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 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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