Jubilation

Only halfway through this Jubilee weekend I’m beginning to flag – and I don’t mean flag waving.  But clearly there is a lot of enthusiasm (leastways in England) for a right royal celebration and, after months/years of constraints, it’s no surprise that any excuse for letting off the pressure release valve is very welcome.  Nor is it any surprise that folks like being reminded that amongst us are some good souls who really deserve and appreciate being honoured.

The honours system (despite all the baggage of the long lost / forgotten / regretted / glorious / shameful* Empire) is a really timely reminder that we all need to say thank you a lot more often and tolerate honest endeavour rather than sink into putrid ponds of petty point-scoring.

We might contrast the cost of royalty unfavourably with the plight of those discarded from the hands we’ve been dealt in this casino of capitalism.  We might dismiss honours as a cheap sop to keep the show on the road.  Maybe those objections are pricks of conscience – the sure and certain knowledge that most of us are disengaged from any form of public duty or community concern.  But to those who are recognised, or even considered for recognition, the boost is brilliant, the honour is theirs, and unless we make that process very special it would lose its energizing value.

These things are appreciated in some unlikely quarters – the message from Northern Ireland’s First Minister designate was particularly poignant and very special.  So, look past the tabloid’s predictably type-casted ‘celebrities’ and linger on the ranks of those who dedicate their time and energy, not for fame or fortune, but for the satisfaction of making communities come together.  Jubilation thanks – we could do little without you.

*delete according to belief

Platinum Jubilee letter from Michelle O’Neill to Queen Elizabeth

Personally, I wish to thank you for your warmth and unfailing courtesy on the occasions in which both I and my late colleague, Martin McGuinness, met with you in Belfast in 2012 during your Diamond Jubilee, and thereafter at Windsor Castle during the State Visit of President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins to the UK in 2014.

I wish to record the value and respect I place on the significant contribution you have made to the advancement of peace and reconciliation between the different traditions on our island, and between our two islands during those years of the peace process.

As incoming First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive I, like you, will take every opportunity to strengthen the bonds of friendship and renew the spirit of co-operation between those of us in the world of politics and public life from different traditions, and also the people and communities we proudly represent.

Community Actions: whatever, wherever, whenever.

Councillors and candidates are, by definition, engaged in community issues. Our recently elected Councillors are finding their ways around the mysteries of Fareham Borough Council, and candidates still awaiting the call for democratic duties are equally busy dealing with the issues raised during the last campaign and limbering up for the next. For who knows how soon that will be?

Healthcare

Scores of doorstep grumbles about the Highland / Warsash / Titchfield doctors’ surgery have kept LibDem Pauline Galea on the front line despite coming second in Fareham Northwest. Social Media and local news channels have been abuzz with complaints about the Sovereign Health Partnership and their struggles to recruit enough doctors, operate an effective booking service and umpteen other shortfalls highlighted at open forums. Talking to those on the front line you can get a good sense of their honest attempts at remedial actions but also a reminder that this privatised piece of the NHS needs careful monitoring. There is, of course, a deeper back-story – lingering resentments dating from the integration of surgeries when the Sovereign Health enterprise was instigated by local Conservative Councillor Woodward

Weedkillers

Glyphosates may kill the weeds that some find offensive, but at what cost? If verges can be exterminated, turned to dust, then could they also make dogs, cats and other wildlife sick if they come in to contact with it? Some pet owners certainly think so. There’s surely a case for a ban on toxic weedkillers and Gerald Drabble of Hill Head would very much like more signatures for a petition. Cllr. Chrissie Bainbridge (Portchester East LibDem) has heard concerns from worried pet owners and is well placed to question the Parks people on this and other environmental issues.

Wellbeing

LibDem Cllr. Jean Kelly (Portchester East) was waylaid last week by a sprightly resident (age 90) up in arms about the car park at the back of Iceland. To his dismay his regular parking spot had been converted for disabled users. – “I’m not disabled”, he insisted, “but I do need to park a bit closer to shops”. It was an issue quickly solved when Jean ferried him to the Council Offices where he could be registered for a disabled badge. So often we forget that not everyone has the Internet skills to navigate their way around rules set for younger folk.

Three small examples that may to some seem trivial.

Three small examples that to individuals are a real worry.

Three examples of everyday community actions that make Fareham a fair place to be.

Next month’s Community Actions will be different but no less essential.

Chance to make changes

Fareham’s Liberal Democrat Party today announced candidates for election to Fareham Borough Council.

Our local elections this year (on May 5th) will give voters across Fareham Borough their biggest ever opportunity to change the Council’s priorities for the next two years.

This year will see major changes in many parts of the Borough.  After decades of service, LibDem Cllrs Roger Price, Gerry Kelly, and Jim Forrest will be stepping down and helping younger candidates in their wards – although Roger Price will continue serving as a Hampshire County Councillor.  

Community Power

Liberal Democrat candidates are standing in all sixteen seats – see full list linked here. 

All our LibDem candidates are trustworthy residents dedicated to serving the needs of local people.  They care about sustaining local services and attracting investment into the local economy, whilst adapting to, and minimising, the challenges of a changing climate

Editorial enquiries should be directed to media@farehamlibdems.org.uk  

or call 07714 325 657 

As an election communication this notice  is published on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Party by Cllr Roger Price of 49 Sissinghurst Road, Portchester, Fareham, PO16 9YB