Monday, 24 February 2014

Pub Protection Policy

Another Rushmoor Pub bites the dust.
Many people have been calling on Rushmoor to have a Pub Protection Policy. Here is a typical example:

Possible Pub Protection Policy:

Development will be permitted provided that the following criteria are met:
There is no loss or reduction in capacity of existing infrastructure, including community facilities 

These will be protected unless:

1. It can be proven that there is no longer term need for the facility, either for its original purpose or for another facility that meets the need of the community; or

2. It is to be re-provided elsewhere to the satisfaction of the Council


The loss of a Public House will be permitted (in respect of proposals that fall outside permitted development rights) where it can be proven that there is no longer term need for the facility. In order to justify no longer term need, the applicant will need to demonstrate that they have undertaken the following:

1. Contact information posted in a prominent location on site, in the form of an advertising board (subject to advertising consent, if required);
2. Registration of the property with at least one commercial property agent;
3. Property details / particulars available to inquirers on request;
4. Property marketed for the appropriate use or uses as defined by the relevant planning policy for a period of 12 months minimum;

5. Property marketed at a reasonable price, including in relation to use, condition, quality and location of floorspace.

What do you think?
If you think it is useless and can think of a better policy do share it with me.

I have always felt the best pub protection policy was: Clean and friendly pub that attracts lots of people. As a non alcohol drinker, I would add good food. 

At the end of the day is it the Council's job to prop up failing pubs with regulation?

As a Tory I am naturally against regulation, but I am open to discuss the pros and cons of such a policy. 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Rushmoor World War I & D Day Commemoration

4th August 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and 6 June 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, there will be other important conflict dates between now and the celebration in 2018.

Nationally the Government has been working on a centenary programme with the themes of remembrance, youth and education. 2014 will be a more solemn approach rather than a celebration with street parties which will come into their own in 2018.

Hampshire County have funds to purchase books and special collections relevant to WW1 with authors giving talks and themed costume events to support other military events.

·         They have a dedicated website of activities in Hampshire, grants available and information on the war memorials in the County.

·         The County are encouraging the schools “Rock Challenge” to theme on the commemoration of WW1.

·         They are providing small grants to support war memorial programmes (£2,000).

·         A countywide WW1 display will reach Aldershot in October 2014.

·         Display and promotion of the special collections of WW1 related books including the Military collection in Aldershot and the Aviation collection in Farnborough.

·         Talks and at least one major event each year in both the Farnborough and Aldershot library`s.

Local Partners
·         Eagle Radio is recording audio memoirs of military personnel and civilians, over the past 100 years which can be used as an educational resource for schools and museums across the country.

·         Prince Consort Library is doing author talks and walks linked to WW1.
·         Friends of Aldershot Military Museum are seeking funding to develop a WW1 theme to be unveiled on 4 August around Rushmoor Remembers looking at the contributions made by Aldershot and Farnborough as the Country`s centres for the army and aviation respectively, along with the impact of the war on local people. The museum will have a story share WW1 display and the Soldiers Journey exhibition.

·         The Friends are looking to produce a Rushmoor Roll of Honour for WW1 in book form. The names will then be included on an appropriate memorial similar to the WW2 memorial outside Princes Hall.

·         The annual Military Festival will have a WW1 theme and include events in schools, a pupil’s art exhibition and a production of “No Mans Land” and “Our Friends the Enemy” at the Westend Centre. The Farnborough Sixth form are attempting to get in the Guinness Book of records for the largest human poppy. There will be an evening of music at the Princes Hall.  The main event on Saturday 28 June will include museum visits, gun run, medical core demonstration, heritage trails, displays, choir and children’s activities. Sunday 29 June will include a WW1 commemorative park run.

·         The Friends of Aldershot museum should hear shortly weather they have been successful with the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a heritage trail covering the AUE and Aldershot. (£80k from Heritage and £50k from partners).

