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Consultations, surveys, notices, and selected stakeholder newsletters and industry events in the South East region

Mobility scooter rider dies in collision with farm vehicle

A mobility scooter rider has died in a collision with a farm vehicle in Hampshire.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the incident occurred on August 22.

A member of the public was using a mobility scooter on a farm track in the county, though it didn't state where. A farm vehicle struck the mobility scooter, and the member of public was killed.

It comes after reports of four fatalities on farms within a fortnight, which led to renewed calls for the industry to improve its shocking safety record.

The HSE said it was supporting police investigations after the tragic accidents between 27 July and 10 August.

One of them was again in Hampshire, when a man died in a crushing incident involving a ramp falling from a truck.

HSE advice

Being run over by farm vehicles is a major cause of death and serious injury in agriculture. All vehicles pose a risk, but remember that drivers of loaders, lift trucks and telescopic handlers may have restricted visibility particularly when reversing or carrying loads.

Never approach or walk behind or beside a moving vehicle. If you must approach, attract the driver’s attention first (when safe) and get them to stop.

For more information visit https://www.hse.gov.uk/

High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight – aims for the year

The President of the CLA’s Isle of Wight branch, James Attrill, is aiming to prioritise mental health and well-being during his year as High Sheriff on the Island.

Mr Attrill, whose ancestors have been farming on the Island for around 400 years, most recently at Dean Farm, says he is “honoured and delighted” to be appointed.

He said: “As someone who lives and works in the rural world, I am acutely aware of how blessed we are on the Island to have world class landscape, coast and environment.

“I hope to forge some links between those organisations already working to enhance people’s well-being through exposure to the rural environment and those looking for ways to treat mental illness. Our Island has so much to offer in this regard.”

As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an “urgent need” to tackle the impact of isolation, bereavement, job loss and domestic stress, Mr Attrill said.

The Isle of Wight High Sheriff's Trust awards small but vital grants to benefit Island charities and community groups with an emphasis on the needs of the young, the elderly and crime prevention. Further details via www.highsheriffiow.co.uk

Charity seeking new site - can you help?

A charity which provides an outdoor learning service to vulnerable youngsters is urgently seeking a new location.

Change of Scene (CoS) is appealing to landowners in Surrey and Hampshire, ideally close to the Farnham area.

The charity works with excluded children and young people and those with complex needs, aged between eight and 25.

Last year was a busy one; and in June founder Sue Weaver retired and was replaced by a new CEO, Pam Robinson. Although Sue is allowing CoS to continue operating from her land for the time being, to survive and grow it needs new premises.

The charity said: “To deliver our service, we need a minimum of 12 acres grazing land which, crucially, must be easily accessible by road, have non-agricultural buildings (or potential to get planning permission for such structures) suitable for use as an office, plus a kid’s cabin.

“We would like sufficient space to build a classroom for use by community groups interested in outdoor learning. Ideally, to offer our children and young people as wide a range of activities as possible, we would like a diverse mix of habitats.

“If anyone can help, CoS would be delighted to hear from you. We are really stuck.”

With predominantly one-to-one support, attendees learn to care for ponies, alpaca, pigs and poultry. They do carpentry, horticulture, cooking and a range of nature-based activities too.

Education professionals refer youngsters to CoS, and on average they stay for 12 months, only leaving when they feel ready to move on to the next stage of their lives.

If you think you can help please get in touch with Mike Sims at the CLA via mike.sims@cla.org.uk or 01264 313434 and we will put you in contact with the charity.

CLA advice service - focus on Castle Water

In the autumn CLA South East Regional Director Michael Valenzia and regional surveyor Tim Bamford called a meeting with Castle Water chief executive John Reynolds to discuss concerns raised by a number of members about the company’s billing procedures and wider service standards.

As a result of this meeting, Castle Water offered a direct point of contact with an experienced customer service manager to address concerns.

Since then more than 20 members with approximately 30 accounts have been in touch with the CLA relaying their issues. Here Tim provides an update…

The calls we received from our members were passed to the CLA’s point of contact at Castle Water and escalated for action. Member issues included incorrect meter readings, overestimated bills, supply issues and general billing errors.

To date, over 20 individual accounts issues have been resolved, with the remaining issues in the process of being finalised. New issues are regularly coming in.

It is clear from the process that many issues still exist, but the CLA is working closely with Castle Water to remedy these. Even when matters have been resolved, the process is not straightforward – in one instance, a member received 29 separate letters on a resolution for three meters (see photo). This only confused matters!

If you have an issue with Castle Water, or have any other type of query or issue relating to your business, please call the CLA on 01264 313434.

The CLA South East advice team can provide you with tailored advice by phone, email, Zoom or face-to-face when guidelines permit.