Hampton-in-Arden Parish Council

Springtime in Hampton in Arden

WELCOME TO THE WEBSITE FOR HAMPTON IN ARDEN!

Thank you for visiting the Hampton in Arden website which includes information about the village, events and services and which is sponsored by the Parish Council.

Please use the links on the left hand side of the page to easily navigate around the site and we hope that you find the information useful and readily available. Please remember to visit this site frequently as the information will be regularly updated.

COMING VERY SOON!!!

Hampton in Arden Village Scarecrow Competition

Please put Hampton Festival and Scarecrow Competition 2015 - July 4th and 5th in your diary and follow this link for more information and Scarecrow Competition entry and voting details.

Solihull Neighbourhood in Bloom Competition

wild flowers

This competition was started 2 years ago by the SMBC Neighbourhood Team to encourage pride in local communities and we were amazed by the quality of entries, the beautiful gardens and allotments and wonderful school gardening projects.

In 2013 we were overwhelmed when Hampton won 'The Best Village' category and in 2014 crowned the 'Most Engaged Village'. The judges were impressed by the many organisations that work together in the village to make it a terrific place for all to live, particularly the support for our senior citizens at the pensioners Lunch Club. This year we are again entering the competition and need your help to have our beautiful village looking it’s best for judging which takes place during the week commencing 13th July.

Plan your entry. There are many categories in the competition and with summer bedding plants arriving in local nurseries now is the perfect time to plan your entry for instance front garden, wild flowers, planter or hanging basket, disabled gardener, allotment plot or site, retail/commercial frontages (including pubs and restaurants). It is free to enter, prizes are awarded for effort and ideas. So, why not give it a go!

For further information call 0121 704 6784 or email snibloom@solihull.gov.uk. Alternatively visit www.solihull.gov.uk/solihullinbloom and apply online.

The closing date for entries is Friday 12 June 2015.

VILLAGE TIDY UP 2015

Saturday 11 July 2015 (10am to Noon)

A record number of villagers came to help spruce up the village for ‘judgement day’ in 2014 and we hope to exceed that number this year. Please come along and make new friends, we will meet at the Parish Office and provide all the necessary equipment (bin bags, gloves, pickers, etc). The more the merrier, drinks and snacks are provided by the parish council. If you have any queries, please telephone our Parish Clerk on 01675 442017.

Like Us On Facebook!

In addition to this website, the Parish Council has embraced social media and now has its own Facebook page. We hope that this will provide a quick and easy way for us to keep you up to date with village matters and for you to provide information to us on issues that matter to you. We will be posting regular updates on important issues, details about village services and reminders for local events.

Just log in to Facebook and type "Hampton-in-Arden Parish Council" into the search box at the top of the Facebook window and we should pop up. To ensure our posts automatically appear in your timeline make sure to hit the 'Like' button. We hope to have lots of new likers soon and look forward to hearing from you all!

Not a Facebook user? Don't worry - you can access our Facebook page even if you do not have a Facebook account - just click on this link or click on the Facebook image on the LH side of this page.

ROAD CARRIAGEWAY RESURFACING

Severn Trent Water have completed water main connections in Marsh Lane which has been resurfaced.

The parish council recently met with the highways department at SMBC and were pleased to hear that funding has become available for additional resurfacing work. The intention was to resurface the roadway, with a surface that will reduce traffic noise, between the Eastcote Lane junction and Lapwing Drive. We pointed out that some water main works were outstanding which is why the connections at the entrance to the Manor are now being completed. Unfortunately Severn Trent have indicated that, in the near future, they intend to replace the main along Meriden Road so the resurfacing may only extend to the railway bridge for the time being.

High Street will need to be closed for the resurfacing and after much discussion of the pros and cons of day or night working we agreed with highways advice for the work to take place over 2-3 nights (7 pm to 6.30 am) rather than the disruption of 4-5 days. It is possible that this work will take place in late August or early September.

TRANSPORT UPDATE

In early June the parish council and Hampton Society met with CENTRO and London Midland for an update on transport issues. Our biggest concern remains access at the railway station, particularly when the ticket office is closed. I have been pushing for a return to the situation that existed before the ticket office hours were cut 4 years ago. At this meeting I made my feelings very clear and received an email the same evening saying 'Good news. I have spoken to my colleague who is undertaking the scoping exercise for the work to enable the route via the ticket office to remain open when the station is unstaffed. He confirms that site visits have been undertaken and that the scoping work is on target to be completed this month. The work is funded as part of our 2015/16 programme, so is planned for completion between now and March'. We are continuing to press for a ramp to the Birmingham platformbut this will require a much higher level of funding.

