Public Meeting:Summary

The Powerpoint slide presentations for all 3 speakers will be uploaded once they are received by HIRA. Below is a brief summary of the main points from each.

Clare Dolan commenced with the first Presentation that had been shown to the Infrastructure Advisory Committee spring 2017. She is in charge of Beach Management for Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership (ESCP) working on operations and research at Havant Borough Council (HBC). She explained that Hayling’s coastline is owned by a mixture of private and public owners so ESCP has only permissive and monitoring powers to provide defence from the Coast Protection Act 1949; it is down to respective landowners to carry out any necessary maintenance. As a result of ESCP’s researched plans, application is made to the Government for funding for those plans; hence current £3.2 million to recycle beach materials from Gunner Point to Eastoke is Government funding for that project and currently takes 3 weeks. This beach recycling is widely accepted as renewable whereas beach nourishment brings in product from external sources. Within the pebbles moved are specially radio tagged ones so that ESCP can routinely monitor and map their movement: Clare urged the public not to remove any pebbles because they could include the tagged ones. Future maintenance involves monitoring beach management for the next 5 years.

Questions/Responses:

  1. Since Hayling’s vegetative shingle has SSSI status, one resident, Adrian Handley, had written to Natural England in July 2015 to complain about quad bike methods riding 5 m grids over the shingle for a GPS survey for ESCP/HBC, apparently with the Golf Club & the Environment Agency’s permission. The quad bike was towed on and off the beach by another vehicle. David Crabb, Natural England, answered in September 2015 to assure the resident that sensitive areas would be brought to ESCP’s attention, only foot surveys on vegetated shingles and outside of bird breeding season would be permitted. The resident stated that he has seen surveys being conducted on May 25th & August 3rd this year so wants to know what steps will be taken to stop this practice. Andy Pearce, ESCP team manager, responded that it has been the surveyors’ mistakes in not correctly identifying/protecting areas of nesting birds & he will look into this.

  2. Robert Sebley member of HIRA and Cycle Hayling, expressed the view that Local Authorities’ ‘policy’ to permit further erosion along the Billy Trail, buying farmland so as to move the path inland, “seems completely impractical and wasteful. This is especially the case in the Victoria Rd. area which is low lying...known to be at risk of flooding, which...would cut off the main Hayling Rd. A3023. ...there is very little land between Langstone Hrbr and the road....[without] any barrier to flooding of the main road. The only practical solution is...a flood prevention bund with the Billy Trail on the top.”

Andy Pearce stated that the Billy Trail owner is Hampshire County Council and will take up this concern with them, but ESCP simply implements policy.

Robert stated that £100,000s were spent on the Somerset Levels for 12 houses yet Hayling’s western coast has more housing. Dave Parham (audience & Save Our Island member) stated that there were 9 separate flood plains on Hayling but no chance of either another road nor a second bridge onto Hayling because it neither has nor will have the revenue stream to justify that expense of approx.. £20m for a dual road, £130m for a bridge. Anne stated that it was extremely important that all Island residents understood this. It underlines the key role of the A3023 together with preserving and upgrading the existing Billy Trail.

Robin Davison (audience & Save Our Island) asked if the shingle needed to be moved every year, couldn’t the money be better used; and Andy Pearce replied: for the foreseeable future, but ESCP are open to ideas that are cost effective.

Cllr. John Perry asked if the Government Budget Cuts are affecting the ESCP.

Pearce: theirs is a separate budge, maintained by HBC. A team of 51 people are paid with central Government funding.

Tony Higham (HIRA) wondered why Mr. Priddy’s original breakwater idea that would have minimized the swell against the Billy Trail and protected it was not taken up.

Pearce replied: breakwaters not considered so beneficial as beach recycling for replenishment.

Pearce can be contacted on their website: http://www.escp.org.uk/

The audience agreed that all questions of the following 2 speakers would take place after they had both made their presentations.

