Liberal Democrat campaigners in Fareham have revealed the dominant topics raised by residents during doorstep discussions. Below is our Media Officer David Brunnen’s analysis of the main concerns.
Untreated Sewage Dumping
It is no surprise that in an area closely associated with sailing and maritime industries, the
quality of Solent waters is a major issue. But residents’ concerns are not exclusively focused
on the poor performance of Southern Water. Nitrate pollution from agricultural run-off and
the impacts of increased housebuilding attract as much criticism as Regulatory Weaknesses
and the lack of local enforcement powers.
Residents’ deep distrust of central government is echoed in severe criticism of local
Councillors who fail to resist the central directives. The cost of Conservatives’ compliance
with a criminally tainted leadership is the erosion of public services, increased poverty and
decaying local environments. Inflation, now reported at 7%, can only heighten concerns
about Cost of Living and erosion of value for those on fixed incomes.
Strategic Gap – ‘paving over paradise’
Residents are concerned that the lip service paid to conservation of the countryside corridor
between Stubbington and Fareham will not survive yet another Council dominated by those
whose mission in life is driven by the twin tyrannies of the Tory party and Developer greed.
The track record shows that local promises, supposedly ‘set in concrete’, often turn out to
be over-ruled by their very own higher authority and their never-ending quest for market
growth trumps community wellbeing.
Reductions in Library opening hours, cuts to late-night street lighting, and poor public
transport, are seen as a continuation of now discredited austerity measures. At the same
time, new parking and waste collection taxes are seen as indicators of misguided monetary
management. Residents can easily see how funds are found to support favoured
Conservative causes without consideration of ‘unforeseen’ consequences.