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.
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.
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 www.working-together.org.uk 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 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
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
Alton is to be part of a Speedwatch scheme that also includes Binsted, Beech and Four Marks. Each of the four councils is contributing £500 towards the purchase of the necessary equipment, with the Police contributing the rest.
As part of the scheme, volunteers are trained to use speed indicator devices which display vehicle speed.
This equipment should be available shortly and Alton Town Council is inviting anyone interested in becoming a Speedwatch volunteer to come to a meeting to find out more.
Chairman of the Town Council’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Cllr Matthew Bayliss, said “Speedwatch is about helping to educate motorists in relation to speeding around the town. There appears to be a good deal of local interest in the scheme and, by joining with other councils, we have been able to share the cost.”
The Speedwatch meeting takes place in at the Town Hall on 19 November at 6pm.
Alton Town Council has organised an open meeting for rail users to question managers from South West Trains and Network Rail.
The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 30th October at 7.30 p.m. at the Town Hall.
Cllr Robert Saunders said: “Each week, hundreds of Altonians, including me, board the train and commute up and down the line, and my postbag is never quiet on railway issues.
I recently attended the official opening of the new footbridge and lifts at Alton station. This new facility part funded by East Hampshire District Council will ensure that disabled passengers will have equal access to all platforms. It will also be of benefit to older people and other passengers with buggies and bulky luggage. This facility compliments other modifications at the station to make it more user friendly for the disabled. Read more here.
Over the past few weeks several Alton residents have contacted me to express their concern regarding the possibility of fracking activity in East Hampshire. I am not aware of any evidence of significant gas (or oil) reserves in East Hampshire to merit fracking in the area at this stage.
If you would like to know more Hampshire County Council are responsible for minerals planning policy and have produced a helpful guide: http://documents.hants.gov.uk/mineralsandwaste/onshoreoilandgas-faq.pdf
Cllr Robert Saunders has written a letter to Network Rail / South West Trains to express concern at the considerable disruption and inconvenience caused to rail users in Alton in recent weeks. Robert said “For South West Trains to call them “teething problems” is lamentable. Millions of pounds have seemingly been invested in signalling technology that does not work! For too long Network Rail and South West Trains have treated the Alton line as a cinderella service. Every time there is a problem somewhere on the network the Alton line is always the first to suffer”. Robert has also raised the matter with local MP Damian Hinds.