by jackdavies on 1 March, 2021
The Coronavirus Pandemic has touched the lives of everyone. Some of us have lost friends or family members to the disease whilst many of us have contracted the disease ourselves. Not only has there been a human cost in lives lost, there has been an economic cost with lost jobs and businesses too. The job then, for any decent politician, is to work out how we build back better after the pandemic ends. Do we try to get things back to how they were before the pandemic or do we look to try and use the lessons of the pandemic to make a better post-pandemic society than pre-pandemic society?
I prefer the second option. We can’t just go back to how things were before the pandemic with constant cuts to local services and tax rises with a focus on the transactional relationship between public services and taxation. There has got to be a new vision for the future which seeks to break the rut we have been in for the past decade. The County Council elections coming up in May give us a great opportunity to do just that for Hampshire.
I will be standing for the seat of Lymington and Boldre, covering Lymington Town, Pennington Village, and Boldre Parish. My late father was born and raised in Pilley before the family moved to Pennington which is where I was raised and still live. This is my home so I’m determined that it gets the best representation it can. I’ve mentioned the immediate crisis of the pandemic but the biggest issue still facing us is Climate Change. That’s especially resonant when we see what has happened at Hurst Castle last week. I have put climate change at the heart of my vision for Lymington and Boldre. The pandemic has also shown us just how reliant our local economy is on tourism. While it still has an important to play in our local economy, we need to transform our local economy so that we are not entirely reliant on it to keep businesses afloat and keep people in jobs.
I want to make Lymington and Boldre an environmental and economic powerhouse. Having convinced Lymington and Pennington Town Council to commit to going carbon neutral by 2030, my plan is to convince Hampshire County Council to do the same. That gets a lot easier if the Liberal Democrats are in charge of the council. We need to gain only 19 Conservative seats across Hampshire to do it. The Conservatives kicked the target for carbon neutral into the long grass which is nowhere near good enough when we are dealing with such an important issue. More must also be done to reduce air pollution to protect the planet and people’s health. Investing in greener methods of public transport and reducing the dependence upon, and necessity of, cars must be a priority.
However, to do this requires an overhaul in economic strategy. As I have already said, our local economy is massively dependent upon tourism which is a big problem. Although jobs are created in the tourism sector, they are often entry level and low-paying. Tourism also irreversibly changes our towns and villages with projects designed to attract even more visitors whilst placing the needs of the local community second. Politicians have to think long-term about how to make tourism work for local people and our planet. Encouraging sustainable tourism options with investment in public services and protecting the environment is a must.
If you vote Lib Dem on May 6th (or earlier by post), then you can be guaranteed you will be voting for people who will make protecting our environment and supporting local businesses their number one priority.Leave a comment