Monday, 19 September 2016

Cllr Rob Musson

I am very sad to learn of the death of Cllr Rob Musson who I served with on Basingstoke & Dean Borough Council for 12 years.  Rob was a fellow councillor representing Tadley and always put Tadley first in everything he did.  He was thoughtful and pragmatic and I am sure that Tadley is worse off without him.  He fought bravely against his illness for many years and never complained.  My thoughts go out to his wife, Chris and Rob's family.

Further details in this article by the Basingstoke Gazette

Filippiada Refugee Camp

Last month, I went to Greece in order to support the small over-stretched team that cares for the refugees at one of the many camps in Greece. While I was there, I met with the leaders to learn about their challenges and needs, allowing me to make the case back in the UK for greater support. Most importantly and more immediately, I was spending my time helping the team with the day-to-day running of the camp and bringing with me some essential supplies.
The supplies that I took were both consumables such as toiletries and basic medical supplies as well as much needed equipment for example IT and communications. 
The Camp is located in the Northwest of Greece, around 4 km outside the town of Filippiada. There are around 450 people living in the camp, half of which are children. People are sleeping in small tents, which each house around 4 people. In the back there is a paved area with portable toilets. There is a large warehouse on the site where volunteers distribute clothes and baby food for some hours during the day. Besides that there is nothing.
There are no organisations here, no journalists, the UNHCR has been here infrequent. The Syrian refugees believe that they have been forgotten by the world and let down by the EU. 
I know that many of you are sympathetic to these poor families that have travelled thousands of miles in the face of adversity (many meeting their death en-route). I would like to thank  everyone that contributed to my appeal.  
My pictures are available to view here on Flickr

The refugee camp in Fillipiada, Greece
Click here to listen to my interview on BBC Radio Berkshire before my trip.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Hello World!

Welcome to my new blog.  This is my first post.  I have decided to take the old blog offline because it was hosted by SquareSpace and costing lots of money.  My needs have changed since leaving front line politics and I no longer need to communicate with an electorate in the way that I used to.  I am also using Twitter a lot more to discuss current affairs.

I am using Google Blogger now so let's see how I get on .....