The Parish Council will be reviewing opening the play area and other facilities at the Recreation Ground at its meeting on Tue 7 July and consequently the earliest that the play area will reopen is Wed 8 July.
Here is an update from Stuart Jarvis at Hampshire County Council on the Household Waste & Recycling Centre booking system. This has been the source of frustration for some so the explanation below is welcomed:
Whilst we have effectively solved the nuisance traffic queue issues, we now have a different frustration with residents not always able to secure a booking to visit an HWRC when they wish to. Whilst we will do all we can to address this, while we have any social distancing restrictions in place (and we are awaiting guidance on the latest announcements this week in relation to HWRC operations) sites will always operate at below pre-Covid levels. The current national rules mean we are operating at around 25% capacity, and therefore demand, which is always higher at this time of year, is likely to be in excess of available capacity.
The booking system has now been in place for a number of days, and we have been able to monitor its operation and site useage to inform a review of the arrangements, based on evidence rather than conjecture. We have also been able to take into account the comments we have received, and we are now making some further adjustments to the booking arrangements.
From next week onwards we will begin to increase the number of available slots at each site by enabling more visits to be booked in each 30 minute window. I know that there has been concern and criticism over the use of the 30 minute window, but this is based on a misconception of how the system actually works – we do not limit the bookings to 1 visitor for each parking bay per half hour, and we will now increase this further – effectively meaning we will accommodate an additional 5,000 visits per week across the network.
I am aware that some residents have been frustrated by not being able to book a slot, and find it inconvenient to need to repeatedly log in or use the phone system to try to get a slot. We wanted to avoid the issues raised in other areas when booking systems were introduced, and all slots were immediately booked up weeks ahead, so our system was limited initially to 48 hours ahead and slots were released in tranches to allow timely bookings to be made. We will therefore be revising the system to allow some slots to be booked up to 7 days ahead, but will keep releasing additional slots progressively up to the day before – thereby allowing greater flexibility for different user’s requirements. Whilst it is not a major issue, to date we are seeing a small percentage (c 2%) of ‘no shows’ in booked slots, which is obviously a frustration for those trying unsuccessfully to book slots.
I hope this information is helpful – and I attach a link to a press release announcing these changes.
Director of Economy, Transport and Environment
Tel: 01962 845260
A new booking system for Hampshire’s HWRCs will take effect from Monday 15 June, with residents able to book a 30-minute slot when the booking system goes live on Thursday 11 June.
From 15 June, all HWRCs will revert to their normal summer opening hours of 9am until 6pm, seven days a week. Anyone wishing to visit a site will need to book a slot in advance. People will be able to book a 30-minute slot up to 48 hours in advance. Bookings can be made online at: www.hants.gov.uk/
Telephone bookings, for those without access to the online system, can be made by calling 023 8017 9949.
Anyone wishing to book a slot will need to provide their name, car registration and, for online bookings, an email address. Bookings will be limited to one slot per household per week. More information about using the HWRCs is available online.
Here is the publication of the dates set for the period for the exercise of public rights:
Notice of Public Rights Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2020
Here are the documents required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, for the financial year ended 31 March 2020:
The “Reunite Foundation” reunites missing families and loved ones for hospitals and councils. We are trying to get the word out to a broad audience and looking for new volunteers so that we can help take the pressure off the NHS by getting the families back together, they can then step in and assist. Can you help us get the word out? Please go to www.reunite.org.uk for further information
Mobile 073 0819 0819 – Landline 020 7097 3974
The Council are reviewing access to parts of the Recreation Ground following the recent Government guidance for providers of outdoor facilities on the phased return of sport and recreation in England. This guidance included tennis courts but it is not as simple as unlocking the gate, as there are other issues and details that need to be carefully considered, for example areas of children’s play equipment must remain closed.
The Council has been seeking advice from a number of sources, including the Hampshire Association of Local Councils, the Society of Local Council Clerks, Winchester City Council and its insurance company.
The Government guidance is primarily for sports centres and clubs that have membership and staff who are able to undertake COVID-19 risk assessments, implement cleaning protocols, monitor and manage use to ensure it is consistent with the guidance regarding health and hygiene, including the requirement that people exercise alone, with their own household, or with one person who is not in your household (as long as they stay two metres apart).
The guidance states providers of outdoor facilities should only reopen the likes of tennis courts when they feel able to do so safely and that until they feel it is safe and responsible to reopen, they should remain closed.
It has been noted that since 13 May some people climb over the locked gates to access the Recreation Ground, despite the sign confirming that the Recreation Ground is closed.
As a result, there are serious reservations that attempting to segregate the play equipment, while allowing access to the tennis court, will not deter people from using the play equipment.
Consequently, there is a real concern that it would not be safe and responsible for the Council to reopen any of the facilities at the Recreation Ground at the moment.
The Council recognises that the Recreation Ground is a highly valued asset for Oliver’s Battery residents. As owner of the Recreation Ground, the Council intends to reopen all or parts of the Recreation Ground as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so.
Further to recent legislation enabling remote council meetings, all Oliver’s Battery Parish Council meetings will be conducted electronically until further notice. The Agenda for the next meeting, on Tuesday 5 May, will be published on the usual Agenda page of the website where there will also be a link for members of the public to join the meeting.
The information below and the poster on the link lists the current ways local residents can contact Citizens Advice and details are also on their new website www.citizensadvicewinchester.org.uk
The link above is on the WCC welcome page and takes you to a series of pages, including COVID-19 – Get Help:
Winchester Local Response Centre is part of a county-wide network. Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council are working with voluntary organisations to make sure support, services and supplies reach everyone that needs them. The county council has set up a helpline for vulnerable residents to discuss support such as access to food and essential supplies as well as be someone people can chat with (remotely) to combat loneliness during the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you are in need of assistance call 0333 370 4000
Hampshire County Council has launched a new Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable – for frail or vulnerable residents who do not have existing support networks and require urgent assistance. Depending on need, residents may be directed to one of eleven district based Local Response Centres, or to the County Council’s specialist support team. The helpline can be contacted on 0333 370 4000 and is available seven days a week, from 9am-5pm. More information is set out on the helping Hampshire residents most in need webpage.