Another 350 houses for Augusta Park


Augusta Park

In a disappointing debate last night local councillors approved the plans for 350 new homes on the school site. Far too many empty seats and too few of those there made any comment at all. Councillors who can spend hours debating minor changes to a country cottage seemed tongue tied when it came to a massive new development in the town. The only real voice of dissent was Cllr North who tried to build a case against the plan on traffic grounds but failed to follow up on incomplete and inaccurate answers from council officers.

Alamein Focus team leader Len Gates spoke against the application and the text of his speech is attached here (Speech of 12 Feb 2015). His comments and those of local residents who objected by post or on-line were on the whole ignored. Speaking after the meeting Len said “I was disappointed to see Cllr North arguing against the plans on just traffic grounds. His attempts to dismiss other objections and blame the county council for not using the land didn’t help his case.”

Even more disappointing was the lack-lustre performance by the other two Alamein councillors. Cllr Brook half-heartedly supported Cllr North; Mrs Whiteley made no contribution to the debate and voted for the plan.  Mrs Whiteley has previously ignored local concerns and voted for plans to build 50 houses on the Shepherd Spring School site.

All of this is in stark contrast to the pledges made by the three when elected four years ago.

In an election special from May 2011 (Election leaflet May 2011) their contract with voters included promises to

 “Speak up for the Ward in Council Meetings to ensure that Alamein Ward gets the best deal” and “speak up for the area, when planning applications that affect you are submitted and we will always make sure the views of residents are known at Planning Committees.”

In August 2011 Phil North wrote on his website

“The extra houses are not in the Local Plan and instead of jumping in and welcoming these plans we need to go back to first principles and remember that. After the 2,500 houses were approved we warned against any further development north of the railway line – just think about the junction at the Enham Arch. It is clear there may need to be a re-jigging of the plan because there is to be no Secondary School – however over development is not the answer. When the contract with the developer for improvements to local infrastructure was drawn up with the Council it was based on 2,500 homes. To add almost another 400 dwellings will have a huge negative impact on the infrastructure and surrounding villages. ”

So much promised so little delivered.


Roman Way School update #2

We are pleased to report that following a meeting between local campaigners and council officers improvements to road signage will be carried out on the approach to Roman Way School.

Roman Way School West

Roman Way School approach in November 2014


The meeting was held in November and reported here on the Alamein Focus team website.  Among the traffic calming measures suggested by Len Gates and the campaign team was a review of existing road signs and additional signs on the road. The Focus team had previously surveyed the roads and signs outside both Roman Way and Knights Enham Schools. Photos and details were submitted to officers and discussed at the meeting.

A specific issue requested was the repositioning of the existing school sign on the approach from Newbury Road to ensure it was visible to drivers exiting the A343 King Arthurs’ Way roundabout. Details of the discussions and agreed improvements were reported in our Roman Way Focus of November.

Both the suggestions to move the sign and a request for extra “slow” signs were taken up by highways officers and have now been approved by the county council highways department. The sign has been moved and the extra road markings will be painted in February  at the same time as painting double yellow lines to prohibit parking at the school entrance. This was another measure agreed at our meeting.

The Alamein Focus team will continue to monitor road safety in the area and report back on improvements as they happen.




Roman Way Focus November 2014

The latest Alamein Focus newsletter is currently being delivered in Roman Way. Further Focuses will be delivered across Alamein ward over the next month To read the Roman Way Focus now click here Roman Way Focus November 2014

Focus is produced and delivered across Alamein ward by local volunteers. If you would like to help in delivery or you have any stories for us to include please contact us at [email protected]

Roman Way School update #1

On 29th October I sent the letter below to the Economy, Transport and Environment department at Hampshire County Council. I will  be raising the matter with various councillors over the next few days.

I am writing on behalf of governors and parents of Roman Way School in Andover and other local residents. I have been given your name as the contact at HCC to speak to regarding a new pedestrian crossing outside the school. 

The school, previously on a quiet residential road (Viking Way/Roman Way), is now on one of the main access roads to the new MDA at Augusta Park. As part of section 106 agreements we were promised traffic calming and a pedestrian controlled crossing outside the school. To date this has not happened although there is an ineffectual mini-roundabout and an unused crossing in the wrong place some distance from the school entrance. 

