Thursday, 16 February 2012

Lib Dems 1 Countryside 0

Meadow soon to be a car park 
Despite the resolute opposition of local Hedge End Councillors, led by Cllr Derek Pretty (Grange Park), Eastleigh's Lib Dem cabinet has voted in favour of a car park and against a wildflower meadow at Hedge End station.

Although not a cabinet member, Cllr Pretty spoke against the scheme at the cabinet meeting on 9th February before rushing back to Hedge End to chair that evening's meeting of the Town Council's Finance and Administration Committee.  His ward colleague Cllr Louise Bloom, who is a cabinet member, voted against and requested her opposition be recorded in the minutes. 

Unfortunately for the nearby residents who will now have a noisy car park at the bottom of their gardens, and for the wildflowers and biodiversity of Hedge End, the trusty Lib Dem loyalist bulldozer came out of the garage to brush their objections aside and proceed with the next phase of the project.

At Wednesday's meeting of Hedge End Town Council, Cllr Pretty declared that he was "disappointed" in the outcome.  Cllr Bloom pointed out that the Local Area Committee will have another chance to vote on this when the Council applies to itself for planning permission. 

It will be interesting to see how Hedge End Town Council responds to that planning application when it is consulted.

Lib Dem election promise to stand up against more traffic


  1. Whats needed is something to give local residents the power to overide such decesions. A piece of legislation to empower the people. We could call it something like... localism!!!! Ah, too late the Coalition have already got that.

  2. Yes Keith, I noted Cllr Pretty's pointed remark. From where I was sitting, it looked as though it was directed at Cllr Kyrle who's casting vote made the difference at HEWEB a couple of weeks ago. Cllr Kyrle took the punch and said nothing. What a professional...!

    For anybody who is unaware, Cllr Kyrle sits on HETC but lives in Botley. He is also a member of Botley Parish Council. Is he therefore a little less concerned about Hedge End than some of the other Councillors, perhaps...?

    A theory that is supported perhaps, by Cllr Kyrle's line of questioning during the Police report at the last HETC meeting, which seemed to focus on Botley's crime rather than Hedge End's.

    Mind you, to be fair, Cllr Kyrle otherwise impresses me enormously. I think he'd make a really good Lib Dem candidate for Eastleighs MP, when the time comes.

    Meanwhile we need more Hedge Ender's on Hedge End Town Council, local people, little people who are not career politicians but who really care about Hedge End...

    1. Just to clarify, if you look at the Hedge End election wards map, Cllr Kyrle's home in Havendale falls outside the Town Council boundaries.

      Its all due to the vagaries of the Boundary Commission...

  3. I used to live in Havendale, a few yards from Cllr Kyrle. You can't blame the boundary commission if developers don't stop when they come to the boundary of a civil parish!

    I was sat next to Cllr Kyrle and it looked like Cllr Pretty was looking at *me*. I guess I am just paranoid.

    Don't forget that Cllr Kyrle is also county councillor for much of Hedge End, and as Sgt O'Hanlon said, crime doesn't stop at the parish boundary any more than development does.

    Rupert was a fairly regular attendee (as county councillor) at the Town Council before he became a Town Councillor. He's a pretty conscientious guy, but I think he has too much on his plate.

    1. True.

      But the Boundary Commission do seem to have drawn the line in a peculiar place. Surely it should run straight up the middle of the distributor road, causing Havendale to be electorally in Hedge End as well as spiritually part of the Town...?

      I've noticed Cllr Kyrle helping out in Chris Huhne's office over the last year or so, with his name appearing as the pp signatory on the bottom of some correspondence that we've had. Your right that he has too much on his plate, but working in Chris Huhne's office is good experience if you have ambitions to become an MP...!