Grave concerns

Dear Editor,

My poor mother passed away in December 2019, and was laid to rest with my late father at Charlton cemetery in January 2020. To date their grave has not been flattened and remains an eyesore.

We have communicated with Test Valley Council, through emails and phone calls. We have had several promises that this would be sorted to no avail.

The excuses range through Covid, weather, supply of turf – none of which are believable as newer graves have been flattened. It isn’t as though no one has been working up there as unfortunately burials have continued.

My sister has tried to contact local councillors to no avail.

We feel we have let our late parents down as they would be horrified by the condition of the grave.

Has anyone else had this problem and how was it resolved?

Stephen Dixon, Wiltshire

Accept accident

Dear Editor,

Through the Advertiser may I request that the driver of the Audi that destroyed my substantial gatepost at Hawthorns, Walworth Road, Picket Piece, Andover, on Thursday April 29 to contact me with their insurance details in order to facilitate its repair.

I appreciate it was an accident, but you need to accept responsibly. Preferably before the video goes to the Police and posted on Facebook.

Ian Hendy, Andover

‘I’ll work for all’

Dear Editor,

I write to thank the voters at the recent elections. I am honoured to have been re-elected as the County Councillor for Whitchurch and the Cleres division in north west Hampshire. I’m encouraged that the total number of votes cast for me and the Conservatives has increased by 10 per cent over the votes cast in 2017.

I will work for all residents of the town and villages; working to defend our local services, to ensure our roads and paths are maintained, to promote more recycling and to defend our environment.

Hampshire Conservatives have a six-point plan to boost the county’s economy, develop young people’s skills, protect the countryside, support our families and schools, improve people’s health and tackle climate change. 

The voters have endorsed our plan and given us another strong majority; recognising how well we run the county.  A number of factors make the next few years challenging ones.  I promise to continue to work hard for the residents of Whitchurch and the Cleres and meet those challenges.

Tom Thacker, Hampshire County Councillor, Whitchurch and The Cleres Division 

Get in touch

Dear Editor,

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the voters of Andover West for placing their trust in me to serve them on Hampshire County Council for the next four years.

I am privileged to represent one of the most diverse divisions in the Test Valley, stretching from King Arthur’s Way in the east of Andover to Shipton Bellinger and Grateley in the west. It will be a challenge but it is one which I relish.

To be elected is a great honour but with it comes great responsibility and I hope that I meet your expectations.

I stood on a platform of campaigning for more community policing, better roads and helping young people both in Andover and the villages access the opportunities which exist to make the most of their talents, and that’s what I intend to crack on and do.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if I can be of help.

Chris Donnelly, Church Close, Andover

Thanks to voters

Dear Editor,

I would like to take the opportunity through the pages of the Andover Advertiser to express my gratitude to all those who took part in the local elections, including the hard working local council staff who put it all together. But most of all thanks to those who voted, for whatever party, as elections are the bedrock of our democratic system.

On a party political front, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who voted Liberal Democrat. Yet again we have demonstrated both by our actions on local councils and also the ballot box that we are the main opposition to the Conservatives here in Andover.

What this means is that if you want change and a more effective and responsive local government, you have a real alternative.

Rest assured that we will continue to campaign on issues ranging from fixing potholes properly, to doorstep glass recycling, to good social care for both our youth and those who are more mature.

Politics is not just about emerging at election time, it is about serving our communities the whole year round, come rain or shine. Do demand better from our elected politicians. Our local Liberal Democrat team of councillors is here to help.

Luigi Gregori, Charlton Road, Andover

Big thanks

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my sincere thank you to the residents of St Mary’s for electing me as one of their Borough Councillors. I can assure you that I will do my utmost to help all of you when needed. May I also thank my opponents in this election for the robust, but fair way they conducted themselves.

Cllr Jan Budzynski, Leicester Place, Andover

Child abuse

Dear Editor,

Across the country, thousands of children and young people are subjected to horrific exploitation and abuse every year.

They are groomed by predators with offers of friendship, gifts, cash and status then coerced using terrifying threats and violence into crimes like trafficking drugs in ‘county lines’ operations. Children are also exploited for sex and some are forced to work in premises like car washes and nail bars.

In the South East in 2019/20, gangs were identified as a risk 1,860 times in assessments of children referred to social services, while trafficking was deemed to be a factor on 340 occasions, both indicators of child criminal exploitation. Risks of child sexual exploitation were highlighted in 2,640 assessments and in 2,550 instances, children going missing, also a sign of exploitation, was pinpointed as a factor.

However, many children are too scared to tell adults what is happening. That’s why we need your help. During the week from Monday 17 May The Children’s Society is running a ‘Look Closer’ Awareness Week with the National County Lines Coordination Centre and police forces across the country including British Transport Police. Our ongoing #Look Closer campaign urges everyone – from commuters and delivery drivers to hotel and shop staff – to look out for signs of child exploitation in public spaces and their neighbourhood and report any concerns.

Signs could include children carrying large amounts of cash, appearing under the control of others, looking lost, or travelling alone at night. Trauma may lead to children appearing angry or aggressive rather than vulnerable or upset as people might expect – so look beyond the obvious.

Anyone worried about a child can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. If there is an immediate risk to a child dial 999. If you are on a train text British Transport Police on 61016

You may not be sure about your concerns, but trust your instincts. Your phone call could be a crucial first step in helping a child escape a situation of terrible abuse and unimaginable trauma.

Mark Russell , Chief Executive, The Children’s Society