Saturday, 31 March 2007

Leafleteers deliver to Empress

Our faithful leafleteers are out in the Ward again today delivering the latest copy of our InTouch leaflet. A big thank you to Josh and Jesse, please say hello if you see them out.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Farnborough Armed Robbery

Detectives have released CCTV footage and stills following an armed robbery at a business in Farnborough on Tuesday, March 27.
At around 2.10pm two people entered the Pinewood Stores, Pinewood Park, Farnborough. Once inside one of the offenders pointed a handgun and thrusted it towards the face of the woman behind the till. The woman screamed and the offenders ran away empty handed.
Detective Sergeant Mark Brindley said: “I would like to appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time of this incident or anyone who recognises the people in the CCTV to get in touch with us immediately and help us find the people responsible.
“Uniformed officers, firearms officers, and a dog unit were deployed to search for these people.
“If you have any information that you believe may help us, no matter how trivial it may seem, please get in touch.”
Anyone with any information regarding this incident should contact Aldershot CID on 0845 045 45 45 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Daniel Hannan MEP

An occasional euro-briefing from Daniel Hannan MEP

Join the debate

Daniel is writing every day for the Daily Telegraph online. Please join and contribute your thoughts on the following subjects:

What to do about Iran

Why I walked out of a BBC studio

EU laws on Holocaust denial

The most useless thing an MEP can do

Cash for peerages

If you know anyone else who would like to receive these mailings, please send their email address to, if you no longer wish to receive them, please reply using the word "unsubscribe" in your title.
For details of meetings at which Daniel Hannan will be speaking please see his website - - click News, then Forthcoming.
Daniel Hannan's 2007 Annual Report to South East Conservative Association members is now on his website under News.

My mate Daniel on Iran (he puts it so much better than me)

International Law means nothing to Iran

Why do we go through the pantomime of treating Iran as a proper sovereign state? Why the summonses of ambassadors, the arguments over territoriality, the insistence on maritime law?
Whether the Marines were in Iranian waters is irrelevant
These things mean nothing to the ayatollahs, as was clear from the very first act of their revolutionary junta in 1979, namely the taking hostage of US embassy personnel.
Think, for a moment, about what that act represented. The sanctity of embassies is the cornerstone of international relations. Even during the Second World War, when mutually antagonistic ideologies fought to obliterate each other, diplomats were peaceably evacuated through neutral countries.
When the mullahs seized the American legation, they were sending out a deliberate message: “We do not recognise your system. Your notions of territorial jurisdiction mean nothing to us.” They got away with it, too. In 1980, while the Americans were still being held prisoner, a counter-revolutionary group seized the Iranian embassy in London. We reacted by treating the ayatollahs as a friendly regime: we recovered their mission, sending our SAS men sliding down the walls like spiders on their threads, and handed it back to Teheran with a purse of money to cover the breakages.
Unsurprisingly, the mullahs concluded that they could have it both ways, being accorded all the courtesies of a sovereign state without having to reciprocate. So, naturally enough, they have carried on in the same vein: sponsoring militiamen in the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Silk Road khanates and across Araby; supplying rockets to their Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah; even bombing a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires. Why Buenos Aires? What possible strategic interest do the mullahs have in Argentina? Perhaps its very remoteness was the attraction. By striking at the other side of the world, the ayatollahs were flaunting the fact that their power could cross oceans. Mark Steyn has argued that a refusal to acknowledge state sovereignty is the defining characteristic of the Teheran government. “If you dust off the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, Article One reads: ‘The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a) a permanent population; b) a defined territory; c) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.’ Iran fails to meet qualification d, and has never accepted it.” Quite. The 1979 Iranian Revolution will one day be seen as an epochal event, on a par with the 1789 French Revolution and the 1917 Russian Revolution. Like them, it immediately spilled out from behind its borders, seeking to replicate itself around the world. Like them it refused to recognise the legitimacy of the old order, or respect the integrity of other states. That, ultimately, is why arguments about whether our Royal Marines were in Iranian waters are irrelevant. Teheran has demonstrated again and again that it couldn’t care less about such conventions. What else do the mullahs have to do before Britain realises what it is dealing with?

