News

First weeks in office

29 May 2022

Richard Blackman reflects on his first three weeks as a Councillor.

Induction

It took a few days for my election as a City Councillor to sink in. Although the first casework as a newly elected Councillor arrived within 24 hours, it wasn’t until I stepped into the Civic Centre on 12 May and signed my acceptance of office that it felt official. Since then, I have been to several induction sessions and briefings, organised by both the City Council and the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors.

Serving and representing residents

The role of Councillor has many facets and as a new Councillor there is a lot to take on board and many people to get to know. My top priority for the year ahead is to serve and represent the people of Bassett in the Council.

New case work has come in and I’m very pleased to report that I’ve already been able to help residents on a number of issues. I am continuing longer term casework and existing Bassett Lib Dem campaigns, such as the introduction of 20 mph zones in residential roads.

New municipal year begins

The new municipal year began on the morning of 18 May with the Mayor Making ceremony in the Guildhall at which Cllr Jacqui Rayment became the 800th Mayor of Southampton. Later in the day the Annual General Meeting of the Council took place. This saw the new Labour administration take office under the leadership of Cllr Satvir Kaur following their gains in the local elections on 5 May.

Campaign Update

“We have knocked on 3726 doors across Bassett over the last 6 months to listen to your ideas and problems. Thank you for your warm reception, we have been working to make sure your voice is heard on the council.”

The Conservatives' Cost of Living Crisis - ENERGY BILLS ROCKETING

Years of Conservative failure have left residents across Southampton facing a devastating cost of living crisis. Families already struggling to recover from the pandemic face a triple whammy of tax rises, benefit reductions and record price increases.

The UK’s energy crisis has left many residents with a choice between eating and heating this winter - with even bigger price rises expected in coming months. Meanwhile, shops are hiking prices and struggling to get food on the shelves. Local Lib Dem campaigner Richard Blackman said: “Where is the bright future Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised for the country?”

Massive Rise in Missed Bin Collections

In our recent survey, many of you reported missed bin collections. We looked into data from the council which showed that missed bin collections have skyrocketed since the Conservatives took control of City Hall. Our research shows that missed glass collections in Bassett have increased almost 500% since May, with thousands of collections across the city going missed.

Richard Blackman says "Missed collections mean messier streets, failed recycling targets and environmental hazards. The Council must do better."

The Conservatives' Cost of Living Crisis:

ENERGY BILLS ROCKETING

HUGE TAX RISE FOR WORKERS

UNIVERSAL CREDIT CUT

Years of Conservative failure have left residents across Southampton facing a devastating cost of living crisis. Families already struggling to recover from the pandemic face a triple whammy of tax rises, benefit reductions and record price increases.

The UK’s energy crisis has left many residents with a choice between eating and heating this winter - with even bigger price rises expected in coming months. Meanwhile, shops are hiking prices and struggling to get food on the shelves. Local Lib Dem campaigner Richard Blackman said: “Where is the bright future Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised for the country?”

“We all came together to battle through the pandemic, but the Government has abandoned people - and the promises they made to us all - at the first opportunity.“

“There is a growing fear among people I speak to about how they will cope in the months to come.”

“Everything is getting more expensive, support from the Government is being cut and tax rises mean everyone will see less money in their pay packet each month.”

“Instead of helping, the Conservatives are squeezing people already desperately struggling to get by. They must scrap their tax rise and their cuts to Universal Credit.”

Lib Dems Demand Better Pavements

Residents’ survey shows local people are concerned about poor state of pavements across Bassett

In our door knocking across Bassett one issue consistently raised was the poor state of pavements. Potholes and deteriorated surfaces make many of our footpaths dangerous for people to use, particularly if they have mobility issues.

We have reported issues with pavements across Bassett to the council and asked them to resurface where appropriate. Bassett campaigner Richard Blackman said: “Uneven surfaces are difficult to navigate for elderly people, prams, and people with disabilities.”

“I heard from many people across Bassett who have experienced falls, or have had family members injured after tripping on damaged pavements.”

“We want people to feel safe walking around their area, and so we are working to get the council to improve and repair footpaths across the city.”

