It’s considered a Tory safe seat but that has not stopped a further six hopefuls entering the battle for the Fareham MP seat.
When Tory Mark Hoban, who first won his seat in 2001 with a 7,009 majority, announced that he would be stepping down earlier this year, interest in the Fareham seat perked up.
Now, with two independents in the running - including teenager comedian Harvey Hines - plus candidates from all the major political parties the fight for the seat has started to heat up.
With housing development being one of the hottest topics among Fareham residents, and the burden it could bring on the infrastructure, voters now have a chance to make their voices heard.
FAREHAM has the highest rate of foot amputations due to diabetes in the country.
And tackling this was one of departing MP Mark Hoban’s key health priorities.
Figures produced showed the area had the highest rate of diabetes-related amputations in the country – 5.1 per 1,000 diabetic - last year.
This was almost twice the national average of 2.6 per 1,000 and seven times that of patients in London.
Mr Hoban called together experts on diabetes and footcare as well as Dr David Chilvers, the chairman of the Fareham and Gosport CCG and his team, which is in charge of buying health services for the area, to create an action plan.
This work will need to be taken on by whoever takes on the MP seat.
Not only this but last year it was found that GPs in the Fareham constituency had up to 700 more patients for each family doctor than the average across England.
NHS England reported the average practice in the UK had around 1,850 patients for each of its doctors.
But all but one of the 10 Fareham surgeries had far more – with Jubilee Surgery, in High Street, Titchfield, topping the list with 2,565 patients per doctor.
The next MP will need to work hard to encourage more GPs to work in the area and to tackle the shortage of places for vital medical services. This includes places at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Fareham’s nearest major hospital.
ARGUABLY one of the hottest topics in Fareham is that of development and meeting the area’s housing needs.
A 6,000-home new town called Welborne, planned for fields north of Fareham, is currently being decided on by an independent government inspector following a public inquiry late last year.
His decision, as to whether the scheme is sound and can progress, is due any day.
The proposed town has caused major upset in communities near to the fields, such as Funtley and Knowle, where the residents fear that the extra strain will ruin their lives as well as destroying vast swathes of countryside.
As well as deciding the fate of Welborne, inspector David Hogger is also assessing Fareham’s plan for housing across the whole of the borough.
If he deems the plan not fit for purpose, that could mean that scores of contentious sites, such as Cranleigh Road in Portchester and Newlands in Stubbington, that are already in the hands of developers could progress, creating infilling and burdening the existing infrastructure.
However the need for more housing in this area is greater than ever and building Welborne would satisfy Fareham’s housing need until 2030.
KEEPING a vibrant Fareham with booming businesses which in turn feed into the economy and provide jobs must be a priority for the next MP.
Work has been done to support businesses in Fareham town centre, with the introduction of a new website and the investment into the town’s streetscene, but more work needs to be done to support smaller traders, especially those along West Street.
And business is not just about the companies in the town centre, as Fareham has a thriving industrial estate which has major companies in residence such as Estee Lauder and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
These need to be supported and represented too as these larger units can have a huge impact if they are to go, like when City Link folded last year making 130 people jobless.
Although not technically in the Fareham MP’s patch, the former Royal Navy airbase Daedalus at Lee-on-the-Solent has been taken over by Fareham council and it has spent millions on revamping the runway and building the Innovation Centre, which will provide start-up businesses with a place to trade from, creating much-needed employment for Fareham constituents.
Daedalus is being turned into the Solent Enterprise Zone, one of only a handful in the country, and it will bring highly-skilled jobs in marine, aerospace and aviation engineering, and the next MP will need to champion it.
MOTORWAY roar is a common sound across Fareham as it is home to the ever-busy M27.
The new MP will need to take on the work done by departing MP Mark Hoban to tackle the ever-growing drone of traffic on the busy road.
The MP will need to maintain the pressure on the Highways Agency to see through its plans to resurface the road with noise-lowering material by the end of 2016.
Not only that but junction improvements, especially at junction 10 Whiteley where it needs to be made an all-moves junction to alleviate traffic queues, are greatly overdue and much-needed.
Extra pressure will need to be placed on the government and the Highways Agency to invest in the motorway so that it can keep up with the exponential rate at which Fareham and the surrounding areas are expanding.
Traffic is already regularly at a standstill during rush hours and a recent major incident in which there was fatality, led to the emergency services closing the motorway for hours and causing traffic chaos across Fareham.
With extra housing on the way, and more people using cars, work needs to be done to keep the motorway up to standard and also to encourage more people to get out of their cars and on to public transport.
