HUNT with the hounds — run with the fox?

Postman Pat said: “If you don’t take an interest in politics you will end up being governed by your inferiors.” But it could have been Plato who said it?

I FIND it hard to believe ex-mayor and well-seasoned local politician Councillor Iris Anderson (Conservative), a “staunch opponent” of the plan to demolish the George Yard toilets, could not vote or even debate on the planning application at the Northern Area Planning Committee meeting.

She did not know already that she had “predetermined” her position after speaking to The Advertiser a week earlier about this post-modern, perfect example of a utilitarian, wholesome, well-built and attractive block that house these toilets — giving a much better service perhaps to the public than most politicians elected in this county?

In the Advertiser, 12 January, page 3, [Iris Anderson said] she had been advised [when she turned up for the debate and vote against demolition] that as she had already publicly commented on the proposal... she could not debate or vote.

However the St Mary’s ward representative’ (along with Donald Duck, Mickey and the lost tribe of Israel) could have input but only as a public speaker — e.g. could only ask questions.

That is, she [Iris Anderson], “ I want the residents to know that I am behind them” (Advertiser 27 October) would be void of any power, as such viz, she could talk till the cows come home, but without authority in law given to her by the electorate of Test Valley.

So, at this junction of this letter, what’s the point? And, publicly, my question is two-fold: (a). I, on this letter page, ask Cllr Anderson, did or did she not already know, what she indicates she had no knowledge of, prior to the above meeting, when she was informed of the ins-and-outs when discussing declarations of interest, by her own party members?

(b). What exactly does she mean by, “So many things happen in the town that nobody knows about.” (Advertiser 27 October)?

The current mayor, Cllr Borg-Neal remonstrated, “… the toilet scheme was set up due to persistent drug use, which causes significant public danger…” while TVBC leader Cllr North’s added it is his ‘number one priority to invest in the town centre.’ (Advertiser 12 January) Is Cllr North referring to my question (b)?

Reading this article about the fate of this public convenience by Advertiser reporter Frances Birkett reminded me of the fate of the WW1 monument: [Andover Borough] council minutes c.1952: ‘The clerk submitted a letter from the Andover branch of the British Legion complaining of the misuse of the War Memorial in the High Street on market days. Your committee have instructed the market superintendent to take the necessary steps to prevent stall holders misusing the memorial on market days, and have instructed the town clerk to draw attention of the police to the matter.

From small acorns big oak tree grow — methinks!

Russell Tarrant, Jellicoe Court, Andover.