Speak your mind on waste collection and environmental services

A new survey is giving residents have the chance to have their say on East Hampshire District Council’s bin collections and other environmental services.

The council is keen to get views on its waste and recycling collections as well as street cleaning, ground maintenance and public toilets.

The survey can be completed online on EHDC’s website at http://www.easthants.gov.uk/environmental-services-residents-survey

EHDC Deputy Leader Cllr Richard Millard, Portfolio Holder for Contracts, said: “We would like to hear our residents’ opinions on a number of services provided by contractors on behalf of the council.

“We are looking at how these services can be provided in the future so understanding how our residents feel about these services at the moment is very important to us.”

The survey is also being sent out to around 3,500 randomly selected residents.

The survey will run until Friday 28 October.

Council demands clarity on Farnborough Airport plans

East Hampshire District Council is demanding more information about plans to alter the airspace around TAG Farnborough Airport.

Councillors expressed their deep concerns about the noise and environmental impact of proposals that would lead to more planes flying lower over parts of East Hampshire.

During a debate at Full Council, on Thursday 22 September, councillors said they needed more information from TAG, the company that runs Farnborough airport, detailing noise levels and pollution.

Such is their concern EHDC Leader, Cllr Ferris Cowper, and East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds, have asked to meet with the Civil Aviation Authority to discuss the plans.

Cllr Cowper said: “The proposals represent an unacceptable intrusion into the right for a peaceful existence.”

The new air routes would funnel traffic to and from Farnborough Airport over parts of the district, with Liss, Liphook and Grayshott most at risk from increased noise levels.

The plans would also threaten the future of Lasham Gliding Society, the largest such organisation in the country, which operates from Lasham Airfield.

East Hampshire District Council’s Cabinet will discuss the issue further when more information can be obtained.

Business rates discount to encourage new premises

Businesses in East Hampshire could soon get discounts of up to £150,000 on business rates to build new premises.

The scheme will help new and established businesses build new premises enabling them to expand and develop modern working environments.

East Hampshire District Council aims to be the most business-friendly council in the UK and is keen to start this fantastic scheme. Details will be published on the EHDC website shortly.

Prior to this new council-led scheme, many businesses experienced difficulties in finding suitable premises in which to expand or relocate within the area. This discount of up to £150,000 for new-build premises will open up opportunities for growing businesses to do just that.

Councillor Glynis Watts, Portfolio Holder of Economic Development, said: “Business rate incentives will boost the delivery of new business premises, jobs and economic growth across the district as part of the council’s strategy to be as business-friendly as possible. This is a really good tool to have in our armoury to attract inward investment and support the viability of new developments.’’

Improvements to Alton Station Forecourt

Improvements will be taking place at Alton Station Forecourt to enhance it as a key ‘gateway’ into the town and to the South Downs National Park – this is your chance to comment on the plans.

East Hampshire District Council, working with South West Trains, Hampshire County Council and Alton Town Council are proposing a number of measures for the forecourt area which will help to make the forecourt a more attractive entry point into the town, improve pedestrian and cycle access, ensure bus services are clearly signed and review the current parking arrangements.

Key stakeholders and members of the public are invited to view the plans of the proposed improvements which will be on display at Alton Assembly Rooms, High Street, Alton, GU34 1BA, on Wednesday 28th September 2016, 3.30-8.30pm where staff will be available to talk through the proposals and take comments.

Local government for the future

With an innovative strategy and ambitious targets, East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) is developing a new model of local government that will protect and improve services for the future.

East Hampshire District Council’s Annual Report 2015-16, which is called Overview, tracks the progress of the council in the last financial year, and there are many positives to take from it.

By finding alternative sources of income and making efficiencies during 2015-16, the council has been able to reduce its share of residents’ Council Tax by two per cent. EHDC is possibly the only council in the country to have done this.

The council is leading the way with the transformation of Whitehill & Bordon following the departure of the Army from the town. The town was awarded Healthy New Town status and this will make the town a blueprint for how other communities across the country can be healthier and more vibrant. Whitehill & Bordon is one of only 10 towns in the country to be named a Healthy New Town.

