Rose Gardens and Canoe Lake ignored by Tories

The tranquil Rose Gardens adjacent to Canoe Lake are in need of some tender loving care as more and more visitors come to enjoy the seafront. Whilst gardeners look after the beautiful roses and climbing plants the historic walls are crumbling and paths, seats and pergolas need attention.

Read more

Portsmouth Museum visitor numbers rose under Lib Dems

Recently released figures show a significant increase in visits to City Council Museums for the year 2013/14 when the City was run by the Liberal Democrats.  

Read more

New Southsea Beach Cafe hits seafront spot

The new Southsea Beach Cafe is proving to be a big success. This quality venue serves delicious breakfasts, brunches, evening meals, cakes, snacks and beverages all day, much of it sourced from local producers. It is one of seven new seafront venues created under the Lib Dems successful Seafront Strategy including Eastney 'Coffee Cup', Canoe Lake 'Greens Cafe', new Pyramids Cafe, 'Rock & Sole', 'Pavilion Cafe' and Southsea Castle (seasonal venue). Giving a flavour of this bistro the varied menu recently included 'Pop-up lobsters' on Valentines Day.

Read more

Cafe 'Greens' and tennis brings jobs and new life to Canoe Lake

Year after year the popular grass tennis courts at Canoe Lake looked like they might close due to cuts by Whitehall politicians; so local Lib Dems set out to find a better and more sustainable way to keep them open, make improvements and deliver a new smart healthy foods cafe that Southsea Canoe Lake visitors and local residents were asking for. 

Read more

Volunteer Traffic Survey Gives Evidence to Stop Overdevelopment in Milton


Evidence collected by volunteers in Milton has shown that the proposed scale of development at St James's Hospital site will clog up two vital traffic junctions. This evidence will be used to scale back the size of development so that local roads can cope. The results were announced at the Milton Neighbourhood Forum on Monday night.

Milton Lib Dem councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson was one of the volunteers who collected this data. He commented:

"This shows that the junctions at Locksway Road/Milton Road and the Eastern Road/Moorings Way/Velder Avenue junctions would both be over capacity if the development goes ahead as the NHS want it to. This means the City Council has reasons to say no to the size of development the NHS want. I'm really grateful for all the volunteers who, like me, got cold and wet getting this evidence together and so have given the community the evidence to scale back the development the NHS want. This is really good news for residents wanting to resist overdevelopment."

The NHS is looking for a development of 480 houses in Milton on the hospital site. The survey took place on two Wednesdays in the autumn at rush hours. The evidence has been examined and verified by the City Council.

Help us oppose the overdevelopment of St James's by signing the petition to Keep Milton Green.


More jobs for local people

key_jobs.jpg

Liberal Democrats in government have been working hard to create more jobs and Portsmouth has enjoyed one of the biggest increases in jobs in the country, according to a new report.

The Cities Outlook 2015 report, says jobs in the Portsmouth area increased by 18,800 (or 9.2%) between 2004 and 2013 - the entire time Liberal Democrats ran Portsmouth City Council. This was the sixth highest increase in the country.

It also says real wages increased by 4.4% between 2013 and 2014, putting Portsmouth in sixth place.

Lib Dem Councillor and Parliamentary candidate Gerald Vernon-Jackson said,

“I’m really pleased that the efforts of Lib Dems in government and on the City Council to create jobs are showing results right here in Portsmouth.
“But, much more needs to be done to create and protect jobs in our city. That’s why as leader of the Council I fought to keep the Royal Navy here when the previous government threatened to close the base in Portsmouth and why I’m continuing to campaign to bring new jobs to the city.”


Arundel Court Primary School Wins Building Money

key_arundel.JPG

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws MP has today announced government money to rebuild Arundel Court Primary School in Portsmouth.

The announcement follows a strong campaign by local Parliamentary Candidate and city councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson who has supported the school's plans to upgrade their facilities.

The money will come from the Priority Schools Building Programme, a £2bn government scheme spearheaded by the Liberal Democrats to rebuild those schools across the country suffering most from wear and tear.

Schools included in the programme are now able to start developing detailed plans, and are expected to be completed in 2017.

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws MP said:

"I am delighted to be able to announce money that will allow Arundel Court Primary School to make badly needed improvements to their building.

“Arundel Court Primary School has run a fantastic campaign on behalf of local parents and children, making a very clear case as to why the school needs this money.

"School buildings that aren't up to scratch unfairly hold our children and young people back. Every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and improving Arundel Court Primary will make sure that many more children in Portsmouth receive a good education."



Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Portsmouth South Gerald Vernon-Jackson said:

"This announcement is fantastic news for families and teachers in Portsmouth.

"Portsmouth badly needs to upgrade its classrooms and other facilities. This money fought for and delivered by Liberal Democrats in government will make a real difference.

"I'd like to thank all those who helped us campaign on this issue. Making sure all children in Portsmouth get a fair start in life should always be a top priority, and I can't wait to see Arundel Court's plans develop."


