Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gritting Operations

An update for you from Jane, who has just sent this email our to everyone on the mailing list about the current bad weather:

I hope you are managing to keep warm in this bitter weather.  I have been contacted by a resident concerned about the level of gritting on the roads and thought the Council media release, below, may be of interest.  I am also aware of a couple of gullies/storm drains which have been blocked by fallen leaves and which have surface water, now ice;  the highways department have also been notified where this has been bought to my attention.  Queries and concerns regarding gritting/ice can also be reported to Ask Bournemouth - either by telephone 01202 451451 or by email

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Planning Application for Ice Rink in King’s Park

This is going before the Planning Board this coming Monday, October 18th.  It’s likely to be the first item on the agenda and therefore heard at about 4 – 4.30pm.  Both Jane and I are very concerned about the proposal.  Not least because the current application suggests that we should need no further road improvements to cope with additional traffic and parking.  We believe that’s completely wrong and will be attending to press for section 106 money (effectively a developer contribution to infrastructure) to be ring fenced for local parking schemes and road improvements – particularly the King’s Park on slip – if the development ever goes ahead.

For myself I’m very sceptical of the site.  An ice rink for the town might well be a good idea, but to my mind King’s Park isn’t the right place, it should be more centrally located and I am concerned that the development of a rink in Southampton might limit the scope for the development of a rink in Bournemouth.

Buses in Holdenhurst Avenue

We’re receiving complaints about double decker service, the X3, using Holdenhurst Avenue.  It’s causing damage both to the trees and the road.  We’re therefore arranging for the Council’s transport team to complain and request it’s re-routed around its original route of Christchurch Road and Castle Lane East.

Friday, August 20, 2010

King's Park Ice Rink Planning Application

A note to confirm that the planning application for the proposed ice rink in King’s Park is going to be brought before the Planning Board of the Council.  I am pressing for that meeting to be held ‘in the patch’ – i.e. somewhere in our area.

We are not going to circulate notes about support or objection as we know that opinion is divided. 

For the record, I will be opposing this application.  My objection is entirely on the grounds that it states that there need be no further traffic improvements in the surrounding area to accommodate the extra traffic which would be generated by the proposal.  My personal view is that’s ridiculous and that a precondition of the planning approval must be the King’s Park on-slip.  Jane I believe supports me in that view. 

And you can comment by emailing:  quoting reference: 7-2010-3625- AC

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A bad day for Bournemouth Council

Today saw the Standard's Board hearing in to a complaint against Cllr Stephen Macloughlin.  The whole business has been pretty unedifying, but, as the Daily Echo reports here, the result leaves no one satisfied.  In my view no one comes out of this process with any credit.  It's a sad day for the Council.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Football Parking - Update

Thanks so much for the feedback you’ve sent on the proposed extension of parking restrictions to Saturdays.

Jane and I spoke at some length over the weekend to the Cabinet member for transport, Michael Filer. Having given your feedback he has agreed to instruct officers NOT to introduce restrictions until there has been a proper consultation with ward councillors and residents. A consultation that we will lead on.

Having sent the email, Lawrence also called on a number of people in the affected roads to ask their opinion too. We gathered 80 responses which split 72 : 8 in favour of no extension of the restrictions. The 8 people who were in favour were grouped together where the match day parking is at its worst and I’ll therefore be talking to the police and the council today to see what we can do to help those residents in the short term while we sort out a better response.

Naturally enough, your responses included a number of other useful suggestions and enquiries. Forgive me for not responding to everyone individually but answering them as best I can here.

Area of Restriction Extension

The proposal for this was that the restrictions should be extended in the roads of Littledown Avenue and the upper end of Harewood Avenue and ‘New Littledown’ – the roads leading off Harewood Crescent. It would not have extended down Harewood Avenue beyond Avonbourne and Portchester schools. Sorry, I should have made this clear in the first email.

Parking Permits

Jane has led on this for us and has obtained a pilot scheme in one of our local roads with a particular problem. The officers have had to be brought kicking and screaming to the table to do it, but the consultation has begun and we have committed £1,000 from our ward fund to ensure the pilot goes ahead. The change of leadership in the council has frankly not helped us, as the Cabinet member in charge has changed, but Jane’s tenacity should still pay off. Beyond that we see no reason why a wider consultation for everyone should not be brought forward and we’re still fighting for this.

