Paper Preview: Andover Advertiser, May 14, 2021

ANDOVER’S Conservatives are celebrating after winning four seats at the borough council elections.

The result of last Thursday’s ballot has reversed the 2019 swing which saw the Andover Alliance make large gains.

This puts the party firmly back in the driving seat at Test Valley Borough Council, strengthening its overall majority with four new representatives.

Jan Budzynski (Conservative, St Mary’s) and Jim Neal (Conservative, Millway) have been re-elected as borough councillors after losing their seats during the Alliance’s surge two years ago.

The scandal-hit party, headed up by outgoing Andover mayor, Richard Rowles, split after it was hit by a number of resignations in its first year and incidents of political infighting.

It chose not to contest these elections, with Richard Rowles telling the Advertiser earlier this year that it was “irresponsible” to hold a poll in a pandemic.

Their absence meant that the Andover Conservatives’ main rivals in the four borough council by-elections were the Lib Dems, who they comfortably beat for all positions.

The Andover Independents, who spun out of the Andover Alliance, also stood in a number of seats but did not win any.

Also newly elected are Mike Maltby and Terese Swain, who will represent Chilworth, Nursling & Rownhams in the south of the borough. They are filling the shoes of late Councillors Nigel Anderdon and Alison Finlay who sadly passed away.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Cllr Phil North, said he was “delighted” at the results, writing: “While the national picture looks extremely positive for my party, this is also an endorsement of the work we’ve been doing locally.”

And Cllr North had an additional reason to be cheerful, after winning the election to represent Andover South at Hampshire County Council.

This means the leader will now hold three positions in public office, with allowances for his job as a borough councillor (£7,036 a year), borough council leader (£13,339) and now a county councillor (£12,833). From September, his borough council allowances will rise to £7,390 and £16,258 respectively.

He joins his wife, Cllr Kirsty North, who was re-elected as a county councillor and remains as a borough councillor too.

There were no major changes in this year’s county council elections with the Conservatives holding 56 seats out of a possible 78. The Liberal Democrats remain the largest opposition party with 17 seats.

Meanwhile, Conservative Donna Jones won the Police and Crime Commissioner ballot.

Also in this week’s paper:

– 25-year-old falsely accused of murder of partner took his own life

– BBC gardening star spotted in town as she films new series

– Four pages of unrivalled elections coverage

– ‘End of an era’ for wholesaler as last cage dispatched before closure

– Lorry driver who killed father of four sentenced

– Student sets up zine to address inequality in STEM subjects

– Woman wins battle against parking fine as she delivered medicine

– Residents win legal saga against housing provider who tried to charge them its legal costs

– Two pages of YOUR letters

– And much, much more

– Out now! Just 90p

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UK hits back at EU ‘threats’ over financial sector deal

The UK government has accused the European Union of “issuing threats at any sign of difficulties” after suggestions France plans to delay a financial services agreement over fishing access.

Reports say Paris wants to delay a post-Brexit deal for the financial sector, as French fishermen protest over access to UK waters.

But Downing Street insisted it is taking a “consistent evidence-based approach” to licensing EU vessels.

“This threat is another example of the EU issuing threats at any sign of difficulties instead of using the mechanisms of our new treaties to solve problems,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said.

“We’ve always been clear that an agreement on financial services is in the best interests of both sides.”

The spokesperson was also forced to defend its approach to EU nationals in the UK, after claims that some have been sent to immigration removal centres under Britain’s “hostile environment”.

The Guardian newspaper reported that Europeans with job interviews are among those being denied entry and locked up, despite rules to the contrary.

Asked if ministers will tell the Border Force agency to change its approach, the spokesperson said: “We’re doing a lot of work to share information with the EU and EU nationals directly about what is required at the border and the majority are seeing no issues as a result of that.”

