Basing Ward - Local Matters
Good news for the Basing Ward
At the recent Borough council elections on the 7th May, Clive Pinder was elected for the borough council seat for Basing Ward working with fellow ward councillors, Onnalee Cubitt, Sven Godesen and County Councillor Elaine Still.
County Council Members' Grant Scheme
The County Council again allocated £8,000 to each Councillor to distribute to community organisations. I was very pleased to help many organisations with this grant scheme locally in my division.
Hampshire County Council has frozen its part of the Council Tax again this year, so residents are still paying the lowest for County Council services like social care, highways and libraries than anywhere else in the south east - and at the same rate for the sixth consecutive year. In fact Hampshire's Council Tax is the second lowest of any in England.
The County Council has managed to freeze Council Tax despite Hampshire's grant from the Government being reduced by £29 million. The County Council has been able to do this because it started early with its savings programme, achieving £140 million since 2008, and is on course to secure around a further £100 million by 2015/16.
The County precept makes up approximately 80% of the Council Tax Bill so it is very important that it is controlled carefully.
Investing in the future
At the same time Hampshire County Council we will be investing £876 million in Hampshire's infrastructure to support growth - taking forward one of the Council's biggest ever capital programmes, in areas such as school places, transport infrastructure and superfast broadband.
The County Council will be maximising the recent £3.1 million grant from Government to develop a digital strategy, using technology to support the demand for better access to information and services online, built around people's needs to ensure Hampshire's public services are both convenient and accessible for the people who use them.
We will be using our reserves to invest in new facilities that will enable us to deliver better services at lower cost and generate income, like the transformation of our country parks to make them self-financing, or the development of holiday facilities for families to hire at our Outdoor Activity Centres.
Update on Crossways Children's Home Old Basing
As part of the work HCC is undertaking to provide six new children’s homes across the County it is planning on using Crossways as temporary location for the staff and young people currently located in Chandlers Ford at the Greenhouse. Some minor works are due to complete shortly at Crossways to ensure it is suitable for use, the staff and young people will then move in to this temporary home later this month.
On completion of the new home in Chandlers Ford, planned for early 2016, they will vacate Crossways which will then be marketed as part of the disposal strategy set out in the Children’s Residential Care Strategy, approved on the 20th May 2014 by the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Deputy Leader.
20mph Speed Limit
In response to changes to Department for Transport guidance for 20mph speed limits, the County Council is in the process of implementing a number of pilot 20mph speed limits in residential areas across Hampshire. The first pilot schemes were implemented in early 2014 and the final three schemes are currently being advertised, with implementation planned this year. The objective of the pilot programme is to assess the benefits of lower speed limits for local residents. This assessment will be completed using before and after information ranging from formal traffic surveys, to household questionnaires asking people how traffic speed affects their quality of life.
The pilot programme assessment was originally planned after all pilot schemes were implemented for approximately 12 months, but this was extended when three new pilot schemes were added to the programme. This has pushed back the assessment to the start of 2016 at the earliest.
A 20mph speed limit in Old Basing has been requested for some time and the County Council has completed sufficient investigation work to promote a feasible speed limit scheme. Local schools and the Parish Council were asked for comment in March 2014, but progressing the proposal any further will have to wait until the pilot programme assessment has taken place.
Recently the idea of a temporary 20mph speed limit in Old Basing has been raised. Temporary speed limits may only be used to manage traffic through road works, therefore this form of speed limit may not be used in current situation in Old Basing.
Cllr Elaine Still