Newsletter of the Community Campaign (Hart)
5, March 2007
transparency in local
government have always been guiding principles of the CCH. So when we
joined a Coalition with the Liberal Democrats in May 2006 we promised
that we would seek answers about Hart’s finances. During the past six
months, as part of that Coalition, we have been involved in balancing
Hart’s budget for 2007/8. This budget setting process (needing to
reduce expenditure by £1.5m) has been
challenging, requiring some difficult decisions but has also been
uncharacteristically open and transparent.
John, Gill, James, Jenny & Simon: Your CCH Councillors
All senior officers and councillors
have been able to make an input. While there are some redundancies,
savings have not been at the expense of frontline services. A Corporate
Director and four Heads of Service posts have been cut to slim down
management structure and other savings have come from outsourcing
which can be more efficiently provided by external organizations.
Despite the challenging nature of
this budget, the Coalition has still been able to allocate money to:
This budget round has not been easy but the CCH feel proud to have
been part of a Coalition that has had the courage to deal with
Hart’s financial problems head on and by doing so we have put Hart’s
finances on a firmer footing.
the funding of £20,000 for the Basingstoke Canal
funding for HVA and CAB
- Reinstating the out of hours noise complaint service
- Appointing a Sports Development officer, so that we can
access additional external funding
- Reserving part of the money paid exclusively by the people
of Fleet and Church Crookham to be spent on local projects – just
as a Parish Council would
We look forward in future years to building from this stable base, so
that Hart can deliver the level of services that we all deserve. It
is going to be a long road but at least we have had the conviction to
get the journey started.
It’s Spring; it must be Election time!
This year we are contesting two local seats; Church Crookham West
and Fleet Courtmoor.
In Fleet Courtmoor
we are proud that
Chris Axam will be standing for us. Chris
has taken early retirement and brings with him many years of business
experience. He is well known in the local community for his charity
work. He has a clear head and takes a no
nonsense approach to things. He is ready to question ‘why’
and has an uncanny knack of picking up on things that aren’t
Chris is looking forward to the opportunity of making a positive
for his local community as an elected representative.
If elected Chris will be a valuable asset to Hart District
Council and we look forward to being able to welcome him into the team
as our sixth Community Campaign Councillor in May.
In Church Crookham
West, Jenny Radley has agreed to stand again for the
seat she won in a by-election three years ago. Those of you who have
her will know that she works tirelessly behind the scenes to serve the
people of her ward and has little inclination
for political shenanigans. Frankly, there are already more than enough
amateur politicians. Behind the scenes hard workers are just what
Church Crookham needs.
The CCH believe that the point of getting elected is to try
to improve where we live. We are not interested in party politics, we
are just interested in getting the job done, as difficult as that
Hart has a long road ahead before it becomes the customer focused &
efficient Council that people in this area deserve. However at least
has started the journey – please trust your vote to us so that we can
that the journey continues.
politics – It’s about where you live
by Jenny Radley
Farnborough Aerodrome’s recent application to increase flying at
produced a lot of local controversy. The appeal
into this application has been extended into a second session and will
recommence on 2nd April.
Many local people are proud to have
a site of such historical importance for aviation on our doorstep, and
consider the architectural design of the new buildings to be an asset
While most people do not begrudge the fortunate few with access to
these facilities, many members of the community approach us with
about individual Farnborough flights.
People contacting TAG’s complaint line (01252 526001) are often
by the dismissive response that they receive.
Three CCH members represent local residents in varying
capacities on the important Farnborough Aerodrome Consultative
Committee (FACC). This forum meets 3 times a year and is an opportunity
to follow through on complaints which members of the public feel
deserving of a
fuller exploration. In general, while local people accept Farnborough
Aerodrome for what it is, TAG do not always seem to reciprocate with an
appreciation that there are densely populated residential areas under
flight path. If TAG could discuss people’s complaints in an open and
honest way, it would
go a long way to building a level of trust with the public that would
all of us, TAG included.
The CCH through Jenny Radley have recently met with TAG’s
new Chief Executive Brandon O’Reilly. He appears keen to improve
relations with local residents so we are hopeful that TAG’s attitude
dealing with complaints will improve. TAG is also promising to look at
industry leading initiatives to reduce the impact of noise.
Please contact Jenny if you have a particular issue that you
would like to see raised at the FACC.
by John Bennison
How quickly time flies.
It is 10 months since I was elected and there has been much
with; training courses to attend, committee procedures to understand,
to read, and developing an understanding of how Hart actually works. I
sit on three
Committees; Scrutiny, Planning and Appeals. Scrutiny questions the
made by the Council’s Executive and Senior Officers.
By the time you read this, Crondall and Ewshot will have a new
Beat Officer. As you know, after many years in Crondall, Alex Batten
retired at the end of last year. On the 26th March P.C. Nicholas Sexton
take over and I wish him well in his new role.
Hart has been allocated 12 police community support officers who
currently being recruited and trained. I am hopeful we may get one of
Officers to support PC Sexton.
