NEW MILTON CITIZEN OF THE YEAR 2021
The New Milton Citizen of the Year Award 2020/21 was announced by New Milton Town Mayor, Cllr Alvin Reid, at the Annual Town’s Meeting, held via Zoom, on Friday 30 April.
The worthy winner was Hannah Awesome, in recognition of her outstanding contribution in rallying the community to respond to those in need during the Pandemic crisis.
Hannah set up the New Milton Covid Support Group in March 2020, signing up 250 kindly neighbours, providing volunteer help to over local 400 residents in need of assistance, collecting shopping, being phone-buddies, dog-walking and collecting prescriptions.
The Mayor arranged to meet Hannah in a socially distanced way at the Recreation Ground to present the COTY cup after the Annual Town’s meeting.
In accepting the award, Hannah said “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the New Milton Covid Group. It was a real team effort by all involved in helping the community.”
The Mayor gave special mention to the other nominees, thanking them for their support and willingness to do the right thing for the community, thanking the whole community for their resilience and positive attitude during the last year, recognising the many unsung heroes in our town who went above and beyond the call of duty for the greater good.
Cllr Alvin Reid replied that “Everyone willingly gave their help voluntarily during these difficult times.”
The Mayor applauded his nominated charity Ashley Family Hub, acknowledging their continuing efforts, supporting local families, rising to the many challenges of the last year.
Guest speaker at the Annual Town’s Meeting was New Milton resident Paul Brockman, BEM who gave a talk entitled “Tramp in the Woods to BEM Award” which covered his early career as a Social Worker, being mistaken for a tramp in the woods before developing Woodland Management & Conservation educational programmes for young people, for which he was recently awarded, and proudly received, the BEM in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
MEET NEW MILTON'S YOUTH SERVICES TEAM
This year, despite its challenges, the Youth Team in New Milton have provided important services for the youth of New Milton in a variety of ways, with the team involved in several of the Council’s projects for young people and their families.
The Youth Services team now consists of Silma Ramsaywack, Youth Services Manager, Emma Towler, Youth Services Organiser, three qualified and experienced Youth Workers, Karen Pressey, Aaron McDermott and Vinnie Davies, as well as volunteers we can call upon for a variety of Youth events.
Our youth club at New Milton Rugby Club is gradually growing in numbers again with young people and their parents feeling confident to attend. The lighter evenings and outdoor play activities have appealed to many and regular postings on the Youth Voice social media outlets have encouraged enquiries and attendance. We are also very pleased and proud to be playing an active role in the development of the Ashley Recreation Park which includes a new youth facility.
We continue with our rigorous risk assessment procedures at the club, providing masks, wipes and hand sanitisers. The smaller groups have provided an opportunity for even more one to one support from our well qualified, experienced youth workers. Parents of the young people have on many occasions expressed their gratitude for the extra support the youth club provides.
These services extend further from the youth club. Youth Services relates to all youth activities as well as the families of the young people, in the New Milton area. We have just completed another Mindfulness Course and the introduction of a session for parents was well received. We received referrals to the course from Young Carers, New Forest Family Support Service as well as self-referrals. We are working with Arnewood school, particularly focusing on those young people aged 14 plus, who could benefit from the mindfulness tools that can help them navigate life post covid.
New Milton Youth Trust meetings have
continued to take place, where we are in the process of deciding new
trustees. The Play and Youth Forum is also well attended and a great
source of support for various organisations who actively support
young people. Each month we receive more requests for people to be
allowed to attend.
We look forward to all the exciting opportunities New Milton can continue to offer the Youth of the Town.
NEW PROJECT - THE BECTON BAG BANISHES PLASTIC
Inspired by the damage that discarded
plastic causes to our environment Becton Rotary are working with New
Forest Basics Bank (NFBB) to eliminate the use of plastic carrier
bags currently used to deliver food items to those in need.
The plastic carrier bags are to be replaced with material bags (The Becton Bag) made to an agreed specification between Rotary members and NFBB; Lynn Peck, Volunteer Head of Operations at New Forest Basics Bank said “It will be a wonderful achievement and a boost to the environment if we can totally eliminate the use of plastic bags for our deliveries. The material bags will be reusable and when returned will undergo a process to confirm they are free from infection before being used again. We are grateful to the members of the Rotary Club of Becton & District and the volunteers who have agreed to sew the bags for the considerable support they have provided to this project”.
