The Meon Valley Community Bus continues to provide a vital service running shopping trips to Fareham, Winchester, Petersfield and Waterlooville. Timetable here
Southdowns National Park
Disposal of Garden Waste in an Environmentally and Community Friendly Way
Before you light your bonfire, please consider the alternatives. The smoke from your bonfire may cause a statutory nuisance, an offence under the Highways Act of 1980 and, in the increasingly densely housed community we live in, you will be causing residents with health problems, particularly respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis, unnecessary distress. Bonfire smoke comprises several toxic harmful and carcinogenic air pollutants and microscopic particles so your bonfire should be the absolute last option for the disposal of your garden waste. And don’t forget “if you have not grown it, don’t burn it”.
Home Disposal Without Burning
Try to compost your garden waste as much as possible. Consider using a shredding machine which can reduce hardwood materials into a mulch for use on your garden. The new leaf blower/shredders are fantastic in turning a morass of leaves into very compact and useful mulch.
The Green Bag Garden Waste Collection
Every fortnight with the exception of during the Christmas holidays there is a doorstep green bag collection waste service provided by Winchester City Council where the waste is recycled into Pro-Grow soil conditioner. You can recycle:
|Grass cuttings||Hedge cuttings||Weeds|
|Pruning’s||Leaves (small amounts)
If your current bag is damaged or holed then you can order a new bag free of charge online and if you need additional bags to the free one provided, you can order these online too, though there is a one off fee (2nd bag, £25, 3rd bag £50, 4th bag £75).
Use a Household Waste Recycling Centres
The closest Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) is located in Bishops Waltham less than 4 miles away and is open 7 days a week:
|9am to 5pm 1 March to 31 March
9am to 6pm 1 April to 30 September
9am to 4pm 1 October to 28 February
Any householder can take their green waste to their local HWRC. From here it is turned into Pro-Grow Soil Conditioner which is available to buy from all HWRC sites.
If you struggle taking your bags up the stairs to the containers, then the HWRC staff are on hand to assist and are very happy to do so.
Please check the useful link below for details of whether your vehicle requires a permit, but in summary as a householder;
- No permit is required for householders entering the HWRC site with the following vehicles; cars, 4X4s, cars towing trailers of less than 1.8m (aprox 6ft), Blue Badge holders and hired vans (householders who have hired a van for less than three days to dispose of their own household waste do not require a permit, but should bring the van hire agreement with them and present it to site staff on arrival.
- A permit is required for householders entering the HWRC site with the following vehicles; Cars towing trailers between 1.8 and 3.0m (approx. 6ft and 10ft), Van/Pickup
- Not permitted on HWRC site; horseboxes, vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes and trailers over 3.0m (approx 10ft)
Permits are free to Hampshire residents and a single permit will give you 12 visits per year to the HWRC and in special circumstances additional permits may be granted, if for example you have a large garden.
As well as garden waste the HWRC will recycle many other household waste items, please check the link below for what you can and cannot dispose of at the HWRC.
Hire A Skip
This is ideal if you have a major garden clearance project and it is not as expensive as you might think, especially if you keep it to a single type of waste.
If you are fortunate enough to employ a gardener then, as a considerate member of our community, you should either dispose of your garden waste yourself in an environmentally and community friendly way or pay them to take it away. As a responsible business your gardener or contractor should have in place a method to dispose of the garden waste they generate through their business in an environmentally and community friendly way and not just burn it on site.
“If you have not grown it, don’t burn it”, so never burn household rubbish, paper, rubber tyres, or anything containing plastic, foam or paint etc. either in a bonfire or home incinerator. Do not use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light a fire.
If you must light a bonfire, ensure that the material to be burnt is dry. This will minimise the amount of smoke produced.
Do not light a fire when the weather conditions might cause the smoke to travel into your neighbours’ garden or property. In our densely packed community this is extremely difficult to achieve which is why you should consider another method to dispose of your garden waste.
Remember that smoke will hang in the air on a damp, windless day and in the evenings
Position any bonfire as far away from buildings as possible. Don’t light a fire if the wind will carry the smoke over roads. Bonfires which are on land near to roads and causing an inconvenience or a danger to passers-by can also be an offence under the Highways Act 1980.
Position your bonfire away from powerlines and telegraph poles.
If your bonfire site is close to a property with a thatched roof, please discuss with your neighbour whether your proposed site is suitable as their building insurance will likely stipulate the required safe distance for open fires, which seems to be over 100 metres.
Position your bonfire away from trees, first to protect them from heat damage but second so that the branches do not prevent the smoke from dispersing in the atmosphere and away from your neighbours.
Be courteous, tell your neighbours you are going to have a bonfire so they can close windows and bring in their washing and those with respiratory illnesses can take the appropriate action. If you do get a complaint, don’t carry on regardless, put your fire out and discuss the situation with your neighbour and explain why you are unable to use an alternative environmentally and community friendly way to dispose of your garden waste. Remember, your bonfire smoke can travel some distance, so do not be surprised if a complaint comes from someone who is not your immediate neighbour.