Read more:
French trawlers withdraw from Jersey waters after fish protest[1]

UK says French threat to cut Jersey power supply ‘unacceptable’[2]
Latest Brexit stories[3]

Last week, French trawlers held a protest around Jersey over fishing rights that led to a brief standoff between British and French navy and coastal patrol boats.

The demonstration took place after the UK imposed rules governing access for French trawlers near the Channel Islands.

France responded by threatening to cut off power to Jersey.

Haulier calls for A18 rethink as closure will divert into Grimsby

Motorists face misery with long delays through Grimsby when the A18 is closed for four months from September, according to a North East Lincolnshire haulier.

Paul Brewster said businesses will suffer extra costs and a long detour for many when the busy route is closed for roundabout works.

Traffic using the A18 between Laceby and Ludborough to join the A16 would normally take about 13 minutes over the 9.6mile route.

But the detour due to the closure, will take traffic into Grimsby and mean a 13-mile journey, taking 29 minutes.

The recommended diversion will take traffic along the A16 into Grimsby’s Peaks Parkway and along Weelsby Road and Laceby Road for westbound traffic.

But Mr Brewster said some drivers may be tempted to take shortcuts through Cheapside, Waltham or Waltham High Street and through picturesque Bradley village.

The A18 was due to close at the start of February for the creation of a new roundabout linking to Waltham Road, Barnoldby-le-Beck.

Get the top GrimsbyLive stories straight to your inbox, click here[1]

The village road through Barnoldby-le-Beck is popular with cyclists and motorcyclists coming to and from the A18 Barton Street
The village road through Barnoldby-le-Beck is popular with cyclists and motorcyclists coming to and from the A18 Barton Street (Image: Rick Byrne / GrimsbyLive)

But North East Lincolnshire Council said agreements with landowners had delayed the closure plan. The work was then rescheduled to take place in May.

Now, it has been postponed until September to allow time for the land purchase to complete and to avoid diverting high summer traffic through Grimsby.

But Mr Brewster believes a one-way system would be the best solution for the A18 works.

He said: “It was all meant to have linked up with the work done last year and start after the elections in May. But no one has consulted with the hauliers.

“If they were to work six days a week and not clock off at 4pm the work could take half the time. When we get into September the nights draw in sooner so it is going to take four months to get the work done.

“By then you will have all the farm vehicles for harvest time and the majority of the grain going to Immingham docks will come along the A18. One business alone has up to three lorries a day.

“They plan to direct them through Toll Bar, Peaks Parkway, Weelsby Road and along Laceby Road. That is a lot of traffic going through the town. Some, using Sat Nav, will end up using Scartho Road and Louth Road or through Bradley and Cheapside instead and it is just going to create bottlenecks. How are residents going to like having 44-tonne lorries going through their villages?”

He recalled the success of hauliers after lobbying highways chiefs to create a one-way system on the A1173 at Stallingborough when NELC first proposed a full road closure.

The detour would have added 30 to 40 minutes to lorry journeys. Following negotiations a one-way system was introduced in January last year.

Peaks Parkway junction with Weelsby Road, Grimsby
Peaks Parkway junction with Weelsby Road, Grimsby (Image: Jon Corken/Grimsby Live)

Mr Brewster recommended a similar one-way system for the A18 for the construction of the new roundabout.

Last year contractors completed £2.8million road safety improvements along the A18 on the stretch between the Laceby A48/A18 roundabout and Laceby Golf Club.

He said: “They have not thought about the pollution with the carbon footprint going through the town. They have not learned the lesson from the last time.

“They need to be speaking to hauliers and using local knowledge. Lets have it one-way.”

North East Lincolnshire Council portfolio holder for highways, Councillor Stewart Swinburn said hauliers have been consulted with the Haulage Association kept informed.

See the latest planning applications for your area

Get the top GrimsbyLive stories straight to your inbox, click here[2]

He said: “The first part of the work on the A18 was completed nine weeks ahead of schedule, so we will see with this project. We will do everything we can to minimise the time.

