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Sunday, 17 February 2019

A46 Link Road

Updated 18th February 2019

Regrettably, the route options for the proposed new road are still being kept secret by local authorities and our elected councillors are colluding with that secrecy. Councillors have the authority to mandate full publication, overriding council officers.

None the less, it is intended to proceed with phase one of this proposal i.e  the creation of another bridge over the A46 at Stoneleigh to create a roundabout junction. Some preliminary work clearing woodland has already been undertaken.

Going ahead with “phase 1” when there is no clarification of “phase 2” and “phase 3” of the road, is at best premature. And in fact, even the phase one proposal does not have the full planning permission approval required from the Department for Transport.  A previous application to the DfT for that permission by Warwickshire County Council triggered a number of objections sent to the DfT. This triggered the announcement of a public enquiry. But, in response,  that application was withdrawn by the council and the whole process has been started again. Previous objections have not been carried over.  So there is only until midnight Monday 18th February to get new objections in to the Department for Transport.

Reasons for objecting to the proposal can be summarised as:

  • The A46 Link Road is not a proposal of any Local Plan now in force in the areas it would run through. It is not shown on any public Proposals Map or Policies Map. 
  • The A46 Link Road would be highly damaging to the countryside south and west of Coventry, which is in the Green Belt. It would enable release of land for development which is currently agricultural land, woodland or available for recreation. The established pattern of urban areas surrounded by Green Belt would be undermined and eventually lost. 
  • The need for the A46 Link Road has not been shown; it appears to be promoted for development purposes rather than to meet any problem on the present road system. The existing main roads, A46, A45, and A452 have provided sufficient access and linkage for the present level of development and there is no current public pressure or demand for further road capacity. They have congestion at peak hours inevitably, but operate freely off-peak and at weekends; peak hour delays are not grounds for new road-building when tested against national transport policy to encourage use of other modes of transport. 
  • There has been no public consultation on the A46 Link Road, and no date for such consultation has been announced. Phase 1 has now been promoted by Highways Act Orders ahead of consultation on the proposed road as a whole. These Orders are the first opportunity those affected by or concerned about the A46 Link Road have to give their views on it or to lodge objections. While a planning permission for the Stoneleigh Junction enlargement has been granted by Warwickshire County Council to itself under deemed-permission regulations, that did not involve any independent appraisal or right to an independent hearing and does not restrict scope for objections to these Orders. 
  • Warwickshire County Council should be asked to either bring forward the overall A46 Link Road proposal, or if they cannot do this to assent to these Orders been held in suspension until the full A46 Link Road is published and a public inquiry into the full proposal can be held. If not, a public inquiry into these Orders is requested. 


Originally Posted 18th January 2019

The following map has been produced by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and shows a proposed route for an A46 link road (dashed line in red). You can enlarge this plan to full screen size by clicking the image...


The source for that map is the Solihull Local Plan Review, 17th January 2019. A copy of that document, which includes that map, can be found on the Cheswick Green Residents' Association website, here:
http://www.cgra.org.uk/2019/01/15/local-development-plan-review/

The following map has been produced by a local resident and shows possible speculative routes for the link road beyond the boundaries of the plan above...



This is part of a secret map, obtained from SMBC under a Freedom of Information request in October 2018...



Previous Posts on This Subject

October 2018 - the secret collusion scandal
https://burtongreen.blogspot.com/2018/08/a46-relief-road.html

June 2017
https://burtongreen.blogspot.com/2017/05/a46-link-road.html

December 2016
https://burtongreen.blogspot.com/2016/11/major-new-link-road.html

Kenilworth Community Forum - Policing Priority Vote

The Kenilworth Community Forum policing priorities vote is now live.

Suggested priorities are:

  • ASB / Reassurance Patrols – Kenilworth Parks & Open Spaces
  • Crime Reduction Patrols – Kenilworth Town Centre
  • Speed Checks / Monitoring – Cromwell Lane, Burton Green
  • Burglary Prevention Patrols - Kenilworth
  • Vehicle Crime Prevention Patrols – Kenilworth

You can cast your vote here:
https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/article/57365 

Voting closes 4th March 2019.

