The text of the Chamber Flyer for the meeting read:
Havant Borough Council
New Vision for Havant Town Centre
November 2004, the Havant Town Centre Task Force commissioned Roger Evans
Associates Limited (REAL) to produce and Urban Design Framework for the Town
Framework sets out a robust and dynamic spatial vision for the Town of
Havant. It will act as an important tool for securing high quality and
appropriate development, and for targeting resources into management and
briefing will introduce the visions and design concepts for the Town Centre
and where we need to go from here to achieve the visions.
May 2006 the Council hosted a Developers and Investors Day in the Park in
the Town Centre. At this event around a hundred hand picked potential
investors were invited to come and see the opportunities identified in the
Framework first hand. This has resulted in a buzz of interest in improving
the Town Centre and a number of definite commitments to take some of the
development projects forward.
us to hear more about this exciting vision for the future.
attended the Chamber Business Breakfast Briefing at the Langstone Hotel,
expecting the event to be in the same place as before, with the breakfast,
again, a stand up affair in the corridor outside the room in which it was to
be presented; that did not turn out to be the case.
arrived a little later than intended. Over the other side of the bar, to the
left, was an open section, into another room, with several large round
tables, with people sat eating, as well as walking around. For some reason I
still assumed that the meeting was at the same location as last time. I
walked down the corridor to the left of that room, past another open door
into it, then realising that it probably was the Chamber meeting. I went in
and Jane Nash, of the Chamber of Commerce, was to my right, so it did turn
out to be the right place.
started to go along the line of food dispensers to assemble a plate of
breakfast, though there was no alternative to bacon and sausages. I
mentioned that to Jane Nash, whereupon arrangements were made to provide a
couple of vegetarian sausages. A very helpful member of staff, offered to
take my plate and keep it warm while they prepared the vegetarian
almost settled on a table when Jane Nash suggested I might like to consider
a table nearer the front, for the presentation. That was the first time I
realised that the presentation would be in that room. For some reason I
thought we were to have breakfast and then move somewhere else, to a room
more like the one we had used before.
were two tables at the front, at one of which, to the left, was Frank
Campbell. It was many years since I had seen him and it took a few seconds
for me to be sure who it was. It did not make much sense for me to sit at
that table so I chose the right hand one; at which were there men.
person I sat next to turned out to be Nick Brown of Strategic Planning
Solutions. We ended up having quite a long conversation; small series of
Jane Nash introduced the Presentation but had difficulty pronouncing the
name of a woman who, it turned out, was accompanying Frank Campbell, Joy Okwuadigbo.
turned out, Joy Okwuadigbo was there to represent the Regeneration, Tourism,
part of the Presentation in a support role rather than contributing to the
Campbell’s presentation, as Nick Brown also said in his E-mail the next day,
was quite good. As I thought and pointed out to Nick in the reply to that
E-mail, presenting is one thing, delivering is quite another.
it came to the questions at the end of the presentation, there were several,
including one which brought a response from Frank Campbell, or had he said
it in his presentation, that the Council was committed to tourism.
commitment to tourism was odd considering that the Council had closed down
the tourism office in Havant.
said that I had been trying to contribute to Havant for several years but
had to go outside the County (of Hampshire) for business advice and support;
that I had a side, aspect to me, involvements, with an autobiographical book
coming out in the near future, that was worth a great deal to Havant and the
region from the tourism point of view.
that point, Joy Okwuadigbo chipped in from her position at Frank Campbell’s
table, to say that she wanted to speak to me, me to her, she was setting up
a Group concerned with tourism in Havant, wanted me to be part of it,
contribute to it, that sort of thing.
later came over to my table to take my details; I gave her my business card
and I asked for hers,
Although she did not have her cards with her, Joy went back to her table and
soon returned with one.
Before I left the meeting I had a final brief conversation with
She said, “Oh, thanks”, looking slightly taken aback.
not bother to explain to her, at the time, that I had started to publish all
of my communications on my
Journal Web Site,
the Web Site, simply because it was the only way of being heard in Havant
and had the added bonus of usually prompting a reply from Havant Borough
Council, though even that was not guaranteed. Even when there was a reply,
it rarely, if ever, a full reply; there was usually a degree, at least, of
Because of my conversation Joy Okwuadigbo said, in relation to me being
involved, or not, I guess, something along the lines of, “As long as it’s
come across similar comments before. In “Havant Council speak”,
“controversial” means, among other things, anything which conflicts with the
approach of the Council, the Council version of events, or is inconvenient
in any way to the Council especially if it could go into the public domain.
early August 2007, I had still not heard from Joy Okwuadigbo, though,
according to Council literature, there were tourism related meetings in late
2006 to which I could have contributed and informed local tourist business
people about the impending books, though I was unaware of the magazine
articles that would develop at that time.