Friday, 24 November 2006

I want to let you know about the ‘sort-it’ campaign that has just been launched. This is a campaign about personal debt - which is growing by £1 million every four minutes. The Conservative Party have produced a film that will be distributed on the Internet to drive people to the website - the site also provides tools to help people take control of their finances.
This is about doing rather than just talking. The ‘sort-it’ campaign is not a political campaign. It’s about getting people to think about their own social responsibilities. We don’t believe that in opposition all you can do is talk about what you might do in Government. That’s why the Conservatives have championed the Young Adult Trust; that’s why Conservative candidates are creating their own local social action projects around the country - and that’s why we’ve launched the ‘sort-it’ campaign.
‘Sort-it’ is a website that will campaign on a wide range of issues. Its aim is to inspire people to take personal responsibility for making change happen, and it will provide tips and tools for people to do so - locally, nationally and sometimes internationally.
We really hope that this website will play a big part in helping people in this country tackle the serious problem of personal debt.
To see the site please go to

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Progress on the Town Centre

We have been notified of the following press release which is good news about the town centre. However, I will believe it when I see the bulldozers and builders laying bricks on the site.


Key milestone reached in Farnborough town centre deal

A financial deal has been agreed between Rushmoor Borough Council and Key Property Investments Ltd (KPI - the joint venture between St. Modwen Properties PLC and Salhia Real Estate Company of Kuwait) that will pave the way for the long-awaited redevelopment of Farnborough town centre.

At a special meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on Monday (20), members were pleased to approve formally the deal, which has also been signed off by the independent District Valuer.

Approval of the deal removes another major obstacle from the £75 million redevelopment scheme and means that once both sides have completed the necessary legal agreements, work will be able to start on site.

Rushmoor Council’s leader, Councillor Peter Moyle, said: “I am very pleased we have been able to reach this important stage in the project and got the support of the District Valuer for it.

“I share residents’ frustrations over the delays in the redevelopment of the town centre because I want to see it built as much as they do. We will be doing everything in our power to support and enable the scheme to now go ahead and we will be pressing KPI for an early start date and to deliver the scheme in the shortest possible timescale.”

Chairman of St Modwen, Anthony Glossop said: “It has been a very long road to get to this point. However, it was vital that we not only delivered a scheme that was right for the future of Farnborough, but also struck a financial deal with the Council that gave the community the appropriate reward for the Council’s landholdings whilst giving us an adequate incentive to undertake the scheme. This was not an easy compromise to reach, but I am delighted that, with goodwill on both sides, it has been achieved. I look forward to starting on site as soon as possible in the New Year.

“The scheme is a complex one and needs to be carried out in phases so that access is maintained for the public, services and service vehicles at all times and certain local occupiers, such as the residents of Firgrove Court and a firm of solicitors, can be relocated within the scheme with full continuity of their lives and livelihoods. We are in the process of working up explanatory material to inform the public and particularly all occupiers affected by the proposals of the sequence of works and how and when they will impact on them. Our plan is to complete all the main phases by Summer 2009 but we are constantly looking at ways to shorten the construction programme.”


Mobile Offers - beware

Communications Direct - 02920 368700 - 02920368700
Beware if you receive a call on your mobile phone from the above number. The caller will not know your name or anything about you but they will trick you by saying they are calling about your O2/Orange/3/Vodafone/T-mobile contract. Most people assume because they know which network they are on that it’s a legitimate call, they will try and offer you an upgrade, but what they are really doing is signing you up for a new 12 month contract. They are using the prefix of your mobile number to guess your network, historically numbers from the same network have the same prefix i.e. 07736 = O2. The only time that they’ll get this wrong is if your have ported your number from one network to another. If you take the bait they’ll ask for you bank details and set up a direct debit, if you have been unfortunate enough to fall for this contact your bank and stop the direct debit. If you received the phone you are within your rights to cancel the contract within 14 days.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Planning Applications:

Case Number: 06/00728/TEMP
Renewal of variation of condition 25 of planning permission RSH/05684 to allow deliveries to the front of the store between 22.00 and 07.00 Mondays to Saturdays and 22.00 to 09.30 on Sundays and Bank Holidays
Asda Superstore - Princes Mead Shopping Centre Westmead
Asda Stores Ltd
c/o Jones Lang LaSalle, 22 Hanover Square, London. W1A 2BU
Phone: 020 74936040 JOHN ATTFIELD
Case Officer: Chris Jones

Case Number: 06/00729/FUL
Erection of a single storey side and rear extension following removal of existing conservatory and outbuildings together with installation of two pairs of replacement entrance gates
1 Empress Avenue Farnborough Hampshire GU14 8LU
Jane Davis & Dennis Markey (address as above)
Case Officer: Judith Mee

