Hampshire’s leadership don’t represent you. In May, you can change that.

Local people from Pennington to Pilley are ready for a new, positive Council – one that takes the views and opinions of local Councillors seriously.

After 20 years under a Conservative Council, you have a chance to replace this tired and out of touch administration with a better administration. In May, the choice is between a Conservative Councillor, who will defend the status quo, and Jack Davies, who will deliver Real Change and help to make Hampshire democratic again.

Local people want to see their values and priorities reflected in the decisions that the County Council takes, and the Liberal Democrats share that vision. The Liberal Democrat plan for Hampshire will see the Committee system of decision-making replace the undemocratic Cabinet system favoured by the Conservatives.

The current Leader and Cabinet system places all the power in the hands of a select few; taking power away from local people. Whereas a Committee System will give equal decision-making power to all Councillors.

For example, if a decision is to be taken on funding for Children’s Centres with a Leader and a Cabinet system, the Cabinet member for Children’s Services gets all the power to decide. Unsurprisingly, when the decision was made by Hampshire County County Council to scrap all but 1 of the New Forest’s Children’s Centres, that Cabinet member was Councillor Keith Mans, County Councillor for Lyndhurst. Mr Mans’ division of Lyndhurst, which did not have a Children’s Centre, was not affected by the decision.

With a Committee System, that decision would have been made by a group of Councillors representing many different areas of Hampshire. These Councillors would know how that decision would affect the people living within the communities they represent.

So on May 4th, you can help deliver Real Change in Lymington and Boldre by voting Liberal Democrat. You will make Hampshire’s leadership represent you again.

Voters backing Liberal Democrats in best results since ’96

The Liberal Democrats have just had their best year of Council by-elections in 20 years!

It ends a year of enormous growth for the Liberal Democrats, with fantastic by-election results, and tens of thousands of new members. People across the country are now voting to reject a politics of fear and division and instead voting for hard working Liberal Democrat Councillors who represent the united, open and tolerant Britain we live in.

Not since 1996 when records began have the Liberal Democrats been getting better results. Then John Major was still the Prime Minister, the Spice Girls were heading to their first Christmas number 1 and even Baddiel and Skinner couldn’t sing England to Euro victory.

Then like now there was change in the air, people were fed up with Thatcher, then Major, Conservative sleaze and hypocrisy – they wanted something new. Now, too, there is an ever increasing sense that people feel taken for granted and ignored by Labour and the Conservatives. By-election results from across the country show that they are now choosing to support the Liberal Democrats.

Net results in 2016 = Liberal Democrats +28, Conservatives -33, Labour -4, UKIP -3mycouncillor-by-election-results-2016

Everything you need to know about Christmas Collections and Tree Drop Offs

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Black and Clear Sacks

Wednesday 21st December – normal collection

Thursday 22nd December – normal collection

Friday 23rd December – normal collection

Monday 26th December – no collection as it is Boxing Day (next collection will be Monday 2nd January)

Tuesday 27th December – no collection as it is a bank holiday (next collection will be Tuesday 3rd January)

Wednesday 28th December – normal collection

Thursday 29th December – normal collection

Friday 30th December – normal collection

Monday 2nd January – normal collection day

 

Glass Collection Box

Monday 26th December – no collection (collection will be Saturday 24th December instead)

Tuesday 27th December – no collection (will be Saturday 31st December instead)

Monday 2nd December – normal collection

 

Garden Waste

No garden waste collection between Monday 19th December and Friday 13th January.

 

Dropping off your Christmas Tree

For all those in Lymington, Pennington, South Baddesley, Pilley and Boldre the closest place to drop off your Christmas Tree will most likely be St Thomas Street Car Park. However, for some people living over the water, the closest drop off point may well be Brookley Road Car Park in Brockenhurst.

The sites will be open between Monday 2nd January and Monday 9th January.

 

Hope this helps and…

MERRY CHRISTMAS! 🎄🎄🎄

On the evening of my 21st birthday, I’ll be making sure you get a fair deal.

As the title says, on my 21st birthday I’ll be making sure you get a fair deal.

The next full council meeting of Lymington and Pennington Town Council is on Wednesday 11th January 2017. It just so happens to fall on the day I turn 21.

At this meeting, Lymington and Pennington Town Council will vote on the budget that was approved at the Policy and Resources Committee on Tuesday 6th December 2016.

