Thursday, April 27, 2006
Election hotting up!
And while we're at it, Charles Clarke really must go! Sign the petition at the Lib Dem website: http://www.libdems.org.uk/
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Brian Collin is up again this year, I'm really glad not to have to stand myself until 2008. We're working hard and people have been friendly when we talk to them. It's hard to detect much change in voting intentions since last year.
We've got some of our garden posterboards up now and we've already had one stolen! This one was taken by two men in a dark coloured estate car from the garden of a house in Badger Farm and dumped next to Sainsburys. Bizarrely, this was done in broad daylight with people watching. We therefore have his registration number and we'll be keeping a careful eye open for this particular vehicle. Aren't some people strange?
Monday, April 17, 2006
Winchester Southern Park & Ride
Brian Collin and I, together with County Cllr Charlotte Bailey, recently met with officers from the county's Environment Department to be briefed on the P&R proposals. We were also joined at the meeting by Parish Councillors from both Olivers Battery and Badger Farm.
Most of the discussion centred on the choice of site. The county have identified eight possible sites, but realistically the alternatives seem to come down to Site 2, the southeast side of the Bushfield roundabout, and Site 3, alongside the M3 on the old Tarmac construction site. Site 2 would be accessed from Badger Farm Road and Otterbourne Road, while Site 3 would have access from the Hockley roundabout. The county officers had a clear preference for Site 2, which is on a field covered with infill from the Twyford cutting. Site 3, which I still incline to favour, was considered to be too visible from surrounding countryside areas including St Catherine's Hill. If Site 2 is chosen, the design will be for an 800 space car park accessed via a traffic contolled junction on Badger Farm Road and a left in/left out junction on Otterbourne Road.
Of particular relevance to Olivers Battery and Badger Farm is the question of traffic. Hopefully, the P&R will reduce the overall amount of traffic on Badger Farm Road, but it seems likely that the bus lane will be extended to include much more of the road. Any such proposal will need to address the issue of the Olivers Battery Road South/Badger Farm Road junction!
The county is planning staffed exhibitions in late May, one of which should be in Badger Farm Community Centre. This will be a useful opportunity for anyone interested to take a look at the options and make sure their views are fed back into the process.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Report to Badger Farm Parish Council
Here's the report I gave to Badger Farm Parish Council on Monday (the pic shows both LibDem City Councillors at the entrance to the Ridgeway):
As reported to the last PC meeting, Brian and I arranged to meet with the manager of Sainsburys. As we arrived, an elderly man lost control of his car and crashed into several parked vehicles. The ensuing chaos ensured that our meeting was postponed a couple of days!
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the rearranged meeting, so Brian will be reporting back on that.
The Winchester City Council Streetscene Team tell me that the Winter Maintenance Programme has now finished, apart from some additional work on high laurels in Swift and Wren Closes. For the summer, I have asked for particular emphasis to be given to keeping the footpaths clear. I have been assured that this will be done, but I’d ask members to join me in monitoring this and letting me know of any problems.
Members will be aware that the bed by the asymmetric bike barrier at the bottom of Lowden Close was cut back quite severely. I have asked for re-planting in this bed and have just been informed that officers expect to raise an order for this work later this week.
Grass areas have just received their second cut, except for Ashbarn Crescent which was judged not to require it at this time.
I have raised a number of issues with officers relating to Broad Chalke Down. The Highways (i.e. County Council) beds in this road remain in a poor state. Our officers have acknowledged this and are attempting to persuade to find money from the County budget to carry out work on these beds. I am also concerned about the trees and bushes on the Ridgeway which back onto Broad Chalke Down. In one case they appear to be pushing over the rear fence of one of the properties. Again this is Highways land, but our City officers will be liaising with the County to sort this out as a matter of some urgency.
Overall, I hope members will agree that the amount of work done this winter has helped to substantially improve the environment of Badger Farm.
Southern Park and Ride
Brian, Charlotte and I were all pleased to join your chairman at a Southern Park & Ride briefing from County officers last week. This will no doubt be reported in detail during tonight’s meeting. I was impressed with the plans for the various sites and found the briefing very useful. The public consultation period is going to be an important part of the process and the key opportunity for getting across the views of Badger Farm residents.
The City Council have been involved in the annual round of departmental business plans. I’ve experienced roughly 10 hours of these, as they were brought before the three Scrutiny Panels on which I serve, Environment, Local Economy and Resources.
Two rather more interesting presentations were heard at the Local Economy Scrutiny Panel. One dealt with the ongoing efforts to have Winchester declared a “Fair Trade” City. This is a wholly laudable objective and one which, I would hope, would find support among Parish Councillors. The second presentation was given by the Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal and was extremely informative about the way in which the theatre contributes to the economy of the City as well as to its cultural life. There was a particular emphasis on the work done by Theatre Royal staff in running youth theatre projects out in the rural parts of the district.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Oliver's Battery Parish Council Update
The 50th Anniversary marks the creation of Oliver's Battery as a civil parish in 1956. It's a great opportunity for community events and the incredibly active team have got quite a programme together. The highlight should be the fete on 9th September, to be held on the Battery and to be opened by the Mayor. Other events include beating the bounds on 29th July, a flower festival in St Mark's Church (also 50 years old this year) from 1st to 3rd September, the opening of the Conservation Area on 3rd September and, of course, the Barn Dance at the school on the evening of 9th September. Should be fun!
Brian Collin and I, together with representatives from both parishes will be meeting with the Deputy Director of the County Council's Environment Department this lunchtime. We are to be briefed on the county's current plans to build a southern Park & Ride site for Winchester. This clearly will affect both parishes, but hopefully in a positive way. Anything which will relieve congestion on Badger Farm Road is to be welcomed. I'll be interested to learn whether this also means that we can expect improvements to the Oliver's Battery Road South/Badger Farm Road junction; or is that too much to hope for?