Each month a report of just some of the town activities is given by the Chairman/Mayor to the Town Council.
Here is the latest presented to the full Town Council on 1st April.
CHAIRMAN’S / MAYOR’S REPORT TO FULL TOWN COUNCIL 1st APRIL 2019
Welcome to our last full Town Council Meeting of the present Council year.
Next month there will be a new Council for a year which will perhaps be the most challenging for a long time, if not ever.
Strong leadership will be required
One year ago I said this year would be challenging and so it has been, but the next will be even more so and will require the strongest of leadership, diplomacy and above all care for our town. I make no bones about my term having been difficult as expectations on the Council’s role increase, not just from our residents but also as other agencies reduce services which have a knock on effect.
“Age of the Parish”
When attending the recent Town and Parish Council’s Spring Workshop organised by HCC, the Leader of the County Council stated that we were “moving into the Age of the Parish” and a great deal was made of the role of Parishes and Partnership Working as County budgets are cut.
That will need clear thinking as the Town Council will need to look for ‘Smarter’ working arrangements needs to be both firm and forward looking as it represents LOCAL people.
The future sports pitch management, a possible cemetery extension, and other facilities as a result of developer funding will all require a high level of professional input.
Inevitable pressures on the town
The town will inevitably see further pressures to take more housing; traffic issues will need dealing with; business activity will become a higher priority if the town is not to lose vitality; pressures on education and health provision will increase and the need for recreation and leisure will be more important. At the same time we will be under the blight of a potential massive incinerator less than two miles from our boundary with its effects on tourism, the environment, our roads, our health and our well-being.
There is no doubt there may be very rocky times ahead so it will be essential to work even closer with the town’s residents than ever before.
The Incinerator on our doorstep
I wish to thank those Councillors who helped at the Incinerator response meeting, which enabled us to come to our decision at our Extraordinary Meeting. I subsequently attended a meeting with Basingstoke & Deane’s Planning Officer on this along with Cllr Dave George and Hurstbourne Priors parish representation. It was very pleasing to see that BDBC then put in an official response to the consultation incorporating many of the issues raised.
However it was also more than disappointing that Wheelabrator refused to hold a public display in Whitchurch.
Updates from a HCC Workshop
As referred to earlier I attended the County Council’s Town & Parish Workshop where there were presentations on Highways budgets, how Potholes are dealt with, details of the Highways Charter by contractors Skanska and an update on HCC’s Resources and Waste Strategy from a national angle.
The 3G Pitch for everyone
I also attended the Testbourne 3G Pitch opening (by Mike Bushell) and we have discussed in Council its benefits to the whole community.
It is a wonderful amenity for the School, the town and the local area.
It was also wonderful to meet some of the elderly of our town at their weekly Lunch Club – a truly lovely experience that aids social interaction each Friday. The Fish and Chips were superb as was the Apple Pie and Custard.
I also attended the presentations regarding the possible relocation of the Montessori Nursery to the Knowlings and heard a wide variety of views. It is very helpful that an applicant has undertaken talking to residents before making a formal application. This should be encouraged.
A very rewarding year
But overall we have a lovely town with wonderful residents, and whilst the year has definitely been more of a challenge than expected, it has also been more than rewarding.
And to be clear – NONE OF THE ABOVE IS AN APRIL FOOL.
The above is only a very small part of what takes place.
If anyone wishes to contact me on anything – always willing to chat – just email:
TOWN COUNCIL CHAIRMAN / MAYOR
or via the Town Hall Office:
WHITCHURCH TOWN COUNCIL