WE moved to Andover seven years ago. We have experienced warm welcomes in cafes, churches, the library, most shops, restaurants, the local cinema, Adelaide Road Medical Centre, Damira Dental Practice and the railway and bus stations. Our neighbours have been helpful and welcoming, without being nosey and intrusive. Our refuse collectors have been reliable, particularly during Covid. The staff at Andover and Winchester hospitals have been consistently excellent.

Community spirit, as evidenced by the recent wonderful Christmas Festival, is strong and vibrant. Alex McGarry`s natural paintings are delightful and uplift the spirit. Our MP is diligent locally and nationally; in the summer of 2022 when the then Prime Ministerial merry go round was in full swing, he held the Government cabinet together. TVBC has done well to secure £18.3 million in levelling-up funding. It consults regularly with people on the ground and is run from Hampshire, not Japan!

That said, there are some empty shops and the town could be improved. The question is: are we part of the problem or part of the solution.

Potential new business owners want:

1. A reasonable return on investment.

2. A talented, positive and motivated workforce, not perpetual pessimists who excel at self-fulfilling prophecies!

3. A vibrant, clean and attractive town.

4. Good communications of all kinds.

5. Good educational and leisure facilities.

6. Pro-business and pro-community local and regional Councils.

If more people say `yes to Andover and `no’ to Amazon most of the time, we will have a more prosperous and dynamic town. With the inevitable march of AI, we can shape and create a fruitful future. It really is a question of "use us or lose use." Are we winsome winners or whingeing wimps?!

Rev Trefor Jones (rtd.)

Wool Grove


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