Case Number: 06/00730/FUL
Erection of 1.9 metre front boundary wall with pillars
12 Marrowbrook Lane Farnborough Hampshire GU14 0AG
Mubasher Ikram (address as above)
Case Officer: Wendy Betteridge

Monday, 20 November 2006

Walk about in Rectory Road

This weekend I spent a little time talking to residents in Rectory Road. There are some parking issues mainly at school collection and dropping off time. It is only about 2 hours each day, but the increased conjestion is damaging kerbs and verges. Another issue in this area is speed of traffic along the road. Everyone is pretty happy with the Park with a few exceptions, and I am going to explore organising a group of local volunteers to form "Friend's of Rectory Road Recreation Ground" maybe we could just call it "Friend's of Rectory Park"? The correct name is such a mouth full!

Saturday, 18 November 2006

In Memoriam - XXVII - Alfred Lord Tennyson

I envy not in any moods
The captive void of noble rage,
The linnet born within the cage,
That never knew the summer woods:

I envy not the beast that takes
His license in the field of time,
Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,
To whom a conscience never wakes;

Nor, what may count itself as blest,
The heart that never plighted troth
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
Nor any want-begotten rest.

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Town Twins come to Town.

Our town twins came and set up shop in Princes Mead this weekend. It was good to meet them and welcome them to town. Above is the Polish stall from Sulechow. Below is the Oberussel stall from Germany.

The Deputy Mayor of Meudon, France also came along. It was nice of him to come and visit for the day before catching the train back. Below is a picture of us beside the French stall with one of our Town Twinning volunteers Heidi.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

Neighbourhood Policing is coming to Empress

Today I had a meeting with fellow Ward Councillor Patricia Hodge and our two local beat Police Officers PC Lee Jeffers and WPC Bev Woodhead. We are putting together a plan to introduce a local Community Safety Panel, which will meet every 3 months to decide what action needs to be taken to tackle issues in the Ward. Those involved in the panel will represent a variety of areas and people within the Ward. This will be a real partnership task group that will help focus action to where it is needed in the Ward, and hopefully come up with innovative solutions.

If you have concerns regarding community safety contact us and tell us what they are:

Cllr. Patricia Hodge:

Cllr David Clifford:

Together are are going to make a difference.

Tree Preservation Order work in Empress

A team from our planning department is out in the Ward identifying trees worthy of tree preservation orders (TPO's). They award points to each tree according to a variety of factors, like type of tree, quality of specimen, contribution to the street scene, etc. If it scores over a certain number it indicates the tree should be seriously considered for a TPO if it has not already got one. Like the beautiful specimen below.

I very much welcome this work. It will protect the trees that make a valuable contribution to our local area, and also restrict over development at a time when greedy developers seem to want to build more and more houses in ever smaller plots, and would not think twice about clearing trees in order lay down more concrete.

Monday, 13 November 2006

The International Terrorist Threat to the UK

**The complete text of a speech delivered on November 9, 2006 by Eliza Manningham-Buller, Director-General of MI5, on the terrorist threat facing the UK:

The International Terrorist Threat to the UK

1. I have been Director General of the Security Service/M15 since 2002. Before that I was Deputy Director General for five years. During that time, and before, I have witnessed a steady increase in the terrorist threat to the UK. It has been the subject of much comment and controversy. I rarely speak in public. I prefer to avoid the limelight and get on with my job. But today, I want to set out my views on:

* the realities of the terrorist threat facing the UK in 2006;

* what motivates those who pose that threat

* and what my Service is doing, with others, to counter it.

I speak not as a politician, nor as a pundit, but as someone who has been an intelligence professional for 32 years.

2. Five years on from 9/11, where are we? Speaking in August, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch of the Metropolitan Police, described the threat to the UK from Al-Qaida-related terrorism as ‘real, here, deadly and enduring”. Only last week the Home Secretary said the threat will be “enduring — the struggle will be long and wide and deep.” Let me describe more fully why I think they said that. We now know that the first Al-Qaida-related plot against the UK was the one we discovered and disrupted in November 2000 in Birmingham. A British citizen is currently serving a long prison sentence for plotting to detonate a large bomb in the UK. Let there be no doubt about this: the international terrorist threat to this country is not new. It began before Iraq, before Afghanistan, and before 9/11.

