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I am a retired Royal Air Force officer who has lived in Calne for over 30years. Having been married to the same lady for longer than either of us cares to admit, we have 2 married daughters living in the town and 5 grandchildren...
I am a retired Royal Air Force officer who has lived in Calne for over 30years. Having been married to the same lady for longer than either of us cares to admit, we have 2 married daughters living in the town and 5 grandchildren.
During 37 years flying aeroplanes all over the world for the RAF I have seen many hot spots and relief operations including Oman, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Ethiopia, Somalia, Bosnia, Indonesia, Kuwait and Iraq. I've taken troops and equipment into combat zones and, on occasions sadly brought out the body bags.
When I was younger I played a lot of sport, mainly rugby, cricket and squash. At one time, I regularly ran 41/2 miles in 25 minutes. Sadly, those days are now over as 'ano domini' takes a toll! I also did a lot of sailing.
I went into local politics because my wife was fed up with me lurking around the house getting under her feet when I left the Air Force. She said that I was always moaning about the Council getting it all wrong so I should have a go at doing it myself. After a brief conversation with my local Conservative Association and a rather longer conversation with the local electorate, I ended up as Town and District Councillor for Calne Marden Ward. The advent of the Unitary Authority saw me elected as Councillor for Calne South and Cherhill Division of Wiltshire Council; I am still a Town Councillor too, for Calne South Ward. My aim is to ensure that the people of the Calne area and my Division in particular receive a fair deal from Wiltshire Council and are properly represented there.
Within Wiltshire Council I am the Conservative group lead for the Scrutiny function, holding the Administration to account and trying to add value to the decision making process. I have been Chairman of Calne Area Board for 3 years and Vice-Chairman of the Northern Area Planning Committee. It all keeps me very busy; when my wife complains that we never have time to do things, I remind her that it was all her idea!
Alan's Recent Projects
Calne Campus Project
Five or six years ago when I was Chairman of Calne Area Board, I was able to persuade Wiltshire Council that Calne should be one of the towns to have a Campus and I have been leading on the project ever since. As a result, about £6.5M of development has or will be taking place in Calne, including improvements to the Beversbrook outdoor sports and community facility, incorporation of the Calne Community Hub into the library building, and the refurbishment of the Leisure Centre.
Road Safety on the A4
In my Division there is a housing estate of 69 houses on the south side of the main A4 road. Unfortunately, when the estate was created there was no footpath along the south side of the A4 so anyone wanting to walk to the local Primary School, local shop, or into Calne had to cross the busy road. Residents asked me whether it was possible to get a zebra crossing installed so that they could cross the road safely, particularly at busy times when they need to get children to school or collect them. Following investigation, I was advised by Highways officers that it would not be possible to install a zebra crossing at that location; however, I did some more research and it was agreed that it might be possible to install footpath on the south side of the A4 to link into the existing footpath network closer to the town. This work was eventually completed and the photograph shows Alan being thanked by a local Mum and her children.
Air Quality issues
It has long been recognised that there are Air Quality issues in the centre of Calne, particularly along the A4 and there is data to show that there are several points where the levels of poisonous Nitrogen Dioxide exceed Government limits. About five years ago I was able to get an Air Quality Management Area established in the centre of town in an attempt to control and restrict pollution. It is acknowledged that Nitrogen Dioxide comes from internal combustion engines and that the larger the engine the more pollution it causes. It is therefore recognised that vehicles, particularly HGVs passing through Calne town centre have to be controlled in some way if we are to have any chance of reducing pollution, in particular bringing Nitrogen Dioxide levels below Government limits. Calne Area Board has established an Air Quality Task Group that has created an Air Quality Management Strategy in an attempt to deal with this situation.
Waste Site at Lower Compton
For many years there has been a large waste management facility run by Hills at Lower Compton just outside Calne in my Division. Their current permission for the Materials Recycling facility on that site expires at the end of 2016; it is an expectation of local people that, when their current permission expires the Materials Recycling facility will be relocated to another site which will lead to a significant reduction in the number of HGVs going through Calne, which is an objective of Calne Area Board. Alan has been working for several years with a group of local residents to try to ensure that Hills Materials Recycling facility at Lower Compton moves to a more suitable location when their current permission expires at the end of this year. Alan is trying to reduce the number of waste lorries passing through the Calne Air Quality Management Area.