28 May 2015
A look at the last year at CAT meeting
The next Community Action Team (CAT) meeting for the Western part of Fareham will take place on Monday 1 June at Brookfield Community School from 7pm – 8:30pm.
At this meeting Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Conservative Cllr Woodward will give a presentation looking back at the last year and at some of the interesting initiatives happening in the Borough now. You will get the chance to ask him any questions you may have about what’s going on in your local area. Residents will also hear an update from the local police.
Chairman of the CAT, Conservative Cllr Woodward said: “I would encourage residents to come along to the meeting to raise any issues or concerns they might have with their local area and to talk to their local councillors.”
More information about CATs can be found online at www.fareham.gov.uk/cats or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
14 May 2015
Be aware of fraudsters in Fareham
Fareham Borough Council is warning residents not to fall victim to bogus students selling artwork door-to-door.
The advice comes after a Fareham resident bought a drawing from a young woman who claimed the cash would be used to fund her education. She held up a notice saying that she was deaf and could not work. The drawing was described as being her own art work but on closer inspection it was found to be a print.
Executive Member for Policy and Resources, Conservative Councillor Seán Woodward said: “This is a widespread scam which has been perpetrated for a number of years across the country and abroad, with people paying between £10 and £20 for each piece of art which is worth much less.
“If you have someone similar knocking on your door, please do not part with any money. Instead report it to the national Action Fraud hotline by ringing 0300 123 2040.”
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards are also issuing warnings about a company who is currently active in Fareham at the moment. The company are knocking on the doors of the elderly and vulnerable and bullying them into getting work carried out, such as roofing and garden landscaping. In many cases the work doesn’t need to be done, and the work done is overpriced and the quality of workmanship is poor.
Trading Standards would like to hear from residents if they are approached on their doorstep with offers to carry out maintenance work. Please call the Rapid Response Team on 01962 833666.
13 May 2015
Building Service and New Expectations
Fareham Borough Council has slashed the amount of time its tenants can expect to wait for repairs by a staggering 90% to an average of six days. The dramatic reduction has arisen following an extensive review that considered how the service was delivered at every stage, following the Vanguard* philosophy of looking at the process through the eyes of the customer.
The Council is responsible for repairs and maintenance of 2,371 properties and a portfolio of public buildings, undertaking both planned maintenance projects and a responsive service for its residents.
In recent years, since 2010 in fact, most of the responsive work was completed through a contractor. This meant that, as one of a number of customers, Fareham residents were not necessarily given priority.
In April 2015, following a successful trial, the service was taken in-house. There are now 16 operatives across a variety of trades including electricians, a gas fitter and plasterer.
“The main difference in the way we now work” explains Conservative Cllr Seán Woodward, “is that we are treating our customers like the individuals they are. Due to pressure of work some of our customers have very specific times when they can be at home whilst others are able to be more flexible. The approach we take now is to ask our customers when they would like the work undertaken rather than tell them when we can get there. This has been really effective.
“Another issue that was highlighted during the review was that sometimes additional requirements were highlighted by the repair team. There was then a ream of paperwork to be completed before they could return to the property and carry out the new repairs.
“The new way of working has led to 74% of jobs now being completed in a single visit. Tradesmen have vans purpose-equipped with the materials most frequently needed so that, in the event that further repairs prove necessary, they can actually complete the extra work there and then.”
*Vanguard Consultancy has been working with Fareham Borough Council to help them review the way they do things by making all services about the customers’ needs.
13 May 2015
Planning blueprints found sound by government inspector
Plans that create a blueprint for the future development of Fareham have been found to be sound by independent planning inspector David Hogger.
The Welborne Plan and the Development Sites and Policies Plan have both been declared sound by Mr. Hogger in his report published today.
Both plans incorporate all the main modifications to each plan that Mr. Hogger requested of the council following separate public hearing sessions held in October and November 2014. In his report, Mr. Hogger said the council had proposed the modifications and he had recommended their inclusion after considering representations.
No further modifications were required for either plan so both will now be put forward for formal adoption by the Council at a special meeting on 8th June. If adopted, both plans will become planning policy for the council.
The approval of the Welborne Plan now provides the blueprint for the development of the new settlement of approximately 6,000 homes with supporting employment, retail and infrastructure, located to the north of the M27 motorway.
The Development Sites and Policies Plan sets out how the council is allocating land for housing, how growth is being planned for and how the natural environment will be protected. The Plan, which covers the period to 2026, allocates housing sites within Fareham Town Centre and in other urban areas in the borough.
Executive Member for Planning and Development, Councillor Keith Evans said: “We are delighted that the independent inspector has found these two plans, which will have such a significant effect on the borough, to be sound. That means that in the view of the independent inspector, our planning officers had taken everything into account that they must take into account and that these plans provide for realistic and sustainable development in the borough for many years to come.”
Executive Leader of the Council, Conservative Councillor Seán Woodward said: “The endorsement of these plans by the government inspector means the landowners who want to develop these sites – including the land earmarked for Welborne – now have clear guidelines on how to proceed and what is expected of them and of the council. Our aim has always been to allocate land for a single 6,000 home community at Welborne with the entire required infrastructure, rather than those 6,000 houses being built in smaller pockets throughout the borough with no supporting infrastructure. We will now get that multi-million pound investment in infrastructure in the Borough that will make these developments sustainable.”
The inspector’s report on both plans can be viewed on the Council’s website at www.fareham.gov.uk/planning. Both plans will now go to a special meeting of the Council on 8th June for formal adoption.