Stuart Mangan, from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and responsible for Hampshire Emergency Planning and Community Resilience. Stuart’s presentation focussed on 5 main risks:

  1. Influenza Pandemic 2. Flood 3. Storm Damage 4. Deep Snow 5. Other

All of which result in the loss of basic utilities for 24 hours+. He quoted Michael Pitt’s report during 2007 summer’s flooding, that 85% of the population are typically able to assist themselves whilst others need multi-agency support. Cat 1: blue light events involve Hampshire County Council environment agency, the Met. Office utilities, the military, the police. These meet fortnightly in Winchester focusing on saving and protecting life and containing an emergency, and would draw in any local support skills eg doctors, farmers with tractors etc plus any community ‘rest’ centres. There are 72 plans for such events across Hampshire & IOW. Life must be at risk for this level of response. There are Plans on a secure website used by organisations.

Community Resilience: this is about any local community having in place a plan which can be followed during emergencies that result in loss of basic utilities and risk to life. Stuart showed ‘grab bags’ for the audience to take home and think carefully about what they would ‘grab’ if suddenly told they had to evacuate their home for 24 hours or longer. He emphasized that medicines are crucial as they may be inaccessible after evacuation. Slides showed the huge improvement in one case study, Hambledon, notorious for its flooding. Its drainage ditches were filled with concrete by WWII troops requiring the additional land for tank movement but have only been reinstated in 2014 following decades of severe flooding costing manpower and huge expense to clear. Since Hambledon residents have worked towards Community Resilience, 95% of the sandbags are laid by the residents under supervision, there is no statutory requirement for a local authority to supply sandbags. Originally the cost of Hampshire Fire & Rescue to manage and clear the flooding emergency was £309K, now it is £3K representing operational costs. Stuart Mangan made it clear that he is looking forward to working with Hayling Island to prepare its own Community Resilience as it is an area identified as having none.

Stuart Pinkney, Havant BC lead on emergency planning, described his 40 years with HBC & 5 years living on Hayling’s Southwood Rd. as giving him first hand experience of local flooding problems. He emphasized that he, Stuart and other emergency agencies routinely discuss potentially serious issues arising in the region and the Cat. 1 incidents to which he has been called. He added fires, terrorism, solar events eg Sun flares cutting out our satellites, and Hayling tornados (6 in the past 20 years) as likely risks to our daily lives. He cited the daily 22,400-28,000 vehicle movements over the bridge and the extreme difficulty of accessing the mainland/Island especially at low water if the bridge cannot be used. His slides gave visual illustrations of past examples and he commended Langstone Village Residents for their community resilience in ensuring that flood barriers are in place and their knowledge of each resident and their needs in the even of an emergency.

Questions/Responses:

1. Anne Skennerton asked who is the key person responsible for identifying an emergency and coordinating all the agencies at HBC or HCC.

Stuart replied it is normally initially the police. He observed that Hayling needs to get organizations together and build community resilience otherwise we are vulnerable in an emergency.

2. Governor of a Hayling school stated that HCC requires schools to have a plan to evacuate children to a safe place but schools want to know what will happen if parents are eg on the mainland and can’t reach their children.

Stuart referred to a plan at Whiteley [as an example?]

3. Paul, HIRA member, raised the issue of access to Hayling in an emergency: in a Storm F6, F7 no helicopters could land.

Stuart referred to vessels coming to the western Langstone coast but Anne pointed out that the vessels that might be used are typically about 8 hours sailing away. Stuart stated that in an emergency that affected an area beyond Hayling, Portsmouth, with its 120,000 people would get all the support in contrast to Hayling’s 17,000 people. [Editor’s note: perhaps 18,000 residents with approximately 2,000 seasonal inhabitants.]

At 10:00 pm Anne closed the Meeting and thanked the speakers for their time and presentations.

At the end, in response to Anne’s request as to how people had heard about the Meeting:

the majority had read about it in the Islander in HIRA’s Article; some from the posters; some from our and other Facebooks; some from email to members.

Anne reminded everyone that HIRA needs the public’s views on the Sinah Lane proposed 162 mixed tenure homes development asap, and that the public may attend the full Council debate on this matter taking place Tuesday November 14th 6-8 pm Hurstwood Room, doors open 5:30 pm to view Barratt’s presentation. Please find all details on Havant Borough Council website: Development Consultation Forum.

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