Thursday, 28 February 2013

McDonald's - Declaration of Interest

The McDonald Belgian Bliss Brownie
In light of the accusations that have been thrown my way lately, I wish to declare that my sister gave me a brownie that I really enjoyed this lunch time. When I asked where she got it from I was presented with a McDonalds wrapper!!

I deeply regret any offence this may cause.

Buy from your local Butcher

My Lidl Pony?
We have excellent butchers in Farnborough. A friends father saw the following in a local butchers window.

PORK: From local farms

LAMB: From local farms

BEEF: From local farms

HORSE: In the stable where it belongs

Friday, 22 February 2013

Firgrove Parade, Farnborough

I have learnt today that the planning application for the redevelopment of this site has been validated and will shortly go out for public consultation.   The new development would provide 14 residential units with shops below together with an 80 bed hotel with 726 sqm ground floor restaurant/bar with associated car parking and landscaping works.   

Hitting the Cold Spots Project

I have been made aware of this project which provides practical assistance to vulnerable families and individuals who are affected by the cold weather and fuel poverty.   It is funded from the Department of Health Warm Homes and Healthy People Fund and is open until 31 March 2013.  The service can be accessed via the Freephone number 0800 804 8601 and visits can be requested through an advisor on line at
The range of services available are
    • A free local information and advice phone line staffed by friendly, trained advisors - 0800 804 8601
    • Hitting the Cold Spots advisors who will visit individuals in their own homes to offer practical assistance and support
    • Financial help with hot water and heating systems repairs if they meet the criteria
    • Support with alternative heating measures (electric oil filled radiators) for those without heating
    • Access to small grant support to help cope with winter fuel emergencies –open and available now!
    • Advice and access to current insulation offers – (loft, cavity and solid wall insulation)
    • Assistance to switch energy provider or tariff to help make savings on fuel bills.
    • Debt advice tailored to individual circumstances
    • Free Home Safety visits including a carbon monoxide monitor, smoke detector and a fire safety plan 

DC 2 DC - My mate updates me on Energy Bills

Dear David,

As Prime Minister - and as a Conservative - I'm determined to do everything I can to help people with the cost of living. We've already helped freeze council tax, stopped Labour's fuel duty rise, capped the increase in rail fares and taken two million people out of paying income tax altogether.
Last year, I said we would do something else: take action on the sky-high energy bills that families across the country struggle with. At the moment, people often face a mind-boggling number of tariffs and pay a lot more than they should do.
That's why I made a personal commitment. I said it was time for energy companies to be straight with their customers and offer them the lowest available tariff. No more tricks, loopholes or small print; time for transparency.
So I'm delighted that yesterday OFGEM - the energy regulator - said it would deliver on my plan to get bills down. Starting this summer, energy companies will need to:
Present clear bills with the cheapest available tariff
Offer no more than 4 tariffs for each type of fuel
Abide by a rigorous code of conduct or face heavy fines
And the Government is going to use its Energy Bill to push things further still. Once this becomes law, suppliers will have to put people on the cheapest variable rate unless they choose otherwise.
These changes will at last help to switch the balance of power in the energy market. People will be in the driving seat and companies will be competing hard for their custom.
We said we'd do everything possible to help the hard-working families of this country - and we are keeping our word.

David Cameron 

The Tumble Down Dick Latest

Yesterday I asked a question of Cabinet member Paul Taylor:

Can the Cabinet Member provide an update on the Tumbledown Dick Public House and advise on

       Why the premises is not listed and the status of the Council commissioned report
  Why the Council has no planning guidance for the protection of public houses like the   Tumbledown Dick
       The consultation arrangements for any planning application


Cllr Paul Taylor   

"Mr Mayor,

I am well aware of the high level of interest and feeling that the future of the Tumbledown Dick has generated in the local community.   I am particularly conscious of the Friends of the Tumbledown Dick campaign and of the many comments expressed on their Facebook site some relating directly to the Council’s position.
The Council has sought to cooperate with the Group and has provided a great deal of information and detailed responses to a range of issues.
As Members are aware, the property is not currently listed and a formal request to English Heritage to recommend it for listing has been turned down. In reaching this decision, English Heritage confirmed that they had taken into account the outcome of the report commissioned by the Council as well as the report prepared by the Campaign Group.  The Council’s report was commissioned from a credible organisation, which has provided advice to the Council is the past on historic building issues and has experience of working with English Heritage.
The Group has submitted further evidence to English Heritage and requested a formal review of their decision – I must stress that this a matter for English Heritage and the Council has no control or direct influence over the decision.
It is correct to say that the Council has no specific pub protection policies in place currently and we are not required to do so, however, in considering any planning application for the site – and it is important to be clear that no application has yet been received – I am assured that the  references  in the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework to the role public houses can play in the provision of community facilities and the implications of their loss, will be taken into account.    It is our intention to look at a specific “pub” policy in the next stage of the Rushmoor Plan.  However, the current legislative position simply allows public houses to become shops without the need for planning permission.  
Finally, Mr Mayor, I can assure Members that the Council is known for undertaking comprehensive and meaningful consultation on planning applications, and we will do this with any applications for the Tumbledown Dick.   Quite apart from any pre-application consultation that MacDonald’s might have chosen to undertake – and this is recommended by government - the Council will publicise any future planning application for the site, erect site notices and write directly to affected parties in accordance with our established policy. I understand the Friends have been reassured they they will be consulted direct."

Supplementary Question:

‘Could the Cabinet Member explain what happens next following the ‘Asset of Community Value’ designation for the Tumbledown Dick’

"The Council’s decision to include The Tumbledown Dick on the list of Assets of Community Value will have no immediate impact.   Whilst there is in place a formal sale agreement the listing has no effect.   However, should the sale fall through, for whatever reason, a six-month moratorium would come into effect if the owner proposes to sell, during which the Friends could submit a bid to purchase the site. The owner is however not under any obligation to sell to any particular bidder."