Saturday, 21 April 2018

Mike Gascoigne - Standing in Blackwater & Hawley

I have lived in Blackwater with my wife Fiona for 40 years. We have brought up our four children here and they have all left home and pursued their education and training, and are following careers in industry.

We first moved to Blackwater because I was working in the oil industry, then I went freelance and produced manuals and user guides for a variety of products and processes, working with a wide range of clients.

Since 2015 I have been involved in campaigns to preserve Hawley Woods as a recreational area. There was a plan to open it up for cattle grazing, which would have involved the erection of new fencing that would close off some pathways. Then after some public protest there was a plan for electronic methods of cattle control, so there was no need to erect a fence and the paths were saved. Then the plan was cancelled altogether for no apparent reason, but shortly afterwards, my local running club, Sandhurst Joggers, found that they were uanable to organise their annual cross-country run. This normally involves some negotiation with the MOD but they increased their fees to a level that we couldn't afford, and they asserted a right to cancel our events at short notice and we can't organise them under those conditions, so we had to move the event elsewhere. Many other sports clubs have been affected the same way, and it means Hawley Woods continues to be accessible for casual recreation but not for organised events. I would like to re-establish cooperation between the MOD and the local community, the way it used to be.

I am also interested in elderly care and I have supported Frogmore Day Centre which needed funds to completely replace a leaking roof at a total cost of £70,000. The council paid for half of it and the other half had to be raised from charitable funds. The roof was fixed and paid for from a 5-year loan which has to be paid off. So I got in touch with my running club and they kindly donated £750 from the proceeds of their Yateley 10k road races in 2016, then another £500 in 2017.

On 23 June 2016, the people of the UK voted to leave the European Union, but since then the process of departure has been a disappointment. Theresa May has negotiated a deal that amounts to Brexit in name only. The only thing we are actually leaving is the European Parliament while everything else remains pretty much the same including our payments to Brussels.

I would like to see some real progress in the Brexit process and within that constraint my local objectives are to:
- Build a thriving local economy, free from the stifling bureaucracy of the European Union.
- Control our borders for economic and security reasons, to reduce pressure on health, education, housing and welfare services, and to make sure everyone entering our country comes here in peace.
- Protect green spaces and conservation areas.
- Promote health and leisure activities for our enjoyment and for the economic benefits of good health.
- Keep the streets clean and tidy and remove graffiti.
- Spend money on local services, not the EU, foreign aid and foreign wars.
- Keep council tax as low as possible.

Mike Gascoigne

No comments:

Post a Comment