Published: Thursday, 27 November 2014 16:32
Working together to make Hampshire more resilient
Parish and town councillors from across Hampshire are working in partnership with the County Council as winter sets in a bid to strengthen community resilience.
Around 100 representatives joined talks with the County Council in Winchester this week on how to manage flood risks, mitigate the effects of flooding, address funding challenges and help strengthen resilience.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, who opened the event, said: "We were reminded again last winter how effective working together with communities can be in connecting the views and needs of local residents with those of all the statutory agencies. Parish and town Councils have a very important role in helping prepare and embed community resilience, and we are committed to working with all our partners to ensure that best use is made of the resources available. Our shared knowledge and experience can help us become better prepared for the future, both in terms of responding to flooding events, but also in maximising the impact of flood defence funding and working with different partners across boundaries.
"Since last winter, we have been working hard to repair the roads damaged by the floods, putting extra resource and focus into extra drainage schemes and gully work. We were successful in bidding for money from Government for flood recovery and repairs, and now await news of our bids for flood defence and alleviation measures.
"Despite the damage to the roads inflicted by the weather, it was very encouraging to see that Hampshire was the top performing authority in the country for highways maintenance in this year's National Highways and Transport public satisfaction survey. The support provided by parish and town councils in this is hugely valued in enabling us to provide such an efficient and responsive service."
The Chairman of the Hampshire Partnership and Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: "It was good to see Hampshire's Highways contractors Amey demonstrate the latest equipment to deal with potholes and roads maintenance. Using modern and efficient technology enables us to repair more potholes more quickly and no doubt is one of the reasons why Hampshire has come out tops for road maintenance. I know there will always be potholes but we want to get them repaired as quickly as possible and I do encourage residents and road users to report any potholes they see using http://www3.hants.gov.uk/roadproblems "
Steven Lugg, Chief Executive of the Hampshire Association of Local Councils, said: "In serving residents' best interests local government needs to work differently, and together. Local highways support is just one of the areas where parishes and towns can add low cost support to the objective of safe, clean and drained highways. We look to every council as community leaders to make a contribution to Hampshire life."
For advice on emergency action plans visit: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/emergencyplanning/community-resilience
For more information about flooding and flood management in Hampshire visit: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/flooding.htm
Amey is the County Council's term highways maintenance contractor. For more information about Amey visit: http://www.amey.co.uk/
For more information about the Hampshire Association of Local Councils visit: http://www.hampshire-alc.gov.uk/
Published: Saturday, 08 November 2014 11:11
News from New Forest National Parks Authority.
Charities and local groups looking to recruit volunteers are invited to register their interest for the New Forest Volunteer Fair 2015.
The annual event at Lyndhurst Community Centre attracts hundreds of people from across Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire, looking to try new skills and enjoy new experiences.
The fair will take place on 31 January next year, when around 30 organisations from in and around the New Forest will attract volunteers for wildlife projects, archaeological surveys and outdoor activities.
One organisation which has benefited recently is Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey, which has attracted the skills of photographer Matt Pringle to improve their portfolio of images for their websites and magazines.
Mr Pringle has also benefited from the experience, helping him to recover from mental and physical health problems after being assaulted at work as a police officer.
He said: ‘Volunteering at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens gives me the opportunity to give something back. It’s helped me gain a sense of achievement, reach attainable goals and I’ve enjoyed meeting new people. The positive nature of the experience has been a real benefit for my mental health too.’
Janet Pratley, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, said: ‘Matt’s photos have been of the highest quality and he has been a fantastic addition to our team of volunteers. They make such a difference to the gardens, whether it’s by planting and digging, helping customers or other skilled services such as photography. The New Forest Volunteer Fair has been a great place for us to find such wonderful people.’