2020 has been the most appalling of years for many of us for many reasons. It is right that we look forward to 2021 in the most optimistic way possible and I am grateful to The News, Portsmouth
for offering me the opportunity on behalf of the residents of the Borough of Fareham to do just that.
We hope and pray that a robust vaccination programme will be put in place, particularly for our most vulnerable residents, in coming months otherwise there is little prospect of us emerging from this lockdown.
Looking forward to 2021 there are potentially a number of positives on the horizon for Fareham:
Fareham Leisure Centre and Holly Hill Leisure Centre are between them having seven million pounds spent on significant improvements to these very popular fitness venues.
• A ‘Top Rock’ climbing wall for children and adults set alongside a soft play area for younger users
• An indoor splash pad
• A large extension to the gym on the ground floor with windows opening onto the surrounding parkland
• Improvements to existing facilities such as the café, dry changing rooms and reception area
• Additional parking for 32 vehicles.
• Addition of a steam room and sauna
As one of the country’s largest developments this has certainly been a long time coming but as the legal agreements get signed and the funding is being put in place we should expect to see a start on much-needed homes for Fareham people including hundreds of millions of pounds worth of infrastructure such as schools, roads, open spaces, shopping and community facilities.
This has been a huge success story since
Fareham Borough Council
took ownership of
Solent Airport, Daedalus
in 2015 starting with the runway refurbishment without which the airport would have been closed to flying. Pictured with the intrepid Kimberley Barber from
The News, Portsmouth
who trusted me to take her aloft at the opening in March 2015
Investment in offices and workshops for local businesses will continue as interest grows in new businesses starting and existing businesses relocating to
Fareham Innovation Centre
Plus the letting of all of the hangars. We also intend improving the airport with runway lighting and instrument approach to aid safety and increase the variety of users. Our huge new open space – Daedalus Common – will also be opening to the public as a great recreational facility.
The National Grid UK IFA2 interconnector is also soon to start delivering power for over 1,000,000 homes.
May will see the postponed local elections taking place when residents will be asked to elect Borough Councillors, County Councillors and a new Police and Crime Commissioner.
We will be constructing a new arts and entertainment facility – Fareham Live – on the site of the old Ferneham Hall as well as bringing the adjacent car park up to modern standards.
I believe that 2021 will be the year of the independent trader and we have many dozens of these in the western end of West Street including shops and cafes. Picture with the Mayor
Councillor Pamela Bryant
People seem prepared to go for good service more than cheap goods and as the large chain stores fail the independents will become staple as they were generations ago. I strongly encourage everyone to Shop Local and Eat Local during 2021 and see the difference it makes to the vibrancy of our town and village centres.