Here are the main points that jump out at me from the budget:

  • £12,000 has been set aside for bus shelters. I made getting a bus shelter at Peacocks one of my main priorities after my election and I am ecstatic to see funding set aside for it. Therefore, if it is kept at £12,000, we will have a bus shelter at Peacocks after March 2017.
  • Increase of £17,000 in office staff salaries to ‘reflect office organisation’.
  • A decrease to the Playgrounds Equipment budget of £29,967.
  • An increase in spending on the Sea Water Baths of £15,000.
  • No money for Woodside Skatepark. I want to see some funds set aside to provide lighting at the skate park.

 

I will certainly be raising some questions of the budget when it comes up for debate.

My 3 questions:

  1. Why are we spending an extra £15,000 on the Sea Water baths? The Town Council leased the baths to a private company, Lynx Sports Management, in 2013. The lease runs out in 2018. Will the Council then take over full management of the baths again?
  2. Why has the Playgrounds Budget been decreased? Is this taking into account the delay in getting the Common Play Park done. Could the Town Council invest in a new Play Park to cater for families in Efford Way?
  3. Why is the Council paying £17,000 extra into the staff budget? The Town Clerk gets between  £37,483 and £45,129 a year (LC3 spinal column 43-51) but works only 37 hours a week.*

 

*This question originally mentioned the Town Clerk’s salary being £40,000 per year for 3 days a week work. I have changed this after the Town Clerk issued me with a legal letter requesting this be taken down. As my readers can see, though £40,000 is a rough average between the two extremes, we cannot know the exact amount because the Town Council refuses to make the pay of senior officials transparent. As far as I am aware, the Town Clerk works the stipulated 37 hours per week and I will apologise for any distress I may have caused her and the Town Council staff. I have no quarrel with the staff at the Town Council. I do have quarrel with the Mayor and his response. I do have quarrel with the lack of transparency in our council. I do have quarrel with being sent a solicitors letter designed to shut me up. Those are the sorts of tactics that come straight out of a despot’s playbook. I will not be bullied into silence. I will continue to ask whether the town council can prove that it did not pay for the letter. 

Conservatives ignore 41% rise in hate crimes since referendum

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The Conservatives have ignored the 41% rise in hate crime since June’s referendum by not announcing increased funding for the police in the Autumn Statement.

The Liberal Democrats in Lymington and Pennington have campaigned tirelessly against hate crime in the local area since the referendum and the news that the government does not share their concerns is a massive disappointment.

Cllr Jack Davies, Pennington resident said:
“In Lymington and Pennington we have a wonderful community of decent, hard-working individuals who look out for each other. Yet there have been reports of families targeted based upon their nationality and I will not ignore that. I cannot ignore that. Our police can only make our community safer by being given the resources to tackle crime. They have been let down by the Chancellor.”

LGA Lib Dem Group Deputy Leader Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: “It is disappointing given the rise in reported hate crimes following the vote to leave the European Union that the chancellor today did not announce plans to foster community cohesion by guaranteeing extra funds for policing. Since Brexit hate crimes have risen by 41%, the Autumn Statement would have been the perfect opportunity for Mr Hammond to demonstrate his commitment to ensuring that people feel safe in their communities”

Liberal Democrats Surge to By-election Victory

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Another amazing by-election result for the Liberal Democrats has seen them elect Sarah Olney to Parliament, sending a thumping message to the Conservative Government.

Sarah will be the new MP for the former Conservative strong hold of Richmond Park after she overturned a huge 23,000 vote majority to win.

Liberal Democrat support is now growing across the country as they show they are now the only party standing up against hard brexit and for a properly funded NHS.

Many traditional Conservative and Labour voters are now switching to back the Liberal Democrats because of their clear, positive message on Brexit and the NHS.

Three reasons to get involved NOW!

  1. Only the Liberal Democrats are sending a clear message to the Government on Brexit.
  2. We’re also fighting to make sure the NHS has the cash it needs!
  3. If you don’t fight for what you believe in who else will?

Sign up to become a member of the Liberal Democrats.

Why a leading Lymington businessperson wants the UK to remain in the EU

Message from myself

There is no doubt that for many businesses in Lymington, it is essential for the UK to remain within the European Union. That is why I am sharing this letter from Dr Jeremy Bennett, local businessperson, arguing for the United Kingdom to remain.

