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



Alamein Focus residents survey

Alamein Focus team have launched a residents’ survey to find out your views on the existing and future development of Andover.

Many local people have contacted us with concerns about this  issue . But we want to know what you think – and how these issues affect you.

The survey is currently being delivered to homes across Alamein ward but you can also access it here Alamein survey Oct 2014  The electronic version can be filled in on-line and emailed to us at [email protected] or you can print it off and post it to the address on the form.

Fill in your survey and return it today. It costs nothing – but will make a real difference.


Fluoride plans scrapped

Regular readers will know that Alamein Lib Dems have campaigned for years against fluoridation of local water supplies. See here  and here for more details.

Public Health England have now abandoned plans to add fluoride to the drinking water in southern Hampshire. Commenting on the decision Len Gates, who lead the campaign against the proposals at Test Valley, writes in today’s Andover Advertiser –

“I am pleased to see that Public Health England has scrapped plans to add fluoride to the water supplies in south Hampshire. The plan was opposed by over 70% of local residents and all the local authorities in the area. Among the councils against the plans was Test Valley and I am proud to have taken a lead in that opposition.”

“The pros and cons of fluoridation were discussed in great detail by councillors. The debate was free of personal and political animosity and concentrated on representing the wishes and best interests of local residents. Our conclusion was that fluoridation is an unproven, costly and unsafe over-reaction to a localised medical problem. What was, and still is, required is a targeted campaign to improve dental health where needed. The fluoridation plan was effectively medication of the entire population against their wishes.”

“This decision by PHE is really important. It matters not just in Hampshire but everywhere because it signals to health officials across the country that fluoridation cannot be imposed on an unwilling population. Congratulations to everyone who campaigned against the proposals. You have shown that common sense and public opinion can, and should, take precedence over misguided bureaucracy.”




Alamein residents’ meeting

Local residents filled the Gabriel Room at St Pauls Church for the latest residents’ forum. The meeting, organised by Alamein Community Association, allows local people to meet and quiz police, councillors and council officers on local issues.

The meeting opened with a presentation from PCSOs Peter Jones and Elly Hughes on policing issues followed by questions from the public. Gemma Sacree of Test Valley’s Community Safety team was also on hand to answer questions. A particular concern was youth nuisance in and around Smannell Road open space and the new skate park. Cllr Barbara Carpenter called for increased policing in the area and the removal of the shelter on the open space as it is a centre for trouble.

Len and Barbara discuss traffic with local resident

Len and Barbara discuss traffic with local resident

Steve Raw of Test Valley’s Planning and Transport department gave an update on traffic calming and parking controls. Barbara Carpenter, Len Gates and Cllr Phil North have a further meeting with Highways officers next month to discuss traffic calming on Smannell Road. Residents criticised the diversion of Smannell Road through Augusta Park. Len Gates explained the decision was made by borough councillors despite strong objections from councillors for the area. Local councillors also proposed an additional access road to Augusta Park but this was rejected. The plans were later ratified by a public enquiry despite further objections.

Marion Orwin raised concerns about traffic past Roman Way School and the lack of a proper crossing there.  Several other speakers also called action. Phil North explained a crossing is planned but will not be built until next year. Len Gates asked for improved signage and flashing lights like those outside Knights Enham School to be installed. Steve Raw agreed to investigate this.

Councillors Barbara Long and Steven Hardstaff gave a presentation on the Andover Town Council’s neighbourhood plan which will give local people more say in future development in the town. Local volunteers are needed to help draw up the plan.

Len Gates closed the meeting with a run down of events organised by Alamein Community Association and inviting everyone to the Association’s AGM in King Arthurs Hall at 7:30pm on 11th November. The next resident’s forum is planned for January.



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

Andover Older People’s Forum

Andover Older People’s Forum is a non party political voluntary organisation which provides information for and lobbies on behalf of local older people. More details can be found  here.

Their next meeting is entitled “Harnessing the Grey Vote”  and will take place at the Lights on 24th October. One part of the program will be a question and answer session in which local residents (over the age of 50) can pose questions to panellists representing the five main political parties about issues important to pensioners. Alamein campaigner and vice chair of NW Hants Liberal Democrats, Len Gates, will be one of the speakers at this event.

Questions should be submitted beforehand. If you have a question please send it to Molly Antrobus, c/o Test Valley Community Services, The Bus Station, West Street, Andover SP10 1QP. Questions should be received by 4th October.

The full program for the event will be published here and  elsewhere closer to the date.

Residents’ meeting

Residents of Roman Way, Swallowfields and Cricketers Way are invited to a residents’ meeting from 7:00 – 8:00pm on Friday 17th October at St Paul’s Church Centre, Smannell Road. The meeting will be attended by local police officers, town councillors and representatives of Test Valley Borough Council.