3. In the years after 9/11, with atrocities taking place in Madrid, Casablanca, Bali, Istanbul and elsewhere, terrorists plotted to mount a string of attacks in the UK, but were disrupted. This run of domestic success was interrupted tragically in London in July 2005. Since then, the combined efforts of my Service, the police, SIS and GCHQ have thwarted a further five major conspiracies in the UK, saving many hundreds (possibly even thousands) of lives. Last month the Lord Chancellor said that there were a total of 99 defendants awaiting trial in 34 cases. Of course the presumption of innocence applies and the law dictates that nothing must be said or done which might prejudice the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial. You will understand therefore that I can say no more on these matters.

4. What I can say is that today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1600 identified individuals (and there will be many we don’t know) who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas. The extremists are motivated by a sense of grievance and injustice driven by their interpretation of the history between the West and the Muslim world. This view is shared, in some degree, by a far wider constituency. If the opinion polls conducted in the UK since July 2005 are only broadly accurate, over 100,000 of our citizens consider that the July 2005 attacks in London were justified. What we see at the extreme end of the spectrum are resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it, planning attacks including mass casualty suicide attacks in the UK. Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices; tomorrow’s threat may include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology. More and more people are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism through being radicalised or indoctrinated by friends, families, in organised training events here and overseas, by images on television, through chat rooms and websites on the Internet.

5. The propaganda machine is sophisticated and Al-Qaida itself says that 50% of its war is conducted through the media. In Iraq, attacks are regularly videoed and the footage downloaded onto the internet within 30 minutes. Virtual media teams then edit the result, translate it into English and many other languages, and package it for a worldwide audience. And, chillingly, we see the results here. Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers. We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and to damage our economy. What do I mean by numerous? Five? Ten? No, nearer……. thirty that we know of. These plots often have links back to Al-Qaida in Pakistan and through those links Al-Qaida gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale. And it is not just the UK of course. Other countries also face a new terrorist threat: from Spain to France to Canada and Germany.

6. A word on proportionality. My Service and the police have occasionally been accused of hype and lack of perspective or worse, of deliberately stirring up fear. It is difficult to argue that there are not worse problems facing us, for example climate change... and of course far more people are killed each year on the roads than die through terrorism. It is understandable that people are reluctant to accept assertions that do not always appear to be substantiated. It is right to be sceptical about intelligence. I shall say more about that later. But just consider this. A terrorist spectacular would cost potentially thousands of lives and do major damage to the world economy. Imagine if a plot to bring down several passenger aircraft succeeded. Thousands dead, major economic damage, disruption across the globe. And Al-Qaida is an organisation without restraint.

7. There has been much speculation about what motivates young men and women to carry out acts of terrorism in the UK. My Service needs to understand the motivations behind terrorism to succeed in countering it, as far as that is possible. Al-Qaida has developed an ideology which claims that Islam is under attack, and needs to be defended. This is a powerful narrative that weaves together conflicts from across the globe, presenting the West’s response to varied and complex issues, from long-standing disputes such as Israel/Palestine and Kashmir to more recent events as evidence of an across-the-board determination to undermine and humiliate Islam worldwide. Afghanistan, the Balkans, Chechnya, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kashmir and Lebanon are regularly cited by those who advocate terrorist violence as illustrating what they allege is Western hostility to Islam.

8. The video wills of British suicide bombers make it clear that they are motivated by:

* perceived worldwide and long-standing injustices against Muslims;

* an extreme and minority interpretation of Islam promoted by some preachers and people of influence;

* their interpretation as anti-Muslim of UK foreign policy, in particular the UK’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Killing oneself and others in response is an attractive option for some citizens of this country and others around the world.

What Intelligence can do

9. As I said earlier, I have been an intelligence officer for some 32 years. And I want again to describe what intelligence is and is not. I wish life were like ‘Spooks’, where everything is (a) knowable, and (b) soluble by six people. But those whose plans we wish to detect in advance are determined to conceal from us what they intend to do. And every day they learn. From the mistakes of others. From what they discover of our capabilities from evidence presented in court, and from leaks to the media. Moreover intelligence is usually bitty and needs piecing together, assessing, judging. It takes objectivity, integrity and a sceptical eye to make good use of intelligence: even the best of it never tells the whole story. On the basis of such incomplete information, my Service and the police make decisions on when and how to take action, to protect public safety. Wherever possible we seek to collect evidence sufficient to secure prosecutions, but it is not always possible to do so: admissible evidence is not always available and the courts, rightly, look for a high standard of certainty. Often to protect public safety the police need to disrupt plots on the basis of intelligence but before evidence sufficient to bring criminal charges has been collected. Moreover we are faced by acute and very difficult choices of prioritisation. We cannot focus on everything so we have to decide on a daily basis with the police and others where to focus our energies, whom to follow, whose telephone lines need listening to, which seized media needs to go to the top of the analytic pile. Because of the sheer scale of what we face (80% increase in casework since January), the task is daunting. We won’t always make the right choices. And we recognise we shall have scarce sympathy if we are unable to prevent one of our targets committing an atrocity.And the Service?