Since work on the northern section of Augusta Park has started and approximately 100 houses in this area have been occupied traffic past the school, both residential and contractors, has increased considerably. The majority of pupils at the school cross Viking Way from the south to get to the school. There is no lollypop man and limited signage indicating the school entrance. The approaches to the school and provision of safe crossing are poor compared to the nearby Knights Enham School on King Arthurs Way. 

We have spoken to officers at Test Valley Borough Council who have agreed to look at improved signage in the area. They have also advised us that the proposed crossing is the responsibility of Hampshire County Council and will not be installed until funds are received from the developers when the target number of houses has been occupied. This they expect to be sometime in the summer next year. I understand that other traffic calming was planned for this stretch of road but is now in doubt. 

We are obviously disappointed with this response from TVBC. The timescale means the school may have to operate for a further year before any work is undertaken to install this much needed crossing. It also means local children will continue to be in danger from ever increasing traffic flows accessing Augusta Park. Residents would like to see positive action as soon as possible and have organised a petition in support of this. We would now like to present this petition to HCC and state our case for action. 

Would you or someone in your department be prepared to meet us please to receive the petition and listen to our case for bringing forward the installation of the crossing?

 Yours sincerely 

Len Gates

Approach from east

School approach from east

School approach from west

School approach from west

Approach to Knights Enham School

Approach to Knights Enham School



Attached here Letter from HCC is the reply I received from Hampshire County Council



Campaign for safer crossing outside school

Marion and Barbara outside the school

Residents of Roman Way are calling for action to improve road safety outside their primary school. Since new housing on the northern side of Augusta Park has been built the level of traffic passing the school has increased dramatically. As most pupils cross this traffic flow along Viking Way and Roman Way a safe crossing is urgently needed.

Last week  campaigners launched a petition for a controlled crossing outside the school. Parents were overwhelmingly in favour of action and queued to sign the petition. Town councillor Barbara Carpenter said “Children are in danger. A safe crossing is urgently needed before someone is injured or killed.”

School governor Marion Orwin added “road signs in the area are not good enough and traffic drives too fast past the school entrance.”

Fellow campaigner Len Gates said “we were promised road safety measures to deal with the increased traffic from Augusta Park. It’s now time for the developers and council to honour these promises.”

The team will be collecting signatures across Roman Way over the next two weeks. Campaigners will be discussing road safety and traffic calming across the area at a residents meeting in St Pauls church centre on October 17th.

Picture shows Marion Orwin and Barbara Carpenter outside the school with their petition

Road safety at Knights Enham school

Photo 5 Knights Enham School

Residents in Tintagel Close have contacted me about the crossing on KIng Arthur’s Way from Tintagel Close to the local school (picture above).

Although there is traffic calming (single lane traffic, and 20mph limit sign along the road) this crossing is not as safe as it could be. I agree and so do the local police and school staff. I have contacted Hampshire Highways asking for improvements here in particular can they install -safety barriers along the pavements as they have further along, barriers to prevent children running or cycling straight out from the footpath into traffic and better slow down and speed restriction signs.

As usual I have yet to receive a response but will keep chasing them until I get an answer on this problem.

£1.8 million schools boost

Schools April

Andover schools are set to get an extra £1.86 million in cash, thanks to Lib Dem action in government. The cash is an increase in “Pupil Premium” funding, which is a major Lib Dem priority to help schools. 2350 local children are expected to be eligible in 2013/14, but the funding will help all schools improve.

 Liberal Democrats are building a strong economy and fair society where everyone can get ahead. I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are helping every child in Andover.

Action thanks to your Lib Dems!

Michael Gove: Don’t scrap climate change education

Today I received the following.Can I urge everyone to read it and sign the petition.

The government are considering scrapping climate change teaching in schools.

As a Geography teacher, I know full well how important it is that we teach children about climate change. I never thought I’d see the day our government would consider allowing three quarters of children to leave school with no proper education about climate change. But that’s what they’re proposing now.

