Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Hampshire press

SG has poppsed up in a host of stories across the local press in the last few weeks.

From the Southampton Daily Echo

We can account for each and every penny of extra GBP 30m (8 October)
Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust chiefs opened their books to the Daily Echo to prove that the additional funds were used on essential costs. They were fighting back after coming under attack from Southampton Itchen MP John Denham, who blamed its financial crisis on bad management.
[...]
Romsey Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gidley said she was not convinced the problem was due to bad management. "Nearly every health trust in the south east is struggling," she said. "Why do we consistently struggle in this part of the country while other areas in the north seem to have no problem?"
Which path now for Tories? (8 October)
But the battle in rural parts of Hampshire, in and around the New Forest, is likely to be much more fascinating. Growing disillusionment with Labour means some seats are set to be straight and hotly contested - fights between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. The Tories are hoping to capture the prize scalp of Lib Dem front-benchers Sandra Gidley (Romsey) and Mark Oaten (Winchester), both defending relatively slender majorities. Mrs Gidley has a lead of only 2,370 votes. Mark Oaten's majority is 9,634.
Have a heart, NHS (11 October)
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save vital treatment received by heart patients across Hampshire.
[...]
Romsey Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gidley, said it was short-sighted to axe a service that has significant long-term benefits.

"If we are serious about the NHS being a health service rather than a sickness service we must not concentrate purely on the acute care issues," she said.

From the Romsey Advertiser

Report backs call for new primary school (8 October)
Romsey could have a brand new primary school after all - but the days of a village school in Ampfield could end in less than two years.
[...]
Ampfield's disappointment at the recommendation was outlined by its chairman of governors Tony Knight, who said: "The sudden reduction in the number of children was due to a failure of leadership leading to nearly two-thirds of the children being taken elsewhere. Sadly, it has provided an opportunity for the local education authority to close a rural village school and save the additional costs of running such a school."

He also pointed out that there was "unanimous support" from the community, from the parish council, from the borough council and from Romsey MP Sandra Gidley for keeping the school open.
Speed cameras curb carnage on A36 (15 October)
SERIOUS accidents on the notorious stretch of the A36 through Wellow have been brought to a dramatic halt since the introduction of controversial speed cameras.
[...]
One of the prominent campaigners for a package of safety measures on the accident-wracked road was Romsey MP Sandra Gidley, who said: "This is brilliant news, but I'm not complacent about it and we do need the additional safety measures which still have to be installed.

"But I have noticed that the traffic through Wellow has been travelling more slowly. Previously, I was consciously keeping my speed down, but when I go along that stretch now, I don't have to think about it so much because the vehicle in front is normally obeying the speed limit.

"And this does indicate that speed cameras are not just a revenue-earner. They take a lot of flak, but this shows that they serve a useful purpose."
Popular councillor mourned (15 October)
POPULAR and respected borough councillor Jack Kemish died, aged 71, at his Romsey home this week.

A well-known figure in town, Jack had been a tireless organiser of Romsey Carnival before becoming a councillor. He was the moving force behing the project to give the town a new bandstand and lobbied hard for the town's treacherous pavements to be repaired. Jack became ill shortly after his re-election to Test Valley Borough Council last year but despite a major operation in July 2003 followed by two courses of chemo-therapy he continued to work from home as often as he could.
[...]
Romsey MP Sandra Gidley said of Jack: "He had his beliefs and he stuck to them. He was someone who felt very strongly about retaining the character of Romsey and was involved in and around the town before he became a councillor. He will be remembered with a lot of fondness."

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