The Hampshire County Council selections will be held on Thursday 2nd May, so expect canvassing and leafleting through the door in the coming weeks from all parties.
Usually I keep this blog very party neutral to let you know what the current issues are, but would like to support my Fellow Conservative colleague and Rowlands District Council member Cllr Marge Harvey, and hope you might too because we desperately need change.
The Catherington Ward for HCC (which covers Rowlands Castle and parts of Horndean) has been very badly represented in the last few years, and in addition to having no support from issues I have asked for help over (Bus Shelters, Generay highways matters, Parking on London Road, Gales road closures and more), I have not even seen the current Councillor at any Community Forum or Parish Council meeting while I have been a District Councillor.
This County role is a big job and looks after our Schools, Libraries, Highways and takes 72% of our Council Tax, and it is time for this to be taken on by a candidate who WILL represent our interests. Importantly the new health structure will fall under the governance of County, and Marge (who was a District Nurse for many years) is very well placed to help look after our interests and make sure our facilities improve.
There is a Question and Answer session with George Hollinbery MP and Marge Harvey the Conservative Candidate at Horndean Technology College, Barton Cross, PO8 9PQ in SF/2-3 on Friday 12th April 7:00pm to 8:30pm. All members of the public are welcome.
If you have any questions for Marge or would like to see her then please let her know on firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday March 8th saw an exceptionally well attended “Community Grant Scheme – Approved By You” meeting at Horndean Technology College with 75 people in the audience voting for local organisations to share in a £2,500 fund. Each of the 9 organisations who applied had 3 minutes to explain what they were looking for, and why. The audience then voted for the projects they were keen to support.
The 4 successful projects were as follows:
1 – New Blendworth Centre £935 for funds to build a summer house and patio area fr the new raised vegetable beds and fruit trees for some of their older members. New Blendworth Centre is open to the public as well and a great source for plants which help to fund the project. The next time you plan on a trip to Keydell, stop in at the New Blendworth Centre instead and support a great local cause and save some money.
2 – St Johns Primary School, Rowlands Castle £1,000 to fund a project to create an outdoor learning project including an amphitheatre and stage area for the pupils to find out more about the woodland, plant life and insects / birds.
3 – Catherington and Clanfield Mothers Union £250 to purchase a shed to store their toys in for the club.
4 – Castle United FC, Rowlands Castle £319 to help set up a U18 team. the grant will be used to purchase new kit and equipment. The team members managed to find half of the funds they were looking for by raising sponsorship.
There were several other great causes that could not be helped out this time, but it is hoped that we can release more funds from the community pot at the April Community Forum meeting.
If you have a community project you would like support for then please let me know and I will be happy to help if I can.
The following is coped from the Portsmouth News Facebook page. Any assistance will be appreciated as this is not the sort of area we live in:
Police threatened in Horndean after telling men to get off bikes By Miles O’Leary
Published on Tuesday 5 March 2013 17:08
A GROUP of men threatened two police officers after they were stopped for riding their bikes and scooters on a pavement.
Police want to identify the young men who became abusive while out in Horndean. They were stopped after riding scooters and bicycles on a pavement at the junction of Portsmouth Road and Dell Piece West. A number of other young men joined the group, and some of them threatened the officers, making them fear for their safety. No-one was assaulted or injured and more officers arrived to calm the situation.
Ken Moon, leader of East Hampshire District Council, said this was something that didn’t happen often in the area. ‘I don’t think we have a serious problem in the area,’ he said. ‘In general there is a low crime rate and anti-social behaviour is contained by the police, so this is an unusual incident. ‘But it’s not good when they do happen and I do think sometimes there is a lack of respect for the police. ‘They have a very difficult job. ‘There are all sorts of pressures on them, what with all the budget cuts. We should be supporting them. This sort of thing is not a common occurrence.’ A 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old man, both from Waterlooville, were arrested on suspicion of public order offences. They were questioned and released on police bail until April pending further enquiries.
The police now want more independent witnesses to the confrontation, which took place at around 4.30pm on Thursday. Police would also like to speak to any members of the public who may have been affected by any youths riding on the pavement in Horndean on Thursday.
Anyone with information should call District CID at Waterlooville Police Station on 101. Alternatively you can give information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The original article is on this link here: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/law-and-order/police-threatened-in-horndean-after-telling-men-to-get-off-bikes-1-4852341?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it
The BT kiosk on North Road has been a sore point for the immediate neighbours, many of whom associate it with vandalism, dog fouling and youth problems. In the last year the handset has been ripped off twice, more glass and framework beaten away, and it is slowly deteriorating.