NEW MILTON LIONS CLUB SPEARHEADS AWARENESS OF PROSTATE CANCER FOR MEN ACROSS THE NEW FOREST
With more than one man every hour dying from prostate cancer and 40,000 new cases every year and no national screening available, The Lions Club of New Milton aims to facilitate a PSA blood test to as many men as possible aged 40+. One in eight men will get Prostate Cancer in their lifetime and it is well proven that early detection and treatment may vastly increase chances of survival.
Based on the success of their 2019 Prostate Cancer Screening Day when over 300 men attended the Community Centre to be tested, which due to Covid-19 cannot be repeated at this time, The Lions Club of New Milton are working in partnership with the Graham Fulford Trust to offer men a simple finger prick test that can be done at home.
The home testing kits are sent to a home address, a blood sample is taken following the simple instructions provided, then it is returned to a specified Laboratory for processing and within a few days the results are sent to the individual, with some guidance based on a ‘traffic-light’ system. Red means high risk with advice to go and see their GP urgently, amber for medium risk with advice to have another test in a certain period and green for low risk, when no action needs to be taken in the short term.
Speaking about this campaign, Peter Bousfield, the Chair of the Welfare Committee of the Club commented, “now that the New Milton Club encompasses a much wider geographic area including Lymington, Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst, we are offering a very worthwhile opportunity for men across the New Forest to look after a particularly important aspect of their health. We hope to continue with this programme until we are once again able to offer in-house and Covid-secure face to face testing, similar to our 2019 screening event.”
A Home Testing Kit can be obtained very quickly by visiting the newly enhanced website of The Lions Club of New Milton at www.newmiltonlions.org.uk and following the links to Prostate Screening.
Coinciding with New Milton Lion’s initiative, Prostate Cancer UK has announced ‘March the Month’ which is a virtual walking challenge everyone can get involved with. Walk 11,000 steps a day throughout March for the more than 11,000 dads, partners, grandads, sons, brothers, uncles, and mates who die from prostate cancer every year. Sign up and raise money to fund lifesaving research at https://marchthemonth.prostatecanceruk.org/
NEW FOREST DISTRICT COUNCIL - SETS THE COUNCIL TAX RATES FOR 2021/2022
NFDC’s part of Council Tax will increase by around £5 per year, to £183.36 for an average household (band D).
Leader of the council, Cllr Barry Rickman said "Despite the New Forest District Council, Council Tax charge making up less than 10% of the typical Council Tax bill, we do not take a £5 annual Council Tax increase lightly. We have a budget which not only protects services but invests in services and my belief is that an average Council Tax charge of £183.36 per year for everything that this authority delivers to our community continues to represent excellent value for money.”
Your total Council Tax bill also includes the amounts we collect on behalf of Hampshire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner, town and parish councils, and the fire and rescue service.
We will be sending bills in mid-March. Along with the bill, you will receive a leaflet that explains a little about council tax, contact details if you think you may struggle to pay, and gives coronavirus support information.
WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE COMMUNITY FOR THE COMMUNITY
New Forest Basics Bank has been undeniably busy the past few months as our community, along with the rest of the world, contends with the COVID-19 pandemic. They collect and receive food donations to share with our community and families in need and our local businesses and organisations have really stepped up with the goods. Chewton Glen Hotel in New Milton being one such business on a list of many being thanked by the Basics Bank for their generosity.
Unfortunately, Chewton Glen had to make the decision to close as restrictions came in, just as many of our hospitality and restaurants had to do in line with prevailing government guidelines. They had a full stock of fresh food and vegetables, so with the lockdown restrictions the food could have gone to waste. New Milton Town Cllr Keith Craze liaised with Luke Matthews, the Executive Head Chef of Chewton Glen and arranged for the New Milton Town Council Estates & Facilities team, led by Mark Jeffries, Estates & Facilities Manager, to collect the amazing array of provisions and deliver to the New Forest Basics Bank in Lymington.
Cllr Keith Craze said "I was greatly heartened by the co-operation and generosity shown by The Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa in donating a considerable volume of foods to New Forest Basics Bank for distribution to local needy families.
