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Eastleigh Borough Council have not put the Local Plan for 2011 - 2029 in place.

Despite it being four years late, there does not seem to be any urgency. Why does this matter? Take the example of a council in the Mendips, where the BBC reported in January 2014, that the lack of Local Plan meant, according to the local councillor who is in charge of planning, that some developers are “getting away” with building houses they might not have, were there a plan in place. “It is important that our Local Plan is examined and adopted as quickly as possible because this will give the council a much stronger hand in deciding where planning applications should be approved or refused,” he added.

In Eastleigh there is, of course, far more demand for homes than in the Mendips, so we have been left open to far more uncoordinated development without planning any improvements to roads, rail and bus services, schools and surgeries, pavements and cyclepaths.

New homes (10,360 in the draft plan)EBC_Local_Plan.jpg
Source: EBC

Housing crisis There is a housing crisis, but piecemeal development is not the way to solve it. Currently we have a Coalition government who stimulate demand for housing with ‘help-to-buy’ but at the same time build fewer homes than since the 1920s, meaning in popular places like Eastleigh, 1/. local people watch their children move away as they are not given priority (as they are in Labour-run Southampton) and, 2/. Local Authorities without a Local Plan in place, such as Mendip and Eastleigh, are pressured by developers they cannot refuse to accept unplanned development.

Don’t be Dense
Eastleigh is already far more crowded than most of the South East. In fact we have almost SIX times the density of Basingstoke!

There are 15.7 people per hectare living in Eastleigh. This is above both the South East and England and Wales population densities of 4.5 and 3.7 respectively. (Census 2011)

In Hampshire as a whole there is only 3.59 people per hectare, even urban districts like Basingstoke for example have only 2.66 people per hectare despite having a smaller land area than Eastleigh.

 Leigh_Road.jpg
Leigh Road Traffic

Planning to Fail

Eastleigh Borough Council have not put the Local Plan for 2011 - 2029 in place. Despite it being four years late, there does not seem to be any urgency. Why...

The six year community campaign for new health services on the Moorgreen Hospital site was boosted by a talk from Inger Hebden Director of Commissioning, Long Term Conditions and Community at West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group which now oversees the NHS in our area.

Moorgreen_Hospital.jpg

Despite the Council’s plans to build some 115 homes on 25 acres of the Moorgreen site, part of the site, the “Donkey Field”, will be kept for future health service expansion.

There are services on the site now such as mental health, speech and language therapy, chronic pain and rheumatology clinics.

Cancer treatment, the lack of which is a concern to residents we have met on the doorstep, is limited to one day a week.

We asked about the present difficulties of the Care Team which include doctors, social workers and therapists. We said that District Nurses, an essential part of the team, are apparently experiencing great difficulties at the moment and it was confirmed that recruitment is well behind.

This first meeting with the clinical commissioning group is part of an ongoing effort. Other organisations, as well as the majority of the public in the area, see the need to adopt physical health services to relieve pressure on other centres and to cut down the need to travel.

More at Moorgreen Please

The six year community campaign for new health services on the Moorgreen Hospital site was boosted by a talk from Inger Hebden Director of Commissioning, Long Term Conditions and Community...

NHS Cuts - Bitterne Walk-In Centre may be reprieved - public petition launched

Plans to close the Bitterne NHS Walk-In Centre have been proposed, then reconsidered, by the Coalition’s newMark_Latham.jpg

Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Following a meeting in late October of Southampton’s health scrutiny committee, health bosses said they would “reconsider” the closure. Rowenna Davis, Labour candidate for Itchen said “the fight isn’t over yet. The Clinical Commissioning Group has said it will take the people’s verdict seriously, but their board is yet to make the final decision. We can’t be complacent, we must keep up the pressure. If you haven’t already signed the petition, please make sure you do”

You can sign the petition online at: www.thepetitionsite.com and search ‘Bitterne’.

Many residents in West End, Hedge End, Bursledon, and Netley have expressed their shock and surprise to me when they’ve been told of the proposals. Many have told me how much they rely on the walk-in centre.

A&E waiting
The number of people waiting for a long time at A&E at the General has doubled since 2010; more than one patient in ten waits over four hours to be seen yet residents told me how the BWI Centre relieves pressure on Southampton General A&E department as it is open until 9:30 pm in the evening. Eastleigh residents from all over the borough use this facility, I’d like to hear your views, you can go online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bitterne-wic.

I will join Southampton Labour MP John Denham and Itchen candidate Rowenna Davis in fighting to keep the Centre open. Here are the reasons and issues behind why the Centre has reached this state:

Why is the Bitterne NHS Walk-In Centre under threat?
The local NHS is under pressure from Coalition cuts:

- In Southampton over £16 million was wasted on the Coalition’s NHS reorganisation that no one wanted; that’s more than ten times the money that would be saved by closing the Bitterne NHS Walk-In Centre!
- The NHS is short of community nursing staff to look after older people at home,
- Some GP practices can’t recruit doctors because of the financial and workload pressures on GPs
- Many patients find they wait a long time to see a GP

What is proposed?
- The CCG wants to shut the Bitterne NHS Walk-In Centre and spend the money saved, about £1.4m, on community nurses to look after the elderly, hoping fewer will have to go into hospital if they become ill. Around 20,000 patients a year using the NHS Walk-In Centre will lose the service.

The issues
There is a real crisis caused by central government policies. This leaves local health leaders facing difficult decisions. We understand why they want to spend more on community nursing for older people. However:

- Residents are very concerned that we have not been given detailed information on the cost of the Bitterne NHS Walk-In Centre.
- There are no alternative proposals; for example to invest more money in enabling patients to see local GPs and nurses easily.
- Our own West Hants CCG should be contributing to keep the Bitterne NHS Walk-In Centre open. Patients need access to care when they choose not masterplans and reorganisations of health quangos.

The Daily Echo recently reported Southampton Conservatives had suggested moving the Centre to a local pharmacy but the CCG said they knew nothing of these plans. We are also told it could be a temporary closure. This piecemeal approach is not acceptable to Eastleigh users of this clinic – we need a consultation and a plan.

On/Off Threat to Walk-In Centre

NHS Cuts - Bitterne Walk-In Centre may be reprieved - public petition launched Plans to close the Bitterne NHS Walk-In Centre have been proposed, then reconsidered, by the Coalition’s new...

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