Winchester CC Laurence Ruffell
fly tipping – WCC
FLY TIP – What is Winchester City Council doing about it?
Winchester City Council actively pursues fly tip perpetrators who blight our society. To ensure we can deliver an enforcement service the City Council has employed a specialist enforcement officer to undertake investigation. Once the investigation process has been undertaken and providing there is sufficient evidence the council will pursue a prosecution for those identified as the offender, whether they are individuals or a company.
What happens when I report a fly tip?
If a report comes in on line – both the Enforcement Officer and the Contracts Management Officer (CMO) will receive the majority of reports twice e.g. A WCC Customer Services report/complaint via an on line report form or Winchester App triggers an email to a service in-box (even if the specialist officer isn’t on duty the team supervisor will be able to see it), that information is also backed up with automatic notification via the city councils internal system (Lagan) which gives a unique reference number to the case. If a report comes in via telephone the information is added to the internal Lagan system via customer services which will also go directly to the enforcement officer and CMOs. The internal system is reviewed daily (Mon – Fri) and prioritised accordingly e.g. if there is a possibility of evidence at the site it will become a priority for investigation. Wherever possible the site will be visited within 24 hours so that evidence can be photographed in situ and then removed so that it can be used in any future prosecution. If there is no evidence e.g. white goods/builders rubble etc. a yellow W will be sprayed on the fly tip, which means it has been reported and is ready for clearance by our contractors.
What happens if I take away evidence for safe keeping?
Please do not to remove any evidence from fly tip sites because unfortunately it devalues a possible case and will not be used in the investigation process. As accredited officers we work with burden of proof which means we need to evidence anything collected against an individual or company e.g. found on site, is as stated in the case file and recorded against a set criteria such as the use of photographs and completion of pocket notes books (recognised by the court, entries may need to be exhibited by authorised officers who are accredited by the chief constable).
Is the City Council winning the battle?
To date the City Council has been granted £26,606.84 in fines and costs against the perpetrators of fly tip. As a result of working collaboratively with other local authorities, one of the prosecutions resulted in an offender being given a 12 month custodial sentence.
To date applications to court show a 100% success rate in fly tip prosecutions and that is largely due to the collation of good evidence and the robust processes the Council has in place to demonstrate the transparent and balanced approach taken when tackling environmental crime.
The City Council Enforcement Officer is a member of the Hampshire County Council fly tipping partnership group whose aim it was to support the development of the Hampshire Fly-tipping Strategy. The key aims of this strategy are to:
- Stimulate and maintain a change in behaviour amongst residents, businesses and landowners in their Duty of Care that will help to reduce the amount of fly-tipping in Hampshire;
- Jointly agree the most efficient process for reporting, collection and disposal of illegally dumped waste;
- Work together to maximise investigation and enforcement resources to ensure we use these in the most efficient and cost effective way, to achieve improved outcomes.
Establish a countywide fly tipping working group, who, in addition to supporting delivery of the above aims will also look to work with neighbouring authorities outside of Hampshire as well as Magistrates to encourage greater use of maximum penalties available.
For advice contact: Lesley Bridger or Davina Domone-Hollands via the City Council on 01962 840222 or to report a fly tip use the WCC online report forms.
So, to summarise, what should I do if I find a fly-tip?
- Do not remove anything – all evidence is vital to identify perpetrators.
- Report it on-line or via the telephone system.
- Make a note of the logging number if you wish to check what progress is being made.
- Wait for the Council to remove the fly-tip materials – they need to be allowed at least 24 hours notice to visit with intention of waste removal within 48hrs (once a yellow W has been put on the waste and subject to case load)
- For fly-tipping on private land, we will offer a visit to the site and if evidence collected we will pursue for prosecution as appropriate, however site clearance costs will be the responsibility of the landowner.
- Neighbourhood Service Officers can also offer advice about remedial action in order to reduce the risks of fly tip.
There have been several local complaints about drone activity recently. This mirrors the situation nationally – last year there were 10 complaints a day compared to under 300 for the whole of 2014While further legislation is expected soon the following should help to clarify rights and responsibilities for ‘pilots’ and others.
The regulations for recreational drone flights are contained within the Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO) which is the primary document for all aviation regulations within the UK.
However , in respect of small drones with a mass of 20kg or less, a set of specific, simpler, regulations apply. ).
In simple terms, these regulations state that drone pilots
*are responsible for flying your drone in a safe manner – at least 150 feet from buildings or 500 feet from built up or crowded areas
* must not endanger anyone, or any thing with your drone, including any articles that you drop from it
* must keep the drone in your direct sight at all times while it is flying, so that you can ensure that it does not collide with anything, especially other aircraft. However, you also should recognise that keeping the drone in sight is only half the story as you may not be aware of the effect the drone is having on the ground. Livestock in particular, are panicked by drone activity.
If your drone weighs more than 7kg, additional rules apply if you fly in certain types of airspace and you must not fly above 400ft above the surface
If your drone is fitted with a camera, there are also a number of additional limitations surrounding where you can fly it, and how close you can fly it to other uninvolved people or objects. In order to be able to fly within these areas, or closer than the minimum distances that are in the regulations, you must obtain prior Permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to do so.” Note that flying over gardens etc can upset people.