Cynical Council allotment plot as growers prepare to dig-in against extra charges


In an extraordinary move Conservatives running the City Council have changed their proposal several times.  It is to be considered tomorrow (Thursday 9 a.m) in the Guildhall. Stung by so much opposition since this unpopular move was exposed by local Lib Dems a couple of weeks ago; Conservatives are now saying the £20,000 they want to raise originally to "spend elsewhere in the city" is now actually to cover 'discretionary costs' like insurance. The trouble is allotment council officers stated at a January meeting "Full Cost Recovery was achieved in November last year".

No one knew about these rises until local Lib Dems started to notify allotment associations and the public. As a result the Conservative Councillor was invited by allotment leaders to explain the rises to their meeting last week.  In that meeting the Conservative Councillor behind these extra rises said 'that she would raise fees for allotments if it meant keeping other services.'  So it looks like they are still intent on raising £20,000 off allotment holders to spend elsewhere as they stated before, but using a new cynical form of words to try to hide what they are doing.  

You can make your mind up on the two versions of events below:

This is what the report (below) said when the rises were exposed in January:

1. Purpose of report

1.1. In light of the budget pressures faced by Portsmouth City Council officers have identified ways of achieving a surplus from the city's allotments. This report identifies options to achieve this.

1.2. To inform the cabinet member that allotments will no longer be offered for rent in rods (an obsolete unit of measurement) but will instead be offered in square meters.

2. Recommendations

2.1. That the cabinet member approves one of the options presented to generate £20,000 additional income from allotments. 2.2. That the cabinet member notes the change in units of measurement of allotment plots.


This is what the 'new' (rewritten) report says now:

1. Purpose of report:  

1.1. In line with the ambition of Portsmouth City Council to ensure that the fees for discretionary services are set to cover the costs of delivery, officers are recommending two options to increase fee levels to meet this objective.

1.2. To inform the cabinet member that allotments will no longer be offered for rent in rods (an obsolete unit of measurement) but will instead be offered in square meters.

2. Recommendations

2.1. That the cabinet member approves one of the options presented to move closer to the aim to ensure that fees generated from discretionary services cover the full cost of service delivery. In officers opinion, both options result in the same outcome financially, but option 1 has less risk, consequently option 1 is recommended.


Parking in your street to get much worse


The Conservative, Labour and UKIP councillors in Portsmouth have voted to bring in a charge for the first car parking permit for each household in residents' parking zones. The advice from city council officers is that they expect about 10% of cars in residents' parking zones to refuse to buy a permit and park in nearby roads, outside of residents parking zones.

There are 9,500 first car permits, about 1,100 second car permits and about 300 second car permits.

"Parking is a real battle in the city," says local Lib Dem campaigner Michael Andrewes. "The unintended consequence of charging people to park in the residents' car parking zones is that cars will be displaced from them and park in roads nearby. This is a bad idea and will make parking in this area much worse."

Lib Dem councillors identified a different way of the raising the money the council needs from cutting senior management at the council and perks to councillors such as free car parking. These ideas have been rejected by the Conservative, Labour and UKIP councillors in Portsmouth who all voted to bring in these charges. This would mean there was no charge for the first permit and no displacement of cars into your area.

"This coming year the charge is expected to be £40 for the first car, but once the council has started charging for this permit then it could go up and up in price. They have just agreed to increase the charge for businesses on the seafront from £210 a year to £1,160 so anything is possible," says Portsmouth's Parliamentary candidate, Gerald Vernon-Jackson.




More jobs created in Portsmouth


Liberal Democrats in government have been working hard to create more jobs and Portsmouth has enjoyed one of the biggest job increases in the country, according to a new report.

The Cities Outlook 2015 report, from the Centre for Cities think tank, says jobs in the Portsmouth area increased by 18,800 (or 9.2%) between 2004 and 2013 - the entire time Liberal Democrats ran Portsmouth City Council. This was the sixth highest increase in the country.

It also says real wages increased by 4.4% between 2013 and 2014, putting Portsmouth in sixth place.

Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Portsmouth South Gerald Vernon-Jackson said,

“I’m really pleased that the efforts of Lib Dems in government and on the City Council to create jobs are showing results right here in Portsmouth.
“But, much more needs to be done to create and protect jobs in our city. That’s why as leader of the Council I fought to keep the Royal Navy here when the previous government threatened to close the base in Portsmouth and why I’m continuing to campaign to bring new jobs to the City.”

The Liberal Democrats in Government have helped create over 1 million new jobs and 2 million apprenticeships since 2010.

We've done this by:

  • Putting £5.5 billion extra into hi-tech manufacturing, science and renewable energy
  • Creating a £3.2 billion Regional Growth Fund to help fund growing businesses
  • Using £15.3 billion to improve Britain’s roads, railways and housing

 


Backing local shops and jobs


Backing-local-shops.jpgLocal shops are being looked after by Portsmouth Lib Dems.

According to national figures Portsmouth's shop occupancy rates average 97%, which is above the UK average. One of the reasons is when running the Council local Lib Dems created the city's small, but effective 'Shopping Centres Team' supporting local designated shopping areas with events help and advice.

