Liberal Democrat Focus - Fair Oak & Horton Heath edition: Summer 2021

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Fair Oak & Horton Heath Focus Summer 2021 Liberal Democrats

Election over - County Tories reveal NEW cuts…
County to AXE Crossing Patrols
Conservative Hampshire County Council is once again planning to stop all funding for school crossing patrols, writes Councillor Nick Couldrey.

Your Lib Dem councillors are strongly against this - safe routes to school are essential with our ever-busy roads.

In our area, crossing patrols are vital for children’s safety on the way to the schools on Botley Road.

The Tories plan to make the crossing patrol staff redundant.
The “consultation” document produced by the County is designed to give the impression residents back all the cuts.
Your Lib Dems have launched a petition to give YOU a REAL say to back school road safety - go to www.eastleighlibdems.org.uk/SOS or fill in and send back our back page petition - do it today!

The local winners! Source: Last local elections across our Borough
Lib Dem 1st
Con 2nd
Others
Everyone knows only the Lib Dems can beat the Tories
Lib Dems win here!

Focus is paid for by the local Lib Dems, serving our local community. It is delivered by a team of volunteers, who we thank for their help.

Nick Couldrey writes
I was disappointed to lose the Borough Council election and congratulate my Tory opponent on his win. But I am still here, one of the Lib Dem team working on local issues and services.
These are still important as we emerge from lockdown which we all hope will mean that the rest of the year is less fraught.
I hope you stay safe and enjoy the summer.

In This Issue…
Trees, trees trees!
Library opening
Solar park saved
…and lots more local news!

Campaigning all-year-round for local people!

Local Broadband
Many residents told Cllr Bruce Tennent that fixed and mobile broadband speeds are very poor in parts of our villages. Even making a mobile phone call indoors is not possible for some.
Bruce invited Openreach to a scrutiny meeting to explain their full-fibre strategy. They supply full-fibre Broadband infrastructure free of charge for larger new housing areas, but elsewhere only install where they believe they expect a profit. Funding to install new infrastructure in the existing areas of our community may be available in the form of contributions from nearby new housing development. Yet again, the government leaves it to councils to help fix needed infrastructure.

Election Results
Across our Borough, Liberal Democrats won 10 of the 12 Borough Council seats up for election in May. On the Borough Council there are now 32 Lib Dems, 5 Independents and just 2 Conservatives.
In the County Council elections, the Lib Dem team won 6 of the 8 seats in our Borough.
Nick Couldrey, Mike Thornton and Bruce Tennent would like to thank everyone who voted for them here.
Your Lib Dem team are of course here for you all year round - unlike the Conservatives who only turn up when they want your vote!

Council Meetings
All our local councils have now returned to “in person” meetings at local venues rather than meeting “online”. Check council websites for details.

**News from your Liberal Democrat campaigners - **
Working for our villages all-year-round
Got an issue? Get in touch with the Lib Dem team!

Shorts Road
The old Scout Hut on Shorts Road is due to be demolished. The Parish Council has been discussing the Fountain Cafe’s proposal to build a not-for-profit community cafe in its place. The Fountain Cafe is a community group run by volunteers. Residents backed the parish council’s consultation, and with funding from the developers’ contributions, the Parish Council is to prepare detailed plans.
The consultation also highlighted the problems caused by buses using Shorts Road. We’ve asked the bus company if the route can be changed.

HGVs and Burnetts Lane
HGVs from Chalcroft Distribution Park have been a problem for years. The opening of the new link road to Bubb Lane will be a big help. So will Traffic Regulation Orders for speed and weight restrictions on HGVs that Cllr Bruce Tennent has persuaded the County Council to bring forward and that will soon be on public consultation. Meadowsweet Way residents will also benefit because the Police will have powers to take action against drivers using their road as a short cut.

The Local Plan
The council is consulting on changes to the Local Plan. The proposal to build east and north of Fair Oak has been dropped. But the Planning Inspector also insisted that the countryside gaps proposed by the Council must be reduced. Some of the areas which now fall outside the gaps are protected for other reasons (e.g. woodlands), existing countryside policies should protect the rest.

