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Dear (specifically addressed person),
The last year has been difficult for all of us. It has reminded us how much human contact and our families matter. And it has made so clear just how we rely on our NHS, its doctors and nurses and all the other front-line staff from teachers, to postal and bin staff, and supermarket workers. We owe them a debt of thanks for the last year as we hopefully at last emerge from Lockdown.
Now our councils have set their budgets, spending plans and council tax for the year, I wanted as your local FOCUS Editor to bring you up to date on what local councils have decided.
If you have lived locally for some time, you will know of the regular FOCUS newsletters produced by the Liberal Democrats. They keep you informed about local issues and give you the chance to have your say about what needs to be done in our community.
The Liberal Democrats are strong locally. We have had a Lib Dem Borough since 1994. 33 of the 38 councillors are Lib Dems, as is our local County Councillor, Mike Thornton.
Our Eastleigh Lib Dem team takes pride on our record on the Council. Over the last 18 years we have cut Council Tax in real terms every year, and protected local services. Now we have extended our “Council Tax Guarantee” to run for 20 years, right through to 2023. What a contrast with Hampshire Conservatives - tax hiked over £250 since 2015, and massive cuts to services.
Here in Fair Oak, we’ve won funding for play area improvements at shorts Road, have been involved in setting up the new community library to replace the one closed by the County Council, and £900,000 to tackle congestion along Bishopstoke and Fair Oak Roads, with plans being worked up.
We are campaigning for improvements and funding for our local NHS, and our Local Plan will secure countryside north and south of Fair Oak, yet also deliver the homes we need for our next generations. The Conservatives, Labour and others have offered no alternatives.
Remember, your local Lib Dem team are on your side. If we can ever be of help to you in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We’ve missed you!
Government rules meant that although commericial deliveries were allowed during the January and February Lockdown, our team of volunteers was not allowed to deliver our local newsletters for the first time in decades!
We are pleased to be back!
Your team of Liberal Democrat councillors works all year round keeping in touch on local issues.
So if there is anything you are concerned about, or if you have a bright idea for our area, do get in touch.
All our contacts are on the back page of this update.
Who runs our Councils?
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is run by the Conservatives.
The Council has used your Council Tax to build up vast reserves - £653 million last April. This year they have given Hampshire residents the biggest tax rise in the country. Services are being cut by £40million each year to try to balance the books.
EASTLEIGH BOROUGH COUNCIL is run by the Liberal Democrats.
The Lib Dems have cut Council Tax in real terms every year for 18 years, including a reduction again this year. We have protected services from cuts through sound financial management and real efficiencies.
Working for YOU!
Our area has the most experienced team of councillors working for it, thanks to the Lib Dems, keeping in touch all year round with Focus. You don’t only hear from the Lib Dems when there’s an election on!
Cllr Anne Winstanley helped set up Bishopstoke Parish Council, and with Trevor Mignot is the longest serving member. Anne has 20 years experience on the Borough Council including as Deputy Council leader.
Cllr Mike Thornton works for Bishopstoke and Fair Oak on the County Council. He was Eastleigh’s MP from 2013 to 2015 and has also served on the Borough Council.
A great team for our area!
I’ll avoid write up of the last page as it only contains fairly useful information and contacts.