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Suzie Wilde and Laura Sheppard bring you today’s essential local information.

Includes news of the closure on the A272 between Stroud and Petersfield.

You make it shine

Send your information updates, and questions to team@petersfieldradio.uk or phone 01730 555 500.

Information transcript

I’m Laura Sheppard at Petersfield’s Shine Radio

The Petersfield Post is reporting that the Town Council is to consider taking the town visitor centre in-house, moving it from the library to the Town Hall, in the Festival Hall car park.

As part of the new set up, the council would commit to funding and running the centre for at least five years. The centre currently costs the council £46,000 a year to run.

Under the new plans, the centre and staff would move to the Town Hall and be directly run by the council, who would employ the staff. Refurbished offices would be made available on the ground floor of the hall, and these could include a ‘retail’ outlet selling Petersfield-branded goods, maps and other town related items.

And you can read more on that story in this week’s Petersfield Post.

An East Hampshire farmer fears for his and his neighbours’ livelihoods after a case of bovine tuberculosis was reportedly linked to a herd of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust cattle near Selborne, says the Petersfield Post.

David Ashcroft, who is also a district councillor representing Binsted, Bentley and Selborne, said farms within a 3 kilometre radius of the affected herd at Noar Hill have been notified of the need to test their animals by the Animal and Plant Health Agency. Although the vet fees will be met by the government, Cllr Ashcroft said he and neighbouring farms will have to bring in extra labour for the required two rounds of testing, in his case costing an estimated £2,400 in wages.

He added he is restricted from moving his livestock before the first round of testing, further impacting his business. And he also expressed concern that the second round of testing is set to clash with his calving season next spring, posing a risk to his young calves.

East Hampshire District Council is binning its delivery of paper calendars showing refuse collection dates.

The council has declared a climate emergency and, as a small step towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the council will not be sending paper bin calendars this year.

The council estimates that this will save around 325kg of carbon each year by reducing paper usage and fuel used for distribution. Instead, the information will be available online.

The bin calendars from 1 October will continue in the pattern they currently follow, with collections only changing around bank holidays and Christmas.

To find out more, visit easthants.gov.uk/bin-calendars

The South Downs National Park Authority believes a controversial new ‘nitrate capture’ scheme, at an East Meon farm, will enhance local biodiversity.

Villagers in the Meon Valley have criticised the scheme at Whitewool Farm, which would create a wetland habitat to soak up nitrates, with credits sold to developers to mitigate the impact of their developments.

The proposal includes a stream and springs which form a headwater of the River Meon, that enters the Solent, at Titchfield.
Conservation bodies are growing increasingly concerned about nitrates entering the Solent, and villagers have been considering seeking a judicial review to challenge the decision of the national park planning committee.
In a statement the national park said:

“Planning permission has not yet been granted. The outcome of the Planning Committee meeting was a resolution to grant planning permission, subject to the completion of a legal agreement to secure the use of the site as a wetland for the purpose of removing nitrates from the watercourse and its long term management, and the completion of further ecological survey work. Subject to these being satisfactory, planning permission would be issued and include planning conditions requiring a landscape and ecological management plan for the scheme.”

Opposition Liberal Democrats on East Hampshire District Council fear government re-organisation of local authorities – aimed at creating fewer, but bigger, councils, serving larger areas – could see an East Hampshire and Havant partnership swallowed up.

The Lib Dem leader on the Tory majority council, Cllr Steve Hunt, believes the ‘Shaping our Future’ programme could pave the way for East Hampshire and Havant to be absorbed into a Greater Portsmouth authority that would meet objectives outlined this summer by the government.

If that came to pass, Cllr Hunt said, decision-making would be even more remote and all the ‘transformation’ costs would be wasted.

Travel

The big one today is the closure of the A272 Winchester Rd at Stroud, between Old Dairy Farm Nursery and the A3 sliproad. Diversions are in place, but unless your vehicle is a quad-bike, it’s going to add some time to your trip, so allow extra.

The temporary traffic lights remain in place near the Station Road/Sandringham Road junction and may cause some queuing at peak times.

Delays can be expected on the Causeway, close to the Kennet Road mini roundabout,  owing to two-way traffic control … South East Water can lay claim to that one. 

And the possibility of delays remain on School Lane, in Sheet, while two-way traffic control operates to assist Network Rail infrastructure upgrades. 

West Sussex County Council makes an incursion into the Petersphere today with tree works on the B2146, Ditcham Lane to Hurst Mill Lane, between Nursted and Hurst. Two-way signals are in operation there too … 

There must be a dearth of temporary traffic lights elsewhere in the country given how many we currently have operating in the Petersphere.

As is the new norm, social distancing measures remain in place across the town, with cycles and  buses only between the Square and Chapel Street and lots of closed parking bays.

Looking ahead to the weekend on the trains, on Sunday, a replacement bus service will run between Woking and Guildford on the London Waterloo line.

… and 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, team@petersfieldradio.uk

If you want a brighter day then, please, do stay with us at Petersfield’s Shine Radio.

You can listen live online at petersfieldradio.uk; via smart speakers; on the Tune-In app; or on any connected device. And if that still doesn’t work, ask us nicely and we’ll send Joff Lacey round to stand outside your window with his laptop …

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