Better use of £22,000
Dear Editor,
I read with interest (Andover Advertiser, 2 April 2021) the proposal by Cllr Barbara Long to place a memorial stone in town centre to commemorate Andover’s purchase of a Royal Charter in 1175.
Andover once had a memorial stone of sorts in the heart of the town, in the form of the cenotaph, which the relatives and friends of those that died to protect our freedom paid for to be erected outside the Guildhall. 
As one of the main opponents of the call to have that memorial returned to its rightful place, I find it quite ironic that she now wishes to place a new monument in the town. ‘It will be vandalised’, ‘the town drinks will urinate against it’ are just a couple of the reasons she has previously given for not wishing to see the war memorial back in the town centre. So what would be different about this new ‘Charter Stone’?
If the council really wish to celebrate Andover’s freedom, then put the cenotaph back where it belongs, so that the sacrifices made by all those that died in the service of their country can be proudly seen by everyone coming to the town. That would be a better use of the estimated cost of £22,000.
Bob Roberts, Andover

Election is here
Dear Editor,
It’s election-time again.  The elections in May, with important local issues at stake, will nonetheless once again be coloured by national issues.
A personal view on this, and the reason why I will be supporting the liberal democrats, is illustrated by two overarching issues: Brexit and Covid.  Whilst both have local ramifications too; I am personally annoyed with the government on local issues connected with Covid.
Brexit has not gone away! Nationally, export companies are closing and facing increased bureaucracy at a time of economic recovery when they least need it. We are all, moreover, having to pay increased supermarket bills. Finally, the UK’s external image is really suffering, and ‘Global Briatin’ is, frankly, a chimera.
On Covid, yes, the NHS, note, not the government, has done an amazing job with vaccinations. But the government, especially during the first nine months of the crisis, made some poor decisions and, worst of all, threw away huge sums of our money by contractually favouring companies known by, and supportive of, the governing elite.  This ‘chumocracy’ should be a scandal.
Finally, on Covid, we are all, and here’s the local dimension I mentioned, going to be paying considerably more in indirect taxation (eg: Council Tax) to help make up the shortfall of what government has, in some cases, needlessly spent, or spent badly.
The Liberal Democrats locally have been against this indirect taxation, they seek a proper, green recovery from Covid, and remain committed to a closer arrangement with the EU.
The Lib Dems will be getting my vote.
Ray Bryant, Burghclere Down

We must rethink
Dear Editor,
Last week’s report in the Advertiser over the plans of developers to build flats instead of a promised pub in Picket Twenty is yet another of a long line of promises made but then broken. 
Public spaces are being traded for profit. Yet alternative proposals such as a public garden or additional parking for the community facilities in place, which are inadequate, have been ignored. 
This is not a unique event in the sorry state of the development of Andover's Estates. Developers have been allowed to build and build with little thought to providing infrastructure. 
The schools, health facilities and road improvements often follow years on after the housing has gone in. The doctor’s surgery at Picket Twenty will never materialise. 
Meanwhile across Andover, roads and pavements are collapsing. Payment resurfacing in Hampshire proceeds at an exceptionally slow rate - yes once every 252 years. There is a pothole pandemic which Tory Hampshire council has lost control of.
We must rethink development and stop thinking houses and start thinking about homes and communities. We must work with councils to ensure infrastructure comes first, with the right homes in the right places. We need to make sure we plan adequate green space and a good quality of build. Within Test Valley, Andover is particularly poorly served, and new estates here do not compare well with those built in Romsey. Talk of a green belt in South Hampshire is all very well and should be supported but it should not result in overdevelopment around Andover. We need the necessary infrastructure to allow our communities and environment space to breathe and move. We need to future proof on a sustainable basis, and I cannot understand why new homes are not built with solar panels and electric vehicle charging points. It is a lot cheaper than retrofitting them. We need to do a lot better.
Luigi Gregori, Charlton Road, Andover

