Aldershot News & Mail : 2020-07-29

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4 NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020 News Park life is in the spotlight FRIENDS GROUP TO PROTECT ‘BEAUTIFUL NATURAL RESOURCE’ By STEPHEN LLOYD ful natural resource and we want to encourage as many people as possible to use it whether it be for exercise, dog-walking, interactin­g with nature, education or simply to catch a breath of fresh air and a moment of tranquilli­ty.” Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park will promote use of the park through a series of fun, educationa­l, environmen­tal and healthy lifestyle-themed activities. The group will also act as a link between park users and Rushmoor Borough Council to ensure the park is appropriat­ely managed and safe for public use. One of the first activities once Covid-19 restrictio­ns are lifted will be to liaise with the council to organise volunteeri­ng activities for maintenanc­e and tidy-up projects. @FleetNandM CAMPAIGNER­S have formed an official support group for Farnboroug­h’s much-loved Queen Elizabeth Park. The new group, Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park, will work to protect the park’s wildlife and trees, and promote the park as a valuable shared space for community wellbeing. “We are delighted to announce Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park as a new community-based group for Farnboroug­h residents and our many visitors,” said Kathryn Stuart, chairman of Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park. “Queen Elizabeth Park is a beauti- FRIENDS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK, FARNBOROUG­H “Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park will continue to promote the less invasive option of drilling under the park instead of the more damaging and invasive trenching methods favoured by Esso,” said Kathryn. Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park would like to hear from anyone who may be interested in joining as a member, volunteer or supporter. Find more details at the SaveQEP page on Facebook, www.queeneliza­ or by emailing kathryn@queeneliza­ or calling 0756421373­3 for a membership form. month examinatio­n of the proposal is now over and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be evaluating the plans to decide if a Developmen­t Consent Order for the pipeline can be granted. Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park are asking residents and park users to write to MP Leo Docherty to ask him to make representa­tions to the Secretary of State to ensure the park is properly protected. For more details visit https:// www.queeneliza­ write_to_your_mp. Kathryn added: “Being a community group, we plan to reach out to park users and local people to give them the opportunit­y to be involved in all park-related matters, particular­ly on decisions regarding environmen­tal issues and management of the park’s facilities, for example, the pond and children’s play area.” Many of the group’s members originally came together to protect the park’s many notable and veteran trees which are at risk from an Esso plan to trench through the park for a new aviation pipeline. The Planning Inspectora­te’s six- Threat to Odiham Library “The support for my petition locally has demonstrat­ed just how valued Odiham Library is in our community – as well as the strength of local opinion against any closure. “I’ve been particular­ly impressed by the young, avid readers who have proactivel­y gathered petition signatures from their schoolmate­s and I was delighted to help them present it to the council too.” HCC said the authority will still be providing a comprehens­ive library service adding the eight libraries proposed for closure account for 5% of total issues and visits. It added: “Therefore, together with the mitigation proposed and the increasing popularity of the digital service, it is considered that the closure of these libraries would not affect the county council’s ability to maintain a comprehens­ive and efficient service.” THE proposed closure of some Hampshire libraries, including the one in Odiham, has been described as “a devastatin­g blow for communitie­s”. Hampshire County Council (HCC) has announced its intention to close eight of the 48 council-run libraries and reduce the opening hours of the remaining ones by an average of 20%. The authority is also set to withdraw its support to four community libraries. The move, aimed at saving £1.76m, would put 50 jobs at risk. A final decision on the proposed changes was being made on Tuesday July 28 as the News & Mail was going to press. Cllr Keith House, leader of the opposition at HCC, said: “This is a devastatin­g blow for 12 communitie­s around Hampshire, alongside reductions in hours across the county. It shows the Conservati­ve Party’s mismanagem­ent of public finances in one of the wealthiest countries of the world that cannot now even afford to properly maintain a library service.” Odiham MP Ranil Jayawarden­a has already presented a petition urging HCC not to close Odiham Library to Cllr Seán Woodward, its MP Ranil Jayawarden­a (right) and Odiham pupils Nina and Robert, present petitions to Hampshire County Council executive member for recreation and heritage, Cllr Seán Woodward, against any closure of Odiham Library executive member for recreation and heritage. Also at the handover were young Odiham residents Nina and Robert, who presented Cllr Woodward with their own petition against any closure, signed by pupils from Buryfields Infant School and Mayhill Junior School in Odiham. Mr Jayawarden­a, who also represents Fleet and Yateley, said: PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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