“We will be sticking to the schedule. It is not just about cost it is up to the contractor and they have been given the work to do. We will be monitoring it and making sure the work sticks to the schedule.

“All options have been looked at and there will be monitoring to see if things need to change. But it was the same on the A1173.

“There is a job to be done and we have to get on with it.”

Keep up to date with roadworks across the area at[3].


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In pictures: The moment the Preston twin elm tree was carefully transported to be turned into art

The tree was safely transported from the Waterhall Sports Ground, where it was winched onto a flatback lorry, and was then carefully lifted by crane into the Secret Garden in Kemp Town, on Monday.

The elm tree, which had to be felled in 2019 after contaminating elm disease, will be worked on from the Secret Garden by acclaimed sculptor, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, and will become part of a major sculpture exhibition next year. It is hoped it will then be returned to Preston Park, where its twin elm tree still stands.

Speaking about the transportation, the Secret Garden trustees said it was a ‘very skilled job – and quite dramatic’. They added: “A special brace was made to support the tree, and the transportation was managed by Alister Peters of Connick Tree Care, Marc Thomas of Millimetre and Nigel Riley Crane and Haulage together with colleagues, all of whom worked very closely with Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva. The team showed incredible expertise as they craned the tree over the tall open gates of the Secret Garden as it was too wide to go through the gates themselves. It was then eased down the entrance slope and is now standing upright, ready for Elpida to get to work.”

It has been a joint effort to ensure the tree will get a new lease of life. Alister Peters, a consultant for Connick Tree Care, who had been seconded to the council, was the one who approached Elpida. Elpida was happy to help but needed more space to complete the work. She approached Gavin Henderson, chairman of the Secret Garden Kemp Town, for which she was already creating a new piece for the exhibition in Spring 2022. Gavin was delighted for Elpida to work on the elm at the secure garden and so the transportation plan was put in place. There will be some openings of the garden during the summer so that visitors can see Elpida at work. For further information, visit:[1]

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Three rushed to hospital after Mercedes collides with motorbike in Stockport

Traffic lights at a junction where three people were hurt in a smash weren’t working because of a lightning strike, it is thought.

A Mercedes collided with a motorbike on the Stockport[1] road on Wednesday morning.

The incident happened at the junction of Springs Gardens and St Mary’s Way in Offerton[2] just before 9.35am.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) reported traffic lights at the junction were ‘all out’ at 8.15am.

Three people were taken to hospital following the smash.

The bike rider and a pillion passenger both suffered major trauma injuries to the head, neck and leg.

The car driver was also hurt.

Police and paramedics were scrambled to the scene, as was an air ambulance.

A spokesperson for GMP said: “Officers were called just before 9.35am today (Wednesday 12 May) to Spring Gardens, Stockport to a report of a collision involving multiple cars and a motorbike.”

A NWAS spokesperson added: “Three patients have been taken to hospital, by road.

“The bike rider (male) and pillion passenger (male, 40s) both suffered major trauma with injuries to head, neck and leg.

“The car driver, (male) also suffered injuries to the head and neck.”

A witness said: “I was in the lane opposite the Mercedes and I saw it all happen.

A tow truck arrived at the scene following the incident on Wednesday (May 12)
A tow truck arrived at the scene following the incident on Wednesday (May 12) (Image: MEN MEDIA)

“I pulled my car over and ran straight over.

“A lorry driver had got the guy’s backpack and put it underneath his leg to support him.

“I was talking to the man on the bike, trying to distract him from the pain, asking him about his job and reminding him to breathe.”

TfGM said it was aware the traffic lights were out at the time of the incident. An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.

In a statement, TfGM said they were made aware the lights at the junction were faulty at 5.55am.

The traffic lights were not working again until 1.30pm.

A spokesperson for TfGM said: “The signals were reported as faulty at 5.55am this morning and the issue is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike, which melted the isolating switch.

