There was a horrible smell over the entire weekend of July 23-24, making the Port of Dover a better place to be than the village of Oakley, which is saying something but there is an even bigger problem.
We have a school bulging at the seams, roads in the most shameful state, a chemist so busy that queues can form outside, they find getting the correct prescribed medicines difficult, the village surgery rarely staffed, meaning regular journeys to Overton to see a doctor . Are these the signs of the times?
But it goes much further. I was chairman of planning for the parish council for many years taking the matter seriously, driving round the village, photographing the sites putting in applications, presenting my photographs to our council and then to the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council planning meetings.
All done entirely voluntarily.
Months of this eventually got to me, dealing with the Borough, wasting my time, when a planning committee member put his hand up to speak in reference to one of my applications and opened with “Well I am no expert at anything,” and I thought, “Well what the heck are you doing on a committee that has the future of residents of Basingstoke’s future in your hands”.
Oakley was a gentle country village when Marian and I moved here nearly 15 years ago, I was on the parish council for 10, but the Borough has given little consideration to planning, we have another 112 houses going up in the village, access on a very narrow country lane, used regularly with horses and riders from the local stables, and where are any extra children expected to be educated, where are current residents going to get medical help with a chemist under pressure?
We here in the village of Oakley cannot look forward to a wonderful future.