Parish Lengthsmen were deployed in Hampshire until the late 1960s, carrying out routine maintenance work across the Parishes. Lengthsmen were given lengths of highway to maintain and were expected to do everything necessary to keep ‘their’ sections of road in good condition. They generally worked alone, using hand tools and tended to live in or near the parishes in which they worked, taking great pride in their area. They would have had a close relationship with the Parish authority and been aware of local needs. Unfortunately, mechanisation and reducing budgets sent the service into decline and proved the downfall of the labour intensive Lengthsman’s role.
In recent years the County Council recognised that, by working with parishes, an opportunity existed to improve local responsiveness, provide added value to the core service, and to improve the environment within the local communities by the re-introduction of a Parish Lengthsman scheme, but in a way that reflects more modern ways of working.
The current Parish Lengthsman scheme commenced in 2010 with two trial clusters of parishes in the Test Valley and Meon Valley areas involving 19 parishes. With increased interest from other parishes, this number has now expanded to include potentially 91 Hampshire parishes.
Current funding is set at £1000 per parish.
Recent work in the parish has included widening the footpaths of grass and general growth from the verges, keeping the drains clear and tidying the area around Binsted red phone box.
If you note something that could do with tidying up please contact The Clerk.