Des is a husband and father of two daughters, for whom family, and looking after one another, means everything. They gave up a life in London to move to New Milton back in June 2014. Alongside hobbies such as photography, reading, and jogging, Des has decided to devote some of his time to #BeThePirate. Having proudly completed a couch to 5k programme and routinely walking his three dogs in the New Forest, dropping off leaflets and promoting a free culture shouldn't be too difficult.
New Milton is a lovely town that is sadly overlooked. Surrounded by caravan parks, the town doesn't get much footfall. Instead, tourists prefer to go shopping in Lymington, drinking and eating in Christchurch, and Milford is very active with events such as Milford food week and bank holiday celebrations. The council needs to be ready to attract tourists into the town, after all, it was Des's experience as a tourist that lead him to settle here after years of visiting from a caravan at Shorefield. The high street is failing, shops are empty and only charity shops and cafes remain. NatWest Bank is closing in October and, while currently the schools are performing to a high standard, now here too budgets are under threat. It is clear the town needs a real, independently minded, local voice who not only understands these specific issues but is also willing to stand up for the good people of New Milton. That voice can be Des!
Des' local policies:
- Reject the proposed schools budget cut of £150 per pupil.
- Reject any vote proposing a cut to police budgets.
- Reject any vote proposed for fracking in the New Forest area.
- Reject any vote proposed for a rise in council tax. Central government needs to do more to tackle corporate tax avoidance and stop asking the tax payer to subsidise the companies and millionaires who are not paying their fair share.
- Promote greener energy.
- Promote the transformation of New Milton town into a cosmopolitan and thriving town by:
- Utilising public space better and organising more events attracting locals and tourists alike.
- Creating a pedestrian area to encourage restaurants, bistros, shops and a bigger and better market.
- Actively fill empty shop space.
- Encourage local talent. With the increase in events/festivals, the town can showcase local talented musicians, artists and entrepreneurs.
- Promote a fair approach to housing, with proper consultation with the local community. There is a need for more housing, with a preference towards locals and not private landlords, but there must be appropriate infrastructure in place to cope with any increase in population.
- Promote community cooperation & mentors. The area has a high level of retired people with a wealth of experience, who could help young adults get jobs, by coaching them with CV writing or interview skills. Link gardening schemes where locals grow produce to coaching events helping young adults and children to cook with the same fresh organic produce. With a high number of our population retired, the older generation in care homes could get involved to pass on their life skills and experiences. Schemes like Community First already exist, we just need to utilise them better.