In December the Quality Control Commission branded our hospitals “dangerous and inadequate”. We have contacted our local representative and arranged for a member of the Hospital Trust management, Richard Renaut, to address our public meeting on 27th February at 7.30pm in The Hall on the Hill, Marlow Drive. From past experience of liaising with Richard we know that he will give us an honest and balanced view of what caused this verdict and where we are now headed.
The management have issued a statement and you can read that at www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates”. Meanwhile contractors have started to remove the asbestos from Christchurch Hospital. In addition a temporary home for Radiology has been built. We anticipate that the main entrance will soon switch to G Block.
At the same February meeting Andrew Martin, Head of Dorset’s Highway Operations, will give a presentation on Dorset’s roads. Maintaining the road system is a large, expensive, complex operation and we are hoping for some valuable insights.
Plans to build a new replacement roundabout on the B3073 at Hurn have been withdrawn from a Christchurch planning meeting by DCC due to “a lack of information on the environmental impact of the scheme”. Representatives of both Hurn Parish Council and CBC said the lack of a tree planting report was a “serious concern”. Quite how professional planners get themselves into such a situation is difficult to envisage.
The resurfacing of Hurn Way and Oak Avenue have been announced: Hurn Way is programmed to take place on the 5th to 11th February 2014 and the entire length of the carriageway will be resurfaced; Oak Avenue is programmed to take place on the 11th to 12th February 2014. The construction team will send out further details with regard to the programming and any diversions due to road closures nearer to the start of the works.
The fact that this work will just precede Andrew Martin’s presentation is, we are advised, entirely coincidental.
A number of local residents suffered badly in the floods whilst a whole lot more of us had narrow escapes. We’ve been asked to remind you that to find out at any given time how likely your road is to flood go to The Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ and enter your postcode.
We asked CBC if there had been excessive erosion at the back of Hengistbury Head (which, were it to breach, would lead to even worse flooding). They assured us there had not been and that they are watching the situation.
The Co-Op and the old pub on Fairmile Road
We have done all we can to raise local awareness and must now await the outcome of the Planning Committee: our thanks to those of you who have written in objecting to the scheme. Councillor Colin Bungey wrote to our MP, Christopher Chope, drawing his attention to the situation. We wrote in support and indicated how disappointed we are that what should be a matter for local Councillors to decide has been taken away from them by a Government that supposedly champions “localism”
Beach Huts For Sale?
CBC Resources Committee has been asked by CBC Officers to consider a plan that involves spending £73,000 of your money to build beach huts at Gundimore beach which they then hope to sell to the public at a profit. The catch is that these huts would be built on the far side of the sea defences, leaving them unprotected from wind and wave. Councillor Margaret Phipps, who with Councillor Fred Neale sits on the Resources Committee, was kind enough to ask Officers about this quirky proposal.
In his reply to her the officer says:
Apart from the professional advice from the coastal engineer I said that no-one couldn’t rule out (sic) the possibility (of storm damage) but the current evidence suggested that the site was as secure as it could be given the nature of the environment
- which tells us little apart from the officer having some difficulties with syntax. Balancing on a well secured high wire above Niagara Falls is "as secure as it could be given the nature of the environment"
The officer fails to mention that the beach painstakingly built up over the last few years has already been 50% washed away by the January 2014 storms.
Is a scheme such as this what we really what we want our tax money spent on?
A meeting of the CBC Planning Committee on January 23rd will debate the Meteor Site and the Stony Lane site.
It’s Stony Lane that most affects us, partly because it’s Morrisons who are very popular and partly because of the potential but unknown impact upon the future development of the Bailey Bridge site.
Morrisons have issued a fact sheet that you can read at www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates”. The mock-up photographs of what the development would look like are particularly good. The key statements contained in the fact sheet are (1) no matter what happens Morrisons will not open a store at Bailey Bridge (2) Beagle will be legally obliged to relocate within Christchurch and can’t decamp elsewhere and (3) Morrisons will pay for £1 million highway improvements on the A35
A further round of public consultation has been announced and your chance to get involved will be at The Captain’s Club on 24th January 2014 between 2.00pm and 6.00pm
Trees on St Catherine’s Hill
The Management Group have finally managed to produce minutes of a meeting held in November 2013. In those they address such matters as Year One Felling licences. The minutes can be found at www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates”
One point of concern is the level of funding required to implement the Plan and where those funds are likely to come from. That this should be an issue now after ten years of effort is particularly frustrating because above all else the whole hill desperately needs management.
Robin Harley of CBC will be organising a tour of the Hill to explain all the issues involved in such management on 21st January at 11.00am – meet at the junction of Hillside Drive and Marlow Drive at the gated entrance to the woods.
Christchurch Gun Club has applied for a tree felling licence. They have issued a note of explanation and contact numbers if you want to discuss things with them. As usual, go to www.wcresidents.co.uk and click on “latest updates”
Tree Work in Hurn Road
DCC tell us that they will start thinning the trees in Hurn Road on 20th Jan and that a letter of confirmation will go to those directly concerned before the event. This work is likely to cause some traffic hold-ups. If you want to talk to DCC about all this call 01305-221-000
In 2013 our collectors collected over £1,900 in subscriptions – a truly splendid effort. We have collectors that collected £10 from a cul-de-sac whilst others collected over £100. Every year we lose one or two and this year is no exception. So, please, if you would be prepared to give up a small amount of time to collect £1 from your neighbours – get in touch. Without our collectors we would cease to exist!