Southampton Liberal Democrats are calling for widespread improvements to footpaths, as well as improvements to roads to tackle potholes and other deteriorated surfaces. We are also calling for improvements to Cycle Lanes. The council should be doing everything it can to encourage walking and cycling. Fixing footpaths and cycle lanes would be a good start.

Slow Down! - 20mph Success!

01 February, 2022

Success following Lib Dem calls for slower speeds Following Lib Dem pressure, Southampton City Council have announced plans to reduce the speed limit on Bassett Green Road and Bassett Wood Road. Similar plans have been announced for Bassett Avenue. The Lib Dems launched a successful petition to lower the speed limit on Bassett Green Road and Bassett Wood Road. In our recent survey, many residents told us their concerns about the speed of the road so we are happy to have some successes to report. Richard has also been gathering petition signatures in residential streets across Bassett, helping residents to secure 20mph zones for their areas. We will continue to work hard to put people first and get traffic to SLOW DOWN!

If you want Richard and the team to campaign for slower speeds, traffic calming, or other road improvements in your area then please get in touch.

Richard Backs 20mph Limits

16 January, 2022

Southampton City Council have been consulting on introducing 20mph speed limits in residential roads across Southampton.

Richard has been working with residents across Bassett, particularly in Norham Avenue, Vincent Avenue, Malvern Road and Bladon Road, to gather petition signatures in favour of these schemes. We have also written to Southampton City Council to ask them to extend the 14th January deadline as we think residents deserve more time and information on this issue.

If you would like your road to become 20mph please let us know by visiting www.sotonld.org.uk/20

£85 Million Black Hole

10 January, 2022

New Conservative council gambles with city budget

The Conservatives took control of Southampton City Council over 8 months ago and have little to show for it.

Now documents released from the council show that they are facing an £85 million shortfall in funding over the next 4 years due to budgetary decisions made by the Conservatives.

Far from being the party of fiscal responsibility, it looks like the Conservatives are now gambling with the city’s finances. We believe balanced budgets are vital for local authorities and so it is shocking to see this news.

Lib Dems Topple Second Safe Seat

10 January, 2022

The Liberal Democrats have scored a second stunning parliamentary by-election victory in the Conservatives heartlands winning a seat held for over 100 years.

In December, Lib Dems won the North Shropshire by-election going from 10% of the vote to 47%. This followed on from the Chesham and Amersham by-election in June where the Liberal Democrats overturned a Conservative majority of 16,000 to win the seat.

Bassett Lib Dem campaigner Richard Blackman said: “Across the country the Lib Dems are on the up. The results in these by-elections - along with our strong 2019 result in Romsey and Southampton North shows the Lib Dems can win across our region.”

Transform our High Streets

5 January, 2022

SIGN THE PETITION BELOW: Richard Blackman calls on Southampton City Council to invest in High Streets and community spaces in the city

Southampton’s High Streets are struggling, partly due to the growth in online shopping, and partly due to the pandemic. The council has failed to help local businesses with its inaction.

Richard Blackman said: “Our High Streets need investment to help local businesses in difficult times. Simple things like emptying bins and street cleaning make a big difference to the feel of a community space. The council are failing to deal with the simplest of issues.”

“Southampton Liberal Democrats are calling for urgent investment in High Street regeneration and it would be our main priority if we were running the council. We need to drag our High Streets into the 21st century to make them attractive to shoppers and the community.”

Richard Blackman's Christmas Message

20 December, 2021

Dear friend,

As 2021 draws to a close, I wanted to wish you and your loved ones all the very best for the Christmas period and for the New Year.

For me, this is a special time of year, I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and friends, and reflecting on the busy year that is coming to an end.

I’ve been proud to help residents across Bassett as part of the Lib Dem team. I have always tried to do my best to get a better deal for this community.

Our resident’s survey uncovered lots of problems with roads, footpaths and other issues. I will continue to work to get these issues solved so that our area can become better than it already is.

On these very important local issues, and on the things that matter to everyone locally, I know there will be much more work to do in the new year!

But for now, thanks to everyone who has lent me their support this year and helped on so many of our local campaigns. I really, really appreciate it.

With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,

Richard Blackman

Time for Action

10 October, 2021

Landmark UN report says we’re heading for catastrophe if action isn’t taken.

