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 Winchester‘s future is about encouraging companies to invest, to create jobs and to foster innovation and skills. Invest in Winchester: it’s 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roger Huxstep & Linda Gemmell.