Off the Fence: Penny Mordaunt

Penny Mordaunt
Penny Mordaunt
Have your say

MP for Portsmouth North

There will be officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government and representatives of the team behind Denmead Parish Council’s successful Neighbourhood Plan.

It is time for Portsmouth to take full advantage of the opportunities the government has created for local people to have their say on the development of their areas.

As the former Chairman of Parliament’s All-Party Group on Older People, I am fed up of seeing care homes and residential accommodation built which are poor quality, poor value for the prospective residents and completely unintegrated with the local community.

Why aren’t we challenging developers to provide community facilities in such new-builds? I know concerns about maintaining the character of our neighbourhoods, future housing numbers and investment in infrastructure are widely shared.

As the north’s MP, while working to restore buildings for community use, whether it has been refurbishing a community centre, helping

groups like at Hilsea Lido, or achieving asset transfers like with Wymering Manor, I have been aware that so much more could be done with a clear and unified steer from each ward about what residents want to see happen, captured in a plan which has a legal weight.

The government’s neighbourhood planning programme seeks to bring forth the community spirit in our parishes and wards and use it to set out a positive agenda for local areas.

At Friday’s meeting DCLG officials will be able to advise us on the support available to help people develop their plan, how to make it workable and how to put it to the community.

Denmead Neighbourhood Forum has set an excellent example of what can be achieved and I want our communities to learn from its experience and make the same use of the opportunities open to us.

If you would like to attend the meeting on Friday evening or would like more information about Neighbourhood Plans, please do contact me.