Communities

Introduction

Communities only gel because of the volunteers who give their valuable time to help others, mostly less fortunate then themselves, but often it is not even that.  It is about people being proud of where they live and happy to join with what is happening around them.  That said, food banks provide a valuable service to those that slip through the welfare cracks in society.  The volunteers who man these facilities are caring people and will signpost clients who may have been overlooked by the authorities.

Food Banks

Food banks are run by volunteers to help those have hit hard times, when even the national benefit system has let them down.  Food stocks depend to a certain extent on people donating food they no longer want, but of course is still edible.  However, to a greater extent it is the supermarkets that help make this system work by needing to clear their shelves of food stocks in the days running up to the food expiry date on the labels.  Certain food stocks are perfectly okay after the sell by date…

Eastleigh Mela

The annual Eastleigh Mela is an example of a community service that is not so much about helping the vulnerable, but more about bringing everyone in society together.  True it has origins in the Asian culture, but this culture is very closely intertwined with our own now.  So much so that curry is probably more popular than fish and chips…

Broadband

Broadband is no longer considered a luxury item, in fact it is now considered as the fourth utility.  As evidenced by so many things no longer being performed via paper at previous levels, such as completing our tax return and renewing our road fund tax.  Many Banks are closing their High Street Branches since so many people use the Banks’ on-line services…

County Council Library Strategy

Less money is being invested in books.  From April 2016, the proposed annual book fund of £2.4m has been reduced to £1.6m.  The saving is being used to improve library buildings, whether that is to relocate to areas of lower rent or to move to better locations that will improve customer through flow.  Libraries are a public service like others that works to a model of supply and demand; therefore, rural villages with around 10 or 15 homes are as unlikely to find a library being built nearby, as they are to have a regular bus service or a good Broadband service.

Recycling

Eastleigh Borough Council’s household recycling rate is the best in the county at 40%.  Even so, across the country these figures have flat-lined at 43% in recent years with the EU target of 50% recycling rate by 2020 seeming unlikely to be achieved.  The European Commission wants to see 70% of municipal rubbish and 80% of packaging recycled by 2030.