Saturday, October 11, 2014

Let's Slow Down The Traffic In Freemantle

As local councillors for Freemantle Ward, speeding traffic is one of the top issues raised with me and my colleague Brian Parnell, by local people.

Being close to the city centre many of the roads are used as rat runs to get into town and to the station and they can get very busy indeed.

Also the local schools have grown enormously. When I first became a school governor at Freemantle school it was a small infant school. Today it is a primary with 500 children. Similarly St Marks School has expanded considerably and Banister has been completely rebuilt with both schools now all through primaries. This means a lot more cars and children walking, cycling or scooting to school. Speeding traffic and dangerous parking is a big concern from parents that I talk to. 

Brian Parnell and I have surveyed hundreds of residents over the past year and the overwhelming majority favour slowing down the traffic in residential roads. The view is not universal but from the feedback we have had, about 80 per cent are in favour. 

We have been talking about this issue with the council for years and people keeping asking us when will it happen. Introducing 20mph limits is a fairly simple and cheap process. Department of Transport rules changed a few years ago to make the process much easier for councils. All that is required are the signs, the introduction of a legal order - a traffic regulation order, and a formal survey to seek residents' views. We know council budgets are very tight these days but we also know the city council is making a huge amount of money from parking charges and fines, including the new 1st permit charges which hundreds of people in Freemantle Ward now pay. It is quite proper that some of this money is spent on improving the local roads and road safety measures like 20mph limits. 

We have been talking for years about the problem and it is now time for the council to act and with so many more children now at local schools this has to be made a priority.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Labour's Late Night Levy Will Hit Local Pubs In Freemantle

On Wednesday at Full Council, Labour will look to push through a new tax on pubs in the city. This 'Late Night Levy' was initially billed as a measure to ensure that pubs and clubs in the city centre, pay more towards the 'costs' of the city centre night time economy. It is claimed that the funds raised will be spent on policing and street cleaning, but the worry is that the money will simply backfill other budget cuts.

It has since become clear that this new Labour tax will hit all establishments in the city with a late licence, including local pubs and social clubs outside of the city centre. In fact a third of the affected 271 businesses are outside of the city centre. 11 of these premises are in Freemantle Ward, and include:

- the Freemantle
- the Freemantle Arms
- the Freemantle Social Club
- the Osborne
- the Pig and Whistle
- the Rover
- the Blue Keys Hotel
- the Waterloo Arms
- the Wellington Arms

Businesses will be forced to pay up to £4,400 a year, over and above their business rates and all their other costs; yet local pubs in Freemantle and their cusomers will gain nothing from the money that they are forced to hand over. There will be no extra policing in Freemantle, with most officers deployed in the city centre on Friday and Saturday nights and Labour council cuts mean the streets are hardly ever cleaned.

The irony is that Labour have been campaigning to save local pubs. This new Levy will achieve the exact opposite result.

Friday, September 12, 2014

We Are Better Together

Well done to the Daily Echo for its bold editorial stance in campaigning to save the United Kingdom. The Scottish Independence vote doesn’t just affect the Scots, it affects the whole of the UK, and whilst we English are denied a vote, we should not be silent about our views.

The Union between Scotland and England has lasted over 300 years and in my view served both countries very well. We are better together – safer and more prosperous.

Real risk lies ahead for an independent Scotland; its budget deficit is significantly higher than the rest of the UK, there are questions around what currency it would use and its financial independence, its dependence on volatile and reducing North Sea Oil revenues, and the damage that would be done to the Scottish financial services sector which contributes twice that of North Sea Oil to Scotland’s GDP. 100 years on from the start of the First World War, the world still seems very dangerous place and breaking up our armed forces will do nothing to make us safer. Most importantly though, breaking up the union of Scotland and England would not just be a political separation, it would separate families. How many English live in Scotland and would find themselves living in a foreign country, and vice versa for Scots living in England? How many English are married to Scots and how many of us have Scottish relatives?

I am hopeful that the Scots will vote to remain in the UK, but even if they do, all the indications are that it will be a very close vote indeed.

