Let’s build on winning ways

Hilary Megginson, Chair of Fareham Liberal Democrats, writes: The recent elections proved that, our party is on the up across the country and, in many places, the only credible challengers to the failing Conservative Government.

Here in Fareham, we proved we have the skills, the personalities and the energy to keep improving. We came through the election with some respectable results, winning three seats and coming a close second in many others.

Whether you are a Councillor, a candidate, a member, help to canvass, make phone calls, deliver leaflets, or anything else, your input has contributed to making a difference to the Liberal Democrat position within the borough. You are all winners, so thank you to each and every one of you.

Looking to the future, we cannot and don’t want to stop here. Although it’s less than two weeks since the election we have already started to build a forward plan, using lessons learned from the last few weeks and months.

We want to do everything we can to put us in the best possible position. What we would love to be able to do is to reproduce the winning ways from Portchester East and Fareham East in other wards across the borough. More about that to follow soon but for now it’s all about celebration and thank yous. 

It’s an honour to be Chair of Fareham Liberal Democrats and I’d like to thank all those who work tirelessly for this party and this community. 

Team Lib Dem gets cracking

Fareham Lib Dems’ new-look Council group got straight down to work as the Council held its Annual Meeting, with spokespeople appointed to shadow and challenge decisions on the key committees.

The Council’s new Lib Dem team (from left) Jean Kelly, Paul Nother, David Hamilton, Katrina Trott and Chrissie Bainbridge

Katrina Trott, the Group’s new leader, will scrutinise the main “people-oriented” areas – Leisure & Community, Housing, and Health & Public Protection.

Deputy leader Paul Nother will take on Planning & Development, where there are big decisions to come on the Local Plan and on major economic growth areas such as Welborne and Daedalus.

Chrissie Bainbridge takes on a role on behalf of the whole Council, bringing her professional experience as FBC representative on public transport bodies, as well as scrutinising Streetscene and the all-important Climate Change agenda.

David Hamilton will be our spokesman on Policy and Resources and on Audit and Governance, looking at the Council’s spending plans.

Jean Kelly will serve with Paul and Katrina on the Licensing Panel, which will shortly be examining proposed changes to the Council’s ward boundaries, as well as deputising on the Housing and Climate Change panels.

This month’s local elections confirmed the Lib Dems’ position as the only effective opposition to the Conservative ruling group, and the new team will give residents a strong voice where it counts – in the real world of the Council’s decision-making.

New faces, new hope in a great night

Fareham Lib Dems welcome three new members to our team on the Council – Chrissie Bainbridge and Paul Nother elected in Portchester East, and David Hamilton elected in Fareham East after unseating Tory Tom Davies.

Commiserations to Ashley Brown, pipped by just 21 votes in Portchester West, and Jimmy Roberts, who increased his vote share in Stubbington from last year but fell just 115 votes short.

Independents who intervened in those two seats should ask themselves if they are really serious about trying to defeat the Tories in Fareham.

Congratulations to our Lib Dem neighbours, who took control of Gosport and tightened their grip in Portsmouth, Eastleigh and Winchester.

Lib Dems were the big winners across the country this year with almost 200 seats gained. And our sister party in Northern Ireland, the Alliance, doubled their seats at Stormont and give hope of a route away from sectarian politics. See the full results for Fareham.