NHS article published in the print version of the Petersfield Post on 6th June 2024: 

The Liberal Democrat parliamentary hopeful for East Hampshire believes investment in health and social care needs to be a top priority for any incoming government. 

Dominic Martin feels the general election is the chance to give the nation the healthcare it needs as he’s found the NHS to be a big talking point on the campaign trail. 

Concerns about waiting lists, GP provision and the strain NHS services are facing have been common with thousands of new homes – and thus more patients – to be built in East Hampshire before 2040. 

Under the Conservatives, the NHS is in permanent crisis,” said Mr Martin, adding: “There are over 100,000 staff vacancies in England alone, waiting lists for cancer appointments are far too long and A&E services are under severe strain. 

“We feel the crisis every time we try to book a GP appointment or visit a hospital. Promises by successive Conservative ministers to produce a plan for social care have been broken.” 

Fully-funded proposals from the Liberal Democrats including extended access to free dental care, treatment within 62 days of referral for cancer patients and a pledge to allow patients to see a GP within seven days. 

Voters can quiz Mr Martin and the other Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for East Hampshire next Tuesday (June 11) in Petersfield as the Post & Herald has teamed up with Shine Radio and St Peter’s to hold an ‘Election Questions’ hustings in the parish church. Questions for the 7pm event can be submitted through https://shineradio.uk 

A longer version of this NHS article was submitted to the Petersfield Post and Alton Herald and published online on 10th June here: https://www.petersfieldpost.co.uk/news/politics/time-to-revive-the-nhs-as-east-hants-lib-dem-hopeful-lauds-healthcare-plans-693882 


Letter from Dominic Martin, published in the Petersfield Post, 23rd May 2024:

Dear Editor

I welcome Damian Hinds’ recognition of the challenge Conservatives will face persuading voters in Hampshire and elsewhere to support them in the coming GeneralElection. (“The East Hampshire MP believes the Conservatives could still turn itaround…”, Petersfield Post, 8 May). Liberal Democrat gains in last week’s local elections in Winchester, Havant, Fareham and elsewhere, following our significantadvances in last year’s East Hampshire District Council elections and more recent Four Marks by-election win, show that there are no longer any Conservative safe seats in

Hampshire. It‘s time for change.

Damian Hinds is right that voters want a government that can deliver on healthcare, the economy and cost of living, schools, and crime. The fact is people in East Hampshire and across the country have had enough of the Conservative Government of which he isa member and its failure to live up to its promises.

People are also angry about the problems facing our environment, especially the sewage polluting our rivers and coastline, and this Government’s failure and backtracking on dozens of commitments on environmental protection and climate change.

There will indeed be a clear choice in East Hampshire: between a Conservative and the Liberal Democrats. Over the past few months, talking to thousands of voters across thisconstituency, I hear time and again that people are fed up with being taken for granted by an out-of-touch government.

If Conservative MPs are hearing the same message on the doorstep, it’s little wonder that they are feeling pessimistic.

Dominic Martin

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for East Hampshire


Letter from Dominic Martin, calling for more action on green energy, published in the Petersfield Post on 16th May 2024:

‘The importance of being earnest about green energy’

Modern politics has become particularly divisive. Until recently though, all parties agreed on the dangers of an overheating planet. A Labour Government introduced the Climate Change Act in 2008 with legally-binding targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, with strong cross party support. In 2019 the Conservative Government adopted a similarly legally-binding commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2050. No MP voted against.

Though not enough, the UK has made good progress compared with other countries, delivering a reduction in emissions of over 50% by 2021 compared with 1990, due in no small part to Ed Davey’s promotion of offshore wind and other renewable power generation as Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Until recently, we seemed ready to transform and embrace a greener future. Worryingly though, official reports have concluded that current Government plans are inadequate, and the UK is not on track to meet commitments. At the same time the Government is backtracking on policies like electric vehicles rather than increasing help so people can make changes.

Climate Change, first put on the international agenda by Margaret Thatcher, is too important for party politics or infighting. The UK can continue to show global leadership if we work across political divides to deliver commitments, adapt our economy and lives, and agree on infrastructure investment priorities. We are world leaders in some of the technologies needed to achieve Net Zero, like offshore wind and carbon capture and storage, home to innovative small green energy businesses, including here in Hampshire.