If we do remain together then there will still have to be change. If there isn’t, then there will be calls of another referendum in the next few years. The UK will have to have a new constitutional settlement. It will have to be one that all the political parties can agree on and be one that will last the next hundred years and not just for the next Parliament. The UK parties are talking about devolving more powers to Scotland and there is even talk of moving to some sort of Federal structure. I cannot see why most, if not all, domestic powers shouldn’t be transferred to Scotland. Similarly any new settlement would need to consider Wales and Northern Ireland. Perhaps there is even an opportunity to continue to develop a more positive relationship with the Republic of Ireland, following the Queen’s successful state visit a few years ago.

The English should of course be afforded the same constitutional rights and a new constitutional settlement would also allow the West Lothian Question to be resolved. With new powers being transferred to Scotland, the quid pro quo would be Scottish MPs no longer voting on domestic English matters; an issue that has been unresolved since the Scottish Parliament was formed in 1999.

The Scottish Independence debate has in my view been positive for democracy, I hope dearly that they vote NO to Independence, and I hope that afterwards all the political parties can work together to ensure that the Union, albeit perhaps a changed one in the future, remains strong for the decades and centuries that follow.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Standing to be the Southampton Test MP

Last night I was selected as the Conservative candidate for Southampton Test at next year's General Election. Really honoured to be chosen and will work hard to become a good constituency MP.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thank you for your support!

"I am very grateful for the trust local residents have put in me by re-electing me as a councillor for Freemantle Ward.

Thank you if you did vote for me this time, but either way I will work hard to represent you and to do a good job, standing up for the area and local people."

- Jeremy Moulton

The full results for Freemantle Ward are: 

  • BARTRAM, Dean - UKIP: 471 
  • BLUEMEL, Christopher Francis - The Green Party: 449 
  • MARX, Michael - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts: 36 
  • MITCHELL, Harry - Liberal Democrat: 214 
  • MOULTON, Jeremy Richard - The Conservative Party Candidate: 1472 Elected 
  • USHER, Pat - Labour Party Candidate: 1166 

Results for all wards can be found HERE on the Southampton City Council Website.
  • Conservatives gained a seat in Portswood, Millbrook and Swaythling but lost a seat in Shirley.
  • Liberal Democrats lost two seats - Portswood and Swaythling
  • Labour lost a seat in Millbrook and gained a seat in Shirley.
The over state of the parties on Southampton City Council is now as follows: 
  • Labour: 28
  • Conservative: 18
  • Independent: 2

Monday, April 21, 2014


Dear Resident

I have been your local councillor for the past 12 years and on 22nd May I am standing for re-election.

I have always worked hard to represent everyone in the area and to get things done and make a difference. For me this is the best part of being a councillor. It’s a job I love and which I put my all into and I hope after May to continue to represent you and the area I grew up in.

We have great community spirit in the area and some really active Resident Associations, Neighbourhood Watches and Community Groups. I have enjoyed supporting them over the years and I am confident that in the years to come we will bring about a lot of positive improvements for the area.

After May I want to see through the improvements to the Civil Service Sports Ground. Let’s finally get it opened up for local residents and schools.

I am also keen to work with residents’ groups in drawing up local neighbourhood plans to protect the area from inappropriate developments and ensure that future developments are in keeping with the area and have proper parking.

Thirdly, I want to help ensure that residential areas are shielded from the impacts of the docks; this means better communication from the port, more trees to screen the docks and improving the local air quality. It also means fighting inappropriate developments like the Biomass Power Station.

I look forward to meeting you during the election campaign and if ever I can be of any help please let me know.

Best wishes,

Cllr Jeremy Moulton

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Changes to Bin Collections

The City Council is changing the bin collection days for the whole city. Those areas shown in Blue in the map above will have their days on Monday and those in Orange on a Tuesday.

The changes will coincide with the introduction of a new doorstep collection of glass. This new service is funded by the government (see link to earlier article about the bid to government) to improve recycling whilst keeping the our weekly residual waste bin collections.

The changes will undoubtedly mean some teething problems and missed collections so please let me know if your bin is missed and you need me to speak to the council. 

