I returned from holiday to discover that despite overwhelming local opposition and the unanimous support of councillors on the borough’s Northern Area Planning Committee Test Valley’s Planning Control Committee has approved plans to build 50 new homes at Shepherds Spring School.

I am indebted to Cllr Phil North for his support in opposing this plan and putting local people and their views above narrow political expediency. What a pity the same cannot be said of his colleague Janet Whiteley who at the PCC voted for the application. This is not the first time Mrs Whiteley has put party politics above representing the local electorate. She declined to support residents opposing Tory plans to divert Smannell Road through the new Augusta Park housing development and once famously voted for a plan to convert a house on King Arthurs Way into substandard flats arguing there were no parking problems in the area. Mrs Whiteley hopes to be mayor next year.

Meanwhile the real representative of local people, town councillor Barbara Carpenter, is getting on with the job of looking after local interests and getting things done. The latest Roman Way Forum took place on 30 June and the next is provisionally booked for 15 September. Blocked drains have been cleared in Caesar Close and Mrs Carpenter is working with council officers to get them to install additional disabled parking bays, repair footpaths and cut back overgrown trees in the area.

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