COP26 Debate

Dear Editor,

Whether you regard COP26 as a glittering success or monumental failure depends on your perspective.

If I was a Pacific Islander threatened by rising sea levels, I would be far from happy.

On a more realistic note, COP26 can be regarded as another step in addressing those issues which threaten the world as we know it.

Global warming and destruction of our environment is with us now.

Any measure of success depends on our ability to implement all the promises made.

Most of us will have noticed that as in so many things our government and local councils tell a good story but deliver little.

At the national level we have many targets set but little in the way of action to achieve them.

It is all very well to phase out diesel and petrol vehicles but where are the charging infrastructures to support the electric replacements?

Wander around any street and ask yourself how the engineering and logistical difficulties are going to be addressed.

We are told that we should all go down the route of air ground source heat pumps, yet these are more expensive.

Building regulations have not been amended yet - it’s all in the future - to ensure developers build homes that meet these targets.

These will all cost money in the short term for the developers many of whom are major contributors to Conservative Party coffers.

If this was another country and not our own, we would be talking about sleaze and corruption.

Closer to home we have councils who not to be outdone are declaring climate emergencies but doing very little about it.

One council promises to plant 10,000 trees but has no land to do so.

Council plans are geared to their own council activities.

They will not act as local facilitators.

They are not there for us as individuals or local businesses. Although councils see the lack of new building regulations as a critical factor, they fail to adopt early these requirements unlike Brighton & Hove council.

What is good about having a lot of new houses which will not be sustainable and meet the new regulations?

If we are serious about protecting our environment, we need to be doing more.


Luigi Gregori

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson

for North West Hampshire

Congratulations Kit Malthouse

Dear Editor,

I am sure many of your readers will join me in congratulating our local MP, the Minister of State for Crime and Policing, for the example he set in Parliament on November 3 (Owen Patterson case).

It is good to know that in these turbulent times, when the values and standards we were brought up to respect are under threat, there are those like Mr Malthouse who will bravely condone blatant corruption and vote to overturn Parliamentary rules and procedures to save a fellow MP found guilty under those rules from suspension and possible recall.

It is reassuring to know that our fragile democracy is in such safe hands.

Andrew Whiteley


Recycling drama

Dear Sir

An article in the local papers says the Conservative leader of TVBC is very pleased - and his Environment Portfolio Holder “welcomes� - the changes in recycling being brought in by the Government’s Environment Bill.

Namely that glass, thin plastics and tetra-pak materials will all be included in TVBC recycling bins, at the kerbside.

But these changes will not be implemented by Test Valley Borough Council until – at the earliest -2023/24.

The time for action was ten years ago, when Test Valley Liberal Democrat councillors first pressured the Tory Administration to offer residents kerbside glass collection and raise our recycling rates (which are some of the worst in the county).

Two Liberal Democrat motions have been placed before Council on this subject but a unanimous vote by conservative councillors saw both motions defeated. We also proposed Food Waste collections.

This is yet another example of the one Conservative ‘promise’ that is always kept - delay. Delay in Covid lockdown, delay in the government providing full recompense for the costs of the pandemic, and delay in climate action.

Cllr Celia Dowden.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on TVBC

Labour disappointment

Dear Editor,

Having been a Labour voter all my life, watching the politics my party has come to represent leaves me saddened, the nastiness of the Blair years has returned, nationally and locally.

I looked at the Spotted Face Book page this morning to be aghast by some of the posts, this does not represent me.

We need to return to the good days of Jeremy Corbyn and Harriet Harman, a great dynamic duo. Locally I never see the Councillors I have voted for.Who are they? What do they do? Unfortunatly as a Labour loyalist, I must declare my beloved party a shambles.

Vagan Chalotti,


Christmas joy

Dear Editor,

Andover Churches Together will be holding a Community Christmas Day lunch again this year after the enforced break last year.

As before it will be held at the United Reform Church hall on 25th December. Anyone in the Andover area who will be on their own on Christmas Day is invited to join others to enjoy a Christmas lunch together. To book a place, please contact Liz Scrace on 07914 025741 or email

We look forward to seeing many old and new faces again this year.

Yours faithfully

Liz Scrace


Empty green land

Dear Editor,

It enraged me to see that John Lewis had proposed building on a greenfield site in Longstock, when its subsidiary Waitrose is allowing several houses to remain empty and deteriorate in Leckford. Most of these are smaller houses that should fulfil the affordability needs and size required. I was amazed that John Lewis handed over responsibility for Leckford mainly to Waitrose some years ago. As your article in the 12th November edition states, their roots are in Leckford (and I gather that the change has not benefitted nor gone down well with longstanding workers on the Leckford Estate). As usual, it is always a bit of empty, green land that appeals to developers - oh, so much easier to bung up houses there than to use brownfield or renovate existing property.

There are thousands of older but well-built homes in towns and cities being boarded up because no-one will force builders to renovate those rather than build round the urban edges. How can we ask South American and other countries to leave their rainforests alone if we continue unnecessarily to develop greenfield areas and knock down woodlands here that can also absorb carbon dioxide? There are also plenty of homes in the countryside - what is lacking is finance schemes to help buy them, laws to stop gazumping and restrictions on the number of second and holiday homes being held, often empty for weeks at a time, in villages.

I feel that there should also be a ban on demolishing reasonably-sized (and therefore more affordable) homes and bungalows to build unnecessarily huge mansions in their place.

Jane Bayley


Supported living approved

Too many self entitled people these days that fight planning applications that would literally drastically positively change peoples lives.

“The plans were rejected by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) on the grounds that residents would make “disconcerting noises” and “throw items over neighbouring fences” which would disturb neighbours.”. I promise that if you knocked on any of my neighbours’ fences and asked them if I’d ever “thrown items over their fences” they would think you were on drugs. ALL my respect to this lady for finally getting permission.

Becky Paris, via Facebook