simon quarrell's blog

Urgent! Urgent! Refurbishment of The Bury - the Parish Council needs your views

by simon quarrell on Thursday 17th May

Hampshire County Council have said they are now completing the works and the contractors are on-site until next Friday - but they have only mentionned the re-surfacing!

Other things are still missing from the plan - for example the light in Terry's Alley - and these need to be addressed while the contractors are here.

So, if you know of any other missing or uncompleted pieces of work, please let the Parish Council clerk know as soon as possible - so she can do what she can for us!

The routes for information are:
- add a comment to this blog
- respond to the Parish Council note that Bury residents will receive in the next few days
- drop a note in the Parish Council room letterbox in The Bury
- or go to the Parish Council website forum and add your views.

Community website nominated for a Hantsweb Award

by simon quarrell on Tuesday 1st May

Just to let you know that this websitesite has been nominated for a Hantsweb Award 2007. These prestigious Awards run by Hampshire County Council, reward the best websites and internet services in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

It will be interesting to see what conclusion the judges come to!

Parish Council rejects its own parking scheme!

by simon quarrell on Tuesday 27th March

Last night with a vote of 5 to 4 the Parish Council rejected the parking scheme it has been ploughing on with for over 15 months. It was good to hear what the 5 Councillors (Fleming, Bennett, Smith, Ball and Spruce) had to say because it was clear that they have listened to the views that the various communities in the village have been putting forward continuously over the whole period.

In contrast, the 4 lead by Councillors Horton and Ebert again stated they were going to deliberately ignore the views of residents because they 'knew better' and wanted to pursue their own agenda of control.

A good result for the village overall. There are some minor local parking and traffic issues which now need to be dealt with - but on a simple basis and not over-whelmed by the proposed red-tape, bureaucratic, stealth tax, control freak system that is now history.

Parish Council decides to extend parking scheme costs to hit all residents

by simon quarrell on Sunday 28th January

While quite deliberately ignoring the STOPS petition and its hard evidence that virtually no one in the village wants this scheme, the Parish Council continued to pursue its own agenda on Monday by agreeing to make sure that every household in the village will have to pay. It doesn't matter if you live in Potbridge, Whitehall, Park Corner, Derbyfields, North Warnborough or even Odiham - you will have to pay!

Why is this? Well, Councillors Horton & Ebert proposed that the Parish Council takes on the administration of the scheme so that they have more control over which individual residents can or cannot not have a parking permit - or "increased flexibility" as they called it.

So Odiham will have to pay for the admin costs - but the revenues from the permits (and fines!) will still go to Hart! Fair chance they'll agree to that!The admin costs will have to be added to the Parish Precept (tax) which is charged to every single household in the parish.

Those of you living outside the parking zone might have thought you weren't going to be hit financially - sorry, but you will be! If you are not happy with this, I suggest a direct protest to one of the more sensible councillors might be appropriate - and soon!

Tags: | | STOPS | taxes

Parish Council votes to double parking charges for visitors to Odiham

by simon quarrell on Wednesday 24th January

The PC voted on Monday evening to double the short term charges in the car parks, so it will cost £1 for up to 60 minutes. The promoters of this idea, Councillors Horton and Ebert, stated that this would benefit local retailers - which is curious given that they haven't consulted either retailers or the OTMG on this, and it seems common sense that users of the shops, who are short term visitors to the village, are less likely to be encouraged to come if its going to cost them twice as much.

Fortunately the final decision is with Hart, and I am sure that the retailers and the OTMG will make sure Hart gets a view that reflects reality.

Tags: | visitors

STOPS petition presented to the Parish Council

by simon quarrell on Wednesday 10th January

I hear that the Stop The Odiham Parking Scheme petition was presented to the Parish Council at their meeting on Monday.

Incredibly, over 800 people have signed this petition in a very short time. This number includes over 70% of residents living in the central zone who will be hit by taxes and restrictions, over 300 retail and business owners, staff and customers, and 300 living just outside the zone but fear being overwhelmed with more people trying to park outside their houses.

With this level of response, I can't see any reason the Parish Council can possibly have for continuing with this scheme rejected by the community - unless their real plan is simply to raise more revenue through taxes using permits, fines and parking charges!

Personally, I congratulate John Fletcher, Gordon Wrenn and Brian Fleming for their hard work on STOPS - and hope that it stops the PC wasting more of people's time and public money on this. There are real solutions out there!

Tags: | | | protests

RAF Odiham is on television!

by simon quarrell on Friday 8th December

A message from Flight Lieutenant Andi Large of RAF Odiham

"Ladies and Gents, for the past 2 months Meridian ITV (now Thames Valley Tonight) have been filming a five part documentary at RAF Odiham. The first feature was broadcast last night on the 1800 bulletin and tonight the Stn Cdr will be interviewed live on the programme.

The remaining 4 features will be broadcast from next Monday (11th Dec) through to 18th Dec 06. I am sure you and your parishioners would all gain an invaluable insight into life at RAF Odiham, as the filming covers all aspects of our personnel preparing for deployment to Afghanistan.

The crew who were filmed for this documentary are due to deploy to operations in the next few days."

Tags: community support | RAF | television

Odiham is a young and dynamic village

by simon quarrell on Thursday 7th December

Someone asked me the other day "what is the size of the population in the parish?" According to the 2001 Census, it is 4,959 - and the average age is much younger than the national average. Yes, younger - because we have more 'hard working families' than the average.

The actual figures are:
- people over 64: 13% which is 3% below the average for England
- people over 44: 34% which is 6% below average
- people between 16 and 44: 47% which is 7% above the average
- and people under 16: 20% which is the average level.

56% of people live in the Odiham ward of the Parish Council
24% live in North Warnborough ward
and 20% in RAF Odiham ward.

Enough information for now I think!

Tags: age | distribution | Population

DTI report confirms Odiham as a major centre for business

by simon quarrell on Tuesday 5th December

A DTI SBS agency report was recently published in October confirming that the parish of Odiham has almost twice as many businesses per resident as the national average - and one of the strongest results outside central London.

There are over 200 businesses in Odiham parish generating over 2,000 jobs. If we add in RAF Odiham (never mind the schools, hospital etc etc), there are many more adults employed in Odiham than actually live here. We are certainly not a 'dormitory village!'

Less than a quarter of the businesses are made up of retail and hospitality companies. We also have oil & gas companies, pharmaceutical and logistics companies, property & financial companies, agricultural amd engineering companies, etc. But the largest grouping is in sales & marketing and technology - strong and growing sectors.

Local businesses have always been an integral part of the parish community - however far back in history you can go - and it is important for all of us that this balance is maintained.

Tags: business | | DTI | growth | integration

Odiham Fire Service needs more people!

by simon quarrell on Monday 4th December

The Fire Brigade, our very own retained team who turn up year on year to support the Extravaganza event, have a more serious message this year.

THEY NEED MEN URGENTLY, so if you know someone who might fit the bill contact Mick Paul 01256 703317 as a matter of urgency.

Our retained firemen are essential to this community. Think for a moment of the consequences of NOT having them..........something we all take totally for granted.

(Borrowed from Peter Fountain's comments on the Extravaganza!)

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