Yesterday I attended a transition town meeting in Andover. For those who don’t know about the transition movement it’s aim is to improve the sustainability of communities by decreasing their dependence on oil and reducing their carbon footprint. Full details can be found at
The Andover campaigners have been working for the last few months and already made great progress particularly the food group who aim to encourage greater use of locally produced and home produced foods.
Yesterday’s meeting was to inform local campaigners that Andover had been picked by the Energy Saving Trust for support as part of their Green Communities program. My congratulations to everyone at Transition Town Andover for this success and best wishes for future projects which I will be supporting whenever possible.
I recently carried out a residents’ survey in the Lillywhite Crescent area in response to calls from a number of local residents. Results highlighted their concerns about traffic, youth nuisance and litter.
Respondents expressed concerns about speeding along Icknield Way, the use of this road by East Anton contractor traffic and the ineffectiveness of new traffic calming measures installed. I have been passed these comments on to the police, Hampshire Highways and the contractors. Contractor traffic is monitored and action taken against drivers using this route. The current traffic calming measures are the first stage of a program which will eventually see the north of Icknield Way closed to through traffic except buses and emergency vehicles. The completion of the scheme depends on building progress at East Anton.
Residents reported they were satisfied with measures taken by the police and wardens to control motor bikes and nuisance along Dark Lane although some problems still exist. The police nuisance vehicle campaign will continue throughout the summer and I am talking to council officers about other measures to make the path safer for walkers and cyclists.
Fly-tipped rubbish and garden waste has been removed from Icknield Way and Dark Lane and the area will be monitored to prevent re-occurrence. Council officers are investigating the possibility of extra dog waste and litter bins here and along the path to Viking Way.
A number of other issues were also raised including damaged signs, improvements to footpaths, 20 mph speed limits and graffiti. I have referred all of these to council officers for further investigation and action.
Earlier this week I was fortunate to spend some time with Manuela Wahnon discussing her attitude of gratitude campaign to clean up Andover.
Manuela starts from the simple premises that we should be grateful for what we have and look after it. We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country and it’s up to us to make sure it stays that way. If we see litter in our town it is our responsibility to pick it up no-one else’s. By doing so we make Andover a better place and we feel better for that. Not rocket science just common sense.
Some people would argue that we should stop everyone dropping litter in the first place and this is what Test Valley Borough Council does try to do. But if litter is there someone has to deal with it. Why not you?
To date Manuela has won support from dozens of local businesses, the borough council and our MP. She also speaks regularly to local schools. I fully support her campaign and urge everyone else to do the same.
To find more about what the campaign has done visit
On Monday 3rd August to Friday 7th August 2009 the CREW (Community Respect and Environment Week) will take place on Roman Way and Cricketers Way.
Test Valley Borough Council, Hampshire Police, Hampshire Fire and Rescue and a range of other agencies will focus their attention and work with the local community to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime and to undertake activities to improve and enhance the environment.
The Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder, Peter Boulton said “I am really pleased with the support and participation of agencies getting involved. I hope that by working with the community we will reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and will help to improve and enhance the local environment.”
I fully support Cllr Boulton’s comments and will be there myself over the week.
Other activities will include a football tournament that is going on all week for all residents, children and parents to take part in. Test Valley’s Neighbourhood Wardens will be running this event. Alamein Community Association also hope to attend the event
Graffiti is always unpleasant and unacceptable, particularly when it is racist or obscene. It lowers the tone of the area and degrades the communities who have to put up with it. I fully support the zero tolerance philosophy which argues that none is acceptable and that it must be removed as soon as it appears. I was pleased therefore to see that Hampshire Highways removed the graffiti at Enham Arch (below) on the same day I reported it.
On the week starting 3rd August there is a CREW initiative in Cricketers Way and Roman Way. One of the issues council officers will deal with is graffiti. If you know of any problems in the area let me know and I will make sure it is removed.
And a second thank you to Hampshire Highways – on the same day I reported the graffiti I also asked for repairs to potholes in Galahad Close. The following day repairs, albeit temporary, were carried out.
I am always amazed at why people should want to dump rubbish in the street. It lowers the neighbourhood, upsets everybody and is completely unnecessary when there are plenty of alternatives.
Below is the latest load of fly-tipping I encountered on Roman Way; all of it was removed by council officers after I contacted them on Tuesday.
