Saturday, 9 December 2017

Re-branding!

As you can see, we are finally catching up with the UKIP re-branding exercise. I think it looks not too bad, although there may be a few tweaks still to do over the next few days.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Farnborough Growth Package Consultation

Hampshire County Council and Rushmoor Borough Council are running a consultation on plans for improving traffic flow on the A3011 Lynchford Road, the A325 Farnborough Road and in Farnborough town centre. The consultation period will run until the 12th January. There are drop in events planned for this Friday (8th) and Monday (11th). If you can't make the two events, you can also view and comment on the web. See this link.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

AGM Report

The Annual General Meeting for the UKIP Aldershot branch was held on Monday the 27th of November.

After the opening formalities, the Chairmans report was presented. It had been a mixed year for UKIP both locally and nationally, in particular, the timing of the elections had not worked in our favour. However following the election of Henry Bolton, an internal re-organisation is starting to have an effect and will get the party ready for the future.

Dave Bell tried to set a record for the shortest ever Treasurer's report. Basically the branch spent a lot of money due to the local elections and the General Election. However the fund has recovered significantly during the past six months.

The next item was the election of office holders. It was proposed from the floor that all four office holders be re-elected and this was put to a vote and agreed unanimously.

Councillor Mark Staplehurst updated us on Rushmoor Council. The move to find more savings is having an effect on services and this is only likely to get worse. There are now proposals to close the HWRC (tip) in Aldershot. Since the centre in Farnborough is already overloaded this would have a very bad effect.

As there was less than a month to go till Christmas, we ended the evening with mince pies.

Ken McNair

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Question Time

Henry Bolton, the recently elected UKIP leader, is on Question Time tonight. This is the first time he has been on the show. Watch BBC1 on Thursday evening at 10:45.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

October Branch Meeting

After opening the meeting there was a report on the recent UKIP conference. There were a number of excellent speakers at the conference and in particular Bishop Nazir-Ali, Steve Crowther and David Kurten were mentioned. Congratulations were made to Henry Bolton on his election as leader. The meeting agreed that UKIP needed to unite behind him. Some of the more 'radical' former candidates (AMW, JRE) have now left the party, which hopefully will close that story. At the conference the UKIP rebranding was also unveiled and the meeting was generally positive about that.

There was a lengthy discussion on 2 policy areas. This was an initiative from the national party which was running a consultation on members views.

The first issue was Disability. One member related their personal experience of applying for ESA and PIP and how the system was mainly aimed at saving the government money rather providing help to those in need. The meeting agreed that the assessments should be carried out by qualified doctors, although to minimise fraud they should be independent and not from the local area. Social media should also be used to investigate claims in case the real lifestyle of the person making the claim did not not match what was claimed on the application. There was discussion on reducing the stigma associated with disability and in particular mental health. Martin has setup a Facebook page "Rushmoor Voice" which supports these issues.

The second issue was Education. The consensus was that too many people were going to University and not enough people were developing technical skills. The meeting voted against compulsory sex and relationship education on the basis that parents should have discretion. It was also thought that the school leaving age should be lowered to allow young people to start apprenticeships and that shorter university courses (2 years) would be beneficial.

Councillor Mark Staplehurst reported on local issues. The County Council is going ahead with the consultation on budget issues. This is expected to have a big impact on local services. In Farnborough the new shopping development is likely to causes major traffic issues and there appears to be no measures in place yet to address this. The strategy for the borough elections in May 2018 was also discussed.

As usual the evening ended with tea and biscuits.

Ken McNair

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Cuts to services in Hampshire

Back in July we reported that Hampshire County Council was running a public consultation on reducing its budget.

Now, a report seen by this blog, says that the county are aiming for savings of £140 million during the 2019/2020 financial year. As the report says "There are some significant proposals to reduce spending and provision, transform services and in some cases to increase charges and generate income." The County Council is meeting on the 2nd November to consider this.

There are over 20 'key proposals' listed and these include the following:
- Reduction in salting roads in winter months
- Withdrawal of school crossing patrols
- Withdrawal of all Bus Subsidies
- Stopping the Community Transport Service
- Closure of Household Waste Recycling Centres
- Reducing Home to School Transport to the statutory minimum
- Reduced library services
- Reduced funding for the Basingstoke Canal.
- Over £50 million reduction in Adult Social Care and Health

The report that we saw is a high level one and the detail of what is being cut is not yet clear. However it is clear from the amounts involved that the impact of these cuts will be significant. Unfortunately this is a result of political developments; the Conservative party, at the local level, is now intent on implementing whatever policy they are directed to by the centre rather than fighting for local people and services. The results are not pretty.

Friday, 8 September 2017

UKIP Daily

As has been said before, one thing that UKIP has been lacking is an unofficial website that allows members to air opinions outside the formal structure of the party. UKIP Daily is the best attempt we have seen so far. As compared with Kipper Central, this is a more grown up and mainstream website, even if it does not have such a cool name.

UKIP Daily appears to have input from across the spectrum of UKIP; so you are unlikely to agree with every article. However that is probably a strength; there needs to be an exchange of views in order to stimulate debate.

You can find UKIP Daily here.