Dear Members and Friends,
Firstly, I would like to personally thank all our members and friends for their support at the last fund-raising event, especially Sheena, Paul and Jaqueline, ‘O Sole Mio’ restaurant and our speakers (Michael Lane & Alistair Thompson) and the musical entertainment which was enjoyed by all. The turnout was truly magnificent, and we managed to raise a princely sum for the Association.
Perhaps more importantly, the dinner saw some of our new members attend their first Conservative Party fundraiser. I hope it will not be their last. It is great news that thanks to the hard work of the Association’s officers our membership numbers are on the rise again. Special thanks to Jacqueline who has given up her time and energy to carrying out the role of Honorary Secretary for the last 12 months and has helped to keep the office functioning.
Next year, we face a touch electoral challenge. Local elections here in Portsmouth, are likely to be tough, with a resurgent Labour Party and the yellow peril most likely to target Eastney & Craneswater and St Judes. These are seats we must retain, while also winning in wards like Milton and St Thomas; Terry Henderson (St Thomas) is a very good candidate with a very good chance of winning but he will need our support and we will support him in any way we can. We have an excellent group of candidates and I would urge all members and supporters to do everything they can to ensure we retain control of our City. If we do not, the considerable work undertaken by our councillors’ to repair the damage caused to Portsmouth’s finances by the last administration will be undone. We will need help in delivering, canvassing and identifying poster sites so please speak to your local candidate even if you can only spare an hour or two your help will be most welcome.
A big thank you to Susan Lloyd in organising and paying for the Christmas Pies and Mulled Wine event which raised a nice amount. She is planning on another get together with a different theme in the next few months.
Ahead of the elections, I plan on organising another fundraiser to help out candidates so they will be able to print leaflets etc. to get the message out. I will keep you posted and send another update soon as I have more details.
I like to report on the Homeless Bus front and to tell you that the first bed has already been filled, so they can escape the very cold nights on the streets. I hope you bring you further updates over the next couple of months.
Turning to national politics, I am pleased that our Prime Minister have moved forward with securing the first stage of a deal with our European neighbours. Over future months, I am confident that David Davis and Co will secure a sensible deal with British business and safeguard the flow of information and talent to our universities, including Portsmouth, which is an important part of our community and supports many other industries including our maritime economy. Personally, I think that the Conservative rebels are depraving our PM of the necessary strength and support from Parliament which is needed to get a better deal for us and these rebels are going again the Democratic Will of the country who voted to Leave.
There is so much more that I could include in this final report of 2017, but as all our thoughts turn to Christmas, I will conclude by wishing you and your family a very MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR.
We look forward to see you all soon.
Best Wishes from all the Officers: Sacha, Steve, Paul, Leo and Hon Secretary Jacqueline