Fighting for tomorrow

I came back from a Green Party meeting last night feeling really inspired and feeling like there was going to be some sort of change in the next year. All my life I’ve heard people complaining, suggesting how they’d do things, what they feel is wrong with society and when I turned 18 earlier this year I decided that I was going to do something about this.

When I was 11 I remember meeting like minded people (I kid you not) who were fed up with the current local government (Tory dominated) and how we’d do things differently. Fast forward to seven years later and I’m getting involved, but are they? The answer is no. They are not, but they aren’t the only ones who aren’t.

The local area has many opportunities for people of all ages to weigh in on local issues, ways to get involved and do something like the Western Wards Community Action Team (CAT) meetings or Warsash Resident’s Association. The problem however is that the main turnout for these events are usually retired pensioners. Not everyone in the area is aware, what we are missing at these events are parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, teenagers, basically the rest of the population.  I reckon there isn’t enough in terms of awareness of these events, if I were a Councillor for the area I would actively go to schools and talk about the electoral process and how with a single vote you can destroy a government without killing a single person, contrary to what Mr Brand believes.   

I do whatever I can with the resources I’ve got to get people involved, and to really (in the words of Jack Black in ‘School of Rock’) “Stick it to the man”. There’s a common misconception going around that when someone says “Get involved” it means “Stand for an election”. Now I would love it if there was hundreds of people queuing up to be a paper candidate, but at this point in time we just need people – members or not, supporters or friends to help us show the political elite what we mean when we say we, the people, want change!

I would argue, ideally, that people should ignore the media spin on politicians. That not everyone who is on a ballot paper isn’t just in it for the money/power but some, like Aristotle would argue, some are in it to make a difference and genuinely make life better for everyone.

I will be standing for election again in Warsash next May, where the Local & Euro Elections will be held.  We can make this idea a reality.

 

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):

ArticlePN1013

 

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

Havant is aware

Last night I attended a public meeting on Fracking. Now for those of you who don’t know what fracking is here is a brief description for you:

Fracking or hydraulic fracturing enables natural gas extraction from shale plays that were once unreachable with conventional technologies.

(From http://www.what-is-fracking.com)

It was a very good meeting, with a very impressive turnout. Councillor Ray Bolton made an appearance and so did the aide of David Willetts (who was busy in the Commons with the Syria debate). 

Image

Ray Bolton speaking to the meeting.

I had heard from many people the case for and against Fracking, and I feel that the case against is definitely stronger. Why? Primarily because I have seen evidence (much like the same way the government had seen ‘evidence against the Assad regime’ on YouTube) of people in America turning their taps on and being able to set fire to the methane that comes out of the taps.

Multiple sites across the UK have been confirmed, one being along the M27 (Towards Cosham and Portsmouth) and so I believe that it is right that we should inform the local residents of areas that would be affected by fracking about the dangers.

Image

Local resident of Balcombe speaks about the dangers of fracking and how the residents of Balcombe feel about it

The meeting had several key speakers, many of whom had been/come from Balcombe. They all had interesting and very informative things to say, many of which did wash very well with many of the people attending the meeting. A man there who asked the Councillor about his views on fracking was most displeased when the councillor failed to give a direct answer, soon after the councillor attempted to leave but when a resident of the local areas had said that she wanted to ask him a question, the aide of the local MP ran out to go and grab the departing councillor.  

The councillor came back in soon after being told that there was someone who had came to talk to him directly about fracking. After the councillor (yet again) failed to give a direct answer to how he would properly deal with the situation, he soon left, and she warned him the people “will rise up”. Very inspirational woman and I have the upmost respect for her.

As the meeting drew to a close, local residents I spoke had some really interesting things to talk about. One person said her family had been working with water for generations, and that her father used to tell her off for wasting water, and hearing about how fracking could contaminate the water supply only sent alarm bells for her – and clearly she wasn’t the only one!

The Green Party has always condemned fracking, with Caroline Lucas being arrested at Balcombe and various other Green Party people, it’s so obvious that there are people around who do care about the issues and are willing to properly stand up for them, even after they are given a position of some power.

I just think, there’s got to be a better way than Fracking, something renewable is better than this.