Local action and advocacy are vital for change. Initiatives like Energise South Downs, Alton, and Petersfield Climate Action Networks (ACAN and PeCAN), who as well as village groups, play an important role in raising awareness. ACAN, who I enjoyed meeting recently, has asked General Election candidates to support the Zero Hour campaign for a new Climate and Ecology Bill - I am proud to do so. 

Public support for robust action to reduce emissions remains high. We must mitigate, adapt and act now to protect our world for our children and grandchildren. The General Election will be a chance to vote for a more sustainable future.”

Dominic Martin, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for East Hampshire.


Article on sewage scandal authored by Dominic Martin and published in the Petersfield Post and Alton Herald on 17th April 2024:

‘Lib Dem candidate: 'Rishi should remember his Hampshire roots and protect our rivers...’

East Hampshire is one of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful corners. It is also home to some of our rarest and most wonderful plants and creatures.  That has been recognised not only by the creation of the South Downs National Park, but also by the designation of many nature reserves, sites of special scientific interest and so on. 

East Hampshire’s Wey and Rother River catchments, the Meon and Candover chalk streams, ancient forests, heathland and chalk downland are home to many rare and wonderful plants and creatures.  Being surrounded by flourishing nature is good for our own wellbeing too.

So, it is no surprise that worries about the environment come up very often when I chat to people on their doorsteps.  The catastrophic release of sewage for around 9000 hours into rivers and streams across East Hampshire last year (judging by the figures published by the Environment Agency) is unsurprisingly people’s top concern at the moment.  We need to make the water companies clean up the damage and re-form them as Public Interest Companies to put public health and wildlife ahead of profit or executive bonuses.

The sewage scandal needs addressing urgently, but it is not the only serious problem.  The sad fact is that this Conservative Government, which pledged to leave England’s biodiversity in a better state than it found it, is failing in its own commitments to protect the natural environment – just as it has backtracked on sustainable energy.

The official Office for Environmental Protection assessed in 2023 that the Government was ‘Off track’ to meet its commitments on ‘thriving plants and wildlife’, ‘clean and plentiful water’, and bio-security (i.e. pests, diseases and non-native invasive species).  The Wildlife Trusts last November published a list of ten broken Government promises on nature.

This is a part of the country that really cares about nature and the environment.  From the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, local Rivers Trusts, the Petersfield and Alton Climate Action Networks PECAN and ACAN, the Sustainability Centre, EcoRotherAction, the Horndean Biodiversity Group and many other village and specialised groups, there is a remarkable network of volunteers supporting the work of countryside managers and professional conservationists.

This is a good news story that continues with farmers are helping wildlife recover, as well as beekeepers, gardeners and allotment holders who are all playing their part. 

For an area like East Hampshire where residents are giving up so much time to help nature revive, it is devastating that the current Government has downgraded its ambitions and is doing so poorly on its targets. It is especially disappointing that the environment appears not to be a priority given that the Prime Minister had the good fortune to spend his school years on the banks of the River Itchen, one of Hampshire’s miraculous chalk streams.

Any Government faces competing priorities and finite resources. But to deprioritise nature because it cannot shout out from the Westminster backbenches is to be deaf to the health and well-being of future generations.  The environment may not be an electoral priority for the Conservative Party, but it is for the Liberal Democrats and for many, many voters.

Dominic Martin, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for East Hampshire

Also available online here: https://www.petersfieldpost.co.uk/opinion/lib-dem-candidate-rishi-should-remember-his-hampshire-roots-and-protect-our-rivers-680091


Published in the Petersfield Post and Alton Herald on 4th March 2024:

‘Dominic Martin: Lib Dem candidate for East Hampshire takes MP Damian Hinds to task on economy claims’

This month, official statistics showed that the UK had returned to recession. It was therefore brave of Damian Hinds (Alton Herald, February 22) to use his article in this newspaper last week to defend this Conservative government’s record on the economy.

I can understand why Mr Hinds, as a Conservative MP and Government minister, wants to convince readers that he sees evidence of progress. But the facts tell a different story. The truth is that growth has evaporated.

