The major question – ‘the elephant in the room’ – at Fareham Council’s budget meeting last week was: How can we remedy the Central Government’s damage? And the most cohesive answer was provided by Cllr. Roger Price – Leader of Fareham’s Liberal Democrat Group.
He told councillors: “This Conservative government has made it impossible for this council to provide the services Fareham residents want.”
For Fareham, three issues rise above all other complaints of centralised incompetence:
- Major Environmental Improvements – an all-party concern, with scope for wider public involvement in policy development – particularly by engaging with young people and climate-change activists.
- Housing – working to overcome glaring contradictions in Whitehall’s policies so that we can retain vital green spaces between communities. The health of residents, the economy and our environment, is also an all-party concern.
- Reviewing the value of the Council’s office space – yet another all-Party concern that could save money and improve our effectiveness.
These three areas of concern provide scope for action with broad appeal beyond party politics. The real test will come when firm proposals emerge, but the agenda for progressive policy development will depend on the results of the elections next May.