The year 2022 has been another year of ups and downs, writes Whitehill Town Council leader Andy Tree.
The Covid situation thankfully became much better but we have seen national issues such as war in Ukraine, inflation and the cost-of-living crisis directly affecting local matters.
I remain cautiously optimistic that the new Morrisons will start being built this year but am still fighting for adequate health facility proposals, as we understand having excellent health services is a number-one priority for residents, and I will continue to lobby those in power to deliver.
I am proud that we as a town council made real grassroots differences, such as funding the Platinum Jubilee Festival at Mill Chase Recreation Ground and creating Woody’s Walk in honour of Brian Wood MC.
I am pleased to say we have frozen our share of council tax for the second year running while supporting valuable local organisations that benefit residents with grants, including the Phoenix Theatre, Citizens Advice, the Whitehill & Bordon Town Partnership and Home-Start.
We also continue to protect the green spaces we control, including Bordon Inclosure and the Deadwater Valley Nature Reserve, where a new ten-year service contract awarded to the Deadwater Valley Trust to manage them began positively.
The death of the Queen was a very strange time, given the continuity of her reign for most of us. I went to Buckingham Palace and laid flowers on behalf of Whitehill & Bordon.
I see regular posts on social media asking for help or advice, with many kind offers of assistance that follow. I still speak regularly to the police about vandalism and anti-social behaviour, but the positive thoughtfulness of our community far outweighs the negatives and I love living here.
I thank all 15 town councillors who have served and all our council employees, who implement the policies of the council on a day-to-day basis as the backbone of our operation.
My friend and colleague Cllr Leeroy Scott is a superb town mayor and I very much look forward to his Charity Valentine Gala on February 16 at the Forest Community Centre. For tickets visit https://bit.ly/leeroygala
I remain committed to representing our community, trying to work with third party decision-makers to achieve results but never shying away from robustly standing up for you when required.
Best wishes to all residents for 2023!