We were asked to remind you that The Taxibus is available for all to use at the price of your usual bus fare. The minibus offers a door to door service for any age or ability group from Monday to Saturday between 8 am and 7.30 pm in the area outlined by Solihull, Coventry, Knowle, Birmingham International, Chelmsley Wood. So why not use it to go out in the evening, for travel to school outside normal hours or to a convenient railway station. Please call 0121 783 6869 for more information or to book, preferably the day before.

How are you finding the 82 bus service? CENTRO are keen to have feedback so please contact jonhayes@centro.org.uk with any comments.

Network Rail

Due to poor maintenance over very many years there were large insecure trees within the railway embankment which we were told were a danger to railway passengers. Following 2 meetings with Network Rail, residents of Station Road and Old Station Road have rather reluctantly become reconciled to the felling of many of these trees which is now complete, the village scene has certainly changed...looking on the positive side we have got a lot more light. Network Rail provided the Parish Council with 12 semi mature trees and 3 large sacs of daffodils which a working party planted in pouring rain on the 3rd December around the Recreation Ground Car Park and have planted a hedge on the rail side of the Old Station Road fence.

Resurfacing and improved drainage along Station Road is outstanding but a recent email for Network Rail stated 'I must reassure you on behalf of the residents of Station Road that the resurfacing works to our road will be happening once the drainage has been completed. We have, however been let down by our delivery agents, and have been forced to change delivery path to try to reinject some pace into the programme. It is fortunate that we are having a relatively dry run of weather, because delivery of the drainage scheme is key to reducing flooding risk on the approaches to Birmingham International station, as well as at Hampton in Arden. We are desperately keen to see the scheme delivered, and intensely frustrated ourselves by the lack of progress to date. The new team are making good progress, and the current delivery programme is likely to see us on site commencing the drainage towards the end of July, but as I believe I previously stated, the highway works to Station road will be one of the last elements of work undertaken so that the risk of damage by construction traffic can be minimised. As soon as I have a firm programme, I will ensure that you are provided with details. My expectation at present would be that the scheme will be completed towards the end of 2015'

We continue to press for consideration of improved access to the Birmingham platform as part of this work .... lets hope!

Preventing Tragedies

The National Police Counter Terrorism Network have rolled out an awareness raising campaign designed to reach out to families, to help prevent young people travelling to Syria. Families are encouraged to call 101 or visit www.preventtragedies.co.uk to speak with specially trained police officers.

Parish Council Elections 2015

4 yearly Parish council elections took place on May 7th along with the parliamentary and local council (SMBC) elections.

Two of our long standing parish councillors decided to stand down in order to enjoy some well earned free time.

Malcolm James has been a parish councillor for many years and has been chair of both the council and it’s maintenance committee contributing significantly to the life of the village. Malcolm will continue with his work as a George Fentham Trustee, School Governor and of course his invaluable contribution towards running the pensioners lunches on a Wednesday.

Clive Bowen has been a councillor for a number of years acting as editor of the Newsletter, co-ordinator of our highly successful Remembrance Day Parade and has taken care of the War Memorial for us organising the wonderful restoration last year.

We would like to thank both Malcolm and Clive for their immense contribution to the life of the village through the parish council and wish them both well for the future.

7 parishioners were nominated for the new parish council which means that there was no need for formal elections. Malcolm and Clive will be replaced by Tim Beresford who lives with his young family in Bellemere Road and Dave Cuthbert who lives in Catherine de Barnes, an area of our parish the views of which he will represent. Between the time of the election and our first parish council meeting Ken Blanch put his name forwards to be co-opted to the council and at the first meeting this was unanimously approved. Ken lives in Marsh Lane and with a career spent in road and rail engineering brings much essential knowledge to our on going discussions with HS2. We believe that we will have a strong team to guide the village through the challenges that lie ahead.

NEW COUNCILLOR POSITIONS – WE NEED YOU!

The Parish Council has had permission (having passed a recent in depth governance review with flying colours!) to increase its number of Parish Councillors from seven to nine. We are therefore looking to co-opt a further Councillor in the months to come.

If you would like to get more involved in village life and make a difference to where we live, becoming a Councillor may be for you. If you might be interested in applying please do get in touch (01675 442017 or clerk@hamptoninarden.org.uk) or just pop into the office for a chat.