Daniel Hannan MEP (Our man in Brussels)

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

2007 Elections - see you soon I hope

Its out every day (except Sunday) now for the Borough Elections 3rd May 2007.
We will be knocking every door and talking to residents about the work we have done this last year, and all the plans we have for this next year. So I look forward to seeing you soon.

Prayers in Council

I was asked an interesting question today. In this PC world we now live in, how on earth do we "get away" with saying prayers at the beginning of our Council Meetings.

It took me a few seconds to realise why ... they are protected by democracy.

All the while the majority of councillors are happy with prayers at the start of each main Council Meeting, they will continue. And I am keen to see the Council gets all the help it can, Divine or otherwise. So politically correct or not, I will always support them.

Bremner Budget Speech - excellent

Monday, 26 March 2007

A surprise email from an old resident

Dear David,

I hope this note finds you well. I am not sure if you received my voice mail a while ago, so I thought I would drop you an email.

Things here in Wellingborough are going well. In December I was adopted as a Conservative candidate for Brickhill ward in the May elections when the whole council is up for election. A 16-year council veteran is stepping down, so I am the third candidate alongside the current Mayor, Tim Allebone and his colleague, Lora Lawman.

I have also been put forward to be an Association officer and I am being asked to take over the association website. I have started to establish a reputation as a political Blogger also, and I have constructed a blog for Brickhill ward – .

Basically all this involvement in Conservative politics has come about as a result of that day in Cavendish Road where you sat down patiently and pledged to help with parking issues. The way you represented the ward and looked after the interests of the people there was the motivating factor in me joining the party and the reason why I am where I am today. So I wanted to say thanks and let you know how things have been progressing.

All the very best,
Tony Sharp

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Appearance on News 24

Last week some of you saw me on News 24 speaking about alternate week collections and my concerns about it. I am trying to get a copy of the interview to put on the site. It all looks very good on TV, but below is the view I had!!

Local hoodies bowl us over

Last night Cllr Patricia Hodge and myself joined our beat officer Lee Jeffers and other members of the constabulary at the Farnborough Bowling Alley. PC Jeffers had organised a discounted evening for the youth in our area to play on two lanes. I could only stay for an hour, but it gave us a good opportunity not just to meet with some of the young people in the area, but also discuss what facilities they would use and like to see in Cove Green where many of them congregate.

Petition for a Minor Injuries Unit in the new Aldershot Health Centre

Residents often accuse local politicians of letting party politics get in the way of working together for the benefit of the community. My experience is that here in Rushmoor that is not true. When there is a key local issue, you will find here that we forget our politics and pull together. A good example of this is the new Health Centre being built for Aldershot. A petition has been raised on the Prime Ministers web site at 10 Downing Street by a member of the Labour Party who is probably standing in the local elections this year, and I am pleased to say I, amongst other Conservatives, have signed the petition, and would encourage other residents of the Borough to do the same. Here is the link to do so below:
All Political parties at Rushmoor are united in working and petitioning decision makers to agree to the promises made to provide a minor injuries unit in the new Aldershot Haelth Centre.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

The Hampshire Hog

In the Chinese Year of the Pig - Hampshire has had a long association with the emblem of the pig.

The mock heroic poem Hoglandia (or Hog-Land), written by Thomas Richards and first published in 1709, tells the story of a Hampshire laid waste by a rampaging wild boar.

A dreadful Boar, the Messenger of Heaven,

For spoil, for Havock, and Destruction's given.

High o'er his back a bristly Forest stands

Whose hostile Shafts a general Fear commands:

With Ivory Tusks his Jaws are thick beset,

Which foaming churn with Anger and Regret:

His Eyes with monstrous Flames of Vengeance glare,

He breathes a Cloud of Sulphur thro' the Air.

