Eastleigh has never had long term plan for its future. Yes successive councils have put forward local development plans, but these plans have always been short term fixes. The Liberal Democrat Party have controlled Eastleigh borough council for 26 years, or more precisely Keith House; the leader of the Liberal Democrat group, has controlled the council for 26 years…Hampshire County Council is much the same, with the conservatives having controlled the county council for 23 years. No government in British history has maintained power for so long uninterrupted.
How does this happen? Only 1 in 3 people turn up to vote in local elections. And that is an optimistic figure, sometimes it can be as low as 1 in 5. The winner in every local election in our area is apathy. To change that we must offer people a real choice, and something worth taking the time to vote for.
After a quarter of a century, we must ask ourselves: What have the Conservatives done with their control of the county? What have the Liberal Democrats done with their control of the Borough? Seriously I’m asking you to think of one major achievement in those 20 something years? We could play politics and talk about minor achievements, whose effect is never really noticed in the lives of the people who live here: “Wow you got a sign repainted!” What has substantively improved?
We need a different approach.
Eastleigh Labour are going to do things differently. We are starting by committing to publishing a local manifesto before the local elections this year. This document will put forward our plan for the borough. However, we do not want to limit our ambition to the voices of our members. So for the first time in Eastleigh’s political history: We are launching an open, public consultation for our local manifesto. Anyone, regardless of political affiliation can put forward priorities, ideas or full-blown policies for our local manifesto using the link below:
This manifesto will present our views and mandate future Labour councillors to vote in accordance with the policies and principles this sets out for the foreseeable future. Our aim is simple. To offer a long-term plan for Eastleigh’s future. Over the next few months our local members, unions and affiliates will begin discussing these policies. Then at a special meeting of Eastleigh Labour party, the policies will be voted on and approved. If anyone wants the chance to make a submission and vote on the policies, we approve they only have to join our party!
Lets have a great debate on Eastleigh’s future!
I am also laying down a personal challenge to the other parties in Eastleigh: Write your own local manifesto and send a representative to debate me on our proposed plans for Eastleigh. The coronavirus pandemic has equipped us all with the tools to conduct a debate virtually so there is simply no excuse for refusing this. We can work out a date that works for all parties, and we can give the people of Eastleigh the chance to make informed decisions about the future of our borough through a positive and informed debate