Parish Council elections May 2015
As already publicised, Parish Council elections will be held on Thursday 7 May 2015. Any resident wishing to stand as a Parish Councillor will find further details on the home page of the Council’s website at www.copythorne.org.uk. Links will take you to a copy of the Nomination Pack and a nomination form. Alternatively contact the Parish Clerk.
As there will also be District Council and Parliamentary elections on the same day, it is important to make sure you are registered to vote. The way in which people register changed in June 2014 and the new system means that everyone is responsible for registering themselves. If you are not registered, you will not be able to vote. If you are not sure whether you are on the electoral roll, contact Electoral Services at New Forest District Council on 023 8028 5445.
Removal of trees and shrubs on the M27 at Cadnam
There was recently much consternation when contractors working for the Highways Agency cleared vegetation around junction 1 of the M27. Fortunately, the work was curtailed while in progress but it still resulted in removal of a valuable sound barrier.
The Highways Agency say that the clearance was carried out to reduce incidents between deer and road users and to improve forward visibility for drivers. They also confirmed that more work was done than intended and that replanting would take place as soon as possible. Some replanting has since been carried out but it is a poor substitute for the original. The Parish Council will therefore be pressing for more mature planting to address the issue.
Better news is that carriageway resurfacing has been completed around junction 1, using low noise materials. Further resurfacing between junctions 1 and 2 is also imminent.
National Plant Monitoring Scheme
This scheme was launched recently and is a new habitat-based monitoring scheme to collect data on changes in plant abundance and diversity. Volunteers across the United Kingdom are asked to visit a kilometre square of land local to them and record the plants they find there. Squares have been randomly selected across the UK and anyone interested can register on www.npms.org.uk.
Volunteers will receive a survey pack and will have access to telephone and email support plus free training courses. Participants can comprise individuals or small groups.
Eling Experience closes for £1.3million improvements
Work is set to begin on developing one of the New Forest’s most important heritage attractions after the Eling Experience closed to the public on Saturday 28 February. New Forest District Council and Totton and Eling Town Council are investing in the future of the historic Grade II* listed tide mill (c.1785), heritage centre and surrounding open spaces after securing a grant of £1.3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The improvement scheme will include essential conservation and restoration work to the mill and provide a new learning centre and café. The redeveloped attraction will also offer an exciting programme of activities and events, including opportunities for volunteer millers. The Eling Experience is expected to re-open in Summer 2016 and more information will be available during the project at elingexperience.co.uk.
Free bicycle checks
Last month, we mentioned a proposal by a locally based company to operate a mobile workshop around the New Forest National Park, offering free bicycle MOTs plus minor repairs and adjustments. Copythorne Parish Hall has agreed to host a workshop in the Parish Hall grounds but further details are still awaited from the bicycle company. More information will be included in a future bulletin.
New Forest healthy walks
Following last month’s appeal for volunteer walk leaders, Community First New Forest has received formal accreditation for its Walking for Health project. A healthy walk encourages people of all ages to join regular, short walks in their own communities. The free walks usually last between 30 and 90 minutes and are led by trained volunteers.
There are 11 walks on various days and times across the New Forest area. Anyone wishing to join a walk for the first time should contact the Volunteer Walk Leader of their chosen walk and have a chat. Details can be found at www.cfnf.org.uk/walks or telephone 07788 558864 and speak to Jan.
Alternatively email email@example.com
Bogus Trading Standards Officers
HCC Trading Standards regularly issue warnings about cold-calling traders who attempt to defraud unsuspecting customers. The latest alert is about callers who falsely state they are a Trading Standards Officer. Under this guise, the bogus caller attempts to defraud the householder by claiming they are due money in connection with previous work done to their property.
The home-owner is told they will have to pay court costs or other admin fees which will be refunded at a later date. It is important to note that Trading Standards Officers, the Police and other officials do not ask for money. If you are suspicious of a cold caller please dial 101 or in an emergency 999.
The Parish Council discusses all planning applications at each of its meetings – on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month If you think you may be affected by an application, the Council would be pleased to hear your views to help form a response to the planning authority (either the New Forest National Park Authority or New Forest District Council).
Comments can be made to the Parish Council either by letter or in person in the public participation session at the start of each meeting.
Applications due to be considered at the next meeting can be found by clicking on Planning on the top menu on the Council’s website at www.copythorne.org.uk
The Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7 pm in the Copythorne Parish Hall (rear extension).
Members of the public are very welcome to attend the meetings and speak on any matter of concern at the start of the meeting.
The dates of the next few meetings are:
Tuesday 14 April 2015 Planning
Tuesday 28 April 2015 Council
Wednesday 20 May 2015 Council (AGM)
The Clerk to the Council (Mike Derrick) can be contacted at
3 Chichester Close,
Telephone and fax 01794 322080,
Details of individual Parish Councillors can also be found on the parish website.