Monday, 19 September 2011

Hedge End Heritage Sign

After much discussion over many months, Hedge End Town Council has decided to use a grant it received for a "village feature" to install a heritage sign similar to this artist's representation on the grass verge opposite Kings Community Church in Upper Northam Road.

I felt it would have been more appropriate and appreciated by more people in the village centre near the library, but the Chair of  Recreation and Amenities made a strong case for her preferred option and the voting was 6-3 in favour of the chosen location.

Other items discussed at this month's R&A committee included the poor project management by the suppliers of the new skateboard park at Woodhouse Lane.  Outlook for completion of this project is now the end of October.

Following an excellent discussion including nearby residents, the Chair of the HEWEB Youth Council and a representative of the supplier company, councillors agreed to move forward with plans to install acoustic fencing to reduce any possible noise nuisance when the skateboard facility is complete and in use.

An informal footpath between Stubbs Drove and Willow Close will be closed off as there has been a long history of late night antisocial behaviour.  Unfortunate for those that use it as a handy short cut during the day without causing any nuisance.  I abstained on this vote, not because I didn't want to help the people who live there whose lives are being made miserable, but because I felt the Town Council should have worked through the Community Safety Forum to ensure that all the necessary agencies are involved.

12 comments:

  1. Where did this grant come from...?

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  2. The grant came from Hampshire County Council.

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  3. Taxpayers money then.

    Do we really need such a sign, another vandal magnet, particularly when the HCC component of our Council Tax is so high...?

    Why can't the Town Council say thanks very much, but we don't need the grant. We'd rather that next years Council Tax bill was smaller..?

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  4. Well I think if Hedge End had said no thanks, the money would have just gone to another parish.

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  5. That's probably true, unfortunately.

    It does seem to be a problem though. As you rightly say, when such "grants" are offered, the pressure on the Town Council is to take them and be grateful for the money being taken off the taxpayer via some route other than the Town Council's precept.

    The pressure is therefore to take the money irrespective of whether we actually need a "heritage sign" or not.

    My view is that we don't need it.

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  6. Can I add, that at a time when we are told that cuts are essential, and I think we all agree that they are, this sort of expenditure on fancy signs should be the first to go.

    I'd rather we still had a library, meals on wheels, PCSO's etc than a spanking new heritage sign outside a disused library...

    Particularly as we'll have to incur extra expenditure to install a security camera to watch over the sign, as its vulnerable to being cut off at the base and carted away as scrap...

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  7. I guess your argument is with how Hampshire runs its finances rather than criticising the Town Council for taking advantage of the grant to try and make Hedge End a slighty nicer place to live.

    You could say we don't "need" to have Christmas lights, but the lights and the switch-on event contribute to Hedge End's sense of community and identity. I see the heritage sign in the same light.

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  8. You're right Keith. My main criticism is directed at Hants CC who shouldn't really be offering these grants, but I still think the Town Council could say no thanks, keeping a responsible eye on the bigger picture...

    Of course, if we had a Unitary Authority rather than several tiers of local Government, the problem that I referred to wouldn't arise. There would be no pressure for Town Councillors to take the money being offered by the County Council and waste it on a fancy sign, just through the fear of somebody else getting the money instead...

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  9. What was the reasoning for location of heritage sign out of interest? I don't suppose there's any chance they'd reconsider is there? :)

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  10. @jt I think the reasoning was that the centre of Hedge End is a bit cluttered already and they thought it more appropriate as a sign on one of the routes into the centre. They are now looking out to have similar signs on the other main roads into Hedge End, so TGRW had better get some blood pressure pills ready.

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  11. Admittedly the centre is a bit cluttered but perhaps this would be an ideal opportunity to declutter at the same time.
    Not quite sure whether just replacing existing Hedge End signs with fancier versions counts as a "village feature". At least not a very imaginative one.
    I look forward to TGRW's response!

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  12. Lol. TGRW's response will be on Eastleigh News...

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