Everything you may have missed from Portsmouth City Council meetings this week

Barry Kewell, landlord of The Northcote Hotel in Portsmouth, who is unhappy about plans to change the parking outside to permit only. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Barry Kewell, landlord of The Northcote Hotel in Portsmouth, who is unhappy about plans to change the parking outside to permit only. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

WITH August rapidly approaching Portsmouth City Council has been trying to wind down this week, with only one meeting actually taking place.

But that doesn't mean there are any fewer decisions, reports and spats to consider.

As it has been for the last few weeks, the Southsea sea defences project is continuing to occupy councillors, officers and residents alike. This week saw the final public consultation take place in Fratton although that just means the real work is a step closer to starting.

The council's environment boss, Cllr Dave Ashmore, confirmed what would happen next. He said: 'Once the feedback has been analysed, a cross-party working group will review the evidence and make a decision on which options to take forward. The team will hold further public exhibitions before seeking planning permission towards the end of this year, where residents will be able to give further feedback.'

The defences haven't been updated in roughly 50 years, I'm sure they can hang on another few months for the final decisions to be made.

Parking squabble

Next, the parking permit squabble between the Lib Dems and Tories that started last week when a report had to be postponed due to the member for traffic and transport, Cllr Lynne Stagg, residing in one of the zones in question, rages on.

Former head of traffic, Cllr Simon Bosher, referred to the incident as 'shambolic'. Cllr Stagg apologised for the mistake and her party are still certain that reintroducing the MC and MB permitted zones in Southsea is what the people want.

One person who definitely doesn't want that is landlord of the Northcote Hotel on Francis Avenue, Barry Kewell. He feared for the damage it would do to his trade and this week said: 'Pubs and businesses are closing at great rate do they realise they are killing the very heart of this city with nothing but sheer greed?'

People vs the establishment

It was also the people vs the establishment on Wednesday when a large group of home educators from Hampshire met at Portchester Castle to protest possible powers councils could have over their children's education.

Nationally thousands of people took part in the event and a petition against the changes was handed into Westminster on the same day.

With home education now more than 40 per cent more popular in Portsmouth than in 2015 this might be an issue that comes back again and again.

Plenty of good news to be had from the council this week though for lovers of technology.

And the rest

In the midst of a Sky internet outage in Portsmouth it was revealed that the city could see new InLink points installed which emit free wifi as well as phone calls - although planning permission has yet to be approved.

And at Friday's culture, leisure and sport meeting (the only meeting of the week), officers confirmed that all the city's archives are now available online through the website Findmypast. So know longer will you have to ask yourself who do I think I am?