Statement on Warsash Planning Decision

The decision made yesterday to allow hundreds of homes to be built in Warsash can only be condemned in the strongest possible terms. While I am unsure of the background forces that encouraged senior Conservative councillors to vote in favour, one thing we can be certain of – it stinks. One thing we can take from this as a positive, is the inspiration from those who fought so hard against this shambolic decision – we must show them our thanks.

So where do we go from here?

Well first of all we must look within ourselves. We must realise that politics was the reason why this monstrosity and others (such as Welborne) went ahead. Democracy is only as strong as the means to facilitate it – if we shy away from discussion, decisions like this are made on our behalf by people who do not represent us. Politics caused this problem, but politics can also fix it – everything is political whether we like it or not. Secondly, groups that have fought this decision must unite with other groups across the borough. The will and determination of groups across the borough can only be effective if we all work together and unite to defend our communities, our quality of life and our environment.

If nothing else, the decision made last night is a wake up call to residents across Fareham – Get informed, get organised and vote against career politics.

 

How are Itchen’s Student Union giving other students a taste of the real world?

The Itchen Student Union (ISU) at Itchen Sixth Form College in Southampton is giving students a taste of voting and being candidates in an election. This idea was thought of by me after my experiences in local politics throughout 2013 and 2014. Last year the ISU was led by two teachers – a rather odd idea considering it is the students’ union. This year however, the students have taken back control of what they do and how they wish to operate. Last year, the Chair was chosen by way of an interview – something that is undemocratic and unfair to the students that attend the college. This year, we have used our power to make sure that we choose what is on our agendas, we choose what we want to do.

2015 is the year of the General Election for the United Kingdom, times are changing and the government may well be too. So the ISU has given students a chance to get a taste of voting (even those who are unable to vote) and stand for election to become the next Chair. The ISU has been so hard at work, booking a polling station, working out what voting method we will use to decide who becomes the chair, creating the system to nominate candidates and regulate their expenses. We have worked with Fareham Borough Council to give us an idea how to run the election and also lend some support and materials to use to make sure the day runs smoothly.

(left to right) Me , Elaine Wildig from Fareham Borough Council and Gregory Smith who is the current chair of the ISU

(left to right) Me , Elaine Wildig from Fareham Borough Council and Gregory Smith who is the current chair of the ISU.

A bit much for a college you may say? Definitely not. This gives students the chance to experience what happens outside their college life, what affects not just their outside life but what happens in college to.  One thing I often hear from people who run businesses is the people who have just left education who, yes have the education, but are lacking in real life experience – this is part of the solution.

So today, March the 23rd, we have closed nominations. We have four candidates that students have nominated to run, now we just have to wait and see who wins the election.

Well done to Itchen College for working with the ISU to make this happen and thanks to Fareham Borough Council (and Elaine!) for their support.

Thanks for reading,

Miles

BIG NEWS: I’m now the Chair for the Warsash Residents’ Association

I’m extremely pleased to announce that I am the new Chair of the Warsash Residents’ Association. I’d like to start by thanking the members of the association for making me feel so welcome and the members of the committee for giving me the opportunity to help out in my home community. I feel it is also important to thank the former chair, Chris Bridges, for all his hard work as Chair for the last year.

I’m very happy to be in a position where I can give back to the community I’ve grown up in. Warsash is my home – it’s where my heart lies. I hope to raise the profile of the Residents’ Association and engage the whole of the Warsash community into what is happening in our local area, to keep everyone in the know and not just a few.

Not only am I the youngest Chairperson in the Association’s 82 year history, but at 19 years old I may very well be the youngest chairperson in the entire country!

I’m getting very hopeful for the future.

Thanks for reading,

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Miles

Going Green? Go Grindey!

September Viewpoints

Well this week has been rather hectic, I think my highlight must have been when I was sat in World Development and my teacher asked me what my thoughts on Scottish Independence were and the whole class froze to listen – that was nice! However much has happened locally that needs to be talked about.

On Wednesday I attended another Warsash Residents’ Association meeting. One thing I feel I must point out is that when Cllr Keith Evans gave his report he spoke about “the top five foreign languages spoken in Hampshire” – I felt rather uncomfortable, because that part of the report just seemed pointless for a WRA meeting and just seemed to be some kind of rhetoric, I don’t know – it was just seem to just be placed there… I reckon it’s to “woo over” potential “kippers”. At the end of the meeting we were given a very interesting talk about “dowsing” (I’ll be frank, I never even heard of it till that day).

At the meeting the current Chair, Chris Bridges announced he will be stepping down in November – I wonder who will replace him?

On Thursday was the day of the Scottish Independence referendum and I had at least 30 people come up to me and ask me my views, it was rather nice of people to ask me. However there were reports of flash flooding in Fareham, and the one alarm bell that rang in my head and I instantly worried about the potential devastation that Welborne will have. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you build 6000+ homes you’re taking away potential areas of land that will absorb the rain water.  The weakest drizzle could end up having the most devastating of impacts and just think about how much more that could cost local authorities, especially Fareham, in flood defence expenditure!

