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Room for Improvement

It’s great to read Hayling West Beach has Blue Flag status, but there is concern regarding Budd Farm’s occasional effluent discharges following heavy rainfall.

Langstone Harbour Board website’s online notifications, provided by Southern Water, of untreated Discharge Notifications show 44 for May 2nd-30th inclusive. Hayling’s Infrastructure Delivery Draft (online) sketches Southern Water’s possible ability, based on Dry Weather and ideally 2.5 occupancy households, to cope with the projected housing demand but also confirms issues of odour and contamination management.

That aside, our beaches urgently need much improved waste collection and facilities as well as wheelchair access to the Blue Flag beach. We are inquiring as to whether this designation requires a First Aid facility, particularly important for our Island.

We are currently investigating parking charges on Hayling Island, using a Freedom of Information enquiry of East Hants. Of particular interest to us is what Island residents gain from the charges’ net profit. We raised detailed concerns brought to our attention. One question concerned the poor condition of some of Beachlands’ Car Park surfaces, including some quite deep and dangerous potholes, gained this response: The Council stated that, in partnership with NORSE, they are looking at repairing surfaces. It is well worth readers making their own detailed complaints to the Council and undoubtedly we will all be monitoring outcomes.

Still on the issue of Council Services, NORSE seems to struggle even with grass verge upkeep. Verges are either too infrequently cut or, as on Sea Front in particular, when it was cut early June, the results looked like ‘horse manure’ said a resident whose business relies upon a well maintained and cared for Island. Havant Borough likes to use Hayling as a key positive regional attraction catering both for local well-being and the lucrative tourist economy. However this requires that Islanders’ taxation and parking charges are seen to be ploughed back into Island facilities which shouldn’t require diversion to project consultancy fees.

HIRA’s website and FB page provide updates on the Aqua/Learning Centre progress. All expressed concerns re additional traffic and costs are dealt with by Wendy Coates, this project’s lead. Following discussion with Senior HBC Officers, a feasibility study is being undertaken and the project likely raised at the next Cabinet Meeting. Undoubtedly there will be tweaks but it is vital to appreciate that the beach area in question will be developed. This proposal provides highly valuable, long-term and genuinely sustainable facilities for the elderly, infirm, school children, able bodied. Ordinary residents who raised families on Hayling are 100% in favour stating ‘We’ve always wanted this.’ One wonders how many complained about Hayling’s ‘high end’ leisure facilities when they were built on our coasts, and the vocal watersports advocates are also not criticised for bringing more traffic onto the Island.

Contact HIRA or drop boxes: Hayling Island Community Centre, West Town, Mengham Library, Morris Dibben, Mengham, The Terracotta Pot and Gift Shop, Eastoke.

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