Ever wondered where the contents of your green waste bin go to get recycled? The answer is Chilbolton Down composting plant near Stockbridge where it gets turned into pro-gro and other green products.
I joined several of my councillor colleagues on a visit earlier this week. We can all be very proud that well over 90% of our waste in Test Valley is either recycled or turned into electricity - and our green waste operation is part of that.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of El Alamein, the key turning point in the Second World War. As Churchill remarked: "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat."
Yesterday the village of Enham Alamein came together, as it does every year, to celebrate that victory and remember those who died in the service of mankind.
Many of the injured from that battle were brought back to Enham to undergo their recovery - and in recognition of their liberation Egypt gifted Enham the modern day equivalent of £6.5m to help care for disabled servicemen. To thank the Egyptian's for their kind gesture the name 'Alamein' was added to the village – and Enham became Enham Alamein.
We should all be extremely proud of our local association with the battle and the success of the 8th Army in defeating Hitler. The village of Enham Alamein and the on-going work of the Enham Trust is a lasting memorial to that battle.
At last night's Cabinet meeting I announced the good news that parking tariffs will be frozen across the borough for another year.
The Cabinet were considering the annual Fees and Charges report, which reserved the right to bring back a further report to increase parking charges for 2018/19. We were very clear though that this report would not be required and that we have no plans to increase car parking charges at this time.
When I was elected to the leadership of Test Valley I made it clear that one of my top priorities was to sustain and rejuvenate our town centres. In Romsey we have been working in partnership with Hampshire County Council to deliver shared space improvements in Church Street and Bell Street. And in Andover we are building a brand new leisure centre; working with the County Council through the Andover Vision to create a new urban park on the banks of the Anton; developing exciting plans for the Former Magistrates' Court and I've longer term aspirations for a more fundamental overhaul of our shopping space.
Our whole approach is about trying to attract more people into our town centres and decrease vacancy rates - now is not the right time to increase parking charges.
Since becoming leader of the Council, I have been touring Test Valley getting to know, in detail, the various communities across the Borough. I continued my tour yesterday with a visit to Romsey Abbey ward – being shown around by local Councillor, Ian Richards.
I had a brief tour of King John's House and Heritage Centre, before heading to the Memorial Park and the successful kiosk run by former Councillor, Sally Lamb. After a quick stop at La Parisienne for a café au lait it was on to Bell Street to have a look at the highway improvement works being undertaken in partnership with Hampshire County Council.
I also took time to meet the President of the Romsey Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peter Speirs; Town Centre Manager, Mark Edgerley and the Manager of the newly refurbished Romsey Visitor Information Centre, Julia West. I finished off my morning on the fashion floor of the successful independent department store, Bradbeers, talking to director Greg Davies.
Thanks Ian for an action packed and very worthwhile morning.
The children of Smannell & Enham Primary School took to the polls last week to vote in their new school council; known as the Junior Governors. As a former pupil, I was delighted to be asked to give a talk about my role leading Test Valley Borough Council, the fundamental importance of democracy in my job and to offer some campaigning advice to the children.
The votes were counted by the school's ambassadors Verity and Eswyn and the results declared to the excited audience at Friday's Celebration Worship.
It is important our young people understand and value our democratic system as it is not something we should ever take for granted – there are plenty of countries in the world whose populations are not free. As Ronald Regan said, we didn't pass freedom to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
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If you have any ideas, issues or concerns please feel free to contact me.
Address: Cllr Phil North, C/O TVBC, Beech Hurst, Weyhill Road, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 3AJ.
Call: 077324 23023