Cutting hedges near Farnborough
Left to right: Chris Harding, Mark Staplehurst and Dave Bell
News & Events
New Roof for Frogmore Day Care Centre
While canvassing as a local candidate for the Blackwater & Hawley Ward of Hart DC in May 2016, a resident asked me if I could raise some funds for the Frogmore Day Care Centre because they had a leaking roof. I went there and saw the stains on the ceiling where the water had leaked through and I said “OK, I’ll see what I can do”.
I am a member of Sandhurst Joggers, the running club who organise the Yateley Road Races, a series of three 10k races every summer with the start/finish line at Yateley School. I have been involved with these events every year since 2008, running the race or setting up the children’s fun run, and sometimes both. The money raised from the events exceeds the cost of hosting them and the surplus is distributed to local charities. Every year they ask club members if we would like to nominate any local charities who are in need of funds so I said “Yes, can you give some money to the Frogmore Day Care Centre to fix their roof”.
The roof was leaking because of a design fault, it couldn’t be fixed just by patching it up, it had to be completely replaced at a total cost of £70,000. Hart District Council agreed to pay half of it, provided the Care Centre could raise the other half from charitable donations. The repair was urgent, there was a risk of further damage and they had to get it fixed before the winter, so they took out a loan that has to be paid off in five years and got the job done.
They were very pleased to receive a cheque for £750 from the Yateley Road Races. It seems quite small compared with the £35,000 that is needed, but every contribution, large or small, is much appreciated and I will remember them next year when we are asked to nominate local charities.
Approaching the finish line at the Yateley 10k in August 2009.
Cuts to services likely in Hampshire
Saturday, 8 July 2017
Hampshire County Council has announced a consultation on its budget. The County Council says it will face a budget shortfall of £140 million by April 2019, on top of the £340 million savings already delivered over the last nine years. They say this is due to ongoing national austerity measures; demographic changes reflecting increases in demand for some services; and inflationary pressures.
The consultation is asking for views on a range of options for balancing its budget. These include: Reducing and changing services; Introducing and increasing charges for some services; Lobbying central Government for legislative change; Generating additional income; Using the County Council’s reserves; Increasing Council Tax; and Changing local government arrangements in Hampshire.
Councillor Mark Staplehurst comments that during the 4 years he spent as a County Councillor he warned residents that there would be more and more cuts to services, hikes in Council tax and many more services incurring ever increased charges. He now fears that these warnings are being proved correct. The Tory Councils, in Rushmoor and in Winchester, bribed the residents with 5 years of Council Tax freezes, which has had the effect of virtually crippling the public services. Now there are massively cut front line services in all areas. In particular the Policing of our area is affected. The roads are a disgrace, with ever increasing numbers of pot holes and repairs needed. There are also cuts to Adults services and children’s services. The disabled are told they have to forego their Blue badges rendering them housebound and there are no funding streams for SEN children, so families are forced to do what they can for their children, often having to give up work and living on the breadline. Care homes are a disgrace with Vivid (First Wessex) constantly reducing the services, and now potentially charging residents who have mobility scooters to charge them up!
Mark questions what the Tory County Councillors are doing in response, but says that they nowhere to be seen. The Conservative Council are only following the guidelines from the morally bankrupt national party who deem it more important to build more and more flats creating more and more congestion and creating a burden on existing struggling services in the NHS, Schools and Surgeries.
As this is going to consultation, Mark asks that people stop acting like sheep and respond to it on how they really feel. He fears that if the Tory County Council get their way we will get increases in council Tax, increases in Charges for existing free services, further reduction in Police numbers, and even more reduction in front line and essential services (Adult and Children’s services).
You can respond to the consultation online here.
Mike Gascoigne presenting a cheque for £500 to Veronica Siney, manager of the Frogmore Day Centre, from the proceeds of the 2017 Yateley Road Races. This is in addition to the contribution of £750 that we made in 2016.