HBC – In the News this week

The Leadership team at Havant Borough Council have been on the receiving end of letters in the News this week, in response to the flood of HBC press releases that have recently been outbound from their Communications team.

The most recent letters concern the press release below which you may well have seen if you sign up for alerts from Havant Borough Council. It’s just the latest in a stream of up-beat, pre-election, trumpet-blowing messages that have been issued since the last badly attended Council meeting.

To read between the lines of this one, read the two letters from Thursday’s News which provide a rather clearer context.

(Click on the images to open the press cuttings)

On a different subject, but still following on from that Council meeting, the Council have now made two attempts to avoid a rather important public question raised about the promise of ‘thousands of jobs’ at Dunsbury Park.

That promise is actually dependent on the success of the Solent Freeport, a rather complicated joint project between multiple councils which is already later than planned with no firm dates for the delivery of either jobs or revenue.  Until there is a realistic schedule for businesses and developers to work to, we think Dunsbury Park is likely to remain closed to new businesses and traditional business opportunities and jobs will be turned away.

The question raised to the Council (on 16 March) was this:

“If the Solent Freeport Programme implementation schedule is further delayed, or if the PCC/HBC component of the freeport doesn’t generate physical development and hence jobs within, let’s say, two years, what is the fallback plan for enabling Dunsbury Park to revert to ‘normal – non-freeport – use’?”

It’s worth bearing in mind that the previous freeports in the UK, including one at Southampton, brought no measurable commercial benefit and were closed down in 2012.