Recently Eastleigh Borough Council decided to redefine the three wards which make up the parish of Hound.

The wards are, or were Butlocks Heath, Netley Abbey and Old Netley.

In the future Old Netley is now part of the parish of Bursledon. This means, of course, that the precept (council tax) granted to Hound Parish Council, is now reduced by approximately £50,000 per annum. The precept is used to pay for the management of the parish responsibilities, ie cemeteries village halls, all the office, staff groundsman and public lavatories, plus many other needs.

The public lavatories, sited within Abbey Hall, Victoria Road, are now permanently closed because the Parish can no longer afford to manage them. This was decided by the parish council, as the precept,has been drastically reduced.

Abbey Hall was purpose built, overlooking Southampton Water, a quite unique site, and the public toilets are an integral part of the building.

From the February 1 they were no longer available. Abbey Hall sits in a public recreation ground the Cricket Field, also next to a children’s play park, and has direct access to Netley beach. This is a very popular spot, especially in the warmer weather, so heaven only knows where visitors and parishioners will go if they become rather desperate. The nearest public toilets are in the Victoria Country Park or at the end of The Weston Shore. Quite a step.

EBC is constantly reminding us of how they have their constituents in their sights, but this time they have made a dreadful faux pas.

Finally, the two Hound parish councillors who are also active Eastleigh Borough Councillors, should be aware where their loyalties should be. I would suggest that perhaps EBC should provide special funding so that this important public need is reopened permanently.

Leslie Fulford

Netley Abbey