WEB HUSTINGS

The town website has received the following questions from residents to put to all four election candidates, and they have been passed on.
Note that the town website is wholly non-political.

When their answers are received they will be posted here:


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ONE:
Q. What do you intend to do about the station parking problems?

DAVID FODEN – The Labour Party
A: Awaited

GEORGE FRANCIS GARTON – UKIP
A: Awaited

STEVEN NEILSON – Liberal Democrats
A: The site for a new car park north of the station has been agreed for years. When SWT had money to spend they were dependent on a new access from Newbury Road. Hampshire County Council are the Highway Authority and the Passenger Transport Authority, they could have resolved this problem at any time. As County Councillor I will insist that HCC gets all the people involved together to find a quick solution.

TOM THACKER – The Conservative Party
A: I will continue to argue for a extra parking for the station. Imagination is required as to how to achieve this as the land north of the railway line is privately owned and would involve further negotiations between Network Rail and the owners – one idea is for new industrial area south of the railway line, north of the Ardglen; if that progresses, I would argue that it should include extra parking for the station. However, I shall argue against any loss of allotments, if the demand remains for them.

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TWO:
Q. Will you hold regular ‘Surgeries’ in Whitchurch to meet your electorate personally?

DAVID FODEN – The Labour Party
A: Awaited

GEORGE FRANCIS GARTON – UKIP
A: Awaited

STEVEN NEILSON – Liberal Democrats
A: The Liberal Democrats work all year round for local people. Not just at election time. I encourage dialogue. We distribute regular FOCUS leaflets inviting people to contact us, then we arrange to visit them. Surgeries seem formal but if there is sufficient demand then why not?

TOM THACKER – The Conservative Party
A: With use of modern communications, I correspond and meet with residents regularly. As there is an electorate of over 10,000, spread across a large geographic area, I have found it better if I come to them, rather than they have to come to me.

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THREE:
Q. What will you do to improve the safety of the B3400 between Whitchurch and Overton for people who drive, walk and cycle?

DAVID FODEN – The Labour Party
A: Awaited

GEORGE FRANCIS GARTON – UKIP
A: Awaited

STEVEN NEILSON – Liberal Democrats
A: . I’m a driver, walker and cyclist myself on this road. I tend not to cycle too often as I find it scary! I’m open minded to solutions? This is a difficult one to resolve. I don’t know!
[The major issue is the lack of a pavement / footway between Whitchurch and Wells in the Field for which cost estimates escalate every year. Rotten Hill between W-i-t-F and Southington should have a speed limit of ?50 ?40 mph]

TOM THACKER – The Conservative Party
A: I would support any value for money completion of the footpath between Wells-in-the-Field and Whitchurch. If such a project were to go ahead, a footpath with cycle access would get my support

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FOUR:
Q. Will you keep or scrap the 20mph speed limit pilot project in town, and why?

DAVID FODEN – The Labour Party
A: Awaited

GEORGE FRANCIS GARTON – UKIP
A: Awaited

STEVEN NEILSON – Liberal Democrats
A: A County Council consultation of residents ended 4th January 2013. Yes, nearly 4 months ago. I await to see results from the survey. It seems an expensive idea and I’m yet to be convinced about the benefits but I remain open minded.

TOM THACKER – The Conservative Party
A: I supported the Whitchurch Town Council’s request to join the 20mph PILOT scheme, but only in suitable streets. I stressed to the project team that safer routes to school must play a part.

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FIVE:
Q. Are you supportive of the wind farm proposed to the south of Whitchurch?

DAVID FODEN – The Labour Party
A: Awaited

GEORGE FRANCIS GARTON – UKIP
A: Awaited

STEVEN NEILSON – Liberal Democrats
A: The proposal has only recently been released. I’ve not studied it yet. Whilst not a County Council issue I will work with our Borough Councillors in a pragmatic way for local benefit.

TOM THACKER – The Conservative Party
A: Against. For my full reasons, Please see my statement on the wind farm: http://tomthacker2013.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/wind-farm-at-bullington-cross.html

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SIX:
Q. Will you ensure that the present bus services serving Whitchurch are improved and that financial support is not further reduced?

DAVID FODEN – The Labour Party
A: Awaited

GEORGE FRANCIS GARTON – UKIP
A: Awaited

STEVEN NEILSON – Liberal Democrats
A: Whilst it is not possible for any County Councillor to ensure this, see my latest “Voice” article where I report on one of my bus journeys. I do use the bus service myself to Andover, Basingstoke and to Winchester.

Hampshire County Council, as Passenger Transport Authority, stopped subsidising routes 76 and 86 years ago. I will work with colleagues on the County Council to reverse that. Meanwhile our evening and Sunday services are supported by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, who have no statutory duty to do that and I know that our Borough Councillors keep campaigning for that to continue

TOM THACKER – The Conservative Party
A: Yes

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SEVEN:
Q. Are you in favour of or against the proposed 550 houses to be built in Whitchurch?

DAVID FODEN – The Labour Party
A: Awaited

GEORGE FRANCIS GARTON – UKIP
A: Awaited

STEVEN NEILSON – Liberal Democrats
A: Awaited

TOM THACKER – The Conservative Party
A: This is a matter for the borough council, however I did express my concern to the Leader of Basingstoke when the number was initially proposed to increase to 500. I welcome the return to 350 homes, or 25 homes per year, over fifteen years as sustainable and accommodating organic growth.

The important thing now is that residents must communicate their views to the Town Council, as the borough must pay heed to the Neighbourhood Plan, that the Town Council will have to produce, as part of Localism.

Comments (2)

  • climo

    SEVEN:

    Q. Are you in favour of or against the proposed 550 houses to be built in Whitchurch?

  • Mike Stead

    Eight:

    What is your priority: getting road users along the B3400 / Winchester-Newbury routes as fast as possible, or making the streets safer for children and adults who live here?

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