However I think the changes are positive. The council has written to households and enclosed a sticker with your bin day on it. It is worth sticking this on your bin. Hopefully going forward when new people move into the area they will immediately know what day their collections are due. With lots of rented properties and student households in Freemantle Ward we do have a problem with new people not always knowing when to put their bins out. My only concern is that that having whole areas done on the same day may lead to bin lorries filling all the local streets causing traffic congestion. However hopefully this won't prove to be an issue. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Again Labour Show Why They Can't Be Trusted

The deceit of the Southampton Labour Party knows no bounds. Ahead of the last council election they were peddling the message that the Council's Community Language Service was safe with them and that the Conservatives would end it. I recall one Labour Councillor, now the Communities Cabinet Member, telling a packed public meeting this in 2012. Now Labour are in power they are axing the service. When the Conservatives ran the city we protected Community Languages because we valued the work of all the dedicated volunteers and great work done by all our language schools in the city.

This new Labour betrayal is the exact same scenario as Oaklands Pool: Labour say whatever it takes to get elected and then do the exact opposite when in power. They have proved time and time again that they can't be trusted and this is just one more example.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Plenty of U-turns when it comes to parking charges

Do we believe Labour when they say no more parking charge hikes in Southampton? They made a similar promise before the 2012 council election but as soon as they were in power they set about increasing charges and introducing new ones like residents parking first permits and night time city centre charges. They also voted through plans for charges for shoppers in district centres like Shirley and Portswood. If Labour are genuinely having a rethink and accepting that their approach up until now was wrong, they should scrap their first permit charges and night time charges which will hit residents and businesses in the pocket.

Empty Labour promises before an election have been proved worthless. As the council leader himself admitted himself; much of Labour's 2012 election manifesto was simply an election tactic.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Scrapping City Patrol Would Be a Big Mistake

The City Council is currently consulting on its proposals for next year's council budget changes. Amongst these is the scrapping of the City Patrol service. I would urge a rethink. City Patrol do a huge amount of good work - dealing with matters like fly tipping, illegal car sales, dog fouling and littering. I use the service frequently in dealing with issues in Freemantle Ward.  At the last Full Council meeting I asked how many matters they have dealt with in the last 2 years - the answer was 3,500! Scrapping this service will be a false economy; it will mean a more untidy city, more complaints to the council and a signal to those that behave irresponsibly and in some cases criminally that they can get away with it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Street Drinking Update

This evening Cllr Parnell and I met with Council Officers from the Licencing and Trading Standards Departments and with members of the local Police. 

We met to discuss the problem of street drinking in and around Shirley Road and Shirley High Street. This is a problem I have been highlighting consistently for the past 2 years as I get regular complaints from local residents.

I have raised the matter in Full Council meetings, the media and at the city's Safer City Partnership.

Tonight's meeting was the second of a number of meetings that are being held to look at possible solutions to the problem. The matter is now being taken very seriously. The Police are planning to be a lot more robust in challenging street drinking, new signs are going to be put up, the police have recruited some local Polish volunteers to help communicate the message that street drinking should not be taking place, and a range of licencing proposals are being considered which should have a positive effect. 

Sadly the city council has just granted another alcohol licence in Shirley Road. On the plus side the licence comes with a string of new conditions - for instance banning the sale of single cans of beer, which the police feel will make substantial difference. I am hopeful that these conditions can start to be applied to other existing off licences in the area.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

City Council Planning Inquiry


Southampton City Council is today kicking off an inquiry into planning issues. 

The first meeting of several meetings is being held this evening. All meetings will be conducted in public at the Civic Centre so people can go along. It may be possible to address the panel and people are certainly encouraged to make written representations.

I have attached a link this evening’s meeting, which is just setting out the terms of reference.

The main meetings are at 5pm and as follows:

9th January – looking at planning policies towards Houses of Multiple Occupation. (click HERE for a link to the papers)

6th February – looking at the effectiveness of planning enforcement

6th March – looking at other planning policies – national and local, including conversion of office and retail to residential use

The inquiry is an opportunity to strengthen and improve the council’s approach to these planning issues.