Don’t forget to vote!

Thursday, 7 February 2019

HS2 Community Visits, Ground Surveys and News

The HS2 Community Engagement Team will next be visiting Burton Green Village Hall on the following dates to answer any questions you may have.
  • Monday 11th Feb, 3pm - 5pm. 
  • Monday 8th April, 6pm - 8pm.

HS2 will be undertaking ground surveys in Burton Green from 11th February for a period of 5 weeks.


The ground surveys are critical for determining the stability of the ground, which will determine the cost of track construction, and the ultimate speed of trains.


Other HS2 News

This is an article in The Spectator (9th February)...



Extracts:

The controversy has so far focused on the shabby treatment of those with homes on the HS2 route, subject to compulsory purchase... But with demolition work underway in London and Birmingham, and construction soon starting in earnest, the rationale of the project itself is being questioned at the heart of government. The UK’s new super-train could soon be called to a halt...

An unglamorous truth is dawning — that the UK needs to solve its national rail issues by investing not in trophy assets but in existing infrastructure, channelling cash into the humdrum local services that get commuters to work. ‘The case for HS2 is and always was nonsense,’ says one cabinet minister...

‘In the next Tory leadership contest,’ a cabinet colleague adds, ‘the winning candidate will need to have “Scrap HS2” in his or her leadership manifesto — as in: call the whole thing off.’

Complete article:
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/02/is-the-financial-logic-behind-hs2-collapsing/


Channel 4 Documentary Monday 11th February







The program can be viewed on demand here:
https://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/on-demand/69215-001

A summary of the program, from the Channel 4 Press Office, is here:
https://www.channel4.com/press/news/hs2-great-train-robbery-channel-4-dispatches


Fewer and Slower Trains Raise Doubts About The Business Case

The most recent news from Westminster is that David Lidington, the deputy Prime Minister, has asked HS2 to review the business case for the project. 

This review comes in the light of revelations that the number of trains running on the line may be need to be fewer than originally planned, and that speeds may need to be slower than originally planned. These constraints are in part due to ground conditions.



"Theresa May's deputy has warned that a proposed reduction in the number of trains running along High Speed 2 will "seriously undermine" the case for continuing with the project. David Lidington has asked HS2 Ltd, the government-owned firm behind the scheme to set out the "current business case" for the £56 billion project..."

Complete report:



Extracts:

HS2 could be forced to slash the number of trains it runs on the line in a desperate bid to keep control over its £56 billion budget... The move would cut the capacity of the line by the equivalent of 8,800 passengers per hour during peak times....  

The option of reducing the number of trains able to run on the line was revealed to MPs at a briefing on November 20 by Mark Thurston, HS2's chief executive... These changes included possibly lowering the speed that trains will operate at on the line by around 50 km/h, reducing the number of trains from 18 per hour to 14, and changing from a slab track to a ballast track...

In her letter to Mr Thurston, Mrs Leadsom, who campaigned against HS2 as a backbencher, said: "Given the business case for HS2 was first predicated upon speed, then on capacity then finally on improving connectivity with the north, can I ask how these changes - separately and cumulatively - would impact on the viability of the project? ... My constituents are naturally concerned that changes to the project could undermine the business case, negatively affect the benefit-cost ratio, and reduce the value for taxpayers' money."

Complete report:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/12/hs2-could-built-carry-thousands-fewer-passengers-part-attempts/

Andrea Leadsom's complete letter is here:
Andrea Leadsom Letter (PDF document)


White Elephant Projects Will Be Axed

As an independent development, on January 5th, Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said that the Government will examine all major investment projects across Government as part of a review later this year.



Extracts:

Ministers must be prepared to scrap expensive "white elephant" projects... "we must be prepared to junk the white elephants, the programmes that haven’t worked" ... 

