Conservatives make a real difference to local government because we have different values from the other parties:
- Conservatives believe in quality services but do not accept that higher standards mean higher taxes. We want to see councils run in an efficient, cost effective and businesslike way
- Conservatives believe government; national or local should take less of people's money. We start from the assumption that the money a council spends belongs to local people and not to the council
- Conservatives have an instinctive pride in their local community. We see the local council as the servant of that community, not its master
- Conservatives believe in decent, common sense values. We want councils to promote these values, not experiment with political correctness
- Conservatives believe in letting people take more decisions locally for themselves. We want to see power devolved from national government to local government. We want decisions that affect local people to be taken by locally elected representative Borough Councillors
These values and principles are wholly distinct from those of the other political parties, so the Councils we run should be wholly distinct as well. Functioning in this way local government epitomises everything we stand for: quality services, low taxes, civic pride, minimum interference, self-reliance, personal responsibility and the devolution of power to the local level. We will consult fully with all interested parties before making major decisions.
While Government policy requires that all planning applications should be permitted unless there are sound, clear-cut reasons for refusal we will always have the highest regard for environmental, design, infrastructure and other matters when considering planning applications in order to obtain the best possible development within the constraints of legislation.
Strategy and Finance
Through the Policy, Strategy and Finance portfolio the Conservative Group will:
- Work to improve the general environment of the Borough
- Work to improve the general well being of the Borough through better health, safety and crime prevention measures
- Further Economic Development in the Borough
- Provide "value for money" services for the residents of the Borough
- Apply sound and prudent financial principles to all aspects of Council operation
- Take appropriate measures to ensure that electronic (e) methods are developed to their full potential to increase the efficiency of the Borough management systems and service delivery
- Work in partnership wherever possible to achieve our aims, particularly with Hampshire County Council
Specific objectives are to:
- Liaise closely with Hampshire County Council and other key partners in the Fareham Local Strategic Partnership (LSP), networkfareham
- Undertake systematic, innovative service reviews to minimise waste and maximise sources of income
- Devise and work to realistic budgets
- Whenever possible establish the Fareham component of the composite Council Tax at, or preferably below, the level of inflation and encourage Hampshire County Council and the Police and Fire Authorities to do likewise
- Continue to improve shopping and leisure activities in Fareham having delivered the Market Quay development; specifically to deliver a good quality foodstore in the town centre and a department store
- Undertake a thorough property review to ensure that the Council only maintains that which is essential and disposes of property no longer required for the best possible return
- Continue to pursue zero tolerance towards criminal damage and antisocial behaviour working through the Community Safety Partnership
Leisure and Community
Through the Leisure and Community Portfolio the Conservative Group will:
Seek to enrich and enhance the quality of life for all residents in Fareham through the provision of good quality sports, leisure and community facilities throughout the Borough.
Encourage, support and enable all forms of sporting, recreational and physical activities.
Support the development of community facilities, especially for young people and retired people throughout the Borough.
Develop, wherever possible, partnerships with other organisations, both public and private, to promote better facilities for the people of Fareham.
Wherever possible and practicable consult with members of the public to ensure consensus on specific projects.
Specific Objectives are to:
- Review the use of Community Centres, Youth Centres and Sports Pavilions, rationalise provision and then modernise the buildings as appropriate.
- Continue to develop new and improved parks, play area and sports facilities using developer contributions and external funding.
- Continue to support the Leisure Centre and SLM in providing first class leisure facilities to the residents of Fareham by developing a plan for continuous improvement.
- Provide a balanced programme of entertainment and other events in Ferneham Hall and continue to reduce the operational costs.
- Apply effective management programmes and maintain access to woodland and foreshore areas.
- With the help from the Big Lottery Fund implement the play strategy to meet the needs of children and teenagers.
- Facilitate and support the Youth Council providing an opportunity for young people to express their views and influence local service provision.
- Encourage local sports and arts initiatives by providing grants, and where necessary, assist in the preparation of bids to outside funding agencies.
- Continue to provide support to the voluntary sector, helping voluntary groups to grow and become self-supporting.
- Promote volunteering and encourage good neighbourliness.
- Provide a new community facility in Portchesr.
- Support and encourage Fareham’s Olympic Celebrations in 2012.
- To play a supportive role as a key strategic partner in the Local Children’s Partnership.
- Manage Allotments in liaison with Associations.
- Support the Fareham in Bloom gardening competition and the Council’s entry into the South and South East in Bloom regional competition.
- Continue to seek sponsorship for landscape improvement schemes.
