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Parish Council Report

February's monthly Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council meeting (Monday February 24) was packed with reports and information affecting all Parish residents.

REPORT by Freddie Dawkins

Among the topics covered were:

- Developments on the future management of the Millennium Hall (now renamed Millennium Centre)
- Traffic problems
- Youth Centre progress
- South Downs National Park bounndary changes proposed and several other areas of concern

The Liphook Millennium Centre Management Committee (LMCMC) saga continues, with objections from Parish Councillors on Monday night to one of the newly-nominated community representatives. Because of her previous status as a Trustee of the Hall, Mrs E Kamm cannot become a community representative on the new Liphook Millennium Centre Management Committee. Mrs Kamm's position will now probably be offered to someone who is a member of the local community and retired, the aim being to be as socially inclusive as possible with the committee, and with retired people being regular users of the Centre. This follows earlier concerns by Mr John Ball, who at an earlier LMCMC meeting, told Parish Councillors that he had a numnber of concerns about accepting a position as a committee member for the Community.

It was agreed by the Parish Council on Monday night to accept the nominations of Mr Simon Coyte, Mr M Gardner and Mr P Mcintyre as co-opted members of the Committee.

Building defects at the Centre, mean that the Parish Council still cannot take over legal ownership, and a recent inspection visit has thrown up a number of problems with emergency lighting, blocked toilets, missing or incorrect exit signage, fire separation infilling. Parish Councillors have decided to pursue negotiations with current owners Sainsbury's, to have all building defects corrected as soon as possible.

On a positive note, forward bookings for the Centre are increasing and the Centre should be self-funding, with no further call on the Parish precept for financial support.

Traffic concerns

Anyone driving through Liphook will know of the massively increased numbers of cars which have been created by the opening of Sainsbury's and by the large number of new dwellings which have been constructed and occupied in recent years. Although there appears to be no co-ordinated approach to these problems by the District Counil or Highways Agency, the Parish Council is constantly seeking to imnprove condiitons and a group of Councillors recently held a meeting with an East Hampshire District Countil officer. One concern is the height and size of the road humps in Tower Road. These are to be inspected and possibly remodelled.

There is also concern among residents and Councillors over some aspects of street lighting around the village. Again, meetings have taken place and advice sought from local Police representatives. The Parish's Highways, Byways and Transport Committee is also attemnpting to secure financial sponsorship from the Co-op, to pay for a twice weekly bus service from The Square to the new Post Office within the Co-op store in Headley Road. This in in response to concerns that moving the PO from Alldays to the Co-op has made life difficult for those with mobility problems.

Youth Centre progress

The proposed new Youth Centre, which will be situated within the old Tennis Club building at the Recreeation Ground, is almost ready to open, with most building work now completed. Funding was secured by the Parish Council some time ago and the Centre will be staffed by trained volunteers, assisted by professional Hampshire Council youth workers. The Parish Council want to take a "light touch" approach to management of the Centre, encouraging users to run the Centre for themselves as far as possible.

South Downs National Park

The Parish Council is opposing proposals made by East Hampshire District Council over changes to the suggested boundaries for the proposed new South Downs National Park. The Parish Council is to enter further objections to the proposed boundary changes, which will be considered by national government's DEFRA - Department for the Environment, Regions and Agriculture.

Article posted on: 28 February 2003

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