Shaun Cunningham is chairperson of the development steering group, Inform Fareham – Focus Group
We are a selection of local people from right across the political spectrum who share a common assumption: Fareham residents are not being listened to on issues surrounding development in the area. We wish to see community planning represent its true meaning and not words which make up a good soundbite for politicians to throw about.
The group understands only too well that Fareham Borough Council faces big challenges. However, facing those challenges is no excuse for overriding the democratic process of genuine and open dialogue with residents.
We wish to work with our Council in understanding the challenges ahead and in doing so we believe in a meaningful and sincere exchange of views. Recent experience has shown that trying to generate a discussion, let alone a debate, with our Council on the new Welborne development was all but impossible.
Sadly Fareham Borough Council had no appetite for a wide public debate on an issue which will change Fareham forever. The aim of the group is to channel this wider public sentiment on development issues to those charged to represent the residents of this Borough and to update and inform the public on new developments within the boundaries of Fareham.
Inform Fareham – Focus Group will work alongside other groups across Funtley, Wallington, Knowle and Wickham, The Fareham Society and CPRE (Hampshire), in a constructive manner, to try and limit the damage caused by development on the sheer scale of what is currently proposed.
Fareham neither needs nor wants the 10,000 homes (6,000 at Welborne plus 4,000 elsewhere across the Borough), not forgetting the 3,500 houses which Winchester City Council will be building at Whiteley.
Inform Fareham will be positive in their approch in the hope we can make Fareham a better place to live.We will be active in opposing development which undermines that precious commodity – quality of life.
Since the inaugural meeting in May, an enormous amount of work has been undertaken to give the group a firm framework. This work has been undertaken by members of the steering group, who include Sarah Bolton, Shaun Cunningham, Mike Garland, Eric Lynn, Michael Stephenson and David Walton. For more info and to join, visit inform fareham.org.uk and visit YouTube to look at videos of important council meetings.