Since becoming leader of the Council, I have been touring Test Valley getting to know, in detail, the various communities across the Borough. I continued my tour yesterday with a visit to Romsey Abbey ward – being shown around by local Councillor, Ian Richards.
I had a brief tour of King John's House and Heritage Centre, before heading to the Memorial Park and the successful kiosk run by former Councillor, Sally Lamb. After a quick stop at La Parisienne for a café au lait it was on to Bell Street to have a look at the highway improvement works being undertaken in partnership with Hampshire County Council.
I also took time to meet the President of the Romsey Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peter Speirs; Town Centre Manager, Mark Edgerley and the Manager of the newly refurbished Romsey Visitor Information Centre, Julia West. I finished off my morning on the fashion floor of the successful independent department store, Bradbeers, talking to director Greg Davies.
Thanks Ian for an action packed and very worthwhile morning.
The children of Smannell & Enham Primary School took to the polls last week to vote in their new school council; known as the Junior Governors. As a former pupil, I was delighted to be asked to give a talk about my role leading Test Valley Borough Council, the fundamental importance of democracy in my job and to offer some campaigning advice to the children.
The votes were counted by the school's ambassadors Verity and Eswyn and the results declared to the excited audience at Friday's Celebration Worship.
It is important our young people understand and value our democratic system as it is not something we should ever take for granted – there are plenty of countries in the world whose populations are not free. As Ronald Regan said, we didn't pass freedom to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Yesterday I visited the Veolia Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Alton and the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Chineham.
The MRF is where the contents of your brown bin go to be sorted and recycled and the ERF is the destination for the contents of your black bin - to be turned into electricity.
Did you know that significantly less than 10% of all waste in Hampshire goes to landfill? And we are working with our partners across the county to identify more ways for our residents to recycle.
I was pleased to be asked to chair a Test Valley business support event put on by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership at the University of Southampton Science Park in Chilworth today.
I'm extremely proud that the UoS Science Park is based here in Test Valley – the economic jewel in our economic crown – supporting global and start-up businesses and hundreds of jobs.
In fact, some of the businesses in the Catalyst Centre have benefited from Test Valley's Business Start-up grant. This support for new and small businesses is now part of our DNA in Test Valley and one of the many reasons why we were once again named the Federation of Small Business Most Business-Friendly Council in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight this year.
I was delighted to open the new accessible pathway outside St Michael & All Angels Church in Knights Enham yesterday.
A real difference from the muddy, uneven gravel pathway that was there previously but just as in keeping with the historic 12th Century building.
As Reverend Lee Davies said may all those who journey along the path be blessed.
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If you have any ideas, issues or concerns please feel free to contact me.
Address: Cllr Phil North, C/O TVBC, Beech Hurst, Weyhill Road, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 3AJ.
Call: 077324 23023