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The railway verges on both sides of road from Pinchers Hill to Chapel Lane will be repaired in the next couple of weeks. New soil will be put down and the deep ruts will be graded out. New plants will also be seeded. Please could residents be mindful of this and stay off the verges for the immediate future.
Here is the link to NHS advice on coronovirus
Dear East Chiltington Neighbours and Friends
We hope you are all well and coping with this new way of life. Thank goodness it is spring in East Chiltington, not winter in the inner city. However with suddenly very full households, and everyone working from home, the problems of slow and unstable internet have been amplified, at least in our house. I wish therefore I could write with positive news from our negotiations with Openreach but I am afraid it has been a long and not very satisfactory process. We uploaded the list of interested parties late last year and immediately received a quote for £350,000. This was to connect each and every property in the village and worked out as approximately £3500 per household. After various attempts to reduce the cost by refining parameters, removing properties which don’t exist/don’t qualify and the odd outlier on a different exchange altogether, we now have a final quote from Openreach.
The key facts from the quote are:
Core community* – 104 Premises
Initial Estimate – £343,254.00
Cost Per Premise – £3,300.52
The cost of £3,300.52 per household relies on every single property in the village taking up this offer, i.e. for every household which does not, their cost will need to be borne by those who do…
*please note that this list still includes empty/non existent properties, households who were not interested in getting fibre and households who would not qualify for the Gigabit Scheme despite our best efforts so the cost per household is already a little higher than Openreach state.We think this a disappointing outcome: £343,254 seems an exorbitant figure to ask a small, rural community to find for an essential service: even with the available grants this would mean almost every household still having to dig into their own pockets. There are ways costs could be reduced a little by self digging parts of the route, but this is complicated and would require technical surveys, negotiation with individual landowners, highways and the commissioning and overseeing and organising the work. Not a job for the faint hearted or the amateur. Perhaps once the current crisis is over internet provision will move up the agenda of central government. We can hope... In the meantime please do let us know what you think and do share any solutions you have come up with to improve things. We have taken an EE4G contract which has improved things a little bit (albeit from a very low base of 7 mbps download).
Stay safe and hope to see you before too long.
Charlie and Chris
Where - Offham Road (A275) North of Landport Fork.
When: Monday 24 to Saturday 29th Feb. Between 9.30am and 3pm.
Limited bus services may be available (check Compass travel 01903 690025)
At a recent meeting, The Parish Council agreed to pursue devolution of the Hollycroft Field and associated areas from LDC to the PC. This follows a Parish-wide consultation in which residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of this course of action.
What happens now? The PC has notified LDC of its intention, and the offer of devolution will be formalised at an LDC Council meeting in January. The PC will then instruct a conveyancing solicitor to carry out the formalities. As this may take some time, we have suggested that, for 2019, current maintenance arrangements continue. In due course, the PC, working with TECT and in consultation with residents, will devise a maintenance and use plan for the whole area.
Devolution of the Hollycroft Field – survey results
In September, the Parish Council carried out a consultation regarding future ownership of land at Hollycroft. As residents know, Village Green Status was gained for the majority of the Hollycroft Field and this was followed by an offer from LDC to devolve this land, along with the current football pitch, the playground, and all other public areas at Hollycroft, to the ownership of the Parish Council. Although there would be zero purchase cost, there would be financial implications for maintenance and management of the land. Therefore, all residents were sent a leaflet that set out the costs and benefits of the proposal, along with a survey to find out their views. We were interested in finding out whether or not there was broad support for the proposal, along with ideas on the best way to fund it and for future use of the field. In addition, a well-attended meeting was held in the Jolly Sportsman at which these issues were discussed.
We received a response from 25% of all households. This is not especially high but quite typical (if not slightly higher) for a community survey of this type. Response rates were somewhat higher for the centre of the village than for other parts of the parish, but not markedly so. 98%of respondents felt that devolution was a good idea, with just one household feeling that the Parish Council should not accept LDC’s offer.
In terms of how the costs should be funded, of those that agreed it was a good idea, 50% felt that they should be wholly funded through an increase in the precept, 36% felt that there should be a combination of an increase in the precept and community fundraising and 14% felt that the costs should all be paid for solely through community fundraising. There were numerous ideas for future use of the field, among which an area set aside for wildflowers, a community meeting room and a BBQ area were among the more popular.
The results of the survey and next steps will be discussed by councillors at the next Parish Council meeting on November 7th.
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