What have I been up to?

by phildunn on 20 November, 2017

People often ask what candidates do AFTER an election if they didn’t win.

In my case I’ve found that I have become even MORE involved in a range of issues that effect all of us at a local AND national scale.

There is, of course, the ongoing Brexit saga and I am continuing to argue that leaving the EU is an unwise move for the country. I have attended a number of meetings, rallies and street stalls in order to keep making the case and I’ve been delighted to work alongside Dorset for Europe from time to time as they continue to hold regular stalls in Bournemouth town centre. I have been enourmously encouraged and impressed by their desire to maintain the fight for our country’s best interests. Many but not all of Dorset for Europe’s members are Liberal Democrats so it’s great to see my party working with others on this hugely important issue.

Housing is an enourmous issue here in Bournemouth. While we see hundreds upon hundreds of new “luxury” appartments being built in the town, the crisis for families seeking rented accomodation continues to deepen. Bournemouth Liberal Democrats have been working extremely hard in the background to explore how we can tackle the problem. We have made a number of Freedom of Information requests and we’ll be releasing some press releases very soon to highlight the scale of the problem and to propose a range of policies which would ease the crisis in our area.

I’ve also been looking at schools locally. Most of our local schools are now Academies. This means they are no longer controlled by the local authority. This also means that they are no longer directly accountable to elected local representatives. This, for me, is entirely wrong. I have always argued that public services should be accountable to local people and the Academy system detracts for such accountability.

I’m extremely worried about the schools’ funding our Conservative government is proposing. Although pressure from the Liberal Democrats and other oppositions parties forced a change in Tory funding proposals, it remains the case that many Bournemouth schools are set to lose significant amounts of money which may undermine the viability of some of our schools. I am determined to continue the fight in this area.

I have also been investigating the rates of permanent exclusions of pupils form our local schools. I have recently obtained figures that show the rate in Bournemouth is amongst some of the highest in England, (even exceeding some of the so-called “tough” areas of our inner cities). I will be working over coming weeks and months to try to establish why this is happening and what support might be lacking for our schools. Although the Borough Council does not control the schools, they still have the responsibility to provide support.

These are just a few of the things I’ve been working on since the General Election earlier this year and there are many, many other issues of importance to us all that I will continue to monitor and apply pressure where I can.

When the next general election comes I fully intend to stand again in Bournemouth West if the local party wishes me to. I may stand for election to the Borough Council if a vacancy arises in my area and I will be supporting other local candidates as and when by-election arise. So I’d like to thank you for your interest in what I’m up to and recommit myself to working hard on your behalf.

Onwards 🙂


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