Monday, 26 December 2011

Hedge End Freezes Council Tax

Hedge End Town Council has agreed a budget for 2012/2013 which maintains its council tax precept at the same level as 2011/2012.  Unlike the Borough and County Councils, the Town Council will receive no grant from your central taxes to cover any budget shortfall resulting from this change to the long standing Lib Dem policy of putting the Town Council precept up each year.  The freeze is made possible by continuing efforts to reduce ongoing costs and cutting back on proposed capital projects for the coming year.

The Council is still discussing changes to charges for community and sports facilities, but it is looking likely that all hirers will be subject to an increase in line with inflation for the coming year.   That is what is required to balance the books, and a working party convened on 30th December failed after two hours of discussions to come up with a feasible and fair alternative.  Its recommendation to the January Recreation and Amenities Committee will be to confirm a 5.2%  increase for all hirers and that the working party will continue to meet to discuss ways of addressing historical anomalies in the Council's charging structures.

Lib Dems - More Broken Promises

For the third time this year, the overwhelming Lib Dem majority on Hedge End Town Council have avoided any public debate on the Borough Council's local plan consultation.

After promising at the May elections to "stand up for our area against more building and even more traffic" local Lib Dems have failed even to discuss plans to build nearly 4,000 houses in Hedge End and Botley, while the same plan proposes only 68 new houses in Hamble and 536 in West End.

In July, full council agreed to defer any discussion until September.  In September the decision made was to discuss and agree a response at the December meetings of Highways and Planning and Full Council.

But come the December meeting, there was no item on the agenda for this subject.  This was doubly strange as not only were Lib Dem heavyweights Keith House and Rupert Kyrle behind the September resolution to discuss the plan in December, but chair of Highways and Planning Committee, Cllr Cynthia Garton, reported that she had specifically asked that the discussion be deferred to Full Council.

There has been no explanation why the Lib Dems did not follow their own September resolution to "make a full response to the Borough" in December.

Hedge End Lib Dems have failed to represent Hedge End voters and they have failed to keep their election promises. 

Botley Parish Council, in contrast, is not swamped by Lib Dems, and is talking about budgeting for legal representation to oppose the Borough's plans in 2012/13.

July Council Minutes
September Council Minutes
December Council Minutes
Eastleigh News Report on September Meeting
Eastleigh News Report on December Meeting

Monday, 19 December 2011

Berry "First Class"

It is great to see Hedge End's new theatre getting such good reviews for its first Christmas show, Hansel and Gretel.

The Daily Echo has described it as "simply first class ... The Berry Theatre proves the perfect venue", and online review site exhorts: "If you are thinking of taking the children to a Christmas show, make sure you take them to Hansel and Gretel ... you are guaranteed to be going home with very happy children ... and they won't be the only ones ... with smiles on their faces."

Congratulations to director Sarah Brigham and all the team.

The show runs until Christmas Eve, although ticket availability is already  limited for Friday and Saturday.