Friday, May 18, 2007

Troika Development Decision

The decision of the Planning Inspector and the Public Enquiry for the Troika Development has been released today, a day earlier than we were originally told.

I’m sorry to say, from my point of view, that the Inspector backed the development and granted planning permission for both the office development at Wessex Fields and also the park and ride and new junction off the Wessex Way. This is obviously very disappointing and I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has helped in the campaign to oppose the construction of such a large office development in this location and the development of the park and ride facility on green belt land.

There are some mitigating factors in the decision in that he has decreased the square footage of the offices that can be built and increased the amount of parking that must be placed on site. However there remains a substantial gap between the amount of parking provision and the projected number of workers for the space provided.

Michael, Jane and I will now be working to ensure that there is minimum disruption to our area while the construction of the development takes place and thereafter through even more workers’ parking in our residential streets.

Thank you to everyone who has joined in the campaign over the past couple of years, either by attending the public meetings, the Public Enquiry or through writing letters in objection to the scheme and the appeal. Without your activity it is certain to my mind that we would now have a larger development with even less car parking.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Nationwide Building Society Branch – Christchurch Road

You may have seen that there has been some publicity in the Echo about the proposed closure of the Nationwide Building Society Branch in Christchurch Road. It’s in the same parade of shops as Forest Cycles and opposite the lighting shop. This is the last financial institution in the shopping area of Boscombe East and is used widely by both the local businesses and many older residents. It also houses the only cash point in this part of the area.

Nationwide wasn’t to relocate the business of the branch to their office in Southbourne Grove. That’s a considerable distance for both the local business owners and older people to travel. Without the cash point the nearest places to obtain cash will be at either the Tesco Metro at the top of Pokesdown Hill or at Tesco on Castle Lane East.

Some local campaigners have been undertaking a very effective campaign to oppose the closure. The chief executive of Nationwide Building Society will be visiting the branch to take stock of local feeling tomorrow (Wednesday 9th May). Local people are being asked to gather at the branch at 11am to protest against the closure. If you are able to come along for 15 minutes to add to the numbers and have your say over the closure then please do. Michael, Jane and I will be there to add our support.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The election results are in

As promised, here are the results for Littledown and Iford from yesterday’s election:

Ansell, Roger (Labour) 246

Fudge, Adrian (LibDem) 645

Griffiths, Michael (Conservative) 1556

Ketchley, Fran (LibDem) 623

King, Nicholas (Conservative) 1845

Montrose, Jane (Conservative) 1648

Reeves, Colin (BNP) 223

Saunders, Rob (LibDem) 493

Sharman, Debbie (Labour) 209

Williams, Anthony (Independent) 358

Elected Members:

Nicholas King (Conservative)
Jane Montrose (Conservative)
Michael Griffiths (Conservative)

As you can imagine, Jane, Michael and I are absolutely delighted at the result, thank you to everyone who voted for us. We are all humbled by the trust shown in us by the residents of the area.

We now have an enormous job ahead of us to fulfil our election pledges. We’re determined to work as a team to represent everyone in the ward and to ensure that the many issues outstanding in our area are dealt with as a matter of urgency by the Council.

I should thank and pay tribute to our predecessors, Adrian Fudge and Fran Ketchley, for their work as councillors for the area over the past four years and their commitment to the town. Similarly, to my direct predecessor, Simon Foster, for the two and a half years he served the area.

In terms of the town’s results, the seats on the council are now:

Conservative: 41

Lib Dem: 7

Labour: 3

Independent: 3

Our first commitment is to do all we can to reverse the final decision the Liberal Democrat Council made, that of granting approval for the construction of the Casino next to the Pavilion. Locally we will be doing everything possible to help residents opposing the Old Bridge Road telephone mast and the access to the AFC Bournemouth housing development through Thistlebarrow Road.