UK productivity is among the weakest in the G7. National debt as a share of GDP has risen to levels last seen in the 1950s. Overall taxation has risen to levels not seen since the 1940s. In 2023/24 the UK is forecast to spend £94 billion on debt interest repayments: nearly three times as much we will spend on our national defence.

There is no doubt the last few years have been tough. The economic disruption and consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have been a challenge for policymakers everywhere. In the UK, the upheaval caused by Brexit has made things worse.

But managing the economy in both good and bad times is the job and responsibility national leaders accept when they take the reins of government. The country has a right to expect that our elected representatives will exercise that responsibility with competence and care.

Voters I meet on the doorstep are still furious about the calamitous fiscal irresponsibility of the Liz Truss Government of a little over a year ago. They won’t forget that it was a Conservative government that caused turmoil in the financial markets and sent interest rates soaring, hitting our national purse and people’s pockets.

With so much damage to repair, whoever wins the next General Election will face tough choices. There is a clear need to reduce the tax burden on ordinary people faced with the worst cost of living crisis in more than a generation.

But there is also an urgent requirement to re-invest in public services like the NHS and our rail system that has suffered from years of neglect.

And to encourage investment in the new industries and jobs that will power the UK towards the goal of Net Zero carbon emissions. 

The upcoming General Election will be decided on how voters judge the different parties’ choices.

All the indications are that the Conservative Government intends to prioritise tax cuts, including for the richest – contrary to advice from the IMF and in the face of polling that suggests that most voters would rather see money spent on improving neglected public services. It was disappointing that Mr Hinds failed to mention public services in his article.

By contrast, the Liberal Democrats are championing policies that prioritise investment in infrastructure, innovation and skills; that help develop a fairer tax system, including clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion, and ensuring that the tax burden does not fall disproportionately on low earners; and that start to fix our badly damaged public services – above all, the NHS.

But this all has to be achieved within a framework that delivers responsible management of the public finances. The Liberal Democrats believe that day-to-day spending should not exceed money raised in taxes over the medium term, with additional flexibility during periods of economic crisis.

As the economy turns to growth, this will unlock much-needed public and private investment – and deliver greater economic stability than seen under this succession of short-lived Conservative prime ministers.

By Dominic Martin, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for East Hampshire

The article is also accessible here: https://www.petersfieldpost.co.uk/news/politics/dominic-martin-lib-dem-candidate-for-east-hampshire-takes-mp-damian-hinds-to-task-on-economy-claims-668807


Letter to the editor published in the Petersfield Post and Alton Herald on 1st Feb 2024:

Opinion: Don't tip Hampshire's tips – tip the Tories!

You last week reported that the leader of East Hampshire District Council was dismayed by threatened Hampshire County Council cuts that include closure of Petersfield and Bordon household waste and recycling centres.

Like him we are dismayed and worried about the impact on efforts to increase recycling. Like him we urge local residents to make their views known in the public consultation at www.hants.gov.uk/News/08012024Future

But, unlike the (Conservative) district council leader and his coalition partner deputy, we see no need to be coy about saying where responsibility lies.

These threatened cuts, that also affect library, culture and other community services as well as the tips, are the direct result of the £132 million black hole in the budget of (Conservative) Hampshire County Council which in turn has been caused by a gap in funding from the (Conservative) Government of which our local (Conservative) MP is a member.

Do we need any more evidence that it is time for change?

Letter co-signed by:

David Podger, Liberal Democrat councillor for Petersfield St Peters, East Hampshire District Council, and Dominic Martin, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for East Hampshire

Also available online here: https://www.petersfieldpost.co.uk/news/opinion-dont-tip-hampshires-tips-tip-the-tories-663747


Joint letter on HCC cuts submitted and published in the Alton Herald in February 2024:   

Threat to close waste tips is ‘outrageous’ and will exacerbate fly-tipping   

There has been much, justifiable outrage about the threats by the Conservative-led Hampshire County Council to close local waste tips across Hampshire. As we have made very clear, we too oppose the closure of the waste tips. Fewer waste tips can only make it harder for residents to recycle and will exacerbate the problem of fly tipping. We want our local councils to facilitate more, not less, recycling.  

