Refugee Crisis


I have held back from commenting on the “refugee crisis” as it is such a complex issue. Like many folks, I am shocked by the images being flashed into our homes by the news media. Images of dead children being lifted from the sea-shore  generate many emotions, chiefly anger, and will galvanise a nation to action in a way that no image of hundreds of young men climbing onto trains will do. However, it is precisely the latter that is creating, for me, a growing feeling of disquiet about such a massive migration and potential influx into the UK.

In the first instance, given the general state of alert around the world for potential terrorist attacks, what security vetting is being carried out on all of these “refugees” ? It doesn’t take much imagination to see that this is an ideal opportunity for terrorist infiltration.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees the potential for ISIS and other organisations to take advantage and sneak a few “soldiers” in under the radar. With such large numbers migrating across borders it is a near impossible task for our security services to carry out proper and in-depth checks into the identity and backgrounds of these people.

Many of these folks are true refugees, fleeing from horrific conditions and risk to their lives. They have truly fled the conflict with just what they can carry. However, many of those seen across the channel, trying to gain entry to Britain are not refugees. These non-refugees are economic migrants, and I use that term loosely, seeking to gain entry to the UK and its benefits system. Some are from strife torn middle east and north African countries. But many are not. Some have left behind a regime or an environment that they did not like, but they were not at risk and are therefore not true refugees.

Can someone explain to me why these people, having escaped the conflict, crossed the Mediterranean and arrived in a “safe” country, continue to travel onwards across many borders heading towards north European countries ?

And that, for me, is why the government is right to keep turning back the hoards, the swarms, the masses of illegal immigrants at our borders. That is why they are right to only take the true refugees who have been through the correct processing camps near to the borders of the countries from which they are escaping. This country, this government and local councils should not have to accept all who present themselves at our borders. They should only have to consider properly vetted refugees.

Secondly it would seem that these folks, wearing the refugee label, are going to take priority over our own countrymen and women. UK citizens all over the country who have been on housing lists for years will suddenly find themselves pushed down the housing ladder. UK citizens, living on the streets, will still be living on the streets. While, for these “refugees”, previously non-existent housing will be found. They, the “refugees” will not have to fight and justify their rights to a home and benefits, just declare themselves refugees and our central government will force local councils to find them homes. Will the government, having created the required housing at a stroke, magic away this countries unemployment figures, create jobs for the refugees, jobs that it hasn’t been able to create for UK citizens ?

The UKs response to this crisis has to be measured and not a knee jerk, emotional response to the medias presentation. David Cameron is never going to come out of this covered in glory. He is in one of those lose/lose, damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations.

West Of Waterlooville


The proliferation of houses moves on apace. Moving ahead of and despite the lack of jobs for the future residents.

West of Waterlooville

Taylor Wimpey are starting to prepare for their Phase 3 and 4 build outs. Next week, they will be felling a few trees that they are permitted to remove. Trees will be checked by an ecologist for recent evidence of bats, and appropriate steps taken if necessary, although all trees were checked not long ago.
Tomorrow, there will be a walk through of the Western Open Space, in preparation for any planting or other action required.

Grainger PLC announced at the West of waterlooville Forum that they are now a Registered Provider for social housing. The RP will be a subsidiary entity to Grainger plc. It will enable Grainger to retain greater control over the management of the affordable homes within its development pipeline over the coming years through the RP, providing greater community building capabilities

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My Condolences To The Bartons Farm Protesters


A few days ago protesters lost their fight to prevent the building of new homes on a site just outside of Winchester. The Government has approved the building of over 2,000 homes at Barton Farm on the edge of the city. Campaigners have been fighting for over 15 years to prevent this decision.

This decision echoes that which has allowed the West of Waterlooville development to go ahead despite local opposition.

I note that the Winchester protesters concerns very much mirror mirror my own with regard to the loss of countryside, lack of infrastructure to support the additional housing, traffic and load on utilities. Once again the developers and planners are citing the additional jobs that the development will generate.