Liberal Democrats demand £150 billion for ‘Green Recovery Plan’ to save planet.

There is no denying it, climate change is real - and if urgent action isn’t taken now it could be too late.

This summer saw more wildfires and flash floods - both here in the UK and across the world. Temperatures are rising

year on year.

“It is clear that we must take this issue seriously,” said Lib Dem leader Ed Davey MP. “Yet the Conservative Government

is delaying climate action and the Prime Minister still can’t make up his mind whether he cares about the climate or not.”

In November the UK is hosting the UN Climate Conference (COP26). And the Lib Dems believe this is the chance for our

country to lead the world in tackling the climate emergency.

Lib Dems take climate change seriously.

“The world is watching as the Tories dither over permitting coal mines, introducing changes to planning law that will

concrete over the countryside and slash incentives to upgrade our homes or buy electric vehicles.” added Richard Blackman.

“We can - and should - be setting an example. Instead we're showing other countries that climate inaction is acceptable.” The local Lib Dem team have called for better public transport links across Southampton, more renewable energy , and better recycling provision.

And nationally, the Liberal Democrats are calling for £150 billion green recovery plan, to create thousands of jobs while cutting emissions.

The Blue Wall is Crumbling

2 October, 2021

Conservative safe seats under threat from resurgent Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have put Conservative ‘Blue Wall’ seats like Romsey and Southampton North in their sights for the next General Election.

Following their spectacular victory in Chesham and Amersham where they went from 26% to 56% of the vote, the Lib Dems are now looking at other seats where they are in a strong second place.

In Romsey and Southampton North in 2019 the Liberal Democrats won 33% of the vote, up 12% from 2017. They now have a real chance to win the seat at the next General Election.

The Lib Dems can win here.

People here are fed up with being taken for granted by the Conservatives and so are switching to the Liberal Democrats. Many Labour and Green voters across the south are now also switching to the Lib Dems in an effort to beat the Conservatives.

The Lib Dems have made it clear, the campaign to win Romsey and Southampton North starts now, and the Conservatives are worried.

30mph for all Bassett - have your say now

18 August, 2021


We ran a very successful petition to reduce the speed limit for Bassett Wood Drive and Bassett Green Road to 30mph in line with the rest of Bassett. Your signatures on the petition were presented to the new Conservative Council Leader earlier in the summer, having been presented to the former Labour administration in the spring.


We understand that a decision is soon to be made about making the 30mph limit on The Avenue and Bassett Avenue permanent following its introduction in 2020. Indications are that it is likely to be made permanent. We further understand that a reduction in the current 40mph limits on Bassett Wood Road to 30mph is also being considered as part of the same review. It is therefore important that we maintain pressure on the Council and local Councillors to get this change, that so many of you want to see, implemented.

At this stage we understand that Bassett Green Road is not included and we don’t believe this reflects the local views of residents.

If you agree with us that every road in Bassett should be 30mph please express your views to our Councillors directly to:

Councillor.J.Hannides@southampton.gov.uk

Councillor.B.Harris@southampton.gov.uk

Councillor.L.Harris@southampton.gov.uk

If you have not yet signed our petition it is not too late to do so. You can access it at:

https://www.southampton-libdems.org.uk/petition30mph

Sport Centre Consultation welcomed by Southampton Liberal Democrats - but we have been here before.

6 August, 2021

Southampton Liberal Democrats have welcomed the new consultation on plans for the Sports Centre Improvements. It is positive to see these plans develop

In terms of the proposed plans the majority of the improvements to the centre are very welcome and will enhance the facility. However we have expressed concern about the new car parking arrangements. Located off an estate that is already struggling with both residential and commuter parking from the hospital this is likely to cause more disruption across bank holidays and weekends. We are calling on the council to ensure a full traffic management plan is developed to support public and active travel in addition to motor vehicle access.



You can find a link to the full consultation here.


Thank you Focus with deliverers

13 July, 2021

Our latest Focus newsletter is with volunteer deliverers and will be dropping onto doormats across Bassett in the coming weeks.

You can read the full leaflet online.