Over the year the council has delivered over 100 daily services to over 4,000 businesses and 116,000 people, with a keen eye on value for money and the needs of customers. The council has also achieved:

  • Funding for sporting talent and apprenticeships, grants for local community groups and money into business start-ups that are supporting the district’s residents, businesses and visitors.
  • Prudent investments in property that are providing better returns than low savings interest rates.
  • Efficiencies are also being made, including joining with Havant Borough Council in an innovative procurement project to manage back office services that is forecast to save £3.8m over an eight year contract and a shared team managing a contract to deliver waste collection and landscape services.

Leader of EHDC, Councillor Ferris Cowper, said: “While other local authorities are cutting services and increasing Council Tax rates, East Hampshire District Council is bucking that trend.

“We realised long ago that local government can no longer expect to rely on grants from central government. That’s why we have been working towards removing our reliance on those grants by 2019-20. Cutting our share of Council Tax for 2016-17 was the first step towards independence.

“Our music festival, Butserfest continues to delight local young people and attract visitors from all over the country with the 10th Butserfest taking place on Saturday 10 September.

“We have funded Police Community Support Officers that are solely based in East Hampshire and are helping to maintain the safety of our communities.

“We have also helped local communities to develop neighbourhood plans, that are informing the decisions made by our planning committees and ensuring that new developments work for local people.

“Our ambitious and adaptable staff have embraced the challenges that have faced them, finding opportunities to improve services, save money and generate income.

“With devolution of powers on the government’s agenda, East Hampshire District Council is showing that taxpayers’ money is safe in our hands.”

To view the annual report online or download an interactive PDF, go to www.easthants.gov.uk/annualreport

EHDC forced to step up its fight against fly-tipping

The fight against fly-tipping is to be stepped up by East Hampshire District Council following Hampshire County Council’s decision to cut hours at waste recycling centres.

EHDC fears that an increase in fly-tipping will be the inevitable outcome – a view backed up by staff at the centres themselves.

A recent residents’ survey, which revealed that most people are ‘satisfied or more than satisfied’ with the way the district council conducts its business, pinpointed the issue as one of the big bugbears of their lives.

District council leader Cllr Ferris Cowper said: “The inevitable increase in the curse of fly-tipping was simply ignored by the Leader of Hampshire County Council when he tried to defend his policy of cutting hours at the centres, closing them altogether on Thursdays and charging some people to use them.

“I know very well that for many of our residents fly-tipping is a nightmare which looks terrible, causes accidents from concealed sharp objects, destroys the appearance of their local community, encourages anti-social behaviour and even contributes to the spread of diseases. The local East Hampshire District Council is strongly opposed to these closures and we are deeply disappointed that the county council over in Winchester sees fit to press ahead despite being clearly warned of the consequences.

“I have met with my Cabinet and senior district council officers to judge our response. We know already from our recent residents’ survey that our fly-tipping service is considered important and is well regarded. We also run a highly respected “zero tolerance” service on littering. As a result we are now evaluating the idea of investing more money in our littering zero tolerance service and extending that to the fly-tipping issue. We have to be ready with extra resources to clamp down on this nasty problem when the county council presses ahead with its regrettable closure programme.

“East Hampshire residents can be assured that EHDC will be investing in extra measures to deal with the consequences of the county council’s decision. Obviously the county council’s cost saving benefits to the public purse evaporate quickly when your local district council has to spend more money to clear up the ensuing mess.

“It’s all very well for the Leader of the county council to promote a County Unitary in his response, which would end your local district council, but based on this example, the County Unitary idea will put cost savings ahead of service provision. That’s not my view at EHDC and I don’t think it’s your view as local residents and businesses. County Unitarisation is a one trick pony; it cuts costs, but at what cost? EHDC cuts costs, cuts Council Tax, improves and adds new services and does all of this at record satisfaction levels.”

Have your say on the future structure of local government in Hampshire

The Serving Hampshire Consultation sets out the potential options for how Hampshire County Council and the 11 district councils in Hampshire could change, or be reorganised, to meet the huge challenges from ongoing cuts in funding from central Government and rising demand for services from a growing population.

Please tell us what you think. The consultation is available here: www.hants.gov.uk/servinghampshire.   It closes on 20 September.

Councils for Devolution leaflet

A chance to change to Alton’s health services

People living in and around Alton are being urged to have their say on the future of health and care services in their area at the next Community Forum to be held in the town.

With the population of Alton and the surrounding area increasing substantially over the coming years residents are being asked to consider what changes might be needed to ensure that health and care services are fit for the future.

