District Councillor’s March 2013 report

Dear Ward Electorate,

Budget. As we write we are preparing for the full Council meeting to set the budget for
2013/14. You will know from previous articles that Winchester City Council (WCC) is again holding out for a 0% rise in Council Tax even though it has committed to keeping
all of its services and in addition budgeted for economic growth. It is no mean feat to have achieved this for yet another year, as year-on-year costs go up and the Council has little
scope for increasing its income except by taxation. This has been achieved by joint working with other Councils such as Test Valley for IT and East Hants for Waste Collection,
a constant monitoring of costs and a willingness to listen to suggestions for savings.

Local Plan. On 12th February WCC was formally notified by the Planning Inspectorate that its Local Plan Part 1 was ‘sound’. The plan allows for 12,500 homes to be built in the district up to 2031. With allocations made for Barton Farm, North Whiteley and West of Waterlooville totalling 10,500, it leaves 2,000 dwellings to be built over the next 18 years. The detailed work which has already started on Local Plan Part 2, will go towards identifying suitable sites. WCC is the first district council in the country to have its plan approved following the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It means that WCC is no longer vulnerable to development applications that would have been determined solely by the new framework.

Business in Winchester.
The District of Winchester is bucking the trend with regard to economic growth, recognised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer when Rob Humby the Portfolio Holder for Economic
Development and local Curdridge Councillor visited Number 11 and obtained a short video introduction to a business conference held at Intech on the 14th of February. In his
message Mr Osborne said “Congratulations to Winchester City” 


Council on organising today’s conference for local businesses. The Council understands that   Winchesters future is about encouraging companies to invest, to create jobs and to foster innovation and skills. Invest in Winchester: it’a great place to do business and it’s a great place for the future.

Please visit Winchester City Website for a full report and see the video.

The Micro-Business Development Grant Scheme is a one-off payment to help support and develop your business. It may be paid as one instalment via a direct bank payment (BACS). The grant can be applied for at any time during the financial year and can be for a maximum of £1,000.

Who can apply

Applicants must be operating a micro-business (1 to 9 employees), be based in the Winchester City Council District and show evidence of need of grant funding.

What do you need to submit?

You will need to complete an application form and say why the grant is needed. You must also submit a business plan including past accounts for the last three years (or however long you have been trading) and projected accounts for the next 3 years.

What can the grant be spent on?
The application form should clearly state what the grant will be spent on, and why it is needed. This should be on items required to allow your business to develop. For example:

  • purchases of IT equipment
  • website design
  • employment or recruitment advice
  • recruitment costs
  • training and/or professional development
  • help with relocation costs to expand the business
  • anything else which is essential for developing your micro business

An application can include costs of VAT which you have to pay but are unable to recover through normal VAT reclaiming procedures.

What to do next?

Go to the WCC website and download the application form and see the criteria your business needs to meet to qualify for a grant. Business development and growth is a WCC
priority and there’s lots of help out there if you need it.

Finally Hedges, Pavements and Potholes. Yet another plea for householders – if you have a hedge bordering a pavement or road at the edge of your property then you are responsible for maintaining the pavement or road side of that hedge and with spring on its way those hedges are galloping away so please tidy up. At the PACT meeting complaints were made to the police about the parking of cars on the pavements. This is an offence when the vehicle causes an obstruction on the thoroughfare – if you can’t get your pushchair by – complain to the police on 101. With the winter freeze-thaw-freeze cycle, potholes are again becoming a nuisance. Report them wherever you see them on the Pothole Buster line 0845 603 5633.

And finally, finally there are 2 really useful apps for the Council. One is “My Council” and the other is “Winchester Council” reporting problems such as potholes, fly-tipping, abandoned vehicles etc. The first will report to the relevant Council wherever you are and obviously the latter is specific for our district.

If anyone wishes to engage us on any of the above or on any matter they believe the district council can help with, please do write or contact us:

Roger Huxstep is on 01329 833884
or e-mail: rhuxstep@winchester.gov.uk.

Linda Gemmell is on 01489 895023 and
lgemmell@winchester.gov.uk or, attend the next surgery on 25th March
at 6.30 pm in the hour before the Parish Council meeting in the Pavilion.

Roger Huxstep & Linda Gemmell.

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One Response to District Councillor’s March 2013 report

  1. Peter Watson says:

    On the subject of Pavements my wife sent an email to both councillors with sadly to date no response. She was addressing the following aspect:-

    A few short months ago there was an article in the same magazine advising local people NOT to park on the road, but upon the pavement as with the number of narrow streets in our area, emergency services sometimes find it difficult/impossible to attend an address.

    It is a shame that you have not considered this point, and addressed it at the same time, instead of telling people it is an offense to obstruct the pavement and to call 101 if you can’t get a pushchair through.

    I live in Beaucroft Road and if there are 2 large cars, i.e. a van and/or a 4 wheel drive, parked opposite each other, than the pavement may well be obstructed further than a pushchair, but surely there needs to be enough room for emergency vehicles.

    I have also seen times when events have been at the village hall or the local school and the B2177 have cars parked either side. Even on this larger road, it closes to 1 lane of traffic and larger vehicles cannot pass easily.

    I am astonished that you are promoting the use of police resources in this manner when there are other issues of greater concern.

    I would greatly appreciate your feedback on this matter, and would love to see greater community awareness of all of these issues.

    Yes, we do need to keep pavements clear for the public to use, but surely the matter of emergency vehicle access has to take precedence.

    Is it not an offence to block a road or Highway?
    Common sense needs to prevail, but emergency services are surely more important to all?

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