Sadly, it should be a nice Edwardian box. One of the few left in the Parish, but is now an eyesore and (perhaps deliberately) poorly maintained by BT who advise me that only 10 freephone calls have been made from the kiosk in the last year.
BT will not refurbish it as it generates no income. If it stays it will slowly deteoriate further. with several missing wrought iron glazing bars and 16 missing panes of glass it is in poor condition.
BT will not dig it up and donate it to us to sell for fund raising (it will, they claim, cost them £1,000 just to dig it up)
I have tried asking if BT will dig it up and re-plant it in the new Gales development, but there is no enthusiasm for this either (it will, they claim, cost them £4,000 to dig up, refurbish and re-plant)
It seems that its time may have come and in the next few weeks I will write to the adjacent properties to get their final view before asking BT to remove it.
Over the last 6 months there have been discussions with Hampshire County Council about the provision of Bus Shelters in Downs Ward, one of the items that was clear feedback during my election. This has also been supported by a number of residents who have been in touch with the Parish and County Council too.
Bizarrely, it seems that the bus companies who make a business out of the service do not have to provide, nor contribute to any of the bus shelters that are key to providing a good service. County Council who own the pathways and licence the bus operators are also not able to fund any and instead suggest that Parish or District might like to instead.
Long and short of it is that we can probably fund some additional bus stops from something called ‘Transport Developers Contributions’. These are monies handed over by developers, like on Green lane, for road safety improvements, or schemes that support public transport.
Each bus shelter will cost about £2,500 for a very basic style, so we will not be able to secure enough funding for every stop in the Parish.
The next step is to find out which bus stops have the greatest usage and then to raise some funds, get some permissions, get 3 quotes, find someone who will maintain them, and finally have some fitted… only a few more hurdles to go through! If all goes well then maybe we will have some for this winter.
If you have strong views on which are the busiest bus stops then please email me on email@example.com and let me know.
Over the last few months organisations have been working out their budgets for 2013 – 2014, and what is needed to balance the books. This will work out at an increase of just under 1%.
At our EHDC Council meeting at EHDC on Thursday 28th February, EHDC voted to increase its share of the council tax by 2%. This is only the second time in the last 6 years that EHDC has increased its share of council tax, and this is largely driven by the very large reduction in funding from central government. EHDC remains amongst the lowest in the country for Council Tax.
Our income has reduced by over £3,000,000 per year (a 50% reduction) and we have been able to balance the books so far by sharing a Senior Management team with Havant (saving £1,600,000 per year between the two councils) and a further £800,000 per year in a joint recycling and waste contract with Winchester City Council. Staffing levels have also been reduced and salaries have been frozen for 4 years now.
This has resulted in some difficult and uncertain times for the Officers and Staff at EHDC who have worked hard to deal with redundancies and maintain services while the changes have taken place.
The decision was not taken lightly, but for a band D property this will mean an additional £2.69 per year, or 5p per week.
Hampshire County Council – 70.1% of the tax bill – 0% increase
Hampshire Fire and Rescue – 4.2% of the tax bill – 0% increase
East Hampshire District Council – 9.4% of the tax bill – 2% increase = 5p per week
Hampshire Constabulary – 10.3% of the tax bill – 3.4% increase = 10p per week
Horndean Parish Council – 5.5% of the tax bill – 9% increase = 14p per week
The total difference will be £14.30 per year for a band D property. The pie chart below shows how Council Tax breaks down amongst the various organisations who take a share. Horndean Parish Council is in the top 10% of Parish Councils, but has extensive open spaces to maintain.
The Horndean Parish Plan has been a work in progress for the last 10 years, and one of the longest baton races in history as the document and studies have been passed from group to group. It is a great pleasure to tell you that that HIND (Horndean In The Next Decade) presented a finished document to Horndean Parish Council at their last meeting. The Parish Council resolved to endorse the Parish Plan. The next step is to take the plan to the Southern Parishes Community Forum which is at 6:30pm on Tuesday 9th April at Horndean Technology College. Please join us there if you would like to find out more.
There are over a hundred projects which the plan has identified which range from supporting local business and employment to improving cycle routes to work in our natural Environment.
You can read a copy of the Approval Version of the plan by clicking this link here.
HIND Approval Version
Sincere thanks to the current and past members of HIND who have worked hard to product this Parish Plan.
Anyone interested in taking on a project should contact the HIND Chairperson Sue Langham on firstname.lastname@example.org