10. As I speak my staff, roughly 2,800 of them, (an increase of almost 50% since 9/11, 25% under 30, over 6% from ethnic minorities, with 52 languages, with links to well over 100 services worldwide), are working very hard, at some cost to their private lives and in some cases their safety, to do their utmost to collect the intelligence we need. The first challenge is to find those who would cause us harm, among the 60 million or so people who live here and the hundreds of thousands who visit each year. That is no easy task, particularly given the scale and speed of radicalisation and the age of some being radicalised. The next stage is to decide what action to take in response to that intelligence. Who are merely talking big, and who have real ambitions? Who have genuine aspirations to commit terrorism, but lack the know-how or materials? Who are the skilled and trained ones, who the amateurs? Where should we and the police focus our finite resources? It’s a hard grind but my staff are highly motivated: conscious of the risks they carry individually; and aware that they may not be able to do enough to stop the next attack. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and I thank them. On July 8 last year I spoke to all my staff. I said that what we feared would happen had finally happened. I reminded them that we had warned that it was a matter of when, not if, and that they were trained to respond — indeed many had been up all night, from the intelligence staff to the catering staff. I told them that we had received many messages of support from around the world, and that we, along with our colleagues in the police and emergency services, were in the privileged position of being able to make a difference. And we did. And we have done so since.

11. My Service is growing very rapidly. By 2008 it will be twice the size it was at 9/11. We know much more than we did then. We have developed new techniques, new sources, new relationships. We understand much better the scale and nature of what we are tackling but much is still obscure and radicalisation continues. Moreover, even with such rapid growth, we shall not be able to investigate nearly enough of the problem, so the prioritisation I mentioned earlier will remain essential but risky. And new intelligence officers need to be trained. That takes time as does the acquisition of experience, the experience that helps one with those difficult choices and tough judgements.What else can others do?

12. That brings me on to my final point. None of this can be tackled by my Service alone. Others have to address the causes, counter the radicalisation, assist in the rehabilitation of those affected, and work to protect our way of life. We have key partners, the police being the main ones and I’d like today to applaud those police officers working alongside us on this huge challenge, those who collect intelligence beside us, help convert it into evidence for court, and face the dangers of arresting individuals who have no concern for their own lives or the lives of others. The scale and seriousness of the threat means that others play vital roles, SIS and GCHQ collecting key intelligence overseas, other services internationally who recognise the global nature of the problem, government departments, business and the public.

13. Safety for us all means working together to protect those we care about, being alert to the danger without over-reacting, and reporting concerns. We need to be alert to attempts to radicalise and indoctrinate our youth and to seek to counter it. Radicalising elements within communities are trying to exploit grievances for terrorist purposes; it is the youth who are being actively targeted, groomed, radicalised and set on a path that frighteningly quickly could end in their involvement in mass murder of their fellow UK citizens, or their early death in a suicide attack or on a foreign battlefield.

14. We also need to understand some of the differences between non-Western and Western life-styles; and not treat people with suspicion because of their religion, or indeed to confuse fundamentalism with terrorism. We must realise that there are significant differences between faiths and communities within our society, and most people, from whatever origin, condemn all acts of terror in the UK. And we must focus on those values that we all share in this country regardless of our background: Equality, Freedom, Justice and Tolerance. Many people are working for and with us to address the threat precisely for those reasons. Because: All of us, whatever our ethnicity and faith, are the targets of the terrorists.

15. I have spoken as an intelligence professional, describing the reality of terrorism and counter-terrorism in the UK in 2006. My messages are sober ones. I do not speak in this way to alarm (nor as the cynics might claim to enhance the reputation of my organisation) but to give the most frank account I can of the Al-Qaida threat to the UK. That threat is serious, is growing and will, I believe, be with us for a generation. It is a sustained campaign, not a series of isolated incidents, It aims to wear down our will to resist.

16. My Service is dedicated to tackling the deadly manifestations of terrorism. Tackling its roots is the work of us all.

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Neighbourhood Policing coming to Empress

Here in Empress we have an excellent relatioship with our local Police beat officers and we have some very active Neighbourhood Watch schemes. We are setting up a regular beat meeting to discuss and tackle crime in our patch of Farnborough. If there is an issue in your area I want to know about it.

Garrison Remembrance Day Parade

Veterans show us all how it is done.