Their action clearly demonstrates the levels of assistance and positive participation shown by local businesses in support of the local community during these challenging and difficult times."
Cllr Keith Craze, on the right, pictured with Jerome Chenet, Sous Chef at Chewton Glen
One of the recipients of some of the Chewton Glen donation took to social media expressing her gratitude and now has a Facebook Page sharing tasty recipes and meals all related to cooking on a budget. Lois’s Cooking With The Basics on Facebook
New Milton Town Council is delighted to have been involved and will continue to support the New Forest Basics Bank and community, working together and looking out for those in need.
New Milton Town Clerk, Graham Flexman said “Our Estates team are now well versed in this type of operation, collecting food parcels and distributing on behalf of the New Forest Basics Bank, and this is really a fantastic gesture from Chewton Glen, helping those in need locally during these difficult times”
A celebration of a special relationship was honoured recently with the planting of a Hawthorn Paul’s Scarlet tree at Ballard Lake. The special relationship that New Milton and its twinned town of Canteleu in France have enjoyed since 1991, with the Twinning Charter formally signed on 20 January 2001.
This spring-flowering tree has been planted as part of the council’s ‘Plant a Tree Initiative’ and will hopefully enjoy a long life whilst producing scarlet red blossoms in spring, a real treat to behold, and will bring additional wildlife benefit to the already special area of Ballard Lake at the northern gateway to New Milton.
The Town Mayor, Cllr Alvin Reid, was joined by representatives from the New Milton Twinning Association, Mrs Sue Caswell and Mrs Chris Douglas, with Cllr Bob Murrow, Councillor representative for the Twinning Association, also present.
Pictured: Cllr Alvin Reid, Cllr Bob Murrow, Mrs Sue Caswell and Mrs Chris Douglas topping up the soil for the planted tree.
Cllr Bob Murrow said “Ballard Lake is a special place to enjoy outdoor space and the tranquillity of nature and we hope that our friends from our twinned town of Canteleu will be able to visit this tree and enjoy this natural space with us in the near future”.
Mrs Sue Caswell, chairman of the Twinning Association said “We are very grateful to New Milton Town Council for supporting our Twinning Association in many ways and by planting this beautiful tree it recognises our long friendship with Canteleu.”
MAYOR'S CHEQUE PRESENTATION TO ASHLEY FAMILY HUB
Supporting families with children in New Milton, and building a brighter future for them, is the key vision of Ashley Family Hub, a collaboration between Ashley Infant School, Ashley Junior School, Arnewood School and Ashley Baptist Church. This key vision is underpinned by being welcoming to everyone, being open and honest, being respectful to them all, while building positive and lasting relationships with those families.
In recognition of the valuable work they do, New Milton Town Mayor, Cllr Alvin Reid, was proud to announce them as his nominated charity, having visited them in 2019 and meeting some of the families, listening to their own personal stories and pleased to hear of their positive outcomes. In fact, the Mayor learnt that support from the Hub has been life-changing to many families who attend.
During his term of office, the Mayor has promoted his Collect Coppers for Charity and the community of New Milton have responded enthusiastically, digging out the coppers from the bottom of their sofas and emptying their penny jars. A total of £550 in coins was found and counted. On top of this a further £1,300 has been raised for the Ashley Family Hub. Generous donations from guests who were due to attend the Mayor’s Charity Ball in March, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as fund-raising from the Annual Carol Service in December 2019 and the Annual Civic Service in February 2020.
In response to the Collect Coppers for Charity, the Mayor said: “Everyone gave a little, eventually it made a big difference to the local community. This initiative has now closed, please don’t drop off anymore ‘spare change’ to the Town Hall! I thank everyone for their collective contributions”. The Mayor presented the £1,850 cheque to Sarah Dibben, Headteacher of Ashley Infant School, and leader of the Ashley Family Hub, thanking them for their continued service to families in need and even more so for being there during the last few months of COVID-19 restrictions, and in the months to come. pictured – Cllr Alvin Reid, Donna Lenton and Sarah Dibben.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the Hub has had to look at new ways to support families. Social media has provided the link to news and ideas. Zoom has been used for virtual coffee mornings. And by working in partnership with Waitrose and Tesco, food parcels have been arranged for families in need.Sarah Dibben said: “We continue to explore how the Ashley Family Hub can re-open to support local families and we are currently finalising plans to re-open in a Covid-friendly way as soon as possible. In the meantime, families can contact us via our Facebook page or website for advice and support”. Sarah was pleased to report that even though families found lockdown challenging, they have been very resilient, and with the support of local schools and agencies, the community has done a great job.