Lib Dem campaigner Richard Blackman thanks voters in Bassett

1 July, 2021

Liberal Democrat Campaigner Richard Blackman has said:

Thank you to everyone who voted for me in the City Council elections on 6 May. We were able to increase our vote, but unfortunately we weren’t able to withstand the Conservative surge across the city. I’m immensely grateful to everyone who voted for me and for my team of local volunteers, who helped deliver our message to residents across Bassett.

I was really heartened by the Lib Dems’ victory in the recent Chesham and Amersham by-election. It showed that there is no such thing as a safe Conservative seat and that politicians should not take people’s support for granted.

Our new MP, Sarah Green, also inspired me in her acceptance speech with her words:

“Every voice should ring with equal power, equal strength, and equal value. That is what the Liberal Democrats stand for.”

With those words ringing in my ears, I’ll continue do my bit to hold the Conservatives to account and ensure that all voices are heard. I hope you’ll join me in doing so.

Southampton Policy Update

Apr 7, 2021

In Bassett we have a couple of piece of literature coming out to residents over the next couple of weeks. One of the significant developments is the below which highlights a lot of what Liberal Democrats in Southampton are working towards. Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think by contacting us.

Richard delivers our petitions to the Council

29 Mar, 2021

As promised Richard has made representations to the council for the two very successful campaigns we have launched in Bassett over the last year. With over 350 signatories the residents of Bassett have demonstrated how important these issues are to them. We now have to wait for the Leader of the Council to respond and will bring you that update once it is received.

Full letter and updates can be found here:

Bassett Green Road / Bassett Wood Road 30mph here

Burgess Road / Hill Lane Junction here.

Significant update for the abandoned Sport's Centre houses

Mar 1, 2021

Further to our post below there has been a key development for the Sport Centres abandoned homes. Active Nation who have held the assets as part of their contract with Southampton City Council will cease operations at the Golf Course site on March 31.

With Southampton City Council now solely responsible for these houses we are reiterating calls on the Council to utilise them. There are now no excuses for their continued dereliction.

Richard Blackman has written to Council chiefs to once more request a plan be made for them.

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/19080738.council-takes-running-southampton-golf-course/

Another year goes by without action on abandoned Sport's Centre houses

Jan 3, 2021

Liberal Democrats in Bassett continue to apply pressure on the council to do something about two abandoned houses located in Southampton Sports Centre.

Richard Blackman, Bassett candidate for the city council local elections wrote to the cabinet member responsible for housing back in January last year. These houses have received upgraded hoardings for the third time and are now improved made out of metal however the assets remain wasted. Active Nation currently have the sub-contract for managing the Sports Centre from the council and are responsible for the management of these assets.

Our Autumn Survey Results are in!

Dec 20, 2020

We recently circulated our Bassett survey to residents in the ward. This is a key component of our teams commitment to continually deliver for Bassett residents. We split the survey into several sections and can provide the following feedback:

Government Response to COVID-19 pandemic.

You have told us that overall you are dissatisfied with the Governments handling of the pandemic crisis. Support for the NHS and its staff, social care and local communities was insufficient although there was general approval for the financial support made available for some of our local businesses. Overall Bassett Rating: Dissatisfied

Opinions on paying back the hundreds of millions borrowed.

There was a lot of feedback on this questions. It is going to be a difficult one to tackle with the significant economic retraction we've seen. Overall and in order this was the opinion of our residents:

  1. Increase Income Tax (61% support)

  2. Increase Fuel Duty (35% support)

  3. Increase Business Rates (40% support)

  4. Increase VAT (29% support)

  5. Increase Stamp Duty (18% support)

There was also notable support for increases in tax on 'sin items' (alcohol and cigarettes) and taxing of multinational corporations (the likes of Amazon, Google, Apple)

Your priorities

We asked you on your opinions of some of the developments in Bassett and what your thoughts were on them.

Economic versus Environmental Concerns: Overall Bassett residents agree that Environmental concerns must take some president over economic ones.

