Lib Dems & their Paulsgrove puppet defeated by Conservatives and Labour
At the meeting of the Full Council yesterday the LibDems lost vote after vote as both opposition groups hammered them in the chamber.
Their record since coming back into power is dire and it's clear that without their former deputy leader they are rudderless and floundering under the stale leadership of Gerald Vernon-Jackson who still seems to be haunted by the ghost of former Cllr Mike Hancock MP who's cold steering hand is still clearly firmly on the shoulder of the increasingly prevaricating and bewildered Leader of the Council.
Yesterday the Labour Party tabled a motion that was welcomed by both Portsmouth Conservatives and others in the chamber. We share the same concerns around the current Tipner West proposals and the impact it will have in its current form on our environment and that it doesn't address the local housing crisis.
We also share the concern regarding the 'affordable housing element of the scheme. After meeting with the project development team for a presentation last week, Conservatives grilled planners on the details (and lack of) on the scheme. At that time they couldn't tell us what the 30% of 'affordable' housing element would consist of which was disappointing.
We have joined the Labour Party in calling for a pause and rethink on the scheme. To be clear, we all want to see Tipner West developed, but the scheme has to be right for Portsmouth, the people who need housing, social and affordable and also good jobs to accompany it. The Maritime Hub and specialist sector sounds exciting and has been welcomed by everyone.
In its current form, the Lennox Point scheme has all of the hallmarks of a white elephant, much like the Northern Quarter. If the Lib Dems try and ram this through the council, we do not believe the scheme will ever come to fruition without full council support.
We have called on the council to bring back fresh proposals by the end of 2021 for us to consider. We want to see development go ahead but it must be sensible and work for Portsmouth and it must have the broad support of the city council.