Notes from the Test Valley Borough Councillor
Having served on the borough council for almost three years, I feel I should contribute to the local news.
The Parish Council .
Firstly, as I am sure most people know, Longparish has an excellent Parish Council. I have been privileged to work with them and to see how hardworking and forward- thinking they are. The work done to get the skate ramp built and to make the old gravel pit at the Common more attractive are just two of the things they have achieved. Richard Wills has kindly agreed to give allow the recreation ground to be extended a little and the Parish Council has arranged for new fencing to be done shortly. But it is not just the visible work but also everything that is done behind the scenes, including the meetings every month in the Village Hall Committee Room. It is a Council everyone should be proud of.
Pensions and the Post Office.
I have just joined the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Postwatch Committee and was horrified to find out how little was published about the new way that pensions will be paid from this April. I feel the important message to get across is that you do not have to open a bank account and your pensions can still be paid over the post office counter.
The system is quite simple. Just see Ann who will arrange for you to have a card and a four figure number, just as you would need if it were paid into a bank. You have probably seen the card machine on the Post Office counter, which you will use when you collect your money.
The important point is that pension payments are about 40% of the Post Offices business and without it our post office and many more like it would be threatened with closure. So please see Ann and arrange for your pension to be paid locally, just as I shall when I become a pensioner in May this year.
Grass cutting at North AcreFinally, for the residents of North Acre I have won the battle over the inconsistency of grass cutting in the summer months. After six months of work the executive council agreed with me, at the December meeting, that all the grass should be cut the same number of times a year, a triumph for common sense. During my efforts it was revealed that eight other villages had the same problem and that is being rectified also.
Friday 14 th March A special insight into Bridalwear from the 18 th Century to the 1920s, a slide show talk with an abundance of artefacts to see, feel and try on, with Shelley Tobin, Costume Curator of Killerton House (NT) and Exeter Museum, will be held in the Tea Room at 7.30 pm. Pay at the door - £4; Friends of Whitchurch Silk Mill - £3.
There will also be the opportunity to get involved in a new Reading Group as part of a new literature and music project at the Mill sponsored by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council. This will meet monthly at the Whitchurch Silk Mill. The first meeting is at 2pm, Monday 24 March . Admission is free .
Guest speakers from Southern Water and the Environment Agency will talk about flooding and drainage and answer questions.
The council and the school governors have been trying to ensure that the problems of flooding at the school and elsewhere in the village do not happen again. In 2001 the highest levels were in May as growing weed held back the water in the river, so we may not have seen the worst yet. Local MPs have taken an interest. Please come along if you have been affected or would just like to find out more.
The parish meeting is when the parish council reports back to the village on what it has been doing in the last year and you can ask any questions about what the council has been doing, or not doing for that matter.
Afterwards, please join the council and guests for wine, beer or tea and light refreshments.
Longparish Allotment Holders
On Saturday March 22 nd from 10am until 12 noon I will be on my allotment to collect this seasons rents. If the weather is wet I will be in the committee room of the village hall. It will also be an opportunity for us to discuss the future running of the allotments. If you are unable to make it then, please contact me on 720425. I would particularly like to know if you are considering giving up your plot.
I think there will be a spare plot this season so if you are interested in growing your own vegetables or need a way of keeping fit without going to the gym either come along on March 22nd or contact me on 720425.
If you know of someone who needs to know this information, please pass on the word. Thank you.