Fareham can Go Green!

To stand for local election, the only thing it costs you is time. Just to get ten signatures and then hand in your form to the local council offices. In terms of a general or by-election – it costs £500. However, in terms of spending that is only tiny compared to the costs of the production of leaflets, distribution, posters etc.

This is why I’ve set up my Crowdfunder. To help pay for these things and to produce leaflets to distribute across the area. So if you can please donate as much as you can. *Disclaimer: You MUST be registered to vote in the United Kingdom if you want to pay £50+*

On the 23rd of February we releasing a Thunderclap – but we need your support!

Please support my Thunderclap by clicking HERE and then selecting “Support with…” and you can pick and choose between Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or a blend of the three to help get the word out that we need funds. Remember, we need 100 people supporting it on the 23rd of February otherwise it won’t go out!

An open letter to Sean Woodward

The #MoreBuses petition has received 200 signatures on change.org, 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 Change.org – 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.
Regards
Miles”

Let’s do it.

At the end of my last lesson today we were having a discussion about politics in this country and what my thoughts were – something I’m very grateful for. The typical defeatist arguments were there “How can you do everything you’ve said you want to do?” but for me the one question stuck in my mind was “Why local buses? Why local issues? There are more important issues in the world”. I was a bit offended and disturbed by the narrow-mindedness of such a question.

Let’s put this into perspective, I’ll use my bog standard local issue of buses:

  • Frequent buses on the road that fit in with people’s lives (like the ones we see in Southampton) would lead to less cars on the road.
  • Less cars on the road mean less Co2 emissions, meaning we would be doing our part on a small, but important, scale to reduce climate change.
  • People who financially cannot afford or physically use a car have a cheaper alternative than if they called for a taxi.

There are many more knock-on effects from just this one, apparently small, important issue. I find it incredibly worrying that people who are of my generation have this defeatist, individualistic mentality. A friend of mine, much more “radical” than I, said that me and her wanted the same things – but we had different ideas about how to achieve it. What I believe in is local democracy, I believe that power should be decentralised to the lowest possible level. I believe that local communities should have the power to decide what is best for them in everything. Including their health, education and other public services (notice the word PUBLIC there). I believe that things like transport, the NHS, energy, The Post Office should be nationalised AND decentralised for the reasons why I have already mentioned. I believe that buying local should be a much more desirable option than importing millions of tonnes worth of food, which we end up wasting enough anyway. I believe businesses like Amazon, HSBC should be made to pay the right amount of tax (by the way it has been estimated that tax avoidance costs the UK £80bn or so a year).

All in all, it’s about the people, it’s about bottom-up approaches to our problems. Democracy I believe is the way forward to achieve it, it’s not perfect at the moment – but WE CAN FIX IT, in fact I am going to argue that it is The Green Party that is giving faith to people who are fed up with the current system, giving people hope instead of fear and giving people a real alternative. What I find absolutely appalling is this insane demoralisation of young people who do not believe we can do it. Just look to Greece, Syriza has been making some wonderful progress so far since being elected not too long ago. They are showing that it’s not all doom and gloom, and so too will The Green Party.

What I am offering Fareham is an alternative, to austerity, to pessimism and to the system that divides us socially and destroys our environment. People are waking up from the complacency and defeatism that they have previously succumbed to. There is a way to change the system and it’s not out of the barrel of a gun – it’s a cross on the ballot paper.

Let’s do it! Let’s go Green for Fareham!

Thank you for reading,

miles

Miles

Going Green? Go Grindey!

We need to talk about mental health.

I am backing calls for better provision of support for local people in mental health crisis. Mind, the mental health charity, is calling for local services to deliver on their promise to improve the support for people who are suicidal, self-harming or in psychosis.

Last year, national and local governments, and leaders of key services in England, including health, police, and voluntary organisations, signed the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, an agreement that sets national standards for the care of people in mental health crisis. The Concordat aims to make sure that no matter where someone turns, they get the help they need and don’t fall through the cracks between different services. Key organisations in Fareham have since come together to sign their own local declaration agreeing to achieve the Concordat standards and are now preparing a local action plan to deliver them. [NB a small number of local areas have already done action plans – you can check progress on your local area here: www.crisiscareconcordat.org.uk]

Mental health is an issue that is often overlooked and brushed aside.  One in four constituents will experience a mental health problem this year and countless more will be affected through friends, family, work colleagues and other people in their lives. More needs to be done to ensure those who suffer from mental health problems get the appropriate treatment they need. Just look at the amount of young people going through and coming out of the educational system with mental health problems, it’s disgraceful.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “In a mental health crisis, your mind is at melting point. You may experience extreme anxiety, have suicidal thoughts or even a psychotic episode. It can happen to anyone. When you’re in crisis you need compassion and understanding, no matter who you turn to for help – whether it’s health and ambulance services, the police, social care or voluntary organisations.