This meeting is sponsored by Alamein Community Association to allow local residents to raise matters of concern with councillors, council officers and police. If you have any particular issues you would like raised please contact the organisers below.

For further details please contact Cllr Barbara Carpenter (Andover Town Council) on 01264 338388, email [email protected] or Len Gates (Alamein Community Association) on 01264 356759, email [email protected]

UKIP Double standards

Andover UKIP has been busy issuing a number of proposals to “save” council tax payers money. However, as with most of their policies, none are actually viable and all display their usual double standards. The proposals include abolishing Andover town council, and cutting Test Valley councillor and employee pay to fund free parking in Andover.

North West Hants Lib Dem vice chairman, Len Gates, has responded to these plans –

“I am amazed by the spin put on council finances by Cllrs Hooke and Rolt. They propose to abolish the town council. But all the costs would merely be transferred to an increased Andover levy. And we would have to pay for another ballot despite having voted twice for a town council. Of course, they won’t pay. They don’t live in Andover. Next they want to cut TestValley councillor and employees’ pay to fund free parking. Everyone, including councillors and council staff, is entitled to a fair rate for the job. These rates are set independently to reflect this, not at the whim of individual councillors. A rational review of staffing and councillor numbers could produce savings well in excess of their ill-thought proposals. Although they call for cuts everywhere else they are reluctant to look closer to home. Cllr Hooke commendably pays his allowance to Neighbourcare. But Cllr Rolt and most other UKIP councillors are paid over £16,000 each, in all they cost us £160,000 per year. Perhaps they should look at this before cutting costs elsewhere.”

The facts are

Andover Town councillors, like all town and parish councillors, do not get paid. The only costs incurred are staffing and administration. If the town council were abolished these would merely be transfered back to Test Valley Borough Council. Andover council tax payers would end up paying at least as much, if not more, in an Andover levy and they would loose any local representation and control over these costs.

Abolition of the town council cannot take place without another public consultation to establish that there is “justified, clear and sustained local support” for such a move. Yet another costly referendum to overturn the two votes already held which established that the people of Andover wanted the same rights a every other resident of Hampshire. Interestingly they have not called to abolish Yateley town council where Cllr Hooke lives, nor Goodworh Clatford parish council; where Cllr Rolt lives.

Borough councillors’ allowances are set at regular intervals by an independent assessor. They reflect the time spent on the role and are intended to compensate councillors for loss of earnings elsewhere. The current allowance is £6300 pa. Only a proportion of the time spent on council duties is included when calculations are made. Staff pay is also subject to independent assessment.

There are currently 48 councillors on TestValley representing Andover, Romsey and the surrounding rural areas. Some rural councillors represent just 1600 voters while those in urban areas represent almost half as many again. In Andover there are three councillors for each ward. The number of councillors could be easily reduced.

Cllr Hooke forever reminds us he gives his councillor allowance to Neighbourcare. All ten UKIP councillors claim the full £12,000 from HCC. On election they immediately demanded special allowances for their group. As a result no less than seven claim a special responsibility allowance and another a leader’s allowance. The leader also claims an MEP salary plus expenses.


New bus station opens

for web

Cllr Barbara Carpenter and Stagecoach manager Pete Robinson


ANDOVER’S new £3m bus station was officially opened on Wednesday morning –  and the company running services there said it gives them the capacity to run more buses. Stagecoach operations manager for Andover, Pete Robinson, said: “With a growing population the prospects for the Andover area are good. If the population uses the buses we will put more on for them. The new bus station has an extra two bays and provides us with more capacity to do this.”

But services need to be commercially viable. The town’s ‘star’ services , service 76 and the Active8 service, which has a bus running every 15 minutes to Tidworth, already are. But demands for a better direct service to Winchester will only happen if they are subsidised by a local authority.

Mr Robinson, added: “It could be worthwhile and we may look at it. When we ran the service to the hospital before it was not well used but as the population grows it might change.”

The new bus station has won the support of town centre manager Chris Gregory.

He said: “It think it is a great facility and the business community is very positive about it. Hopefully it will bring more people into Andover and it complements the work of the town centre partnership.”

Bus campaigner and town councillor Barbara Carpenter says she uses the new station on a daily basis. She said: “I think it is a brilliant facility and it will make a significant difference to people’s quality of life, especially in the winter.

“I’m particularly impressed with the mobility facility and its link into the car park.”

Barbara says she hopes the bus company will look at ways of linking the bus station with Asda as many people find it a strain to carry heavy shopping significant distances.

Original story from Andover Advertiser