LS Blog Article

Published on Monday, 29th October 2018

 

The LibDems that run the City Council have formally decided to reintroduce two residents parking schemes, both of which caused widespread problems when they were in place five years ago. Between them, the two areas cover most of the area between Albert Road and Goldsmith Avenue and out to Francis Avenue. These schemes were taken out by the Conservatives because of the knock-on problems they caused elsewhere, but now they are coming back and in essentially the same form as before. This is not a good idea. 

 

The inevitable consequence of this will be the gradual extension of residents’ restrictions across the whole of Southsea as people in area after area become irate at being made the dumping ground for surplus cars from miles around. The real choice is between leaving things as they are or bringing in restrictions across a wide area. To pretend otherwise is to deny reality.

 

Instead the council is sticking to the line that somehow it is democratic to let people vote to move the student cars out of their streets and into someone else’s. It’s also expensive. First permits are £30, second ones £100 and third ones £590. There are however plenty of households containing three adults, each of whom needs a car for work.

 

I am asking for the council to look at a wide area scheme. As the existing parking problems in most of the area are less intense than in most of Southsea, punitive charging should not be used for second or third permits.

 

Tags : Parking

Published on Monday, 29th October 2018

 

In recognition of the pressures on Adult Social Care services across the country, the government has made available £250m in extra funding this year to councils across England. Portsmouth’s share is £890,000, which will offset some of the £3m overspend. There is speculation that there may be further help in the budget this afternoon.

 

Tags : Social Care

Published on Monday, 29th October 2018

 

One of the inevitable consequences of a change in control of the council is that some projects get left unfinished. One, which I particularly regret may now not happen, was to improve the lighting between Guildhall Square and the station.

 

Over the last four budgets, I managed to get £1.6m set aside to do something about the state of the public realm city centre. That is only perhaps a tenth of the amount needed to redo all of it but at least it is enough to make a start. 

 

At the time of the election, I was pushing for new steps between the rear of the Civic Offices and Guildhall Square, removing some of the ramps facing Isambard Kingdom Brunel Road and installing some extra lighting. For about £300,000, that could have included a sophisticated projector system that would have allowed videos to be beamed onto a cut-out of the Guildhall. The effects can be spectacular – see here for an example . This could have benefited the late night economy and encouraged more evening visitors into the city. It may well have been possible to find University students only too keen to make films to show.

 

Tags : City Centre 

Published on Friday, 14th September 2018

 

Tomorrow is the Marine Conservation Society’s annual nationwide survey of the nation’s shoreline. This is a bit more than a beach clean as volunteers also have to log what they find.

 

Anyone who wants to take part should meet by Rocksby’s café, between the Pier and the Pyramids at 10am. 

 

Tags: Beach clean, Environment

Published on Friday, 14th September 2018

 

Two formal consultations on extending residents’ parking to some areas north of Albert Road end on September 20th. If they approved – and quite frankly from the political leaflets that have gone out in that area, they are going to be – it will mean two areas removed in 2014 will be reinstated. This includes the notorious MB zone, which had 1200 spaces, but only 800 permits issued, resulting in vast numbers of empty spaces around-the-clock.

 

It just isn’t possible to extend residents’ parking further in a piecemeal way. You either need to cover a very wide area or to leave things along; nothing in between is workable because of the inevitable displacement of vehicles.

 

You can see details of the areas covered here and here and can comment by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Tags: Parking

Published on Friday, 14th September 2018

(The blue areas are those likely to be subject of another planning application later)

 

A planning application has come forward for the former Southsea Police Station site in Highland Road. If granted, it will be converted into eighteen flats; its appearance will be largely unchanged; sixteen parking spaces are proposed.

 

Protecting the existing building is important and so at first glance this scheme appears positive, although it becomes less clear cut when you consider some of the details. Fully thirteen of the flats would be one-bedroom, with just a single two-bedroom unit and four studios. The latter would be small, with the smallest just 25m2 – or roughly half the size of an average one-bedroom flat. Moreover parts of the car park are being hived off, presumably for a new build scheme down the line.

 

Some of the application documents are not filled in correctly, but I think I am right in saying that all the units would be for market sale or rent.

 

The best outcome for the area would be to see the old building not just left in tact but to see it brought up to a standard where it becomes an asset to Highland Road. The worry is that we’ll just end up with a cheap conversion.

 

The application reference number is 18/01351/FUL should you wish to comment. The easiest way of doing so is to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Tags: Planning

Published on Wednesday, 22nd August 2018

 

Monday is the final day for comments on the Southsea flood defence proposals. There’s a whole website worth of publicity material here. Some of the proposed changes are quite radical, such as by South Parade Pier, where the plans show a new 1.2m wall, with a large number of boulders behind. The consultation presents options in a number of locations. 

 

A planning application is expected in the autumn.

 

Tags: Flood defences, seafront