Fight for Bordon's county seat hotting up

By Daniel Gee   |   Head of Content   |
Friday 23rd April 2021 1:00 pm
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Councillors Tree (far left) and Davies (far right) outside the new Whitehill & Bordon Leisure Centre ()

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WHITEHILL & Bordon Community Party’s county council candidate Andy Tree has called for “honest campaigning” in response to criticism by his Tory election rival in last week’s Herald.

Conservative county candidate Cllr Phillip Davies accused Cllr Tree of claiming Tory successes as his own last week – rejecting the community party leader’s claim that his lobbying helped deliver the town’s new leisure centre.

Instead, he said residents can thank a “team effort” by the Conservative district and county councils for town improvements, also including the new relief road, Oakmoor School, and town centre.

But responding to the “disappointing and unnecessary personal attack”, Cllr Tree hit back that Whitehill Town Council’s previous Tory administration, of which Cllr Davies was a member, was “full of infighting” – adding Cllr Davies’ Conservative East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) group “are reeling from the recent conduct report” which found evidence of a bullying culture.

Cllr Tree said: “It surely does not send a message to Conservative voters that they are the right people to be looking out astutely for local interests and I can assure the whole community that I would.”

He continued: “If am I am elected to Hampshire County Council on May 6, I am all for spreading positive news, but it must be factually correct!

“What I am concerned about is the public being misled and would call on all candidates to ensure they are clear of the facts before making statements.”

Cllr Tree also dismissed as “simply untrue” his rival’s claim the Whitehill & Bordon Leisure Centre was part of the Conservative council’s long-term strategy for the town.

He said his lobbying for the swimming pool only began in 2014 after council papers revealed EHDC was exploring using developer contributions from the Bordon redevelopment to “enable leisure or sports facilities elsewhere in East Hampshire”.

He added that, contrary to Cllr Davies’ claim that the future of Chase hospital is solely in the hands of the NHS, “EHDC is currently working on a business case to fund a health hub, so are a key part of this process”.

And Cllr Tree said any mention of the VOCA public transport service is “premature”, with Hampshire County Council “yet to sign off” funding for the initiative.

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