Jackie Porter

Liberal Democrat Councillor and Prospective MP for Winchester and Chandler's Ford Learn more

View more tweets

Read more on this

View more tweets

Read more on this

January 2012 Report for Parish Councils

County Councillor’s Monthly Report for Parishes for January 2012

January 3rd, 2012 by jporter
Comment?

Happy New Year!

wind and rain as we started 2012-but no snow yet!

I hope that the lack of snow continues into 2012: but if the weather turns bad, please go to my website for the daily weather alert updates from the Director for Environment, Transport and Roads. These reports are issued to County Councillors at around 5pm every day when the snow is threatened. If you prefer, I can send these direct to councillors (and others) who send me an email to jackie.porter@hants.gov.uk heading SNOW. I am putting the reports on to my website www.jackieporter.mycouncillor.org.uk   for your information too.

 

  

  Footways (ie paths alongside roads, or metalled paths between areas) are most likely to be HCC responsibility. With the Operation Restore for Roads programme, the footways have not taken priority for several years now, but a number are in poor condition. Please report any faults on www.fixmystreet.com or report on the hants website under ‘report a road problem’ or call 0845 603 5633 . If you think it is a real hazard, it is worth using the word ‘dangerous’ in your report: risk assessment requires a faster response.   (Or if there are gaps where you need a footway, you are welcome to request this direct too but it may be worth talking, initially, to me)

Lighting: in particular, maintenance. I have had reports that the complaints procedure for failed lights isn’t as good as it was pre PFI. I have taken this up at HCC who awarded the contract.

an unusual view of the lit sign- as only the installer sees it!

Lit Signs

are in use in several villages now, but due to the maternity leave of the HCC officer, and the staffing cuts, the programme stalled in 2011. But new paperwork has been sent to all four villages in the next tranche at the beginning of January, so we hope to make some progress now.

The agreement for Barton Farm MDA by WCC has implications for HCC matters too: highways, and education, public transport are three of the issues to be tackled. If you think the decision will affect your Parish and want to be involved in any discussions, please let me know.

 HCC and the New Forest and South Downs National Park authorities are putting out a pre application Bid Document for Public Transport. It describes the way forward for a Public bus service to serve tourists and residents alike. This is extremely interesting because it mirrors my proposal to the SDNPA in autumn 2011 when we were trying to improve village bus services. If it is relevant to your communities, please respond as individuals and the Parish to the Draft Plan by 27th Jan 2012. The link is: http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/looking-after/partnership-working/local-sustainable-transport-fund-bid

Jackie visited children at Itchen Abbas school in autumn 2011

Primary school places are at a premium at the moment. The reality is that for residents moving into the area mid-year, it is often difficult to find places at the same school for siblings. Families who live at the edge of a catchment area and parents who want their child to be at an out of catchment school for childcare reasons , for example, are unlikely to get their first choice. This is a real problem in rural areas where catchment areas are larger, and an obvious second choice of school is unclear. The County has received some money from Government (just under £8m) for building new schools to cope with the increased demand right across Hampshire, but it isn’t enough to cover the places needed even in the Winchester district. A new 2 form entry primary school costs £7m, and a 1000 place secondary school costs around £30m, excluding land. Academies and Free school provision complicates the picture too. There is a draft School Places Plan 2011 – 2015 out for consultation. As a local Council you may even have a representative Governor at your local school. Please take the opportunity to debate whether your Council wishes to make a response to this consultation: a good, local school is what most parents seek for their children, and you can help to make that point in your response. The link is: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/education/schools/school-places. Please send comments to ian.lawson@hants.gov.uk by 31 March 2012.