PLANT A TREE INITIATIVE
NEW MILTON TOWN COUNCIL NEWS RELEASE
NATIONAL TREE WEEK – PLANT A TREE INITIATIVE
New Milton Town Council is marking National Tree Week with the launch of its Plant a Tree Initiative and sees the planting of two trees in the town’s green spaces as part of the national celebration of trees. Another 40 trees will be planted during the coming weeks. New Milton is already known for its tree-lined high street, the Weeping Willows along the stream at Caird Avenue, the enduring tree-lined Barton Court Road and Barton Court Avenue towards the cliff-top, the magnificent Oak trees on the Recreation Ground, as well as pockets of woodland and SINCs around the town that are environmentally protected.
Cllr Geoff Blunden, Chairman of the Amenities Committee, assisted two pupils from Ashley Infants School with the planting of an Elm tree at Ashley Recreation Ground. This particular species of Elm is disease resistant; a tough tree that is a fast grower and quick to establish itself, being drought resistant and tolerant to periodical water-logged ground conditions which are sometimes experienced at Ashley Recreation Ground.
Cllr Blunden said “I am delighted to help Evalyn and Aston from Ashley Infants School plant this rather large and impressive Elm tree which marks the launch of New Milton Town Council PLANT A TREE INITIATIVE particularly as it is also National Tree Week.
This project gives the opportunity for residents, visitors and all to plant a tree on our open spaces for themselves or dedicated to others. We recognise that many residents do not have large gardens, or they live in rented accommodation or flats and are unable to plant trees on their own land.
I’m so pleased the scheme has been greeted with so much enthusiasm with over 40 trees to be planted during the next few weeks, we are aiming for 100 new trees this winter! The trees are a variety of species and in addition many tree whips will also be planted. A big thank you to all concerned.”
The Mayor will be planting a Hawthorn Paul’s Scarlet at Ballard Lake in honour of the New Milton Twinning Association and to acknowledge our special relationship with our twinned town of Canteleu in France, representatives from both organisations will attend this prestigious event.
The Plant a Tree Initiative is part of the Town Council’s Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Action Plan. Both policies are fundamental to the Town’s green credentials, as it seeks to reduce the adverse effects of climate change on the environment and improve carbon sequestration. Clearly demonstrating a commitment to keeping our town green, enhancing our already special environment, and in turn ensuring our long-term well-being.
Trees are living, breathing monuments and as a precious natural asset are crucial in our fight against climate change. The Town Council invite local residents and visitors to contribute to this initiative and plant a tree in New Milton. Ten areas of green space and various native species of trees have been identified, providing overall wildlife benefit and improving biodiversity.
Already the initiative has generated much interest from residents with popular choices of tree including Common Hornbeam, English Oak, Wild Cherry and Hawthorn.
The tree stock has been grown locally by Hilliers of Romsey and they come with passports which ensure that biosecurity measures have been met.
If you want to be happy for a year, plant a garden;
if you want to be happy for life, plant a tree. English Proverb
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.
Aldi Stores through their agents have resubmitted a revised Planning Application to build a Store on land at Solent Industrial Estate, off Caird Avenue in New Milton. This would indicate that they have once again rejected other sites in the Town including in the Town Centre, as being unsuitable for their business model and the way they operate their business.
You can view the details of the submission and make your own comments based on the information provided, by visiting the New Forest District Council Planning website at:-
and entering the keyword 20/11029 being the Case Number of this Application.
STOP PRESS - 22./10.20 : New Milton Town Council Planning Committe have unanimously recommended acceptance of the Planning Application to build an Aldi DIscount Food Store on land off Caird Avenue. The Application now goes to New Forest District Council for their consideration later this year.
The coronavirus has put paid to many a celebration this year, but the Community Centre in New Milton was able to find a way to celebrate its Diamond Anniversary.
In September 1960 it was proposed that New Milton should have its own Community Centre and eventually it first occupied former Council offices in Station Road.
After much fund-raising, the New Milton Community Association bought property in Osborne Road on which it was able to build a home of its own.
