Saturday, 21 April 2018

Mike Gascoigne - Standing in Blackwater & Hawley

I have lived in Blackwater with my wife Fiona for 40 years. We have brought up our four children here and they have all left home and pursued their education and training, and are following careers in industry.

We first moved to Blackwater because I was working in the oil industry, then I went freelance and produced manuals and user guides for a variety of products and processes, working with a wide range of clients.

Since 2015 I have been involved in campaigns to preserve Hawley Woods as a recreational area. There was a plan to open it up for cattle grazing, which would have involved the erection of new fencing that would close off some pathways. Then after some public protest there was a plan for electronic methods of cattle control, so there was no need to erect a fence and the paths were saved. Then the plan was cancelled altogether for no apparent reason, but shortly afterwards, my local running club, Sandhurst Joggers, found that they were uanable to organise their annual cross-country run. This normally involves some negotiation with the MOD but they increased their fees to a level that we couldn't afford, and they asserted a right to cancel our events at short notice and we can't organise them under those conditions, so we had to move the event elsewhere. Many other sports clubs have been affected the same way, and it means Hawley Woods continues to be accessible for casual recreation but not for organised events. I would like to re-establish cooperation between the MOD and the local community, the way it used to be.

I am also interested in elderly care and I have supported Frogmore Day Centre which needed funds to completely replace a leaking roof at a total cost of £70,000. The council paid for half of it and the other half had to be raised from charitable funds. The roof was fixed and paid for from a 5-year loan which has to be paid off. So I got in touch with my running club and they kindly donated £750 from the proceeds of their Yateley 10k road races in 2016, then another £500 in 2017.

On 23 June 2016, the people of the UK voted to leave the European Union, but since then the process of departure has been a disappointment. Theresa May has negotiated a deal that amounts to Brexit in name only. The only thing we are actually leaving is the European Parliament while everything else remains pretty much the same including our payments to Brussels.

I would like to see some real progress in the Brexit process and within that constraint my local objectives are to:
- Build a thriving local economy, free from the stifling bureaucracy of the European Union.
- Control our borders for economic and security reasons, to reduce pressure on health, education, housing and welfare services, and to make sure everyone entering our country comes here in peace.
- Protect green spaces and conservation areas.
- Promote health and leisure activities for our enjoyment and for the economic benefits of good health.
- Keep the streets clean and tidy and remove graffiti.
- Spend money on local services, not the EU, foreign aid and foreign wars.
- Keep council tax as low as possible.

Mike Gascoigne

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Jenny Parsons - Standing in Cove and Southwood

As a mother of 4 children and survivor of domestic abuse, I have a vested interest in local services for women and children. A one-stop-shop is needed for victims of abuse to go to for real help and advice. Children's services need to grow instead of being cut back.

Roads all across the country have been damaged further by the recent adverse weather conditions. I may not be able to fix the whole country but I would start to campaign for the repairs in Cove and Southwood.

Keeping the bus services running in Southwood seems to be always an ongoing battle that needs to be fought on behalf of the residents, especially the elderly and the young, both needing a means of getting out into the town centre.

I appreciate the importance of communication with residents and as such I would at least respond to residents' enquiries in a timely manor. Before all else it is important for residents to be heard and action to be taken to make a better Rushmoor.

Jenny Parsons

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Chris Harding Campaign Leaflet

Paper copies of this leaflet have already been distributed around West Heath. For those of us living in other areas, here is an electronic copy.



Tuesday, 3 April 2018

March Branch Meeting

Our latest Branch Meeting was held on the 26th March 2018.

After the opening formalities the meeting moved on to an update from the Chair. UKIP has returned to using the pound sign as its logo (this blog will need a redesign again). Gerrard Batten has taken over as interim leader and is thought to be doing a good job. An election for the UKIP leadership will take place during May.

The central party organisation has appealed for funds from members and branches. However as many members were already making personal contributions directly, it was decided that the branch would retain its funds for use during the next local elections and other upcoming needs.

A volunteer was found for the role of Branch Treasurer (yours truly in this case!)

The elections for Rushmoor Borough Council are to be held on the 3rd of May and help with distributing leaflets will be needed. The UKIP candidates standing are as follows:
  Blackwater & Hawley: Mike Gascoigne
  West Heath: Chris Harding
  Cove and Southwood: Jenny Parsons

As usual the evening ended with tea and this time there was even cake.

Ken McNair

Monday, 5 March 2018

Sunday, 4 February 2018

January Branch Meeting

The meeting was held on Monday the 29th January. After the opening formalities and approval of the accounts, the main business of the meeting was an update from the Chairman.

The resignation of Mark Staplehurst as a councillor and the decision by Dave Bell to sit as an independent mean that UKIP currently has no councillors in Rushmoor.

At the Council elections due to be held on the 3rd of May, Chris Harding will be standing in the West Heath ward with the intention of taking the seat which was held by Mark Staplehurst. Jenny Parsons intends to stand in Cove and Southwood and candidates for other seats are still being chosen. Issues which are likely to figure in the upcoming elections are the loss of the Southwood Golf Course and the lack of progress with Farnborough Town Centre redevelopment.

The topic of whether Henry Bolton should continue as leader was discussed and opinion was split on the issue. The EGM will be held on the 17th of February and some members will attend. If Henry Bolton has to stand down following the EGM then Gerard Batten has volunteered to stand in as Interim Leader.

There was a general discussion about national politics.

Gill had held a meeting with David Clifford at which he reported progress on housing rough sleepers and co-operation with other councils. He had proposed that he would like to meet with a larger group from UKIP. Gill will arrange a meeting to be held in April.

As ever there was a cup of tea before we went home.

Ken McNair

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Breaking News

Mark Staplehurst has resigned as a Councillor for personal reasons although he remains a member of UKIP. Also Councillor Dave Bell has decided to sit as an independent candidate.

In a statement released today Gill Bailey, Chair of UKIP's Aldershot branch said "I am, needless to say, very sorry to lose two such dedicated councillors from UKIP. I would like to thank them for all the hard work they have done."

Gill Bailey also stated that UKIP will stand a candidate in West Heath in the May Council elections.