Albert Road, promoted for it's niche independent retail scene and for local shopping needs - is doing well. Local Lib Dem Cllrs Lee Hunt and Margaret Adair are pictured enjoying a chat and coffee in the streets latest new business 'Home Coffee' with one of the proud owners, who is pleased with an encouraging start. Almost dead-on-its-feet 10 years ago Fawcett Road top-end has revived with a mix of uses and Winter Road is almost full.

Whilst the Lib Dem-run Council did a lot to help, by contrast Conservatives are adding to shops and trades costs by putting up permits for parking in Southsea from a reasonable £210 a year to a whopping £1,170/yr; demolishing any claim to be supporting business! As part of an ongoing Council value-for-money review three local Lib Dem Councillors are looking at how to even better support local shops.


Blackmail over car parking zones


The Conservative Cabinet member for Transport has decided that there should be a charge for the first car parking permit in your area.

There will be an official council consultation on this over the next few months, but there will be only two options.

  1. Pay for the first parking permit and keep your residents parking zone, or
  2. Don't pay for the first permit and lose your residents' car parking zone.

Lib Dem councillors identified a different way of raising the money the council needs from cutting senior management at the council, and perks to councillors such as free car parking. These ideas have been rejected by the Conservative, Labour and UKIP councillors in Portsmouth who all voted to bring in these charges.

"We have asked for a question on the consultation for residents to be able to say, keep the scheme as it is now with no charge for the first permit," says local Lib Dem campaigner Jason Fazackarley. "We were shocked that even asking this question has been rejected and residents are now facing either paying up or losing their residents parking schemes. This is blackmail."
"This coming year the charge is expected to be £40, but once the council has started charging for this permit then it could go up and up in price. They have just agreed to increase the charge for businesses on the seafront from £210 a year to £1,160 so anything is possible," says Portsmouth's Parliamentary candidate, Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

Help us oppose these charges by signing our petition here


Lib Dems join the march against terror

key_je-suis-charlie.jpg

Portsmouth's two Lib Dem Parliamentary candidates have joined people of all nationalities in a march against the terror attacks in Paris.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson and Darren Sanders joined more than 100 people on the march which followed the deaths of 17 Parisians at the hands of terrorists.

10 of the people who died worked on the French magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' and marchers sang 'Je Suis Charlie' (I am Charlie), which has become a catchphrase for people wanting to defend press freedom.

The march went from Guildhall Square to the War Memorial on the seafront and back again. It was organised by French students angry at what happened in their county.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson said:

"I am delighted that the march has taken place. Terrorism can only win if its enemies do nothing. My thanks to the French students who put effort into getting the march organised."

Darren Sanders said:

"Our thoughts go out to those journalists who died, the Muslim policeman killed defending them and the innocents who also died in a Jewish supermarket. We must all work together to defeat those who use religion for their own, sick ends."


Local Councillor learns about 7070 Apprenticeships

key_ben-apprentices.jpg

Since being in Government in 2010, the Liberal Democrats have created over 7070 new apprenticeships in Portsmouth. Apprenticeships are a very important route into work for our city’s young people, especially as an alternative to University.

Local Lib Dem Councillor Ben Dowling recently met two young apprentices from BAE,

“It’s really positive to see so many young people in Portsmouth choosing to start apprenticeships in order to get paid whilst learning how to do a job.”
“I met Stephy and Abbi who are currently on engineering apprenticeships at BAE Systems. They told me about how good it was that engineering apprenticeships are open to girls and boys because of how engineering is an area or work which has traditionally been easier to get into as a man.”


Conservative-run Council to ‘blackmail’ local people ​over parking zone charges​


The Conservative transport boss, Cllr Ken Ellcome, has decided to go ahead with a consultation on residents parking​ but with only 2 options​;​ ​either to pay a new fee for a car  parking ​permit ​or to lose their schemes. ​

​He rejected a request from Lib Dem Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate for Portsmouth South Gerald Vernon-Jackson to include a question asking whether they wanted to keep residents car parking schemes as they are.

"This is outrageous," says Portsmouth Lib a Dem Leader, Gerald Vernon-Jackson. "The Conservatives don't want people to have a real choice,​only to either pay​-​up this new charge or lose their parking scheme. This is blackmail. And they are consulting without saying what the charge will be, it could be £50, or £100 or even more."

​Jill Norman and funfair representatives told Cllr Ellcome that the proposal to put seafront traders and business permits up from £210 to £1,160 would harm the seafront, jobs and businesses.

Local people made numerous representations in writing and 6 pleaded with the Tory transport boss in person not to do this, but he ignored them all.

The Tory Traffic boss also said at a recent Council meeting that there will be no new Residents Parking Zones created until 2017 "at the earliest and probably not until 2019" meaning local residents who currently don’t have a parking zone will have no choice at all.

The Conservatives have already suspended the popular and much-liked MC and MB parking zones in Southsea despite the fact that these two zones were making a SURPLUS for the City Council’s hard pressed services.

Alternatively Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson also pointed out that the Lib Dem budget (alternative budget), voted down by the UKIP/Labour/Conservative coalition continued to provide the first permit for free and fully funded the costs by reducing senior management.

If you oppose these charges, and the proposed service changes, then please sign our petition here and help us stop them.


Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.

Twitter latest

Find us on Facebook