The announcement is likely to be welcomed by Tory MPs opposed to controversial projects such as the £56 billion HS2 rail line.

Complete report:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/01/05/scrap-white-elephant-projects-says-liz-truss/



Previous Post on this Subject, 'Pull the Plug on HS2'

https://burtongreen.blogspot.com/2019/01/pull-plug-on-hs2.html

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Neighbourhood Crime

There was a serious burglary in Westwood Heath on Monday 28th January.

Three males entered a house, in daylight, attacked the female occupant, and stole jewellery. These images were taken by CCTV...



There seems to have been an increase in neighbourhood crime recently.

Examples...
  • 7 February - beehive and garden bench stolen from Red Lane; incident 143
  • 25 January - shed ransacked in Cromwell Lane; mower, strimmer, leaf blower and hedge cutter were stolen; incident 191
  • 23 January - shed theft Cromwell Lane; garden vacuum and hedge trimmer stolen; incident 427
  • 22 January - shed theft Cromwell Lane; peteol hedge cutter stolen; incident 254
  • 22 January - attempted shed theft in Cromwell Lane; incident 133
  • 3 January - report of attempted break-in in Westwood Heath
  • 29 December - house break-in in Westwood Heath
  • 15 December  - car stolen from Cromwell Lane; incident 363
  • 11 December  - attempted burglary in Red Lane
  • 10 December - report of two attempted break-ins in Westwood Heath
There may have been other incidents.

This issue was raised at the January 23rd meeting of the Burton Green Residents' Association...
"A resident had made contact with concerns about break-ins to sheds in which the police showed no interest.  Various measures were discussed including the employment by Westwood Heath residents of a security firm and the use of Street Watch community patrols."

Action by Westwood Heath Residents' Association

Westwood Heath Residents' Association have been investigating both a voluntary Street Watch scheme, and the possibility of employing a private security firm. Proposals are described on the Westwood Heath Facebook page (requires privileged access to view):
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Westwoodheath/permalink/2233181786732073/


Street Watch

Street Watch is a national scheme in which local volunteers patrol the street. There is a webpage for the Street Watch scheme, here:
http://www.street-watch.org/

That page has no contact details and does not appear to be funded by any official agency.

According to that page, only 5 police forces in the country seem to provide any training or other support for the scheme (Bedfordshire, Havering, West Midlands, Northamptonshire, Redbridge). West Midlands Police (Coventry and Solihull) is one of them; Warwickshire is not.


Kenilworth Neighbourhood Watch

Details have also been circulated, around Burton Green, of the Kenilworth Neighbourhood Watch, which covers Burton Green. Notices from Kenilworth Watch can be viewed here:
https://kenilworthnwatch.wordpress.com/

Kenilworth Watch also have a Twitter account. This basically provides timely alerts to the information on the website:
https://twitter.com/kenilworthwatch/

The Kenilworth Watch webpage is run and updated by Fraser Pithie.

There are several important social and political factors which have a bearing on neighbourhood crime.

In 2012, Fraser Pithie was a vocal supporter of plans to reduce funding for the Police Force, including reducing the number of officers on the beat. See:
https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/would-be-tory-warwickshire-police-commissioner-3022861

Fraser Pithie also supported the use of private firms to carry out the role of front-line policing:
https://www.leamingtoncourier.co.uk/news/fury-at-g4s-adverts-for-front-line-police-roles-in-warwickshire-1-4176310


The National Picture

There have also been two relevant articles in The Telegraph this week (25th and 26th January):


Extract:
Operational decisions are matters for the police but the Home Office could at least make it clear that the public expects to see a greater deployment of beat officers... The public does not want the police to waste their time investigating offensive online comments but to focus on what matters to most people. Everyone knows there are deeper causes of violent offending that cannot be resolved by policing alone but these take generations to turn around. They must not be an excuse for failing to do what can be done in the short term.
Complete article:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2019/01/25/public-expects-see-officers-beat-response-rising-crime/




This is an article written by Sergeant Richard Cooke, Chair of the West Midlands Police Federation.

