21 September 2015
Help fight winter flooding
Residents are being asked to clear ditches on their own land and play their part, alongside Hampshire County Council, in preventing localised flooding this winter.
Since April the County Council has been hard at work clearing over 60,000 gullies, 4600 catchpits and completed 22 major highways drainage schemes to help prevent localised flooding.
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Conservative Councillor Seán Woodward, said: “We can’t prevent flooding completely but, there is a lot that we can all do to reduce the impact on our neighbourhoods. I am asking local residents if they can regularly check ditches and watercourses on their own land to make sure they are clear of leaves, vegetation and other debris and not blocked up by grass cuttings or other rubbish.”
The Council spends more than £2 million a year maintaining 900 kilometres of highway drains and more than 200,000 roadside gullies but there are many gullies and watercourses on private land which can be blocked. These blockages can often lead to flooding on local roads after heavy rainfall.
When flooding does occur the Council’s team of emergency engineers is on call continuously, seven days a week, to unblock highway drains and clear fallen trees from roads – all to keep the county’s roads clear and traffic moving.
Residents are also being asked to ensure that piped sections of watercourses that lie under driveways are kept clear as it is these restricted locations that are often the most vulnerable to flooding and need the most attention.
18 September 2015
Divers working on A27 hole repairs
Specialist divers with pumps and dams to keep the water at bay have been working with highways teams to repair the hole in the westbound carriageway of the A27 near Titchfield.
The hole appeared in the road at the end of August because one of four pipes underneath it collapsed, resulting in water washing through and the carriageway above collapsing.
Conservative Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “These repairs have proved particularly difficult because the collapsed pipe was linked to others underground which investigations have now shown are all in need of repair. It is important to repair all the pipes to mitigate against a similar problem happening in the future.
“The problem is compounded by the four metre depth of the excavations needed to complete the work. Divers have been working with highways maintenance engineers on the pipes, with pumps and dams operating to stop water flowing in while the repairs are done, but when the water rises, this slows us down. The work is complex and difficult, and I don’t think we can expect to see the road fully open again this month. I’d like to reassure residents that getting the repair completed and the road safe is our priority. I’d also like to thank people for their patience while the work is carried out.”
The A27 runs over the River Meon, and the structure underneath consists of four original pipes with extensions. The broken section which caused the original collapse has now been repaired and work is continuing on the other pipes which will need to be completed before the road is resurfaced. Lane 1 remains closed westbound.
14 September 2015
Tell us what you think of our Council Tax Support Scheme
Fareham Borough Council would like to hear what residents think of the current Council Tax Support Scheme in a consultation running until Monday 19th October.
The Council is proposing to make a new Council Tax Support Scheme from 1 April 2016, based on the same terms as the current one. The only difference will be that some of the allowances used to calculate Council Tax support will be increased in line with Government Regulations.
Council Tax Support helps people on a low income to pay their Council Tax. If someone is entiled to it, then it is paid as a reduction in their Council Tax bill.
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Conservative Cllr Seán Woodward said: “Before we continue with the Council Tax Support Scheme we would like to know how residents think the scheme is currently working. This will help us ensure that we continue to protect the most vulnerable claimants.”
Before the current Council Tax Support scheme was introduced, the council consulted with residents and used their feedback to develop the scheme that started on 1 April 2015.
The key elements of the existing scheme are:
Every working age claimant pays the first 20% of their Council Tax bill
For those claimants living in large homes, the amount of Council Tax Support they receive is no higher than that given for a smaller house (a band C property)
Where claimants have other adults living with them who are not dependent upon them (for example grown up children), this non-dependent adult is expected to contribute a minimum rate of £3.74 per week towards the household council tax bill.
As well as pensioners, the most vulnerable working age claimants are exempt from the reductions above
7 September 2015
Highways and household waste recycling are priorities for Hampshire
A safe and well maintained highway network and household waste recycling services will be central to proposals to be considered by Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment on 15 September.
