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Minutes of the Tourism and Economic Development Committee 1st March 2021
MINUTES of the Virtual TEAMS meeting of Tourism and Economic Development on 1st March 2021 at the Rising of the Extraordinary meeting of Council
The Chairman, Councillor Hughes
Councillors Beauchamp, Cattermole, Dolton and Keats-Rohan
The Town Clerk, Mrs Paula Lopez
Senior Officer, Mrs Barbara Atkins (Minute Taker)
Councillors Harris, Lester and Whelan (Guests)
Mr Richard Prunier, Member of the Public
The meeting had to stop on several occasions due to technical difficulties.
TO ADVISE THOSE IN ATTENDANCE OF THE PROTOCOL FOR THE MEETING
The Protocol for the meeting had been sent out in advance.
Apologies were received from Councillor Sinkinson. Councillor Wilder was not present.
ADMISSION OF THE PUBLIC
There were no admissions of the public.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
A Councillor with voting rights who has a disclosable pecuniary interest or another interest as set out in our Council’s Standing Orders Code of Conduct (Item 13) in a matter being considered at a meeting is subject to statutory limitations or restrictions under code of conduct and his right to participate and vote on the matter (guidelines are available at the meeting and all Councillors have received a copy prior to the meeting) Information for each Member was available at the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION – (Total 15 Minutes)
Councillor Harris – The Impact of Didcot Garden Town on Wallingford – Councillor Harris reported that by 2031 Didcot would have 60,000 more people in 15,000 homes and that a new college would be build. Funding for the Didcot Garden Town was reported to be 1.1 million. By the Broadway pub there would be a new Market Place and part of Baptist Church premises was being turned into a Country Town Market Place. Councillor Harris asked what Wallingford Town Council could do in the next 10 years to prepare for another 30,000 people travelling through Wallingford and how can we get a share of this opportunity so that people visit Wallingford. How can we stay ahead of the plans and prevent damage to Wallingford.
Councillor Lester – Artwork – Councillor Lester reported the artwork prepared for the Lidl art’s project was suitable for merchandise that could be sold in the Town Information Centre. The copyright was owned by the artist Mike Simmons but he wished to produce suitable merchandise that could be sold and would like to know what the staff thought would sell. One idea Mr Simmons had was making the tiles into coasters or the artwork being used for calendars.
Councillor Whelan – Riverside Working Group – Councillors Whelan’s full report is attached. The report delivered covers:
- Extended Summer Season to co-inside with Canal and River Trust’s Season of 1st March to 31st October each year
- An increase in mooring charges based on boat size
- Request submitted to the District Council for use of their toilets and shower facilities
- Water facilities, higher posts and ladders to be installed at mooring area
- Repairs to bridge steps and handrail
- Hopefully the Boathouse will smarten up
- Lighting on bridge
Councillor Hughes thanked everyone.
VARIANCE OF ORDER OF BUSINESS
There were no changes to the order of business.
The Chairman reported that a correction to the minutes had been requested by Mr Prunier as he had been in post as the Tourism Business and Community Manager and had stated at the last meeting that he had not been kept informed or invited to meetings relevant to HAWG after the 7thJanuary date rather than that he had not known. Councillor Dolton as a point of order stated had this been said but added that it was factually correct however the previous meeting was too long ago for Councillors or staff to remember. Members agreed to the amendment.
It was Proposed by Councillor Cattermole, Seconded by Beauchamp and
RESOLVED: THAT following the above correction the Minutes of the Tourism and Economic Development Committee meeting held on the 5th October 2020 as set out on pages 152 -157 of the Minute Book, copies distributed to Councillors be signed as a correct record.
THE IMPACT OF DIDCOT GARDEN TOWN ON WALLINGFORD
Members discussed the impact of Didcot Garden Town on Tourism and Economic Development.
Councillor Cattermole stated that Wallingford urgently needed a northern bypass as Wallingford, Benson and Watlington would be used as a through route to the M40. Councillor Hughes reported that the Didcot Garden Town would be connecting with the Harwell Campus too. Councillor Keats-Rohan suggested that perhaps a Councillor should listen in to the Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board to try to keep abreast of plans.
With regards to the implication on Wallingford Councillor Dolton stated that we need to think of ways to attract people from Didcot to Wallingford as there are some major developments near our borders. The Marsh Lane cycle route needs to be improved.
Action: Future Agenda Item to further discuss the impact of Didcot Garden Town on Wallingford.
RIVERSIDE WORKING GROUP
Councillor Whelan had asked for a discussion on the following items and asked members to make a recommendation to Council if appropriate, report sent out in advance of the meeting.
- Duration of the mooring season (covered below)
- Consider charges for both winter moorings and summer moorings (covered below)
- Revisit enforcement (not discussed below but covered in Councillor Whelan’s report in Minute 671 above)
- Policy change/update to incorporate these changes (not discussed below but covered in Councillor Whelan’s report in Minute 671 above)
Members had a general discussion on the above points.
Councillor Cattermole stated that our riverside does not currently create a good impression and is not included in the guide to the River Thames. Councillor Whelan reported that the Town Council needs to offer more particularly to boaters and that all facilities around the old bridge needed to be improved to attract boaters and tourists. Most of the riverbank falls within the Thames Path and the Riverside Working Group hope to submit a project to improve the area and give a projection on income.
Councillor Beauchamp was concerned on the impact on the budget if the plans were for this year, but Councillor Cattermole reported that for this year the proposals were for just the collection of mooring money for a longer season. The ‘beach area’ would be progressed along with making the river cleaner and impact friendlier.
The Town Clerk reported that two companies had declined to quote for the river bank repairs but the company that had carried out repairs in the past was quoting £7,500 for repairs due to washout and exposure of a high voltage cable. The repairs may have an impact on the collection of mooring fees. The collection of mooring fees in the evening is still an issue as the current collector does not wish to change her hours.
Councillor Hughes stated that mooring seasons should match those of others and that charging by boat length may cause some issues might it be better to propose charges for less than 5 metres be £6 and more than 5 metres be £12? Members agreed this would be a simpler option however new signs would need to be commissioned with updated payment methods such as including QR codes and facilities to pay online.
It was Proposed by Councillor Hughes, Seconded by Councillor Cattermole and
RECOMMENDED: THAT the collection of moorings fees is to be during the same season as others therefore the 1st March to 31st October. The charge for small boats less than 5 metres is reduced to £6.00 for an overnight stay and for boats more than 5 metres it is increased to £12.00 per overnight stay. New signs are to be commissioned and erected before new charges can apply.
676. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Members to recommend items for future Agendas.
- Wallingford brochure (on hold?)
- Young Traders Market review if another date to be agreed (on hold?)
- Market Administration
- The town centre and the widening debate.
- Impact of Didcot Garden Town and do we need an officer to work on this?
- Wallingford Beach
Meeting ended at 21-08 Hours