Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Sealed Knot at Winchester Westgate

Here in Oliver's Battery we can claim a direct link to the time of the Civil War. Current historical opinion seems to take the view that the iron age earthwork, now known as Oliver's Battery, was used as a camp by Cromwell's forces during the siege of Winchester in 1645.

Last Sunday a group of re-enactors from Tillier's Regiment of Foote, part of the Sealed Knot, put on displays at the Westgate. As usual on these occasions the re-enactors were approachable and knowledgable, and a good crowd turned out to see them and even join in. A good afternoon and congratulations to the Winchester Museum Service for laying on the event.

Click here to see all the pictures.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Spring Community News Article

The big news in Winchester as I write this is the Local Development Framework. This is the new version of the Council's Local Plan which will, over a period of time, replace the existing plan and show where new housing and commercial development will be allowed. Hopefully most people will by now have seen the City Council's Issues and Options paper, or at least the short version of it in the "InFocus" leaflet delivered to every house by my colleagues and myself.

In a nutshell the Council has to decide where it should allocate land for building some 3000-4000 new houses in the northern part of the Winchester District. The northern part includes us in Olivers Battery and Badger Farm.
Two possibilities raised in the paper are a) building at Pitt and b) building at Bushfield Camp and in the current strategic gap between Olivers Battery and Compton. Either of these options would change the nature of area significantly.

I am completely opposed to these proposals and will campaign for a more balanced approach with smaller developments scattered across the District rather than building something three times the size of Badger Farm on greenfield sites on the edge of Winchester.

Some good news next. I asked a question at January's full council meeting about the reduction in hours for over 60s bus passes and received an answer that concluded "The City Council cannot therefore provide additional free travel beyond that covered under the National Scheme at this time", which meant starting at 9.30 rather than 9.00 am. In response we started the "Bad Timing!" campaign, set up a website at www.badtiming.org.uk and started gathering signatures and getting press publicity. Two weeks later the City Council caved in and announced that the 9.00 am start would be retained. A victory for common sense!

Finally, with local elections approaching on 1st May I'd like to thank the many people I've met and had dealings with over the two and a half years since I was first elected in a by-election. I've enjoyed the time greatly and hope that I've been able to help both individuals and our local community. If you choose to re-elect me in May I hope to be able to continue that work for a few more years!

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