The forthcoming May 2017 County Council elections are crucially important for our local Infrastructure. The majority of Council tax paid to Havant BC goes to Hampshire CC, which is responsible for such key issues as Adults’ and Children’s Services, Public Health, Environment, Regulatory – a planning committee making decisions on landfill, recycling, mineral and waste – and the Highways management. Our education and leisure resources, such as supporting our schools, libraries, museums and parks, are also the County Council’s responsibility.
Hayling’s County Councillor may sit on such bodies as the Hampshire Fire Authority, Chichester Harbour Conservancy Board and the Cabinet as well of course as necessarily attending Winchester meetings, staying well informed and representing residents’ concerns. They will also receive £12,000 p.a. plus a pension.
Despite such a key role, Hayling’s last County Council election turnout was down to 31% in 2013 from nearly 40% previously. Postal votes provide no excuse for not making a difference to Hayling’s future. So come to our free, public Hustings at Hayling’s Community Centre, West Town on Friday April 21st 7:30 pm to listen to our candidates and put your own questions.
The second Hayling Island Infrastructure Review Group Meeting was in March but the discussions remain confidential until a Report can be agreed and published. Officers from Hampshire County Council are of course heavily involved and your residents’ representatives are doing their best to monitor progress.
Lidl’s proposal to build a 2,462 square metre two storey building with 129 parking spaces on Rookery Field, Manor Road was circulated widely to encourage residents’ opinions. Of course opinion is divided principally between whether or not residents appreciate using Lidl. Some in favour think its presence can only improve competition amongst other large, local food stores. Others voice serious concerns about the additional traffic generated by a store aiming to provide a full shop whilst stating that it is only complementary to existing small or large local shops and anticipates having a low turnover.
The proposed generous parking size suggests that it must be expecting considerable daily use, and it is certainly not a central location that lends itself to pedestrian or bike access for occasional shopping. Unlike Hayling’s other parking lots, Lidl’s is unlikely to be used by shoppers wishing to combine it with visiting other shops on the Island.
Apparently another site, centrally located for visiting the many existing shops on Elm Grove, was suggested to Lidl but it was rejected as not being large enough. Of course, Rookery Field also offers a prime advertising position for everyone accessing south Hayling.
Will Lidl be a key factor in reducing the need for residents to use the A3023 through Langstone? Unless thousands of residents radically change their shopping - and working - habits, this seems to be unlikely. In fact it’s possible that the likeliest effect will be far greater congestion at a key access point; if it doesn’t encourage such frequent use, it hardly justifies the store’s existence.
Contact HIRA via our email firstname.lastname@example.org , or 4 Drop Boxes at: the Library, Morris Dibben, Mengeham, The Terracotta Pot and Gift Shop, Eastoke, H.I. Community Centre, West Town.