Local Issues

22 Aug


I have had several meetings with ministers and the Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick to demand change to the methodology for calculating housing requirements which have hit Fareham so much harder than most local authorities placing on us massive housing requirments which threaten so much of the countryside that we all value. I am delighted that following my lobbying the government has listened and providing the new methodology using the most up-to-date household need figures is approved this autumn we will see a significant reduction in our numbers in contrast to those of most of our neighbouring councils who will, with the exception of Portsmouth, see an increase. What is more on these figures we would again have a 5-year housing land supply.
Alongside the government consultation on a new planning white paper (Planning for the Future) is a technical consultation whose results are expected to be signed into law very rapidly while the white paper is likely to take a couple of years to become law by which time Fareham Borough Council will already have a new local plan adopted.
As residents who follow the progress of the new Local Plan will be aware the government imposed upon us a requirement to plan for 514 new houses per year through to 2036 PLUS a requirement to consider meeting some unmet need from surrounding areas in South Hampshire. In order to meet that unmet need the Council has consulted on the possibility of two “Strategic Growth Areas” in Portchester (west of Downend Road) and in a part of the countryside strategic gap which provides separation between south Fareham and Stubbington which, along with the Meon countryside strategic gap, the council has always fiercely protected.
As per the attached calculations by Lichfields using the proposed new methodology which enables us to use the latest Office for National Statistics household predictions for 2018 rather than 2014 the figure for Fareham is 403 new homes per year, a 22% reduction of 1,665 houses in the plan period.
We will now consider the implications for the draft Local Plan currently in preparation.
18 Aug

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service

Our Trading Standards officers have issued an alert about cold callers offering to clean driveways, paths and patios and are urging residents to remain vigilant ⚠️
They have received a high volume of reports about callers at the door offering to clean driveways, patios and paths. Reports have come in from the Tadley, Little London, Pamber Heath, Chandler’s Ford and Eastleigh areas, but the alert applies countywide.
In order to gain the resident’s confidence, false claims such as; “Do you remember me? I did work for you last year” or “We have been doing some work in the area”, are used. 😏
Residents have reported the callers trying to do a demonstration and being very persistent in trying to persuade them to have the work done. One resident reported the callers starting work without permission, leaving the resident feeling obliged to let the caller carry on with the work, which they then felt bound to pay for.
Work is poor and in some cases not even carried out. Payment in cash is requested. One elderly resident recently paid £780, with little evidence of any work carried out. Another elderly resident attempted to withdraw £470 from their bank account in order to pay the callers. The bank staff were suspicious, refused to release the money and called the Police.
No paperwork is given before the work starts or after payment. Advertising flyers may contain insufficient and/or false information, making any civil action or criminal enforcement difficult. Mobile phone numbers can easily be disposed of, addresses can be virtual or fabricated, even the company names are sometimes very similar, if not the same, as genuine companies unconnected with the callers.
Trading Standards strongly advise residents not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call. Residents should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme or a recognised trade association.
Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair. All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Directories can be obtained free of charge by telephone on 0808 223 1133, email buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or by order online
An up to date list of business is available on the Buy With Confidence web site. https://www.hants.gov.uk/business/tradingstandards/consumeradvice/buywithconfidence
Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts. Even if work has started, there is still a legal right to cancel, although some payment may be required for materials already used.
To inform Trading Standards about cold calling, please report the matter to our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Please also try to obtain a name and address for the company.
Doorstep Crime can be reported to Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 – or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service
18 Aug


I can confirm that the cost to the Council for cleaning up after travellers at Wicor Rec was approximately £3,300. This included staff and vehicle deployment, portable toilet costs, waste disposal costs and the replacement of two broken locks. 1.5 days were spent cleaning up the site, with 12 tonnes of waste removed. In addition the Enforcement team spent the equivalent of 1 officer for 2 days dealing with the issue and our application to the court cost £355
Going forward Streetscene has installed a filled skip at the site entrance as a temporary measure whilst we arrange for lock protection to be installed on the gates to make it much harder to break the locks off in future. When the lock protection is in place the skip will be removed to allow all usual maintenance operations of the site to continue.
The Council’s operatives were faced with the most appalling task cleaning up after this incursion. It is regrettable that these people choose to behave in such a thoroughly disgusting fashion which included spreading their excrement across our public open space. I am pleased for the sake of local residents that we achieved their removal within just 3 working days. The sooner the government changes the law to make trespass a criminal offence the better as the law is currently an ass – trespass is a criminal offence in the Palace of Westminster but not here in Fareham.