Thanks,

Jack Davies,

New Forest Lib Dems Chair

A Letter from Dr Jeremy Bennett

Dear voter,

I was one of the 1280 business leaders who signed a letter to The
Times this morning, urging voters to support remaining in Europe.

We are a specialist software services business, with almost all our
expertise sold internationally to large multi-national silicon chip
manufacturers. You are unlikely to have heard of us, but are almost certainly carrying the results of our work around in your pocket.

We are exactly the sort of very high value, very high technology, fast growing business that the UK needs. Our staff are very well paid and inject a great deal into the local economy. As a company we pay a significant amount of corporation tax into HM Treasury.

But…

Our customers all bill us through their European subsidiaries. It’s
tax efficient for them, with no tariffs and VAT exempt thanks to the business-to-business trading arrangements of the EU. We spend a lot of time working with our customers, usually on their European sites, and the ability to travel visa-free at a moment’s notice is essential. Leave Europe and suddenly we have VAT on our prices to be recovered in arrears, and potentially even tariffs and visas to delay our visits.

But the biggest value for us is employment and free movement of
people. There are perhaps 50 individual engineers in the world who are expert in our field, technology that underpins every modern silicon chip. I recruit from across Europe. It is just not realistic to run a company like mine, if we were to recruit from just the 60 million residents of the UK.

So what would we do if the UK voted for exit? We would have no option but to set up operations within another country within the EU. All our new recruitment would be for that new location. It would be their local economy boosted by those highly paid engineers and their national treasury receiving corporation tax. At the expense of our local economy and the UK Treasury.

It makes no sense to leave the largest trading block in the world. I
therefore urge you to vote Remain in tomorrow’s referendum.

Dr Jeremy Bennett,
Chief Executive, Embecosm

Orlando: Thoughts on a tragedy

The news that 50 people had been murdered in an Orlando gay bar filtered through slowly on Sunday morning. Another 53 are still in hospital receiving treatment. It may seem, at this moment in time, so right to attack the ideology of the individual who committed this crime, Omar Mateen, without showing an understanding that this is not an act committed by the faith of Islam.

It may seem, and usually does after events such as these, that there is a conflict between the followers of the religion of Islam, and the citizens of western liberal democracies. I don’t think that is the case.

In the New Forest, we have shown that a multitude of cultures, including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism can live side by side: working together, living together, praying together. There is no conflict here because we have all adapted to the 21st century.

I know you’re angry at the injustice and ignorance of such an act. I am too. So I ask you, if you’re angry, if you find yourselves hating someone you’ve never met for a crime they haven’t committed, please take a moment to understand. To understand that the man who committed these murders did so because he decided to.

Because no matter how vile an act, we cannot permit cruelty to beget cruelty. Hatred to beget hatred. Violence to beget violence. I don’t want to see those liberal values we fought so hard for extinguished overnight. We cannot allow minorities within our countries to be turned against each other.

The Practice: Why Lymington New Forest Hospital has got it right

It has been quite a hectic week for me. On Monday, my mother was taken into Lymington Hospital’s Medical Assessment Unit. Thankfully, my mother already works at Lymington Hospital so it wasn’t far to go!

 

Whilst I was there over the next two days, I spoke to members of the Lymington Hospital “friends” about “The Practice” – a comparatively recent initiative to make local healthcare more efficient, and more effective, for both patient and staff.

The Practice is made up of seven local GP practices who have provided this extra ‘branch’ at Lymington New Forest Hospital.

The Practice opened in September and will give the 60,000 patients of the seven partner surgeries access to more options when it comes to their care.

The Practice’s stated aim is to increase the amount of access people in Lymington, and the south of the New Forest, have to healthcare specialists.

Patients are able to book appointments by ringing their local surgery. They have the choice of seeing their regular GP or making an appointment at The Practice.

The centre at Lymington Hospital will open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, and provide access to same-day and some routine appointments.

The Practice, which is able to support about 100 patients a day, has better linked patients with other services at Lymington Hospital without patients having to travel to other surgeries for care.

As somebody who found himself catching the X1 bus from Lymington to Milford then back again for many months two years ago in order to receive specialist care for my left leg (which has a long history of being a royal pain), I am very pleased to see such an initiative prove to be such a success.

This is completely the right thing to do. Not only is there a guarantee of these surge rise remaining open, the demand upon them (from a rapidly ageing population, it has to be said) is reduced.

My only concern is that Southern Health will hestate at paying for the extra staff that will be needed thanks to the iniative’s success.