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.


You’re gonna get fracked hard by the Conservatives.

Fracking, it seems to have fallen out of the public eye – for whatever reason. But the fact remains that this is not the answer to our energy needs. I mean, I’m not keen on being able to set fire to my tap water. That’s just the bare minimum of what is wrong with the process. Near Blackpool, fracking was deemed to be the cause of earthquakes that occurred. MEDACT even released a report on it stating that the chemicals involved in the fracking process have the potential to cause cancer, lung diseases and birth defects on newborn children.

Here’s what a senior Conservative politician had to say:


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Yes, the leader of Fareham Borough Council really said that. Here’s a link to his tweet.

Suella Fernandes (The Conservative’s candidate for Fareham) had this to say about fracking on her website:

“I therefore believe that these regulations will provide suitable protection against any health risks, so I support them.”

Across the world we’ve put our faith into the regulations set onto the fossil fuel industry, yet they don’t always work… I’ll just leave this here.

Caroline Lucas said that the Conservative’s manifesto was “a car crash for the environment” – I’d personally go one step further and say this is a multiple pile-up on a dual carriageway for the environment.

When it comes to our environment and who best to protect it, when it comes to protecting our green spaces, when it comes to protecting animals from the pollution as a result of fracking – it is always the Green Party that has done so.

The Green Party will make sure that our air is breathable and our water is drinkable. Fracking is too big a risk to take for yours and your family’s health.

The Green Party today also released our Green Guarantee which you can view here.

Fareham – Democracy or Dictatorship?

The Borough of Fareham is in a complete state of oligarchy.

Robert Michels describes oligarchy as “rule by a small dominant group to which the rank and file membership do not have the means to hold the group accountable”. In Fareham’s case this is the members of the executive on the council, more importantly it’s the upper echelons of the Conservative group. The other councillors within the group have little to no say as I see it, at the same time they are merely there to maintain the status quo set out by the group – are any attempts to step out of the line are met with threats of deselection and other anti-democratic means of coercion? Who knows? The silence against the elite of the group is deafening.

There are three stages within our political system that allows for local government to be run in a state of oligarchy, the first is described as “transaction costs” whereby initially there was real democracy present however as the system became larger as did the electorate, it became increasingly difficult to manage without significant change to the system as a whole which – with the power Local Government has currently – is impossible at this stage. The second stage is membership lethargy and the result of this is the third stage of elite control. Fareham is currently somewhere between the latter two stages.

Although it is not often present in our media, as outlets such as the Portsmouth News and Daily Echo (outside of election periods) may focus more on either the nicety nice feel good or rampant scary paper selling stories rather than telling the facts, we are all aware of the division in the Fareham Conservative branch. There is such disparity in the ruling party, it is primarily the MP, Conservative Group & Exec on FBC vs Conservative Members and supporters. In most other places across the UK this would be a gold mine for other parties to strike them at, what would be, an open goal. The answer to success is much more complex than this.

Because of the apathy of the electorate across the borough and political history of the area, the masses of Fareham will turn out in low numbers at each council election where there is consensus among the electorate that no significant change or issue raised will give them a reason to vote. Therefore it can be argued that they (the electorate) are prepared to allow the active few in the political arena (Conservatives) to settle the questions and issues of our Borough. The leaders (exec of FBC) will often promote the interests of the Conservatives over that of the public interest, despite what reputation it will give them among more critical members of the electorate outside of the political paradigm of the borough. Which leads to a guarantee of these leaders’ continual re-election, when was the last time Cllr Seán Woodward was seriously challenged in his seat?

This all places our borough in a state of elite control. Which creates some sort of “groupthink” mob mentality in a political sense against anyone who isn’t a Conservative. For instance, look at the way Shaun Cunningham, myself, Katrina Trott, Paul Whittle etc have been attacked not just in the press, but within the literature the Conservatives put out. Former anti-Welborne activist Tom Davies and Cllr Chris Wood who were both part of UKIP in the space of a year or so have since become part of this autocratic ideological fan club. When challenged, the elite will do deals with newcomers or at least the ones that threaten their power. What deals were done here then?

In short, Fareham is definitively not a dictatorship nor is it a proper democracy – it is an oligarchy.

Why REAL and proactive consultation is important

If you aim to represent people at any level, wherever you are, it should be apparent to you that consultation is key. But what does that actually mean? It means you actually need to make sure that you do anything and everything in your power to ensure that the people you are representing are properly consulted about any decision, feedback, or whatever you are going to do on their behalf. Sounds pretty straightforward right? It may be ‘in principle’ but in actual practice it is something, particularly safe seats for particular parties, that is quite often overlooked.

At Brighton University, I am the course rep for my Level 4 Ba (Hons) Politics course. I need to make sure I am the most effective gap between the faculty and the students. This means that I need to make sure that at every meeting I go to, where I am meant to feedback on the opinions that students have, that the staff know exactly what they are thinking and then what staff have to feedback to students on a general basis. If students want one to one feedback with their lecturers and staff, then I advise them to go and organise a meeting with them.