On 1 October, a rose, Diamond Days, was planted in the Community Centre’s garden by Alvin Reid, the Mayor of New Milton, to celebrate all the hard work that the Centre’s volunteers have undertaken over 60 years, to provide social and recreational activities to the people of New Milton.
Marie Morgan (Chair) welcomes Mayor Alvin Reid
Mayor beside newly planted rose
Volunteer Genevieve Sagar who will tend the rose
CENTENARY ANNIVERSARY of NEW MILTON WAR MEMORIAL
The War Memorial on New Milton Recreation Ground is our focal point for Remembrance, particularly on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, a place where the names of the brave Miltonians, who fought and fell during conflicts and wars, are inscribed for all to see on the base of the monument.
There are 223 names inscribed on the War Memorial. They are not just names though. Their inscription is a reminder to us of the brave people who sacrificed their lives, 83 during WW1 and 140 in WW2. We will remember them.
(photo credit to Michael Angus)
Thanks to the legacy of Reverend John Edward Kelsall, the War Memorial was commissioned from funds received by public subscription. The Memorial was proudly unveiled on Sunday 26 September 1920, to a large congregation consisting of local residents, boy scouts, girl guides and local school children. The Dedication Ceremony involved a large united choir singing hymns, local clergy giving dedication prayers, addressing the congregation saying that “the hearts of their brothers, whose names were on the cross, had often turned homeward in the day of battle and that the beautiful monument would prove that they were not forgotten here”.
The Town Council had hoped to host a celebration event this year at the War Memorial on its Centenary anniversary, but unfortunately due to the Covid pandemic and restrictions at this time we have postponed our celebration until next year.
In honour of the Centenary anniversary, the Amenities Committee have proposed to plant a Centenary Rose Garden which will see climbing roses such as Strawberry Hill and Bathsheba, and shrub roses such as Golden Celebration and Summer Song planted under a pergola on the Recreation Ground in the South Western corner.
The full history of the War Memorial and the Recreation Ground has been recorded by Nick Saunders of the Milton Heritage Society and it has recently been printed in The New Milton Mail.
You can read the article here:
https://issuu.com/bartonbugle/docs/the_mail_september_2020_web__1_ (See pages 8 & 9)
In a massive logistical exercise, The Lions Club of New Milton has coordinated the provision of over 1,000 food deliveries to needy families with children, in New Milton and the local area over the past 22 weeks.
Working in conjunction with The New Forest Basics Bank, the schools who identified the recipients and New Milton Town Council who provided the transport; every Friday an average of 45 deliveries to those who needed the assistance most during these difficult times have been made. At the height of the pandemic, some 70 odd family deliveries were being made.
At the same time, an Appeal was made to its members, to local Town Councillors and with a donation from the Lions Club of Great Britain, it has been possible to present a Cheque for £5,050 to help the Basics Bank in its on-going day-to-day operations.
At a presentation made at the Basics Bank in Lymington on Friday 11th September, Oliver Stanley, the Chairman thanked all who had assisted in this project and especially Peter Bousfield, the Lions Club Welfare Chairman who ensured everything went as smoothly as possible. He also thanked those at the Basics Bank who had pulled out all the stops to ensure that their normal operations were maintained whilst this additional workload was handled efficiently.
Lions Club ‘Certificates of Appreciation’ were also handed to all those who had been directly involved, including Mark Jeffries, the Estates and Facilities Manager at New Milton Town Council and his team of 6 ground staff who made the deliveries.
Whilst presenting the cheque and certificates, Lions President Steve Merrifield commented “the Lions Club was so proud to have been involved in such an important project during the Covid-19 pandemic and to have been able to also make this financial contribution to the on-going work of the New Forest Basics Bank. It is at times like these that we need groups to come together to help those less fortunate than most of us. It just shows what can be achieved if the community works together with a common goal’
The Lions Club of New Milton which has 26 members, is part of the world’s largest service organisation with more than 1.4 million members working in over 200 countries around the world. Lions President Steve Merrifield further commented “Lions Clubs try to respond to local needs as well as wider national and worldwide requirements, to work effectively and professionally, to make a difference and importantly, at the same time to have fun. This was a good example of how we work – and hopefully might encourage others to come and join us.”