Where are our Councillors?

Save Stoneham second walk

“Where are our Councillors?” asked local residents last Saturday as they set out on a ‘protest ramble’ across on parkland threatened by plans to build 1,300 new homes.

The ‘Save Stoneham Park’ action group had invited all  of the Borough’s elected representatives to join them last  Saturday afternoon,  but none of the 44 council members turned up!

As the councillors will have to vote on whether to accept the proposals contained in the Draft plan later this year, the objectors were keen for them to come and see some of the outstanding countryside which will disappear under Tarmac if they give the go ahead.

Only one Velmore parish councillor, Labour’s Peter Luffman – who is opposed to the plans –came along for the walk while Council Leader Keith House, Cllr Alan Broadhurst and Cllr Paul Bicknell contacted the group to say they couldn’t make it but as they regularly walk the area they are already familiar with it.

The council say they have a statutory obligation to provide  land for the extra housing needed to keep pace with a rising population and that Stoneham is one of the ’least worst’ options.

Objectors are angry because they say they weren’t allowed to choose between the Stoneham site or an alternative in last year’s borough wide opinion survey and say building on Stoneham Park will erode the green strategic gap between Southampton and Eastleigh as well as overloading the load infrastructure.

In the end a group of about 50 resident’s ramblers and local activist set off for a leisurely walk with breaks for lively discussion on what was a very warm and sunny day

A pair of Canada geese was spotted close to the lake and a deer briefly darted across a field after breaking cover from a copse while swallows wheeled overhead.

Canada geese

On e of the event’s organisers, Pat Ford, expressed her disappointment that councillors were not here to see the sites wonderful biodiversity and was particularly scathing about the lack of a response from recently elected Eastleigh South councillor Darshan Mann who had narrowly beaten Peter Luffman by a margin of 12 votes and had promised to ‘speak up for the area’ in his election material.

Despite the lack of Lib Dem councillors there was e a good sprinkling of activists from across the political spectrum including Labour, Ukip, the Green Party and Conservatives.

Local conservative spokeswoman Maria Hutchings sent her apologies after falling down a flight of stairs at the Institute of Directors the previous day fracturing bones in arm and hand

Numbers attending were up on previous walk held on and organiser’s say they hope to hold the event again to see if they can get a better response from the Lib Dem ruling party.

opposed to draft local plans to build 1300 houses at Stoneham Park  as they set out on ‘protest ramble’ across the threatened parkland.

The Save Stoneham Park ‘action group had invited all  of the Borough’s elected representatives to join them last  Saturday afternoon,  but none of the 44 council members turned up! .

As thecouncillors will have to vote on whether to accept the proposals contained in the Draft plan later this year, the objectors were keen for them to come and see some of the outstanding countryside which will disappear under Tarmac if they give the go ahead.

Only one Velmore parish councillor, Labour’s Peter Luffman – who is opposed to the plans –came along for the walk while Council Leader Keith House, Cllr Alan Broadhurst and Cllr Paul Bicknell contacted the group to say they couldn’t make it but as they regularly walk the area they are already familiar with it.

The council say they have a statutory obligation to provide  land for the extra housing needed to keep pace with a rising population and that Stoneham is one of the ’least worst’ options.

Objectors are angry because they say they weren’t allowed to choose between the Stoneham site or an alternative in last year’s borough wide opinion survey and say building on Stoneham Park will erode the green strategic gap between Southampton and Eastleigh as well as overloading the load infrastructure.

In the end a group of about 50 resident’s ramblers and local activist set off for a leisurely walk with breaks for lively discussion on what was a very warm and sunny day

A pair of Canada geese was spotted close to the lake and a deer briefly darted across a field after breaking cover from a copse while swallows wheeled overhead.

On e of the event’s organisers, Pat Ford, expressed her disappointment that councillors were not here to see the sites wonderful biodiversity and was particularly scathing about the lack of a response from recently elected Eastleigh South councillor Darshan Man who had narrowly beaten Peter Luffman by a margin of 12 votes and had promised to ‘speak up for the area’ in his election material.

Despite the lack of Lib Dem councillors there was e a good sprinkling of activists from across the political spectrum including Labour, Ukip, the Green Party and Conservatives.

Local conservative spokeswoman Maria Hutchings sent her apologies after falling down a flight of stairs at the Institute of Directors the previous day fracturing bones in arm and hand.

Numbers attending were up on previous walk held on and organiser’s say they hope to hold the event again to see if they can get a better response from the Lib Dem ruling party.

www.savestonehampark.org

 

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