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News Archive - May 2007


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Town Centre Improvements - Consultation Results

The results of the recent consultation exercise show a healthy interest in the Town and a big thumbs up for the major initiatives. 429 residents responded to the questionnaire which is almost 20% of those surveyed - a high level of response in this type of exercise. 93% of those were in favour of the aim of improving the town with only 2% against.

In principle do you agree with:




1. The aim of improving the town







2. Developing the visitor economy







3. Improving the town centre







4. Supporting local businesses







5. Appointing a town manager







This is just one week before Whitchurch Association and Working 4 Whitchurch representatives, supported by Hampshire Council's Town Project Officer, present the case for £120,000 to representatives of the South East of England Development Agency. The survey results provide valuable material for the team's presentation, as it shows that there is a high level of support for the proposed projects. This money, if won, will be added to the £120,000 already provided by HCC and B&DBC.

The full analysis of the responses provided by B&DBC are here.

To park or not to park?

Resident Anna McLean would like the rest of Whitchurch to know of the perils of parking on single yellow lines at Bank Holidays, following her being issued with a parking fine at Easter.

Anna parked on a single yellow line on Newbury Hill on Good Friday and received a fixed £30 penalty. She spoke to the warden issuing the ticket who explained that he was working as on a normal weekday. Advice she received from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Parking Manager was that parking restrictions apply on Bank Holidays which do not fall on weekends.

A valid question is why does BD&BC consider it necessary to employ staff to enforce parking restrictions in Whitchurch on days when there is considerably less traffic than on a normal Saturday? The Parking Officer's answer is that, although the restrictions apply on all non-weekend Bank and Public Holidays, BD&BC only employs wardens on Good Friday; the reason is that charges apply in Basingstoke car parks on that holiday and the Council needs to keep their wardens fully employed.

Note that the Autumn Bank Holiday, 27th August, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day all fall on weekdays - you have been warned!

Charity Music Concert Successfood and drink

group playingThe third Twang charity concert is already being deemed a success by organisers by Ben van Rensburg and Rob Dunlop.

Well over 250 came to the concert which has to date raised over £1,000 for Naomi House Children's Hospice. Tee shirt sales are continuing to bring in funds.

The pleasant weather on Saturday allowed the crowds to sit out and enjoy a drink and food between the appearances of the 13 groups who played for a total of 12 hours.

Official Opening of New Library

Unveiling the plaqueThe formal opening ceremony of the new library in the Gill Nethercott Community Centre was performed by the Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Patricia West and the Executive Member, Recreation and Heritage Cllr Margaret Snaith on Tuesday 22 May.

Representatives of those involved in the design and building of the Centre, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Whitchurch Town Council, Whitchurch Association, Testbourne School and Remploy, which supplied the library fittings were on hand to hear speeches from Councillor West and Snaith, followed by the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the occasion.

The real fun starts with the opening to the public on Wednesday, which is to be followed by a week of events for young and old.

Youth Project Car Boot Success

Whitchurch's first car boot sale for a long time was deemed a success by organisers. A sunny day resulted in over £120 being raised for the project.

Organisers, Alison Freeborough and Jurgen Hardy, are very pleased with the way the event went and plan to run it on a monthly basis.

Whitchurch Company Helps Save the Planet

Jenton International has teamed up with Fyffes and Kite Packaging to promote the virtues of banding as a minimal packaging method at Total 2007. Initial trials have started in Scottish supermarkets with bunches of Fyffes organic bananas being banded rather than being sold in bags. "There's an 80% reduction in material being used" explains Henry Barter, Packaging Sales Manager at Jenton "and the customers like the added impact of colourful printing onto white ribbon rather than a clear bag".

bananasThe recyclable foamed polypropylene banding material is sealed on ATS ultrasonic US 2000 banding machines supplied by Jenton. The ultrasonic sealing is not susceptible to packaging department temperature variations and material does not need to be coated making it cheaper and easier to make and recycle. Jenton says that a band, as well as securing a pack, can also be used for tamper evidence, labelling and promotional impact. Material can be paper or film, plain or printed and machines can be stand alone or automatic. Jenton have a new showroom in Evingar Estate for testing and trials can be arranged.

Jenton is currently exhibiting at Total, The Complete Processing & Packaging Event at the NEC, Birmingham 15 – 18 May 2007 and has employed 2 students to dress up as gorillas and walk around the show giving out banded bananas!

New Library Opening

The new library in the Gill Nethercott Community Centre is opening at 10am in 23 May. There will be a lucky dip with lots of prizes, free balloons, name a duck competition, loan one get one free offer on DVDs and more.

