We need new homes – but only with the right infrastructure

There is a desperate need for new homes in the New Forest – the council waiting list is over 4,000 families, and these are only the most urgent cases, so the actual need is much more. And the private rented sector is not big enough either – Citizens Advice New Forest reported in the summer that there is a big shortage of rented accommodation here too, and much of what is here, is unaffordable for most people.

That is why we support the plans to build more homes in the New Forest.  The council have identified a need for over 10,000 homes to be built over the next 20 years. But homes should only be built if they come with the extra infrastructure needed – good transport links, school and GP surgery places.

That is why our New Milton Town Councillors Caroline Hexter and Steve Short voted to recommend to the district council that a plan to build 28 on Gore Road should be rejected. The field often floods and drainage is not good enough. Cllr Hexter said, “It would be totally irresponsible of the developers to build on that land with the drains in the state that they are.”

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Brexit already costing jobs locally

Lush, the cosmetics retailer based in Poole, have decided to speed up their plans to move jobs to Germany after the Brexit vote. They have confirmed 18 staff have already relocated to Dusseldorf in Germany, and while they confirmed no jobs have been lost at this stage in Poole, they also said their Poole HQ will not get the extra jobs they expected to take on in Poole as their international business expands.

Mark Constantine, the co-founder of this great British success, said in July that his non-British staff in Poole spent about £4.6m locally, but, “Now all those people have been told they’re not welcome and not wanted by the people of Poole.”

How long will it be before jobs are lost in the New Forest because of Brexit?


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Sure Start Children’s Centres closing

Experts agree that Sure Start centres, introduced by Tony Blair and the Labour government, have been keys to helping children and families. They have made huge differences to families who have faced problems, and their locations in the community have been vital. Sure Start centres have changed lives.

Now despite opposition by community groups and all other parties on Hampshire County Council, the Conservatives are closing 43 of the 54 centres across the county, including all of the New Forest ones except the new “hub” at Cadland Primary School in Holbury. Family support services are being cut too.

This is a disaster for the Forest – and for local families who reply on the support the centres give them. Sure Start centres were a Labour idea and many Conservatives agreed they did fantastic jobs. The closures are a false economy, as they will just lead to slower and more expensive help being needed by families later. The closure of the centres in Fordingbridge, Lymington, New Milton, Waterside and Totton mean that families will now need to travel up to 30 miles each way to get help, and public transport to the Holbury site is very difficult.

This is a cruel and unnecessary cut condemned by experts, all other parties and the majority of the public who have been asked about it.

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We support plans for a New Forest crematorium

We support the planning application for a crematorium for the new Forest, to be built at the end of Stem Lane in New Milton.

When families lose a loved one, and are full of grief, they want funeral plans to be as easy as possible, and it is wrong that the New Forest has no crematorium at all. The new development will allow local people to hold funerals here in the Forest instead of having to travel to Bournemouth or Southampton. And the new build will be constructed to the highest standards for protection of the local environment. That is why Cllrs Caroline Hexter and Steve Short supported the proposal at New Milton town council.


You can see details of the proposal here


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Recycling centres opening hours reduced

When Hampshire County Council announced they would probably close recycling sites across the county, we opposed the closures, because they would just lead to higher costs for doorstep collection and clearing up fly-tipping. The threats to permanently close sites have abated for the moment, but HCC have said that sites will now open at 11am every day (instead of 9am) and they will all stay closed all day on Thursdays.  We still think this is a mistake, as any user will know that there are always queues at the current 9am opening times. We will be monitoring our area to see if fly-tipping does increase, and sadly we think the council still want to make further cuts.

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Mobile Library Service Closed – local libraries probably next

Conservative-run Hampshire County Council has decided to close the mobile library service across the county as part of government cuts. New Forest West Labour opposed this closure, along with thousands of residents, but the service will soon end.

The cuts will continue. New book spending will be cut, CD and DVD collections will end and opening hours will be reduced. The council also want to close 20 smaller libraries, including Lyndhurst and Fordingbridge, but these cuts have been delayed for the moment. We will continue to oppose these cuts and closures.

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Better off in Europe

Britain is better off in Europe. It is clear that being in the European Union brings us jobs, growth and investment. The EU has helped to secure workers’ rights and make consumers better off too. That’s why Labour is in for Britain.


  • Millions of British jobs are linked to our EU membership.
  • £26.5 billion is invested in Britain by EU countries every year.
  • British workers benefit from EU agreements on workers’ rights, including the right to holiday pay, paid maternity and paternity leave, anti-discrimination laws, equal pay and protection for agency workers.


  • Exports to the EU are worth £227 billion a year to the British economy.
  • The EU is Britain’s biggest export market: almost half of all of Britain’s exports go to the EU.


  • Thousands of criminals, including terrorists, have been arrested under the European Arrest Warrant.
  • Being in the EU enhances Britain’s global influence and allows us to take our place at the top table.


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