As Chairman of the renewed Andover Vision, I'm delighted to announce that our window exhibition showcasing iconic images of Andover is now on display in Bridge Street. Go and check it out.
The additional good news is that the vacant shop unit has recently been purchased and a new and exciting business will be opening in the latter half of this year.
Yesterday, I was honoured, humbled and delighted to be chosen as the new Leader of Test Valley's Conservative Councillors and to be our Nominee for Leader at Annual Council in May.
Under Cllr Ian Carr's leadership Test Valley has been an excellently run Council, delivering efficient and effective services, a legacy of which Ian should be rightly proud.
I want to now build upon our successes; encouraging innovation in delivering our services and communicating more effectively with our residents.
I want to lead a Council that says, if you're a resident who lives in Test Valley, a business that plies its trade in Test Valley or an organisation that operates in Test Valley we will be on your side, helping you achieve your aspirations.
I look forward to working with my colleagues and the fantastic and dedicated team of officers at the Council to achieve these aims.
Yesterday morning, I met the Hampshire County Council Transport Team Leader, Paula Edwards and member of the Strategic Transport Team, James Moore to press the case on the Smannell pathway. I was joined at the meeting by TVBC Corporate Director Andy Ferrier and TVBC Engineering and Transport Manager, Steve Raw.
I put across the strength of feeling from the local community, demonstrated in mine and Kirsty Locke's recent petition, which attracted 312 signatories. They had also seen the five pages plus of supportive comments from local residents who want a safer route for pedestrians walking between Augusta Park and Smannell to use the pub, school and church.
It was a very positive meeting. As a result, the County Council have agreed to park their alternative, cheaper suggestion to spend the developer contributions on a 'gateway feature' for Smannell village – and instead look at ways to deliver the pathway.
The County have concerns about the safety of the previously proposed scheme as although it provided a pathway along all the dangerous stretches of road, it included some road walking on the straight section. Therefore, Hampshire County Council have agreed to commission Test Valley to do a feasibility study and work up plans to deliver a pathway along the whole stretch of the road.
Extending the length of the pathway will inevitably mean it will cost more but due to the significant public support for the scheme I am reasonably confident we can leverage money from other sources.
The delay to delivering the pathway is extremely frustrating, and we still have several hurdles to get over but I'm delighted the County Council are once again convinced it is the right thing to do.
A hardy group of us successfully battled the Great British weather this morning as we took part in the Great British Spring Clean, organised by your Alamein Councillors.
We started at the i:61 Church Andover Bus of Hope, cleaning the open space on Smannell Road before moving through Augusta Park and finishing up at the Augusta Park Community Centre.
One particular local litter lout must enjoy chicken and stuffing sandwiches as I ended up with a quite a few wrappers in my bag. And that's our message. Don't drop litter in the first place. Take your chicken and stuffing sandwich wrappers home or put them in one of the public bins. Despite the litter louts though, we can all do our bit to tidy up our town and it was great to be out with so many like minded volunteers including Cllr Tracey Preston, Rebecca Meyer & Kirsty Locke
Thank you to the Augusta Park Community Association for putting on hot drinks and sausage rolls for our volunteers at the end, and thank you to Test Valley Borough Council for arranging to pick up and dispose of our bags in the morning.
Local MP, Kit Malthouse and I met yesterday to discuss the situation at Kingsway Gardens following my meeting with Aster lastweek. Leaseholders are being hit with enormous bills for works to solve the problem of damp and mould caused by water ingress.
Following our meeting, Kit has again written to Sarah Durrans, Regional Director of Aster to raise our on-going concerns about the £500k plus administration fee they're charging to project manage the works. Kit and I have challenged them to put the project management aspect of the works out to tender to ensure fairness and transparency. We have also asked if she can clarify the amount of money currently in the sinking fund and to confirm whether this amount will be subtracted from the total bill for the final works or apportioned to the individual blocks/properties.
Kit and I also agree that Aster need to confirm their commitment to speak to all owners individually to enable them to understand their financial circumstances and tailor a repayment package to suit.
Click Here to Contact Phil
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