The first “Course Board Meeting” is Wednesday I am unable to go as I have to go back to Warsash to attend the Warsash Residents’ Association’s AGM where I have to go and see who is going to take my place since I left the position back in September. How could I possibly go to this meeting when I had commitments back home? Well… I decided to do a proper consultation. If I want to be a representative at some point in my life, I figured I’d better hit the ground running and do what I’d eventually need to do.

First thing was first, I had to email the Chair of the meeting to let them know that I wasn’t able to make it. However, I went a bit further. I told them that I had started a consultation via SurveyMonkey that I had sent off to all students on the Politics course and that it was open for five days, after which I would produce a report that I would send to the people included in the original email notifying them of the meeting and then also all the students on the course. So from the 10th of November to the 15th I had this Survey up and we had 7 responses from about 38 students. After this I completed my report with my findings and at the back of it I also included some of the comments I had received (that were relevant) prior to the consultation. The students felt well represented and were happy about the fact that I had done this.

Now where did I get this inspiration to do this from? Well, weirdly enough, it was from how Fareham Borough Council (FBC) does consultations. Before you jump and go “Hang on Miles, you’ve always criticised FBC’s conduct in consultation” and you would be right. The real inspiration was the fact that I thought, and I knew, I could do it in a much pro-active way than they currently do. In my honest opinion, particularly from what I’ve seen (including the consultations on Welborne), Tory councillors are quite lackluster when it comes to proper consultation.

What do I mean by this? When I canvassed last year and the year prior, I found it was a very tiny minority of people who had seen (and an even tinier minority who had responded to) FBC consultations. Many people didn’t even know there was an election on and nearly nobody knew who their councillor was. The fact is that it’s easier to stick a bit of laminated orange paper on a lamp post than it is to actually go door to door and at least notify people that there is a consultation underway. If you want to represent people in this day and age you need to use a hybrid of getting off your backside and getting on social media. Things like Voice 4 Locks Heath and other community groups and hugely important for people to spread the word, and if you’re an elected representative why don’t you too? Facebook is free… unless you count the bill for the electricity you’re using.

Though I guess if you’re in a safe seat, it’s far easier to speak to the very few people “in the know” and get a “representative sample” than it is to consult a broader demographic. I guess I’ll do it differently then.

See you on the electoral frontline!

Thanks for reading,


The Conservative Party is a threat to Fareham.

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.

Last year, I stood with residents to fight against congestion by having more bus routes. What hope we have with careless developments cropping up everywhere?

Last year, I stood with residents to fight against congestion by having more bus routes. What hope do we have with careless developments cropping up everywhere?

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,

Go Green


Brighton Life

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog and there’s a good reason for that! I’ve since moved to Brighton and have been settling in very well within my course and have been keeping links with groups and residents in Fareham. In order to accommodate this move, I’ve had to resign my position as Chair of the Warsash Residents’ Association and have had to reduce my involvement from a physical basis to a virtual one, although if Fareham needs me – I will be there.

My move does not mean that I have stopped caring about the important issues that effect my home. I will still be able to campaign via social media as I have done since 2013 and I will make appearances should residents request it. I will be returning on the 18th to attend the Warsash Residents’ Association’s AGM to see who is my successor.

I will be returning to Fareham and I will stand again, however my campaign will be much more limited till at least I finish my course – so to the Tories I say, don’t get too comfortable! The experience I will gain from the Brighton and Hove Green Party will be beneficial to the people of Fareham. If we pull together, we can see better public transport links, proactive consultation on planning applications. We don’t want another Welborne, what we do want is better democracy in Fareham.

So this won’t be a long post, but just to let you know that I am still around (in a way) and still have the energy to campaign on the issues that affect our lives.

Thanks for reading,


Fareham’s Green Surge

I’d like to start by thanking every one of you who voted for me and The Green Party. I’d like to also thank the support I have received over this campaign from family, friends, supporters and people within our community. The Greens are a growing force in Fareham. The Green Party has been building on successive local elections to effectively tripling our votes in the general election. Let me give you some perspective:

In 2010 – we received 790 votes. In the early hours of Friday, 8th May 2015 – we received 2129. This is a clear sign that people, now more than ever, are going Green. This has laid out a huge foundation for our future campaigns and we are determined to build on this.

As I said at the count, Suella – I wish you well, I hope we will hear from you over your next term. However, this election isn’t the end of our efforts. This isn’t the last you have heard from me or The Green Party, we are here to stay. This is a new era of Fareham’s history.

I urge you reading this, if you have considered joining Green in the past. Do it now. If you have ever considered donating to your local Green Party to help with the production of newsletters, leaflets, badges, banners. Do it now. Because the Green Party will be fighting in next year’s local elections and we will be fighting hard. You have the chance to be part of the team that stands up for Fareham and provides our town with a future we can all be proud of.

Keep voting Green, Fareham deserves better, and so do you.

Thanks for reading.


