Chair's Annual Report
It is always a pleasure to work with fellow enthusiasts on matters that affect every one of us on Hayling Island, and you can be proud of your small Committee that continues to work hard on your behalf. Please note that we save
your money where we can, holding our 4-6 weekly meetings in one another’s homes, making phone calls, emails, website and designing hard copy materials in our own time. As you will see under ‘Our Audited Accounts’ below, we are extremely grateful for a handful of people and businesses who have provided us with the essential support needed to publish posters and leaflets. However we are primarily a self help Association and it is you, the members, whose annual subscriptions are crucial to our public service to the Island. As always we welcome new Committee members so if you feel passionate about Hayling, we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Our Audited Accounts show that Membership Subscriptions have gone from £119.00 to £441.00, reflecting an increase in membership despite the inevitable membership loss. Although HIRA receives no grant support, we have been fortunate in receiving sponsorship for our new Membership leaflet from Wilson Wakefield, Solicitors and RJ Morris, Jewellers both of Hayling Island. Additionally Barbra Gardner’s July Afternoon Tea provided a donation for general funds and Committee members and relatives providing our Meetings with refreshments have also donated the small but useful profits. I would also like to thank Morris Dibben and The Terracotta Pot Shop who so generously provide us with our Poster copies and many leaflets throughout the year. Without their generosity HIRA would struggle to inform Hayling residents: as we all know, email and the internet is not accessed by everyone and people still prefer to receive and read material directly.
This year we have had to pay for a Membership Leaflet since there was no existing one in circulation. Although we now have a website, we will continue to use this otherwise comprehensive leaflet; we are very grateful to the Library, Morris Dibben, The Terracotta Pot Shop and Hayling Island Community Centre for allowing us to advertise their premises for our Drop Box zones where anyone can leave us a sealed envelope which is collected by a Committee member on a frequent basis. Our new website, www.haylingresidentsassociation.co.uk, requires a small sum annually for the host server but not only are we picking up non member and member subscribers to this freely available service, but also a local professional has given us his advice and time to help with ‘teething problems’; we are most grateful for this public service.
In addition to Hall hire for our 3 annual Public Meetings, this year we responded to widespread request to host a formal Debate on the Referendum; this was extremely well received and was one of our best attended Public Meetings. It also complied with our Constitutional requirement on a number of levels. HIRA has actively supported Ali Wiltshire’s Tip petition by paying for 5000 ‘Support Hayling’s Tip’ leaflets and 2 roadside banners. As we all know, this campaign contributed to the Tip remaining open.
We continued with our Christmas Card and its Scouts’ distribution to all our members because it provides a tangible link and reminder of the next year’s events to internet and non internet members alike. Please note: a detailed breakdown of all costs is available on request.
In conclusion: despite a considerable increase in expenditure since last year, we have a slightly smaller net deficit. The reason for this is that we have dramatically improved our Subscription payments; it is essential, therefore, that as many of you as possible either set up a BACS regular payment to HIRA which of course you can cancel at will, or please remember to pay annually so that we reduce our administrative tasks.
Aside from all that has been mentioned above, what else has your Committee of 7 been doing?
On your behalf we have supported as actively as possible the following important issues:
The successful Beach Huts campaign launched by local Sea Front residents together with abled bodied and disabled drivers coming from afar, so that we can all continue to enjoy the increasingly rare uninterrupted views out to sea and the Isle of Wight.
Save the Tip campaign by paying for two banners and 5000 leaflets and helping with their delivery.
The Hayling Ferry Trust by urging all our members and residents to give their practical support to this tremendous initiative.
Objected to planning applications at Pound Croft and Victoria Road, giving local residents practical advice that helped them to defeat the applications.
In addition, we have been active in bringing to all residents’ attention:
The serious problems connected with Churchill’s Development at Pullingers’ old site including notifying with posters, Facebook and our website how people could view and comment on the second proposal;
We met with potential developers re the Hayling Billy site to highlight our concerns.
We discussed the Hayling Billy Trail surface with Hayling Billy 50 and Cycle Hayling so that we understand what they need.
Our application to make Stoke Common (Woodland) on the Havant Road an Asset of Community Value (ACV) has unfortunately been rejected because it is in private hands and therefore is not in public use. Similarly Anthony Walker’s ACV for the Hayling Billy Pub was rejected we believe primarily because it was already being subject to development.
We held a hugely appreciated Referendum Debate with excellent, searching questions put by a diverse audience of over 80 following an exceedingly brief 2 weeks’ advertising because of local elections and the Tip campaign.
Following our and NEHRA’s presence at Havant B.C.’s Housing Plan 2036 introduction and background information on July 25th, we posted on the internet, emailed our members and put up posters in Eastoke, Mengham, West Town and Stoke to alert everyone to all the Council’s Plan Exhibitions throughout Havant. David Hayward, Planning Officer, later informed us that many Islanders who came said they only knew about it because of HIRA’s notices.
Our detailed and thoroughly researched response to the new Plan on our residents’ behalf has been emailed to members, and summary published in the Islander and put on our website and FB as well as on sites around the Island, encouraging all residents to write in their views on the Plans.
We have co-signed a letter with 9 other Residents’ and Stakeholders’ Groups in Havant, expressing residents’ anger and frustration with the Plan’s basis and assumptions and requesting an urgent meeting with key Councillors and Planning Officers before the important Council Cabinet meeting to discuss/approve this on October 25th. [Editor's Note: Housing Plan presentation to Cabinet now postponed to November 16th.]
On a happier note, our February Meeting featuring 3 speakers for the Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Friends of Chichester Harbour as well as Langstone Board’s Environmental Officer was greatly enjoyed by a packed audience of well over 80 in the United Reformed Church Hall. Also appreciated were our 2 speakers, one for the Police work in our region and the other for Hayling’s First Responders, at our June 30th Public Meeting at the URC. We rely entirely on our members’ subscriptions to fund these excellent Public Meetings so that all residents can benefit from being better informed not only about our Island and its geography, but also about our cultural and social life.
The forthcoming Public Meeting must initially cover our AGM business and I hope that you will understand that, in view of the serious issues currently occupying us all, we must endeavour to move through it quickly. Furthermore it may be prudent in future to hold our AGM separately from a Public Meeting.