Local Issues

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.

02 Mar

Huge investment brings Superfast Broadband step closer for Whiteley

MILLIONS of pounds are being invested by Hampshire County Council to bring Superfast Broadband to areas which BT considers unviable and which are not served by cable. Contracts are being negotiated to make live several cabinets, including Whiteley, and the County Council has a website http://www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband. com/ where people can check by postcode whether their cabinet is included either this year or next. Several residents have formed an interest group with a Facebook page ‘Whiteley Broadband’ . County Councillor Seán Woodward has invited them to meet him and leading members of the Council’s team responsible for the contracts in March to discuss ways of getting the best solution for Whiteley. He said: “Not only are we investing in upgrades which are not commercially viable, but we have also made money available with the possible use for match-funding communities where residents judge, perhaps for business reasons, that they would wish to contribute something to have their own cabinet upgraded when it falls outside even the two intervention contracts proposed by the County Council.”