Extract:
Soaring violent crime is not just due to cuts to the number of police officers, although let’s be clear, this is a massive part of the problem... 
I believe that while we do require urgent investment, we could achieve more with better organisation and focus. In order to do that, we must be clear about what actually constitutes a crime. Already incredulous that the Home Office is thinking of extending the categories of existing Hate Crime, to misogyny and ageism...
Complete article:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/26/crime-will-continue-rise-us-bobbies-released-shackles-pc-police/


Sunday, 3 February 2019

Kenilworth Community in Action


Comprehensive details of this event are here:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kenilworth-community-in-action-2019-registration-54217797893




There are at least 40 community groups taking part in the afternoon showcase event:

  • Abbey Hill URC, Cancer Vaccines Charitable Trust
  • CELST (Lipreading)
  • Chinewrde Morris Dancers, Cycleways
  • Harry Sunley Memorial Project
  • Heartsafe Kenilworth
  • Warwickshire Heartsafe
  • Kenilworth All Together Greener, Kenilworth Chamber of Trade
  • Kenilworth Civic Society
  • Kenilworth Family History Society
  • Kenilworth Footpath Preservation Group
  • Kenilworth History & Archaeology Society, Kenilworth Lions
  • Kenilworth Methodist Church
  • Kenilworth Phab
  • Kenilworth Talking News Association
  • Kenilworth Twinning Association
  • Kenilworth U3A
  • Kenilworth Women’s Institute
  • Ladies Link
  • London North Western Railway Society
  • Royal British Legion Kenilworth Branch
  • Simply Social
  • Soroptomist International
  • St John’s Church
  • Sustrans & Kenilworth Greenway
  • The Kenilworth Centre & Radio Abbey
  • The Kenilworth National Women's Register
  • The Omega Course
  • The Spring Playgroup
  • Tools With A Mission (TWAM)
  • Warwick & Leamington Beekeepers
  • Warwick And Kenilworth Choral Society
  • Warwickshire CAVA
  • Warwickshire Vision Support
  • Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
  • Waverley Day Centre.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Village Hall Games Night

VILLAGE HALL GAMES NIGHT
Saturday 16th February


This will consist of teams competing in simple games such as 
Table Top Bowling, Hoola Hoop, Darts, Skittles plus more.

There will be a Ploughmans Supper but bring your own drinks. 
Only £10.00 per person.  All ages welcome.

If you are interested please contact Jill on 02476462070.
.
Please come and join in the fun, either as a team of 6 or join with others to make a team.

Start time 7.00pm

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Draft Minutes of Residents' Association Committee 23rd January 2019



Present
Hilary Cox; Paddy Deeley; Andy Gibbs; Helen Hehir; Judi Hibberd; Janet Hickinbottom; Bron Putnam; Faith Ward; and Mary Webb.


1. Apologies and Minutes of the last meeting

Apologies had been received from Dianne Adams and Rona Taylor.

Summary of actions following the meetingResponsible
Resident to be contacted about overgrown hedgeRona
Progress Red Lane shelter projectMary and Faith
Invite Fiona Anderson to next meetingRona
Treasurer’s Report to be re-sent and Dianne updated on circulation listJudi
Note when Cala Homes site office openedPaddy
Keep Cala Homes site office on agendaJudi
Inform Westwood Heath Residents’ Association about Santa Sleigh collection next yearMary
Communication with PC regarding the preceptPaddy, Mary and Rona
Seek advice on ways to deter litter and arrange litter pickMary
Peter Hallam to be informed of blocked drainsMary
Further details to be sought regarding Street Watch or other measuresMary
Response to resident regarding measures discussed after break-ins to shedsRona


Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising

See Minutes of December 11th

The minutes of the December 11th meeting were approved.


