It was great to meet the Managing Director of the Bluestar bus service on Friday. I toured one of the new buses which will be serving routes in Romsey and was impressed by the efforts the company has made to ensure the buses are accessible by all, including using brighter floor coverings for people with dementia.
On Saturday I was pleased to open some new village amenities. In Wellow I took part in the unveiling of an innovative new bench created from an old oak tree which I thought was a great way of retaining the heritage of the park. I would like to add my thanks to the family who paid such a substantial sum toward the carving of the bench, and of course to Test Valley Councillors Nick King and Gordon Bailey who also contributed.
As a Scouting Ambassador for Romsey, I was delighted to officially re-open the scout hut in King’s Somborne after some significant enhancements to the building, including new toilets and kitchen. The 11th King’s Somborne Scouts have worked hard to provide a great facility for young people and I hope the numbers of children involved begins to increase after the re-launch.
On Friday I look forward to meeting with representatives of the Alcohol Health Alliance as well as specialist consultants at University Hospital Southampton for the AHA Day of Action. Romsey and Southampton North has a higher than average number of people experiencing hospital admissions due to liver disease and the AHA hope to highlight the correlation between the selling of very cheap alcohol and increasing rates of liver disease. I think more must be done to support those trying to change this worrying trend and I hope to learn more about what can be done on Friday.
I also look forward to meeting with a number of constituents for surgeries on Friday. If you would like an appointment please contact my secretary on 01794 5221155.
January 13th 2017
The opening of the new village hall in Nether Wallop on Saturday was a great opportunity to catch up with the many local people who worked so hard to bring about the new hall. I must pay tribute to all those who contributed to make this a reality for the community.
Another great community asset is the Roundabout Café in Mansbridge and the Southern end of my constituency. The not-for-profit café which is managed by Housing Association Radian is an excellent hub which caters for all part of the close-knit community, providing craft groups, great food and a safe place to talk to local housing officers, councillors or neighbours.
I was very sad on Tuesday to learn of the very sad death of former Test Valley Mayor and lifelong Romsey Extra resident Doris Bunting. Throughout her life Doris gave so much to the community and she will be much missed by numerous local organisations.
This Friday will be another very busy one in Romsey with constituency appointments, a visit from a major utilities company and will culminate in the cutting of the ribbon on a new bus which will begin serving the Romsey area.
This weekend will see the unveiling of an innovative carved bench in West Wellow. Created from the stump of an old oak tree, the work has been paid for by donations from a local family and Test Valley Borough Council.
Finally, I was very pleased to see the King’s Somborne Scout group is being re-opened after closing due to low numbers. I have a long history of supporting the scouting movement and I am delighted to be asked to attend the ceremony which will also include the opening of the refurbished Scout hut.
January 6th 2017
I, like many others, was shocked to learn of the barbaric events in Turkey on New Year’s Eve where 39 people from various nationalities were murdered in a terrorist attack on a nightclub. I know readers will join me in offering condolences to all those families affected by this dreadful event.
During this final week of Parliamentary recess I have held a number of constituency surgeries and made several visits, including to the Roundabout Café in Mansbridge. It is a not-for-profit café which, aside from providing a delicious selection of food and drink, helps local people with free access to the internet and laptops, a safe space to talk and is an excellent community hub.
I was pleased to hear that money from the Landfill Communities Fund provided by Veolia has gone toward a substantial community project in Nether Wallop. The rebuilding of the Village Hall was also funded by Hampshire County Council and I know many residents are excited to see the hall open so it can once again become the focus of so many community activities. Similarly, it was great to learn that Romsey Town Football Club has been given a substantial grant for new floodlights from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund recently.
Next week I will be returning to Westminster for a busy week of Parliamentary and Ministerial meetings and a visit from some constituents.
For constituents who may need a Saturday morning constituency surgery appointment, there is currently space available for Saturday 4th February, to book an appointment please contact my office on 01794 521155.