Community & Culture trio note good progress…

The Box, home of Youth Services in Hedge End. Photo Peter Facey

Hedge End’s Community & Culture Committee were delighted this evening, with the progress that has been made to mitigate the effect of budget cuts imposed last year, by Hampshire County Council.

At another poorly attended meeting, which saw committee Chair Cllr Louise Bloom and committee members Cllr Dan Clarke and Cllr Sheila Baines scrape together the three Councillors that are needed to form a quorum, the trio listened intently to a full report from Donna Brewer, the recently appointed Youth Team Leader for the recently formed HEWEB Youth Partnership.

It was an impressive report, Donna’s first to the Town Council, with encouraging news of an increasing number of contacts with young people and services that are well received. Councillors were told of a strengthening team of Youth Workers and volunteers, plans to increase the number of sessions from 3 to 5 per week, plans for a trip to Thorpe Park, plans to enter Hedge End Carnival, smoking cessation advice, careers advice, confidential sexual-health advice and of timely referrals to services provided by TADIC (Teenage Advisory Drop-In Centre) in Hedge End. The services are located at the Box on the Wildern school campus, a facility which is used by the school from 8am until 3:30pm and is subsequently available to the HEWEB Youth Partnership until late in the evening.

Cllr Dan Clarke, a member of the HEWEB Youth Partnership Board said;

“It shouldn’t be underestimated what has been achieved in the last year”

Also delighting the Community & Culture committee this evening, was news of success with the recruitment of volunteers to help keep Hedge End Library open. A meeting at the 2000 Centre in February recruited 25 volunteers and since then another 20 have come forward. Self-service kiosks are to be installed in June, with the refurbished library re-opening on 28th June and plans to increase the opening hours from October.

Pleased with that news, Cllr Dan Clarke said;

“This is a great endorsement of our approach”

But clearly still very disappointed with HCC cuts to front-line services, Cllr Clarke added;

“Judging by reports in the Echo recently, it is amazing how much money can be rustled-up when Ken Thornber’s leadership is under threat…”

Hedge Ends Culture & Community Committee did not take any significant decisions this evening, but Cllr Jane Welsh was also present to report on arrangements for the Diamond Jubilee Street Party in the 2000 Centre car park on Tuesday 5th June.

There are still a few tickets left, which are available from the Town Council Offices, but the event is nearly sold out so be quick…!

When asked if he would be able to help out at the event, Cllr Dan Clarke’s initial response was to relate a story told by Sir David Frost;

“David Frost rang Peter Cook up some years ago, to invite Peter to a dinner party on behalf of Prince Andrew and his new bride-to-be Sarah Ferguson. Peter Cooks reply to that invitation, so the story goes, was ‘Oh dear. I find I’m watching television that evening.’ “

The irony of telling such a story at such a poorly attended meeting did not go unnoticed, with Cllr Bloom quickly moving the meeting on, but Cllr Clarke did subsequently interject to say;

“The Street Party is a community event and I want it to succeed. I’ll talk to Jane later about how I can help on the day.”

The Committee then agreed to invite the Mayor of Eastleigh [Hedge End Town Councillor Rupert Kyrle] and the MP for Eastleigh Chris Huhne, to Hedge End’s Diamond Jubilee Street Party in the car-park on 5th June…

Of the absentee Councillors, little was said other than that Cllr Garton was known to be at a meeting about the Berry Theatre this evening, hopefully raising the issue of disabled parking & drop-off points, a matter which had been raised at the Annual Parish Assembly and discussed at a previous Community & Culture Committee meeting.

  6 comments for “Community & Culture trio note good progress…

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    May 16, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Good to hear Dan’s on scintillating form and the evening wasn’t wasted.
    Obviously you are unable to watch television yourself at the moment Ray which I guess might account for your attendance? 😆

    • May 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      ROFL. You might have a point there Stephen. I’ve survived 4.5 months with no TV (so far). Dunno how much longer I’ll be able to hold out though, as I feel that I am losing touch with news & current affairs…

  2. D Sneddon
    May 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Do we really have to have disinterested, dubious Dan as a Hedge End Councillor? He claims he lives in West End and has been heard to say he’s not interested in anything in Hedge End – he just a Lib Dem make weight. This plainly shows!

    A jubilee party in a car park – what a lovely idea – so fitting for our noble monarch. It compares so well to Botley’s celebrations whose Council have organised the following:

    2nd June: 50’s dance in Market Hall

    3rd June: SQUARE CLOSED TO TRAFFIC 9am to 6pm (something Hedge End couldn’t manage).

    A whole day of different timetabled events with live music and entertainment open to everyone who wishes to attend – not just a select few.

    NB. BOTLEY ONLY HAS only 12 COUNCILLORS NOT THE 21 Hedge End has but look what they have acheived.

    Of course, it pales in comparison to a party in a Council car park for a few people with Dan Clarke(who might be there).

    • May 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      I have to admit Cllr Dan is growing on me. I like Dan because he says what he thinks and he often does so in an entertaining way, making otherwise dreary committee meetings a lot more interesting…

      I agree with you about the West Ender on Hedge End Town Council issue, but generally speaking it wouldn’t hurt to have a few more Cllr Dan’s on the Parish Council.

      And you’re right about Botley having done a much better job with the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, putting together a programme that is worthy of the occasion. HETC just don’t seem to have got their head round the magnitude of the occasion…

  3. May 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I sympathise with Dan. I don’t really see why councillors with republican views should be put under pressure to assist at a monarchist event.

    Hedge End Town Council has done well to maintain youth service provision and library opening hours in the face of Tory cuts at the Castle.

    It’s a pity that the Community and Culture Committee so often struggles to get a quorum. Perhaps this week’s agm will see a change of personnel on the committee – one or both of the new Lib Dems could bring some new thinking perhaps?

    • May 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Botley Parish Council seem to have many of their discussions about matters such as the Diamond Jubilee in Full Council. Because there are more Councillors getting involved in that discussion, I suspect that creates an energy that helps to drive the ideas forward.

      In Hedge End, when only three or four Councillors turn up for Community & Culture, the ideas stand much less chance of getting off the ground. The C&C meetings just don’t generate the same energy and enthusiasm that they seem to do in Botley.

      So I don’t think its the personalities in Hedge End that are the problem here. Its the way the Town COuncil is structured and organised.

      I’d scrap Community & Culture committee in Hedge End, taking that business back to the Full Council…

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