Conservative Councillor Seán Woodward said: “Hampshire residents have told us that the household waste recycling service and road maintenance are in the ‘top three’ most-used County Council services, and we’ve been looking carefully at how we can continue to deliver these services in a financially sustainable way in the long term.
“In order for us to make the anticipated savings, residents have also told us that they would support street light dimming; a reduced number of local traffic management schemes (where these are not led by safety concerns); a focus on reducing amounts of household waste produced; and increasing recycling.
“Taking all this into consideration, we will be looking at a number of ways some of these services will be delivered differently in the future. There are clearly difficult choices to be made, and we will need to focus resources more than ever on your priority services. We will do our best to protect the core Household Waste Recycling Centre service across the county. We will protect highways maintenance by prioritising work on the carriageways and footways, but some environmental and amenity maintenance work on highways is probably no longer affordable.”
In the County Council’s Shaping Hampshire – Spending Review Consultation, undertaken earlier this year, residents’ and stakeholders’ views were sought on how the County Council should manage an anticipated shortfall in funding. Responses to this consultation have been considered in the development of initial proposals for savings. Any further consultations on specific options for services will take place after full Council in October.
These proposed savings are part of the County Council’s overall anticipated budget reduction of around £98million to meet reduced funding for Council services from central Government. If Cllr Woodward approves these proposals they will then be recommended to the County Council’s Cabinet for further consideration, alongside those from other Executive Members, at their meeting on in 21 September. Cabinet will agree their recommendations on the County Council’s medium term financial strategy to be presented to full Council for discussion and ratification at its meeting on 22 October.
3 September 2015
Cross county collaboration sees new road surface for the A337 Christchurch Road, Barton-on-Sea
As part of Hampshire County Council’s multi-million pound road investment programme, Operation Resilience, resurfacing of the A337 Christchurch Road, Barton-on-Sea will commence from Monday 7 September for five nights. Working with Dorset County Council, the team will continue over the county border to resurface the road from Chewton Glen Bridge to the roundabout at Ringwood Road.
Conservative Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “I’m really pleased that we’re able to work with Dorset County Council to improve the A337 for the long term, while at the same time minimising disruption to the travelling public by making sure the essential works both sides of the county boundary are done at the same time.”
The repairs are part of the County Council’s long term strategy designed to make Hampshire’s roads more resilient to the effects of extreme weather and increasingly heavy traffic and recognises the importance of good roads for the county’s economy. In order to keep disruption to a minimum and make the most or resources, Hampshire County Council and Dorset County Council will be working together to keep the disruption to local residents to a minimum and use resources in an effective way.
Councillor Lesley Dedman, Dorset County councillor for Mudeford and Highcliffe, said: “By working together we can carry out essential repairs with one road closure, rather than Hampshire stopping at the border and for Dorset to then set up their works.”
The work will take place between the junctions with Barton Court Road and Old Milton Road. The road will be closed between 8pm and 6am. A diversion route will be in place and there will be local signs advising road users of the works.
2 September 2015
Walking to school made easier with new Hound Road crossing
Hampshire County Council has successfully completed work to install a new crossing in Hound Road, Netley, in time for the start of the new school term.
Conservative Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “We’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure children can use this crossing as they start their new school year. It’s great to see so many local young people already walking to school, and I hope this new crossing will encourage even more people to choose walking for their daily school journeys.”
Local residents had called on the County Council to look at levels of traffic along Hound Road, which many local children need to cross on their daily walk to and from Hamble Community Sports College. Following a traffic survey earlier in the year, work began on securing funding to take it forward to design and implementation.
The work involved a new signalised toucan crossing in Hound Road for pedestrians and cyclists, and the removal of the existing pedestrian refuge island just east of Woolston Road. The east and west bus stops, and shelter in Hound road, were moved to opposite St Mary’s Church and the bus layby reconstruction to be incorporated with the existing footpath on the south side of Hound Road.