Local Issues

29 Oct


Fareham Borough Council has agreed to launch a COVID-19 Special Grants programme to help reduce the financial strain on smaller organisations in Fareham that may have struggled througout the pandemic and not yet been able to access funding.
Charitable and voluntary organisations will be able to apply online for a quick and easy one-off payment of £250 to help address some of the unprecedented financial pressures they have experienced due to Coronavirus.
Applications from charitable, voluntary and community groups must demonstrate that they meet all of the following criteria to qualify for the grant:
•Provide a community service to residents in the Borough of Fareham.
•Need the requested funding to help meet additional core-running costs, or to cover lost income experienced as a direct result of the COVID-19 restrictions.
•Supply a copy of their constitution and annual accounts.
•Provide evidence that they are a ‘not for profit’ organisation.
•Confirm that no alternative funding source is available to meet the identified needs.
The grant will not be available to profit making organisations, organisations with large reserves or to those organisations that have already received funding from Fareham Borough Council during the pandemic.
Whilst many of the larger community organisations with premises have benefitted from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, many smaller community organisations and voluntary groups have had no access to external financial support. We hope that this grant will help those smaller organistions meet some of the additional costs that the pandemic has caused them, such as loss of income, the provision of extra Personal Protective Equipment and cleaning materials.”
The Council has ring-fenced £30,000 from the existing Community Funding Budget which will enable 120 groups and organisations to benefit from the funding.
For more information, or to make an application, please visit www.fareham.gov.uk/grants.
22 Oct


Two south Hampshire councils are joining forces to seek benefits for their boroughs from two pots of Government money aimed at increasing wetlands, woodlands and meadows in the Solent area. Cllr Seán Woodward, Leader of Fareham Council and Cllr Stephen Philpott, who is in charge of Economic Development at Gosport, want to see more land between the two towns “rewilded”.
This shared vision follows last month’s announcement by the Government to invest £3.9million to set up an online ‘nitrate-trading’ auction platform. They are also considering a loan to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust for further land purchase in the Solent region for ‘rewilding’. Both initiatives would provide additional habitat rich areas for wildlife whilst unlocking much needed homes, with the backing of Natural England.
Three weeks ago, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, joined 65 world leaders in a pledge to reverse losses of wildlife habitats. In the UK that will mean an additional 400,000 hectares of woodland, wetland and meadow by the end of the decade.
What we would like to see is the entire Strategic Gap that lies between Fareham and Gosport, and between Fareham and Stubbington rewilded to provide nitrate mitigation and preserve wildlife and this scheme offers us the opportunity to achieve that. I have been an unwavering supporter of preserving our precious Strategic Gaps and indeed seeking their designation as Green Belt. The recent announcement by Government that Fareham is likely to see a reduction in the number of houses it is required to plan for means we are now in a position to make an approach to our partners to secure land in the Fareham-Stubbington Strategic Gap for rewilding.
Although the Fareham-Stubbington Strategic Gap is mainly in Fareham there would also be a significant environmental benefit for Gosport.
This is a great example of local councils working together for the benefit of their residents. We have today written to the Wildlife Trust to secure their backing for our idea to see a significant environmental gain in our immediate neighbourhood. We will also work with other partners such as the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and Natural England to seek maximum benefit from other similar projects for our communities.
16 Oct


It was a real honour to be able to attend and take part in the energisation of the interconnector with National Grid UK at Solent Airport, Daedalus with Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng and MP
Caroline Dinenage.
IFA2 is a 1,000 MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical interconnector running for 149 miles between the British and French transmission systems. It will provide enough clean energy from France to power 1 million British homes, avoiding 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually equivalent to planting 50 million trees. IFA2 has been in construction since 2017. The number of man hours contributed to the project to date is 3,213,936.
The substation is at Chilling near Warsash. It is connected to the converter station at Solent Airport, Daedalus via underground cables running under the Solent and receives AC current into the grid.
While controversial at the planning stage this vital piece of infrastructure has been provided on time and within its £700m budget. The technology is absolutely cutting edge and the valve, DC and AC halls are a sight to behold as are the thyristors which switch the current between AC and DC.
One of the prerequisites for this project was that it shall have no adverse effect on airport operations. Thankfully that has been proven during the energisation process. There will also be a fantastic open space provided at Daedalus Common and a super children’s playground.