Bike Lanes: Bassett is split straight down the middle, whilst overall with the comments we received there is a slight majority support for the lanes there was three widely repeated comments:

  1. Bike lines are great, except on the Bassett Avenue section (between Chilworth roundabout and Winchester Road).

  2. It would have been good to have more consultation on the future of these lanes with the local Council.

  3. Lots of concerns about the Conservative Government funding these lanes.

Airport: Southampton Airport has requested planning permission to extend the runway by a further 164 metres. Overall Bassett Residents narrowly support these plans however this is the most divisive subject in our survey. It has the biggest overall numbers of strongly agreeing/disagreeing residents. Although this is being decided by local government in Eastleigh it has been interesting to note that despite several articles that we have seen:

  • British Airways are starting flights at Southampton this summer with the current runway length and the airport itself is predicting increased passenger numbers regardless of the runway extension.

  • No report submitted to the planning committee specified that the airport would become unviable as a result of a rejection of their plans.

  • The current runway length (1723m) is longer than that of London City Airport (1508m) which experiences annual passenger numbers of 5.1m over 4 times the number of passengers (at 1.2m) that the Airport states makes it viable.

Regardless of whether the plans are approved or rejected we can be assured we will have a regional airport for years to come yet.

Park and Ride: This is one of Southampton Liberal Democrats long standing campaigns. Reassuringly Bassett Residents Strongly Support these plans almost unanimously.

Local Lib Dems call for 30mph limit on Bassett Green Road

Nov 17, 2020

Lib Dem Bassett campaigner Richard Blackman is calling for the current 40mph limit between the Chilworth roundabout and the junction with Bassett Green Village to be reduced to 30mph.

Richard states: “With its long steady incline from the motorway exit down to Bassett Green, vehicles pick up speed making junctions dangerous, including those with Monks Wood Close and Bassett Green Close. Residents have expressed concerns about a number of near misses over the summer and autumn on this stretch of road”.

Richard also notes that “it’s very difficult for pedestrians to cross Bassett Green Road. We need to make things safer for residents wanting to cross between the cut to Bassett Green Close and Monks Wood Close towards the Stoneham sports facilities, and also for students coming in and out of Greenwood Court Halls.”

Local resident Martyn Sheridan voiced his support for the call: “We simply want to make our neighbourhood safer and quieter. Reducing the speed limit to 30mph on Bassett Green Road is a really important first step in doing this.”

The speed limit on Bassett Avenue was reduced to 30mph over the summer. Richard Blackman believes this safer limit should apply to both Bassett Green Road and Bassett Wood Road. We need to calm the traffic for the benefit and safety of residents and the local environment.

Campaign update:

This story has now been picked up by the Daily Echo. You can read the story here.

Read the full story and sign the petition here

Shop Local, Protect Small Business, Save Jobs!

Jul 2, 2020

Retailers and residents have welcomed Bassett, Freemantle, Portswood and Shirley Liberal Democrats' campaign to Shop Local - Protect Small Business - Save Jobs.

As Southampton City Council estimates that more than 9,000 jobs are at risk in the local retail and hospitality sector following the COVID-19 lockdown, local Lib Dems are cementing their record as the party of small business by campaigning for residents to love local or lose it.

Freemantle activist Andy Beal said "local businesses up and down Shirley High Street have gone the extra mile for the community during the lockdown. I'm calling on local residents to repay those sacrifices by shopping local. Every pound spent at your community shops and takeaways will support the livelihoods of families in the City."

Here in Bassett we have already lost Bassett Tea Rooms and hope that others will not follow.

Lib Dem campaigners call on the Labour administration to back this campaign. Support our campaign by joining our mailing list here and keeping up to date with our campaigns.

In praise of Bassett’s green spaces

Jun26, 2020

I have always been a fan of the outdoors, but during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic I have come to acquire a special appreciation of our open spaces in Bassett. Like many, I’ve lived with a degree of anxiety about the circumstances of the lockdown and how we will move beyond it.

Daily exercise from the doorstep has become an important part of the new routine, and I have really valued the time walking through Bassett Green Woods and across the sports centre. Over the spring this year it seems that the air has been fresher, the trees and plants more verdant and the birdsong more vibrant.

I might have felt tense confined at home for long periods, but I have often felt relaxed in the woods, taking advantage of the therapeutic benefits of their almost wilderness-like environment, and revitalised by the green and undulating landscape of the municipal golf course and the blossoms on the sports centre trees.

