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Laura Sheppard and Suzie Wilde round up the latest news and information from across the Petersphere.

This morning you’ll hear from Julia Dean, the latest writer to have their monologue (Nurse’s Lament) chosen for performance as part of this year’s virtual Petersfield Shakespeare Festival.

Be part of the Morning Report

You can send information updates, questions and thank-you messages for people who’ve helped you to team@petersfieldradio.uk or phone 01730 555 500.

Information transcript

Petersfield Library is not recommended for closure, as you heard in yesterday’s Morning Report. Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, will consider all proposals at his Decision Day on 28 July.

Some 21,000 people shared their views, so it is clear that library services are close to people’s hearts.

He will be looking very closely at this feedback alongside the evidence, before making his final recommendations. So a big thank you to anyone who supported our library service.

Over 70% of respondents agreed with the need for the Library Service to adapt to meet the changing demands placed on it.

Proposals to deliver efficiencies, generate additional income and explore different ways of delivering library services all received high levels of support.

Local news suggested this could include volunteer librarians. I have mixed feelings about this. I’d volunteer in a heartbeat, as a former teacher and school librarian.

But as an author, I’m hugely grateful to a service that promotes my work to readers who might not stumble across it in the rising tide of Amazon titles.

The reality is that hard choices must be made, with £1.76 million needing to be saved from Hampshire County Council’s library budget alone.

When you add almost £110 million of unplanned costs and losses to the County Council this financial year, due to the Coronavirus, it’s obvious that any decisions must make the Library Service robust enough to meet future challenges.

One good thing is that more people of all ages have signed up to digital library services during the pandemic.

We’ve kept you up to date here with all the different ways of accessing library services through an innovative use of technology – with a very positive response.

And if you think the service isn’t used enough, here’s one more statistic for you: in its first week since branches reopened 25,000 items were loaned to more than 5,000 customers.

If you don’t already know, the library service continues to support very vulnerable people who may not be able to visit a branch or access online services, with the Home Library Service, and the Good Neighbour Scheme.

And details of all the ways in which our libraries are offering a huge range of different ways to enjoy books and activities – many of which don’t involve browsing the shelves – can be found at hants.gov.uk.

And if you haven’t caught up with the Online Festival, have a look. Some of our audio clips were extracted from longer films, so it’s obviously a more rounded performance, with the full PSF high standard of direction, costume, actors etc that we’ve come to expect.

They can all be found, with much more detail about the writers, cast and crew at petersfieldshakespearefestival.co.uk.

Friday’s Morning Report will have an extract from one of the Festival’s extras: PSF Costume Designer Nicole Small talks about her career in theatre and film.

She is a costume cutter/maker, supervisor and designer for film, theatre, opera and ballet both here and in the USA – and she’s a Tilmore resident!

You heard her talking about making scrubs for the NHS during lockdown – and now she’s back making costumes for Disney’s upcoming London stage musical of Frozen.

From tomorrow, it is mandatory to wear face masks inside shops. There are occasions where this could be confusing, for example at Blue Diamond Garden Centre, where Government guidelines make it clear that teams in both their garden centres and restaurants will not be required to wear face coverings.

The tea room has reopened at Rake this week, so customers can remove their masks to consume food and drinks. There will also be no requirement to wear your mask in the open spaced plant areas – but there will be when you’re inside and at the pay desks. Don’t worry if you forget to bring your mask, though, because they will provide you with a free disposable one.

Lastly, an insider tip-off!  It’s also a good local cause that’s 30 this year. Same age as me – again! Welcome to The Canine Partners Weekly Lottery. It’s only just launched, so even I might win.

I never even won Pass the Parcel, mind you, so actually I’m playing to help Canine Partners breed and train amazing assistance puppies and dogs.

So here’s how it works. For every £1 entry, you will be allocated a unique 6-digit number. Match three or more numbers in the right order and win one of the cash prizes between £5 and £1,000.

But if you match all six numbers, you’ll win an incredible £10,000! You can play £1, £2 or £3 per week for more chances of winning.

Of course it’s very important to steer away – even from a great cause like this – if you are under 18 or have a problem with gambling – but otherwise, it’s a fun way to help create partnerships that are life-transforming.

Full details can be found at lottery.caninepartners.org.uk and good luck.

TRAVEL

Road surfacing is taking place this week on the A32 Petersfield Road through Oakshott, Froxfield and Monkwood, and you can expect delays.

Swan Street remains closed between the junction at Borough Hill and the junction with Chapel Street while new underground electrical circuits are installed. This work is set to continue until the first week of August.

Traffic control is still in use in Bedford Road, outside Howdens, and an upgrade to the traffic signals on Station Road, near Sandringham Rd, means there will be multi-way traffic control in operation there.

Work also continues on highway improvements on the Winchester Road at the junction with Prince’s Road, and the Berelands slip road on and off the A3 remains closed for electrical work overnight.

And, in Liss, multi-way traffic signals are in place in Andlers Ash Road, and Station Road is closed this week while repair work is undertaken on an electrical mains fault.

If we’re not saying what you’re seeing, please let us know – you can reach us on Petersfield 5 55 500 or via email at team@petersfieldradio.uk.

WEATHER

The jet stream drifts south, bringing an end to the settled weather. A cloudy start is likely, although it should remain dry with a few breaks in the cloud later. Today’s maximum temperature is 20 °C and it grows more humid during the evening than our recent chillier nights. 

Tomorrow’s more of the same but if you’re already planning the weekend, Sunday looks the better day. If you’re sailors like us, beware thunderstorms on Saturday and strong winds from the SW, gusting up to 33mph.