Your windswept Friday team is here:
James Birdseye welcomes you to the show, Harrison RB has Petersfield’s local news, our blustery local weather is with Kate Fairweather, James Robbins looks ahead to our local weekend sport and Matt Soanes updates the national and world news.
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The South Downs National Park Authority has called on the Government to reform the funding system for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks.
Currently the South Downs National Park is awarded funding each year, giving those in charge little certainty over the fate of long-term nature restoration projects.
CEO Trevor Beattie has been quoted in the i newspaper, saying: “Landscape and biodiversity changes don’t happen overnight. It’s a long-term process, and it needs long-term security of funding.”
His comments come as conservation groups warned that the UK Government must back up the PM’s pledge to increase the amount of land protected for nature, with more funding and support to drive nature restoration.
At a virtual UN summit on biodiversity, Boris Johnson announced the UK would protect at least 30 per cent of UK land for nature by 2030.
Hampshire County Council is aiming to save £1.76m from the Library Service.
Their proposals would see the closure of the sites in Blackfield, Lyndhurst, Fair Oak, South Ham, Elson, Horndean, Lee-on-the-Solent and Odiham.
The decision was made following an extensive public consultation, which showed strong support for the County Council’s vision to adapt the service to the changing needs of its customers.
While the Petersfield Library would remain open, all remaining libraries will have their hours reduced by 20%.
The union Unison has said the council is being “far too hasty”.
Two local schools have joined a team called Rethinking Assessment that aims to scrap GCSEs and find a new way to assess pupils.
The head of the Bohunt Educational Trust Neil Strowger and the Head of Bedales School, Magnus Bashaarat (Mag-Nus Bash-arr-ut) join a coalition of partners from schools, politics, business, and academia to put pressure on the government to reform GCSEs.
The group believes the current system does not reflect pupils actual capabilities and is stress and anxiety inducing for teenagers. GCSEs came under increased pressure this summer after the results fiasco and subsequent government u-turn.
Included in the Rethinking Assessment group is Lord Ken Baker, the former Secretary of State for Education and it has already received national press coverage.
East Hampshire District Council will be merging its staff with Havant Borough Council. The move has been made to save costs and was agreed at the last council meeting on September 17th.
Council leader Richard Millard says the councils already have a close working relationship, having shared a chief executive since 2009.
He went on to say that the plans will create one, flexible workforce and the sort of financial sustainability that could not be achieved by one-off service reviews.
Critics have argued the move could lead to further mergers which could mean further job losses and a loss of voice for residents of East Hampshire.
The town councils grounds committee have agreed on plans for a new wildflower at the heath, just west of the Sussex Road car park.
The chairman of the volunteer group, Friends of the Heath, has suggested the move will help protect insects. Insects are currently in crisis as populations are in decline which threatens the functioning of all ecosystems.
This is the latest addition to a number of improvements to the heath, which are said to have cost £600,000. This has included stabilization of the banks, the creation of new islands, and a new boardwalk.
At the Tesco junction on The Causeway there are temporary traffic lights in place and we expect them to stay there until at least Monday.
Openreach is working on New Lane in South Harting and some of their work requires the road to close.
On Rams Hill in Petersfield there are still temporary signals at the junction with Kingsfersden Lane and that’s proving to be a real headache at school dropoff and collection time with traffic backing up right down the hill. Avoid it if you can.
Network Rail is inspecting the bridge in Buriton and SSEN continues its work on the old A3 at its junction with the A272 Midhurst Road. Follow the diversions.
And in Langrish there are overnight closures to the A272 from 8pm until 6am daily for Hampshire County Council to do road works. If you’re heading West out of Petersfield, follow the signs for a scenic diversion via the Meon Valley.
And Petersfield town centre still has the Covid-19 restrictions in place until further notice.
And if we’re not saying what you’re seeing on the roads do let us know: cll us on Petersfield 5 55 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s a yellow warning in place from the Met Office for wind and rain across our area today. Richard Marks will have a detailed forecast later today.