£30 to park this year, £60 next year? £100 the year after?

 

Everyone knows that once the council starts charging for something then the charges just go up and up.  The Conservative/Labour/UKIP-run Council plans to charge local people in Residents Parking Zones to park outside their own homes.

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No Parking Strategy for Portsmouth - Just extra charges.

10 months ago the new Conservative, Labour and UKIP councillors running the city council said Portsmouth needed a new parking strategy. 10 months on nothing has happened except people are being charged to park in residents parking zones.

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Paying to park on more roads in Southsea, will Albert Road be next?

People parking on Elm Grove (near Albert Road), on Portland Road (near Marmion Road) and on the seafront (near Eastney Baths) have all seen new pay and display parking meters erected. 
Parking on all these roads was free under the Lib Dem run Council. Now motorists have to pay.
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Local Lib Dems Welcome Clampdown Over Payday Loan Shops and U-Turn Over Office Conversion


Gerald Vernon Jackson, Leader of the LGA Liberal Democrats, has welcomed a new announcement that will enable councils to keep a lid on the numbers of payday loan companies or betting shops allowed to open.

Cllr Vernon Jackson said:

“Councils and their communities have repeatedly called for powers to tackle problems caused by the proliferation of betting shops and pay day loan companies. We are pleased the Government has acted on the concerns expressed both by the LGA and Liberal Democrat Councillors. Putting bookmakers in a new planning class will rightly ensure councils can consider and scrutinise all applications for new betting shops. However, this will not help areas with existing clustering of betting shops as it will still allow a rival betting company to simply take over a vacant betting or payday loan ship without needing planning permission."

He added:

“We are also pleased the Government has listened to council concerns and will put an end to relaxed planning rules allowing offices to be converted into homes without planning permission.
“They have led to existing businesses being evicted and seen homes created which do not meet the identified needs of a community. This has put pressure on schools, roads and health services, as well as making fewer houses which are affordable at a time when rents and house prices are soaring.
“This is why councils ultimately need much greater local discretion to shape their high streets and help stimulate local economic growth. The introduction of a new cumulative impact test would rightly give councils the power to also veto new shops in areas already saturated by betting shops if firms can't prove a new shop would benefit the local economy.
“Communities need more say on what type of businesses and shops open in their local area. This is vital in getting people back out shopping in their local high street or town centre.”


Nelson's UKIP & Labour councillors vote to stop any debate about Stamshaw Junior School

Local Labour and UKIP councillors voted to stop any debate about future of Stamshaw Junior School. Lib Dem councillors backed Councillor Leo Madden to allow parents a proper say in the future of the school.

"I was shocked that our local Labour and UKIP councillors didn't want to discuss this school. This was after one local parent came to the council to ask the council to discuss this. I'm amazed that people elected to represent local people won't back local families," says local Lib Dem Councillor Leo Madden.

"We believe that local families need to be consulted properly about the future of our school. I'm really disappointed that the local Labour and UKIP councillors voted to stop this. A real disgrace," says Lib Dem Councillor Leo Madden.

Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth North Darren Sanders added; "despite attempts to halt debate, we're pleased to report that thanks to the work of local Lib Dem councillors, real and meaningful consultation with parents will be pushed for."


Dave Ashmore backs Fratton shops and traders

The newly established 'Fratton Road Traders' group invited all three Fratton Ward councillors to a meeting to hear concerns and answer questions from local traders and residents.  Fratton Lib Dems Councillor David Fuller and Dave Ashmore happily attended as requested, but the UKIP councillor failed to show up as promised.  The meeting was further served by the attendence of the Lib Dem 'culture and events' spokesperson Cllr Lee Hunt.  Lib Dem Parlaimentray candidate Gerald vernon-Jackson attened the launch at the first meeting.
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Lib Dems Launch Revolutionary New Housing Policy


Today the Lib Dems launch ‘Rent to Own’ - which helps first-time buyers build up a share in their home through renting.

Young people will be able to buy their own home without a deposit to help them onto the housing ladder under radical Liberal Democrat manifesto plans.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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

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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.


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