According to Government expectations (see Government Publications: Community Resilience October 2016), the public must be aware of the impact of any emergencies at both individual and business level, and have planned to minimise such an impact. At the last Infrastructure Review Advisory Group (IRAG) we had copy of Havant Borough Council’s Draft Emergency Plan. HIRA members have submitted extensive amendments and requested an annual table top exercise on Hayling, involving key Island support groups, so that the local public can be made properly aware of individual and responsible readiness. We await further discussion with the Officer responsible.
At the same Advisory Group meeting, it was intimated that there were many Council services available at Beachlands’ Tourist Information Office, reducing travel to Havant’s Plaza. Beachlands’ staff recently said that, apart from tourist leaflets, they only deal with season tickets, radar keys and garden waste. Surely more services could be made available, reducing travel costs and congestion? Some fear that Norse, the Council’s contracted Facilities’ Management Company also running Beachlands, is cutting staff and services.
Following the excellent August Ferry Anniversary and hearing Councillors present all express enthusiastic support for a Hayling bus to the Ferry, a Community Infrastructure Levy funding application has been made for a Community run Hayling wide minibus. This has the support of several local community groups including HIRA, and includes qualifying voluntary drivers and using non-commercial bus routes. Undoubtedly it would reduce traffic and tick all community involvement boxes. It is absolutely vital that we support the Ferry past this first year to make it viable, so please encourage your Council to support this application. We trust that we won’t be made to wait for an all electric bus – otherwise it sounds as though, like the long term allotments saga, this one will also run for years.
A resident’s publicised complaint that they had bought an advertised ‘sheltered’ apartment on Hayling, only to find subsequently that fire extinguishers and even alarms were being removed by the management company, again focuses on lack of forward planning by those whom we trust. If a company cannot afford regular monitoring of an essential service, it is, at least, their moral duty to discuss this with all concerned. Residents may sensibly choose to ensure a monthly fire drill, using alarms to ensure all are alerted, and agreeing to call the Emergency Services. All residents need to check their alarm services, ensuring that everyone is involved.
A national newspaper (Guardian: Money July 25th 2017) reported Government plans to ban major housebuilders from selling leaseholds at a later date to speculative buyers, who may then increase the original buy out value. The leasehold rents can also increase unreasonably, out of proportion to any services provided. Both these issues could be of concern for anyone buying future leasehold property; property buyers should be closely examining exactly what any ground rent or maintenance charges are and by how much they will be permitted to increase in the future. We understand that the Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS), which must now accompany some of Hayling’s new building developments, must be maintained by the new homeowners and the future costs are uncertain.
Residents should read, either at the Plaza or online, Havant’s Draft Taxi Licensing Policy to comment by September 4th, plus your comments by September 13th on Natural England’s proposals re England Coast Path: Portsmouth to South Hayling.
Next Public Meeting: Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership on our flood defences Thursday, October 19th 7:30 pm at Hayling College.
Contact HIRA via firstname.lastname@example.org or one of the four drop boxes at the Library; HI Community Centre, West Town; Morris Dibben, Mengham; The Terracotta Pot and Gift Shop, Eastoke.