Matters Arising from the previous minutes

  • Red Lane lamppost - this was now working.
  • Hodgett’s Lane overgrown hedge - Rona had not yet managed to contact the resident. Action: Rona
  • Presentation date for Canley Community Centre cheque - had been contacted.
  • Red Lane shelter project - Details would be placed in the March edition of the Bugle to ask for volunteers to help with this project as funding was available. Faith would also speak to her neighbour, a builder. Action: Mary and Faith
  • Invite to Fiona Anderson - Rona still to contact. Action: Rona

All other matters arising had been covered or were to be agenda items.


2. Treasurer's Report

A report had been circulated. Not all committee members had received this and so Judi would send round and would also send Dianne an updated contacts list. Action: Judi

Dianne had applied for internet banking.


3. Residents' views/concerns

  • A resident had expressed concern at the number of empty houses in the village as a result of HS2 purchases. This matter was to be taken up by the Parish Council.
  • Rubbish on the exterior of the CALA Homes site had been pointed out and Cala Homes had agreed to clear the boundaries of litter.


4. Update on and discussion of Residents' Association initiatives and issues

Cala Homes update
There was now a site office. Contact would be made when the sales office opened to enquire if we could leave Welcome Packs. Paddy would monitor this, and Judi would keep it as an agenda item. Action: Paddy and Judi

Review of Santa Sleigh evening
This had been a successful event though fewer people were at home so only £500 was collected this year. It was suggested that information was sent in advance to the Westwood Heath Residents’ Association as a number of residents said they were not told that Santa would be visiting. Action: Mary

Storage in the new Village Hall
Mary was storing many items on behalf of BGRA. She would liaise with Deirdre regarding the need for storage facilities in the new hall. Action: Mary

Precept and subscriptions collection
Rona had discussed with the PC replacement of the collection of BGRA subscriptions by funding from the precept.

It was agreed that a letter would be sent to, the Parish Council agreeing to their suggestion that the precept would include a sum of approximately £1200 (amount to be finalised) to cover BGRA annual expenses. This would remove the need for the onerous task of volunteers going house to house collecting subscriptions.

Paddy agreed to find, the current number of properties within Burton Green and Mary would pass on a breakdown of current costs. This would be checked against what the PC was allowed to use precept monies for, and Tracey Gate of the PC would be asked for her advice on restriction. Mary would include details in the Bugle. Action: Paddy and Mary


5. Village Hall

HS2 had informed the Village Hall trustees of a further delay so a date of the end of 2020 looked more likely for the new Hall. HS2 had agreed to extend the lease on the current Village Hall accordingly.


6. Parish Councillor's Report

A Neighbourhood Plan meeting was scheduled for the following week. Once the Plan had been updated a public meeting would be held. It was hoped a date could be included in the next Bugle.


7.  Any Other Business

  • Poppy collection tin had raised £20
  • A question was asked about signs to deter people from littering the village. A competition at the school to create posters had been suggested. Mary agreed to seek advice from our contact at Warwickshire County Council.
  • A community litter pick would be arranged for early Spring. Action: Mary
  • Blocked drains were again a problem. These were identified and Peter Hallam would be contacted. Action: Mary
  • A resident had made contact with concerns about break-ins to sheds in which the police showed no interest.  Various measures were discussed including the employment by Westwood Heath residents of a security firm and the use of Street Watch community patrols. Mary agreed to make further enquiries about this. Action Mary
  • Rona would reply to the concerned resident. Action Rona
  • Paddy would find and re-circulate on the email loop details of how to receive alerts now that there was not an operational Neighbourhood Watch system. Action Paddy
  • A breakfast was to be held in support of Kenilworth Helping Hands on Sunday March 24th or Sunday April 28th (date to be confirmed)



8. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting

The next committee meetings were scheduled for

March 13th, May 15th, July 17th, Sept 11th, AGM Sept 30th, Nov 27th