Local Issues

29 Dec


I am so sorry to have to advise you that Keith lost a brief battle against COVID-19 on Sunday. You may be aware he has been very poorly for some time but unfortunately contracted the disease as a patient in Queen Alexandra Hospital on Tuesday and passed away on Sunday. I am sure many will join me in passing their kind thoughts to his family. Fortunately they were able to be with him for his last hours.
It has been a privilege to have known Keith for 33 years. He first stood and was elected for Sarisbury Ward in 1988 and has been a Councillor for 30 years having subsequently represented Locks Heath Ward on Fareham Borough Council . He was an excellent Executive Member for Planning and Development. He was elected to Hampshire County Council in 2005 and as he was Chairman of the River Hamble Harbour Board the flag above the Harbourmaster’s Office in Warsash is flying at half-mast today.
The Union Flag outside the Civic Offices in Fareham is being flown at half-mast today and tomorrow as a mark of respect. It will also be flown at half-mast on the day of Cllr Evans’s funeral, the date of which is yet to be confirmed.
I am extremely saddened by this news and will miss Keith terribly. We have worked closely together for the past three decades and he has been a valued member of the Executive and indeed a personal friend. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children at this very difficult time.
23 Dec


I wanted to take this opportunity to express my thanks for the very many supportive messages and calls I have received over the last couple of weeks both on Facebook and privately. They mean a great deal and I am grateful for each and every one.
In order to counter the massive amount of misinformation that was circulated by a few Facebook accounts I thought it might be helpful to state the roles I currently undertake on your behalf, in addition to my constituency duties, as your Councillor:
• Fareham Borough Council Councillor for Sarisbury
• Leader of Fareham Borough Council
• Director of the Solent LEP
• Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire
• Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Government Association
•Hampshire County Council Councillor for Sarisbury Division
• Chairman of the River Hamble Harbour Management Committee
As always if I can help in any way please do not hesitate to contact me via swoodward@fareham.gov.uk and I will continue to do my very best to solve your problems and answer your queries.
Today’s picture is the unchanging scene at Swanwick Shore that I took on Christmas Day 2019 when nobody could have foreseen the year we had in store. I wish you and those you are close to a safe and Happy Christmas and pray that we will all have a far better New Year in 2021.
Image may contain: sky, cloud, ocean, outdoor, water and nature
20 Dec


All children deserve a stable loving home and right now the vital role of foster carers is even more crucial to ensure vulnerable children and young people are looked after, when their own families are unable to.
At any time, around 400 children across Hampshire are in need of foster care and our foster carers do a fantastic job looking after and, in some cases, changing the lives of Hampshire’s vulnerable children – an especially challenging responsibility during the pandemic.
One great example of the type of household that could look after vulnerable young people is found in Chris, a single male carer. During the week, Chris is a truck driver for a racing team, but at weekends his home is available for emergency respite placements. He said:
“I saw an advert for fostering, found myself with a spare room and decided to apply. My biggest achievement was a boy who was a joyrider and had moved from placement to placement. As a father of four, I’m fluent in teenage ‘grunt’ language and so I spent some time with him and built up a rapport. I was the only foster carer he didn’t run away from, and he’d asked to come back to me – for that I’m really proud.”
Another foster carer, Kelly, originally signed up to do parent and child fostering, where a vulnerable parent and child are both looked after as part of a foster family. Owing to the Covid-19 crisis, Kelly’s plans were adapted. She said:
“As a family, we decided we wouldn’t take parent and child placements during lockdown because we didn’t think it would be fair on everyone involved. However, we decided we could take a baby. A couple of weeks later we had a call and the next thing you know we’re taking home a three-hour old baby girl. It’s actually a really lovely time to have a newborn in the house because everyone in the home is around, they can all help, and they can enjoy her.”
Hampshire County Council’s Foster Care Team has gone virtual – taking its outreach information and engagement activities online and hosting free informal information sessions to help you learn more about fostering. Upcoming events can be found online at www.hants.gov.uk/fostering

Fostering with

Hampshire County Council

is not dependent on your marital status, ethnicity, sexuality or age – so long as you are over 21 and have a spare room. Rated Outstanding by Ofsted, we offer our foster carers quality training, good support and allowances of up to £600 per week for each child they look after.

Even if it is not possible to foster right now, there are other ways to support Hampshire children, including joining the 150-strong team of Innovation Volunteers who support foster families and children – details at www.hants.gov.uk/community
Search Hampshire County Council today. Visit our website to download an information pack, request a call back for an informal chat or apply to become a foster carer. You can also call 01489 587052 or email fostering@hants.gov.uk directly.