Restoring Local Democracy

Who Really Represents YOU?

Democracy is meant to protect the interests of all of us. We elect councillors to represent us, to voice our concerns and to discuss and plan improvements for our town. This is no longer the case in Gosport.

Gosport Borough Council, like many others, has seen its income from government fall by 40% in recent years. This has resulted in cuts to local services and staff redundancies. In 2016, one major cost-saving measure saw most of the council’s top officers (Chief Executive, Borough Secretary, etc.) made redundant and given large pay-offs, with officers from Portsmouth City Council taking over most of their functions.

Much of Gosport is now run by Portsmouth City Council officers. We do not believe this is how our council should operate.

Bring back Democracy

All local councils are supposed to have an Overview and Scrutiny Committee to examine decisions in detail. In Gosport this was scrapped as another cost-saving measure. Democracy without scrutiny isn’t democracy at all.

It has become sadly common in recent times for meetings to be cancelled or to be very short. Decisions are made in advance by the Conservatives due to their majority, or delegated to officers without any open discussion at all. There are very few opportunities for real, democratic debate. Labour councillors have complained loudly and often about this.

Labour will bring back open, democratic discussion to council meetings and reintroduce the Scrutiny Committee. We cannot allow back room deals to dictate the future of our town and community.

People Before Politics

A lack of transparency and poor communication are characteristic of too many recent decisions. The sale and proposed development of Fort Gilkicker was just one example. Public access routes which have been used for decades were suddenly shut off without warning or consideration.

Individuals, families, homeowners, tenants, businesses and local employees should all have a say in shaping our town for the better.

The Gosport Labour Party promises to make communication with the public a top priority. This will bring residents back into the decision making process for the town.