In the morning of 24th there will be Baby Bounce and Rhyme sessions for the under 2s and their parent or carer and, at the other end of the age spectrum, a free internet taster session for "Silver Surfers".

The following week, on 30th its the turn of the 3 - 6 year olds with stories and activities sessions called Go Quackers! The last of the special events are on 1st June when Riverbank Tales is the title of story and activity sessions for 6 - 11 year olds.

More details of timings are here or, to book a session call 01256 363793. The library will be open longer than the old Bell Street facility, details are here.

Thumbs up for Town Centre Improvements

Almost 500 responded to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's consultation document on what you think about the proposed improvements to the Town centre were received.

The headline is that it appears around 94% of respondents support the proposals overall as they stand.

Work by the Whitchurch Association and Working 4 Whitchurch, supported by Hampshire Council is ongoing to produce a detailed submission by the 5th June.

Indian Food Festival Sellout

Sir George and Lady YoungThe all day buffet style Indian and Bangladeshi Food Festival at the Blue Ginger resulted in queues for the food.

MP Sir George and Lady Young came to sample the fare, profits are to go to the You nth Project.

A whole roast lamb and a whole Bengali fish were the centre points of a huge display of dishes from the sub-continent.

The event has been such a success that the Blue Ginger will be offering a buffet meal all day every Sunday.

More pictures will be on the Blue Ginger's website soon.

Maypole Dancing Washout

Desertes maypole

For the second week rain prevented dancing on the green. This week the maypole was erected but the rain prevented any dancing.

This despite a new crown for the top of the pole and a successful practice session at the end of April

maypole crown

Spring Edition of Community Newsletter

newsletter front pageThe Spring edition of this website’s sister publication, the Whitchurch Community Newsletter, has just been published and is being delivered to households in the Town.

The Newsletter was set up to support the activities of the Whitchurch Association but covers all Community groups in their efforts to make Whitchurch a better place to live and work.

It also focuses on providing an outlet for local businesses to promote themselves, with the present issue including features on The Harvest Home and the Blue Ginger.

If you or your group would like to be featured, or if you have anything for inclusion, visit the Newsletter's web page here or call John on 892650 or 07963 237619.

Click on the image to download a copy.

LibDems retain Whitchurch District Council Seat

The new Community Hall saw a higher turnout than in recent years and, in a mirror of what happened throughout Basingstoke and Deane District Council's area, there was no change in the political parties in Thursday's election. Keith Watts retained the seat vacated by John Wall.

The results were:
Keith Watts(LibDem) 1163 58%  
Bill Judge(Con) 828 42%  

Comparison with previous results:
  2002 2003 2006 2007
LibDem 64% 57% 51% 58%
Cons 31% 37% 37% 42%
Lab 6% 6% 3% 0%
Green 0% 0% 8% 0%
Turnout 39% 32% 48% 52%

Whitchurch is the place for food

posterOver the next few months Whitchurch will be offering even more of a range of foods than normal.

The Indian and Bangladeshi Food Festival is at the Blue Ginger from 13 - 15 May. There will be 30 items from the menu available as a buffet, all day Sunday and on Monday and Tuesday evenings. You will be able to try as many of the dishes as you like for just £10. So it is an ideal opportunity to sample some of the Bangladeshi dishes not found in most Indian restaurants. As a central attraction, a whole lamb will be roast to provide the meat for the lamb dishes. You book now to ensure a seat on 895700.

The last day of the festival coincides with the press launch of the 2 week Hampshire Food Festival Hants food festival logoin Basingstoke. The festival takes place from 23 June to 8 July and is an annual event which features the food produced in the county. For the first time, businesses in Whitchurch are taken part as Whitchurch Food Fortnight. The White Hart and the Harvest Home will be featuring even more dishes created from local produce. John Dennett will feature locally produced meat and eggs with his own Whitchurch sausages. The Beehive Farm Shop will have locally produced meats, vegetables, honey and fruit juices with Overton baked goods and Tufton preserves. Harroway Organic Gardens will be offering its Whitchurch grown produce (strawberries included) and other locally produced items such as eggs from Broughton.

Working 4 Whitchurch have plans are underway for a beer, sausage and potato festival in October.

Faithful Hands Raises over £1,500

The Faithful Hands Charity has raised over £1,500 during its three weeks in the London Street Charity Shop.

New Local Website

Litchfield has just got its own web site. It's been set up to advertise the Fete on 17th June


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