Attending the Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company's (WBRC) public meeting on April 16, 2024, one thing was clear: there is no guarantee of more GPs, an NHS dentist, buses, or other facilities. After Morrisons departure, the announcement of Sainsbury's coming to Bordon is welcomed. Whether it comes to fruition, remains to be seen. 

Due to the failure of the Conservative Government, Conservative Council, and Conservative stakeholders in WBRC to deliver vital infrastructure, residents remain stuck in a cycle of unmet expectations.

But there are some winners. The current Conservative MP has enjoyed 14 years as the MP for residents of Bordon. He is now standing elsewhere. Government stakeholders in WBRC, such as the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Ministry of Defence, both controlled by Conservative ministers, will no longer have to witness the impact of their failures once they are ousted at the next General Election. The WBRC, a joint venture between Taylor Wimpey and the Dorchester Group, made a profit of £852,000 in 2022.

The real victims are the current and future residents of Whitehill and Bordon. Despite plans for a Health Hub in 2018, its scope has been reduced, and essential services like an x-ray unit, dementia unit, and pharmacy are yet to materialize. There is no guarantee that the Health Hub will even be delivered. Bus services have been slashed by Conservative-run Hampshire County Council, leaving residents without vital public transport.

Khalil Yousuf, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Farnham and Bordon
Khalil Yousuf, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Farnham and Bordon (Khalil Yousuf)

NHS dental services are non-existent. Despite consultations with Disability Action Group in 2019, disabled accessibility (and SEND facilities) remain a concern. There's no clarity on the delivery of a new primary school. The Future Skills College is closing. We can’t be sure of what the Sergeants Mess next to the Shed will now include and we still have no bowling alley, sports hall or cinema. 

There is a solution. It has two parts. Firstly, I want an integrated planning system where all stakeholders are involved in decision-making. This Liberal Democrat policy would prioritize infrastructure alongside housing, devolving responsibility for transport to (in our case) the Town Council. Utilities and public service providers (for essentials like schools for instance) would be active participants, held accountable in planning meetings.

The second part is accountability. Conservatives must be held to account for their massive failures and broken promises. That must start by making sure they are not elected again. 

The people of Bordon deserve to be respected, to have the services they were promised and a town that they can be proud of. If elected, I am determined to do everything I can to make that happen. Nothing less will do.  

Khalil Yousuf, Prospective Liberal Democrat MP, Farnham & Bordon.