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Hampshire County Council Continues Local Parish Lengthsman Scheme Support

  • Written by Lucy

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Rob Humby has agreed to continue to support Hampshire’s successful parish lengthsman scheme.

The scheme, first trialled in 2010 with just 10 parish councils, funds a local ‘lengthsman’ to carry out straightforward highways maintenance tasks requested by the local parish council and now includes 136 parishes covering more than half of Hampshire.

Councillor Rob Humby said: “The parish lengthsman scheme has been a success story in recent years, giving local parish councils more say over maintenance works which really matter to their communities. It’s been so successful, in fact, that more parish councils request to be part of it every year, and we now have another 38 wishing to join.”

The County Council currently provides funding for parish and town councils to employ a local ‘lengthsman’ who takes on maintenance tasks such as cutting back hedges, cleaning signs and clearing ditches. Each parish is allocated £1,100 for the lengthsman works, except for Fleet and Yateley town councils who receive a higher allocation reflecting the size of the road length covered. The cost to the County Council for the parish councils already in the scheme is £156,200.

Councillor Humby continued: “While we obviously need to look carefully at all the council’s spending during these challenging economic times, I know how much local communities value this scheme and the difference it can make to the pride people take in where they live.”

The term ‘lengthsman’ dates back to the 1800s, referring to workers who were responsible for keeping a particular length of road neat and tidy.

Price Of School Meals To Increase

  • Written by Lucy

price of school meal to increasseA small increase in the price of a school meal has been agreed by Hampshire County Council, to come into effect from 1 April 2017.

An increase of five pence is being introduced to meet the rising cost of providing school meals, and takes the price per meal to £2.15. This continues to represent good value for money for a two course, freshly cooked school meal.

Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Keith Mans said: “We’re very proud of the high standard of school meals that our catering service (HC3S) provides - using locally sourced produce. A healthy lunch at school contributes significantly to a child’s wellbeing and their capacity to learn, through to the end of the school day.”

He continued: “I am keen that school meals remain affordable but we must balance this against the increasing cost of providing those meals, including higher charges for ingredients. It is my view that the proposal to raise the cost of each meal by small increments, over time, will avoid sudden, dramatic price hikes further down the line, and ensure that the price rise is manageable.”

Over 70,000 healthy school meals are served in Hampshire’s primary and secondary schools, across the county daily. All HC3S school meals meet the Department for Education’s rules for healthy school dinners and HC3S has worked with schools, pupils and parents for over 20 years, to create menus that are varied and follow the guiding principles of healthy eating.

Menus also adhere to the Hyperactive Children's Support Group's recommendations to remove over 70 additives and colourings that could affect children's behaviour.

The decision to increase the school meal price was taken at the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services Decision Day (18 January 2017). Read the School Meals Decision Report online at hants.gov.uk/councilmeetings.

Union Street Arch Installed in Andover

  • Written by Editor

Local Andover News | Union Street Arch Installed in Andover | Andover & VillagesUnion Street businesses are set to benefit from better signage thanks to the installation of a second Andover arch.

Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Karen Hamilton, unveiled the new arch, which will signpost shoppers to the businesses located just off the High Street. The first arch at the entrance to George Yard was installed in August last year.

The decorative Union Street arch was designed by renowned artist, Peter Clutterbuck. The Mayor was joined by councillors and staff from local businesses as she cut the ribbon to formally unveil the structure on Monday, 16 January.

The idea to enhance signage for the shops came from feedback from Test Valley Borough Council’s Andover Summit initiative, which aimed to rejuvenate the town centre and increase footfall. This work now continues through the renewed Andover Vision. The five remaining arches are planned for Waterloo Court, Shaw’s Walk, Globe Yard, King’s Yard and Black Swan Yard.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “I’m really pleased that the second arch has been installed. This is a fantastic project that attracts attention to some of the independent businesses located just off the High Street and it looks great alongside the first arch we installed at George Yard. I’d like to thank Peter and his team for all their hard work and I’m looking forward to seeing the project progress further as the remaining five arches are put in place.”

Peter Clutterbuck, whose previous work includes the War Memorial Park gate in Hedge End and Falklands memorial arch in Fareham, added: “I’m thoroughly enjoying working with the Council and the local businesses on this project. The arches are a great way to enhance the look of the High Street so it will be good to continue work on the next part of the project.”

£3M Investment To Help Older People To Stay Independent For Longer

  • Written by Lucy

3M investment to help older people to stay independent longerHampshire County Council is investing more than £3 million to help older people in Winchester stay independent for longer.

At her decision day on Tuesday 17 January, Councillor Liz Fairhurst, the County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care, approved the funding to commission the around the clock care that will be provided at the new Chesil Lodge Extra Care Scheme being built in the city, due to be completed later this year.

She said: “For many people, Extra Care is the ideal solution as they can have their own home, but with the added reassurance that help is at hand whenever they need it. Extra Care allows people to move out of houses where they are finding it difficult to cope, into a home where they can be secure and live independently. As well as providing a safe environment, Extra Care housing also enables couples with different care needs to stay living together and is more cost effective than residential care.

“We know that most people would prefer to continue to live independently in a home of their own, rather than enter residential care. The County Council is therefore investing up to £45 million over a decade to help to develop schemes of this kind.”

The £15 million Chesil Lodge scheme is due to be completed in autumn 2017 and will provide 52 Extra Care flats on the site of the former Chesil car park, as part of Winchester City Council’s commitment to provide 300 affordable homes between 2012 and 2022. The scheme is funded by Hampshire County Council, Winchester City Council, the Homes and Community Agency, and a local bequest.

Extra Care provides people with their own individual apartment, coupled with access to communal and shared spaces, in modern, high-quality, attractive buildings, close to local facilities. Twenty-four hour care, all year round, is available on-site, to be used progressively by people as their needs increase - avoiding early or unnecessary entry in to residential, or nursing homes.

Research has shown that people living in Extra Care housing enjoy better health, have fewer hospital stays and fewer falls. They are also less likely to move into residential care.

The majority of residents living in Extra Care schemes will have been assessed as having a social housing need as well as a social care need.

 

Free Business Workshops in Andover

  • Written by Editor

Local Business News | Free Business Workshops in Andover | Andover & VillagesThe Town Centre Partnership and Andover College, with funding from Test Valley Borough Council, are providing three training seminars for local business people in the town centre in the coming months. The two hourly seminars are aimed at equipping small business owners in the town centre, with the skills and expertise required to manage a successful business in today's challenging marketplace.

Chris Gregory, Town Centre Manager comments “we are delighted to be able to offer these training seminars to all of the hardworking small business people in the town centre and would like to thank Test Valley Borough Council for funding them.”

Places on the seminars are limited and are offered free of charge on a first come first serve basis. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more or reserve your place.

22nd February 6pm – 8pm Andover Guildhall Marketing by Suzanne Carpenter of Two Discover the importance of identifying your businesses USPs and how to implement and deliver your marketing plan whilst being flexible to adapt your plan to external market forces.

8th March 6pm-8pm Andover Guildhall

Social Media – Emma Selby, founder of Your Business Hubs

Are you using Facebook for Business? Find out how it could be generating new business for your business by targeting the ideal customer, building audience and using this social media tool for promotion. You will receive expert guidance on getting the most out of Facebook for your business.

15th March 6pm – 8pm Andover Guildhall

Finance - Peter Smith, The MGroup Peter will give you an introduction to the basics of financial management explaining finance options available, how to manage cash flow, your accounts and returns.