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.