Thursday, 20 December 2007

My favorite Messiah piece - For unto us a child is born. Sung by my favorite Choir

Unlike many choirs this one does not read the words from a book - the words are know to them.

My favorite Christmas Carol - O Holy Night sung by Il Divo

Empress Councillors as you have never seen them!

A Merry Christmas to all our residents. For the full length film version click below
Who said we were not serious politicians?

Saturday, 15 December 2007

French anti tank platoon (well French Canadian but all the same)

Having spent a little time in a Para anti tank company I found this tres amusing

My beautiful Japanese friend

This is Akiko who lived with us in her student days.
She is dressed in the Kimono of Maiko-san (sister of Geisha!!)


Thursday, 13 December 2007

I can do it - even if B&Q do it!!

Following a resident complaint to me about late night and early morning noise from B & Q, which I got our officers to investigate - I recieved the following today.
Dear Cllr Clifford
I have been dealing with the complaint you forwarded to Environmental Health from Mr XXXXX about the noise from night time works at B&Q. I spoke to the general manager who stopped the night time works and rearranged them to take place during the day time.
I have just heard from Mr XXXXX who told me B&Q are no longer causing him a noise problem. I have therefore closed this case.
Nicholas Jenkins
Principal Pollution Control Officer
Rushmoor Borough Council

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

You do not save Coppers by penny pinching

I just want to go on record as a supporter of the Police in their pay dispute with the Government. Government has a special agreement with our Police that they use independent arbitration when negotiating pay because the Police made an agreement to never strike. Every Home Secretary has therefore always agreeed to the pay rise negotiated with the independent arbitrators. Until this Labour Home Secretary that is. Am I surprised? This Government has not got a good record for looking after front line issues, like equiping troops in Afganistan and Iraq and keeping out religious extremists. If you are on the front line - don't expect support from this Government.

Bigger Green Bottle Bank for Cove Green

Thanks to a resident that called me to complain about green bottles left on the floor outside the bottle banks, I investigated and found that the green bottle bank there is smaller than the others for brown and clear bottles. So we are getting a larger one to replace it. Which is a far better solution than asking my residents in Cove to consume less wine!!

You report it - I will sort it.
Please do not ignore it!!

Rushmoor follows the Clifford Poll

Rushmoor is now running a poll on its web site. It is in the top right of the welcome page.
It is on a very non political topic - recycling Christmas Trees - but good to see a start at last.

I look forward to seeing more polls that listen to residents views on more substantial topics like Council Tax!!

Farnborough Police Statistics:

Here is a recent circulation from our divisional Chief Superintendent - Mr. CHATTERTON

"As we head to the Christmas period, I wanted to highlight the very impressive achievements that you have collectively delivered to date this year.
We have achieved nine OCU performance targets this year (out of a possible fifteen) and we are the best performing OCU so far this year. We are also rapidly improving against other OCUs nationally in our most similar family of OCUs.
Most importantly the majority of targets we are hitting involve crime commission rates ie crime levels and we now have the lowest crime rate per 000 population in the Force.
We have had 3268 less victims than this time last year ( that number keeps on getting better too) and have had 290 less house burglaries than this time last year, a reduction of 29% which is outstanding.
We are achieving our commission targets for vehicle crime, damage and most importantly violence which has seen us reduce by 18% over last year. Remarkable.
We have seen big drops in robbery, and sexual offences which is also really good news.
This has come about thanks to your collective hard work.
Every member of staff has had a part to play in this success and you have all delivered day in day out.
We have worked well with partner agencies and there is no doubt that our relentless focus on Insurgent Drug Dealers has made a huge impact.
The bottom line is that this Christmas our communities across this OCU are significantly safer than the same time last year and that is something you should be proud of. "

Distraction Burglary in Farnborough - did you see anything?

