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March 2019

Hampshire County Councillor   Monthly Update  to Test Valley Central Parish Councils

Report No 3     March 2019

General     For 2019 the HCC part of the Council Tax will be raised by 2.99% by HCC. This includes a 1% rise for Adult Social care. With the current calls for funding,  with the NHS and the Police more likely to be prioritized, it is unlike that Local Government will receive adequate funding in the foreseeable future. As such we are likely to continue to be looking for cuts across the HCC services. The uncertainty regarding Brexit is also a concern especially if GDP were to fall.

Library    On a positive note, the Andover Library has been refurbished and is now open. The official opening will be on the 22nd March.

Test Valley School   Unfortunately Test Valley School has confirmed that it will be closing the swimming pool.  The pool has a significant annual cost (circa £12k) that the School cannot afford without additional funding.

Salt Bins. I believe that all salt bins have been re-filled. This is important as we could still get a cold snap as we have experienced in the past.

Highways. Please continue to report potholes on the HCC portal and please let me know if reported potholes have not been completed so that I can escalate and ensure that the work is done. The February highways report is attached. Pot hole filling decreased slightly this month but still sits above 5,000 pot holes filled.

Broughton.  The Village Hall project is now under way in Broughton and there is excitement for the new Village Hall which will include the shop, the Post Office and a precious archive of the Villages History plus more.

Wallops   I am please to report that both the Nether Wallop and Over Wallop Parish Councils are directly engaged with Highways to accelerate the traffic project.  Highways wrote to both the Over Wallop and Nether Wallop Parish Council’s in January asking for direct engagement as a result of the increased cost estimates. The key part of the Highways statement was as follows :

"The focus of the package of works is the closure of Salisbury Lane and traffic calming on Station Road. Both these elements are deliverable with the funding currently available to the project. Subject to discussion with the Parish Councils, a trial of these two elements could be undertaken for a limited time and made permanent should the trial be a success. The criteria by which the trial would be judged, duration of the trial and methods of monitoring would need to be discussed with the Parish Councils and agreed by formal decision with the Executive Member for Environment and Transport prior to any works commencing. The intention is that officers will write to the Parish Councils in the New Year with this proposal"

With direct dialog I hope that the project trial phase will advance rapidly.

Devolved Budget   Please let me know if there are any projects that require funding as there is money available for 2019.


Cllr Andrew Gibson

Hampshire County Council,

Test Valley Central Division