I wonder how many of our councillors have recently visited the likes of Devizes, Chichester, Marlborough, Winchester or even Stockbridge to actually see what a successful, vibrant busy town centre is like. These are a million miles away from the very sad picture of Andover.  

Like your reader Frank Day (Letters, August 11) I was also born in Andover and he is quite right - it has been totally destroyed. Also, the lady who was interviewed in the paper said she never shops in Andover but goes elsewhere which really makes my point and I can assure you that there are many who do the same. There is plenty of money to be had in this extremely affluent TVBC area so why can't the council see that and start making the most of it?

I was recently invited to attend the Test Valley Borough Council Community Engagement Workshop. There were quite a number of residents of the Test Valley involved over two mornings and we were asked exactly what we would like to see in Andover and the Test Valley and good quality shops were the top priority for most of the (perhaps 100+) people who were invited to attend. The idea of this workshop was for the council to go away and formulate a plan for the next four years to improve Andover and the surrounds. Some six months later we were invited back to see what had happened after our meetings and were presented with yet another 'corporate plan' which meant nothing had actually been achieved. There is never any specific detail, nor timescale except to say that they were now going into more meetings to discuss the way ahead. Quite honestly I think I will be long gone to meet my maker when anything of significance happens to Andover town.

I am also fed up with being told that 'everyone nowadays buys on the internet'. They don't! When decent shops are there people will come to browse and buy and then every other shop and the council will benefit.

Please councillors, no more food outlets, coffee shops, charity shops, hairdressers and nail bars. Try to think outside the box for a change.

Joy Preston

Anna Valley

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