The illustration comes from a 1728 publication of the poem - Hampshire Record Office reference 169M84W/24. Luckily, the 'Hampshireites' were saved by one Bevis of Southampton, who used his skill and cunning to defeat the boar. There followed great rejoicing, and a feast with black pudding!

Back from Gym and ******

I am attending the gym twice a week Tuesdays and Thursdays. And I feel sooooooo unhealthy!!!
By this time (three weeks) people are usually saying how great and revitalised they feel. Not me. I am totally exhausted and near death each day I go. Try as I do to look fit going out the door past the triangle chested, flat stomached, pert pecked Tarzan's (who seem to live there) I end up dragging my feet and gasping for breath groping to find the door through my tunnel vision on the verge of collapse.
It is all I can do mentally and physically to drive home. The thought of swimming after fills me with terror - It would be the final humiliation to be dragged out the pool and given the kiss of life by some spotty faced teenage life guard.
However, I have parted with money - and I am determined to make my body pay as much as my wallet.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Shop fined £80

City Cash & Carry of 3 Firgrove Parade, Victoria Road, Farnborough was fined £80 for selling intoxicating liquor to a juvenile under the age of 18 years on the 3rd March this year.
If any residents are aware of any other trader doing the same please let us know. Action will be taken against culprits if they are caught. These fines will also be considered when they apply to renew their licience.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Public want clean streets and their bins emptied

Caroline Spelman has warned of the impact on families after it emerged that the Government is piling pressure on local authorities to scrap their weekly rubbish collection services.The Shadow Local Government Secretary questioned the wisdom of moving towards more fortnightly bin collections, and urged councils to maintain basic services for local residents.And she challenged ministers to explain why waste removal is being cut back at a time when council tax bills are rising sharply.Commenting on a report published by the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs on waste collection, Mrs Spelman said: "Axing weekly collections will hit families the hardest - those who quite naturally produce more waste than single person households, or couples without children."She warned: "Like many others, they will be asking whether its too much to ask that our streets are kept clean and our bins emptied."Mrs Spelman criticised Government ministers for giving the green light to the abolition of weekly rubbish collections, regardless of public opinion. "Quite justifiably, people have difficulty with council taxes rising to nearly double what it was in 1997, while at the same time their local services are being cut," she said.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Rugby - a wonderful game

My mate Bill has got back from Twickenham after watching some superb rugby. I love the Reuters piece about the after shocks .....

By Jean-Paul Couret
MARCOUSSIS, France, March 14 (Reuters) - France captain Raphael Ibanez lost sleep for two nights after last weekend's defeat by England shattered his dreams of a Six Nations grand slam.
"It made me mad for two days and I didn't sleep on Sunday and Monday nights," the Wasps hooker told journalists on Wednesday.
"It was a huge disappointment because you can accept losing a game over a last-minute free kick or a brilliant move but not because of a total lack of ambition," he added.
"Everything went wrong from the first lineout as we lost the ball on our own throw. It set the tone of the game, the balance of power was on England's side."
Several players said the atmosphere in the French camp was "a bit tense" but added that the determination to make amends for last Sunday's defeat overcame the sadness and disappointment as the hours went by.
"The defeat has been stomached but not accepted. One thing is for sure we must not be depressed. I hope that I'll be able to eliminate my suppressed frustration and anger on the pitch," said Ibanez.
The French captain stated that the best remedy was to focus on Saturday's game against Scotland at the Stade de France.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Green Room?

The Enviromental debate is an interesting one. Does the science really back all the claims made by the green lobby? Many people think not.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Get pedling - Cycle Plan Review

Residents and businesses are being asked by Rushmoor Borough Council for their views on cycling opportunities across the Borough.

The cycle plan survey asks for the opinions of both cyclists and pedestrians about Rushmoor’s cycle lanes, paths and routes and the ways they could be improved.

