After a very wet August, you may have a ditch outside your home which has been filling up in the rain. The riparian responsibilities of landowners is very clearly explained in a leaflet entitled ‘ Flood Risk Management Guidance for Landowners’ (printed Feb 2016).You can see it online at hants.gov.uk or I can provide a copy on request.
Councils are trying to work out how they will balance the budget as Government funding declines towards 2020. The debate is about whether councils should become ‘entrepreneurial’ for potentially a higher (or lower) return but greater risk, or invest our money as safely as it can. I would be interested to hear your views.
In the Itchen Valley division that I represent, there are 485 people who are seeking an affordable home. 393 of those are under 60, 92 are over 60. It may be that they currently sleep on a sofa, with other family members, or their homes are at risk in tied properties; many are doing valuable jobs on lower salaries.
The ‘exception housing’ policy allows landowners whose land is not already allocated to housing in the Local Plan to build homes which are offered to rent or for shared ownership below market price through Winchester’s housing allocation process. If you have land, or are on the Housing Waiting List (or feel you should be) then please contact me and your Parish Council to explain why availability of that housing would be important to you. As the number of affordable homes declines in the countryside, there is a human cost to this very real problem. Even if someone is entitled to be ‘on the list’, there just isn’t a home available. We must change this.
My survey on ‘CANGO bus use’ had to stop temporarily over the summer, but I have now sent out paper surveys to earlier enquirers. If you use CANGO and have not seen the survey, please let me know how, when and why you use the service. Thank you.
Families using the popular Merrydale Respite Care home for children in Kings Worthy are being consulted on new ways to deliver respite care. I welcome the consultation but want to ensure that families really do get the respite they need in any new service delivery. Please contact me if you have a view on this either as a parent, relation, friend or user.
As I sit at Parish Council meetings, I often hear councillors ask: Do we know if Citizens Advice gives any help here? Yes, they definitely do! I recently worked with a resident at Citizens’ Advice. They gave time promptly and made a real difference, all at no cost to the individual involved. Local groups are funded separately and to keep these services going, Winchester Citizens Advice definitely needs your help. There is a ‘Donate Now’ button in the bottom corner of the website www.citizensadvice.org.uk/winchester-district which takes you through to MyDonate.
The new Priest in Charge, Rev Julia Myles was introduced to the wider Alresford community in a joyous service recently. It was good to join her community from Alnwick in the north of England to us here in the south. Closer to home and as winter approaches, I was struck by Alex Pease’s article on knowing your neighbour. It’s worth reading.