TO:  ALL WHITCHURCH TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS

 

 

FROM: Tony Corbin – Town Project Officer HCC (for and on behalf of WTA/TAPG)

 

1st September 2005

 

PROJECT REPORT

 

Dear Councillors,

 

With the break in Council Meetings over the summer months, you will see there are a number of changes and considerable progress to report on a number of the projects. I would particularly like to draw your attention to the following items:

 

  1. Town Centre Revitalisation Project – there is potentially encouraging news on the funding front with both HCC (County Towns Initiative) and B&DBC (Pride of Place Partnership Initiative - POPPi) indicating that they may provide support. We have the Healthcheck process to thank for this in terms of the community evidence obtained which has helped to put Whitchurch to the fore. You will see from the report that Carole Fry from B&DBC (POPPi) is scheduled to present to WTC DC on 12th September and will be looking for ‘support in principal’ for Whitchurch to be recommended as the POPPI ‘Major Project’ town. Guidelines on the POPPI project indicate the types of initiatives the scheme may support have been forwarded to Cathy Burt for distribution to members in advance of the DC meeting. The report meantime outlines the steps and likely timeframes involved.
  2. Town Action Plan Report – many members will recall that my predecessor drafted this document last year. After WTC input, it went to B&DBC for comment/review/approval eventually being endorsed by the Economic Overview Committee in March. Over the last couple of months, essential updates (related to the Action Plan projects) have been added, the BDBC media department has been busy typesetting the document and WTA (TAPG) members have reviewed, proof read and indeed restyled the document away from it’s initial BDBC livery (look and feel). The document should be completed within the next couple of weeks and with luck, should be available in time for the WTA drop in and launch events.
  3. Constitution – Again most of you will be aware that with support from BDBC (June Balcombe) we are on schedule to formally constitute the WTA (N.B. it may become simply the Whitchurch Association) on 15th October. WTA members (trustees) very much hope that Councillors will be able to come along to the event timetabled for 10-12 Noon at the Parish Hall. It is hoped that in addition to a turnout of local residents, many of the other active community groups in the town will come to/participate in the launch. More details about the actual programme for the day will be announced shortly.
  4. HGV Survey – The expected date for the formal presentation by HCC of the results, findings and recommendations is the DC meeting on 26th September. Again it is hoped that members will want to attend. The main outcome appears to be that there is little evidence of other than essential HGV journeys being made through the town.
  5. Gateway Signs – As you will see from the report, this is still on going, with Jamie Daly at BDBC still diligently trying to find a solution that still retains the main features of the original ‘winning design’ yet meets the all important cost and maintenance criteria set by WTC.

 

Finally, please note that I will be on annual leave from 8th September returning to work on Monday 26th September. Any issues not easily resolvable by Harriet or other WTA Project leaders can be referred to my line manager Anne Harrison in Winchester.

 

Initiative No. (Category)

Description

WTA Sub Group leader in bold

(= Co opted)

<= WTC Cllr>

Current Status

1 Economy

Tourism Projects to:

 

·         Encourage More Visitors to the Town

·         Bring More revenue to the Town

Susan Flawith

Phil Cooper

Harriet Titcomb

<Gill Nethercott>

(Derek Verran)

(Stephen Bryer)

Includes Town Guide and Circular Walks reprint/update and Whitchurch Web based content. Requires local authority funding or external funding to be applied for when WTA is formally constituted.

Photography (Jake) now completed. Opportunity for leaflet rack in entranceway to Brockenhursts.

Next stage is to approach subject matter experts to write content. Action on Sub Group to clarify plans with WTC (Cathy B).

 

2 Environment

Town Centre Project:

·         Improve appearance of Town Centre

·         Advise on and encourage building restoration

Harriet Titcomb

<Gill Nethercott>

Tony Corbin

Derek Verran

Keith Watts

HCC Country Towns Initiative (circa £40-50k) and B&DBC POPPI circa £20k (Pride of Place Partnership Initiative) potentially available for built environment enhancement/conservation related improvement projects. WTA supports in principle, B&DBC to present to WTC DC 12th September. A POPPI scope document is now available and will be circulated to members by Cathy B as pre meeting reading.  N.B. Outcomes should be Healthcheck evidence based. Anticipated timeframe - Planning & Consultation 05/06, Implementation 06/07, completion 07/08.

 

3 Community

One Stop Shop:

·         Town Hall utilisation for Community group usage

·         Tourist Information point

 

(Cathy Burt)

Liz Dermody

Tony Corbin

19th Jan WTA meeting proposed Town Hall could be a meeting venue for proposed Community Support Officers and Wardens (e.g. with the public).

CB has reaffirmed that the Town Hall is available on request to local Community serving groups.