King’s Park developments, Holdenhurst Road and the proposed Slip Road.

Proposals for the construction of the on slip at King’s Park have so far escaped the proposed cuts once again. The outline planning application for an ice rink in King’s Park has just been published. We’ll be letting you have more details of this over the next couple of weeks and will be pressing for any approval for construction to be subject to the construction of the on slip. In the meantime, the works on Holdenhurst Road are nearly completed and should help in the short term as the traffic lights introduced at the Fire Station junction and at the junction of Ashley Road will be intelligently linked to allow extended flow of traffic from the busiest direction.

Thank you again for helping us with your feedback. The ability to respond with so much support so quickly has ensure we have the outcome we should have had all along – a respite while we have a chance to contact everyone and work for a solution that’s suitable to everyone or at least as many people as possible.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AFC Bournemouth Parking - Urgent Feedback required

You may know that for some time the Police have wanted to stop putting out bollards to prohibit parking on AFC Bournemouth match days. Jane and I have been successful in keeping the arrangement going, however I am afraid they have now decided definitely to stop providing the service. This is partially as a result of changes in the law about the police managing traffic, but more importantly because their budget pressures mean they can’t afford the manpower. (You may reasonably ask why AFC Bournemouth can’t pick up the tab, I agree, and am pursing this issue through the Police Authority.)

The police and council officers met earlier this year without Jane or my knowledge and agreed that the best course of action was to extend the current yellow line parking restrictions from weekdays only to Saturdays as well, every Saturday - regardless of whether there is a match on at AFC Bournemouth.

We were informed at the end of last week and our initial reaction to this is that it is completely unacceptable. To further prohibit your ability to park on the street at a weekend would we believe be very unpopular. That is certainly the reaction from the local people I have spoken to so far.

The down side of course is that there will be no restriction to on street parking on match days, which will cause some problems. The police and council are adamant that extension of the yellow lines is the only solution. I don’t believe this can be the case and am pursuing other ideas.

In the meantime, you will be receiving a letter from the council in the next day or so informing you that the restrictions will be coming in to place from August 9th.

Jane and I would very much appreciate it if you could let us know what you think. Are we right in assuming that the inconvenience of match day parking will be less than the inconvenience of parking restrictions applying every Saturday?

We intend to survey as widely as we can in the area about the issue. If it’s possible for you to tell your friends and neighbours who don’t receive our email updates and ask them to let us know too that would be brilliant. I am hoping that with a sufficiently wide response we can ensure that no changes are brought in before a proper consultation with local residents and councillors about ALL the possible options is carried out

Friday, June 25, 2010

Travellers - Littledown Centre Update

The council obtained a court order this morning to reposes the car park at the Littledown Centre and to move the travellers there on. They will be evicted by bailiffs by Monday and the site will be cleared by the end of Monday afternoon.

Galling as always that we have to pay for the clear up! Let’s hope the new Government gets some legislation in place to make the process easier, quicker and to give us powers to charge those causing the problem soon.

Thanks as always to Jane for chasing this through. She has become our traveller expert!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Travellers - Littledown Centre

I’m afraid we have had another incursion by travellers, this time in the Littledown Centre car park, where they arrived on Friday night.  We have received this update from our parks team this morning:

I am sorry to say that on Friday 18th June at around 2200 hours we had 10 caravans arrive in the car park at the Littledown leisure centre

Our legal department will push for a court hearing first thing Monday morning

Having spoken to the travellers it is apparent they are going to stay as long as possible

Jane and I are liaising with council officers and have ensured that the normal precautions have been taken over further incursions both at the Littledown Centre and in King’s Park.  We will of course keep you up to date.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Troika Planning Application - Riverside Avenue

You may recall that 3 years ago, despite Jane and I fighting this proposed development on land behind the hospital, it was approved at Appeal by the Inspectorate at Bristol.  Now, 3 years on, an application has been submitted to extend the time limit for the implementation of the planning permission.  Although the scale of the development was reduced by the Inspector at Appeal, it remains a substantial development of over 24,600 square metres of office space plus parking on site.

