Conservative plans for 'Right to Buy' would mean Winchester losing large numbers of council homes

The Conservatives have announced plans to force councils to sell off the most expensive 210,000 council houses and use the money to pay for a national programme of ‘right to buy’ for housing associations right across the country.

For Winchester this will be a catastrophe!

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Budget 2015 is packed with Liberal Democrat policies

The final Budget of this Parliament has Liberal Democrat policies at its core.

The Budget confirms that Liberal Democrats in government are building a stronger economy and a fairer society, creating opportunity for everyone. 

In government we have ensured that Britain has kept on the path to recovery in a way that is fair.

We won’t jeopardise our economy credibility by overseeing a Budget that is a pre-election giveaway. That’s why everything in the Budget is paid for, and in a fair way. 

It is because of our sound economic management that we can afford to deliver these policies. 

And to help pay for these policies we are taking further steps to clamp down on tax avoidance by multinational companies and ensuring banks make a fair contribution by increasing the bank levy. 

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Jackie Porter backs Sparsholt College wind turbine

A wind turbine application submitted by Sparsholt College, should be approved, says Prospective Winchester MP Jackie Porter.

"This turbine’s main function is to generate knowledge," says Jackie Porter, Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Winchester and Chandler's Ford. "We need to teach young people about renewable energy and encourage them in its development. The Liberal Democrats are committed to investing in green energy for the future. Refusal of this scheme would be perverse."

The innovative scheme is designed to educate young people while gathering evidence around the options for sustainable rural mixed energy systems including energy storage. The carefully sited 74m turbine is not intrusive. An anaerobic digester is also part of the development of Sparsholt’s rural low carbon hub.

The application goes before the Planning Committee on Thursday 5th March with a recommendation from officers that it should be refused.

 

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Tory Council acted "unlawfully" over Silver Hill

A court has ruled that Conservative-run Winchester City Council acted unlawfully over the Silver Hill development in the centre of Winchester. The ruling has forced Tory Council bosses to resign. In the vote to choose a new Leader of the Council Labour let the Tories run the council instead of backing change with the Lib Dems.

Judge rules against Tory-run council

Conservative-run Winchester City Council acted “unlawfully”, a court has ruled. The Tories let developer Hendersons remove all affordable homes, and the bus station from the site. At this point they should have allowed other companies to put forward plans for the area, by not doing so they were in ‘serious breach’ of the law.

Tory council bosses forced to resign

As a result of the court’s damning judgement, the Conservative Council Leader and his deputy both resigned. The Labour head of the committee meant to scrutinise their decisions also had to go.

Labour let Tories run council instead of backing change with Lib Dems

Winchester City Council then had the chance of a fresh start. The Liberal Democrats put forward Kelsie Learney as a new leader offering real change in the way the council is run. But Kelsie lost out in a close vote to a councillor from the discredited Conservatives.

Labour Councillors held the deciding votes, but instead of backing real change they sat on their hands allowing the Conservatives to carry on their failing administration.

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Lib Dems call for safer speeds on Chilbolton Avenue

Your local Liberal Democrat team is calling for a speed limit reduction on Chilbolton Avenue from 40mph to 30mph.

Local City and County Councillor Martin Tod commented: “Now that work on the drop off points for buses to and from Westgate School has been completed, residents are concerned that the 40 mph speed limit currently in use is now too fast for the reduced carriageway width.

“I have asked the County Council to look at this and have asked them to reduce the speed limit to 30 mph which will be safer for both children and residents alike. 

“I am pleased that Council officers have agreed to run a speed assessment in the next few weeks after traffic patterns have settled down.”

Join the campaign for safer speeds on Chilbolton Avenue at www.winld.org.uk/chilbolton30

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Time to Talk About Mental Health

February 5th is Time to Talk Day, asking the people across the country to take 5 minutes to have a conversation about mental health.

Prospective MP Jackie Porter commented: "Having a mental health problem is hard enough, but sometimes the isolation and stigma can make it even worse. We can all help to break the silence."

"Talking about mental health doesn’t need to be difficult and it can make a big difference. That’s why we’re asking you to take just 5 minutes on the 5th to have a conversation about mental health. We will all know someone who has suffered from a mental health problem."

There is more information on the Time for Change campaign here.

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Jackie Porter wins fight to stop cuts to disabled children's services

Prospective MP Jackie Porter has won the fight to stop the Conservative cuts to services for disabled children. 

Tory council bosses had decided to make a two-thirds cut to the budget for short breaks for disabled children. But Jackie worked with local families to get the Conservatives to change their minds.

“I’m pleased we have stopped these damaging cuts,” said Jackie. “It’s only a pity that we had to fight for them in the first place, the Lib Dems would not even have consider cutting such an important service.”

Short-breaks give families support so disabled children can access everyday activities like swimming lessons and scouts.

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Video: Why maternity matters

Thousands of people have now joined Jackie Porter's campaign to save Winchester's maternity services from being downgraded.

"Over the past months I've heard many stories about how important having proper maternity care at Winchester's hospital is to local people," said Prospective MP Jackie. "This video tells just a few of those stories."

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Pound Road Surgery Closure

The Pound Road, Kings Worthy surgery of the Friarsgate GP practice is currently closed for essential repairs. Unfortunately there is no clear re-opening date as yet.

Prospective MP Jackie Porter said "This is clearly unacceptable. We must have a local GP surgery to serve our community. To close this surgery without a clear plan to re-open just will not do.

"I would like to inform you what actions I have taken on this to date, aided by our City Councillors Jane Rutter and Robert Johnston.

My main focus is to ensure local services in Kings Worthy are maintained for residents.

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Maternity petition passes 2000 signature milestone

Jackie Porter's petition to save Winchester's maternity services from downgrade has passed the 2000 signature milestone.

Prospective Lib Dem MP Jackie Porter said: "Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition already, every voice added makes our campaign stronger."

You can sign Jackie's petition at www.winld.org.uk/maternity

Maternity services are becoming a key election issue

Maternity services are already becoming a key issue for the General Election here in Winchester with a clear dividing line between Lib Dem Jackie and Conservative Steve Brine. While Jackie is campaigning to save the services from loosing consultant cover, Mr Brine has broken his promise to protect them, backing hospital bosses over local people.

Before being elected Tory MP Steve Brine said that consultant-led maternity services would be his ‘red line’ and that “without them you don’t have a District General Hospital worthy of the name.”

Now Mr Brine is welcoming changes that will mean there is no hospital with these services in Winchester - exactly what he said he would campaign against.

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