Trees, trees, trees!
The illegal clearance of Scorey’s Copse has highlighted the continual loss of trees in the South east. Eastleigh Borough Council has taken strong measures in response to that piece of vandalism.
It has also started enquiries into two other episodes where more trees were cut down than authorised; County contractors working on the Botley bypass and its own contractors at Allington Lane. Both enquiries are currently sub judice and so we can’t comment further.
Trees and vegetation are easily lost to development. Existing planning policies try to limit the loss. But some developers clear sites before applying for planning permission. The Borough Council is trying to strengthen policies to protect trees, stop pre-emptive felling and insist on better replacements for trees that do not have to go. The Council is consulting about the new policy which is in a draft planning document available on its website.
We also need more trees. The Council has started planting the 160,000 new trees that it intends to add by 2030 and has created a tree nursery at Horton Heath to supply locally grown trees.

Council Safeguards Solar Park
Your Lib Dem Borough Council has saved Chalcroft Solar Park from being bought up for development - by buying it itself!
The solar park produces around six million kilowatt hours of power each year.
Developed in 2013, the site hosts more than 25,600 photovoltaic panels covering 34 acres of land. Power from the Park will help provide green electricity at One Horton Heath, as well as to the national grid.

Park Sport
Eastleigh Borough Council’s popular Park Sport is back this year with highly subsidised summer activities for 5-16 year olds at either £1 or completely free.
The programme will run from 26 July to o28 August and will see the return of popular activities, such as the free Skate Jams and Free Swimming at multiple locations across the Borough. [www.eastleigh.gov.uk] for details.(https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk)

Your Local Lib Dem Team
Your local team of councillors and campaigners
Nick Couldrey 07801 698611
Nick.Couldrey@fairoak-pc.gov.uk
follow Nick on Facebook - “Nick Couldrey Parish councillor FOHH”
Helen Douglas 023 8069 2200
Helen.Douglas@fairoak-pc.gov.uk
Michelle Marsh 023 8069 2403
Michelle.Marsh@easleigh.gov.uk
Rob Rushton 023 8001 6240
Rob.Rushton@eastleigh.gov.uk
Bruce Tennent 07703 447365
Bruce.Tennent@eastleigh.gov.uk
and a great team of parish councillors working on our local parish councils!

Campaigning all-year-round for local people!

Our Library
Cllr Nick Couldrey Reports
The reopening of the library is beginning to progress
After closing the library at the end of last year, Hampshire County Council took until mid-June to transfer the building to the Parish Council.
Now volunteers are starting to get everything ready for reopening to the public. They hope to be able to do so before the end of July.
To begin with, everything will look much the same. But clearly the library is going to have to change.
it is not good enough to only be open for short periods during the day. that excludes children at school and those working during the day. And it needs to do more than just lend books. We can make better use of this community space.
Quite how the library evolves depends on you. When do you need it and for what? What do you think that the volunteers should do to make it a better facility for the community?
The library will be consulting widely. you can follow what’s going on and tell us what you think at - www.fairoakcommunitylibrary.org

Save our School Crossings!
“We the undersigned demand Hampshire County Council keep our children safe and save our school crossing patrols”.

What can we do for YOU?
If there are issues you want us to take up, or if you have a problem or an idea for our area get in touch with our team through our unique FREEPOST service. Email Nick.couldrey@fairoak-pc.gov.uk or write to Nick and the Lib Dem team: Freepost RTLH-YXCX-BKXE, Eastleigh Liberal Democrats, 107 Leigh Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9DR. It won’t even cost you a stamp!
Nick Couldrey

If you return this form the Liberal Democrats and their elected representatives may use the information you’ve given to contact you. By providing your data to us, you are consenting to us making contact with you in the future by mail, email, telephone, text, website and apps, even though you may be registered with the Telephone Preference Service. Your data may be stored or otherwise processed in the US, governed by European Commission model contract clauses. You can always opt out of communications at any time by contacting us or visiting www.libdems.org.uk/optout. For more information go to www.libdems.org.uk/privacy

Printed by IVPS, c/o 107 Leigh Road, Eastleigh. Published and promoted by A Winstanley on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, 107 Leigh Road, Eastleigh (FO 6/21).

