Saturday, December 23, 2006
His letter is very short and gives little or no commitment to the plan for a new school. He remains well and truly on the fence. I was hoping that he would back the idea and use his influence as an MP to lobby for Government funding for the project. It is really disappointing that whilst all three political parties on the city council back the idea, the local MP doesn't appear to want to commit.
For nearly three years Freemantle's Councillors have been pressing for the Council to look at a possible residents parking scheme. We are very conscious that large numbers of residents have been petitioning the Council to tackle the problem but to date nothing has been achieved.
We have now received categorical confirmation from the Director at Southampton City Council responsible amongst other thing for roads and parking, that officers will begin looking at a scheme before the end of March. Officers will draw up a proposed scheme and will be writing formally to residents seeking their approval.
No to More flats in Cawte Road
As you may recall, in a recent newsletter, we spoke about a planning application for more flats in Cawte Road. The application was for 24 one and two bedroom flats at 2-10 Cawte Road. The application included only 17 car parking spaces. We objected to this application on the grounds that this was an insufficient amount of car spaces and that more cars would end up in the street, further adding to parking pressures. The application was refused by the Council in September. However, one reason for the refusal of planning permission was that too many spaces were provided for than are allowed under the Government's bizarre planning rules! The application has now been resubmitted with only 13 spaces! We are writing again to object.
All the details can be found online HERE. The planning reference is 06/01838/FUL.
The Civic Centre closed at 12 noon on Friday, December 22 and re-opens on Wednesday, December 27, 7.30am.
It will close again for New Years Day, Monday, January 1 and re-open on Tuesday, January 2.
Opening times for libraries:
Click HERE for library opening times.
Open on Friday, December 22 10am to 5pm, Saturday, December 23 10am to 12 noon.
Closed from Sunday, December 24 to Wednesday, December 27.
Open Thursday, December 28 to Saturday, December 30 10am to 5pm, Sunday, December 31 1pm to 4pm.
Closed Monday, January 1 and open again on Tuesday, January 2 10am to 5pm.
A list of planning applications can be found by clicking HERE.
The only Freemantle application is the one for the needle exchange in Shirley Road. I have posted on this before.
Shirley and Freemantle Councillors are to be briefed further on this in the New Year in advance of a formal public consultation.
I have been aware of these plans for a couple of years and have frequently voiced my opposition to yet another set of traffic lights. It would take the total along Hill Lane to 6!!!
More traffic lights will add to congestion along Hill Lane. It will further encourage cars to use back streets as rat runs (e.g. Greville Road).
There does need to something introduced at the Raymond Road junction I accept that. We need to help people cross the road. Also it is difficult to turn right out of Raymond Road into Hill Lane as it is quite hard to see round the corner.
I would much rather see a mini roundabout and a pedestrian island and not another set of lights.
I have had a number of conversations about this with Shirley Ward Councillor Terry Matthews and we seem to be of the same view. I have also had some representations for local people against more traffic lights.
I will be formally objecting if the scheme reaches the point of a public consultation.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Southampton Conservatives announced yesterday exciting new proposals to convert the city's moth balled magistrates courts in the Civic Centre into a new heritage centre to celebrate the Story of Southampton and house a new Titanic Exhibition.
The old law courts have laid empty for the past 6 years. In 2008 the Police will out of the Civic Centre. This will leave the whole west wing of the Civic Centre empty.
The city has been searching for a site for it's new heritage centre for many years and a range of plans have had to be scrapped in the past due to difficulty in reaching agreement with partners such as ABP.
If the heritage centre was to sited in the Civic Centre this would mean that delivery of the project whole be soley in the hands of the city council. It would also mean that a fantastic, historic building would be put back into public use after years of neglect.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I was walking past the Civil Service Sports Ground on Sunday and I had a look to see how secure the gates were. There have been 2 gypsy incursions in the last couple of years.
The gates at the Malmesbury Place and the Stafford Road end both have sturdy padlocks. However as past experience has shown this is insufficient to stop the travellers who will be armed with bolt cutters.
A few years ago I arranged for additional protections to be put on the land including laying down piles of rubble or scree behind the gates. This was to prevent vehicles gaining access.
I have spoken to Council Officers about my concerns and they are contacting Bovis Homes, the owner, to ask that additional measures are put in place to protect the land.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Romsey's Lib Dem MP has uproar with her mad comments in the House of Commons about scrapping school sports day. This describes competetive sport as one of her pet hates and thinks it would be far better if schools spent more time organising skipping. She thinks that team sports can damage children. Personally I think being made to do skipping rather than football and hockey at school would have had more of a negative impact on me!
Iain Dale has a post on this on his Blog.
Why do we elect people with such crazy views???
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Lib Dem Steve Sollitt writes about what a good job he is doing promoting culture and heritage in the city (In My View 11th December).
Here are some facts he conveniently omitted.
Under his watch the city's £130m art collection remains uninsured and at risk.
I asked him a few months ago what his strategy was for our art collection. He sensibly said he wanted to display more of it. His record is very poor though. 90% of the collection is in storage at any given time and the average painting is in storage for 4 years before being shown.
He says that the Council are doing a good job in loaning out works of art. However this programme generates a mere £40,000 a year, a 0.03% return on the city's £130,000 asset.
Under his watch the magistrates courts in the west wing of the civic centre remain closed. They have now been left empty and deteriorating for 6 years!
Tudor House remains closed and is likely to stay closed for another 3 years!
Cllr Sollitt needs to spend his time getting a grip on his job rather than sending self congratulatory letters to the Daily Echo.
3 Weeks ago today I wrote to Southampton Test’s Labour MP, Alan Whitehead, calling for his support for Conservative proposals for a new school in Freemantle, on the St Marks School site in Shirley Road.
Whilst Alan Whitehead has sat on the fence, Conservative Councillors have secured sufficient funds to purchase the former Civil Service Sports Ground, which lies unused next to St Marks School.
In a recent debate in Council I received cross party support for my call for the land, which is currently in the hands of house builder Bovis, to be bought by the Council for St Marks Junior School and for use by Regents Park Community College and the wider community.
The plan is then for the Council to bid for Government Building Schools for the Future money to build a brand new school on the St Marks site.
On 6th December, Gordon Brown, announced more funding for schools and promised thousands of new or refurbished schools across the country.
This presents a fantastic opportunity for Southampton. The city needs to make sure it succeeds in bidding for a share of this money. A new school in Freemantle would be a huge boost to the area.
No reply to my letter
I have received no reply to my letter to Mr Whitehead. At a public meeting at the Freemantle United Reform Church, about the Civil Service ground, he was very clearly on the fence. This is really disappointing. It will be much harder to convince Government without the support of the MP.