West Sussex County Council criticised by OFSTED for inadequate running of its Children’s Services

A statutory direction has been issued to West Sussex County Council due to poor performance in children’s social care services.  See Gov.uk website West Sussex Council was found by OFSTED at an inspection carried out between 25 February and 8 March 2019 that its Children’s Services are “inadequate”.  The Secretary of State for Education has therefore taken away the Council’s administration of the children’s social care functions and handed them to neighbouring Hampshire County Council. Judgement Grade The impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families Inadequate Inadequate The experiences and progress of children who need help…

West Sussex County Council hands its Pension Administration to Hampshire County Council!

Responsibility for the administration of the West Sussex County Council pension scheme was transferred to Hampshire County Council with effect from 4 March 2019.  The pension scheme is part of the national Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) with some 80 local authorities as members.  West Sussex funds are currently in the region of £4.3bn. The Pensions Panel comprises seven County Councillors, one representative from the district councils, one representative from the other major employers (currently vacant) and a representative for members.  The Panel is supported by the Director of Finance and Support Services and an Investment Adviser. Source: Annual Report…

Funding Community Projects

I have spent the morning at Kings Community Church (KCC), Hedge End discussing ideas of how their community facilities can be improved.  We started by reviewing some of the past funding I was able to provide through my County Council Devolved Budget.  This is a sum of £8,000 all Hampshire County Councillors are able to give deserving causes.  Since KCC has such a large catchment area, any public funding is going to be very cost effective.  Every Sunday, the 1,500-seater KCC congregation is measured in the hundreds and probably in the order of 800 people and still growing.  In fact,…

M27 Smart Motorway update

The M27 Smart Motorway project has been underway for around 12 months and will be carrying on for at least another 12 months.  We are having to take into account that due to the 50mph speed limit, our journeys will take longer, especially since the 50mph section has been extended further east to just past the other side of the Fareham junction. We were hopeful that the concrete section would be replaced with tarmac, but that has not happened.  This is a big disappointment, but frankly, we have been promised a quiet piece of motorway through West End since 2009…

Housing Development and Nitrate Neutrality in the Solent

Natural England are advising that there is a likely significant effect on the Solent’s European designation sites due in part to the increase in wastewater from new housing and hotels.  Due to a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) judgement, generally known as the Dutch Case2, and consequent revisions to Natural England’s (NE) advice on planning applications, now means that achieving nutrient neutral development has become an immediate and critical issue.   There is evidence of high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Solent water environment along with eutrophication at some designated sites.  This must be addressed as…

Majority of affordable homes lost due to legal loophole

Property developers are dodging their commitment to building thousands of affordable homes each year due to a legal loophole, new research has revealed. Figures obtained through Freedom of Information law show developers have sidestepped local planning policy to avoid building 79 per cent of social homes to which they had initially committed, due to a legal loophole called a “viability assessment”. A sample of 11 local authorities across nine cities in England shows developers were able to first win planning permission by promising they would build a required number of affordable homes, but later go back to the council and…

SSE upgrade 15 Km of 33Kv cable across Easteigh

SSE are in the process of upgrading high voltage mains cable across Eastleigh starting in Allington Lane at the railway bridge.  When the roadworks reaches Fir Tree Lane, they will close the road for approximately two weeks.  The work needs to be completed to join the Bubb Lane sub-station with the Velmore sub-station.

Government taken to court over refusal to release studies on impact of Brexit

Brexit campaigners are taking the Government to court over its refusal to release secret studies it has conducted on the impact of Brexit on Britain’s economy. Ministers have confirmed the existence of more than 50 intensive analyses, but are keeping them under Whitehall lock-and-key – apparently for fear they could embarrass the Government. Ministers say releasing the studies would “would undermine the Government’s ability to negotiate the best deal for Britain”, but the Good Law Project is crowdfunding £56,000 to launch a legal challenge in the hope a judge will order their release. The Government, which says it will publish…

Road Safety in West End & Horton Heath

The Conservative Party’s continuing austerity is affecting every aspect of society.  In times of prosperity, the services we receive from the public sector go relatively unnoticed, but now more and more are saying enough is enough! From extended GP waiting times to teacher recruitment issues, the list of affected areas is getting longer.  As a local councillor, a very important issue where I am receiving much feedback is road safety.  In the past, the County Council would have a relatively large pot of money for what they would describe as “Discretionary traffic measures”.  However, this is no longer the case. …

Operation Resilience – E626 Culvery Gardens, West End – Carriageway Resurfacing

As part of the programme of works being undertaken by Operation Resilience Hampshire Highways will shortly be undertaking carriageway resurfacing throughout Culvery Gardens. The works are programmed to start on 08 September 2017 and are expected to last for 2 working days. In order to undertake the works safely it will be necessary to close the road between 08:00 – 17:00. Information signs advising road users of the works have been erected. A letter has been sent to local residents and an email will be sent to Eastleigh Borough Council to advise them accordingly. Should you have any questions or…