Saturday, 17 September 2016

HEWEB councillors back from the holidays

There was a short meeting of the Hedge End West End and Botley Local Area Committee this week. I say it was short because members of the public had to leave after only 20 minutes to enable the meeting to continue in secret. I suppose it could have gone on for three hours after we left. Who knows?

I suspect it will have been shorter than that, because none of the ten Lib Dems present showed much appetite for debate during the public part of the meeting. The agenda had no controversial planning decisions, just deciding road names for areas of new development in West End and Boorley Green, and agreeing to spend just over £100,000 of public money, all of which were passed unanimously with no debate. The chair of the committee even had trouble at times finding a member interested enough to formally propose and second the motions.

Councillors agreed to spend
  • £12,000 towards the new children's playground in Greta Park, Hedge End
  • £3,000 to design a new entrance to Itchen Valley Country Park, West End
  • £13,000 to improve footpaths in Grange Park, Hedge End
  • £30,000 for West End's new "superloo"
  • £10,000 for a survey of the dilapidated Hedge End Youth and Community Association building
  • £55,000 for works on the roof of the Wildern Leisure Centre swimming pool

In other news it was announced that
  • A working group has been set up to progress the community aspects of the Boorley Green development (first meeting 19 September).
  • The Council is working with the train operators to improve the shelters at Hedge End station.
  • Itchen Valley Country Park has been awarded a seventh green flag award.
  • The Ageas Bowl liaison panel will meet on 10 November to review the season and the Rod Stewart concert (this is a public meeting).
  • Funding of £100,000 from developers' contributions has been agreed for two play areas in West End.
  • Various works have been undertaken in response to requests from residents and councillors.
  • It will soon be time for community organisations to apply for 2017 grants.

In the public participation section of the meeting a person from Hedge End raised concerns about antisocial parking in older streets in Hedge End. Councillors acknowledged the problem but did not have any ideas what to do about it apart from more yellow lines.

The same person asked about the new charges for certain types of waste at the household waste recycling centres. Eastleigh Lib Dems were opposed to the charges imposed by Hampshire Conservatives. They were concerned that additional costs to dispose of waste properly would increase the risk of fly tipping. What they did not mention was that exactly the same problem arises from Eastleigh Lib Dems' charges to collect garden waste. Embarrassingly this pile of grass cuttings and other clippings has been dumped next a cycle path in the council leader's own ward.

Garden waste fly tipping near Turnpike Way playing field


  1. Charging to dispose of waste is very short sighted, as it does lead to fly tipping. What do we pay Council Tax for...? Expect to see lots of plasterboard and asbestos by the roadside or in Council car parks in future.

    Also, given that the main users of the garden waste service are in bigger houses so already pay lots more Council tax, the Borough Council's charges seem wrong from that point of view too...

    1. The cost of clearing up fly tipping in England was £50 million in 2014/5, up 11% on the previous year.