At my college we have had a fantastic response to our new strategy for this year. So far many people have taken a keen interest in our new committee structure and I’m very grateful for Gregory Smith (the current chair) for his support in setting this up. Our members seem much greater than they ever were last year, we better make sure we don’t let them down by getting lazy and complacent, our work is certainly cut out for us this year – it is indeed a challenge that we shall win. We are getting ever closer to joining the NUS. As my previous blog post about my visit to South Downs suggest – they have been hugely influential for how this year has begun.

And finally the local party earlier on this month began their selection process for candidates for the general election, I’m not saying anything but the thought of standing for Fareham is something that I have pondered since the last election when someone put it forward as an idea!

Thank you for reading.

miles

Miles

Go Green folks, every time.

Welborne is not welcome here

In case you didn’t know already, Welborne is a proposed development to the north of Fareham it is meant to have at least six thousand homes. Already we are seeing quite a lot of development going around the Borough, the rate at which our local green spaces are going is astonishing! I don’t quite know how long we have to wait till our infrastructure bursts and the County/Borough council have to finally take the cotton wool out of their ears and hands off their eyes so they can take some action to meet our needs – but I have a feeling they will have to listen soon.

Our schools are expanding year on year and it’s having an ever increasingly adverse effect on the future of this country, it is saddening to me that the County Council believe bigger is better when it comes to education. They seem to think it’s okay for Pensioners, that struggle to get around, to walk a mile up their road to get to their one bus an hour to a stop fifteen minutes away from where they need to be.

Fareham was already named the most car dependent town in the UK. This says quite a lot about the mentality of the Council, who are so insistent (well one Executive Leader is…) on having this development built. There are roads that are already terribly congested, where the shortest stop can create the longest queue. This development, along with the next-to-nothing public transport, could have a devastating impact on local jobs – who’d want to hire anyone in an area with terrible traffic jams and no way to get to work? The M27 was also named as the worst for delays, could you just imagine the devastation to our standards of living if Welborne is built?

There must be at least 1000-1500 empty properties in the borough that the council could be used to fill this “housing demand” rather than doing the quickest possible method to generate “positive results”.

I just think that all who oppose Welborne should group together as a show of force and remind those who we elect that they work for us. I didn’t vote for this.

Thank you for reading.

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Miles

Gaza Rally in Portsmouth

I’d figure I’d write my version of accounts of what happened at the rally in Portsmouth today, since I don’t think there’s been any proper coverage of the events where I was.

The entire procession was a mainly peaceful occasion, there were many of us at the rally – there were some great speeches made, including one by the Coordinator of the South East Hampshire Green Party.

Some incredibly good points were made, how we were there to support the Palestinian civilians and how we condemn the bloodshed of this whole thing. After a while we went on a march near the train station. I thought I’d give it 5 minutes before something happen, then lo-and-behold there were about 10 EDL thugs attempting to cause a fight with a Israeli flag and just shouting. After the police sorted them out we continued with members of the public filming and smiling at us.

This van shot out police officers quicker than you can shout “cops!” – they showed up 5 seconds after the EDL skinheads caused a fuss. Top marks.

Anyway the whole thing came to an end around two-ish, I had a lovely chat with a man called “Mr Molar” (he called himself that). I then spoke to a nice lady (whose name I’ve forgotten – I’m dreadful with names) who told me that I was inspiring and that there should be more people like me – I told her that I was very grateful for her kind words, and then finally I spoke a couple of our new members and then we left.

Very peaceful.

Thank you for reading,

miles

Miles

Another one down, gains made!

I’d like to thank the people of Warsash for voting for me, all 170 of them. We have made significant progress since last year, where I only received 6% of the vote and only managed to beat the Lib Dems. This year I have recieved 8% of the vote and have not only beaten the Lib Dems, but also Labour too!

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The response I’ve had since canvassing in November has been immensely wonderful – the people of my hometown were very welcoming and agreed with The Green Party’s ‘bottom-up’ approach to local politics! Canvassing has also really helped my confidence in public speaking (although some of my friends may argue I’ve always been confident, or just not willing to stop!) and I would like to also thank the Portsmouth News and their team of reporters for giving me an impressive amount of media coverage as of lately.

All I can really say is that this is not the last Warsash, or even Fareham, has seen the last of me! I’ll most definitely be back in 2016 to stand again. Although someone mentioned standing as a parliamentary candidate, a tempting idea to keep me busy over next year indeed…

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I’m not going to stop campaigning for local buses, an end to parking issues and also fight for better crossings in Warsash. These issues, although appear small to some, are big to many. I would like to take the time to congratulate Cllr Cartwright for his victory and I’d like to thank him and the other candidates for keeping the campaign clean and also his wife Ruth for her lovely home-baked banana bread she gave me yesterday!

I think I’ll take a week off, perfect timing too – it’s half term, though some revision for my World Development exam will be done as well.

