Sunday, May 07, 2006


Report to Oliver's Battery Annual Parish Meeting

City Councillor’s Report to Oliver’s Battery Annual Parish Meeting
8th May 2006

Not so much an “Annual Report” but a “6 Month Progress Update” in my particular case. Robin Darbyshire moved to London in August 2005 and, naturally, resigned as one of our city councillors. I was delighted to be selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the by-election that took place on 29th September; and even more delighted to win.

Since then, I have been learning my way around the City Council and reporting regularly to the Parish Council’s monthly meetings. I serve on three of Winchester City’s new Scrutiny Panels: Environment, Local Economy and Resources. These are the mechanism by which backbench councillors, such as me, can watch over the work of council departments and hold members of the City’s Cabinet to account.

I have also been active in promoting the needs of Oliver’s Battery, together with my City Council colleague Brian Collin and our County Councillor Charlotte Bailey. Issues that I have been dealing with include:
Uneven pavements in Oliver’s Battery Road South (with Charlotte)
The need for a hard surface by the Sunnydown Road bus stop (also with Charlotte)
Campaigning to protect the No 5 Bus Service (with Brian & Charlotte)
Rubbish by the shops
Rubbish in Badger Farm Road
Possible new sporting uses of the Recreation Ground (with the Parish Council)
Implications of the new Bus Passes for the Over 60s (with Brian)
Repair and replacement of street signs
The new Southern Park & Ride site near to Junction 11 of the M3 and possible effects on OB (with Brian)

On the latter topic, I was pleased that Brian, Charlotte and I were all able to join representatives of the Parish Council at a Briefing Meeting with the County’s Environment Department. The public consultation period on the new Park & Ride site is scheduled to begin in May and will provide a good opportunity for residents to make their views known. I certainly had the impression from the meeting that the county was still capable of being influenced on site selection and some of the details. Overall I believe the new proposals will be a benefit to those of us who live in this parish. Reducing traffic on Badger Farm Road and improving the Oliver’s Battery Road South junction are both likely outcomes of this 3-4 year project.

Brian Collin and I are now holding a regular monthly “Councillors Advice Centre”. This takes place at Badger Farm Community Centre (next to Sainsburys) on the 2nd Monday of every month from 6.30 to 7.15 pm. Please feel free to drop in if you have any questions or issues you’d like to raise.

In an attempt to find more ways to communicate with local residents I have now become a “blogger”. For the uninitiated among us, this means that I have created a Web Log or online journal. It’s an opportunity for me to comment on issues relating to our area and to the City as a whole and gives readers the chance of responding too.
You can find it at

Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to Brian Collin for his support, guidance and sheer experience, all of which have helped me through my first 6 months as one of your City Councillors.

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