It’s times like these that the importance of our natural environment for our well-being hits home.

Richard.

The worst crossing in Southampton?

Jun 1, 2020

The Pedestrian Crossings at the junction of Hill Lane and Burgess Road have long been considered by local residents to be dangerous.

Large numbers of pedestrians using the crossings which act as a link between the Sainsbury's Local and the rest of the shops in Bassett and the heavy traffic also present make it one of the most dangerous crossings in Southampton.

Bassett Liberal Democrats have called on the council to improve this junction as a matter of urgency to make Bassett safer.

The large number of pedestrians using the crossing to enter the Common or to visit local shops means we believe that improvements are a priority. The improved junction would also improve traffic flows and reduce congestion.

Lib Dems back Green Transport Recovery Plan - but residents must have a say

May 29, 2020

Southampton Lib Dems Chair, Richard Blackman, has welcomed Southampton City Council’s publication of its Green Transport Recovery Plan. Work has started and temporary cycle lanes have already been installed on The Avenue and Bassett Avenue. Other measures to encourage cycling and walking as well as creating space for people will be introduced across the city in the weeks and months ahead.

The scheme will see one lane in each direction between Burgess Road and the Chilworth Roundabout designated as a cycle lane. In addition, the speed limit will be reduced from 40mph to 30mph.

Richard commented: "The sad circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic have at least given us the chance to think about what sort of society we would really like to see. I welcome this initiative as it will encourage us to use more sustainable forms of transport and create space for people in our city. As a long time advocate of better environmental policies, I think this will help to create a greener, healthier and safer environment for all of us".

However, given the rapid introduction of this plan, Southampton Liberal Democrats are also calling for monitoring of the changes and ongoing consultation with residents so that problems and any unintended consequences can be ironed out early on.

“It is vital that public consent is gained for these measures if they are to become permanent”, Richard emphasised.

The Labour Council’s earlier procrastination on congestion charging for the city and on a Park and Ride in Southampton also mean that when car usage increases as we move out of the pandemic there are still large issues to be solved, especially if use of public transport is limited by ongoing social distancing measures.

Action at Last!

May 26, 2020

Richard is please to be able to update that the Council have finally bowed to pressure and partly addressed the concerns raised over the derelict houses on the sports centre.

New hoardings have now been added which secure the building. Unfortunately we appear no closer to getting the houses back into use but Richard will continue to apply pressure.

Hidden Southampton history in Bassett

May 25, 2020

In a recent conversation with a local party member on walks and daily exercise, Richard was told about the memorial to Warrior, the Southampton war horse. “On my walk today I went past Warrior’s grave. I hadn’t heard of him until a few days ago, so it was fascinating to hear this story that combines wartime, Southampton and equestrian history. It’s good to feel connected to the history on our doorstep”.

Warrior's Grave is located on Southampton Golf Course.

Coronovirus Pause for Reflection

Mar 16, 2020

Recent days have been dominated by the intensification of the coronavirus crisis, which has led to the postponement of the 2020 local elections until 2021. It will dominate the weeks and months ahead and things may be very different when get beyond the pandemic.

We had begun to gear up our campaign in Bassett, with Focus deliveries and going out to speak directly to our residents. In Bassett early indications were that our messaging remains well received despite the General Election result and now more than ever a Liberal Voice in Southampton is valued.

Clearly our priorities have now changed due to circumstances beyond our control, and our residents will want to concentrate on their families and getting through the coming months.

Campaigning activity will stop until further notice. We will support and help where we can on the community initiatives led by Southampton City Council and/or local charities during the pandemic.

We will be reaching out to all of our members and ensure that we are available to support Bassett where we can over the coming months.

Nationally, the Liberal Democrats have today proposed a five point support package for NHS and care staff on the front line against Covid-19. You can read details of these plans here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/in-detail-frontline-support

You can also sign a petition to implement them now here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/frontline

Further Support

The national Liberal Democrat Party has produced a useful page of links to various agencies advise. You can access that here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/coronavirus.

Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

Richard holds advice surgery

Mar 7, 2020

With the help of the Bassett Lib Dem team Richard held an advice surgery at the All Saints Parish Centre on Winchester Road. A number of residents shared concerns with him on a range of issues, in particular transport-related, and Richard is now following them up.

