I REFER to a comment by Cllr North in the 23 February issue of the Advertiser where he stated, “It was particularly galling to hear past under investment being given as a reason for M&S’s problems in Andover.”

All I can say to Cllr North and TVBC councilors is, “Wake up and smell the coffee!”

It is the type of investment.

Footfall in Andover High Street has been declining for at least 10 years and it seems that none of our councillors noticed. They have talked a lot about Andover Vision but what action has there been?

Some Andover Vision Projects: 1: There was a suggestion to pedestrianise the road past Wilkos to provide a riverside feature. All I can say is look across the river and admire the view! To provide an alternative route for Wilkos’ delivery vehicles the proposal was to close part of the car park to make access for Wilkos’ delivery vehicles from the ring road, which is about one metre higher than the car park.

It is going to be quite an expensive project, for what, and would incur the loss of car parking revenue.

2: Andover Vision was to improve the High Street. I suppose the erection of the expensive signs to show where the shops are in the alley ways of the High Street.

is part of the improvement.

If you get as far as the signs you probably know where the shop is already. What is wrong with a simple map showing the list of shops, types and their location, similar to what can be seen in other shopping areas in adjoining towns / cities.

None of the expensive projects above would increase the footfall in the High Street.

I wonder that if it was the councillors’ own money that such projects would get started or even considered.

TVBC seem keen to spend money on dubious projects.

Probably a ‘tick-box’ exercise.

They are also keen to remove objects that the people of Andover would like to have kept if proper consultation had been carried out.

Against the wishes of a large number of local people the TVBC portfolio holder for leisure, Romsey Conservative councillor Caroline Nokes decided to remove a well-known icon that appears in many historical reference books about Andover — the bandstand in Vigo Road Recreation Ground.

To provide an alternative ‘entertainment venue’ a concrete ring was provided by a bequest for the benefit of the people of Andover, I think it has been used once during its inauguration! Was this a good investment? Unlike the bandstand it has no protection from the elements. The money would have been better spent in improving the bandstand.

Closure of the George Yard Toilets would not help in increasing the footfall in the High Street. Probably the reverse. Previously, holiday coaches used the area to pick up and drop off people because of the toilets. Passengers might have used the High Street, for refreshments, etc whilst waiting for a bus.

Perhaps through your letter pages Cllr North can explain if there are parking charges for TVBC headquarters at Beech Hurst. If not, why not?

It would bring Beech Hurst parking in line with Andover where visitors and workers have to pay.

If charges were introduced at Beech Hurst then 100 cars at £3 a day would raise £1,500 a week enough to pay for an attendant at George Yard Toilets!

Perhaps a solution is to remember that when the elections come round, people should vote for an independent councillor who has the interests of Andover at heart, and not those of a political party.

Peter Steele, Acre Path, Andover.