Test Valley’s green spaces are flying the flag again

Romsey Memorial ParkRooksbury MillValley Park

Romsey War Memorial Park, Valley Park Woodlands Local Nature Reserve and Rooksbury Mill Local Nature Reserve have been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as amazing green spaces worth celebrating.

The outdoor spaces are among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that will receive a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space. Romsey War Memorial Park has now won the award for ten consecutive years while Rooksbury Mill in Andover has nine and Valley Park has eight.

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Community and Leisure Portfolio Holder, Councillor Tony Ward, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive three Green Flag Awards for another year. We know how much it means to residents and visitors to have high quality green spaces, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining all three of our parks to such a high standard.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.  Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”

Reminder: don’t miss this Saturday’s Community Woodfair

Don’t miss Test Valley Borough Council’s 16th Community Woodfair on Saturday, 3 September at Zionshill Copse Local Nature Reserve, Valley Park.

The event will be a great opportunity to celebrate nature and the traditions, trades and tales that have been inspired by it. From falconry displays and face painting to woodland crafts and children’s workshops, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. The Woodfair is open from 10am to 5pm and entry is free. A small fee may apply to some of the activities.

First steps towards new Community Centre in Abbotswood

Abbotswood Community Association trustees, local councillors and contractors marked the start of work to build a brand new community centre by carrying out a turf cutting ceremony on Monday, 25 July.

Attendees gathered at the site of the new centre to celebrate the first stage of the brand new facility, which is set to include a large hall and kitchen as well as smaller rooms for other activities. Abbotswood Community Association Trustees have been involved in the design and specification of the building from the start of the project, and once the building is complete, Test Valley Borough Council will lease the new centre to the trustees who will manage the venue.

It’s easier than ever to apply for community grants

Grants Portal

Test Valley Borough Council has made it easier than ever to apply for community grants of up to £25,000 thanks to a new online portal.

Residents and community organisations can now use the new portal at www.testvalley.gov.uk/communitygrants to apply for grants from the Community Asset Fund and the Councillor Community Grant scheme. The self-serve portal allows applicants to save their submission part way through and return to it later, as well as track the progress of their application.

Community and leisure portfolio holder, Councillor Tony Ward, said: “The new portal is a more modern and efficient way for residents and community groups to apply for some of our most popular grants. The Councillor Community Grant scheme and Community Asset Fund have enabled local organisations to host events and activities, create regular clubs and even build extensions on community buildings. Over the coming months we will be investigating the possibility of using the portal to administer additional grants.”

Fishlake Meadows Nature Reserve

Fishlake-Meadows

 

This project is very close to my Ward and in my Portfolio as cabinet member for Community & Leisure so I am very excited with the opportunity to have this nature reserve so close to hand.

Fishlake Meadows is an area of land situated to north of Romsey. The site covers approximately 60 hectares and comprises of a mix of open water and standing water, reed bed and swamp, and flood plain marsh which is criss-crossed by rivers and ditches.

Public access is currently available along rights of way which offer views from the barge canal that runs along the eastern boundary, a path which runs from east to west through the site.

As part of the planning consent for development at Oxlease Farm, the land at Fishlake Meadows will be transferred to Test Valley Borough Council to manage as a nature reserve.

Fishlake Meadows public engagement

From Monday, 26 January to Monday 2 March 2015, Romsey and its surrounding area residents will be asked to comment on broad principles which have been drafted to guide the management of Fishlake Meadows.

Information about  how the site could look and how it will be managed is shown in the document below.

At the end of this period, comments will be analysed and then summarised into areas / themes and incorporated into draft proposals. Where ideas are not feasible for inclusion, an explanation will be given.

A more detailed visual along with management principles will be prepared and made available in June for further comment.

YOU CAN PROVIDE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS………

Via this website. Complete the online Comments Form by clicking here

OR

Market Place display.  A staffed stall in the market place will be in position on the following days.

REVISED DATES AND TIMES
Saturday 28 February from 9 am to 12 noon (please note amended times) – DISPLAY WILL NOW BE HELD INSIDE OF CAFE NERO

Saturday 7 March from 10 am to 2 pm

OR

Static Town Centre displays.  Information will be available at the following locations:

Test Valley Borough Council Offices
Former Magistrates Court 
8:30 am – 5 pm Monday to Thursday
8:30 am – 4:30 pm Friday
Displays are available from Friday 30 January until Friday 27 February 2015

OR

Romsey Town Hall
9.00 am – 3.00 pm Monday to Friday
until Friday 27 February 2015

OR

Comment by email:  fishlakemeadows@testvalley.gov.uk

OR

By post. All correspondence should be addressed to Fishlake Meadows Consultation, Community and Leisure at the Beech Hurst address below

Beech Hurst
Weyhill Road, Andover
Hampshire
SP10 3AJ

Fishlake Meadows Leaflet – Opportunities and Options for Site Management

RAODS receive £25,000 Council grant

Test Valley Borough Council has awarded £25,000 to the Romsey Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (RAODS) from its Community Asset Fund.

The money will be used to refurbish the toilets at The Romsey Plaza and install a new fire alarm system. Bob Blake, Trustee and former Chair of RAODS, said: “This is fantastic news for the society. The Plaza is a wonderful venue and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure it is preserved well into the future.”

Later plans include a renovated theatre façade and auditorium. Councillor Ian Richards presented the grant to RAODS and said: “The Plaza Theatre is one of the landmark jewels in Romsey’s crown. The refurbishment will enable the society to continue to put on performances for current and future members, and the wider public, to enjoy for many years to come."

RAODS owns and operates the Plaza. With support from volunteers and more than 300 members, the society puts on 12 shows every year, each running for seven days.

Projects that are potentially eligible for funding through the Council’s Community Asset Fund include community projects, new builds, refurbishments to existing community buildings, play and recreation equipment and public art. Organisations can apply for 50 per cent of the cost of a project, up to a maximum of £25,000. Among other developments, the fund has also contributed to work on the 4th Andover Scout Group hut renovations and The Mountbatten School’s new 3G sports pitch.

Ageing Well in Hampshire

A consultation held earlier this year asked older people throughout Test Valley what their priorities and concerns were that if resolved, would enable them to live a full and healthy life. These results, together with responses from across Hampshire, have been used by Hampshire County Council to refresh their older people’s wellbeing strategy, Ageing Well in Hampshire.

Accessing transport and getting about easily was identified as the top priority for older people in Test Valley. This was followed by wanting to feel safe, both at home and when out and about.

Results from Test Valley, and how they compare to previous years and the Hampshire-wide priorities, are summarised in the table below.

Priority

Hampshire ranking 2014

TV ranking 2014

TV ranking 2011

Feeling safe when out and about

1

3

4

Feeling safe at home

2

2

7

Getting about on transport as easily as possible

3

1

1

Knowing about the benefits I am entitled to

4

4

3

Information about health and wellbeing

5

5

2

Information about what clubs and activities are available nearby

6

6

9

Knowing more about home maintenance

7

7

5

Finding out about physical activities I can do

8

9

13*

Finding a trustworthy gardening support

9

8

6

Knowing more about housework and cleaning services

10

10

8

*The 2011 survey had 16 questions. Priority 10 in 2011 was knowing more about energy saving and home insulation.

The full strategy can be found on the Hampshire County Council website by clicking here.