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Former Andover Resident Frustrated and Angry

We've received an email from an former Andover resident with family still here that makes interesting reading. Normally we don't publish emails (and have no plans to) however this one stuck out. [Read more...]

We’ve received an email from an former Andover resident with family still here that makes interesting reading. Normally we don’t publish emails (and have no plans to) however this one stuck out.

As a generalisation there appears to be 3 groups within the town:

  1. Feel the council are doing a good job
  2. Feel the council are doing a poor job
  3. No feelings one way or the other

Are the council doing enough or not? Are the council doing things but just not telling us? Should residents and businesses be doing more? Should we as residents be doing things instead of relying on someone else to do it?

Please feel free to comment however please keep it constructive! All comments are moderated so it may take a while for yours to appear.

 

Carol’s Email

I am not sure if this is a forum for having our say or not as some of the links seem to have been broken (now fixed – Ed) but if there is a way of publishing what I have to say about Andover I would hope I would have something constructive to try and add in the hopes that the town council might stop their slow erosion of Andover’s original market town concept.

I moved to Andover in 1990 having returned from South Africa after seven years and we chose Andover because it was a market town with a market on Tuesdays and Saturdays which we came to enjoy very much.  At that time it was a thriving place with the market stalls and many people coming into the town;  farmers, people from neighbouring communities wishing to purchase fresh food from the stall holders.

By the time we left Andover in 2003 Andover was a shell of its former self with the demise of the market and the introduction of very stringent parking regulations and fees.  If you notice the town hots up after 4pm these days when there is free parking but the council don’t get it.

The council have introduced no end of rules and regulations about parking, have increased the danger on our roads with their hideous traffic lanes and bollards where people now do not have the patience for anyone who happens to get into the wrong lane when trying to exit all the various roundabouts in Andover.

They have an old fashioned parking garage which I discovered has right hand driving in and out in it and which is so small for the large cars it has to accommodate that it is now a hazard to pedestrians coming and going from the site.

The local hospital has no parking garage and there is almost a riot there when people cannot get parking and when they do it is absolutely exorbitantly priced.  Why hasn’t the council built any park and ride areas for Andover?

Why has it used hard earned tax money to buy concrete bollards (balls) from China and completely change the way the town center looks? Its hideous! There is little or no market anymore clearly because fees are high to be able to have a market there anymore and the council have made it difficult for them to be there.

It allowed inferior shopping services there like pound stores, too many charity shops and no real shops of any consequence where people could buy upscale products.  We have a dirth of cheap clothing stores and generally the local council have done a poor job of promoting Andover within the business community.

People from Andover would rather drive out to Salisbury or Winchester or Basingstoke because they know they can get what they need or want in those places.

This town council are so rich they can pay themselves more in salaries than our Prime Minister earns and they don’t care that they are working for “us” the people of the area.  They have become disrespectful to those around them when dealing with us and spending our money.

When will the people of Andover revolt in some way against these controlling councils?  The fact they have also cut back on NeighborCare is another thorn to be borne by the people of Andover.

This service is primarily looking after those folks who cannot do things for themselves anymore, the elderly, disabled, etc. and yet they find they need to cut the amount they give.

If a vote went out to the people in Andover that cut would never have been made but instead it is done behind closed doors on our behalf and to our detriment.

I still have family living in Andover and they relied on the services of NeighborCare but now that will not be the case for them.  This was a trusted charity where the elderly and disabled could go when they needed to have work done in their homes or assistance in their homes.

Now they will have to rely on finding respectable workers themselves which in today’s society in Andover it not so easy with the many con men there and people ready to use scare tactics on vulnerable people.

It makes me angry to see the demise of such a lovely market town and I wish Andoverians would have a demonstration or something to voice their distaste for their council.

Sincerely,
Carol Frayne

TVBC Andover

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6 Comments

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  • Well…..I think that Carol has said it all. Not much more to add I don’t think. Our elected council do seem to have abused the trust the electorate have blindly given, and duplicity seems to be the nature of the council now a days….