Thank you for reading,

Miles Grindey

Image

Terry Mitchell (left), Me, and Tim Dawes (right)

 

 

Lee-on-Solent Big Beach Clean

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the “Big Summer Community Beach Clean” at Lee-on-Solent. The whole idea of this event was to bring the community together to make the beach cleaner and a much safer place to visit, not just for us but for the wildlife in the area. I was contacted by Graham Smith about a week or so beforehand about the event and I made it my personal obligation to attend and help out. 

Squeaky Clean

Mission Accomplished.

There was a fantastic turnout, with support from members of the Fire Brigade showing up, some local artists, charities, the local resident’s association, local artists and the Marine Conservation Society.  Seeing how much we made a difference that day reinforced the idea that the same sort of event can be done in Warsash. 

When I went out to do my part in this anti-litter campaign, I was astonished to find (opposite a playground to be precise) broken lightbulbs. I could only imagine the horror of any parent whose child stepped on any of these unnecessary hazards, so I made it my duty to make sure that this was placed in my plastic bag to be binned appropriately.

At any events like these people need to be both optimistic and enthusiastic about their part in cleaning up damage that careless individuals do to areas frequently visited by the public, and fortunately we had our secret weapon to get the community motivated, Manuela. If we had more people like her we could certainly drive a change around Britain. Not only would our streets be clean and litter free, but I can certainly see people being listened to and fairly represented.

At Lee-on-Solent

Exhibit A.

If there was one thing that can be taken away from this it is this:

“Find a bin, put it in”

Thanks for reading,

 

Miles Grindey

(#findabinputitin) 

The base has been set

It has been over a week and I am obviously disappointed about the result but I am grateful for the opportunity and the chance to represent The Green Party in this election, my congratulations go to Keith Evans.  I almost didn’t make it to the polls, campaigning can be more dangerous than I thought!

Thank you though, to everyone who supported me and worked tirelessly in my campaign (which includes the staff at QA Hospital on D6 Ward who got me back in time for the election) and thank you to those who did vote for me.  I spoke to many people and I am thankful that they were very kind to me and they took the time to speak about what they felt would be good for their community.

Rest assured this will not deter me from running in elections again, and I look forward to next year when I hope to be running again for The Green Party. 

Thank you very much.

 

Miles Grindey.

Gain, Green and Grindey

It is currently two days till the Local Elections, I’ve had some leaflets printed and I’ve been knocking on a few doors. It’s been a great experience so far speaking to people about the local issues. The reception from people towards me and The Green Party has been positive and people are pleased that someone new is running to represent the community.

The Leaflets

 

The reason why I am running is because I, like so many people I’ve come across, are frustrated with the fact that national politics are invading the local issues and the local people just aren’t getting heard with these issues. 

The people of Warsash and Locks Heath (Fareham Warsash Division) have a right to be heard, they have a right to have their views put across in a council meeting. My conviction is that the local issues matter as well, and that at a local election they shouldn’t be shadowed by national issues. One example was one person who told me she has to walk a one and a half miles to get a couple of buses to reach her local surgery, and she wasn’t the only one who raised concern about public transport. I attended a Western Wards Community Action Team (CAT) meeting back in March, and many people spoke about how they wanted better public transport links.  

Image

The Green Party believes that by having better public transport links, not only will it reduce air pollution – but it will reduce congestion. Unlike other parties, The Green Party values local issues as well as national ones. We believe that at times of Local Elections, the local issues are the ones that matter the most.

I believe that we can make a difference, and I need you to make this happen.

Thanks for reading,

Miles Grindey

Image

 

Potential for the Locks Heath Centre

I attended a Western Wards CAT (Community Action Team) meeting at the Locks Heath Free Church on Wednesday last week. The aim of the group is to express views and opinions shared within the Western Wards and is pretty much a bigger version of the Warsash Resident’s Association (including Park Gate, Locks Heath, Sarisbury Green etc as well).

