I was born in Gosport and I have lived
and worked here most of my life. When I was a young man
leaving school, there were numerous potential career
opportunities open to me, Big employers like Fleetlands and
the Dockyard ran apprenticeships in different skill areas
and there were numerous other employment opportunities for
everyone no matter what their level of attainment.
Those days seem so far away when I look at the opportunities that young people of today have in Gosport. Whilst employment has gone down, and the Liberal Democrat apprentice scheme has had some success, there are still too many people working outside of the area, this has increased the traffic problems that some of us face every working day of our lives.
Drivers face queuing for hours of their week, wasting time that could be spent working or with their family, bus services are great if you happen to live, work, or go to school on the Eclipse route, but for everyone else the situation has got worse.
These are my priorities for Gosport and the things that I would fight for to help to improve the lives of those that live in our lovely town.
Transport is a major
issue for Gosport, back in 2010 I and many others campaigned
against the BRT, whilst we could see that the bus route
could be of great benefit to those that lived on the route,
I was concerned that it would lead to reduced bus services
across the rest of the borough and it would do nothing to
alleviate the traffic issues on the A32. We were told, if
you recall, that that was all that we were going to get and
if didn't take it we would get nothing.
I have been proven right, we have a situation where unless you live and work (or go to school) on the eclipse bus route getting there by bus is either difficult or nigh on impossible.
We have had some improvements to the roads, there is some going on right now, but once again it is not enough, nothing has been done, nor is there anything agreed to be done, that will actually solve the main issue of only having one road out of Gosport.
I will fight to get a fairer share of the Transport budget spent improving the roads and public transport links in and around Gosport. I find I will fight to get a transport infrastructure that is fit for purpose, one that will allow industry in the town to expand.
I find it incredible that the area has some of the most congested roads and the most underfunded rail network in the whole of the UK, so I would be fighting for a significant increase in investment on our transport infrastructure in the south to ensure that the transport network in the area is fit the purpose and allows us to expand the local economy and create real jobs on the peninsular.
As many of you will
know, I have always been in favour of rail as a means to get
both passengers and freight on and off of the peninsular.
Taking freight off of the roads would go a long way towards
reducing the traffic issues faced by many motorists. That
option may be gone now, but I do know that my Liberal
Democrat colleagues are also in favour of rail, not least
for environmental reasons, and believes that it is important
for communities to be well connected physically as well as
digitally to the rest of the country and abroad in order to
take advantage of economic growth opportunities.
The Liberal Democrats stated in their pre-manifesto that they would "re-open local stations to enable more people to travel by train".
I have had many a conversation within the party about the issues that Gosport faces and if there is anyway that this can be achieved you can be sure that I will fight tooth and nail to get it.
The NHS is high on
the list of issues in Gosport I have had more emails about
our policy on the NHS than any subject. The people of
Gosport are rightfully concerned about future funding of the
The Liberal Democrats are the only party that has committed to funding the NHS at the level that it needs to meet future demand.
The Liberal Democrats have a good record of fighting for the NHS in government, curbing Tory plans to privatise it. The Liberal Democrats have committed to a properly funded NHS that is free at the point of use and fit for purpose. If I am elected I will fight for a fair share of that budget in our area,