All Saints' Parish Church was the location for the surgery.

SUCCESS: Lordswood Road

Mar 6, 2020

A number of large pot holes have been noticed by residents and reported to Liberal Democrats activists at the lower end of Lordswood Road near the Tesco Express store. These have been reported to the city council highways department.

As a major road for workers accessing the hospital as well as the main route from Lordswood into Southampton it has been poorly maintained now for a number of years.

UPDATE: work has been scheduled to start 24-27 June 2020. (Council Reference FU0071605825). Please expect delays whilst this work is completed.

Richard talks to students at Cantell School

Feb 28, 2020

Richard Blackman joined other local political representatives at Cantell School to talk to Year 10 pupils as part of a day devoted to citizenship themes. Richard spoke about why he is a Liberal Democrat, drawing on the party’s core values of:

  • Freedom,

  • Internationalism

  • Equality and

  • Environmentalism


Now is the time to save our Environment

Feb 11, 2020

The bushfires in Australia have brought home the threat posed by climate breakdown. We all need to act to save the environment, our livelihoods and to improve our quality of life.

In Southampton progress is slow. Poor air quality continues to endanger the health of the city’s residents. As signatories of the Clean Air Southampton Manifesto the Southampton Lib Dems are pushing for substantial improvements in several policy areas. This includes our longstanding campaign for a port plug-in so that cruise ships won’t run their polluting diesel engines.

In Bassett we’re seeking to:

  • Make the junction of Burgess Road and Hill Lane more pedestrian-friendly so that residents can access the Common and local shops more easily;

  • Campaign for better bus routes. Many parts of the ward are not served by direct bus routes to the city centre; Improve pavements, footpaths and cycle routes to key destinations such as the sports centre;

  • Tackle the traffic congestion problems affecting Hollybrook and Bassett Green primary schools, which have a negative environmental impact on their neighbourhoods. Children’s health and well-being must come first.

  • Present an ambitious plan to implement a city wide park and ride scheme.

It’s vital that our city does its share to combat climate change while also improving our quality of life. Labour’s Green City Charter is too timid. The Conservatives are not even in favour of weak policies. It’s time for a fresh new Liberal voice on Southampton City Council to push strongly for the changes that so many want to see.

Southampton in Top 10 Worst Congested Cities in the Country

Feb 4, 2020

Data produced by Tom Tom has placed Southampton into the top 10 most congested cities in the country. For residents of Southampton and in particular Bassett this will come of no surprise, the systemic lack on investment in infrastructure providing an alternative to the car has been decades in the making.

Southampton Liberal Democrats are committed to investing in a Park and Ride system immediately and to campaign central government for the funding required to build a tram/metro system over the medium term.

Bassett Candidate Richard Blackman commented:

Labours plans to borrow Park and Ride from the Hospital are typical of a local Labour Policy, unambitious and relying heavily on others to sort their problems. We would look at a multi-site Park and Ride Solution to ensure that visitors to the city, especially those using the Cruise Terminals, can contribute to reducing the demand on our roads and help with the Air Quality issues that are a blight on the city.

Richard demands answers on Empty Housing.

Jan 29, 2020

Two houses that have been left empty are being allowed to go to rack and ruin on the golf course. Richard has written to the Cabinet member responsible for housing on Southampton City Council to ask why this situation has been allowed to go on for so long.

Richard added:

“I would like to see local families living in these homes. At the recent General Election the Lib Dems manifesto planned the building of 100,000 social homes per year across the country to solve the nation’s housing crisis. At the very least the Council should be making full use of existing housing stock.”

Richard's General Election Thoughts

Dec 22, 2019

Some personal reflections on the general election

I can’t hide the fact that I was disappointed by the Liberal Democrats’ results in the general election. Although we increased our vote share nationally, we ended up with fewer seats in the House of Commons.

Here in Bassett, in the Romsey and Southampton North constituency, the result was more encouraging. Our excellent candidate, Craig Fletcher, won an 11.8% increase in the Lib Dem vote, and showed again that locally we are the main opposition to the Conservatives. I would like to thank everyone in Bassett who put their trust in Craig and the Lib Dems on 12 December.