At this meeting a few issues were raised such as Flooding, Speeding but one that stuck out was that of the Locks Heath Centre. The Fareham Borough Council put out a survey asking residents of the area what they would prefer to be built in the area etc and the results were as follows, from 394 respondents:

  • A New Swimming Pool Facility? 49.4% Yes, 40.3% said no. 10.3% didn’t mind
  • The most popular replacement of open space location was “Close to the Centre” at 63.1%
  • A New Food Store? 56.3% want one, 43.7% didn’t want one.
  • New District “Swim” Centre? 66.8% wanted one, 33.2% against (Although isn’t that just another way of saying “Swimming Pool Facility”?)
  • On the merging of the Local Facilities 59.6% thought that was a good idea, whereas 40.4% thought it was a bad idea.
  • On the location of a new Food Store, 41.4% were in favour of putting it north of the Current Co-Op (where the skate park is), 12.6% were in favour of putting it north of the Main Car Park and 46% didn’t actually mind where to put it.
  • On a supposed “Raised Food Store” – where there would be an underground Car Park – 27.4% said it was a good idea, 45.3% thought it was a bad idea and 27.3% didn’t mind.
  • Respondents thought that the disused car park would be a good location for a swimming pool.

One gentleman suggested better publicity for these CAT meetings, the Lockswood Community Centre (pictured below) is currently being run by Fareham Borough Council – however there are plans for it to be run by a Community Association.

Image

Cllr Seán Woodward told the meeting that currently the Co-Op has a 999 year lease, and that it has 967 years remaining and the company doesn’t pay rent! That I find is an absolute disgusting display of corporations building their front, making maximum profits and not giving the area they decide to (literally) set up shop one penny! Another abhorrent example of corporations claiming land is the disused Car Park next to the bus station next to the Genesis Youth Centre. Currently its owned by McDonalds, and from what Cllr Woodward told the meeting, was that they were told by the council that unless they did something with the land their lease would expire in a year… so what did they do? They dug it out and now there’s just a great big hole in it and McDonalds have a plot of land for the end of time.

Here’s an alternative, why doesn’t Hampshire County Council start-up a fund to assist Middle income families to start businesses? The rates of rent are far too high, they need to come down as well. But if one Borough Council could get the ball rolling that’d be fantastic, and also the top earner’s in the UK wouldn’t be the ones getting in the money, it would be fair – those earning the most would be getting paid for the rent/land/goods and the lowest earners/unemployed would be getting jobs and cheaper goods as well! Everybody would win.

Speeding is, and always will be a problem. Whilst idiots are out there, and they have cars, they’ll drive fast. Luckily recently across the UK there has been a programme that has been put in place called “Community Speedwatch” whereby members of the public stand at the roadside (particularly where people tend to speed) and if they catch someone speeding, they’ll get a warning letter and if they repeat the offence then the police get involved etc, so all in all it’s a good programme and should be continued for many years to come!

The Library and Sports Centre at the Lockswood Community Centre are soon to be privatised. But to mask this they have put in place a community association to run it. So it’s sort of a bit of bad news with a smile on its face. I personally don’t understand WHY that of all things has to be given up by the council and handed to companies to run, there’s got to be a better way.

The Green Party is strongly opposed to privatisation, and that is a policy that speaks very strongly to me and is one of the many reasons why I choose to be a member and keen supporter of this party. For years we have been promised better services once they’ve been privatised, Utilities and Public Transport are two examples that have been taken over by companies. At this present time the NHS is being sold off bit by bit to companies, and who does this benefit? Not you, the ordinary person. But the Ministers who have business interest in the Private Healthcare industry! We must fight against it, it is undemocratic and immoral.

I will be running for the Local Elections on May 2nd as a Paper Candidate for the Green Party in the Fareham Warsash Division. I aim to defeat the pessimism surrounding politics, and to represent those who have chosen me to represent them.

Thanks for reading,

Miles Grindey

greengrindey

Follow me on Twitter: @MilesGrindey

He’s a Maverick, but he gets the job done!

Well in the first time in my entire life, I’ve taken part of the political process. I’ve taken the mick out of it! Why only 5 days ago I was in Eastleigh with one of my friends and we just trolled around just talking to different candidates, the NHAP (National Health Action Party) bloke was quite nice! Shame I don’t live in Eastleigh.

As of recently I was starting to doubt things, was starting to think things in my life were heading to a standstill. But I’m wrong, things are looking up once again and things are happening all the time to keep my optimism at an All Time High and yeah life is pretty good to me!  Though one of my old friend groups is on the verge of collapse (I have compared it to watching the Hindenburg fall in slow motion) I can safely say that I at least have my friends from it no matter what. Love those guys!

But yeah right now I’m once again with Tory Joe and yeah we’re just talking about “Life” and catching up on the good times! Though I prefer it when I’m in control of the music. Less sounds of Windows crashing in a remixed format.

Anyway have  a great day!

Miles Grindey