Portsmouth 2022 UPDATE
Housing and Planning
Local people should make the decisions about what is appropriate development for their area
We will facilitate and support the initiation of local neighbourhood planning groups across the whole of Portsmouth. Members will include local residents, councillors and businesses. Portsmouth Conservatives want to enhance communities' involvement with future development in their local area and ensure that the overarching local plan is reflective of what residents actually want through proper engagement and policy creation with communities.
There is need for a stronger definition of affordable housing and separation from social housing.
Affordable housing needs a stronger definition by the local authority. Portsmouth Conservatives will put a value on what is affordable housing based on consultation with local residents. City development plans need to ensure that proposals have a defined differentiated percentage of affordable housing, in comparison to social housing, that allows individuals to get onto the property ladder.
Focus Housing on Local People
One of the issues that come up again and again on the doorstep is the lack of housing for local people. As Portsmouth Conservatives we believe that to build real communities in our city and to secure our future our young people need to be able to afford to buy a home here. The City Council has plans to build developments across Portsmouth but hasn’t shown how it will ensure these houses will benefit current residents.
That is why we pledge to ensure that any affordable housing built by the council prioritizes first-time buyers with a local connection and will not be sold to landlords. Any leasehold property where the council retains the freehold should contain a condition in the lease that future sales are also to local buyers.
We will also lobby the government for the power to limit the amount of student housing in the city until we provide enough homes for city residents.
We promise to continue to oppose bad HMO applications in already crowded parts of the city such as Hilsea and Copnor. Portsmouth Conservatives would adopt a new city council policy on HMOs that would prohibit new HMOs where local services and housing is already under pressure.
Cost of Living
Keep Council Tax down
Portsmouth Conservatives will vow to keep council tax down. Our city currently has one of the lowest taxbase in the country and we will aim to continue to ensure that it stays that way. We will always aim to ensure council services provide good value for money.
Opposing Council Tax Increases
Portsmouth Conservatives think taking more of your hard-earned money is wrong at a time when household bills are rising out of control. Under the current Liberal Democrat administration, your council tax bills have risen by the maximum possible every year they have been in control. We have opposed these rises every year and sought to amend the budget to show how tax rises could be avoided without affecting frontline council services.
We pledge to keep campaigning to stop your council tax from rising by the maximum possible every year.
We also pledge to keep our focus on protecting the council services you all rely on as residents. Over the past 3 years, central government has pumped tens of millions of pounds into Portsmouth City Council finances and we believe that the fact the council budget is still in deficit in down to serious mismanagement by the current administration. We believe that residents deserve better from their leaders.
Supporting Community Larders
We know that many in the city are struggling to make ends meet. That is why we, alongside local MP Penny Mordaunt, have been strong supporters of the HIVE in Portsmouth and the Community Larder in Cosham. These organisations have helped hundreds of people across the city access healthy food and other sources of support in their time of need. A community larder sells near expiry date food, locally grown produce and affordable groceries for a small weekly fee of a few pounds. This helps with reducing food waste and feeds hungry families. The HIVE coordinates with the council, government and voluntary services so that residents in need can find all the support available to them through one, easily accessible community organisation.
We propose to expand Community Larders to other parts of the city and will give the HIVE the support it needs to reach more of those in need across the city.
Living roofs, biodiversity awareness and nature corridors
Portsmouth Conservatives believe that education is fundamental to ensuring our environment stays a priority. We will create a nature corridor map that will track the progress and development across our city. To encourage residents of all ages to further value and respect the environment within our city.
Reversing the Decline in Recycling
Over the past 3 years, recycling rates in Portsmouth have declined and the amount of recycling collected is down by about 14 tonnes. As Conservatives, we believe in the need to preserve and make the most of our limited resources, and in reducing the amount of waste going into landfill. Not only does recycling make a big difference to our environment, but it also saves the council money in costly waste disposal.
We promise to work with other local authorities to build a new recycling facility in our area that can properly recycle a range of plastic waste and glass. The last time this plan was proposed it was blocked by the Liberal Democrat administration at Portsmouth City Council. We believe that the ability to recycle more household waste would simplify the process for residents and encourage a return to the high recycling rates we need in this city.
Supporting Levelling Up – ensuring more government funding comes to Portsmouth to support all parts of the city, including the north of the city by working proactively with partners and Members of Parliament to create successful bids.
Tipner-West – To support the proposal of development, but with sensible, affordable homes that will benefit Portsmouth people. And for the development to also feature sensible infrastructure to service the new housing development.
Safer streets and tackling anti-social behaviour across the city.
Portsmouth Conservatives commit to making our city a safer place to live, work and visit.
We believe a robust 'public protection plan' must be established to tackle ASB (Anti Social Behaviour) in our city. Our Plan requires partnership working with Police, Housing Providers and NHS services to develop a comprehensive approach to tackle behaviours that disrupt peace within our communities.
Our Plan will secure additional funding to increase CCTV coverage and fully mobilise the Council's and Police forces' legal and administrative powers to go after rule breakers.
Portsmouth Conservatives are committed to securing additional resources resulting in a zero-tolerance approach to crime and ASB to keep our communities safe and secure. Therefore we pledge:
•Funding for a local Anti-Social Behaviour Taskforce.
•Funding for Community Support Officers.
•Launching a new ASB Prevention Grant.
•Expanding mobile CCTV units.
The Public Protect Plan will lobby Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner;
- To ensure the recruitment of additional police community support officers (PCSOs) that would have a role in reducing anti-social behaviour.
- To provide a more visible patrolling presence and an effective crime deterrent across our communities.
- Request greater communication regarding issuing fixed penalty notices, seizure of vehicles, alcohol and drugs, and stop and search in authorised areas.
The Plan will also seek funding for an ASB Prevention Grant. The grant would be made available to grassroots organisations. Research has shown that social inclusion such as sports and recreation can "break down barriers between community groups" and provide "positive role models for vulnerable young people."
Portsmouth Conservatives Community safety lead, Cllr Gemma New, said, "Our Public Protection Plan will ensure that local agencies work in partnership to support communities across Portsmouth. We the Conservatives, welcome Community Safety Partnership (CSP) and remain committed to working with (not against) local policing teams. The Police and Crime Commissioner contributes a significant amount annually to tackling anti-social behaviour. I'm dedicated to securing as much of that funding as possible to reduce violence and criminal behaviour for the benefit of our residents."
*Our Community Approach *
We believe that victims should be the primary focus when tackling ASB and Crime. This is why we support the use of Community Remedy and Community Trigger.
Community remedy - gives victims a say in the out-of-court punishment of perpetrators for low-level crime and ASB. These powers are more flexible, quicker to obtain and less bureaucratic, making it easier for the police, local councils, social landlords and other local agencies to deal with ASB and putting victims at the heart of the process.
Community Trigger - gives victims the ability to request a review of their case, where a locally defined threshold is met, which means that a team of partners will work together to find solutions and devise a strategy moving forward.