Still they deny climate change


Yesterday saw yet another climate change denier writing to the Andover Advertiser. The evidence for global warming is irrefutable as is the proof that this warming is a direct result of human activity. NASA reports that “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.”

All this information is freely available. And yet there are those who still will not admit it and demand cheap energy from fossil fuels to power their unsustainable life styles. The evidence is there for all to see, rising sea levels, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets and increasingly erratic weather conditions. All are a direct result of our over indulgence in fossil fuels. We can all see the evidence if we choose to look.

No-one is arguing that wind farms, solar panels or any other alternative energy source is perfect. All have a part to play in reducing our dependence on carbon based energy. To dismiss them out of hand and insist on continued reliance on fossil fuels rejects the overwhelming scientific evidence of the need to change our ways.

We are not the owners of the Earth, just its custodians. We have a duty to future generations not to destroy it by ignorant self indulgence.

Picture – NASA website which provides links to all the evidence that climate change is real.


County’s Wind Farm error


I am disappointed but not really surprised by the county council’s short-sighted proposal to ban wind farms on county owned land (Andover Advertiser 25 January). What is particularly worrying is that such an important decision is not made by the full council representing local views but by the leader alone.

Wind farms have an important role to play in reducing our carbon emissions and Hampshire should have its fair share of them. There are adequate safeguards to prevent the building of wind farms in sensitive sites. The council could, and should, consider each case on its merits rather than adopt a blanket ban. The report on which this recommendation is based is flawed and written to satisfy a minority of climate change deniers and nimbies. Climate change is happening now and everyone, including Hampshire County Council, needs to address this.

The council already faces a £1.4 million bill because of its failure to reduce carbon emissions. Now it plans to further undermine energy efficiency by a blanket ban on a proven renewable energy source. Local people are already paying the price for burning excess carbon and future generations will continue to foot the bill for an ill-advised decision made by just one man.

(Picture Independent/Getty Images)

County’s energy shambles

Solar Power

    Hampshire Conservatives have once again been caught up in an embarrassing mess, after  it emerged that they had forfeited £1.4 million in taxpayers’ money, paying for the County’s excessive energy emissions.

The County Council must pay a levy for every tonne of carbon emissions as a result of electricity and gas use, but residents were shocked to find that very little progress has been made to reduce emissions, with the County’s energy plan in tatters.

Local campaigners have accused the County of ‘dithering’ and failing to get on with the job, which has now led to the £1.4 million bill. Plans for solar panels on buildings were ditched last year, meaning the County missed out on  maximum savings in energy bills that could have been used to keep Council tax down and protect local services.

Hampshire County is already ranked in the bottom half of the national energy efficiency league table, and it seems it hasn’t learnt it’s lesson after it was announced Conservative Council bosses were considering a blanket ban on windfarms, a move described as ‘bonkers’ by local campaigners. Residents fear this backwards thinking will mean another massive tax bill next year.

Local people are fed up of this needless waste of their money by the Conservative-run Council. If the County had got on with the job, it could have made our buildings more energy efficient and generated green electricity to save taxpayers money.It’s now paying the price, paying taxes for burning up excess carbon. Worse, it’s local residents who are once again being punished for Conservative County Chiefs’ dithering.


Northern Avenue flooding update #2

Several days now without ther road being flooded – at last the highways engineers are getting on top of the problem.

The road was closed overnight Thursday for surveying and repair work. I have been advised by Hampshire Highways that crews worked until 5:00am Friday morning. They managed to clear the upstream section of pipe of roots and silt and complete the camera survey of the cleaned pipes. Unfortunately there was a lot of silt and tree roots in the pipe so they couldn’t clear the downstream section to the River Anton but this is organised for Sunday evening. They should not need to close the road to carry this out.

Flooding chaos causes road closure

Local residents have been aware for some time that there is a major problem with drainage on Northern Avenue with the entire road being covered with water almost every time it rains. Many people have reported this to Hampshire County Council but the only visible response to date has been for contractors to arrive on Sundays to pump the water away.

