I arrived in Lee-on-the-Solent, from life on an Australian mountain side, in 1952 when my father, serving in the Fleet Air Arm, was posted to Daedalus. (I remember clearly the iconic ‘Lee Tower’, the old Royal Naval Air Yard, Fleetlands, (they were probably busy mending the planes my father flew), and the old chain ferry rattling its way across the Harbour!) I returned in 1982, and have lived here more than 40 years in all.
My life to date, since leaving school (no resulting qualifications) - various jobs, including deck hand on car ferries, trench/groundworks digger (by hand!) for builders, and porter in an NHS Hospital, - retail management training in South Africa – creating company to sell fishing boats to fishermen in Scotland (not THAT’s a hard sale!) - Army (The Royal Hampshire Regiment initially) involving vigorous service in some “difficult” places in the world – back into business, going bust in Depression years followed by life on the dole – door-to-door sales jobs – correspondence course (nightly and all week-ends; with wonderful family support) to qualify as a solicitor – advocacy in the Courts – appointed Managing Partner of my Law Firm while working also in the TA (aka Reserve Army) – very challenging spell of re-commission into Regular Army for higher level service at NATO (and still managing the Law firm) – then specialising in a ‘trouble shooting’ role to assist resolving business/legal problems at Board level in charity and Commercial enterprises across SE England.
For 9 years I was Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Counties Committee of South East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, which dealt with financial and facilities support for all the Reserve units of the Armed Forces and Cadet Forces across these counties. I was also appointed as a member of the South East Veterans Advisory & Pensions Committee for the South East, and served as a trustee of a military welfare Trust. In 2013, I helped in setting up a new Trust, the Portsmouth Sail Training Trust, to provide a free and enduring programme of tuition and challenge through sail training, to raise the aspirations of disadvantaged young people of our area who cannot afford the experience –they rose to the challenge with amazing results (just as did the young people in the Cadet Forces.). In merger with another trust now that wonderful work goes onward – and THAT is what ‘Raising Aspirations of our Young People’ is all about!
Since 2014, as a Councillor on Gosport Borough Council, and representing Lee East ward, I have served on the Community Board and Standards & Governance Committee and presently the Regulatory, Economic Development, and Policy & Organisation Boards. I was pleased to chair the Climate Change Working Group and to be able to bring in the Council’s new Climate Change Strategy, and the birth of our vibrant new Climate Change Board.
Representing our Residents, and working together as a team with my colleague Councillors, people of great integrity, business sense, compassion and dedication, to ensure the Council continues to protect and enhance our green and public spaces, and to deliver all front-line Services efficiently and as economically as possible, is a huge privilege.
Each area across Gosport has a huge sense of community, and we must hold that dear as we continue our work to improve the quality of life for all of us across our wonderful Town!