A sign recently erected
outside the village shop has caused
much concern and a flurry of phone calls to me. This
led me to ask a question about this sign
at Full Council. I was informed that the sign had been erected by the
Management Section at Hampshire County Council, after discussion with
owner and the County Council Councillor. Neither Hart District Council,
Crondall Parish Council nor myself were consulted in this matter, as
normal practice. I have been told that the sign is not of an approved
has no legal authority and is, thus, unenforceable.
I know from the feedback
that I receive that those who live
in the outlying areas of Crondall appreciate that we take the effort to
this Newsletter to everyone in the ward. However as the Crondall ward
such a large area it would be great to have some extra help with
If you are willing to assist with future Newsletter deliveries, even if
just for your own local hamlet, I’d be very grateful to hear from you.
School Traffic Problems
by Gill Butler
Along with many towns and
villages across this country,
Fleet and Church Crookham have their share of traffic problems arising
from the school run. For instance in my ward, Church Crookham East,
the school traffic causes problems for residents in the vicinity of
Tweseldown Infants and Crookham Juniors. Both schools are working very
hard with parents and pupils to encourage less car use and they are in
the final stages of producing a School Travel Plan. Once approved,
can be released to help improve safety by encouraging pupils and
to walk or cycle to school. Can I urge those who must drive to school
put safety first when they are parking and to work
closely with the schools in their attempts to limit the impact of the
A sense of place
months since the submission of the petition to form a parish council
Crookham & Courtmoor, Hart is still working on its response. In
Hart decided to ‘reject’ the petition in favour of conducting a
parish review. The first step in this
review will be through a ‘Sense of Place’ questionnaire, which will be
sent to a sample of people to find out to which community the residents
each area feel that they belong.
After this first phase, Hart plans
to conduct a further survey to see if people want a parish council in
area or not. Many in the community feel that Hart is unnecessarily
the process as the parish petition is ample evidence of the desire for
The Community Campaign’s petition
has helped to create a wider debate concerning the whole of the
A parish for Church Crookham & Courtmoor would almost certainly
in a town council for Fleet. These two bodies would be very effective
entities and would be influential in determining how their respective
communities evolve and what facilities are provided in the future.
The CCH is concerned that the ‘Sense
of Place’ questionnaire could be used to confuse the issue. If you live
in Courtmoor, do you feel that where you live is part of Fleet or the
community comprising Courtmoor & Church Crookham? Similarly, if
you live in Zebon Copse or Netherhouse Moor, do you feel that you are
part of Crookham Village Parish or are you tempted to indicate a
stronger allegiance to Fleet? There is bound to be a range of view
The fear is that this will be used
to distract debate away from the real issue; the strength of the desire
of people to break free from Hart’s control when it comes to local self
The CCH believe that a monolithic
town Council that covers the whole of Fleet & Church Crookham,
including Zebon Copse & Netherhouse Moor, will be too large. The
that a number of smaller and better focussed parish or town councils
better be able to represent residents.
It is the suspicion of the CCH
that the ‘Sense of Place’ questionnaire will be hijacked by those who
losing control of Fleet & Church Crookham’s precept money. They may
try to argue
that if everyone associates themselves with Fleet; that we all want to
under one all powerful Fleet Town Council. A single large Fleet &
Crookham Town Council runs the risk of being too remote to understand
of local people. The best Parish Council’s are often the smaller ones
can focus on what really matters to their local community.
The ‘Sense of Place’ questionnaire
has to come with a health warning and needs careful thought as to the
possible implications of your answers.
The parish petition is still live,
despite Hart’s vote to ‘reject it’. The CCH remain hopeful that the
will still look favourably upon the petition and form the parish in
time for the first members to be elected in 2008.
A new Planning Inspector has been appointed by the
Government to hear the QEB appeal. He has taken a very different stance
from his predecessor. He has accepted that Taylor Woodrow's amended
plans can be considered, despite them never being accepted by Hart as
a valid application. This will deny affected people an opportunity to
comment through the
planning process. More damning, he has reneged on his predecessors
allow an evening session for local people to raise concerns about the
effective closure of the Bourley Road car park. Anyone wishing to
express a personal opinion on the closure of this car park will now
need to take time off in the middle of the day to attend this session,
date yet to be decided.
People wishing to try to persuade the inspector to allow an evening
session may write to him quoting (APP/N1730/A/05/1186859) via his
Miss Sian Evans,
The appeal will run from 15th May until end
of July, Tuesdays to Fridays in Princes Hall, Aldershot.
The Planning Inspectorate,
4/04 Kite Wing,
2 The Square,
Bristol, BS1 6PN.
by Simon Ambler
The canal has been
described as ‘a green lung through Hart’.
For the majority of its length it is designated as a Site of Special
Interest, and appeals to a wide range of people: walkers, fishermen,
and canoeists alike. In leisure surveys, residents always place the
the top of their list. It is managed by a Joint Management Committee,
Hampshire CC and has representatives from each of the District Councils
which it passes. I am one of the Hart representatives.
Over 200 years old, the canal has a high maintenance cost. I
am pleased that this year Hart has managed to reinstate a grant towards
canal funding, although competing budget pressures mean that like other
authorities we cannot contribute as much as we would have wished.
The JMC are currently reviewing the way in
which the canal is funded and managed in order to secure its long term
Published by: Ken
Blockwell, 50 Aldershot Road, Church Crookham,
Hampshire GU52 8LF