Thursday, 17 March 2016

Town Councillor Slams "Boring" Meeting

Tree Warden, Mayor and Chair of TC
This week's meeting of Hedge End Town Council saw Tory member Jerry Hall laying into the majority Lib Dems for how they conducted themselves at the Annual Parish Assembly on Monday.

Town Council vice-chair Paul Carnell had already reported to the meeting that only 33 people had attended the earlier meeting, and most of those were councillors. The "serving the community award" had been presented to Hedge End's long serving tree warden, Andrew Jemmett.

However when it came to Borough Council Reports on the agenda, Cllr Hall criticised Lib Dem members for making speeches at the annual assembly that were too party-political. He described the event as "poorly attended" and "crushingly boring".

Lib Dem Cllr Cynthia Garton agreed, saying that apart from the first year of the "serving the community award" when there were several local folk nominated, it was always hard to encourage people to come along.

In fact, back in 2011, attendance was only 15 as I reported here: So perhaps 33 people this year was a good turnout after all.

Cllr Hall went on to claim that funding for the Botley by-pass had been secured in that day's budget. This assertion prompted one or two snorts of derision from amongst the Lib Dems. Cllr Pretty later pointed out that all that had been announced was a pot of money, some of which might or might not come Botley's way.

Cllr Hall's report concluded with the news that works had started to prevent further flooding in Hobb Lane, and the Borough's original budget of £19 million for the new Fleming Park was likely to be exceeded by some considerable margin.

In fact there were meetings in Eastleigh about the Fleming Park project the same evening, which probably explained why some of the more senior Lib Dem councillors were not at the Town Council meeting.

Earlier Cllr Margaret Allingham had reported on two planning applications considered at the last Local Area Committee which I have already described here:

Cllr Pretty also confirmed that although the Borough Council Tax was being frozen again, Hedge End folk would see the County precept rise by 3.9% and the Town Council share by 1%. He also requested support at a planning appeal. A developer wants to build on the fields near the crematorium in Bubb Lane. The council has rejected the application, and the developer's appeal is being heard on 12 April, 10am at the Rose Bowl.

Photo credit: Hedge End Town Council


  1. I really don;t know why the Lib Dems feel it necessary to have the serving the community award, other than giving the rather pointless Community & Culture committee something to do every year...

  2. Thanks for the comment Ray. Well, C&C also organise the Christmas Lights, agree donations to the Berry Theatre to provide their free events for Hedge End residents and make grants to local organisations and charities. But with full council meeting this week lasting less than 30 minutes there is a case to be made for transferring these responsibilities back to full council.