Snoring 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? 

We’ll see. 

 

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