The Greens take the campaign to Sarisbury

Today was a first for me, I leafleted Sarisbury Green with a supporter. I’ve never delivered leaflets outside of Warsash/Locks Heath before. It felt good. It felt like we were giving people the chance to look at an alternative to the sheer complacency and arrogance of elected representatives to simply ignore people and just put out a leaflet claiming that they “don’t just stick newsletters out during election time” but in actual fact that’s the only communication between representatives and the people they are meant to represent.

I’ve lived in Sarisbury for 8 years and you are the first candidate for any election to come to my door

(Resident in Sarisbury who spoke to me today)

The fact is that quote above defines what is wrong with Fareham and the way things work here. Our representatives are getting too cosy with their positions that they put each other in. No one has held them to account, until now. It wasn’t until The Green Party campaigned in Fareham that we put the issue of public transport on the table. A resident in Sarisbury was, quite rightfully, appalled that Fareham was named THE MOST CAR DEPENDENT TOWN IN THE UK.

The Green Party and I have had our ears to the ground, listening to what you have to say. We’re not waiting around to get elected to take action for you. We’re already fighting the issues that plague our community. Last year, after many residents in my home village of Warsash raised the issue of yellow lines, I went alongside residents to get rid of them down my street – and WE WON.

As I’ve said many times in this campaign, a vote for the Green Party is a vote for proactive representation.

We can do much better than this.

Thanks for reading,



An open letter to Sean Woodward

The #MoreBuses petition has received 200 signatures on, here is the email I sent to Cllr Seàn Woodward:

“Dear Cllr Woodward,

I am writing to let you know that the petition started last year to petition you to work with First in order to secure a better bus service for the Western Wards of Fareham has now exceeded it’s 200 signature goal on – we have received much more in the way of paper petitions.  I’m requesting a meeting with you and representatives of Bus companies operating in Hampshire within the next fortnight to discuss with First Bus how we can have the following routes:
  • One that goes to The Fareham Community Hospital, a minimum of two per hour.
  • A reinstatement of the 28 service to Warsash, again a minimum of two per hour.
  • A route to and from Gosport from Whiteley.
  • A route to and from Fareham from Whiteley.
  • A reinstatement of the X4/4 service that went through Titchfield & Titchfield Common.
It abhorrent that these socially necessary routes are not running and were among the first to go when it came to the cuts that were implemented early last month. Fareham is THE MOST CAR DEPENDENT TOWN IN THE UK. That is not a medal or an honour, it is something to avoid. The fact that MY TOWN has that title, is something that I am deeply ashamed of. As part of our duty as a species to ensure our survival on this planet (there is no Planet B, Cllr Woodward) the people that we have put our faith in should be doing more to reduce our carbon emissions, at whatever level.
Many of the managers at Whiteley have said that they are on the verge of shutting their doors because their staff are unable to get to work on time, because of traffic delays. Many of those who work at Whiteley are young people, many of whom are spending the vast amount of their wages on Taxis or a car. By slashing these services, these young people feel increasingly victimised by these transport cuts that are damaging the local economy. If Welborne goes through, I can assure you – this will only get worse.
In my home village of Warsash, it deeply saddened me to hear that people who used to live down my road are finding it ever more difficult to see their family. These are people who have worked all their lives building up their pensions only to spend most of it on Taxis, adding to the congestion on our roads. Their families don’t have time to constantly drive down to see them, or get the train down from wherever they live and WALK all the way from Swanwick Train Station.
I won’t spend much more time going on, but I will say this. If you, and indeed the privatised bus companies that you hand subsidies to, have any sense of compassion or humanity for the people that you serve then you will do everything and more in your POWER to give the people the bus services that are needed desperately.

Parking Restrictions Eased in Lower Spinney

I’d like to commend the residents of Lower Spinney who petitioned the council to ease counter-productive parking restrictions along one side of their road. Local people worked very hard to agree to a petition with councillors and I am very glad that they called on me to help their cause.

Because of the hard work of local people and their co-operation with myself, we managed to help ease the headache across Warsash that is Yellow Lines. I’d like to thank the residents who invited to come help them by making a deputation at the Council on the 6th of November.


Here is my speech in full:

“Yellow Lines have been used by the council as a short term solution to tackle a long term problem. Yellow lines in Warsash are just being used to kettle students away because of the failure of the Maritime Academy to provide adequate parking, there has clearly been a failure to work with them in resolving this situation. This has subsequently created a dangerous situation for children to walk to Hook.

Earlier in the year, I spoke to residents in Queens Road who said that until recently they hadn’t had to worry about their kids crossing the roads, but because of the dangerously parked cars moved their by those yellow lines – they’re worried sick and they’re organising safety groups that they didn’t think they’d ever have to organise.

Parking permits are a much more reasonable solution as a whole across Warsash in certain zones.

The consultation to this has been lazy and has been used as a show off around election times. This “Democratic” consultation has been an utter sham and is an insult to the electorate who earlier this year placed their trust in you once more to represent them.”

After other residents made their cases for and against the measure to ease the restrictions (3, including myself, for the motion and one against) – the yellow line is to be removed.

Thanks for reading.