First of all I’d like to thank the guys at Andover and Villages for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinions.
From previous experience, commenting on their posts, it would appear I agree with a lot of people on “all things Andover”. Hopefully I’ll represent the views of many people of the town – although I know not everyone will agree with me, which of course is fine. If we were all the same it would be a pretty boring world! I’ve been pondering over what to discuss, and at this point in time, there is so much going on that I don’t really know where to start. So this time I’ve decided to cover a few topics which have really been bugging me recently.
Firstly, TK Maxx. We all pretty much know it’s coming. I thought people of the town would be over the moon that such a well known name would be coming to Andover. Yet I go to Cyprus for a week, and when I get back all I hear is reports of people complaining that it’s not a Primark. Honestly, I cannot help but wonder if there is no pleasing people. Most of us have been complaining for years that we don’t have enough big-name shops in the town. Now that one has decided to take up residence, there are those who are not satisfied.
Don’t get me wrong, I personally don’t really like TK Maxx all that much – every one I’ve ever been in has looked somewhat reminiscent of a jumble sale. Who has time to walk around a large shop, searching through the endless racks of different clothes (which seem to be in no particular order) trying to find something they like, only to discover it’s two sizes two small?? As for Primark, yes it’s a popular shop too, but again, it’s not a place I choose to shop in. Call me a yuppy if you like, but I was over the moon when Next opened up!
Regardless, I’m happy with TK Maxx opening in the old Harveys unit. It shows a willingness of a large chain to come to our town, when most other companies seem to have chosen to give us a miss. I believe this is just the start though. Once we have a few decent shops here, more and more will see Andover is worth coming to. We just have to be patient. With plans already being discussed for an extenstion/new area of the town centre being built within ten years or so, I believe things are looking up for us. And all these new houses they’re building…. Things have to improve!! So be positive people!! You might not get the shop you want right now, but I’m sure it will come in time.
Secondly, the A-board saga. Quite frankly I’m tired of hearing about this now, as I’m sure many people are. It’s a shame it got to the stage where people were being threatened with fines for keep them outside their shops. However it’s good to see that it has finally been sorted, and that shopkeepers are allowed to keep them – albeit subject to a £50 fee per year for a license.
Yes, complaints were made about them, and yes I agree it got blown out of all proportion. I too was angry with Hampshire County Council for their apparent neglect of our independent businesses in the town. However, in all fairness to them, they were only carrying out the law, as ridiculous as it is. I know there are those who will not be happy with the charge now being enforced in order to keep the A-boards, but I think it’s a pretty good compromise. At least they can still be kept, and potential customers can see where these businesses are once again.
Lastly, and before I bore you all to death, I just wanted to mention potholes. At long last Hampshire County Council are apparently going on a mission, and have said they are going to address the pothole issue. Although exactly when that will be, or where they will start, seems to be a mystery. Their “temporary repair” on Charlton Road has yet again, if you pardon the pun, gone to pot.
The council seem they’re more concerned about creating cycle paths than fixing the roads we already have! I myself recently complained about said pothole in a post on the net, only to be advised by a certain councillor that I should report it to Hampshire County Council. The pothole has been there for months on end. Why should I, a council tax payer, be responsible for reporting potholes to the council??
I thought my council tax paid for them to ensure the upkeep of our roads? Maybe I’m mistaken. Apparently so.