Natalie Bennett, the newly elected leader of the Green Party, will be in Eastleigh later today to meet campaigners fighting to save the Borough’s green spaces from development.
Protestors from ‘Save Stoneham Park’ and the ‘Rescue the Rec’ groups will gather at historic Stoneham Park to tell Natalie Bennett how they believe the local council is pursuing a ‘Greenfield first’ development policy by selling off public recreational space in their stewardship rather than bringing forward Brownfield sites for development.
The visit coincides with an increase in political activity in the constituency by opposition parties in readiness for a possible by-election should the local MP Chris Huhne – who is on trial today on charges of perverting the course of justice – be forced to stand down.
Campaigners will urge the environmentally friendly party leader to ensure that housing and development issues are at the top of the agenda in any possible election and will tell her how the council, faced with 6,000 names on the social housing list, has decided to borrow £40 million to build a 4 star luxury spa hotel and golf course.
A rally was held in the town centre two weeks ago during which representatives of local political parties -Conservatives,Green,Labour and Ukip – united to speak against a plan to allow Sainsbury’s to build on the town’s recreation ground (Sainsbury’s sensationally withdrew their application a few days later).
Frustrated campaigners say that the towns ruling Liberal Democrat councillors have declined or avoided engaging with them and although they have been able to meet Chris Huhne he has simply backed his political colleagues on the council.
Last weekend saw heavy campaigning activity in the constituency town centre with activists from Labour, the Conservatives and Ukip canvassing shoppers.
Nataile Bennett will be at the Doncaster Farm car park, Chestnut Avenue, Eastleigh (Almost opposite Cricketers’ Arms SO53 3HN) from 5.30 pm.