Sunday, June 25, 2006


Of Footpaths and Conferences

It was an interesting experience to sit in the sunshine on the footpath on Whiteshute Ridge last Sunday, armed with clipboard, bottled water and floppy hat. Badger Farm Parish Council was one of many in Hampshire involved in footpath surveys on 18th June.

Hats (floppy or otherwise) off to those Parish Councillors who carried the bulk of the burden for the day. I was glad that I was able to help relieve some of the pressure on them with a 90 minute stint, followed closely by Brian who stood the watch after mine. We were doing two things, counting numbers and types of users and, where possible, interviewing them with a short questionnaire. People were very friendly and by the end of the day we'd filled out 48 questionnaires and counted 105 people using the path. I trust the data gathered will help underline the importance of footpaths and their maintenance.

And so yesterday (Saturday 24th) to London for the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors (ALDC) Local Government Conference. As always with these events, plenty of good ideas to mull over and think about whether they make sense in a Winchester context. It was good to hear Vince Cable (MP for Twickenham and Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor) talking about some of the proposals emerging from the Party's Tax Commission. It's clear that there is willingness to look at new and radical approaches, incorporating the environment at the centre of tax policy. "Fairer, Greener and more Local," said Vince. "Amen," say I.

Browsing around the exhibition stands during the lunch break some guy walks up to me and says "Are you the David Spender who used to be a Barking councillor?" Not bad after 20 years!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Young, Hip and Ubercool - Yes!!!

Thanks to Rich from OllieB for the following mention in his blog (

But for the mean time here's the fascinating news that my young, hip and uber-cool local Lib Dem councillor keeps a blog! Keep checking back with him for the latest exciting news from the Winchester hanging basket controversy and so on! Isn't local politics just riviting!

I've been called many things before, but this one I'll treasure!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Park & Ride for South Winchester

Locally, the most significant event in the last couple of weeks has been the public consultation process for the Southern Park & Ride. Charlotte Bailey (our LibDem County Cllr), Brian Collin and I organised delivery to as much of the Ward as possible of a leaflet giving details of the consultation process. I’m pleased to say that the exhibition at Badger Farm Community Centre was very well attended and seemed full of people on both Friday and Saturday. Since then, I've heard reports that there were good turnouts at the other venues as well.

The serious options seem to come down to Sites 2 and 3 (see map). The County officers seem to prefer Site 2 by the Bushfield roundabout, but I think my preference is marginally for Site 3, the old motorway construction site.

There's still an opportunity to see the plans and to comment on them at

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