Household rubbish can be taken to the recycling centre on Walworth industrial estate. If you can’t take it there Test Valley will collect rubbish for you. Phone 01264 368000 for more details. If you see fly-tipped rubbish please call the same number and it will be removed. Together we can keep Alamein clean and tidy. See the link below for more details
Local MPs Sandra Gidley, Chris Huhne and Parliamentary Candidates Dave Callaghan and Dave Goodall have joined local campaigners fighting plans to add fluoride to Hampshire’s tap water, and delivered their views to the Prime Minister last week. Members of Hampshire Against Fluoridation took a petition containing 15,300 names calling for the controversial scheme to be scrapped to Downing Street.
Commenting, Lib Dem Shadow Public Health Minister, Sandra Gidley MP said: “The health authority were very selective with the evidence they took account of, ignoring much good evidence which proves that fluoride is good for teeth but doesn’t have to be put into the water. They also seemed to have ignored the fact that even the British Dental Association advise against giving fluoridated water to babies. The cost of fluoridation would also be huge. It would be far cheaper and more effective to provide toothpaste and brushes to those who can’t afford it rather than introducing a mass medication programme.”
Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne added: “The whole idea of a public consultation is that the public’s views are taken into account. Unfortunately the consultation undertaken by South Central SHA was nothing other than a PR exercise, as they chose to ride roughshod over the overwhelming opinion of the public. I hope that the Prime Minister will realise just how angry people in Hampshire are about these plans, and put a stop to them before a bad taste is left in the mouths of local people.”
First published on Sandra Gidley’s website 9 June 2009.
Local residents are questioning why so much work is being carried out along Smannell Road. A number of different contractors are involved laying fibre optic cables, building additional roundabouts and eventually traffic signals at Tescos.
In addition work is being carried out to improve drainage along the road and on the adjacent open space which has been prone to flooding in the past. As a result a number of the existing trees have been removed to facilitate this work. Council officers have worked with the contractor to avoid loss of as many trees as possible and have recorded the number, size and species of all trees removed. Several of the trees removed have been damaged in the past by vandals/mower damage, this would have reduce their lifespan.
Once the drainage work is completed a comprehensive re-planting scheme will be organised at this site to replace those trees removed. If you have any queries about the works please contact me.
Regular readers will know I have been calling for additional dog bins and rubbish bins in the ward. I am pleased to report the campaign is beginning to have an impact. In addition to the new bin previously reported on Hadrian Road. TVBC and Testway Housing have now installed extra bins on King Arthurs Way and Roman Way.
If there are other areas which need extra bins please let me know.
Residents in King Arthur’s Way are being urged to contact the Council if they see anyone fly-tipping in the local area.
The plea comes after Environmental Services Officers carried out an inspection of the area and found a large amount of waste left on streets and in open spaces.
Councillor Peter Boulton, Portfolio Holder for Environment said. “It is a shame that a small number of people are spoiling the local environment for everyone. Illegally dumped waste is not only unsightly but it also poses a health risk. Our Cleansing Team works hard to ensure that areas are monitored and that any litter and fly-tipping is cleaned up but we would encourage residents to get in contact with the Council if they do witness anyone flytipping in their area. It is an offence and anyone caught will face prosecution and can be fined up to £50,000 if convicted.”
If residents do have any large or bulky waste to dispose of then there are a number of options including:
Taking waste free of charge to a Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Arranging for the Council to collect the waste as part of the Bulky Waste Collection Service (one item costs £13.00 to collect and multiple items cost £26.00). If you are claiming benefits, you may qualify for a free collection.
Arranging a collection through a company who are privately registered to carry waste.
Donating items to charity shops or organisations for example, Testway’s ‘Twice as Nice.’
For information on all of these options please contact the Council’s Customers Services Team on 01264 368000 or visit www.testvalley.gov.uk.
I welcome this initiative. It is re-assuring to know that Environmental Services officers are monitoring flytipping and taking action to prosecute flytippers. However the problem does not just occur on King Arthur’s Way but across Alamein ward and the rest of Andover particularly in public open spaces. I urge residents to report flytipped rubbish and flytippers wherever it occurs. When there are services available to remove rubbish and there is a public waste disposal site in Andover there is no excuse for dumping rubbish on the streets.