Our concern is particularly the scale of the development and the negative impact on our local road infrastructure in an already heavily burdened traffic area.  Additionally it will impact on the many elderly residents who reside at the Retired Nurses Home in Riverside Avenue whose outlook will change from  green space to a four storey office building.  If you are minded to object to this application to extend their planning permission time, please do put your objections in writing to Planning at the Town Hall, Bourne Avenue - for the attention of Mr Barry Carse, Planning Officer. 

If you require one of our pro-forma letters please do get in touch with me.  I am 'calling in' the application meaning it cannot be determined by a planning officer but must instead go before the Planning Board - this gives us and residents the opportunity to make a deputation to the Board.

I will let you know when this will take place, probably July or August.  Closing date for objection letters to be in is the 18th June.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Fancy a beach hut?

From today (Monday 7 June) all Bournemouth residents are being given the opportunity to lease one of the new Undercliff Drive beach huts.

Charmaine Andrews, Seafront Development Assistant for Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “Customers currently on the beach hut waiting lists were given the first opportunity to lease a new hut site, but a limited number of sites are now available to anyone who lives in Bournemouth. All sites will be leased on a first come, first served basis so I would urge people to be quick in contacting us if they would like one of the new sites as we expect there to be a great demand.”

Residents interested in leasing a beach hut site should call the Seafront office on 01202 451781. The cost of leasing a site within this development from the Council is currently £750 per year, plus beach hut rates.

The huts, due to be fully installed on Undercliff Drive by the end of the summer are traditional-style and painted in contemporary shades from sandy yellows, through to greens, blues, pinks and purples.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Do we like him? No we certainly do not!

Iain Dale is telling this story about a family friend being asked the question "who is the Prime Minister?" To check for dementia upon entering hospital after a stroke.

When Mum had her fall my first question upon reaching her was "Who is the Prime Minister?" to similarly check whether she had suffered a stroke. Her answer was "Gordon Brown".

My follow up question being "Do we like him?".

Her answer: "No, we most certainly do not."

I asked the questions and she answered them every day up until Monday.

Made me smile.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Mum

I'm sorry to say that My Mum passed away early this morning in Salisbury District Hospital from pneumonia. She'd been there for some weeks after having had a fall in early November and had been recovering well until yesterday. Her end was peaceful and pain free, yet that knowledge makes our loss no less devastating.

Isabel King was born in 1929, the third child and second daughter of a farming family in a small village where Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex meet. Although the family never had much money her childhood was idyllic, helping her father look after his heavy horses and working with him in the fields. Her background made her a true countrywoman, atune with nature and the seasons. She shared this knowledge and love of the countryside with me and made my childhood as idyllic as hers had been.

Mum worked as a children's nanny before moving to work for the Eastern Electricity Board in their local showroom. She met my Dad at a motorbike scramble on Royston Heath when he let her stand in front of him better to see the race.

Their courtship saw them riding through the Hertfordshire countryside on my Dad's Triumph motorbike. The episode of their running over a neighbouring farmer's cockrel became infamous in our family's folklore.

They married in 1953 and began a partnership that endured for over 56 years. My parents adoration for one another has always been clear for all to see and I can say quite honestly that I never heard them argue.

They shared the same work ethic and together built three different businesses in Hertfordshire, Devon and finally Wiltshire. Her dedication and sense of duty extended beyond our family businesses to charitable and community work. She collected for the NSPCC, loved amateur dramatics and in latter years was active in the Towns Women's Guild, WI and Conservatives.

After waiting almost 13 years for a child I was born in 1965. It goes without saying I was the apple of her eye. She made my childhood and indeed my whole life special. From our long country walks, through our shared love of reading to helping her with her charity collections, Mum instilled in me the many qualities that shone from her and which I can only attempt to emulate: kindness, gentleness, honesty, honour and duty.

Mum could be remarkably stubborn, wonderfully loving and was generous to all with her time, her knowledge and her affection. Her fantastic sense of humour made everyone around her smile, often self depricating she had a superb sense of the ridiculous never better attuned than when scrutinising my Dad and I.

Mum fought hard and long against her incapacity. Her passing has left my dad utterly bereft and yet he has faced the challenges today brought bravely and with enormous dignity. He makes me proud as I am also proud to be my mother's son.

Isabel M King, d. 05.01.10 RIP Mum we love you very much. x