Your local Lib Dems are fighting the potential closure of rail ticket offices. Train operators have proposed the shutdown of almost all of the 1,007 remaining rail ticket offices in England, except at the very busiest stations, within three years. If this goes ahead passengers will be forced to use either self-service machines or rail company apps/websites which many people struggle with.
Gayathri Sathyanath and Graham Everdell from your Western Wards Focus Team are calling for these plans to be stopped and for our rail ticket offices to be saved. During the all-too-short public consultation period Gayathri led a team at Swanwick Station collecting signatures for our ‘Save Our Ticket Offices’ petition. Gayathri is pictured, left, with some of the many commuters who signed.
The signatures so far collected have been submitted and the public consultation period on this issue has now closed. But it's still worth worth having your say. We are now waiting for the decision. If the proposals are rejected by the passenger watchdogs, the decision will then be escalated to the Transport Secretary. So there's still time to sign the petition.
Our eFocus for July - if you like it, ask us to email you future editions.
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Water companies have apologised for the sewage dumping described in our online newsletter (see below). But is it enough?
In a statement issued through Water UK, water and sewage companies admitted to dragging their heels on taking action to stop sewage discharges into our coastlines, rivers and lakes. You can see the full announcement from Water UK here.
In the wake of this announcement, local Liberal Democrat spokesperson Graham Everdell says the apology is far too late, and that it is meaningless unless the firm is completely reformed.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for water firms to become “public benefit companies,” making environmental goals more important than profits, and making it compulsory for environmental experts to sit on their company boards. This would put an end to billions of pounds being wasted in dividends whilst sewage destroys waterways.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Fareham’s Western Wards Graham Everdell said: “This announcement is too little too late after years of putting public health at risk and large-scale environmental damage, which has previously been arrogantly dismissed by the water industry.
“This apology means nothing unless the firm is completely reformed from top to bottom. Protecting the environment should be more important than making overseas investors rich. Sadly, Southern Water still has their priorities all wrong.
“To add insult to injury, this Conservative Government have spent recent years voting down tougher action on polluting water firms. They too owe people an apology.”
In a supplement to our regular eFocus, Graham Everdell takes a more detailed look at Southern Water's plan to recycle water from th eBudds Farm treatment plant.
Read the latest eFocus - if you like it, ask us to email you future editions.
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Graham Everdell was our candidate in the 2022 local elections.
Graham’s family have lived in Park Gate since 2003.
With his three sons at university and college, and now retired from a career in financial services, Graham seeks opportunities to positively influence how Fareham Council serves all residents.
Darren Alderson-Hall was Lib Dem candiddate in the 2022 local elections
Darren lived in Locks Heath throughout his childhood and returned in 2013 to continue serving as an NHS frontline team-leader.
He’s passionate about society’s most vulnerable in an area with extremes of inequality. “I stand for our ward’s younger people, too long ignored."
News from Park Gate, Locks Heath and Titchfield Common
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservatives for being “asleep at the wheel” on tackling community crime after damning new revelations show that almost all burglaries in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight go unpunished.
Analysis of official Home Office data by the Liberal Democrats revealed that just 76, or 2%,of domestic burglaries in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight resulted in a criminal charge or summons in the first three quarters of 2022. Across the country, the figure was a dismal 4%.
In the same time period, a startling 3,494 burglaries went unsolved, amounting to 79% of all burglaries in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government for these stark figures, saying the Conservatives have left police forces up and down the country overstretched and underfunded.
The party is calling for a return to proper community policing - where officers are visible and have the time to focus on preventing and solving crimes - so that criminals can no longer act with impunity.
Commenting on the figures, Graham Everdell said: “This news is terrifying for people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This Conservative Government’s inaction has led to thousands of burglars getting away with it , and thousands of families waiting endlessly for justice that may never arrive.”
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes. The Government must make that possible by giving police forces the officers, time, and resources they need to tackle domestic burglaries.”
“To do this, Conservative Ministers must finally recruit the extra 20,000 police officers they have promised but failed to deliver.”
The number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) on the streets of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has fallen dramatically by 28.7% since 2015.
Analysis of new Home Office statistics commissioned by the Liberal Democrats from the House of Commons Library has shown the drastic cuts to PCSOs in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
A total of 215 full-time equivalent PCSOs were employed in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as of September 2022. This is in stark contrast to the 302 that were employed in March 2015 - meaning there have been 87 PCSOs cut from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary in that time.
The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative Government of letting communities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight down by taking Police Community Support Officers off the streets, leading to more crimes going unsolved and victims going without justice.
The same trend is being seen up and down the country, with the number of active PCSOs falling by an average of 33% in England and Wales since 2015. Nationally,England and Wales have lost 4,068 PCSOs since 2015.
Graham Everdell has slammed the Conservatives for this move, which means that fewer police officers are visible on the streets, building relationships - and trust - with local people. The party has called for a return to proper community policing.
“These shocking figures prove that Conservative Ministers are yet again failing to prevent crime in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They should be ashamed.
“Police Community Support Officers play a vital role in keeping our communities safe. The Government should be empowering them to do their job, not slashing their numbers into oblivion.”
“Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted, and known personally to local people. We will build communities where people are safe - and feel safe, too.”
Source:- Home Office, Police Workforce: England and Wales, Jan 2023
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