Thursday, February 22, 2007


Community News Article

My piece for the next issue of BFOBRCA Community News. Exclusive! Read it here first!

January's gales certainly caused some problems locally. I had to replace a fence panel, but Oliver's Battery is a windy place and I've lost count of the number I've had to replace over the years. Badger Farm was hit harder this time with the collapse of the first floor wall of part of the May Tree Close garages (see picture). It was very fortunate that no one was under the collapsing brickwork at the time it came down. I'm writing this immediately after a meeting (8th February) set up by Brian Collin and myself with owners of the affected garages. We were pleased that a good number of people turned up and that there had been real progress with insurance companies and estimates for repairs. I will be happy to work alongside owners of these garages who wish to find a communal way of maintaining and improving their block.

Charlotte Bailey in her report mentions the Falcon View planter demolition. This happened at the same time as the gales hit May Tree Close but this time the damage was due to human action. The picture was taken with the JCB that demolished the planter still on site. I'd like to particularly thank those residents who organised a petition and those who joined us for a meeting with the County Council's Highways Department. Let's hope we can achieve a result that is acceptable to local people and that the County Council take on board the need to consult with residents before doing this sort of work.

Across Winchester as a whole I have been campaigning with colleagues for improvements to pavements. Our "Trip to the Shops" campaign has received a lot of support and there are signs of movement, at last, from the County. Winchester is a great place to live and a fantastic historic city. A High Street worthy of that heritage is surely not too much to ask for?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Park & Ride - Winchester Tories lose the Plot

Just today we have seen Cabinet papers relating to parking charges in Winchester. The success of the Park & Ride, together with the loss of parking at Sussex Street and last summer’s temporary closure of River Park has resulted in a hole in the City Council’s parking budget. To fill this, the Conservative Cabinet will be looking at proposals which include significant increases in short term parking costs and a massive (£2 to £3) increase in the charge for Park & Ride. Season tickets for the city centre long term car parks will be unaffected.

I feel these are poor proposals, badly thought out. Park & Ride has been a success in removing traffic from the city so the council is considering raising charges that will discourage the use of the facility. Similarly, shoppers and other short term visitors, like most Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm residents, will be penalised through higher short term charges, leaving people who park all day in the long term car parks unaffected. I await the Cabinet decision with interest.

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