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Hayling Transport in a Changing World

HIRA Article October 2022


Writing this at the time of national mourning for the highly respected and much-loved Queen Elizabeth II, brings to mind her qualities: integrity, duty and her unfailing respect and compassion for people from all walks of life. From this we learn of her sense of humour and ‘saying the right thing at the right time’ throughout the 70 years of her ‘soft power’ role in service to our country. We wish King Charles III all those attributes in his new responsibilities.

In our more mundane lives we look for integrity and duty in our public servants. HIRA’s next open public meeting, ‘Hayling Island in a Changing World’, on October 13th 7:15 for 7:30 pm at Hayling Island Community Centre Station Rd., serves to help keep residents informed. We are very fortunate to have as speaker Graham Wright, Transport Team Leader for Hampshire County Council covering the south of Hampshire. As always there will be plenty of time for your questions; priority will be given to those from the audience but, time permitting, questions sent in beforehand will be included. The meeting will include Graham’s role in developing “transport policies and plans that interpret the wider national and countywide policy framework in the local context. For Hayling Island that means doing things that make sense for Hayling Island.” Our October meeting is everyone’s opportunity to find out and ask questions about regional and local transport plans from a reliable source. See you there.

It is extraordinary that, for decades, our democratically elected national Governments have failed to uphold the standards set by their own statutory body DEFRA (Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) of which OFWAT (Water Services Regulation Authority established 1988) is a subsidiary. Across our southern region, for example, residents’ groups of every age and background have endlessly petitioned Government Ministers and their MPs to stop pollution of our vital waters, inland and marine, from all sources. Southern Water, just one of those national companies causing industrial scale pollution, was finally fined in 2021 after pollution during 2010-15: where is integrity and duty to uphold standards by the very people we elect? Surely our MPs, if not public servants in DEFRA/OFWAT, must challenge Southern Water’s plans to recycle its sewage water into a public reservoir if only because of their historic failure to take the necessary steps to avoid polluting our waterways.

We must not allow cynicism to overwhelm our insistence on duty of care by the very bodies responsible for spending our taxes. Government planning policies (stated in NPPF) effectively undermine the natural environment on which we depend by making housing development supremely important. The latter is no longer dependent on suitable infrastructure being in place nor even a likelihood of that being the case. The new housing inevitably brings in thousands of new residents to decades-long underfunding of medical staffing, social care and police services. Moreover, Liz Truss, our new Prime Minister, supports environmental de-regulation with no plans for net zero nor to foster, for example, home insulation, solar energy and farmers’ nurturing of environmental food production. Reportedly during her time as Secretary of State for DEFRA 2014-16 she further reduced enforcement of environmental regulation including sewage pollution of UK’s waterways.


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