An Open Letter To Suella Fernandes

Fareham Doesn't Want Any More Of This Sort Of Thing

Fareham Doesn’t Want Any More Of This Sort Of Thing

Dear Suella,

Congratulations on your successful election campaign and we wish you every success in your new position, representing the people of Fareham in parliament over the coming five years and possibly beyond.

Right, that’s the formalities concluded. Now down to business.

It has come to our notice (‘our’ meaning my good lady wife and I, together, the two of us) that within a mere 48 hours of winning the seat, you appear to have certainly hit the ground running with your assertion that most people you have spoken to are in favour of the Welborne development plan, as outlined in an article for The News.

Upon reading this ambiguous statement we were left with a rather uncomfortable feeling deep within our roiling tummies.

How many people did you speak to? How many were against the project?

We ask simply because most people we’ve spoken to appear to be either blissfully unaware of the proposed development, or that they haven’t actually thought through the long term implications. The pro-Welborne stance maintains that the development will be an overall asset to the area, whereas a burgeoning anti-Welborne movement foresee nothing but chaos. The arguments on both sides have been pretty well documented, and we are confident that you will have spent many hours poring over reams of claim and counter-claim in order to familiarise yourself with a comprehensive overview of the contrasting arguments.

(You have my deepest sympathy for having the patience to scan reams of gobbledook and officialise – many years ago I too had to burn the midnight oil studying Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ for a GCE O Level English Lit exam, so I am fully aware of what a pain in the posterior intensive cramming can actually be. Heaven alone knows how you barristers cope with all that swotting over masses of complicated books; in my experience Hardy was more than sufficiently challenging.)

All of which leads me to beg the question: What is your personal stance regarding Welborne, based on whatever information you have gleaned?

I ask this because there appear to be grave concerns among the anti-Welborne campaigners (whom the council leader allegedly refers to – somewhat dismissively by all accounts – as ‘keyboard warriors’) that you will, as an individual and a resident, toe the council line and unconditionally support the proposal.

Now, I must admit that I am not a supporter of the development plan, and add that I am not to the best of my knowledge a swivel eyed loon, although this may occasionally be a debatable point on the occasions when I’ve overdone it a bit on the mead. Thus it came about that I actually defended you this morning in our kitchen, to my wife as she was preparing a hearty fried breakfast – cholesterol and fat laden admittedly but you only live once, and a full English is one of life’s finest treats in my humble opinion.

“No,” I told my wife in no uncertain terms. “Suella will NOT be biased towards the local council in the great Welborne debate, because she is the elected representative of all the people of Fareham, and she will represent ALL of us equally – even the anti-Welborne rabble, for that is her duty.”

I Just Want A Normal Breakfast. Is That Too Much To Ask?

I Just Want A Normal Breakfast. Is That Too Much To Ask?

My wife didn’t seem completely convinced by my argument in your favour and as an expression of her disgust with me she subsequently smothered my breakfast in mingingly hot chilli sauce. Undeterred I ate my breakfast anyway and my eyes stopped streaming at about tea-time. Which is when I was moved to type out this message.

Are you for or against Welborne? Against or for? Or are you neutral?

The anti-Welborne movement have a Facebook page which you are cordially invited to join. They really aren’t a fanatical NIMBY type group – they welcome all opinions with an open mind.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/381680855306724/

I hope you can take time out from your busy schedule to confirm your stance on this matter, not least because I don’t think I can stand too many hot chilli smothered fried breakfasts as it’s starting to play havoc with my motions.

Yours Faithfully

Martin Shuttlecock

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Furore In Fareham As ‘Outsider’ Conservative Candidate Backs Controversial Development Plan

Fareham says 'No' to this sort of thing.

Fareham says ‘No’ to this sort of thing.

One doesn’t normally expect political controversy in what is regarded as one of the safest Conservative seats in the country, yet somehow the Conservative party, aided and abetted by the local council seemed to have successfully achieved the political equivalent of poking the proverbial hornets’ nest with a sharp stick.

The current furore has historical roots in an ambitious development plan to the north of the town, known locally as Welborne; a plan embracing some 6,000 additional dwellings, which has been embraced by the council and vehemently opposed by residents of the borough. As Café Spike’s head office is in Fareham, and given that we have the right to express an opinion, our Editor In Chief, Martin Shuttlecock today issued a statement.

“There’s been a long-running dispute about this development proposal,” he told us. “On balance it appears that the local council have a vested interest in proceeding with the plan, whereas local residents have expressed deep – and quite reasonable concerns – over associated infrastructure problems. Whilst I accept that our country needs additional housing to meet the requirements stipulated by the government, it’s also quite reasonable to take into account the concerns of existing residents. These people are distinctly not NIMBY types; they’re concerned about a lack of affordable housing in the area, the destruction of a vast area of greenfield designated land in pursuit of further urbanisation, the provision of schools, the availability of medical treatment on a system which is already horrendously overstretched, endless traffic jams on already gridlocked roads and fears of becoming swallowed up by an endless urban sprawl.

“The furore, which was already blazing as a result of a lack of transparency by the local council – who appear to have a vision of a megalithic conurbation tentatively branded Solent City – was further inflamed when the Conservative party “parachuted” in out-of-towner candidate, Suella Fernandes to contest the seat at the forthcoming general election.

“Suella Fernandes is a Conservative candidate who has unsuccessfully contested seats in other constituencies in the past. According to reports she is a property lawyer who has been ‘parachuted’ in by the Conservative party at both local and national level with a mission to seal the Welborne deal, come what may, as evidenced by her immediate support for the Welborne project, despite not being in full possession of the relevant details.

“Some voters have expressed concerns that Fernandes has been conducting a below-the-belt campaign by claiming to be a local person who has the interests of local people at heart, and the voters don’t seem to be buying that.

“The bottom line is that she’ll be elected by a landslide, as Conservative candidates tend to be in this constituency, but I have to at least question her motivation in all this. The people of Fareham are good people, and my feeling is that they deserve the truth from the Conservatives at both national and council levels, and they aren’t getting that in my opinion.

“Of course, nobody would ever come out and make an honest statement to the effect of: We stand to make a fortune out of this, and so do the developers, so just kindly shut up and go away.

“Which is a shame, because the people deserve honesty, and they aren’t getting it at all. At least in my opinion.”

*The anti-Welborne/development group have a Facebook page – Fareham – Countryside Or More Housing – The Big Debate. Contributors to the page aren’t by any means fanatical; they’re actually quite accommodating and friendly on both sides of the argument. If you join the page your views will be respected and the participants are willing to discuss the issue without going overboard or being unreasonable. Unlike the prospective Member Of Parliament, who by all accounts has embraced the Welborne project yet blocked anyone from her Twitter feed with the temerity to question her claims.

Café Spike has no vested interest in the argument and acts purely as an independent observational entity.

Martin Shuttlecock and Paddy Berzinski

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