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|Press Release: 27th May 2008|
Campaign to Protect Rural England calls for volunteers
CPRE Hampshire's AGM, held at the Marwell Hotel on 24th April, saw a number of officer changes take place, including that of Christopher Napier, who became chairman seven years ago in 2001. While he still intends to be active in the branch he has had to step down under the constitution, so the charity is urgently seeking someone to fill the position. Fortunately, Steep CPRE member, John Venning has stepped into the breach for the time being. Major General Bryan Webster CB CBE has similarly stepped down as President and is replaced by Admiral Sir Brian Brown KCB CBE, a member of CPRE whose home is near Petersfield. North Hampshire District Group has a new chairman in Peter Bedford from Winslade, and Mid Hampshire, Caroline Ford of Shedfield near Bishops Waltham.
CPRE Hampshire is also calling for more "Campaigning Volunteers" and management assistance on new and existing campaigns. The charity's two administrative staff in Winchester are extremely busy and, although many people come forward to help with campaigns and event organisation, they would welcome somebody who could help coordinate the task-force on a voluntary basis. In addition, a particular need in Hampshire is for 'Bid Writers' to help identify and prepare applications for Grants.
Christopher Napier, in his farewell speech, commented that a concept unique to Hampshire originally formulated and fully supported by CPRE, is the 'reserve sites' approach adopted in the County Structure Plan. He congratulated Hampshire County Council on applying the idea so well and regretted that this county-based approach is not proposed within the much-delayed South East Plan:
"It has allowed Greenfield sites to remain green" he said, "while brownfield sites across Hampshire such as in Southampton and Aldershot, for example, are being developed to meet housing targets."
"Today we are faced with two new towns in South Hampshire, and extensions to Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester. This impending development on Hampshire's more urban areas must be part of our work over the next few years to ensure that it is built in a truly sustainable way, not just as generators of yet more traffic on our roads and destroyers of rural tranquillity. We need to ensure that the eminently sensible and successful policy of reserve sites is carried forward at least within the emerging Local Development Frameworks (formerly the local plans). To my mind that is the secret of maintaining our rural Hampshire."
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CPRE/H/136Notes to editors
CPRE Hampshire strives to promote the beauty, tranquility and diversity of the countryside of Hampshire by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging the biodiversity and well-being of rural communities.
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