To consider the report of the Town Clerk.
The Committee received the report of the Town Clerk providing an update on the Committee’s work plan which included projects identified as part of the Council’s Draft Strategic Plan and Budget Setting agreed in February 2021, as well as the Open Spaces Strategy adopted in June 2021. Members were also requested to consider items for inclusion in the budget setting process.
The committee highlighted the need to meet the Climate Emergency targets that has been discussed by Council together with the need for an active travel plan for sites owned by the Town Council particularly the Lake & Country Park.
It was noted that the existing budget of £10,000 covered the management plan for that site and that it was hoped a Park Ranger would be appointed in due course. Members were advised that the report regarding the lake survey was expected soon along with an update on a potential Forest School projectand these may have some budgetary implications. It was agreed that the outcomes be reported to the next meeting for budgetary consideration.
In respect of achieving carbon neutrality the current budgetary position was clarified in that £35,000 had been allocated for solar panels at the Works Depot but this may be dependent on the future use of that site. Discussion ensued regarding the need to make improvements at the Town Council venues on matters such as replacing windows, heating systems and making the building more energy efficient. It was agreed that this would need to be a phased approach and funding should be allocated to meet the costs. It was questioned as to whether alternative funding schemes or loans could be accessed and it was agreed that this was something that could be explored.
Finally, the implementation of 20mph Zones and Community Speedwatch schemes in Witney were discussed and it was agreed that funding should be put in place to meet additional costs associated with the initiatives.
1. That, the Committee Work Plan be noted;
2. That, a report on the outcome of the lake survey be reported to the next meeting for consideration of any budgetary implications; and
3. That, the following budgetary requests be recommended:
Active Travel Infrastructure - £20,000
That each spending Committee considers energy efficiency works at venues under their remit and budgets accordingly – up to £50,000 per venue
Community Speedwatch/20 mph zones - £2,000; and
4. That, options for funding the above schemes from loans or other grant schemes be explored.