Better train and bus links will need to be fought for, if the motorway is to become any less congested and that will need a vocal MP.
IF YOU’VE ever tried to negotiate Quay Street roundabout at 5pm, you’ll know that traffic is a major issue for Fareham constituents.
A package of measures, including the introduction of a Stubbington bypass, to ease traffic congestion has been decades in the making.
Now due to funding being released from government because of the Solent Enterprise Zone at the former Daedalus airfield and with the potential development of new 6,000-home town Welborne, the measures look closer to reality than ever before.
But there needs to be a strong MP to fight to get the last bits of funding and push through the package, which will ultimately improve access from Gosport through Fareham to the M27.
Work has already begun on some parts, such as Newgate Lane north, and other parts, such as the changes to St Margaret’s roundabout in Titchfield, are getting the final seals of approval.
But the Stubbington bypass has funding for the planning application and no more.
If it is approved, then the battle will be on to secure the rest of the £30m needed to make the bypass a reality – and it will be one of the tasks of the next MP to ensure that’s a smooth process.
That’s not forgetting they will need to make sure that any improvements to the roads are favourable to Fareham’s residents, and not simply turning the town into Gosport’s exit route.
This means the next Fareham MP will need to have a firm grasp on planning and be prepared to listen to both sides of the argument for and against development.
Suella Fernandes - Conservative
Ms Fernandes is a 34-year-old barrister who lives in Locks Heath with her family. She was born in Harrow and grew up in Wembley – her mother is originally from Mauritius and her father is from Kenya. She read law at Cambridge University, did a masters at the Sorbonne in Paris and sat the New York Bar exams, qualifying her as an attorney.
She worked at the Bar for 10 years, specialising in planning law and judicial review. Ms Fernandes helped to set up Michaela Community School, a free school in Wembley, and she has been involved with the Africa Justice Foundation.
Miles Grindey - Green Party
Mr Grindey was born in Warsash in 1995, where he went to primary school and secondary school. He went to Barton Peveril sixth form college for a year before dropping out and joining the Green Party, fighting two local elections. He is now attending Itchen Sixth Form College and in November 2014, he was selected by the SE Hants Green Party to stand for Fareham in the election. He cofounded the Western Wards People’s Voice in September 2013, joined and became chairman of the Warsash Residents’ Association and has been actively involved in his community.
Malcolm Jones - Ukip
Mr Jones is a 49-year-old builder from Eastleigh. He was educated in Southampton and runs his own building company.
He was a tutor for City Business in Southampton City College for 10 years. He is also club secretary and manager of a local under-14s football team.
He said he intends to focus on issues relating to planning and infrastructure, such as problems with congestion on the M27. He also said that if elected he would campaign to bring skilled jobs to the constituency.
Matthew Winnington - Liberal Democrats
Mr Winnington is a councillor representing the Eastney and Craneswater ward on Portsmouth City Council. He joined the Lib Dems aged 17. He was born on the Wirral and grew up in Hastings and studied Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. He joined the Department for Work & Pensions after finishing university and worked there for 12 years, before leaving last year to focus on council duties. He has campaigned in Portsmouth and beyond on many issues. His wife Tricia is from Fareham and he is committed to being an active, vocal campaigner for Fareham constituency.
Harvey Hines - Independent
Mr Hines is a 19-year-old comedian who lives in central Fareham. He is in his third year of A-levels at Barton Peveril College, studying politics, media, modern history and business. He also works part-time at Reel cinema in Fareham.
He has several YouTube channels where he promotes his comedy, inspired by Steve Coogan.
He hopes to encourage more young people to take an interest in politics and the general election, and says he wants to give the Conservatives a run for their money.
Stuart Rose - Labour
Mr Rose was born in the neighbouring constituency of Portsmouth North and has been a Fareham resident for nearly 30 years. Mr Rose has previously been a councillor on Fareham Borough Council and served as vice chairman of the environmental committee where he was instrumental in the introduction of a leisure card scheme that has prospered and now has several thousand members.
He works locally as a print manager having spent the majority of his career in the printing industry.
Nick Gregory - Independent
Mr Gregory runs a children’s nursery in Fareham and is an independent councillor on Fareham Borough Council representing Fareham West. Cllr Gregory was voted on to the council at a 2010 by-election as a Lib Dem, but he soon switched to the Tories which saw him re-elected in 2012. He became independent in early 2013, before switching to Ukip for a short stint, and then moving back to independent in October 2013.
He said he would like to see more independent MPs.