NHS North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for planning, developing and paying for health services in the area, will be speaking on the issue at the Community Forum on Tuesday 26 July.

A panel of experts will attend the meeting to guide residents through the issues and answer questions.

The CCG is reviewing how and where care is provided for the people of Alton and surrounding villages. This includes GP and community services, hospital care, mental health services and health-related social care.

With more people living longer and increasing rates of long term conditions such as diabetes, as well as the continuing financial challenges for the NHS and social care, the CCG is focussing on developing patient-centred services, with all the organisations which provide care working together as efficiently as possible.

Glynis Watts, chairman of the Community Forum for Alton and the Surrounding Villages, said: “We have a panel of four highly-knowledgeable people involved in the process who will really be able to talk you through the situation.

“They will bring you the latest information, take your questions and listen to your concerns. You will not get a better opportunity to find out the facts of the matter than at our Community Forum.

“Pressure is growing on all our public services and important decisions will have to be taken in the future. These services touch all our lives, whether for ourselves or our families, and I would urge everyone to come to the meeting, listen to the plans and express their points of view.”

The panel includes  Zara Hyde-Peters, Director of Integration and Transformation, North Hampshire CCG,  Paul Davey, Head of Communications and Engagement, North Hampshire CCG, Olwen Long, Alton Review Stakeholder Reference Group and  Rosie Lewis, Alton Review Programme Team.

The meeting will be held at Alton Community Centre, Amery Street, GU34 1HN at 6.30pm. Before the meeting, from 5.30pm onwards, local Police Community Support Officers will be available to meet and chat to local people about policing issues in the area.

Click here for further information regarding the Alton Review

Residents get plenty of satisfaction from EHDC, according to survey results

Residents have given East Hampshire District Council a ringing endorsement, according to the results of the latest survey into the council’s services.

Questionnaires returned by people chosen at random showed a far higher level of satisfaction than the previous survey in 2011.

More than 75 per cent of respondents said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of EHDC’s services, compared with 60 per cent five years ago.

Cllr Richard Millard, Deputy Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said: “These results are superb and show the people of East Hampshire are more than happy with the vast majority of our frontline services.

“It is harder than ever for councils to keep council tax low and maintain excellent public services but these results indicate our services are improving even as we cut our share of council tax by 2 per cent.

“Every year financial support from the government dwindles further but EHDC is determined not to cut back frontline services and instead seek out new ways of generating income.

“These results are a testament to the success of that ideal and the hard work and the smart policies of council.”

The survey saw an impressive result for the council’s waste collection, its most high-profile service, with 93 per cent agreeing they were either satisfied or very satisfied.

A total of 77 per cent of residents were also satisfied or very satisfied with electoral registration as were 72 per cent with the council’s collection of council tax.

Street cleaning, playgrounds and parks, car parks and planning also received a thumbs up from residents.

See a snapshot of the residents’ survey results here

Youth groups can apply for £250 Money Pot grants

Community groups that benefit young people in East Hampshire can apply for grants of up to £250 to help pay for their activities.

Run by East Hampshire Youth Council (EHYC), the grants support existing or new community projects as long as they are used by young people in the district.

The deadline for applications to the fund, called Money Pot, is Friday 1 July 2016.

All applications will be considered and granted by the members of East Hampshire Youth Council.

Mathew Knight, the current chair of EHYC and previous money pot coordinator, said: “Last year we awarded £3,035 in total to 15 different organisations from all over the area. This benefited 1,650 young people and contributed towards new resources, set up costs, training and events. We are really pleased that we could help them and look forward to helping more groups this year.”

Previous recipients include the East Hampshire Young Carers Group which received £250 after one of its members, Yasmin, drew the winning design in East Hampshire Youth Council’s Christmas Card competition.

East Hampshire Youth Council is for all young people aged 11-21 years who either live, learn or work across the district. The youth council strives to give all young people a voice in their community and to make a real difference.

East Hampshire District Council recognises the importance and benefit of listening to children and young people to change, improve and introduce new services.

For more information and an application form contact susan.kirkwood-taylor@easthants.gov.uk or phone 01730 234186 or go to www.easthantsyouthcouncil.org.

Cllr Robert Saunders

3 Borovere Lane
GU34 1PB

01420 82669


October 2016
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The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.