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Thanks for uploading and transcribing @Diggers :slight_smile:

Appreciate Nick’s honesty in here, but the manipulative bar chart from Eastleigh lib dems remains! Please drop the bar chart Eastleigh Lib Dems! It’s misleading!

Sorry - I’m no fan of central government but the Eastleigh Lib Dem’s chose to build AND approve all the house building here without the infrastructure! Why don’t you check infrastructure exists before you create your own company to build houses, and approve your own planning permission?

The job of the Borough Council is to approve house planning - your responsibility is to check to make sure its suitable for approval and has the necessary infrastructure to support?

Lack of infrastructure to support new houses is Eastleigh Lib Dem’s responsibility?

This isn’t true, I’ve seen at least @StevenBroomfield, @PaulHolmes88, and @LisaCrosher active since the last election.

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I’m not sure it’s as simple as that. The infrastructure in this case was broadband/mobile coverage wasn’t it? Can planning applications be turned down on that basis? Maybe the council could start its own phone company as well :slight_smile:

I’m sure some infrastructure is the responsibility of Eastleigh council, but some is commercial, some will be the county council, and presumably central government hasn’t quite farmed out responsibility for everything yet.

As for who’s active, Steven and Paul should be- they were elected! Good to see Lisa still is though.

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Agreed, it never is as simple as that. :slight_smile:

The infrastructure in this case called out by the lib dems is broadband, but they are ignoring other infrastructure, roads, doctors surgeries, etc. The whole purpose of planning and approval I thought was to ensure it doesn’t impact existing, and is fit for purpose.

This doesn’t seem to be happening in Eastleigh today.

Eastleigh Lib Dem’s I know will call out that its HCC for roads and transport - however it seems wrong to me to permit building & bringing in more people & traffic and then point the finger to say someone else’s problem regardless of who owns the infrastructure. The planning authority & responsibility is on Eastleigh Borough Council, is it not? You can’t brag to have won full control of the planning department (again) and then fail on the planning responsibility but point the finger of blame elsewhere!

Silly analogy time - A space shuttle is about to take off, and launch control approves it. A plane flies overhead - do they carry on anyway as it’s the planes fault they’re responsible, or do they abort?

A solution of course would be both HCC and EBC have joint approval responsibility. :slight_smile:

It’s primarily the needless finger pointing and blame I dislike as it resolves nothing and degenerates the conversation away from solutions.

As for who’s active - there are more I just tagged the ones here. Some councillors aren’t active even thought they are elected ;). The comment in the leaflet is still factually inaccurate…

I think leaflets should focus on what you’re doing, not what others aren’t. But hey, not my leaflet :wink:

The planning department doesn’t make the rules though. I would guess they would lose a lot of appeals if they tried to reject applications on the basis of broadband, or even the amount of traffic.

I imagine everyone wants more infrastructure first but that change has to come from Westminster, even if it’s in the form of greater devolution. Will the new build build build planning system prioritise infrastructure? Will Eastleigh get the infrastructure the PM promised in PMQs? Time will tell.

Wouldn’t that be nice!

So they shouldn’t object or raise issue because they may lose a future appeal? That’s wrong too as that would just bury real issues and maintain the status quo.

I get that they might lose if they object to a house building on appeal but this at least brings more visibility to the issue rather than accepting exactly what the developer wants.

When you say appeal though, remember Eastleigh Borough Council is planning developer and planning approver- so if they appeal it would be Eastleigh Borough Council appealing itself! :rofl: - not going to happen!

Central government is to blame for many things but EBC is responsible for development of the borough through being the biggest developer, and planning approver.

This is permitted by laws created by central government, yes, but also morally wrong by EBC for making the issue far worse and then pointing the finger elsewhere.

I get that development brings opportunity, but right now I see no end to the finger pointing of blame and no one is tackling the bigger serious issue that it is unsustainable.

Curious, what infrastructure is this and what was the promise?

