Parish Lengthsman Scheme
The name Lengthsman dates back to the 1800’s, referring to workers who were responsible for keeping a particular length of road neat and tidy. Years ago many parishes had their own Lengthsman and, in fact, West Meon had one back in the 60’s who looked after the A32 down as far as the Parish boundary with Warnford.
Nowadays it is not feasible for parishes to have their own Lengthsman, but the work still needs doing. Hampshire County Council now funds a scheme under which parishes join together and share the services of Lengthsmen. Warnford joined this scheme in 2013. There is no cost to the Parish and we get the services of a Lengthsman for a few days a year. If we had to pay for this, it would cost hundreds of pounds each year. Phil Chadder runs the scheme on behalf of Warnford Parish Meeting, this mainly involves identifying work for the Lengthsman, meeting him on the days he is in the village and arranging for him to do what is needed.
Jobs that the Lengthsman has undertaken recently include trimming the grass on both sides of River Lane and removing overhanging branches, cleaning out ditches and making sure that road drains are free of debris etc., making sure that road signs are visible, trimming the playground hedge opposite School Terrace and trimming round stiles on footpaths.
There are certain things the Lengthsman is not permitted to do, such as work to roads or work on the verges of the A32, but that still leaves much that can be done.
Phil is always keen to receive suggestions of works the Lengthsman could do, so if you have any thoughts on this, please do contact Phil on 829347 or by email.
Although ‘Lengthsman’ may seem an old-fashioned term, the scheme is a very helpful one, which Warnford is lucky to have and we need to make sure that we make the best use of it.