    Short sighted approaches to opportunities and growth generation such as rent / rate incentives to start up businesses seem to be dismissed or too big a hurdle…

    Inefficiencies with ground keeping around the town seems to be ignored, except by a few local dedicated volunteers who are passionate to do something about it and do…and yet the council just …..well.,..do nothing!, not even thank the volunteers for their efforts. Perhaps too embarrassed?

    Something needs to change, and there are more than a few who agree. Would a Protest achieve anything?…perhaps not! There is no one voice large enough within the Town to generate results, but this too is changing.

    Andover is destined for great things, but it will take time to correct the slap dash, mis-handled approach of the current local authority…but change they will and I look forward to watching the positive development of Andover unfold.

    • It seems that Andover will not resurrect itself unless people are willing to be more supportive. What is wrong with a peaceful demonstration outside the council offices with a valid list of complaints to be addressed? What is wrong with holding your representatives to high standards and making them accountable for what they do? Can I also ask why volunteers have to ensure that the hedgerows are kept neat and tidy, surely with all the millions of pounds the council are raking in that is part and parcel of what they should be doing! Volunteers are needed in other areas and are a resource which should not be abused by them having to maintain areas which the council should be doing. What is wrong with lobbying the various councilors in the area and doing it on a regular basis until positive changes are seen there. The way forward for Andover would have been a decent ring road taking non town traffic away rather than what they have now with traffic having to filter through that area to go anywhere else. They need more parking garages at least two, one to serve the hospital community and one to serve the shopping community. They need park and ride for those in the outlying areas to be able to get into town easily and back again. This works in so many other cities in the country and yet it is not used in Andover. The population has grown enormously there and yet the council has been unable or unwilling to expand services to outlying areas. With the continued growth of huge supermarket chains both outside and inside the town centre there is no incentive for a butcher, baker or any other business to remain open there thereby stifling any and all entrepreneurial hope. You only have to look at Stockbridge to see how well it is now doing opening shops which people actually want to shop in and returning to the basics of individual shops whilst still allowing people to have the use of small in town supermarkets. There is enough money to go round but with the current mindset of the town council nothing will change unless Andovarians make it happen.

  • Such a sad artical Carol. But accurate one person who read it suggested you could well be my alter ego. This is what I have been saying for approx 2 years now. In November 2012 I was invited to join a Town Summit to address some of these issues. I was naive to say the least as nearly 8 monts on nothing has happened. So lets face it talking is a waste of time.

    Part of the problem is TVBC is run by a small committee with a grand title of Cabinet. They basically make all the important decisions for the Town and that is pretty much it. That is the mechanism that allows the Town to die slowly.

    So talking has got us nowhere. Articles in the press have got us nowhere so why not a well organised protest. I for one am up for it. More than happy to work with you on this Carol. You can contact me on 01264 352489. You will discover a warm welcome and a team dedicated to turning the town around.

    Councillor Tony Hooke
    Hampshire County Council

    • Hi Tony,
      I am only home every 3-4 months from USA to take care of my folks who remain there and my next visit is October! However, I will call you once home. I think someone needs to sit down and draw up a list of what needs to happen in Andover and go out to the community and collect signatures. Once you have them you can have a small committee head to this so called Cabinet and tell them you want to see their long term goals for Andover and time lines and budgets, etc. This information is public knowledge and they can’t stop you asking those questions and you getting answers. This council and many people there are old money and are the people running the show and not being answerable to the public. If it is possible you can seek legal counsel from outside the area ……is there a pro bono lawyer around willing to help get this info. You can always challenge what goes on in peaceful ways but you have to have a strong mouthpiece who has and knows the facts! Do not do anything without the facts and figures in front of you. I have written a lengthy piece to Sir George Young but I am not holding my breath on him doing anything….I am not sure what he has achieved in that area at all but we will see. What you want to know is how much money this council has in reserves and set aside for projects, increases in salaries, etc. the budget! The public is entitled to know what is going on. I am sorry you thought my piece sad but 20 years this decline has been happening ad it will be hard to reverse. They have named themselves a private business making profits to pay themselves and have become disrespectful to all who are paying their wages and they ave become unaccountable to the people there. I wish you luck ad am willing to help via computer until,I am home again. You can write separately at carol_frayne2@bellsouth.net if you think I can help in any way.

