Agenda item

Chair's report


The Chair’s Report was heard before Public Participation (Item 2 on the agenda).


The Chair reported the following:


·  Flexford footpath improvements had been achieved within budget and timetable and had been received with many favourable comments. He stated that the kissing gates would be wheelchair friendly, and recorded his thanks to all involved, especially the Local Area Manager and Assistant Local Area Manager.

·  Youth Options activities were now up and running at both Fryern and The Hilt and would be reviewed in due course.

·  Councillors had considered bringing the application for a café next to the Coop at Fryern, and close to Costa, to the Local Area Committee for scrutiny, but they had been advised under planning law cafés and banks fell into the same category, so there would not be grounds for objection. He stated there was also some concern about the seating area proposed encroaching onto the public highway, but that had now been resolved. He noted that the loss of banks was always disappointing but that the Post Office provided many banking services and they had fought hard to keep that when its future appeared in jeopardy.

·  The Chair felt there should have been consultation on the memorial bench installed on the Bunny Field off Pine Road, but there was no obligation by Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) officers to have a consultation process at the time it was installed. He said that going forward discussions for memorial benches would take place with councillors and residents. He added he had carried out some consultation post installation and about 80% of residents were pleased it was there.

·  There had been discussion about a waste bin on Hiltingbury Road, which was in front of the Committee this evening for approval. He also mentioned that the bin the Committee had installed by Tesco at the bottom of Ashdown Road had reduced the litter issues there. 

·  Officers were checking the planning proposal for the conversion of the two masts, already existing, to 5G standard to check they met agreed standards and requirements.

·  Hiltingbury and Fryern School parents had raised speeding traffic as a big concern.  The Parish Council and Borough Council had passed motions supporting 20 is Plenty as legally enforceable limits, especially near schools. The Committee was working with the school heads and would be putting as much pressure as they could on Hampshire County Council (HCC) to make a decision, which was currently still awaited. He stated that signage could be improved near the schools, which EBC councillors were supporting, and the Committee would also be asking HCC to replace the lollipop person at Fryern as he felt the gap to find a replacement at Hiltingbury was too long. 

·  The discontinuation of the X6 /7 bus was a big concern as local bus services are a real lifeline and the climate change, engagement, and isolation agendas made finding a viable alternative a priority. He hoped they were on the brink of getting at timetabled small bus service established with the support of officers at both EBC and HCC, and with the Parish Council stepping in to enable a local provider to run a Section 22 weekday schedule, which would enable seniors and others to use their bus passes. 

·  Local churches and community centres were co-ordinating efforts to hopefully provide a warm room for residents every weekday this winter.

·  The Committee were hopeful they could liaise with HCC to improve the access to footpaths and public spaces for mobility buggies and bikes, which had both seen dramatic increases in use over recent years. The Chair specifically mentioned the access to the pedestrian crossing at the bottom of Hursley Road was impeded and should be better, and the footpath up from the railway station to the pedestrian crossing near to the roundabout. He hoped that HCC would investigate if those accesses could be improved by removing, and/or repositioning, some of the barrier devices.