Police in Farnborough are appealing for witnesses to a distraction burglary that took place in Lynchford Road on Thursday, November 29 between 1.50pm and 2.10pm.
A total of £460 was stolen from the home of a 69-year-old woman by two men claiming to be from the water board.
The men told the elderly lady that they were there to inspect her pipes and she let them into her home and showed them to her sink in the kitchen.
The two men then asked her to remove items from her kitchen cupboard and she did so, turning her back on them.
When she turned around the pair had run out of the front door.
Later that day she found two envelopes containing £460 in cash to be missing from her home.
PC Mike Good, of Farnborough police station, said: “This is the latest in a series of distraction burglaries in the Rushmoor area.
“The offenders appear to target the vulnerable in the community.
“I would advise residents not to let anyone into their homes without checking their identification first.”

The first man is described as
Slim build
In his late 20s
Approximately 5ft 5ins
Wearing a grey and black zip jacket and grey trousers.
He spoke with a strange accent.

The second man is described as:
In his late 20s
Approxmately 5ft 5ins

Police officers are offering the following Safer Homes advice to avoid becoming involved in doorstep crime:

• Stop – are you expecting anyone to call on you? Do you know the person at the door? Don’t be misled by what appear to be genuine reasons for calling on you.
• Chain – fit a door chain or spy hole so that you can speak to callers or check who they are without opening the door fully.
• Check – A genuine caller will carry identification and will be happy to wait outside while you check it. Remember to source your own number for the company they are claiming to be from.Burglars can make you believe they are genuine callers. Don't invite them in. If in doubt, keep them out!

Anyone with information about this incident should contact PC Good on 0845 045 45 45, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Pipeline Card Update - fighting higher petrol prices

As you know, petrol is well over a pound a litre across the country so it is vital that we succeed. To do that, we need more members... 500,000 is a great start – but it’s not enough.
Virgin Wines – one of our corporate supporters – has offered a £20 voucher for every member that recommends Pipeline Card to a friend or colleague. You can recommend as many as you like actually – but it’s only one voucher per member. We checked the wines out on your behalf – and they are certainly well up to the standard you would expect from a company like Virgin. They also offer some pretty impressive guarantees.
This is what their Chief Exec Rowan Gormley had to say...
"Virgin Wines supports the work of Pipeline Card. Together, we'll make a difference. So we can all enjoy better value juice in our tanks, and better value juice in our glasses!"
Find out more here... (
Please make sure that we have your correct email address; If it changes you can update it yourself on the website here. (
Please carry on with the recommendations and website links. It’s been a long haul but success is nearer than you think.
That's it for now. Don't forget that you can unsubscribe as a member at any time by sending a blank email to or by clicking here. (
Please don't just reply to this email, if you need to contact us, have a look here. (
Best wishes & have a great Christmas.
Ben Scammell - Pipeline Card Founder
p.s. We have had some problems with our emails lately and - although some of you got our October update twice – many didn’t receive it at all. We won’t risk sending it again but you can find it on the website here. (

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Half a Century

... yes. 50 years ago I brought a lot of pain to my mother - and have not stoppped.

I have had a wonderful life, and ought to stop and list all that I am grateful for, this may take me a few days:

In no particular order....

1. God - I am glad there is a God, and I feel He loves and watches over me, not because I am insecure, but because I have faith that life is a wonderful experience and part of an eternal existance.

2. My girls - this includes daughters who I adore and a wife who has been a very good wife and stuck with me despite all my bad habits and behaviour.

3. Friends - not many but of high quality!

4. Lovely home - warm, comfortable and kept clean and tidy by Linda

5. A great shower

6. Warm bed

7. Pretty good health for my age.

8. Hair

9. Sight

10. Bad hearing - often a blessing

11. A flying machine - that brings me more pleasure than anyone can imagine.


Back to School - special course for Councillors

Dear Councillor Clifford,

Thank you for your application for the pilot Certificate in Local Governance for Councillors. I am very pleased to offer you a place on the programme subject to its formal validation by the university on 12 December. This letter will also be posted to your home address.

