For too long now we have remained complacent. We have had the wool pulled over our eyes by the smiles, the handshakes, the pleasantries and where has that left us? Losing our land and heritage to development. The argument is that this is for future generations, when? When will any of my generation, the next one and future ones ever be able to afford these so called “affordable housing”? At an average of £240k a pop, even with prospects after getting a degree, they remain un-affordable to us. This is an indictment of our society, and this is the price we are paying for it.
You can see the beginnings of the end of valued spaces in our communities. For instance, as recorded in the minutes from the last Warsash Residents’ Association meeting, it was announced that there may be a shelter built at the bottom of Strawberry Fields in Warsash. At the same meeting it was announced that the Warsash Sailing Club would be seeking to lease part of Strawberry Fields for “dinghy parking”. However it will be subject to reaction/discussion with local residents – but how will this be done? Will it be through a proper, well-advertised consultation or will it just lay dormant on the FBC website with only a few “in the know” (presumably Sailing Club members) responding? My point is this, we must be aware of a subtle series of political manoeuvres by the Tories to divide up precious green spaces, it may be the case that they turn around and say “Well it’s been divided up so much, we might as well develop on this now!”
It was announced on Monday that Fareham must build another 2000 homes. This is, of course, on top of the (approx) 6.5 thousand homes to be built as “Welborne” (see plan here, page 5) and the perpetual building in every part of our borough. It’s not as if our roads are packed enough as it is already? When I was running to become Fareham’s MP I received countless emails about the traffic situation. I spoke to many parents who said it was frustrating to get their kids to school alone without having to get on the effective car park that is the M27. Do the Tories seem to care? All we ever hear from them are kind gestures as if to say “Oh I know it’s bad, but what else can we do?”. How utterly patronising and complacent.
Yesterday I saw that the Leader of the Lib Dems on Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Paul Whittle, made the call for the “Executive” Leader, Cllr Séan Woodward, to resign following the announcement of the additional two thousand homes. I say good on Paul for making the call. We don’t often see eye to eye. There are times when political allegiances should be placed to one side for the common good of all residents in Fareham, this is now. I too am joining Cllr Whittle in calling for the resignation of Cllr Woodward.
As I see more and more of these insults to the communities across our Borough, I am finding myself with one question on my mind. Are they in it to boost their pension pots and to elevate their status within their social groups? The answer I am coming to is “Yes”. It is an utter disgrace what they have done to our home. It is a betrayal of trust to those in our Borough who were conned into believing they would look after our green spaces.
The time is now to fight for our future, to stand together for Fareham, to get the change we desperately need.
Thank you for reading,