Heavy Goods Traffic

Unfortunately, the parish council application to SMBC Highways Department for a ban on HGV traffic using the B4102 through the village did not score highly enough in the ranking system to receive funding, in fact we did not even make it onto the reserve list. For the last couple of years the parish council and a community representative have been attending quarterly liaison meetings with representatives of the quarries at Cornetts End Lane. Through this committee we have had signs posted reminding HGV Quarry traffic that it is prohibited from using the village roads and it is generally felt that this has helped reduce HGV traffic. If you see possible quarry traffic travelling through the village please note the registration number, date and time and we will pass it on to the quarry operators for you. It is a constant battle for them to monitor traffic and apply fines for transgression of planning conditions, we will continue to try and improve the situation.

Youth Issues

As part of the Consultation Survey completed earlier this year for the Neighbourhood Plan you told us that more facilities were needed for older children and teenagers. The Council are keen to address this issue and want to identify ideas that are feasible - with a view to delivery in the future.

We would love to hear your suggestions so please do email us with any ideas. Please email and watch this space!

 

Hampton-in-Arden Neighbourhood Plan

Garden City Consultation

A consultation event, organised by the Parish Council, took place on 6th December and a large number of residents came along to see what was involved. The consultation was really concerning de-designation by SMBC of green belt land around the proposed HS2 station to optimise economic potential by allowing development of housing and jobs. A vast majority of those who attended felt that the main concern was to protect the green belt and the parish council response will reflect this view in it's response.

The parish council response to the consultation can be viewed here.

Motorway Service Station

Those in the village who have successfully fought this proposal on 2 previous occasions will no doubt be dismayed that it is to be resubmitted. The proposal is to build the facility in the Meriden Gap to the south of, and on the Catherine de Barnes side of Solihull Road. Solihull Road will be raised on a new motorway bridge, a second bridge would be constructed for access just to the north of Solihull Road, It is said that there will be no access for vehicles from the Solihull Road. There are other reviews taking place to increase capacity on the M42 for the HS2 station and new Resort World which might result in widening of the Motorway or creation of a new junction and the new bridges would have to cater for additional lanes on the motorway. The public consultation so far is by the developer only, taking place prior to submission of detailed plans for planning consent. The parish council have submitted an outline response opposing the development. It will be more important to respond to the actual planning applications when it is submitted.

The parish council response to the consultation can be viewed here.

Under 7s Play Area

Following 2 years of determined fundraising by Councillor John Doidge our long awaited Play Area for the Under 7s has now been unveiled by the Scout and Guide Hut at the Recreation Ground. It is a fantastic facility for the children and the natural wood blends sympathetically with the woodland surroundings. We would like to thank The George Fentham Trust, The Big Lottery Fund, The Hampton Gym, The PTA, The Hampton Society, Severn Trent Water and the Hampton Surgery for their generous sponsorship which was augmented with funding by the parish council.

HS2 UPDATE

Select Committee

Parish Council and Hampton Society
delegation visit Parliamentary HS2
Select Committee

On 25th November the HS2 Environmental Statement was released by the Government. It is a very detailed plan for the construction programme of HS2 and forms the basis of the Hybrid Bill, the parliamentary go ahead for the scheme.

The documents number thousands of pages and can be viewed in the local libraries or here.

The parish council and Hampton Society have worked together to read the lengthy documents and extract detail that is important for the village, sent off separate responses, click here to read the response of the parish council.

Representatives of the parish council and Hampton Society have been working closely with Councillors and planning officers at SMBC and we are pleased to report that all our 'asks' have been included in the SMBC response.

The parish council has prepared a petition concerning the adverse effects of HS2 on the community, which has been submitted to and accepted by the Parliamentary Select Committee. The petition covers important issues of mitigation for the village in which we are supported by SMBC.

On 16th September 2014 members of the select committee visited the local area and spent 15 minutes talking to representatives of the Parish Council and Hampton Society at Patricks Farm about our serious concerns.

On December 11th 2014 a delegation from the Parish Council and Hampton Society travelled to London to appear in front of the HS2 Select Committee and present the petition outlined below. We spoke for 2 hours and were very well received the Chair subsequently stating 'The Hampton-in-Arden petitioners presented their case formidably. We are confident that their impressive abilities will contribute to reaching sensible outcomes with HS2 and Solihull on their particular issues of concern, especially viaduct design and flooding. If there are unresolved problems, they should feel free to inform us and there will be time to call them back'. A meeting has been organised with HS2 negotiators to firm up on the promises that were made.