Brexit

The general election result also confirmed that Brexit will happen. As someone who has always believed in Britain’s membership of the European Union, I was of course deeply saddened. However, this sadness came with a sense of acceptance. The mandate from the 2016 referendum will now be discharged and the conflict between direct and representative democracy can be put behind us. I very much hope that we can find a way to have a close relationship with the EU while also beginning to heal the divisions that have beset the country in recent years.

Richard.

Demand better for our Public Spaces

Nov 12, 2019

Our street audit teams will be identifying improvements to pedestrian routes. If you would like to report a problem that you come across then please contact us.

Pedestrian safety around schools will be another focus.

Facilities and open spaces such as Southampton Sports Centre make Bassett a special place to live and the Lib Dems will campaign for them to be well-maintained for everyone to enjoy.

Litter strewn paths must be cleaned up by SCC and broken bins replaced.

Houses Remain Dormant

May 28, 2019

The Sports Centre Houses, located next to Southampton Golf Course in Bassett, remain derelict.

The two properties that are managed by Active Nation who were appointed to run the facility by the Labour Council. We believe that both properties remain a significant public safety concern and as such an urgent plan should be developed.

Local Election Result

May 25, 2019

Here in Bassett only 16 votes separated the Liberal Democrats’ Richard Blackman and the Conservatives. Sadly we didn’t win the seat this time, but we will continue working all year round to represent the residents in our area.

Thank you warmly and sincerely for the tremendous support that you gave me at the recent elections to Southampton City Council.

Here in Bassett, we achieved almost 20% increase in our vote share and reduced the Conservative majority to just 16 votes. It was a humbling experience knowing that so many of you had put your trust in me as the Liberal Democrat candidate.

It is clear from the conversations I had with many of you over the recent months that our focus on environmental issues and community facilities, as well as speaking up for our close relationship with the EU, resonated with so many of you.

We are conscious though that there is a lot more for us to do. In the year ahead we are determined to keep working and demanding better for the people of Bassett and Southampton.

Richard.

P&R Campaign Update

Mar 8, 2019

University Hospital Southampton have submitted a planning application for a Park and Ride on the Adanac Park Site to the West of the City. Unlikely to help in Bassett we have renewed calls for the Labour Council to provide Park and Ride for all Southampton Residents, visitors and especially Cruise Ship Passengers.

Read the full story HERE.

Demand Better for our Environment

Jan 8, 2019

Over the next year, Bassett Lib Dems are determined that the environment will be placed centre stage by Southampton City Council (SCC).

The health of Southampton residents is endangered through poor air quality. As such we will continue to campaign for substantial improvements, based on the Clean Air Southampton Manifesto.

Climate breakdown remains the biggest threat to humankind. The Lib Dems will continue to press SCC to ensure its activities and policies are carbon neutral. We will also seek to support people and organisations to make changes towards a zero carbon society and economy.

We will hold the Labour Council to account for implementing its Green City Charter and campaign for it to be made bolder.

Southampton Liberal Democrats are demanding the introduction of a Park and Ride scheme for the city.

Oct 18, 2018

Local Lib Dems have launched a petition calling on Labour run Southampton City Council to create a Park and Ride for the city.

Southampton Lib Dems are calling on the Labour-run Southampton City Council to take serious action towards introducing a Park and Ride scheme to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle fumes across the city. Our neighbouring cities of Portsmouth, Winchester and Salisbury all have Park & Ride schemes and Southampton is notable for not having one.

It would also offer a valuable boost to tourism as the city would become easier to access.

"Park and Ride would improve air quality and reduce congestion"

Alexander Clifton-Melhuish, the local Lib Dem environmental spokesperson, said: “The council desperately needs to tackle Southampton’s poor air quality which has become dangerous.

“It is clear that the Labour-run council is pursuing a clean air strategy that will barely meet legal minimum requirements, whilst offering workers, visitors and residents few viable alternatives to driving into the city centre. ”Southampton Liberal Democrats believe that the council must offer a Park and Ride service in order to begin cleaning up our filthy air and improving the city’s dreadful traffic.”

Alex.

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