I am calling for the cycle paths to be made the same colour, and "joined up". There is also no clear official and safe cycle way throught the town - which going on the number of fines issued needs urgent attention, if we are to encourage more people to cycle.

The survey can be completed online at Copies are also available at the Council Offices, cycle shops, libraries and leisure centres in Rushmoor. The closing date for completed surveys is 23 March. All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to win £100 of vouchers to use at Rushmoor Borough Council leisure facilities such as Farnborough Leisure Centre, Aldershot Pools and the Princes Hall.

The Council is also planning to set up a new Rushmoor Cycling Forum. The group will meet quarterly and will be made up of residents, Rushmoor Borough Council staff and Councillors. Local people interested in joining the forum can contact John Trusler at Rushmoor Borough Council on 01252 398 265.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Latest News on Farnborough Town Center.

I have spoken today to Simon Rutter of KPI and got the latest position.

They expect to complete all the legal agreements by the end of this month. Following this the 1st phase of work to begin will be the new western entrance at Kingsmead, which will involve the demolition of two units. This work will take about 12 weeks.

The other piece of work that will commence will be the demolition of the units north of Woolworth.
We will then see the homes built on the Solatron site that are replacing Firgrove Court, and then the block 4 work which is the link between Kingsmead and Queensmead.


Simon also advised me they will be submitting a planning application into Rushmoor for the new Cinema development before the end of this month. It will have 8 screens with 1,150 seats, 111 car park spaces underneath, four bars/resturants, and an additional area for office or leisure use.

He may be French - but he is talented!

My thanks to Francois Patureau who is on secondment with us, who showed me this. It is not physically possible I'm sure! Tres bon!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

I have joined the Gym at Farnborough Sports Center

Yes, I have finally done it. I need to loose a stone (I am having trouble taking off every time I fly), I want to get rid of a belly, and just get a little healthier. I am fed up puffing when I do my shoe laces up! I will be going 3 times a week, for 45 minutes each time. I can give a visitor pass for a week completely free to any of my friends - so if you want to go try it out drop me a line.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

I address Planning Committee re Concept House

I became the first councillor under the new arrangements to use my right as a ward councillor to apply to address the Planning Committee. I would like to thank the committee for unanimously supporting my request to speak on a major development in the ward.
Following the officer presentation, I was allowed 5 minutes to speak, and was followed by the Planning Director for Fairview Homes the developer.

The points I raised were very simple and straight forward:

1. I thanked Fairview Homes for their public consultation. Holding meetings with residents and holding local exhibitions. This is the first time this has ever been done in Rushmoor, and I welcomed this new approach to major applications, and their effort to work with not against local residents.

2. I urged the Committee to press the Cabinet to urgently change our parking provision standards that we have set for these applications. These have been set under unfair pressure from central Government. This application had a maximum limit of 1 car space per unit, BUT (and this was difficult for some of the committee to understand) a minimum limit of 0 (zero) if it could be justified by the applicant. This applicant could within this framework easily justify about 0.79 car spaces per unit, using local statistical data concerning car use and transport information, closeness to bus and rail links etc.

3. I argued that 200 car spaces for 253 dwellings was not acceptable. Despite the fact that our own guidelines allowed this, and the developer was simply working to our standards.

4. In light of my point above, I expressed surprise that the development had allocated 653 bicycle spaces (2.58 per dwelling). I suggested these could be reduced in favour of more vehicle spaces.

5. I pointed out the fact that the developer had given money towards the monitoring of car issues during and after the development was to be built - this suggests that the developer recognises this is a possible issue.

6. I also asked that ward councillors be involved in the plans for the public art proposed for the site.

Following my remarks and the remarks made by the Planning Director of Fairview Homes, the committee was very sympathetic to the points I raised and added to them.

As a consequence they did not vote in favour of the application, but recognising the problems with our own planning standards wisely moved for a deferral of the application to discuss some improvements with Fairview Homes. A result which I thought was a very "common sense" conclusion.

Thank you Planning Committee.