4 Economy

Town Business Support & Development:

 

·         Improve economic viability of the town

·         Support/funding for business start ups

·         Encourage collaborative activity

Tony Corbin

Stewart Parrington

(Ed Beckmann – BLWx)

(John Mitchell – Enterprise First)

(Drewett Neate – Comm’l Agency)

(Testbourne Bus Forum members)

 

Town Hall now being used (Tues) for BLWx 1 to 1 one-hour business advice clinics. Newbury Building Soc has shown an interest in participating in Business led community activities.

 

SP to report on his informal meetings with local retailers to test ideas and will report at 7th Sep WTA sub group meeting.

 

Retail Training courses and consultancy currently available from Business Link Wessex on a matched funding basis

 

 

5 & 6 now Merged Transport

Traffic Mgmt Projects

a)       Reduced HGV through traffic volumes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b)        

Town Gateway project and environmental calming scheme

Derek Verran

Tony Corbin

(Reg Kimpton)

Chris Setters

(Keith Pauw HCC)

(Cathy Burt)

(John Wall)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Harris

Susan Flawith

<Gill Nethercott>

Chris Setters

< R Dykes>

<Cllr B. Jackman>

(John Wall)

Harriet Titcomb

Tony Corbin

(Jamie Daly B&DBC)

HGV survey successfully completed on Tues 26th April (7am-7pm).

 

Preliminary results presented to Cathy Burt/WTA sub group reps by KP HCC 17th Aug. These indicate minimal numbers of rat running HGV vehicles.

 

Full findings, results and recommendations to be presented by KP HCC (provisionally) to WTC DC on 26th Sep. Pre-reading to be provided for members

 

Although little visible progress in the past month, JD (BDBC) has been liasing with HCC and has just submitted a further modified design in the hope that HCC will accept for mtc etc. Currently WTA/WTC waiting outcome.

7 Community

Local History ‘Display area

·         Accessible display and Learning centre for local artefacts

TBC <Gill Nethercott>

Harriet Titcomb

Tony Corbin

<Cllr. A Wall>

History Soc TBC)

(B&DBC TBC)

 

Longer term initiative. Planning permission for new Library and Community Hall granted (May 05).

 

Approach rec’d AUG from HCC (Russell Cleaver) to begin discussions. WTA steering group will discuss with a kick off meeting likely with interested parties in OCT.

8 Community

IT/Internet Public access:

·         Individual Learning and Information Points

 

Janet Palmer

Phil Cooper

(Linda Cowley)

<Gill Nethercott>

Longer term initiative. Planning permission for new Library and Community Hall granted (May 05)

 

As above

9 Community

Young People’s Facilities:

·         Youth Suite Refurbishment

·         Young people’s amenities

Acting Leader

Harriet Titcomb

Janet Palmer TBC

Susan Flawith TBC

<Alison Wall>

Liz Dermody

<P. Turner>

Derek Verran

Keith Watts

HT, SF & JP have all attended/supported meetings initiated by Cllr. Jackman related to the ‘Cool to Chill’ initiative.

 

Still appears to be some dispute between Testbourne School and HCC Building Regs re extent of work needed to make the room compliant 

Newbury Building Soc has shown a willingness to support youth initiatives. 

 

10 Transport

Community Bus

(Cathy Burt)

Project Closed – Jan 05 – as apparently working satisfactorily.

 

11. Comms

Communications Project:

·         House Style for WTA materials

·         Web site inc open forum for feedback

·         Internal/external and stakeholder comms model

 

 

 

Phil Cooper

John Buckley

(Steve Hoffmann)

(? Cathy Burt)

Tony Corbin

Agreed in principle (April) that the proposed Community magazine (quarterly) <the Whitchurch Web> would reference ‘Eye’ in the masthead and incorporate ‘Eye’ content. Editorial control will remain with WTC 

 

WTC (Cathy Burt) has now advised it will itself produce 2 more ‘Eyes’ for Quality Council application purposes. CB also advised that website will be launched to coincide with WTA constitution in Oct. First issue of WW Community Magazine anticipated in early December with a possible interim issue beforehand. Proposals being put to WTA 1st Sep. JB proceeding on a ‘self financing basis’ outside of WTA.

 

12.

Constitution of WTA

Acting Leader June Balcombe (BDBC)

Susan Flawith

<A. Wall>

Harriet Titcomb

<Tony Corbin>

Jean Watts, Brian Jackman, Marion Woods

<R Dykes>

Constitution (copies available) now covers Town Action Plan tasks as well as new Ctty Hall Mgmt. Still no sub group leader plus growing concerns re distinct shortage of potential officers/trustees.

 

Constitution date set for 15th Oct. Publicity material now issued to all Whitchurch addresses by BDBC. Drop in days for local community groups and residents planned for w/c 12th Sep.