Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Farnborough Town Centre

Work is progressing well on the Farnborough Town Centre redevelopment.

The Sainsbury Superstore is almost complete and scheduled to open by the end of the year, it is possible that Sainsburys will decide to open the new store before Christmas but I will let you know as soon as we have confirmation.

The new Travelodge fronting Victoria Road is also virtually complete and will definitely be opening before Christmas.

The remainder of the first phase involves 40,000 sq.ft of new retail space – a much needed addition to Farnborough’s retail offer. Given the difficult trading conditions, the developers have yet to confirm specific occupiers but are continuing to market the units and are confident they will attract interest once completed. As soon as occupation of some or all of the units has been confirmed, they will then continue to build out the next phase adjoining Kingsmead and along the northern end of Queensmead.

There is a great deal of activity taking place on the detailed planning for the new cinema and I will keep you informed of progress on this key part of the overall town centre regeneration

Monday, 26 October 2009

Club - Drug link proved

Research published this week demonstrates how illegal drugs have entered mainstream culture, with the tacit acceptance of police, politicians and economists. Britain's booming club culture actively supports and encourages the growth of illegal drug taking.

The first wide-ranging academic study of clubbers’ behaviour in a decade, published this week in the journal Criminology and Criminal Justice, indicates that thousands of apparently successful, healthy and economically active people in their twenties, thirties and forties choose to be heavy recreational drug users at the weekend.

Not only do the findings suggest almost ubiquitous drug use in and around Britain’s clubs, in particular cannabis, cocaine and Ecstasy, but they point to the emergence of new substances on the pharmaceutical block, such as ketamine and GHB, being used increasingly by clubbers as part of assorted drug “repertoires” at the weekends.

Dr Fiona Measham and Dr Karenza Moore, criminologists from Lancaster University, set out to explore the hidden world of pharmaceutical intoxication in Britain’s bars and night clubs. What they found, in the most thorough examination ever undertaken of drugs across the British night-time economy, was extraordinary:

almost all Britain’s thousands of clubbers routinely take drugs, in particular cocaine (tried by 83 per cent of people), cannabis (93 per cent) and ecstasy (85 per cent).
eight in ten clubbers had taken a drug within the previous month, and nearly two in three of those questioned had taken, or were going to take, drugs on the night they were surveyed.
much of Britain’s burgeoning night-time economy, worth as much as £30 billion, and employing about one million people, is inextricably linked to the night-long consumption of illegal drugs.
the trend is such that the main clubbing nights have been moved from Saturdays to Fridays specifically to allow people to recover in time for work or lectures on Monday morning.
Read the rest of this article from The Times here

90,000 to be killed by alcohol

Alcohol will claim more than 90,000 lives over the next decade. The figures don't include drink-related accidents or deaths from illnesses which have been exacerbated by alcohol consumption.

According to research by Prof Martin Plant, of the University of the West of England, one of the UK's leading authorities on alcohol-related harm, 90,800 people will be killed by diseases directly linked to drinking, such as alcoholic liver disease and chronic hepatitis, and alcohol poisoning.

Plant urges that action is taken over the country's increasingly ruinous relationship with drinking, according to research.

Deaths due to drinking have trebled over the last 25 years as per capita consumption has risen to become one of the highest in Europe, That is more than one fatality per hour every day of the year. The figure does not include people who die as a result of alcohol-related accidents, such as drink-driving, or those in whom alcohol has exacerbated their ill-health, such as various forms of cancer.

Read the rest of this item from The Guardian here

Monday, 19 October 2009

Brown backtracks on new council powers

Alan Johnson has quietly dropped new powers for local councils to close down bars in areas blighted by binge-drinking two weeks after they were promised by Gordon Brown.

In his speech to the Labour Party conference Mr Brown said that the Government “will give local authorities the power to ban 24-hour drinking throughout a community”.

The Home Office confirmed yesterday, however, that it had given in to opposition from the drinks industry and ditched the so-called blanket banning orders.

Other proposed local council powers set to be dropped from the Policing and Crime Bill currently going through Parliament include the right to outlaw happy-hours, ban glass containers at peak hours and insist that only over-21s are served in particular premises.

See full article at:

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Sad dimise of Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone.

If you still remember him tell others . If not join the majority and do nothing

Monday, 12 October 2009

Conservatives will crack down on binge drinkers

Tories will introduce new taxes on alcohol as part of a crackdown on drunken anti-social behaviour in Britain’s city centres.

Supermarkets will be banned from selling alcohol at below cost price and taxes on alco-pops and super-strength beer will be rapidly increased under the Conservative plans. Local councils will also be able to charge higher fees for pubs and clubs wishing to open after 11pm.

The Conservatives will “tear up” the Government’s new licensing regime and pledged to give local residents the power to block late alcohol licenses. Chris Grayling, the Tory shadow home secretary, said that the measures would be unpopular with the drinks industry but said “it’s right to put the interests of communities ahead of the interests of business”.