“Engineers have been on site since this morning and were awaiting a replacement switch to fix the signals, which have been fully operational since 1.30pm.”

The incident also led to congestion on the A626. The road reopened at approximately 12pm.


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Truck firm boss branded ‘sexist’ after two ‘scantily-clad’ women hold up job ads

A truck firm boss has denied he is sexist after he hired “scantily-clad” women to hold up job ads on the side of the road.

Imogen Dangerfield was ‘horrified’ after seeing two glamour girls posing next to the side of the road.

The women held placards up with ‘drivers wanted’ and truck driver agency’s contact details and company logo emblazoned on them.

One is wearing a skin-tight bodysuit and the other sports a thin boob tube, tight skirt and thigh-high socks.

Adam Giles was pictured with the “scantily-clad” women displaying the recruitment notices.

Mum-of-one Imogen Dangerfield quickly launched into a social media tirade to brand the firm “sexist” for objectifying women’ and called on others to contact them and complain.

She said: “It’s completely inappropriate. This implies that all HGV drivers are interested in girls with their t**s out.

Imogen Dangerfield complained on social media
Imogen Dangerfield complained on social media (Image: Kennedy News/Imogen Dangerfield/Facebook)

She said: “They’re dressed like sex workers. I’m not dissing sex workers. They’re selling sex, but this is about drivers. When I saw it I was horrified. I just thought ‘what the hell’.

“I think it’s sexist. I think it’s important to speak about it.”

The 48-year-old claims her messages to BWN Ltd. Driver Management Group ion Felixstowe were rebuffed.

But company director Adam Giles defended the stunt saying claiming it wasn’t intended to be sexist.

The 'sexist' job advert was highlighted on social media
The ‘sexist’ job advert was highlighted on social media (Image: Kennedy News and Media)

The image was shot during a photoshoot aimed at reversing recruitment struggles has faced since Brexit[1] made it more difficult for foreign nationals to remain in the UK.

He has since hailed his marketing stunt as a ‘huge success’ already, claiming his test drives are now fully booked.

But other haulage bosses waded branded Adam’s choice of job ad as ’embarrassing’ and ‘pathetic’.

Imogen’s post triggered debate on Facebook[2] where one user asked if she’d ‘moved to the 1970s’, yet others praised it as a ‘marketing win’ and ‘ballsy but genius’.

Adam Giles defended the advertisement
Adam Giles defended the advertisement (Image: Kennedy News/Adam Giles/Facebook)

Haulage company director Adam Giles said: “I’m a small company. we haven’t got much money to throw at advertisement. I’ve taken a bit of a tongue in cheek stunt. It’s a bit of fun.

“I didn’t expect many people to talk about it. I’m not trying to change the truck driving industry or be sexist about this. What I’ve done, people can form their own opinion.

Imogen Dangerfield was shocked about the ads which she said objectified women
Imogen Dangerfield was shocked about the ads which she said objectified women (Image: Kennedy News and Media)

“The marketing campaign has been so good I’m fully booked for test drives today, I was fully booked over the weekend. It’s achieved the desired effect.

“There’s a very serious situation in the UK. The way the rules have changed about foreign nationals coming into the UK, guys are leaving in floods. It’s so difficult to employ lorry drivers.”

Haulage company director Adam Giles defended the adverts
Haulage company director Adam Giles defended the adverts (Image: Kennedy News/Adam Giles/Facebook)

Gary Austin, training and development manager at container transport firm Maritime Transport Ltd, said: “This is shocking and out of order. The industry is working hard to encourage diversity and a haulage boss does this!”

But Mr Giles defended the stunt, he said: “I’ve got 50-100 drivers and companies who have contacted me with their story and said they’re so glad you’ve been ballsy and gone with a different approach.

“It was a photoshoot and we’ve got some great pictures, but this one picture was just taken by a truck driver driving around the roundabout.”


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