Members of the Forum received a verbal update from Jenni Upstill (Grainger) and Katie Bone (Havant Borough Council) regarding the latest community work that had been carried out and reference was made to the following points:
· Travel and Community survey results – as expected, the majority travel by car. Lots of cyclists, better communication around cycle routes required and work was being carried out with Newlands Parish Council. Cycle vouchers and bus passes were offered as an incentive for completing the survey.
- Yellow lines painted on Grainger Street and Newlands Avenue
- Adoption will help with enforcement
- Car park delivered as part of Town Park Phase 2
- Connecting Marrelsmoor Avenue and Newlands Avenue would result in more options for traffic
· Traffic calming
- Temporary speed bumps installed along construction routes in Houghton Avenue, Newlands Avenue and Marrelsmoor Avenue
- Options being investigated with Hampshire County Council e.g. shorter raised table top on Grainger Street
- Over time it was anticipated that traffic flow would improve
- Improvements to communication on timescales via newsletters and social media
- Communication had improved post-covid but there were still some issues e.g. waiting for planning application approval
· Wildlife Walk held on Tuesday, 24 August - Ecologist-led walk around the River Wallington area for residents.
· Great Big Green Week in September – Grainger partnered with Havant Climate Alliance. Activities included Park Yoga, Wildlife Walks for families and adults, wreath making and candle making. Wildlife Trust ran meadow sweeps and pond dipping. Wildflower seeds sent to every household. Successful event - low turnout due to weather for some activities but a positive response from residents and local community.
· Community Planters ran a sunflower competition for kids, winning categories – biggest, tallest and happiest. Jenni Upstill judged the entries; Newlands Parish Council provided gardening vouchers as prizes.
· Employment and skills – partnered with Oaklands and Cowplain Schools to support careers programme via Solent LEP.
· Portsmouth Bee Keeping Society moved into a compound on site until Southern Allotments are ready. Beekeepers on site have reported success with transporting new queens to the Berewood hives, so hopefully honey will be plentiful next year!
· Survey undertaken on Proxima Pond – non-native carp present. Next stage would be draining and landscaping and it was anticipated that work would take place in Spring 2022, with the potential to re-introduce native species of fish at a later date.
· Working with Proxima Park on the green space improvements in the area – investigating the option for a swift tower.
· Memorial bench for local resident Anthony Bessey had been installed in Newlands Meadow where he would fly his pet hawk ‘Flash’. Interpretation boards to also be installed explaining raptor boxes.
· Partnering with Wildlife Trust on the community rewilding projects - Berewood Primary School are looking to re-wild part of their site next year.
· Halloween crafting sessions for kids took place in the Community Hall on Saturday, 30 October.
· Fireworks display for residents in Town Park on Wednesday, 3 November.
· Self-defence classes for women are due to be held on 15November and 29 November.
· Christmas crafts with Wildlife Trust on Sunday, 5 December for all ages.
· Berewood Motor Club set up by residents, meet on the third Sunday of every month, first meeting due to take place on Sunday 21 November.
· Royal Mail have confirmed location for an additional post box to be installed – this will be situated on the corner of Rowe Rise/Newlands Avenue. Date to be confirmed but this was expected before the end of the year.
· Bins replaced on Town Park. Despite moving the bin closer, issues with litter still remained around the skate park area.
Havant Borough Council
· Further litter picking events were held across the development at the end of the summer. These were well attended and funding was approved so that Newlands Parish Council have their own litter picking equipment which was taking place at the community building. The aim was to set up a regular group or a drop in/drop out session for people to use as and when they could.
· Work with the Community Plan continues, several meetings had taken place with three residents committed to supporting the plan. Residents’ involvement was still being sought, particularly from the Taylor Wimpey side of the development. Upcoming events would be used as engagement opportunities, to speak to residents about the plan and keep them informed. Councillor Brook advised that she was happy to support Katie Bone with this. A leaflet was produced to promote the plan and has been distributed across various platforms.
· Partnership working – Katie reported that she had been approached by a number of businesses and churches wishing to get involved with serving and supporting the West of Waterlooville community and this was being progressed.
· Issues arising on the development regarding vandalism or theft in the area which had been directed to 101, also there had been complaints from a number of Wellington Park residents about being excluded from the fireworks event.
In response, Jenni Upstill advised that this decision had been taken as town park was incomplete and there were no facilities in place to cope should a significant number of people attend, if this was an ‘open’ event. However, going forward it was proposed that this event could continue in perpetuity once the second half of town park had been completed. Initially for the first year, it was proposed to be an event for Grainger residents who had purchased on the Berewood site in order to control capacity and manage safety concerns.
Members of the Forum raised various matters regarding ongoing issues with Hambledon Road for discussion with Hampshire Highways, the outstanding re-appointment to the role of Community Implementation Officer, the deed of variation and an update on the s.106 agreement, which were responded to by relevant officers.
1. That the verbal updates be received and noted; and
2. That any further updates on the points raised above, be passed onto Forum Members in due course.