New Alton sports centre to be built next door to current facility

New Alton sports centre to be built next door to current facility

Conservative led East Hampshire District Council is set to build a new Alton Sports Centre next to the existing facility.

The proposals, agreed by EHDC’s Cabinet this week, involve constructing an improved, modern sports centre on the current site on Chawton Park Road. The existing centre will remain open until the new centre is in place.

What the new sports centre will offer has not been fully decided but it is planned to include improved facilities and a six lane swimming pool.

A full business case will now be developed and brought for consideration by Cabinet in March 2015. An outline planning application will be submitted, also in March next year.

Cllr Richard Millard, EHDC Deputy Leader, said: “This is a great step forward along the road to providing a new sports centre of the size and quality the people of Alton deserve.

“Building a new centre while continuing to use the current facility means there will be no break in service and also affords us the time to get the new centre right.

“Our job now is to look in detail at what the centre will offer and how we can deliver an enhanced sports centre in the quickest and most cost-effective way.”


EHDC moves to support Molson Coors staff

East Hampshire District Council has stepped in to pledge support for the staff affected by the proposed closure of the Molson Coors brewery in Alton.

If the proposal were to be confirmed, the brewery would close at the end of May 2015, meaning the loss of more than 100 local jobs.

EHDC’s Economic Development Team has already made contact with the company and other local authorities with a view to the future of the affected staff and of the brewery site.

Cllr Julie Butler, Portfolio Holder for Economy, said: “The announcement of the proposed closure of Molson Coors brewery in Alton is clearly very sad news and we are committed to ensuring that impacted staff receive the support they need to secure alternative employment.

“We will be holding an immediate high level meeting with Molson Coors, Hampshire County Council and other partners to ensure there is a co-ordinated multi-agency response to the proposed closure along with a long term plan for the regeneration of the brewery site.”


East Hampshire residents can still access funds for energy improvements

gdealEast Hampshire residents can still benefit from help to fund energy efficient home improvements even though funding through the government’s Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has now been allocated and the scheme closed.

Residents can get help from East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), which is part of a separate scheme called Green Deal Communities. We have up to £3 million to allocate on a first come first served basis, so long as there’s money left in the pot, this scheme will continue to run until March 2015.

East Hampshire residents and landlords can access cashback to improve the energy efficiency of their homes through measures such as extra insulation, a new boiler and even solar panels.

By going through a simple process residents can get between 10% and 70% cashback on the cost of energy efficiency improvements.
The first step is a professional assessment, which tells you the best suited energy-saving measures for your property and how much you could save on bills.

If you don’t have savings to pay for the work you can arrange a Green Deal finance package, which is paid back through savings on your energy bill – this will still attract cashback.

Cllr Melissa Maynard, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Energy, said:

“I want to reassure East Hampshire residents that this great offer is still available to them.

“Our cashback scheme will reduce the cost of energy-saving measures. This is a popular scheme so don’t delay, register today and you won’t miss out. ”

For further information on East Hampshire’s Green Deal Communities please visit


Cllr Robert Saunders supports campaign to stop landbanking

Cllr Robert Saunders is supporting homelessness charity Shelter’s campaign that calls for a tax on developers who are “sitting on 60,000 stalled sites” with planning permission for housing across England.

Shelter said that levying a “stalled sites tax” on developers could result in “tens of thousands” of new homes being built in three to five years. It suggests that the Government should charge council tax on the number of homes that could have been built on a site if, after a “reasonable period of time”, a housebuilder had not begun construction.

Cllr Saunders “said there are numerous sites in Alton which have permission for development which include significant amounts of affordable housing.  These sites have had planning permission for a long period and are an unsightly and wasteful blot on the landscape”.

Council Tax relief for residents affected by flooding

Residents whose homes were flooded over the winter could receive help with their Council Tax.

Those affected by the floods should contact East Hampshire District Council to see if they qualify for up to three months’ exemption from paying Council Tax.

The Government has set aside money to go to residents whose homes have been blighted by the winter’s flooding, and the scheme is being run locally by EHDC.

Brian Wood, EHDC Revenues Manager, said: “We have already been contacted by several customers and have been able to help with their Council Tax.

“The scheme covers the period from 1 December 2013, so residents who were flooded over the Christmas and New Year period can apply, as can those residents affected by the most recent floods in February.”

Please contact Customer Services on 01730 234400 or


Conservatives ensure Altonians have a say in the future of the town

Conservatives on Alton Town Council have become the  first parish to undertake a Neighbourhood Plan in East Hampshire. The Neighbourhood Plan Designation Order, setting out the boundary for the plan, is open for comments until Friday 7 March.

I urge all Alton residents to participate in the consultation process. For more information  and to complete the residents questionnaire click here.


Flooding advice

flood 1Alton residents have recently experienced problems with flooding following a sustained period of adverse weather.

East Hampshire District Council has a limited stock of sandbags, but these are reserved for out of hours emergencies when dwellings are directly affected by floods. They will also prioritise the elderly or vulnerable. For more information click here

You can find helpful information on what to do prevent the risk of flooding and respond to incidents here.


New bin collection calendar available online and by phone

Residents can now download bin collection calendars from the internet as part of a new method of distribution.

As well as downloading their calendar from the website residents can ring 0300 300 0013 (charged at the local rate) at any time and ask for a calendar to be posted to their address.

East Hampshire District Council will not be posting the calendars out to all households as in previous years but an A5 leaflet carrying information on the Xmas and New Year collections and how to get a calendar will be distributed to each property.

After Christmas residents can also put out real Christmas trees for collection with their garden waste sack or bin during January.


Cllr Robert Saunders stands for election to local Hospital Trust

Cllr Robert Saunders has  announced that he is standing for election as a Governor for East Hampshire on the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The theme of my campaign will be  ’A promise of action on health inequalities’. You can find out more here

Councillor Community Grant Scheme

I welcome applications from local community groups for a share of my £3,000 devolved grant.

East Hampshire District Councillors have been given £3,000 each to spend within their communities.

The money can be used to support projects or plans that provide a valuable service to residents.

EHDC Leader, Councillor Ferris Cowper, said: “The Councillor Community Grant Scheme is intended to get funds directly to where it can do the most good, making use of councillors’ local knowledge and personal understanding of their community.”

The grants, limited to between £250 and £1,000, are only available to not-for-profit organisations running projects that benefit the community at large.

The projects must meet one or more special aims if it is to receive the funding. These include:

  • Environmental benefits
  • Healthier lifestyles and activities
  • Support for disadvantaged people
  • Supporting economic development
  • Community engagement
  • Capacity building

Cllr Cowper added: “Few people have a better understanding of a community than the councillor who serves it. This scheme gives councillors the means to help the projects that will provide the greatest benefit to their constituents.”

Support is available to help groups to develop project ideas and offer guidance on completing the application form. For more information contact John Geoghegan  Tel. 01730 234184.

For further information or to make an application for a grant click here

Cllr Robert Saunders

3 Borovere Lane
GU34 1PB

01420 82669

The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.