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May 2023 Election Results!

HIRA’s next public meeting will focus on the protection and enhancement of our coastal environment. Gavin Holder, Environment Team Lead for our region’s Coastal Partners, will discuss flood and erosion management strategies with a focus on local initiatives. Listen and put your questions on Wednesday June 14th 7:30 pm. at United Reformed Church, main hall, which now has a Loop System, assisting hearing aid wearers.


May’s local election results returned Mark Coates, Labour, for Hayling East with a remarkable turnout of 36.9% of voters, and Paul Gray, Liberal Democrat, for Hayling West with an extraordinary 41.9% - both with sizeable majorities. In Havant’s remaining 8 contested Wards were elected, with corresponding voter turnouts: a Liberal Democrat 27.46%, a Green 45.5% and a Labour 38.8% and 5 Conservatives with 22%-28%. Undoubtedly we wish all successful candidates well in representing their electorate. Equally, we must all endeavour to make our votes count by keeping ourselves well-informed and making our vote count: social responsibility is good citizenship and, like our new monarch’s exhortation to volunteer, starts with each of us and at every level.


Although our Council is still predominantly one political orientation, it is to be hoped that the increased numbers of other councillors, whether independent or party political, will engender much more and vigorous debate within our Council chamber. Mono-cultures in any aspect of life are rarely healthy which is why voters as well as those standing for elections, should make every effort to foster and engage in informed debate. This includes attending public meetings and local association discussion groups.


The very public Royal Shades, 29 Sea Front, a Grade II Listed Building, has been languishing, suffering further deterioration since its last 2016 Planning Application (APP/16/01266). That reduces the market value of nearby residences, and makes the whole area look run down. Historic England states: “There is no statutory obligation upon the owner of a listed building to keep it in a good state of repair, …[but] local authorities can take action to secure the repair of a listed building when concerned about its continued conservation.” Whilst minor repairs and maintenance don’t need building consent, “material changes” will do. Importantly, as climate change accelerates, residents trust that conservation committees will support and encourage efforts to conserve energy in all properties, of any age.


Hayling has lost some much-loved historic buildings over the years, so it would be a pity if the Royal Shades, with its historic connections, could not be sympathetically converted into practical use: unusually, ample parking places exist for possible multiple occupancy and, with few exceptions, that stretch of road has other well-maintained buildings. It would be a win-win for all concerned.


Are you concerned about sewage discharges into the harbour, or recycling sewage into drinking water? The Consumer Council for Water, CCW, is holding water company consultations, “Your Water Your Say”. But they’ve been very poorly publicised, especially considering that CCW represents us, the consumers. It’s almost as if they didn’t want us to know? Portsmouth Water was on 10 May, but it’s not too late for Southern Water, on Friday 9-June at 3:30pm. Just Google "Your Water Your Say" (with quotes) to track it down. You can also email your questions and feedback to yourwateryoursay@ccwater.org.uk .


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