Dogs off leads

Dear Editor,

After the Swan was mauled to death last year I had a meeting with the Countryside Officer, Charlotte Rimmer and the leader of TVBC Cllr Phil North, to discuss the problem of dogs ‘off leads’ in the area adjacent to Anton Lake.

There are large fields adjacent to the lake which could be dedicated to ‘dogs off leads’ if TVBC wished to help protect the wildlife on this nature reserve. Rooksbury Mill has a ‘dogs on leads’ at all times!?

Cllr North said that enforcing a dogs on lead ‘’was too Draconian’’! Since that meeting we have had three goslings, and yesterday our only Greylag Goose killed by ‘dogs off leads’.

Mrs Rimmer said she was taking action and did produce two posters, but the dog owners ignored the posters in these instances.

The RSPCA officer, Justine Hermon took the Greylag Goose and put it to sleep. With both of it’s legs broken it was suffering.

A concerned citizen

An excuse?

Dear Editor,

I refer to the remarkable headline in your edition of May 21 in which a planned expansion of an adhesive plant in Andover has been evidently cancelled due to the “catastrophic” impact of Brexit according to Henrik Follmann, chief executive of Follmanns Chemicals of Germany. He evidently purchased Sealock here in Andover with the object of exporting adhesives to the EU.

Amongst Follmann’s complaints, a principal reason for cancellation of the project is that shipping costs to the EU have increased by 30 per cent since Brexit.

You then point out, that UK exports to the EU fell by 41 per cent in January evidently in support of Follmann’s assertion.

1. Following the - much heralded - decline in January, however exports increased by 46.6 per cent in February and by a further 8.6 per cent in March to £12.7 billion, only a billion short of Decembers figure of £13.7 billion - from an economy 7.8 per cent smaller due to Covid.

2. These figures are not compatible with a stated increase of 30 per cent in shipping costs.

3. The EU share of total UK exports is in any case in continual decline from 54 per cent in 2002 to 43 per cent in 2019.

3. In the specific case of adhesives UK exports to the EU averaged £75 million per annum between 2010 and 2017, since when they have dropped to an average of only £25million a year on 2018 and 2019, exports of adhesives to other markets show a similar decline.

The subsequent interview, on page 9 of your report, with Mr Young, the Managing Director of Sealock, reveals a company enjoying significant growth an evidently quite unfazed by Follmann’s comments.

There may be many reasons for Follmann’s decision to cancel their planned expansion of Sealock Brexit, in any case a known future event, sounds more like an excuse than a reason; and that you should give such prominence to it is disingenuous to say the least.

Robert Hickman CBE, Flagstaff House, Andover

‘I’ve done my best’

Dear Editor,

On May 23, I came to the sad decision to stop removing discarded litter, from street furniture etc, abiding my mantra “If my eyes see it then my hands pick it”

Having received a “Point of Light” recognition from David Cameron the Prime Minister, “Keep Britain Tidy” and “Pride of Andover”, I feel I have done the absolute best I can to encourage others to follow the example I have set, believing that the best way to encourage people to do anything is to first be seen to do it oneself.

May I therefore I take this opportunity to thank, amongst many, Sir George Young, Joe Scicluna, Paul Wykes, Ian Carr, Phil North, Graham Stallard, Emma Wykes, Debs Hughes, Ian Hodgson, Ben Hamilton, Lorraine Copper, Mark Young.

I will now be devoting all energies to the column in the Advertiser and my Attitude of Gratitude work.

Manuela Wahnon, Andover

Need new approach

Dear Editor,

Like many of your readers, I was reassured that we will have an inquiry to learn the lessons from the pandemic. However, like many others, I was disappointed it is not happening sooner. If a pandemic is a war, you do not wait until it is all over before you start learning lessons.

There are areas where the government got it right. These include the vaccination programme delivered by the NHS, and the furlough scheme.

There are however two areas where the pandemic highlighted weaknesses that were already there.

The first is social care for older adults. The second is the Universal Credit scheme.

The Prime Minister promised in his first day in office on the steps of Number 10 that he had a ready-made package for fixing adult social care. We have not seen it.

Meanwhile Labour trumpets but when challenged disappears into a black hole. Moving onto Universal Credit, this scheme fails to deliver a decent public service or value for money. Its vagaries have done little to help those in real need.

You are lucky if you receive anything five weeks after you first application. Under the previous system it was about two weeks. The increase in food banks is a national disgrace.

In both cases we need a transformational approach which replaces what we have with something fit for the 21st Century. Our Social Security and adult care systems are broken. I would suggest that we need a national conversation.

The first step must be to simplify all these various support systems that we have. My personal opinion is that we should be moving towards a Universal Basic Income (UBI), which guarantees each citizen a pot of money each week irrespective of circumstances.

UBI starts to fix the root of the problem rather than its many symptoms. It is not a panacea. But we need to make a start somewhere. Fixing things is something that politicians are particularly bad at. Just look at potholes. We need to demand much better from them.

Cllr Luigi Gregori, Charlton Road, Andover.

Get out and play

Dear Editor,

As we approach a summer which, hopefully, will allow us to enjoy our lives with fewer restrictions, we can start planning how we want to spend some time with our friends and families.

After everything we’ve been through during the pandemic, we could all do with a bit more play in our lives – play is a hugely important part of childhood and has a whole host of benefits, not least of all improving our physical and mental health and wellbeing.

To encourage people across the country to play and raise money to support children and young people who have in many cases been the hidden victims of the pandemic, the NSPCC is launching its first national Childhood Day on June 11.

Whether you’re organising a sponsored kickabout in the park, a game of cards, a musical get-together or an online gaming tournament, we want your help to get the UK playing and raise money to help us keep children safe.

Or why not apply to become a Childhood Day Community Champion and help organise fundraising in your local community. You can apply online at (closing date is 4 June).

We are hugely looking forward to hearing how your readers plan to support the NSPCC and children across the UK this Childhood Day – if you want to find out more, go to or search online for NSPCC Childhood Day.

After the year we’ve had, we could all do with a bit more play. It doesn’t matter how you play this Childhood Day, it just matters that you play your part.

Kate Hershkowitz, NSPCC Supporter Fundraising Manager