Warren Park – Beryl Francis
I’m Beryl Francis, your Labour Councillor for Warren Park Ward.
The ward is partly built amidst beautiful country and the housing, originally
built by Portsmouth City Council, is mainly good, although some, sold on and on
again by Thatcher’s right to buy scheme has deteriorated a bit.
Warren Park is one of the most deprived Wards in the South of England
so there is a lot to fight for but much to praise. I am a Trustee at
the beautiful Sure Start centre (now called Park Families ) where wonderful
work is done. The only snag is that funding from the Government and
the County for childcare is too little, so we have our problems.
The Warren Park School, where I am Governor is OUTSTANDING,
and the staff very caring, although one third of our children have Special Educational Needs.
Again, the dreadful cuts in Government
funding over the years have left us, and all local schools, with difficulties
in maintaining our standards.
As one of the two Labour Councillors in Havant there is a lot to do.
I am very concerned about global warming. In May 2019 I brought a
Motion to Council, which was accepted, stating that we wished to see
a reduction in carbon emissions across the Borough; stating what should
be done by builders, residents, businesses and public bodies. We have only two
Labour Councillors out of thirty eight on the Council so this was not a bad
effort. Since then I have been pursuing the matter and (without success
to date) the possibility of collecting our food waste for anaerobic treatment
to produce electricity.
My other big concern is housing. The Council is committed to affordable housing,
but we all know that in Havant wages are not high and that affordable housing
is beyond the means of many families. What we need is Social housing. I am
encouraging the Council to set up a trust to enable us to create, perhaps
with other partners, housing of this kind. Already some of the Conservatives
As a Leigh Park Councillor, I am anxious that our Havant Council Corporate
Strategy puts the needs of our communities to the fore. It is not good enough
that the life span of our people is so much lower than that of residents in other areas,
that there is a huge divergence in wages, education and esteem between different
areas. There are some wonderful initiatives (especially from the Park Community School)
but these are urgent matters.