From the university’s perspective, there are just two conditions which apply. The first is your confirmation that your term of office runs at least to the end of 2008 and that you will not therefore be required to stand for re-election during the duration of the programme. The second is that you have a reasonable level of computer literacy to enable you to take part in the distance learning activities. These will form part of the assessment for the certificate so meaningful participation will be essential. There will of course be instruction in how to use the facility. Also, the “chat room” type activities are unlikely to require participants to key-in at the same time so that typing speed is not important. However it would be necessary to have reasonable keyboard skills along with the ability to download and print documents, maintain electronic files and use Word and email. For this, regular broadband internet access would be important.

You will be aware that funding for 14 places is being provided by the South East Region Improvement and Efficiency Partnership through South East Employers. I understand that SEE will be making the funding decisions. I would be pleased therefore to have an indication from you as to whether you would accept the offer, subject to funding being available through SEE, and that you meet the two conditions mentioned above. To this end, the letter in the post will have a copy for you to sign and return. If you accept, it will also ask you to confirm that you will not need to stand for re-election during 2008 and that you have the necessary level of computer literacy. Please return the signed copy by Monday 10 December.

To give you some idea of numbers, there could be up to 20 other applicants with a provisional offer such as this seeking the 14 SEE funded places. (It is possible though that not all the 20 will need the SEE funding.)

As to the start date of the pilot course, I am hoping that any conditions which the validation panel impose on 12 December can be addressed by the course team in time for the planned start date of Friday 11 January 2008. It is possible however, that the panel may insist on an additional month to consider any amendments may they require. If this were to be the case, then the programme would commence on Friday 22 February, the date of the planned second module. We would then need to decide, in consultation with participants, where the additional module would best be slotted into the 2008 calendar.

I hope very much that you will be joining this exciting new programme.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Summers

CLGFC Course Director

Monday, 3 December 2007

Support our Troops this Christmas

The following is a letter sent to us all by Cllr. Mark Staplehurst - well done Mark:

We can so easily demonstrate that we are proud and care for our forces out in Afghanistan and Iraq by sending a Christmas parcel. While we will be celebrating the festive season with family and friends in the comfort of our homes, many of our servicemen and women will be living in a tent, in stifling heat and dusty conditions in the desert. They will constantly be on operations, facing danger, fear and the unexpected and will be deprived of any social and family life and Christmas celebration. Many will be in their late teens and probably away from home for the first time, so it is not hard to imagine the joy a parcel will bring, with the realisation that people back home are thinking about them and appreciate their courage, commitment and sacrifice.

Please send a parcel. It is very simple and does not have to be expensive. Please do not send items that would melt – it is extremely hot out there. Here are a few suggestions but you will have your own ideas:

Anything in a tube, vacuum packed or tinned (toffee sauce, condensed milk, salsa dips etc)
Non chocolate biscuits Gingerbread or malt loaf
Flapjacks Cheese straws
Cream cheese (foil packs) Fish paste
Chutneys Chorizo sausages or dried meat
Dried fruit and nuts Mint imperials
Fruit or Dundee cake chewing gum
Haribo, jelly babies etc pick ‘n mix sweets
Vitamin C sachets
They have to drink vast quantities of water, so powder flavourings in a package such as Berocca
Soduko and puzzle games Magazines (Nuts, Zoo FHM etc)

Alcohol & Porn is not permitted!

Please include a Christmas card, with an encouraging message and sign with your Christian name only and do not include an address as we do not want any obligation regarding thank you letters

The easiest method to send a parcel is to use a large padded envelope or empty shoe box etc. It must not exceed 2 kilos. Secure it firmly and write one of the following addresses (the 1st address is to Afghanistan and the 2nd address to Iraq):

A British Soldier (Afganistan)

c/o Capt S Beattie MBE SO3 J I
HQ Task Force Helmand
Lashkar Gar
BFPO 715

A British Soldier (Iraq)
c/o J I Branch
BFPO 641

Take it to a post office – postage is FREE – parcels take about 5 days

Thank you very much
Mark Staplehurst

Cllr Mark Staplehurst
West Heath Ward
Ex Royal Hampshire Regiment