Agenda item

Contact Officer: Sally Boxall

This report presents the outcome of the work on Horizon 2050.

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report that presented the Committee with the outcome of the work carried out in regard to Horizon 2050. Officers also gave the Committee a brief presentation that included a summary of the research and engagement activities.

 

The Chair invited visiting speakers Paul Beevers and Mick Hook to address the Committee, their comments included:

 

Overall the vision was welcomed, however, there were some concerns such as:

 

  • It was felt that the conservation of some of the land managed by the Council was not always the best it could be, but acknowledged that this was often due to staffing issues and resource allocations.

 

  • There was a need to restore habitats and improve biodiversity on Council managed land and that it was not featured in the vision.

 

Mr Beevers also made reference to a paper he had produced in regard to the Funding & Management of Borough Land for Biodiversity. The Committee agreed that this would be an important item for them to review and requested a report from officers.

 

The Committee discussed the vision and made the following comments:

 

  • Had residents expressed any views in regard to a future vision for the hospital and whether they would like it to be a specialist hospital or not.

 

  • The Committee hoped that after Brexit, with a greater emphasis being on the environment instead, the Council would be willing take advantage of opportunities, such as the restoration of habitats.

 

  • As residents had responded positively to questions raised regarding renewable energy options, The Committee hoped that the Council would see it as an opportunity to look at renewable energy options in more detail.

 

  • Would like to see incentives to help improve air quality within the borough.

 

Some members felt that the education mission statement did not go far enough to show the strength of feeling from residents, some residents had stated that they would prefer to have more local smaller schools that were a walkable distance from their houses than a smaller number of larger schools. It was acknowledged that this came with tensions as often teachers in larger schools were paid more and therefore the schools had better levels of staff retention.

 

The committee noted that residents had not strongly supported the idea of a higher education offer with the borough. It was also felt that a sixth form offer would damage the existing colleges (BCOT and QMC) which currently had good reputations.

 

Although overall there was a sense of satisfaction from residents, it was noted that residents tended to feel more pride within a borough when it was particularly known for something, such as the history of an area.

 

It was questioned whether the views of residents in rural wards differed from those in town centre wards, it was confirmed that although there were some differences, overall there were a lot of similarities across the borough.

 

As the borough continues to grow, the identity and separateness of rural areas should be protected from urban sprawl.

 

Resolved:

 

1)    The Committee notes the report

 

2)    The Committee requests that the Leader considers its views.

 

Supporting documents: