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Chair’s Blog – 13 July 2015

At the HRA Committee on 13 July 2015, the Committee welcomed the new Vice President for Engagement at the University Students Union, Hannah Talbot, and look forward to working with her.
It was reported that the Council will shortly begin a major programme of baiting the rats in and near the Little Common. Officers are continuing to collect evidence of the behaviour of the resident who is feeding the rats, but further evidence in the form of photos, sightings etc will be helpful. It should be sent to Steven.Hayes-Arter@southampton.gov.uk.
The Committee discussed and agreed some changes to our Planning and Licensing Guidelines. These will appear on the website shortly. There was then a discussion of the proposal by Orchard Homes to build accommodation for 400-plus students at 224 Portswood Road adjacent to the Sainsburys store. It was agreed that we should oppose this on the basis that there is already sufficient student accommodation in the area and that the real need is for affordable family housing, as formed part of the original plans for the site.
There was an initial discussion about the Council’s proposals to widen parts of Lover’s Walk to improve conditions for cyclists. It was agreed to consult members once more information was available about the likely timescale.
We also agreed to write a letter of complaint to the Council about the excessive noise from the rock concert on the Common on 5th July.
Finally, our long serving, and long suffering, Treasurer, Headley Rossell, will be stepping down at the end of the year. We very much hope to find a successor from amongst our membership. If you might be interested in taking on this role, or can think of anyone who might be, would you please contact the Secretary, Jill Baston. Accountancy qualifications are helpful but not necessary.

Roger Brown, Chair HRA