation and maintenance costs would be different between rising bollards and fixed gates.

 

91.

Ongoing Consultations in Windsor

To receive an update on the Polling Station Consultation.

Minutes:

The Head of Communities Enforcement and Partnerships explained to Members that a report went to Cabinet in September 2018 which was linked with a phased approach moving from temporary Hostile Vehicle Measures (HVM) to permanent designs. Cabinet gave authorisation to proceed with the work to develop the designs. The first phase was to implement more temporary barriers in locations linked with ceremonial events. The Head of Communities Enforcement and Partnerships explained the |Borough and its partners were revisiting the solution at St Albans Street and Castle Hill. Due to costs and underground conditions, the Council was looking to see if the designs could be remodelled and linked where necessary with other schemes such as with work being done by the Royal Collection. He added they were looking to get the balance right and provide extended periods of protection during busier times in key locations.

 

More detailed surveys had been carried out and options work was being completed. Proposals were being drawn up and then a consultation would take place. Extensive surveys had been undertaken and there was a balance between using gates and rising bollards. Rising bollards were susceptible to failure but gates were becoming a more effective and reliable option.

 

Local meetings would be arranged in order to obtain feedback and the Borough had continued to seek external funding. Funding had been secured from TVP and the Royal Collection Trust. One challenge was the significant queues to the Castle before the Castle opened and how the Council dealt with group entries to the Castle. The number of vehicle movements in and out of the Castle were significant and the Head of Communities Enforcement and Partnerships explained that this was a sub-project in its own right and the project group was looking at the impact on Highways which all needed to be considered.

 

The Head of Communities Enforcement and Partnerships stated he was confident a more shared space approach could be found. The Council expected a degree of challenge and the scheme was nearly at the final draft stage. The permanent measures would look much better.

 

Local residents asked when they would be able to see the final designs. The Head of Communities Enforcement and Partnerships said he was hoping they would be ready by January 2019. The Council would also look to provide costs. Installation and maintenance costs would be different between rising bollards and fixed gates.

 

92.

Town Manager Update

To receive an update to include:

 

Ø  An update on vacant shops and anticipated closures

Ø  Footfall in the Town Centre – have visitor numbers increased since the Royal Wedding.

Minutes:

Councillor Bowden stated he attended the Windsor, Ascot and Eton Town Partnership Board meeting and would update the Forum on all the figures presented at that meeting as the Town Manager was unable to attend the Windsor Town Forum himself.

 

Vacant Shops

 

Next had closed following a break in their lease; it appeared they were a victim of the Click and Collect retail trend where they were receiving more returns than making sales.

 

The former Fenwicks unit was still under talks and there was not a key anchor tenant for the site as yet. The remodelling of the sightline in that corner of Windsor Yards had been completed above Vision Express and Timberland but, there was no tenant coming forward at the present time. The shopping centre was working as hard as it could to attract new tenants.

 

There was no movement on the former Morrisons site in Peascod Street and there were four empty units at Windsor Royal Station. The vacancies were not only due to business rates, but due to the economy. Marks and Spencer had confirmed they were not closing. The Town was doing its best.

 

Footfall Figures

 

The footfall figures were extremely good at Windsor Royal and Peascod Street areas. They were good up to the first Royal Wedding in May 2018, they plateaued in the summer but they were dropping, even during the run up to the second Royal Wedding in October 2018. He added the Borough knew coaches arrived with tourists, they went and looked round the Castle, but they did not stay.

 

Events in Windsor

 

The Windsor Horse Show was due to take place in May 2019, and the organisers would continue to run Windsor Wednesday where people with Advantage Cards could gain entry for free on a first come, first served basis.

 

The Council had been approached by a US marching band that have expressed a wish to perform in Windsor, possibly at the Bandstand but, nothing had been confirmed yet.

 

The Council had not been informed of any State Visits taking place in 2019.

 

Buckingham Palace started its renovations soon, therefore HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip were to be at their Windsor Residence more. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were due to move into Frogmore Cottage.

 

The Castle Visitor Centre was undergoing renovations and they would continue until 2020.

 

The Household Cavalry were leaving Windsor in 2019 and only the horse training section would remain. The regiment are planning to exercise their right to be able to march through the town to celebrate their long history associated with the town and before the incoming Welsh Guards arrived.

 

Helen Price stated she had concerns regarding what was happening in Windsor. There was no strategy to keep Windsor vibrant while other high streets seem to be doing something. There was no advertising of the Living Advent Calendar. Councillor Bowden said he did not think Windsor was sinking. Commercial companies owned the units and they did not get a return, they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.