RESIDENTS in Fordingbridge have called for more benches and parking, as well as better maintenance of pavements and overgrown hedges and trees.

During October 2020 Fordingbridge Town Council conducted a survey to find out what improvements people wanted to see.

The council’s annual town meeting on April 22 heard that there had been 430 responses.

Deputy mayor, Councillor Anna Wilson, said these responses highlighted “several problems of importance” with calls for more benches, and maintenance of overgrown hedges, trees and footpaths, as well as more parking, lighting and concerns about the road in High Street. She said a trailway in the town was “hugely popular” and “one of the biggest things people voted on”.

Cllr Wilson said: “The conclusions were that Fordingbridge Town Council needs to provide a better means for residents to inform us of their concerns.” She suggested having a specific link on the website or using Facebook messenger. She also asked if issues around the walking environment needed to be included as a regular item of discussion on the council agenda as it was an area people had the most complaints about.

“We as a town council have the closest link to the community, as such we are best placed to contribute to the long term vision and priorities of New Forest District Council (NFDC) and Hampshire County Council (HCC). Throughout our community there is a considerable amount of dissatisfaction with the condition of pavements and roads,” added Cllr Wilson.

She said there was “too much confusion” about which council to report issues to and called on the town council to develop a “more productive and responsive relationship” with the county and district councils.

During the meeting the deputy mayor also thanked NFDC’s chief planning officer for developing a plan to address issues in the town but felt it did not address the town’s traffic issues, which needed to be looked at.

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