“Signing a local Concordat is the first step in improving services but we need to see these good intentions translated into better services for everyone in crisis. We need the next government, and the next set of MPs, to provide clear leadership and resources to make sure the Concordat’s standards are achieved and local action plans delivered so that excellent crisis care is available everywhere.”

Thanks for reading,

miles

Miles

I’m supporting Fareham’s local pubs and breweries

I am pledging my support for local pubs and breweries.

The three pledges are highlighted in the Manifesto for Pubs and Real Ale by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, which sets out a package of reforms they are seeking from the next Government. These important pledges are to:

 

  • Support well-run community pubs
  • Promote Britain’s breweries
  • Represent pub goers and beer drinkers.

 

Tim Page, CAMRA’s Chief Executive welcomed my support, saying:

“We are delighted that Miles has pledged his support for pubs, breweries and consumers. As, on average, 31 pubs close each week it is absolutely vital that our elected representatives recognise and champion the value of these important community assets, and work to protect them.

“CAMRA is urging the next Government to act to ensure that pubs are better protected in the planning system, that large pub companies treat their licensees fairly and that beer duty is set at a level which supports UK brewing.”

I am proud to be campaigning for pubs and real ale. Well-run community pubs play a crucial role in local life and make a massive contribution to the local economy – with each injecting around £80,000 to the local area every year. If elected, I will continue to show my support in Parliament.  I’ve grown up with politicians breaking their pledges, I don’t aim to be one of them!

Thanks for reading

miles

Miles

Going Green? Go Grindey!

I have been selected to stand for Fareham

Well this has been an exciting week to say the least!

Members of the South East Hampshire Green Party have nominated me, a 19 year old Itchen Sixth Form College student, as their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Fareham constituency at the next general election, to be held on the 7th of May 2015.

 

As you may know from reading this blog, I have  grown up in Warsash and at the time of the next election, I will be just 20 years old – making me quite possibly one of, if not, the youngest candidates in the UK. I have previously has stood for election in 2013 and 2014 in my home ward of Warsash. I have recently become the Chair of the Warsash Residents’ Association and have been campaigning on local issues such as Public Transport and have demonstrated against the proposed development known as “Welborne”.

 

I’ve grown up in Fareham and I want to see to it that the people of Fareham are actually listened to as opposed to being managed like cattle. It is time we had someone in Parliament who will fight against destructive developments like Welborne, who will fight to renationalise our trains and get proper links to places of work, hospitals and schools, someone who will fight for the next generation and scrap tuition fees, someone who puts people before profit. All my life I’ve heard people crying for an alternative, and here I am.

Let’s rock.

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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

Fareham needs an alternative

As the Welborne hearings continue, it is becoming more and more clearer that it is completely undemocratic. As our own Prime Minister, David Cameron, said “it is up to the people of Fareham to decide” – seems to be I’ve never been asked if I wanted it!  It also appears to me that the people of Funtley and the surrounding communities have never really been consulted properly.

This time last week, I attended a demonstration organised by Jason Mudge – who is a local hero as far as I am concerned.  For the first time I  (or my family who’ve lived in the borough for nearly 60 years) can recall, there has never been such fierce public opposition to anything directly affecting our town.

Some of our councillors seem to be adamant in building Welborne, they say that it isn’t in their hands and that there is “nothing we can do” – but the last time I checked, we live in a democracy don’t we? Not some absolutist totalitarian regime that is hell bent on clogging up our roads, packing up our schools, our surgeries and destroying vital farmland. Fareham was named the most car dependent town in the entire UK, and the M27 was labelled as “the worst for traffic incidents” – what good will this monstrosity serve if we just keel over and allow these people, who are supposed to represent us, to go ahead with this?

Already we have heard of councillors in the North Fareham ward breaking their silence and saying that they are opposed to this development, and they have my respect for that – they had been effectively gagged up until this point and it’s a brave thing to do, but in my opinion – if David Harrison had been elected in May he wouldn’t have been dormant and actually spoke out about this as early as he could.

Fareham needs an alternative, this universally complacent attitude has been  going on too long, the people of our town need a brighter, Greener alternative that when chosen by the people will work for them tirelessly.

It is time we stand up for our town and take the “Green Plunge”.

Thank you for reading,

miles

 

 

 

 

 

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