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.
AGENDA - Parish Council Meeting - 11th November
Download agenda ...
Solihull Connected Green Paper
After attending several briefing sessions the parish council have recently sent the following reply to the consultation regarding the Solihull Connected Green Paper.
The plans to resurface Solihull Road and High Street have been delayed to a more suitable date at the request of some local businesses. As excavation will be needed to connect services to The Ring of Bells development the work will now be undertaken from the junction with Marsh Lane to the railway bridge commencing on 28th October for 2 nights. We also understand that Fentham Road is to receive a new skim on Sunday 4th September, residents should receive notification shortly before hand.
It is proposed that Fentham Road will receive a seasonal re-surfacing treatment on Sunday 4th October. This is usually carried out during warm, dry weather conditions and treatments normally ceases early in September and re-commences early spring. Given the current exceptional weather conditions SMBC have taken the opportunity to extend the period when this work can be undertaken. The work is programmed for Sunday 04/10/2015, taking advantage of a non-school day.
War Memorial Engraving
On December 29th 1915 Corporal Archibald Neill of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was killed in the Sudan being commemorated with a headstone in the Military Cemetery Khartoum. Corporal Neill was the son in law of Benjamin Hubbard and was recorded in the census of 1901 as living in Woodbine Cottage, Fentham Road, his widow Ruth remarried and is buried with her second husband in our churchyard. For some reason the name of Archibald Neill does not appear on our War Memorial along with others from the village who fell in the First World War. We were approached by the family of Mr Neill and have agreed that his name should be engraved on the memorial in this the hundredth year following his death. We hope that this will be completed in time for our Remembrance Day Parade and that the Neill family will be able to join the village in our act of remembrance.
The parish council was recently contacted by a family which originated in Hampton, an elderly relative had passed away leaving unmarked photographs from the 40’s and 50’s. These are scenes of village life, including the Queen’s Coronation Street party held in Peel Close. An album has been created which will be available to view in our library, the family are very keen to find out if any village residents are able to put names to faces and identify events and buildings for them. We are also hoping to put the album on our parish website for you to view in due course.
Motorway Service Station
The formal planning application for a Motorway Service Station on green belt land in the Meriden Gap between Solihull Road and the M42 has now been submitted to SMBC. Those in the village who have successfully fought this proposal on 2 previous occasions will no doubt be dismayed to see it raising it’s head again.The plan is for Solihull Road to be raised on a new motorway bridge and 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 parish council have responded to the application opposing the development. Click here to read our response ...
Additional Provision 2
On July 16th 2015 Additional provisions to the HS2 Hybrid Bill and 2 new Environmental Statements were published and as far as Hampton is concerned the main changes involve:
- A viaduct from Patricks Farm crossing the B4102 and the Blythe valley which had been requested by the community instead of a long embankment. This will maintain the open views of the valley as well as migration routes and we hope will not result in increased flooding
- Creation of a new Diddington Lane which will remain open to through traffic. The community have always been in support of the original plan to close the lane as they believed it would be used as a rat run to the new station
The parish council, Hampton Society, Fentham Trust and 28 individual residents have submitted petitions to The Parliamentary Select Committee opposing the proposal to realign Diddington Lane on the basis that this would increase traffic through the lane and the village as a whole.
The documents can be viewed online here ...
We expect to be able to present our case in Parliament later this year or in early 2016.
The Hampton Society and Parish Council have been working with our M P Caroline Spelman to produce a petition which she can present to Parliament promoting Diddington Lane as a Green Route. If you would like to sign it is available in the village shops.
A residents group, mainly from Diddington Lane, has met on 2 occasions to co-ordinate the petitions if you would like to be involved in mitigating the effects of HS2 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
HS2 held an information event at Fentham Hall on 19th September which was very useful in bringing councillors, our M P and the public together to form a coherent opposition and credible alternative to the plans for Diddington Lane. We hope that the door will now be open for meaningful discussion.
HS2 in Hampton: The Background
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 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.
The parish council remains fundamentally opposed to HS2 which will severely affect the nature of our village for future generations.
Solihull Neighbourhood in Bloom Competition
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 again entered Hampton into the competition and were pleased to receive third prize in recognition particularly of the new Fentham Trust Park and Lake beyond the Spinney. We are very grateful to the record number of people who came to help with the village tidy up on the Saturday before hand, it is always amazing how many bags of rubbish are prized from under bushes and hedges so thank you to all who came along. The lovely Rural Garden in Station Road, created by Robin Etherington, was awarded a prize as was the garden of Sue Hartlett at 5 Church Court.
Birmingham Airport Issues
There have been many complaints recently concerning aircraft noise and the parish council wrote to the airport to see what had changed. Their reply states that no change has been made to route 6, which aircraft follow when taking off to the south, and it was suggested that the difference is in our perception with windows open etc. All we can suggest is that residents continue to complain by way of the airport website.
If you would like more information, a very helpful document written specifically for local residents on the airspace change process and aircraft activity in general can be found 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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com with any comments.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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!
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.
What a Festival!!
The Hampton Festival and Scarecrow Competition took place over the weekend of July 4th and 5th and was a roaring success with some terrific activities including the scarecrow competition, fancy dress, Theatretrain, Music in Motion, Hampton Singers, bouncy castles, tattoos/face painting, fireworks and much, much more! In the evening several hundred villagers enjoyed their picnics whilst a band, including young musicians from Solihull Music Service, serenaded with music from the decades to be rounded off with an amazing firework display generously sponsored by Hampton Manor. And weren’t we lucky with the weather?! A great weekend all round!
The theme for this years scarecrows was July 4th....American Independence! There were about 50 amazing creations on display around the village and 200 people used the new on line voting system to decide on the winning entries which were:
- Darcy Beresford - Best Children's Prize
- Adam and Tariq Dar's at the Post Office- Best Group Prize
- Sue Charlton’s "Martin Luther King", the Redfern Family's "Boston Tea Party" and the Haywood Family's "Avengers Assembled" – Best Open Prize
We would like to thank Bernice and David Griffiths, for their original inspiration starting off our now-traditional annual scarecrow competition, Simon Bass for his brilliant back-room work to make our on-line registration, mapping and voting systems work really smoothly and reliably, everyone who took part in our Scarecrow Competition this year, making scarecrows, enjoying the spectacle and voting for their favourites!
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.
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.
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 November 2015