Local Issues

02 Mar

Pop-up shop saved by Council Leader

A temporary shop that failed to apply for a correct licence was saved by the boss of the council department that closed it. The pop-up Co-op in Middle Road, Park Gate was opened as the main store closed for a three-week refurbishment. It was shut down by highways officers after it failed to obtain a licence from Hampshire County Council in time, much to the disappointment of elderly residents living in the nearby Raglan Court sheltered housing. County Councillor Seán Woodward stepped in and saved the store from closure by helping them negotiate more time. Tina Maggs, who lives nearby, said: “I called Councillor Woodward and he attended within minutes to see the issue for himself. I am delighted that he responded so quickly and sorted the problem out for us all.” Councillor Woodward, who is in charge of roads at the County Council, agreed it was necessary to take a pragmatic view given the temporary nature of the shop and the needs of elderly residents, many of whom couldn’t walk further to buy necessities. He said: “While technically Co-op breached the rules and should have obtained a licence, I agreed with highway officers that they could stay open and gave them 48 hours to obtain the necessary licence. “My priority is to help the elderly residents to enjoy the basic service that Co-op has been thoughtful enough to provide for a few weeks while their store is refurbished.”

02 Mar

Zero Council Tax rise 7 years running

We have confounded the pundits yet again by freezing council tax 7 years running. Council Leader Seán Woodward said it was achieved without reducing essential services, while giving hard working staff a 6.2% pay rise – their first for 3 years. This is despite our Government grant being halved and receiving less per resident than almost every other council in the country. Take into account inflation, and it’s effectively a 22% tax cut. The County Council and Fire Authority have also frozen their council tax; only the police element will rise by 1.99%. Prudent investment in the property market will help to keep taxes low in future. The Council plans to take a tougher line with littering and dog fouling, plus putting more investment into youth services. It will continue to invest in apprenticeships and in the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus, where the runway has been resurfaced and the Merlin Innovation Centre will open soon, housing 150 jobs

02 Mar

Green light for £7m Western Wards Leisure Centre

Detailed plans for the prestigious £7m Western Wards Leisure Centre at Coldeast have been approved by Fareham planners and it is due for completion in May 2016.

Public consultation took place on the design before it was given detailed consent by the Planning Committee on January 28. The building will incorporate main and teaching pools, fitness suite, spinning and dance studios, wet and dry changing facilities, foyer, ancillary offices and plant room and car park.

It has been designed with a sweeping roof to complement the level changes. The layout is simple and easy to get around with glazing around the pool hall creating a visual link from outside the building.

The external walls will be constructed of blue rain screen cladding, and a glazed curtain walling system; these materials are simple and give the building a lightweight appearance.