Freddie Mills film
Dear Editor,
When watching the recent documentary on BBC4 about the life and death of boxer Freddie Mills I was intrigued to spot that he had connections with the firm of  Sam McKeowen & Sons at 7 Vigo Road, Andover. I wonder if anyone knows any more about this company, and how Freddie Mills was involved with them?
A. D. Mitchener, Andover 

Floral Way litter
Dear Editor, 
It is evident the children are back at school by the 100 per cent increase in litter around the various walks at Floral Way.  
It is realised that not all children are guilty from the three schools in the area. It would be helpful if Head Teachers could remind their pupils of their environmental responsibilities by not throwing their empty drink cans and sweet cartons on the paths around the area.  
In fact an organised litter pick from each school would be helpful.  
Philip Kane, Floral Way

Support for All
Dear Editor, 
Are you feeling lonely and could do with some company, or are you less mobile and would still like to take part? We are here to help. 
We are Tidworth and Ludgershall Men’s Shed, and we have been lucky enough to receive a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to assist us with a project we are running to connect with the community and in particular those who are feeling lonely and need some company, or are having mobility problems. 
Although we call ourselves Tidworth and Ludgershall Mens Shed, our membership is not restricted to men, but the invitation to join in is open to everyone. We’ve been in existence since 2016 and our workshop and canteen are situated next to the Co-op in Ludgershall. 
We are here for the benefit of all through provision of facilities for hobbies, recreation or other leisure time occupations including practical interests, skills learning and sharing, and helping with other community based projects. During the past year, since the first lockdown, we have been hosting weekly Zoom chats with our members from the Secretary’s home, as the workshop is “out of bounds” at the moment. 
We would like to invite anyone from the local communities to join in with these Zoom chats. We are a friendly bunch of folk and would welcome anyone who could do with a bit of company, or just a chat. Once the workshop is open again, which hopefully will be in the next month or so, we anticipate continuing these meetings, and will be hosting them from our workshop or canteen, enabling you to see the work that is being done, give instructions for your own projects, or simply enjoying a cuppa with like minded folk. Thanks to the grant, we have now been able to have a landline installed in the Shed and been able to purchase a laptop, printer and associated software, and the internet is now up and running. 
If you are interested in joining our Zoom meetings, or want more information about the Shed, please contact me on and I will get back you with details. Looking forward to meeting anyone who wants to join in with us.
Simon Dix, Ludgershall

Dog attacks
Dear Editor,
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is warning of a spike in dog attacks as ‘pandemic puppies’ are set to visit the countryside for the first time, coinciding with the peak of the lambing season. 
As dog attacks are up 10% compared to last year, the CLA – in line with the relaunched Countryside Code – is offering advice for dog walks in the countryside, to help the 2.2m new dog owners understand how to protect their pet while keeping farm animals safe.  
 This includes calls for owners to pick up dog faeces to avoid the spread of Neosporosis, an infectious disease of animals caused by the Neospora caninum parasite that causes abortion and stillbirth among dairy and beef cattle.
 The CLA, which represents thousands of farmers and rural businesses across Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight, recommends dog walkers take the following action:
- Ensure your dog is under control; keep your dog on a lead and only let go if you are chased by livestock 
- Never let your dog worry or chase wildlife or livestock. Follow advice on local signs to reduce disturbance to plants and animals.
- Prevent your dog from approaching horse riders, cyclists, or other people and their dogs uninvited.
- Keep your dog with you on paths or access land and don’t let it stray into crops including fields of grass, fruit and vegetables.
- Never leave bags of dog poo lying around, even if you intend to pick them up later. Containers and deodorised bags can make them easier to carry.
- Ensure your details are on your dog’s collar and it is microchipped, so you can be reunited quickly if it is lost.
A lack of education around the Countryside Code has left some visitors without a basic understanding of what is acceptable behaviour. 
CLA South East