Hythe and Dibden Parish Council is flying the flag for Commonwealth Day in celebration of a family of nations.
Across the country and the Commonwealth more than 1,000 flags will be raised in the fourth year of the initiative Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth that is taking place across the UK and 52 other countries. The day aims to unite people and provide a sense of promise and hope for the future.
Councillor Maureen McLean, Chairman of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council "We are proud to be in our third year of participating in Flying the Flag for the commonwealth, a project that demonstrates the breadth of the Commonwealth and how we can all participate. raising the Commonwealth flag reminds us afresh that working together as a close family of nations enables us to respond collectively to the challenges that we all meet, and to deliver a fairer, prosperous, secure and sustainable future for everyone - particularly our young people".
Photographed from left to right are Councillors Mike Short, Jo Fowler, Maureen McLean and Eric Davey.
Lord Mayors and Mayors, Lord Provosts, town and parish councils, local authorities and local communities,
school children and college students, members of Girlguiding and the Scouts from around the UK and
Commonwealth, Sea and Air Cadets, charities and community groups, Commonwealth Ex-Servicemen and
major shipping lines, training ships crewed by disabled crewman people, and many others around the world
will raise more than ONE THOUSAND Commonwealth flags at 10.00hrs local time on Monday 12 March –
Commonwealth Day 2018, in a shared celebration of this amazing family of nations that encompasses the
The Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth initiative, now in its fourth year, is again catching the imagination of
thousands of participants from all walks of life, inspiring them to join with others throughout the
Commonwealth. As a collective public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, it enables
participants to show appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds, and the opportunities offered
for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth young and old citizens around the world.
Scouts in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Republic of Malta, Mauritius, New
Zealand, Samoa, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago will also be raising the Commonwealth flag at
10.00hrs local time on 12 March, joining thousands of other young people around the world in committing
themselves to the values of the Commonwealth Charter and the 2018 Commonwealth theme: ‘Towards a
Common Future’. This year’s theme explores how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and
work to create a better future for all citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and
fairness, in line with the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.
A personal message from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable
Patricia Scotland QC, and a specially written Commonwealth Affirmation, will be read out at each ceremony
before the raising of the Commonwealth flag at 10.00hrs that morning. In a common act of witness around
the globe members of this great family of nations will reaffirm the commitment of all Commonwealth member
states to democracy, development, and respect for diversity.
Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR – Originator and Commonwealth Pageantmaster, of 'Fly a Flag for the
Commonwealth’, said: "I am amazed how quickly this event has caught the public imagination in the UK and
around the Commonwealth. We are only in our fourth year, and the participation of so many people of all
ages and from all walks of life shows the enormous potential of this project and of the Commonwealth. It is a
positive and uplifting way for people to link with and assist fellow citizens of the Commonwealth in a family
that spans across oceans and continents. There is a real sense of promise, and hope for the future in this
current troubled world of ours.
We are also delighted that the Government of the George Cross Island of Malta will be taking part again this
year by raising the Commonwealth Flag at 10am on 12th March, adding to the international aspect of this
The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, said:
“Fly a Flag is a wonderful opportunity for local communities to come together to celebrate the remarkable
diversity and inclusiveness of the Commonwealth, and the many ways in which the lives and livelihoods of
its 2.4 billion citizens are enriched through Commonwealth connection and cooperation. By working together
locally and globally we learn from one another, and make progress for the good of all.”
On Commonwealth Day people of all ages and backgrounds in Commonwealth countries set in every
continent and ocean will recommit to working 'Towards a Common Future', our theme for this year and for
the Commonwealth Heads of Government being hosted by the United Kingdom in April. Raising the
Commonwealth flag reminds us afresh that cooperation as a family of nations enables us to respond
collectively to global challenges, and to deliver a fairer, more prosperous, secure and sustainable future for
all citizens – particularly our young people.”
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas break and I also hope that, like me, you are looking forward to what 2018 holds for us. To kick off 2018 I wanted to let you know of a few things that we are doing and how things are getting on.
Our Christmas Lights are something to be proud of. The village looked lovely and I have received so many positive happy comments about the lights, the trees and the bunting. We will be having our ‘wash up’ meeting soon and we would be delighted to hear your ideas and receive your offers of help for what we could do next year; incredibly we need to plan for December 2018 very soon to make sure the orders are placed in time! Thank you to Hythe Alive and our Maintenance Team for all of their hard work.
The Tuesday markets are carrying on and we will be also be returning to bank holiday markets that you told us you missed. We are planning to introduce monthly Saturday markets and we will let you know the dates as soon as we can.
