Archive for January, 2015
People with learning, physical, mental health or sensory difficulties will have another opportunity to get active when East Hants Disability Multi Sports club is re-launched on Wednesday (21 January).
The club will run from 6.45pm-8pm on Wednesdays during term-time at Treloar School, Holybourne, Alton.
The club offers lots of sports and activities to have a go at each week including basketball, rugby, cricket, boccia, new age kurling and lots more.
Activities are led by a team of professional coaches who have a wealth of experience in coaching different sports activities.
The Disability Multi Sports club has been set up in partnership by East Hampshire District Council, Treloar School, East Hants Disability Forum and Sport Hampshire & IOW.
Councillor Nick Drew, East Hampshire District Councillor responsible for communities said: “Sport can be a great way to improve co-ordination and balance, as well as providing opportunities to meet new people. This club is an example of what can be achieved by working with our partners in the community. With the support of local volunteers, we will provide a valuable service that can benefit many people with disabilities over the coming years.”
The club is also looking for volunteers to help to ensure its long-term sustainability for the future.
If you would like to participate, get involved as a volunteer or are interested in coaching a session please contact Kirsty Cope, Sports & Physical Activity Officer on 01730 234015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Competition for school places in Alton and the surrounding area will be up for discussion at the next Community Forum held in the village.
There are concerns over the capacity and allocation of schools in the area, particularly in the light of new developments and a rising local population putting pressure on school places.
The Forum, run by East Hampshire District Council, will be joined by Martin Shefferd, School Organisation Officer at Hampshire County Council, and Pam Simpson, District Manager, Education and Inclusion, who will explain the position and answer questions.
They will give a short presentation and describe how new developers could help contribute to funding and improving education in the area.
Cllr Glynis Watts, chairman of the Community Forum, said: “There is a lot of pressure for new homes to be built in the Alton area at the moment and we must make sure we have the infrastructure to accommodate the new families who move in.
“I am delighted that Martin and Pam will be able to join us at the meeting and bring detail and expertise to the discussion. I would encourage anyone who is interested in school places and education in the area to come along and join the debate.”
The Forum will also feature EHDC’s budget plans for 2015/2016, including a recommendation to freeze Council Tax again.
The Forum is to be held on Tuesday 27 January at 6.30pm, at the Alton Maltings Centre, Maltings Close, Alton, GU34 1DT.
Conservative controlled East Hampshire District Council plans to freeze its share of the Council Tax in the coming year – the seventh freeze in nine years.
The freeze has been achieved alongside maintaining, or even improving, services despite the continual erosion of government grants to local authorities.
EHDC Leader Cllr Ferris Cowper says innovation and efficiency has allowed the council to thrive in the face of worsening financial conditions for the public sector.
Cllr Cowper said: “Government grants comprised 44 per cent of our income in 2009/10 but in 2015/16 will only amount to 27 per cent.
“To maintain, and in fact improve, services since 2009-10 while freezing Council Tax and still balancing the books, despite that swingeing loss of income is an astonishing achievement.”
EHDC’s expenditure will be about the same as in 2014/15, with no loss of service and several improvements. Such improvements include 50 per cent more money for Councillor Devolved Grants, three dedicated PCSOs and five number plate recognition cameras dedicated to East Hampshire.
There will be a much bigger motor sport event – Autotest and Autosolo – for young people following last year’s successful trial and a massive programme is underway in Whitehill and Bordon as the foundations of the new town are laid.
Funding from the government continues to fall, even when taking into account new grants, such as the New Homes Bonus, given to local authorities for the first six years after a property has been built or brought into use after a long period unoccupied.
It is expected that government grants will dwindle to zero over the coming decade but the council has ambitions to generate its own income through new business ventures.
“With another freeze on Council Tax and services being maintained or improved the difference is coming from efficiencies and the early stages of our new business ventures strategy,” said Cllr Cowper.
“The income from the new business ventures strategy will enable us to be completely free of dependence on government grants by 2019/20 and we hope that five years after that may enable us to reduce Council Tax to a very small sum indeed, nil if possible.
“Other councils have achieved Council Tax freezes by cutting services wholesale. We’ve done it by taking a hard-nosed attitude to efficiency that compares with the very finest efficiency programmes in the corporate world.
“However as that opportunity gradually reduces, these new income streams will give unlimited life to the retention of that strategy into the future. So much so, that we visualise that the new business ventures strategy could generate so much additional income by 2024-25, that the need to levy Council Tax could disappear altogether.”
Find out more about EHDC’s financial plans at the forthcoming Community Forum at Alton Maltings on Tuesday 27 January.
The plans are currently under consultation and will not be finalised until EHDC’s Full Council meeting on Thursday February 26.