This newspaper has reported the condemnation of the proposed tip closures by the (Conservative) Leader of East Hampshire District Council and (Conservative) MP and Government Minister Damian Hinds, and publicised the opportunistic petition launched by (Conservative) Farnham and Bordon parliamentary candidate Greg Stafford.   But none of them mentions that the fundamental problem is chronic and systematic underfunding by the Conservative Government that has left our Conservative-led local authorities unable to cope with basic services like caring for the most vulnerable people in our communities. Conservative seems to be the hardest word.  

 

The threat to close waste tips is outrageous – but there are other equally concerning ‘options’ set out in the County Council consultation survey that are attracting far less Conservative harrumphing.  These include cuts to: 

-              Adult social care 

-              Homelessness support 

-              Road maintenance  

-              School crossing patrols 

-              Library stock 

-              Cultural grants 

-              Street lighting 

-              Public transport 

-              Community and rural funds 

 

We have to ask whether our local Conservatives are shouting so loudly about waste tips in the hope that no-one notices the threats to other services on the list. We urge readers to respond to the Hampshire County Council Future Services Consultation: https://www.hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/haveyoursay/consultations/future-services-consultation  which closes 31 March, and make their views known on ALL the proposed cuts.  We also hope that Messrs Millard, Hinds and Stafford will consider expressing their dissatisfaction with Conservative Government policy when it comes to voting at the General Election! 

Co-signed by Dominic Martin and Khalil Yousuf, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for East Hampshire and for Farnham and Bordon 


Published in the Petersfield Post and Alton Herald on 27th November 2023:

Introducing the Lib Dems' next general election candidate for East Hampshire

My name is Dominic Martin, and I am proud to introduce myself as Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the East Hampshire Constituency.

These are difficult times for people across the country. Although we are through the worst of the dreadful Covid pandemic, the ever-increasing cost of living, the dire state of our public services, and the consequences of the Government’s poor record on environmental management affect us all every day. It is challenges like these, and my belief that there are better alternatives to the present Government’s approach, that has brought me into politics.

My approach is grounded in my professional background of international economic affairs and public policy, including anti-corruption, energy, and climate change. Politically, I am a proud centrist. I believe in politics rooted in the values of the community. Here in East Hampshire that means supporting the livelihoods of local people and our local economy, ensuring access to good healthcare, education, well maintained local infrastructure and good public transport, and looking after our precious environment.

Voters across the country are desperate to hear a decent plan to deal with the cost-of-living crisis. They want to understand how the NHS will be restored to its pre-Covid levels of service. They want real action to protect our rivers and coastlines as part of a wider commitment to the environment. So, do I.

The latest Government reshuffle looked like the start of a General Election campaign. Given how badly the Conservatives have done in by-elections in Tamworth, Mid-Bedfordshire, and Somerton and Frome, it is not surprising that the Prime Minister wants to give his team a makeover before he announces a date. But a desperate, last-minute effort to patch up potholes across the country cannot make up for years of local neglect and national mismanagement. Nor can last minute reshuffles make us forget Partygate, Trussonomics or the PPE scandals under this Conservative Government.

As the Prime Minister tries to shore up his support on the wings of his own party, he has also moved to undermine environmental commitments and guarantees of fundamental human rights that this country has so long championed – including under successive Conservative Prime Ministers. Liberal Democrat will campaign vigorously to defend both.

By getting more Liberal Democrat MPs in Parliament, including from East Hampshire, we can help give a louder voice to everyone who cares about our environment, the health of our society, and the integrity of Government.

I look forward in the coming months to talking to as many people as possible across the East Hampshire constituency about the national and local issues that concern voters. My experience in the public, private and NGO sectors leaves me in no doubt that what the country needs is a return to serious, sane, professional policymaking. We need a national consensus across parties to address long-term global challenges like climate change. We need to build bridges rather than create divisions. That is what Liberal Democrats stand for.

By Dominic Martin, Prospective parliamentary candidate for East Hampshire Liberal Democrats

Also available online at: https://www.petersfieldpost.co.uk/news/introducing-the-lib-dems-next-general-election-candidate-for-east-hampshire-652149

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