It’s not too late to persuade the government to change their minds on this. These plans aren’t set in stone yet – they’re still open as part of public consultation. Plus the government have been struggling in the polls recently and have one eye fixed firmly on the next election. A huge public outcry now will leave them in no doubt that this decision could cost them crucial votes in 2015.

I’ve started a petition to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, demanding that he protects climate change’s place in the national curriculum. Click here to sign it: Under the government’s new plans, children will not be taught about the impacts of climate change unless they study GCSE Geography – a course that was only taken by 27% of GCSE students last year.

I have been a Geography teacher for more than 25 years. During that time I have taught my pupils dozens of different topics, from map reading and geology to volcanoes and earthquakes. But nothing I’ve ever taught my students has been so important as what I teach them about climate change now. We can’t afford to lose that – and neither can they.


Sign the petition to protect climate change education:

The challenges man-made climate change poses to human beings are huge. In my classes, children learn about these challenges and why they are relevant to them. They learn why it is adults tell them to recycle, switch off their computers and close doors to keep the heat in. And the truth is, children love learning about climate change. At the same time, they are learning to respect the world around them and to value human life. These are values that many of them will carry with them for the rest of their lives. They are the best possible weapons we can give them to help prevent disastrous climate change in the future.

Together, we can show Michael Gove that his plans are wrong – for our children, our planet, and our future. Sign the petition now:


Thank you for standing up for our children’s education. Margaret Hunter, 38 Degrees member and teacher from Oxfordshire


£28 million present for Hampshire schools

Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have given schools in Hampshire a £28,056,000 Christmas present.

The cash is the result of an increase in the Pupil Premium funding, which targets extra money to schools depending on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have. Last years funding was £16 million.

The Pupil Premium is a major Liberal Democrat priority that is being delivered by the Coalition Government.

In Hampshire 35,230 pupils are expected to be eligible, meaning that our schools are set to benefit from £28 million funding to support disadvantaged children.

The Pupil Premium covers any primary or secondary school pupil that has been registered for Free School Meals in the past six years. For 2013/14, the Premium will be worth £1.65bn, or £900 per pupil, in total.

I am very pleased to report this grant. Liberal Democrats are building a strong economy and fair society where everyone can get ahead. To do that we need to make sure that children are not held back by poverty and disadvantage. For too long, social background has been a deciding factor in a child’s chances for the future.

I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are helping every child in Andover and across Hampshire to reach their full potential. This money does not just help the poorest children, it helps every child. Fewer children falling behind will mean less disruption in class and a better education for everyone.

Announcing the settlement Liberal Democrat Schools Minister, David Laws said: “We are already seeing across the country how the Pupil Premium is making a difference to children’s lives. Extra tuition, better IT resources and closer work with parents are all examples of how the Pupil Premium is being used to support the most disadvantaged pupils and benefit all their classmates too.”

“That’s why I’m so pleased that, next year, we’ll be extending the Pupil Premium to another half a million children, and increasing the money that schools get to £900 per pupil. This means that, as a result of Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government, more children will get a better start in life.”

By 2015, it will be worth a total of £2.5bn a year to schools in England. To see how much Andover’s schools are benefiting visit this link

What happened to our youth service?

Andover’s residents have been shocked by Conservative run Hampshire County Council’s decision to all but wipe out Youth services, making professional staff redundant in the process. Staggeringly, the Conservatives stashed over £300,000,000 in the County bank while making the cuts!

Under the changes the Council will only provide services for ‘vulnerable’ young people such as those in care. There are many other young people needing support who may not get it at all.

Candy Huxham is Manager of the Handy Trust voluntary Youth Service in Waterside, Hampshire, and is currently Youth Worker of the ye r. Candy has strong reservations about the changes. Candy said, “We already help and advise many vulnerable oungsters in our local community but we don’t come into contact with all of them. They often tell us that there are others who we don’t see who are still in bed or don’t bother. Now there is no Connexions service and no system to account for youngsters like there was.

Unemployment of young people is the highest on record. For many it is a bad time to be young. It is certainly no time for the County Council Conservatives to walk away.

Hampshire County Council is a very large organisation with over £300,000,000 in the County bank. Some of this money should be used as a priority to provide a Youth Service as well as full apprenticeships for our young people. The County are letting down our next generation