It was a pleasure to attend the Remembrance Day Parade in an active Garrison town, surrounded by troops and residents remembering those that suffer and give all in conflict. It was profound and significant that in the prayers of the Army Padre he prayed not just for the fallen, and for protection of our troops putting themselves in harms way. But prayed as sincerely for all thoses killed or affected by conflict, and also the terrorists, that their hearts will be softened and moved by the love of God to stop sheddding the blood of the innocent. A sharp contrast to the message of hate we often see coming from the mouths of some so called religious leaders.
After the service and wreath laying, it was good to see the parade which had all three services represented. A warm round of applause was reserved for the Veterans who had a great turn out and looked very smart.

413 Squadron (lead by the CO "Mo" who I was a cadet with) Very smart

HMS Swiftshore provided the music - and very good it was too.

Grenadier Guards - without Bearskins today

General and Mayor take the salute while other Councillors from Aldershot enjoy the parade

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Our family Roll of Honour

Today, we all remember the fallen, those that gave (or rather had taken) their lives for the cause of freedom. Here below I just want to remember, and by remembering thank, all those in our family that served their Country by putting themselves in harms way and took up arms. Starting with those that gave all.
World War II
1. Patrick Clifford 20yr 1st Feb 1943 RN HMS Welshman sunk Tripoli Harbour, Libya by U-617 which was later sunk 12 Sep 1943
World War I
2. Charles Hardaker 19yr 22 Aug 1915 Australian Army. Gallipoli, Turkey
3. Patrick J McBride 25yr 26 Oct 1915 Durham Light Inf. Houplines, France
4. Francis J Trudden 30yr 15 Oct 1916 Durham Light Inf. Somme, France
5. Dennis Trudden 37yr 6 April 1917 SS Powhatan. Atlantic
6. Arthur W Merrell 22yr 8 May 1917 Gloucester Reg. Arras, France
7. George Richards 30yr 2 Aug 1917 South Wales Borderers. Ypres, Belgium
8. Charles H Penfold 23yr 12 April 1918 Royal Fusiliers. Hazebrouck, France
Those that served and survived:
9. Francis E Clifford (Royal Corps of Transport)
10. Albert G Godwin (Royal Engineers - PoW Japan 1940 - 1944)
11. William T Jackman (Royal Enginners WWI)
12. Harold J Sanders (Royal Horse Artillery WWI)
13. Henry A Sanders (Royal Artillery WWI)
14. John J Townsend (Australian IF WWI)
15. Frank Edwin Powell (RN - HMS Victory)
16. David Pullen (51st Reg of Foot) recieved a medal at storming of Rangoon.

Rememberence Day in Farnborough

Duty spanning the generations. It was good to meet young Grenadier Guardsmen side by side our Veterans collecting for the poppy appeal outside Asda. They all looked very smart, and happily giving of their time to help others. Such a contrast from some of the people I met while out on patrol with our police last week.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Immigration email doing the rounds.

I recieved the following email from a friend. This is very similar to one that originated in Australia some time ago that I read. Whatever its origin, I have a lot of sympathy with its sentiments, and am very tired of those that continually take offence or look for offence in many of our cultural and Christian traditions. And as the great great grandson of immigrants - I am certainly not anti - immigrant!!

* After many cities not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up Christmas lights.
* After hearing of a Primary School in Birmingham where a boy was told that for PE they could wear Football League shirts (Aston Villa, Birmingham, West Brom etc) but NOT an England shirt as it could offend others!
Published in a British tabloid newspaper.
I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.
Since the terrorist attacks on London, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Brits.
However, the dust from the attacks has barely settled and the "politically correct" crowd begin complaining about the possibility that our patriotism is offending others.
I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Britain.
However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.
This idea of London being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity.
As Britons, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle.
This culture has been developed over centuries of wars, struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.
We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language.
Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the language!
"In God We Trust" is our National Motto.
This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan.
We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented.
It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools.
If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, Because God is part of our culture.
If St. George's cross offends you, or you don't like " A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.
We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from.
This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this.
But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great British freedom, "THE RIGHT TO LEAVE".
If you aren't happy here then leave!
We didn't force you to come here.
You asked to be here.
So accept the country YOU accepted.
Pretty easy really, when you think about it.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Planning applications this week

Case Number: 06/00696/FUL
Erection of two and single storey extensions to side and rear following demolition of existing garage and conservatory (variation to scheme approved under planning permission 02/00775/FUL)
13 The Crescent Farnborough Hampshire GU14 7AR
Mr And Mrs Turk, c/o D S Designs, 5 Roebuck Close, Ashtead, Surrey. KT21 2DN
Phone: 01372 274023
Rushmoor Case Officer: Judith Mee. Phone 398398