Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hedge End Plants Native Trees

As a minority of one on the Town Council, it is pleasing when an idea you have suggested leads to something good.  Back in December 2011 I suggested to the Recreation and Amenities Committee that we should take advantage of native trees being offered free by the Woodland Trust as part of their Jubilee Woods project.

My original suggestion was for the trees to be planted on the Council's land at Kanes Hill as the nucleus of a new community woodland.  As it turned out more people supported planting them at the new Dowd's Farm Park, and I have to admit it turned out to be an excellent choice as more than fifty volunteers turned up on Saturday to help with the planting.

There were Town and Borough councillors, Town Council staff, members of Hedge End Horticultural Society, Girl Guides and local people of all ages.  The Council had advertised it as a four hour event, but the number of volunteers meant all the trees were planted in an hour.   Everybody deserves a pat on the back for a demonstration of true community spirit.

The important thing is that Hedge End now has 400 more trees than it did last week.  They are native species, so will contribute to our biodiversity and support native insects and birds.  They will be good for the environment and good for people too.

Mrs Hedge End Blogger took some photos:

Many Hands
Cllr Baynes
Hedge End's Tree Warden
Cllrs Jenny and Peter Hughes
One of the Younger Helpers
Hedge End Blogger

Cllr Allingham
Cllr Welsh

Grown from one of the Queen's Own Acorns

The "Royal" Oak

The Group Shot

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Lib Dems Too Late

Red alert or red faces?   
A full four months after Hedge End Blogger reported the story, the Lib Dems in their "Winter 2012" newspaper have finally caught up with the Conservative County Council's plans to privatize our museums.

Not only are they four months behind Hedge End Blogger, they are three months too late for the consultation which closed at the end of July.

All a bit embarrassing for our County Cllrs Kyrle and Tennent as the local Lib Dem propaganda machine puts a stock photo of them posing outside Hedge End Library to illustrate a story about museums.   If they think that is putting local people on "red alert", I hope they made a better job of returning those library books on time.

Seriously though, perhaps one of them could tell us what happened to the County Council consultation as all reference to it seems to have disappeared from the Hampshire web site.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Lib Dems Green Light for Late Night Pizzas

Opening the door for an enhanced night-time economy in Hedge End, Local Lib Dems have given the OK for Domino's Pizza to extend their opening hours.

As reported on this blog here and here, Domino's wanted to stay open until 3am seven days a week.  They applied to the Southampton and Eastleigh Licensing Partnership based at Southampton Civic Centre for permission.  This was in the face of their original planning permission when they took over the old Threshers off-licence which clearly stated that they should close at 11pm. 

Eastleigh's own planning officers were opposed to the extension, as were a number of local residents and the Lib Dems on the Town Council's Highways and Planning Committee.

Now the Licensing Panel, comprising Hedge End Councillors Pretty and Welsh, and Bishopstoke's Cllr Winstanley have decided that an extension to midnight is OK.

Within weeks of the decision, a visitor to Hedge End was mugged for his pizza in the car park behind Domino's.

Photo credit -Pål Berge

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Massive Housing Plans Force Boundary Rethink

Green fields sacrificed to more and more houses 
Lib Dem plans for thousands of houses on green fields in Hedge End and Botley may require local parish boundaries to be changed.  Hedge End Town Council's Finance and Administration Committee will be discussing the need for changes on Tuesday (meeting starts at 7:00pm at the 2000 Centre).

According to the Office for National Statistics the average electoral ward  has a population of 5,500.  The Lib Dems 3,500 new houses could bring with them enough voters for at least one new ward and require some adjustments in existing wards.

At a national level proposed boundary changes have revealed weaknesses and divisions in the Conservative dominated coalition.   All parties try to extract the maximum political advantage when constituency boundaries change.  Lobbying by Labour and Lib Dems has resulted in the Boundary Commission withdrawing its proposals for a new parliamentary constituency for Hedge End and Hamble

In Hedge End, the Lib Dems have disproportionate control over our local government with all seven Borough councillors and 20 out of 21 town councillors.  If the local Labour and Conservative campaigners are not careful, there could be a boundaries carve up entirely to the benefit of the Lib Dems.