If you would like to make comments or speak to someone to get more information you can contact Mark Pirnie at the City Council:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ranelagh Gardens' new Community Garden

Last week end I was very pleased to be at the opening of the new community garden in Ranelagh Gardens in Banister Park. An enormous amount of work has gone into turning an empty piece of land into a great space for the local community. The local residents' association has done an amazing job and have worked with the city council, Radio Solent and the local Probation Service over the past 2 years. As well as being enjoyed by local residents the garden will used by the children from Banister School. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Schools Strikes Will Damage Children's Education

This week’s strikes will only serve to damage the education of thousands of children in Southampton and disrupt the lives of hard working parents. Many parents will themselves lose a day’s pay as they have to take the day off work and others will have to pay the cost of making alternative child care arrangements.

Southampton’s schools are driving up standards and results are improving year after year. One of the key drivers of improvement is better attendance. The more children are in school the better they do. The reverse is true; the more children miss school the more this sets back their progress. Strikes this week and perhaps in coming months are therefore damaging and wrong.

Schools in Southampton will be doing their best under these difficult circumstances; with some able to keep their school open or partly open for some year groups, or able to facilitate self study for older children.

Schools need to know how many teachers will be off work and how many are working in order to plan ahead, to communicate early with parents and to run an open or partly open school on the day. It is therefore deeply irresponsible of some of the more militant elements among the union leaders to be advocating that teachers refuse to tell their school if they will be in work or not. This is designed to maximise disruption to the school and to parents and ultimately to the education of children in the city. The union leaders should respect the right of teachers to come into school and teach if they choose and I am sure parents across the city will be very thankful to those that do.

Politics should be kept out of schools and the focus of everyone – school heads, the unions, the teaching profession and parents should be on delivering for children.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Southampton City Council Refuses to be Biomass Power Station Customer

At yesterday’s full Council meeting the Council debated two issues that relate to the proposed Helius Biomass Power Station.
Firstly the Council approved the Hampshire Waste and Minerals Plan. This is an important planning document which forms part of the Council's planning framework. Back in 2011 the draft plan was amended so that it ruled out very large developments in the Western Docks, such as the Helius Power Station. This change has been retained in the final plan and so this will be a powerful tool in fighting any application from Helius should one be submitted.
Secondly Councillors unanimously supported a motion committing the Council to never becoming a customer of Helius in the future. It has become clear in recent months that Helius would need to be able to sell heat generated by the power station. If it is unable to do this Helius is unlikely to get approval for their scheme. Whilst this does not mean Helius could not find a commercial purchaser of heat, it does rule out a key potential partner. The signal from the council is very clear - that Helius' scheme is not welcome.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Call for Southampton City Council Never to Become a Customer of Helius

On Wednesday Southampton City Council will debate a motion about the proposed Helius Biomass Power Station.

If passed Southampton City Council will commit to never become a customer of Helius Energy to never buy heat and power from the company. It is becoming increasingly clear that any large scale biomass power station in the Western Docks would need to provide combined heat and power (CHP) and be linked in with a buyer of the heat that it generates. 

By making it clear that the council will never become a customer of Helius or another company operating a similar scheme in the docks, the council will put another hurdle in the way of this inappropriate development.

The text of the motion is shown below:

(e)  Councillor Moulton to move

“This Council notes that Helius Energy may need to find significant local demand for the heat energy produced by its proposed biomass power station, if it is to take advantage of potential government funding or subsidies. In light of the Council’s previously stated opposition to the proposed power station, this Council agrees that in so far as is legal it will never become a customer of Helius Energy's heat output or of any companies that might in the future build or operate its scheme or one like it on a similar scale, on the same site or elsewhere in the Western Docks. On the same basis, Council makes it clear that should a large wood burning biomass power station be approved and eventually built in the Western Docks the City Council will at no stage ever directly or indirectly purchase any heat power generated by it.

Council resolves that it will write to Helius Energy to advise them accordingly, with the letter preferably signed by all 4 Group Leaders.”