Drone pilots are legally responsible for any damage caused to people or property ( including livestock) both in civil and criminal law.
Anyone concerned by drone activities should contact Police who will investigate.
Please note the change of contact for the Community Bus is now John Shorrocks
Tel No: 01489 877499 and to hire the bus is now Richard Blackburn Tel No: 01489 877391
The Drone Code
PLEASE do not fly Drones on the Recreation Ground
The Village Agent
Tennis Club Now Open
Last Sunday’s Grand Opening of the new tennis court on Meonstoke Recreation Ground was very successful.
Mince pies were eaten, mulled wine drunk, and the frost just about disappeared for our ‘mini’ members to play with the new mini tennis sets – even some older players managed a few passes across the net!
If you, or any one you know, would be interested in playing or just helping to support this community tennis court please contact through the website – www.meonstoketennisclub.com, or phone the Tennis Court Secretary, Kate Cook on 01489 877050
Resurection of Lay-By
Meonstoke Tennis Club
ANYONE FOR TENNIS?
The long-awaited tennis court at Meonstoke Recreation Ground is nearing completion, and we hope to have the tennis court ready for play in the next few weeks.
The tennis court will be a wonderful addition to the Recreation Ground which already boasts a playground, skateboard area, and gym equipment, and is sited at the far corner of the ground, with easy access for all.
The Meonstoke Tennis Club is a new, not for profit club, and we welcome anyone who lives in our local Meon Valley villages. If you or your family are keen on tennis, or wish to learn, why not consider taking out membership.
To provide the ongoing costs of the court, yet hopefully be affordable to all our residents, the subscription will be £25 per family per year.
Details of how to join will be available shortly on the link from the parish website or directly to: www.meonstoketennisclub.com
Apart from the social aspects of the game, there are enormous health benefits to playing a game of tennis, and it is a great game that all the family can get into. There are no age restrictions, and the Club is particularly keen to encourage younger members to play. We are hoping to arrange tennis lessons, including Mini Tennis for the under 8s and family-friendly sessions for Members in the very near future.
We hope to keep you posted with an update of events that we have planned over the forthcoming year.
Work is well underway to build a new community tennis court in the corner of the Recreation Ground in Meonstoke.
Hampshire County Council Consultation & District Response
Councillors – Uper Meon Valley
County Councillor Roger Huxstep
City Councillor Laurence Ruffell, Conservative
City Councillor Hugh Lumby Conservative
Drop In Coffee Morning
Drop in Coffee Morning 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month for a chat and a cake from10:00am – 12noon at St Andrews Church, all are welcome!
Please see below an email received from David Street, if anyone would like to contact him or Hampshire County Council Rights of Way regarding footpaths needing attention, please see details below.
I am writing to you initially so that the parish council is aware of my approach. although I note from your website that Rowena Hyder is responsible for the MVT and footpaths.
I am a committee member of the Waltham Ramblers Group of the Ramblers
Association. Ramblers Groups are allocated a number of parishes to “look after”. That means that we have a footpath warden for the parish – a very pleasant task that I have undertaken for the past 3 years for
Corhampton and Meonstoke. We carry out an audit for Hampshire County
Council Countryside Service of all RoWs in the parish about every 5
years. This provides HCC with a detailed report about the state of each RoW.
In addition, I check all RoWs at least twice a year and report any defects to the Countryside Service. I can put up waymarks where there is somewhere to put them. The Countryside Service needs to install posts at present. In the past the Countryside Service has been quite responsive but, with cuts in staff and budgets, the service is bound to become worse. With that in mind, Waltham Ramblers has recently set up a group of volunteers who can replace stiles with gates and assist with vegetation clearance on paths which the Countryside Service do not clear.
We are also contacting all parish councils with a view to working with
them in order to pool resources and organise self-help groups.
We would like local people to be our eyes on the ground and report any problems they see, either to me or to the Countryside Service direct. We would like local people to help to keep their RoWs in good order by supplementing what the Countryside Service and our Group can offer.
contact details are: David Street 01489 896331
More details here
Meon Valley bus timetables
Our regular village bus service, No 17, has now been reduced to operate only two journeys to Bishops Waltham and Petersfield on Wednesdays only.
How can I report a problem with litter? If you have a problem with litter email email@example.com or alternatively ring 01962 840222
Meonstoke playgrounds – incident reporting
If you see something that is potentially unsafe or needs attention in the playground or on the recreation ground then please notify the Clerk by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Highway maintenance issues
All issues, including pot holes, drainage problems, overgrown hedges & verges, damaged signs or worn carriageway lining, should be reported using HCC’s website – www.hants.gov.uk/roads or by phoning Highways on 0300 555 1388
Does your property have riverside frontage?
To see details of ‘Living on the edge – a guide to your rights and responsibilities of riverside ownership please visit the Environment Agency website – www.environment-agency.gov.uk