For Bartons Farm the developers are claiming generation of 8000 jobs ???

One can only assume that they are talking about temporary jobs for the construction workers. Once the development is completed will these jobs still be available. I don’t think so.

Strangest comment comes from Mike Emett, director of Cala Homes.

On traffic Mr Emett said the 2,000 homes would reduce the congestion because fewer people would need to drive into Winchester from Eastleigh and Southampton.

Does he assume that existing Eastleigh and Southampton based work force will all up sticks and move to Bartons Farm or perhaps that they will give up their jobs, hand them over to local workers who are the new residents of this development.

It really is bizarre to suggest that an additional 2000 houses will reduce traffic congestion. Time will tell.

My condolences to the residents of Winchester and to the protesters.

15th June Deadline – Get your choices in.


15th June, 2012 – That’s the deadline to give your opinion on sites for new Havant homes.

THE public is being urged to make its views known on plans for 5,000 new homes in Havant.

Havant Borough Council’s planning policy team wants help deciding where the homes and nine employment areas should go.

The News headline is misleading. What we are really talking about is the Havant Borough Council area. Of prime interest to me, of course, is Waterlooville.

So I did my civic duty and I visited the exhibition held at Waterlooville Library yesterday lunchtime.

On entering the foyer I was handed a form on which I was invited to indicate my preferences.

I could choose Option A, B or C and then further define my choice by indicating my favourite site and my least favourite site.

There were three large maps each with a number of shaded areas indicating possible housing developments.

Although I did have some discussion with one of the council reps on duty the venue was hardly conducive to absorbing the details of the proposed development sites. Or to be able to determine the differences between the options.

I asked if the information was available on-line and was told yes it is. That may well be true but I could not find the same maps on-line that were on display in the library. Certainly the maps are there, but without the supporting information about each of the sites.

Once again it seems like HBC don’t want you to easily understand what they are up to.

Needless to say I haven’t let them know what my choices are. I need to do some more digging.

What I did find was some maps indicating sites that have been excluded for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most surprising is that they are so desperate to find land to build on that they were considering the kiddies play area at Sage Close, Woodsedge, Waterlooville.

The hand out suggests that you can submit your choices on-line at http://www.havant.gov.uk/havant-12298

However, you do really have to do some digging to find the background information.

Here is another link to get you to useful information http://www.havant.gov.uk/havant-12133 and take a look at this map to see what is being proposed

So come on folks. You need to get your opinions registered. Go see the exhibition or trawl the council website and get your votes in.

Give your opinion on sites for new Havant homes – Politics – Portsmouth News.

Warning that congestion woes could get worse – Local Council Won’t Listen To Residents


Community leaders spoke of their concerns about congestion and parking as plans for 79 homes at Brockhampton went on show.

Developer Orchard Homes wants to build 64 houses and 15 flats on green space to the south of Ranelagh Road, an area once used for allotments.

The meeting at Havant’s council chamber heard the land had been identified as an area that could accommodate 160 homes – and this could be phase one.

Havant Borough Council have already shown that they don’t care about local residents views by their continuing development approvals. They just play lip service to residents comments at review meetings. In the last couple of years every possible piece of greenfield that has been earmarked for development has gone through. The traffic problems brought about by this rampant development just get worse. This particular development will bring an extra 150 to 400 vehicles passing in and out of the area and will of course require somewhere to park.

Paul Basham, a transport consultant for the developers, told the meeting: ‘We are aware there is an existing problem there.

‘What we can do about this is a difficult situation.

‘We are working with Havant Borough Council to see what we can do, if anything.’

People’s comments will now be taken forward as developers work up a formal planning application.

Don’t hold your breath folks. The planners won’t have to live with their decisions. Nor will Paul Basham who says

‘We are working with Havant Borough Council to see what we can do, if anything.’

The implication there is that they will proceed regardless of if they can provide a solution thereby exacerbating the problem.
Warning that congestion woes could get worse – Local – The News.