Civil Service Ground Update

You may be aware that Southampton City Council now owns the former Civil Sports Ground. I would like to take this opportunity of updating you with what has happened and what we intend to do in the near future and in the coming years.
The site has been bought in order to provide more school sports pitches but we are also very keen to look at future opportunities for the land including community use.  To this end, Councillors and Council officers have met with a number of interested parties and this has resulted in the formation of a Working Group.  This group consists of representatives of the Council, St. Mark’s School, Friends of the Field, local residents and some sports organisations and has met throughout the recent months to discuss future opportunities.
Currently we are relocating slow worms which inhabit the site and which are a protected species, meaning that no work on the land can start until they have been removed.  Japanese Knotweed is also growing on the site and has to be treated throughout the year to eradicate it.
We are now looking for contractors to install secure fencing to the field together with some repairs to fencing on the Malmesbury Road side.  It is anticipated that this fencing will be installed in the autumn after the slow worms have been removed and the Japanese Knotweed treated. An estimated timescale is attached to this letter.
Whilst we appreciate that the field has historically been used by the local community, it is currently in such a poor state that it represents a significant health and safety hazard.  A number of local residents are also concerned that the field continues to be accessed illegally and used for anti-social activities by some people. Therefore, we will take steps to ensure that the field will no longer be accessible in the immediate future.  Once the fencing has been installed the land will be secured and only available for school use and some other, occasional, pre-agreed activities by designated users.
In the spring of 2014 the remainder of the field will be dug up, levelled and re-seeded.  Again access will not be possible during this time but once the grass has been established, the field will be re-opened to the local community.  Whilst all of this work takes place the council will continue to engage with local residents to investigate the most appropriate use of the land in the future.

Any additional work would be phased and subject to obtaining external funding. We see this as a developmental programme with exciting possibilities for the local community.  Working together we hope to achieve a high quality local amenity which will encompass the community’s aspirations and provide an attractive outdoor space for the future use of all.
Start date
Finish date
Ground preparation for fencing installation
16 Sept 2013
17 September 2013
Installation of fencing
Oct /November 2013
End December 2013
Site clearance
Early 2014
Spring 2014
April/May 2014
September 2014

Friday, August 02, 2013

Northlands Gardens Cutway

For some considerable time now residents have been concerned about cyclists speeding down the cutway between Northlands Gardens and Northlands Road. The situation is made more dangerous because the slope of the cutway allows cyclists to build up quite a speed and also because of the blind corner in the middle.

Cycling is not allowed in the cutway however the signs are often ignored.

Following requests by the local Neighbourhood Watch and a site visit with council officers and residents, the council has now agreed that action will be taken.

The city council has committed to putting in a staggered gate at the Northlands Gardens end, very similar to the one at the Northlands Road end.

At the site meeting the council also said that it would look at improved signage and markings to make it clearer that cycling is not allowed.

I have been informed that it is likely that the work will take place within the next two months.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Labour's Night Time Parking Charges Need A Rethink

Plans by the Labour council to introduce evening parking charges in Southampton city centre need a serious rethink. Charging to park at night will damage businesses, hit city centre workers and also residents.

It will mean more people parking on the outskirts of the city centre in places like Freemantle and Banister Park, to escape the charges. This will mean residents having to compete for parking spaces here when they return home from work. There is also a safety issue for people walking longer distances to their cars late at night.

I recently had a leaflet through my door advertising the new shopping area at Whiteley. They won't be charging for evening parking. It doesn't take a genius to see that Labour charges will drive business elsewhere to places like Whiteley.
It isn't too late to stop this crazy policy. Labour councillors need to re think this.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sulphur Plant Approved By Council's Planning Committee

The City Council’s Planning and Rights of Way panel this morning considered the application for the Sulphur Plant in the Western Docks.

I am very disappointed to report that the application was approved. Click here for a link to the Daily Echo’s coverage:

I had hoped that the decision could be deferred and further investigation be carried out regarding safety concerns and the environmental impact of the plant. I had asked that independent consultants be engaged to investigate these matters, in light of the fact there have been no other applications of this nature anywhere in the country and that there are no other such plants in the UK. I made those points to the planning committee but sadly the decision was taken to approve the application.

I am now keen to ensure that any other such applications for the docks are properly scrutinised and that local people are informed in the first instance.

The western docks are becoming more and more industrialised and this is a concern for people locally.

In July I will be holding a meeting at the Civic Centre to specifically look at planning issues in the docks, resident communication and how we can do more to shield residents from noise from the docks.