They should, and do, reject applications, and defend appeals, but that has to be based on current planning rules, not what any of us might want the planning rules to be.

There might be other ways to bring more visibility to issues where they would like to reject applications but some may characterise that as finger pointing :slight_smile:

Is Eastleigh Council really the biggest developer in the borough? Can anyone other than the applicant and council take appeals to the planning inspector/high court? If not, maybe they should be but that would be quite a contrast with the current push to reduce access to judicial review.

I get that many people don’t like new developments (they knocked down the house I grew up in to build a road and I’m never getting over that!) but I would much rather they built new houses where there is infrastructure and, compared to a lot of places, that’s Eastleigh. There’s certainly a lot of finger pointing and, while Eastleigh Council isn’t perfect, they seem to get more than their fair share of the blame.

Don’t get your hopes up, it was an empty soundbite at PMQs…

We will ensure that, in so far as we need to build many more homes, which we do, we will supply the infrastructure necessary and do it on brownfield sites.

Actually it does. It agrees a local area plan which is decided/voted on by elected members.

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I actually don’t think the infrastructure is really there, certainly not in Fair Oak All the new housing estates around Fair Oak & Horton Heath join up with existing ‘main’ roads that are already gridlocked at peak times (not to mention if there’s ever an issue on the motorways, or any roadworks to contend with). I really don’t think these roads were designed for the amount of traffic that uses them at the moment, let alone with thousands more vehicles that’ll inevitably come with the new housing. I personally feel Fair Oak has had way more than its fair share of new builds over the last 15 years or so. I dread to think what trying to get out of Fair Oak will be like once One Horton Heath etc is complete :woman_facepalming:

And it’s not just the roads. I grew up in Fair Oak and have NEVER seen flooding like we witnessed a few weeks ago. Possibly it was due to poor maintenance of the drainage systems, possibly climate change, possibly building over all our lovely fields and trashing the mature trees of our surrounding area…possibly a combination of all of the above. But I’m sure the sheer volume of housing developments, with seemingly little regard for our environment, cannot be helping.

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The local plan seems more like a blueprint for how we want to guide development within the actual planning rules to me, although I guess that does influence how the rules get applied. For example, the local plan agreed by our locally elected representatives was overruled by the planning inspector.

I would be really interested to know how local plans fit in with planning reforms. Do they disappear, do local councils get more power to genuinely set the rules, or something else?

It’s certainly true that the existing infrastructure isn’t evenly distributed and Fair Oak probably suffers more than other areas.

Unfortunately you’re right about the inevitable extra traffic but it’s disappointing that we aren’t investing more in genuinely new infrastructure to cut down our reliance on cars.

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I agree but it isn’t Eastleigh - Hedge End and West End is perfect for expansion. Lots of suitable sites and it would make perfect sense given Eastleigh is at breaking point from traffic, water services at their limit and poor digital services.

I wonder how many people in Hedge End and West End would agree :slight_smile:

I actually meant Eastleigh in the broadest sense including Hedge End (it seems odd not to make the most of the station) but also the centre of Eastleigh- improving public transport, and digital services should be easier with higher density areas, plus there are already two stations unlike Fair Oak for instance. I’m not sure what particular problems central Eastleigh has with water services that other areas don’t have- there are some pretty unpleasant sewerage problems near me for example.

Anyway, we’re in danger of going off topic and rewriting the local plan, and who wants to go there?! :grin:

Ah I see. It’s not a political point it’s simply a matter of infrastructure.

Businesses are great at ‘sweating the assets’. It basically means you stretch your investment as far as it will go despite it surpassing the payback/expected service period.

In Eastleigh, with water for instance, the assets have been placed under so much stress from expansion that you’re seeing water outages (see the recent issue at North Stoneham). On Derby Road/Chamberlayne Road junction, the sewers often smell and are at capacity based on a site survey. There are more examples.

There’s a real issue with overdevelopment in Eastleigh (South and Central) based on the current, overstretched infrastructure.

The last thing I heard about in PMQs was the M27 resurfacing, which the PM happily supported.

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