·         There will be tours of the Military Cemetery and they have secured Commonwealth War Graves funding for interpretation panels.

National partners
·         The Heritage Lottery Fund are making grants available including a “Then and Now” project (£3k to £10k). For example, the military are looking to have a WW1 replica tank alongside a modern tank at the military festival and perhaps a mess function with a WW1 theme.

·         A Young Roots grant (11 to 25 year olds) is under subscribed and is looking for projects that will leave a lasting legacy. Examples could include “Impact on Sport”, “the Ghurka story”, “Garrison cemetery”, “Story of Aldershot”, “Cody`s contribution” etc.

·         Our residents and partners will be made aware of these funding opportunities.

·         Nationally there is a project by the Imperial War Museum to create a digital memorial containing 8 million stories link to people’s lives and family history. Those signing up to their website can use their official logo when promoting other activities.

Rushmoor Borough Council
·         Commemoration of local Victoria Cross recipients of the First World War by laying down commemorative paving stones in the area in which they were born. These will be presented to council`s commencing August 2014. The only Borough recipient is Alfred Maurice Toye born in Aldershot who received his VC on 25 March 1918. DCLG will pay for the paving stones and their engraving and councils will need to find a suitable location and maintain them.

·         Princes Hall has confirmed the following: 2 June “Saving Private Ryan” film, 3 June “The Longest Day” film, 4 June. “There will always be an England show” and on 12 July the RASC RCT Association Band Concert.

·         The Council put decorative poppies in its trees in Aldershot around remembrance which we could repeat for June, August and November next year (circa £1,500 each event) and there is a nationwide initiative to plant more poppies in parks.

·         The Council will promote in Arena the programme that is being developed both in Hampshire and locally and refer to grant opportunities.

·         The Council is keen to support local projects that support the World War 1 commemorations and will consider funding bids to its small grants fund. Application forms are available on the Councils website.

·         Concert in the Bandstand – 2 August Rushmoor Concert Band

·         Funds from the annual calendar for 2015/16 will be awarded to an appropriate Army Fund. Discussions to take place with partners on creating a WW1 calendar for 2015/16 involving schools.

·         Remembrance and Civic wreath laying to be co-ordinated by Democratic Services for WW1 and D Day.

·         Not directly linked to WW1 but this Council is looking to create a memorial to all fallen heroes since WW2 to be located in the Municipal Gardens. This will be developed with local military families / children and have a formal unveiling ceremony.

·         For the celebration in 2018 the Council will work with schools to create a mural similar to the one we developed on the Aldershot Library commemorating WW1 and the part played by Rushmoor. This could be located in Aldershot/AUE. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Councillors slam reckless pub owners

The Ham and Blackbird public house has come under intense criticism from Empress Ward councillors Gareth Lyon, David Clifford and Brian Parker and local residents for putting passing motorists and pedestrians at risk.

A number of large trees on the site of the Ham and Blackbird pub have been ringmarked with a clear intention of killing them.

In a cynical attempt to bypass the council's planning system the pub is believed to have killed the trees so that they cannot be used as grounds for refusing an application.

The large trees are now highly unstable and are located in one of the busiest roundabouts in Farnborough.

With recent high winds and storms the trees could fall onto the road or the pavement at any moment.

Mike Smith, a local resident from Pierrefondes Avenue said:

"This is appalling behaviour by the pub - they are cynically trying to get round the planning process and should face serious consequences for this reckless and irresponsible behaviour."

Cllr Gareth Lyon said:

"It is shocking to see such terrible behaviour right in the centre of Farnborough. The trees will now need to come down but I am sure that local residents will make their disapproval known to the pub in future."

Cllr David Clifford said:

"With more storms on the way these trees could fall onto cars or passing pedestrians at any moment - the pub should feel ashamed of themselves."

Councillors and residents are now calling on council officers to take action against the pub and to protect residents from the threat of the trees.