Today saw yet another attempt to clear the flood waters. I spent some time watching the work and talking to the contractors after which I emailed a letter to the local county counciillor asking for urgent action to deal with this. You can read my letter here.
Letter to Pam Mutton 25 November

Mrs Mutton has since responded and advised me that Northern Anvenue is to close. I have replied to her and county council officers as follows.

Dear Pam

Thank you for your prompt action on this matter. It is good to see something is finally being done. However to close the road at short notice may cause major disruptions in the area during Monday morning’s rush hour. Can I have assurances that the road closure will be adequately managed, publicised and signposted so that disruption is kept to a minimum? I am particularly concerned that this closure may lead to traffic jams on the Andover ring road system and rat running through residential streets to avoid the inevitable congestion.
I assume this drastic measure is a consequence of the failure so far to adequately deal with the problem and keep the road open. If so it would be useful for residents to be informed of what measures have been taken so far and what effect these have had on alleviating the problems.
It would also be good, as I said in my letter, to have some indication of what remedial measures are planned to prevent further flooding.
I, and other residents, would also hope to hear as soon as possible how quickly we can expect a satisfactory resolution to this matter.
I look forward to your response.

Watch this website for further details on this unfolding story.

Andover Trees United

A new seven acre woodland, part of the new Queen Elizabeth Wood Andover, and one of the nation’s 60 Diamond Woods to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee, is being planted at Augusta Park. The wood is next to the new playing fields on the north east side of the development. Planting and management is being carried out by a local community group, Andover Trees United.

The aim of Andover Trees United is for every young person in the town and surrounding villages, over a ten-year period, to have contributed to the woodland by planting a tree in their school nursery bed and later moving it to the woodland itself. The woodland will be there for schools, young people and the whole of our community to plant, maintain and enjoy.

November 26th to December 7th 2012 is the planting fortnight.

Many helping hands are needed for this and for replenishing the school nursery beds afterwards. Offers of help for half a day or the whole fortnight will all be gratefully received. If you wish to be involved there are a variety of tasks available not necessarily physical.

If you would like to help with the planting or join the team of School Support Gardeners to help by planting up school nursery bed, please contact Wendy Davis at [email protected]

You can find more details of the project at and

Action at Vigo Road

Andover Lib Dem Councillor Nigel Long has worked with local residents to deal with anti-social behaviour at Vigo Road Recreation ground.

Nigel consulted local people and brought their views to the borough council for action. As a result benches will be relocated elsewhere in the park and the hedge/fence will be repaired and trimmed. Trees will be trimmed back to allow the footpath to be properly lit in the evenings. Funding has been found to put a barrier in at the car park.

Acre Path residents’ chairman Peter Steele congratulated Nigel on the work done so far to improve the area. Nigel will continue to work with the residents to ensure any problems in the
area are dealt with quickly and effectively.
Lib Dems working on your side.

Working for Pilgrims Way

Local residents in Pilgrims Way have expressed their delight at the work being done in the area to improve the environment.

Lib Dem councillors Katherine Bird and Nigel Long are working with Aster Housing, Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council to get action for Pilgrims Way.

Many road signs have already been replaced, and the remainder will be changed in the next few years. All the trees on the estate will be surveyed and overgrown trees will be cut back or removed.

Safety has been improved around the electricity substation and the surrounds tidied.

Katherine and Nigel are also seeking funding for an additional footpath along the spine road. “We’ll keep pressing the local Councils to get things done for local residents,” Katherine said.

Don’t rubbish our recycling

Local campaigners in Andover are backing European Member of Parliament Catherine Bearder’s campaign to ensure waste is managed responsibly and not exported to third world countries. Many local councils have already signed up to the campaign I hope Hampshire and Test Valley will do the same.

Visit for more this campaign!

Tories Refuse to Empty Bins!

Test Valley Tory council will refuse government funding to improve bin collections. At a recent council meeting they rejected Lib Dem proposals to take advantage of part of the £250 million on offer to improve services. Funding could have paid for the additional weekly summer collections that residents desperately want. Andover St Mary’s councillor Katherine Bird said “This short sighted decision ignores local residents concerns and will do nothing to help recycling.”