When I started campaigning for the local elections I’d never had thought I’d come as far as I have done. It’s not even the election yet but the mood has never been this encouraging. I’ve had people email me asking me how they could help, I’ve had others saying that they’ve never voted before because they’ve never seen anyone else actually try and help out before.
The bus campaign is going very well, ever since we received some media attention we have had the Green Party South-East MEP – Keith Taylor – sign our petition. That’s some major backing!
We have received almost 200 signatures overall! 76 on Change.org and a further 95 on paper petitions. It’s amazing what a positive response this has received from the people of Warsash. I can only hope that things get even better after May 22nd. I’ve also gone back round to the many people who’ve been affected by these double yellow lines, they too were happy to see that someone was finally speaking up for local people – and that parking permits were a suitable alternative to yellow lines.
It seems to me that the other local parties seem to have this mentality:
From what I can see, The Greens are the only ones who support local people
I’d like to thank everyone who has gone out and leafleted and canvassed with/for me. Without them and the support of The Green Party couldn’t have even come this far without them. It just goes to show that if we come together we can make a difference in our community – it’s this grassroots democracy that binds us together as a society and allows us to gain the things we need to be able to get by.
The amount of people joining and supporting the Greens is snowballing heavily, and it’s an avalanche about to hit the Tories.
This Wednesday, just gone,was the first meeting of the Western Wards Community Action Team. On behalf of the WWPV me and my colleague attended – and it seemed rather dead, mainly due to the weather. We were greeted by Mayor Susan Bayford (also Councillor for Locks Heath) who asked us how we found about the meeting, I said that I had been politically active since I can remember – and had been attending these meetings for a year. I seemed to have shocked her through my answers to her questions – she seemed quite shocked when I said MP for Fareham and tried to deter me from aiming for that by telling me I needed “life experience”. Well I guess I should’ve videoed this, I told her exactly what I did – and here is the list:
Member of a Local LitterAction Group, which I appeared on Radio Haslar for last year.
Member of South-East Hampshire Green Party, of which I am the Media Officer and Website Editor.
Member/Committee Member of the Warsash Resident’s Association.
Founder and current Chair of the Western Wards People’s Voice
The meeting proceeded, and there was a very interesting presentation done to update the residents on the situation regarding the weather – which was all well and good until questions from the audience were taken. A man, quite rightfully, asked “Are you proactive or reactive?” and the person (from Fareham Borough Council) replied “To answer your question – We are proactive, and we are reactive” – ironically that didn’t answer his question. There was an update from the police regarding crime in the area and apparently everything has gone down statistically speaking. Despite this the issue regarding parking in Warsash popped up and according to the PCSO the council and police were doing everything the best they could to help with the situation, this was one of two things that was quite common – the other being neighbor disputes.
When it came to planning for flood defences in the area, the long (and I must admit it was rather boring) and necessary meeting seemed to tire the Councillors – whenever I looked over there seemed to be at least 3 awake at any one time, you couldn’t make it up! The important part of “other issues” came up, and one man raised the fact that the council needs to put more cycle lanes in as a way to reduce congestion – I agree with that, to often have I been sat on a college bus stuck in traffic when I and others could cycle in. The other issue was the speculation regarding yellow water coming from the development – something I’m not too sure about but if it was proven I wouldn’t be surprised. There is simply too much development going on, it needs to stop.
How long before Titchfield becomes Atlantis of Fareham, do we have to keep ignoring the devastating amount of development leading to these floods? It is ridiculous now. I opposed the expansion of the Locks Heath Free Church, and I still do – any new major developments being planned now must be made with environmental concerns taken into account first. I was told by one of the goers of the aforementioned church that all I cared about was the environment. I hate to break it to them, but without the environment we live in – there wouldn’t be a church to go to. Is this the current attitude of their church “Forget the environment, as long as we’ve got a big enough space to show Jesus how much we love him”? Maybe if it floods as a result of the development, or the foundations collapse, its a sign from God?
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.