Thanks for reading,

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Miles Grindey

Grindey Goes to South Downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, me and David Harrison of the SE Hants Green Party, went to South Downs college after being invited by the Student Union President Daniel Hughes and had a stall promoting The Green Party as part of their drive to give students a wide picture of other parties to look at.

I was most impressed by the system they use to register visitors, where they have a tablet that you write your name and (if needed) company and then it prints off your badge, and then the receptionist puts together for you! It’s really innovative and I couldn’t stop talking about that for the rest of the day!

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The other thing I was very pleased with was that their student union is independent from the college, it has a liaison committee within it so that dialogue can easily flow with students to teachers, without them dominating the union. It is also part of the NUS and also the head of it is elected! Everyone is given a role so that they have something to do, and it’s a great way to engage students with the college – it’s possibly the most student friendly college I’ve encountered so far! I hope that within the next year the ISU gets closer to that level of student representation.

 

I wish all the best to Daniel, Liz Langley and in general the whole of South Downs. I am very grateful for their hospitality and I hope to engage more with them in future.

 

Thanks for reading

Go Green

Go Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miles

 

Yellow Lines and Shoulder Shrugging is not how we do things in Warsash.

It keeps coming up, parking and public transport links. With the dense population focused in Warsash you’d think that there would be a sufficient amount of parking places for students and a decent network of public buses for everyone? Well if you’ve been following this for long enough you’d know that there isn’t. It is rather appalling. When I ask about how we as local residents go about tackling these issues I get told one thing and then another. It’s either “Up to the council to come up with new routes” or it’s “The bus companies will make these routes if they make it commercially viable” – really? There’s pretty much only one bus company operating in Warsash, it’s hardly “free market” if there’s one company with a monopoly on the service.

The same can be said for parking, I confronted Tory Councillor Trevor Cartwright about it during a Warsash Residents’ Association meeting last month, and he said that only 6 people (way less than a percentage of people living in the area) had written to the council in support of another round of the many yellow lines he has continued to place down on the streets of my hometown – and so he ordered their placement. The Chairman at the meeting called a vote to see whether we the WRA would support Permits, and unsurprisingly no one voted in favour – one resident, rightfully, pointed out that since many of them had drives there’d be no point.

The fact is that in Eastleigh, just outside Barton Peveril (where I briefly attended in 2011-2012) they have been successful. Many students who have cars can only park there for 90 minutes before they had to move them, this is perfect for the School of Navigation as generally people would move their cars. Many residents have driveways that they are able to park cars on, overall this has a much better cost-benefit result than just the organised kettling that has been approved by the Tories.

I’m calling on residents to join with me and start the call for a better public transport network and parking. We need a bus service that works for everyone that is reliable, one that is regular to Whiteley and the Fareham Community Hospital. We need to start using some common sense in Warsash. I think it’s time to do something different, it’s time to Go Green.

Thanks for reading,

Miles Grindey

A Rather Busy Week

Well I can safely say that this has been one of my busy weeks, on Tuesday I attended the latest of the Western Wards Community Action Team meeting, yesterday (Wednesday) I formally joined the Warsash Resident’s Association – at the meeting I bumped into one of my old Primary School Teachers, a nice surprise – and finally today I joined my teachers in their industrial action.

Last Friday I was interviewed by Ben Fishwick of The Portsmouth News featured below is the bit he wrote (I forgive him for spelling “Grindey” wrong):

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Indeed it circulated around quite a bit, a few residents in the Community Action Team meeting (and indeed Cllr Trevor Cartwright) mentioned it, a very pleasant experience I thought.  The next day I went to the Warsash Resident’s Association, it was a very good meeting, the local police sergeant (who is leaving soon, wish him all the best) gave his report and we were treated to a great presentation about Bees by a Local Beekeeper.

Pre-Western Wards CAT meeting, Victory Hall

Pre-Western Wards CAT meeting, Victory Hall, Warsash

Today, despite around most of the students not showing up, I went into Itchen College – beforehand I went to my local shop and purchased two packets of biscuits I shared with the teachers.  I initially had a wonder around before finding some members of staff outside, I had a very pleasant chat  with the members of staff who were taking industrial action and one of them informed me of the rally occurring in the middle of Southampton. Soon after they packed up, I immediately started to walk (from Itchen College) to Speaker’s Corner in Southampton, I soon bumped into my Tutor and the rally began.

Itchen Bridge

View from the Woolston side of the Itchen Bridge, 17/10/2013

What Recovery?

 

The Daily Echo filmed the beginning of it, and you can spot me some point in this video here.  I made a speech after the planned speakers gave their say which had a very warm reception afterwards. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to speak and also to the teachers who thanked/congratulated/supported what I said.

After the walk to Friends Meeting House and being interviewed by a very nice BBC reporter, me and my old teachers from my time at Barton Peveril soon went to The Alex pub.  We caught up but I soon had to leave, had to get the College Bus home! So it was a rather tiring power walk back to Itchen, and I’m just taking some minor time off before I finish some of my homework.

From the BBC Article

From the BBC Article (I’m on the Right)

Tiring times indeed.

Thanks for reading,

 

Miles Grindey