The transcript of the presentation can be found here or viewed here.

The closure of Diddington Lane to through traffic has always been an element of the HS2 plans and we understood that this has been supported by many villagers in order to prevent the lane being a short cut to the Interchange Station on the A452 near Melbicks Nursery. It is disappointing that Packington Estate have been able to persuade HS2 to work on a plan to keep the lane open so if you would like to make your view on this matter known please email the parish clerk. We have now seen the amended plan for keeping Diddington Lane open which is a new road to the west of the current Diddington Lane, unfortunately if this goes ahead it has to be a modern standard road and so wider than at present. We will continue to fight against this and if it does happen we will seek traffic calming measures which will discourage an increase of traffic using Diddington Lane and the village roads as a whole.

A constructive meeting between the Parish Council, the Hampton-in-Arden Society and Packington Estates was held in April. As a result an agreed statement has been sent to HS2 detailing what would be acceptable to all parties (including the Council and the Society seeking to retain the existing alignment of Diddington Lane and restricting access to through traffic). We await a response.

However some good news is that the viaduct across the River Blythe at Patricks Farm will be lengthened to maintain the open views and minimise the risk of flooding. Design details are awaited.

The parish council remains fundamentally opposed to HS2 which will severely affect the nature of our village for future generations.

VILLAGE DIARY

If you use the navigation menu on the LH side of this website you will see that there is a Village Diary page. This is a free service for you to advertise your events taking place in the village. To use the diary, please e-mail your dates to the Clerk.

Birmingham Airport Issues

There has been much anger and disquiet within the village concerning the sudden increase in aircraft noise since the southerly departure route trials began in May. Initially route 5 presented a sharp increase in noise but Route 6 has been much worse. The airport claim that this is because aircraft are not following the designated routes as a result of inaccurate co-ordinates being entered in the navigation systems. We are told that this has now been corrected and a further 3 month trial of option 6 will commence on November 13th. The public consultation concerning flight path options preceded any trials and consequently information about their impact might be considered insufficient for the public to have made informed decisions.

In addition with the end of the runway being 300 m nearer the village the noise from aircraft taking off to the north is much worse especially in the early morning with windows open and some residents in Old Station Road are aware of ground testing of engines in the new maintenance hanger.

Well over 150 residents attended the 'Hello' held by the airport on 21st June and made their feelings known in no uncertain terms, many people felt that little heed was taken by the junior employees who represented the airport. Incredibly the airport say that whilst they are noting comments there is no further public consultation, the data from the trial is information for the CAA only.

Subsequently a petition was drafted by two pilots living in the village, which has been presented to Parliament by our M P Caroline Spelman, requesting the Minister of State for Transport reviews the trial of options 5 and 6 and instructs the airport to look at other possible routings which will mimick the Hampton Turn and be quieter for residents of the rural communities. Within 10 days 2200 signatures had been collected from Hampton 880, Balsall 1300 and Barston 25. The reply by the Transport Minister concerning the petition can be found in Hansard.

On initial analysis the airport felt that option 6 was less disruptive to the community and this will remain in operation until the CAA make a formal decision.

In 2014 the airport proposed that the constitution and operation of the Airport Consultative Committee was fundamentally changed with a much reduced representation from community bodies. However following a great deal of pressure, not least from The parish council and Hampton Society, it has been re-established. We will be fighting to ensure that both bodies are represented on it in future so that we have a strong voice with which to protect our community from further environmental damage.

The parish council response to the ACC consultation can be viewed here.

Airspace Change Update May 2015

The Airport Company has now stated their preference for Option 6 claiming this route, for aircraft taking off to the south *replicates the original Hampton Turn as far as is technically possible, *is safe, and *is compliant with navigational requirements.

What does this mean for Hampton residents? There will be little or no change as Option 6 has been in use for some time and will continue to be used until the Civil Aviation Authority make the final decision - expected in September 2015.

However, during the trials the airport company has identified a problem with some aircraft not flying the intended route when taking off to the south but then turning to go north. As a result, some types of aircraft are flying closer to the village than others and turning sooner than intended - creating unnecessary noise in the Bellemere Road area. In June 2015 a revised route is to be trialled which should ensure that aircraft revert to the centre line of the intended route which is between Hampton-in-Arden and Balsall Common. It is hoped that any revised route will be operational later this year.

Please take some time to view all areas of the site and let us know how we may improve the service which we are providing. Remember, please advise us of your forthcoming events for the village diary.

Website last updated - 23 June 2015

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