  • I could not agree more with the above letter and comments. I think they all should resign, they think they are a law unto themselves, do exactly what they want with the money we give and pay thier wages. , I feel they have lost interest and going by Romsey, Stockbridge and Winchester we are like a poor relation in comparison.. I recently wrote to Sir George,, with some concerns, and though I have the greatest respect for the gentleman . He said The welfare systems supports millions who are on low incomes or unemployed so no-one has to struggle to meet their basic needs he went on to say the contributions voluntary organisations and food banks, including Trussell Trust (never heard of this)make to supporting local communities beyond the safety net provided by the Government should be commented I AM PLEASED THAT UNDER THIS GOVERNMENT FOR THE FIRST TI ME , JOB CENTER PLUS IS NOW REFERRING PEOPLE TO THEIR SERVICES!!!!!!!!!.. He does go on to talk about the Universal Credit., will simplify the whole matter and people will be better off..Where I am sitting it spells disaster, complete disaster and there will be debts and homelessness and we will be building workhouses, . cannot believe this Government…get out of here.!!!! come UKIP please wake up, Great Briton is Great the best place in the World. but we are heading in to deep economic disaster–, half our donations to foreign aid ,we give more USA, we are only a little island. Charity begins at home face fact Mr Cameron we cannot support everyone for goodnees sake Briton wake up please and use your
    VOTE..we will be needing a loan from the EU next .
    .

  • I have received a reply from Sir George and based on his reply to the above writer I am not even going to open it because he probably won’t have addressed anything about my concerns which were with the council.

    I fear that this recession never stopped from 1990 when Andover started building new homes there. At that time we had the start of the council that we see today. I lived in Anna Valley and the builder was allowed to put as many houses there that he could get away with regardless of the fact that some bordered a farmers field up a steep and dangerous embankment and in keeping with their arrogance they did nothing to protect either the farmer or owners from the danger there causing many problems for the owners to sort out themselves with regards to dangerous trees and local footpaths. They also considered it necessary to over plant the area with laurel and sycamore trees which actually were higher than the houses and refused to take responsibility for their maintenance. In the same vein they allowed major supermarkets to build out of town, as well as to build a huge TSB building in town and it was built old sixties style an eye sore and it is now Asdas! There was no long term plan for Andover and its citizens or anyone calling for a cohesive plan to ensure growth in the town center rather than taking everything away. Regardless of people being supported on welfare there in the locale there are still thousands paying property tax and paying parking fees and accordingly the council should be drawing in its greed hands, cutting back their pay increases and seeking any and all ways to bring Andover ack. I do not understand why there had to be an in town Tescos and one outside town when clearly the in town one could compete with Waitrose and Sainsburys but it happened and it has taken the market share from the town. However the multi story parking has not helped with its stupid design and lack of spaces on busy days. We saw barriers erected at the local fish and chip shop where once you could park for a few minutes thus detracting business away there. Nothing has been done by the council to help businesses at all. The local cinema was run by a local man Michael Saunders to try and encourage local youths there and off the streets but at every turn there were issues he had. The chantry center was good for coffee but then came a dearth of cheap coffee places and food shops driving away the baker shop. This is not just a change in how we shop with the use of the Internet but an inability of not only the council to make adjustments but for local people to have an adjustment to changing times and the amount of money there is to go around and realizing that not everyone is poor! Why do we always have to come down to the lowest denominator. The objective in society should be to raise everyone up!

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