- Continue the bulb and tree planting initiative.
- Continue with the aim of 2 Green Flag sites within the Borough.
Streetscene and Public Protection
Through the Streetscene and Public Protection portfolios the Conservative Group will:
- Work on measures to ensure an increasing public awareness of environmental issues and help promote an efficient service.
- Provide to an acceptable standard services to the public including cemeteries, adequate and clean public toilets, the removal of abandoned vehicles and the maintenance of public clocks and war memorials.
- The Group will also strive to have appropriate representation on the bodies providing local health service overview and scrutiny.
Specific objectives are to:
- Work to provide all residents of Fareham with their entitlement to live their lives in a healthy, safe and friendly environment; due regard to proper budgetary control, future heritage and sustainable development in all areas to be a prime concern
- Work in cooperation with Local and Strategic Health Authorities to ensure early provision of a Community Hospital and other NHS services adequate for the population of Fareham
- Maintain and improve street cleansing and refuse collection within budgetary constraints
- Produce programmes to improve recycling to meet increased government targets, subject to the necessary infrastructure being in place, whilst striving for continuous improvement and development of the service
- Monitor health and safety issues through the continued use of food health and safety education measures, dog and pest control operation and implementing new bylaws as required
- Implement and monitor new programmes for enforcement of litter, graffiti, dog fouling etc.
- Continue to extend activities of the Enforcement Team and to seek formal accreditation as Community Safety Officers.
- Monitor noise and air pollution as appropriate
- Work to remove unauthorised campers from Council land using the appropriate regulations and planning controls
- Meet Government targets to achieve acceptable transit sites for Gypsies and Travellers
Health and Housing
Through the Housing Portfolio the Conservative Group will:
Ensure that help is available to prevent homelessness through the provision of a sensitive and responsive service which gives good quality advice, assistance and support to people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
Enable the provision of 500 new affordable homes by 2017.
Implement the results of the Sheltered Housing Review which seeks to modernise and improve sheltered housing accommodation across the borough, starting with Collingwood House.
Specific objectives are to:
Support vulnerable people to access and maintain housing appropriate to their needs.
Make better use of the existing private sector housing stock by taking action to bring empty homes back into use.
Launch and promote the Area Based Insulation Scheme enabling residents to purchase loft insulation and or cavity wall insulation for £99 which will help reduce fuel poverty, achieve significant improvements in home energy efficiency and a reduction in carbon emissions;
Provide, manage and maintain the Council’s Housing Stock to a good standard.
Provide advice and assistance to help disabled people adapt their homes.
Monitor and comment on the governments proposals for welfare reform having regard to the impact on Fareham Residents and the local housing market.
Implement the reform of the Housing Revenue Account , providing Fareham with greater control and financial stability to plan and manage the future of Council Housing in Fareham.
In consultation with Tenants, residents and Housing Association partners prepare a Tenancy Strategy setting out how the Council and its partners will make use of the new flexible tenancies.
Through the Housing Tenancy Board and the Tenants Forum continue to consult and involve tenants in managing and designing their housing service.
Take prompt and firm action to address Anti-social behaviour in Council Housing.
Strategic Planning and Environment
Through the Planning and Transportation portfolio the Conservative Group will:
- Conform with national planning guidance, permit all planning applications unless there are sound planning policy or planning guidance reasons for refusal
- Base its approach to development on permitting individuals maximum opportunity to make their own choice
- Review the Borough Plan to ensure that the emerging Local Development Framework produces conditional managed growth.
- Comprehensively review the Cycle Strategy.
- Investigate and prioritise potential actions identified in the report "Towards a Vision for Fareham Borough".
Specific objectives are to:
- Protect green open spaces from development by encouraging suitable development on brownfield sites.
- Influence and encourage more sustainable patterns of development and lifestyles to minimise the adverse effects of Government policy on developments
- Identify options for additional housing land supply required by the South East Plan by the use of statutory planning and other powers
- Review current housing land supply in order to maximise utilisation and potential for sustainable development
- Review transportation policies to ensure provision is made for cyclists, pedestrians, public transportation and non-car modes of transport
- Positively promote the use of means of transport alternative to the car
- Use every opportunity to influence the Highway Authority to improve existing major and through roads, provide new roads to minimise congestion, minimise the use of residential roads by commuter traffic and promote highway safety
- Influence the Highway Authority to improve the condition of roads and footways in the Borough
- Deter commuter traffic from using residential roads as "rat runs".
- Ensure that within budgetary constraints pavements are safely maintained