We have the funds available and we have the support of Hampshire Police to provide an extra two Police and Community Support Officers for Hythe and Dibden. We are just waiting for the police to complete their staffing review after which they have assured us they will be in a position for Mr Lane, the Police and Crime Commissioner to sign the agreement and for us to get started. We will let you know as soon as we have news; I want the extra PCSOs in place as soon as possible.
The maintenance team are already getting ready for the new planting season and we will soon see the daffodils blooming in glorious colour once again. I love seeing the flowers around the Parish and recognise the commitment of the team to getting them to look so good.
I am very grateful for everyone that donated decorations to the community tree in the library and it was wonderful to see and read all of the memory baubles on the Christmas Tree in the Marsh. We are thinking of doing a thank you tree for 2018 – is that a good idea or have you got any other ideas for the tree?
2018 will also see a national day commemorating 100 years since the guns fell silent in World War One. We are planning an evening where we will join others around the UK lighting a beacon so please pop 11th November at 7.00pm in your diaries. We will let everyone know what is happening where once the details are finalised.
If you have any ideas for what we should be doing as your Parish Council please do not hesitate to contact me at Maureen.email@example.com and I would like to encourage you to come to the Council meetings and see how your councillors work; you might find it interesting.
I wish you a good 2018.
Councillor Maureen McLean
Hythe and Dibden Parish Council
Hythe and Dibden Parish Council is delighted to announce that the new skatepark at Forest Front Open Space is complete and is open to the public.
The project was delivered by the Council’s Open Spaces and Play Equipment Working Party which is made of Councillors, Officers, representatives from the Handy Trust and the police following consultation with the local community. The facility was provided using money provided by developer’s contributions which have been collected by New forest District Council. The Handy Trust also contributed funds which have enabled new seating and litter bins to be provided.
Chairman of the Open Spaces and Play Equipment Working Party Chris Harrison said;
“I would like to thank the local community for their help in delivering this much needed facility. I would also like to thank fellow councillors and our partners for their hard work and support.
“This project follows on from other successful projects which include the provision of a new play area in Dibden and the refurbishments of the play areas at Bluebell Gardens, Fletcher Close and Noads Way. The Council is currently developing its forward strategy and I am hopeful that further improvements to our much loved open spaces and play areas will continue.
“The Council is currently seeking views from the community about what it would like to see provided in the former skatepark in Jones Lane. The link to the google survey is available at www.hytheanddibden.gov.uk
or paper copies are available from the reception at The Grove or from Hythe Youth Club. I would encourage as many people as possible to provide their views."
Pictured are Members of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council and representatives from the Handy Trust at the new skatepark.
Hythe and Dibden residents might have noticed that the Parish Council is updating its financial arrangements and the Chairman of Council, Cllr Maureen McLean, is pleased to announce that the Council is now able to take payments by card, by bank transfer or over the phone in addition to cash or cheque;
“At last our residents can now pay for Parish Council services in a way that suits them best and we are aiming to introduce online bookings and payments as soon as possible. As councillors we are looking to improve the services that we provide you and if anybody has any ideas on what we could do please do not hesitate to contact us”.
The Parish Council is also using bank transfers to pay its suppliers and its latest audit report praised the Council’s exemplary systems. Cllr. James Binns, Vice Chairman of Council says “All the Parish Councillors recognise the hard work of the staff not only in bringing these new systems to the Council but also in delivering such a high standard of managing the council’s financial systems. Please let us know what you think.”
We all want the best for our community and today Hythe and Dibden was represented by parish, district and county councillors at a Conference looking at economic development on the Waterside; how can we help provide more employment and business opportunities?
The Conference heard from many organisations including the National Park Authority, Hampshire County Council Transport, Fawley Waterside and Associated British Ports as well as Deloitte who have been commissioned to identify the economic opportunities that could be developed for the Waterside area. All of the presentations that were given can be found on the district council's website www.newforest.gov.uk/watersideconference
Cllr. Maureen McLean said “ I believe that it is important that Hythe and Dibden Parish Council work to achieve the best for our current and future communities by working with as many different organisations as can help us”.
Cllr. James Binns, Vice Chairman of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council and Cabinet Member of New Forest District Council attended the Conference and is keen to hear from local people “I would like to hear from people about the economic opportunities they would like us to consider including in our early discussions”
The Parish Council is currently writing its draft Neighbourhood Plan and Cllr. Graham Parkes is leading on this piece of work, “Providing the right places and infrastructure for jobs and businesses is included in our plan that is being drafted. Through this process and our work we will endeavour to provide information to the public and we are ready to listen to your thoughts and ideas”.