Sunday, 13 July 2008

Housing Plans

Residents in Broxtowe have reacted with disbelief to the proposals of consultants that three large housing estates could be built on the greenbelt in the borough. Before I go any further I'll make it clear that I would personally be very affected by these proposals as the largest proposed estate is directly behind my house. I don't hide from that at all.

Even if I wasn't affected personally I would still consider the proposals to be deeply flawed. The consultants did not look at any possible sites in the flood plain. That may be understandable given last years flooding, but if buildings were properly designed with flood risks in mind then matters could be far better than they are at the moment.

Equally on the largest proposed site in the borough, that directly behind my house, the consultants taken no account at all of the wholly inadequate transport arrangements that exist here for getting into the centre of Nottingham. All traffic has to go on one of two already highly congested roads, the A52 or the A609. Neither of these has the spare capacity to take potentially a further 10,000 vehicles travelling each way each day.

As a member of the Development Control Committee I have to consider any planning applications impartially and dispassionately, which I will do, but I cannot see how this proposed rape of the green belt could ever be justified.

Labour Out Of Touch

Two comments by politicians recently have illustrated how out of touch Labour have become with ordinary people, the people that their party was formed to represent.

First Gordon Browns answer to the economic squeeze - delivered just before he attended a banquet apparently costing £85,000 for the meal, is that people should eat less and not throw anything away - Monday's meal will be the leftovers from Sunday, that sort of thing.

If that wasn't bad enough we then had the appalling Angela Eagle trying to justify massive increases in road tax by saying that it won't affect poor people because they don't own cars. The arrogance of this was unbelievable. She obviously had no idea that the changes she was bringing about would make it ever harder for those on low incomes to be able to afford to buy and run a car.

It's pretty obvious now that Labour will lose the next election. The challenge for myself and my Lib-Dem colleagues is to make sure that people realise that it is our policies, rather than those of the Tories, which represent the best future for Great Britain.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Shame of Alistair Darling

When the Chancellor of the Exchequor announced the loss of two data disks with 25 million sets of personal details on last year he blamed it on a junior employee ignoring established procedures. The report on the fiasco published today shows that this was simply not the case. The fault lay with the management (or lack of it) in HMRC. Where is Darling's apology? He misled Parliament but doesn't seem in the slightest bit worried about this, let alone the fact that the department he presides over, and which Gordon Brown presided over for ten years prior to that, is a complete management fiasco.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

TV Debate

Well the TV debate over allegedly racist comments has happened. I think that everyone agrees that we came out very much on top and showed the Tory position up for the complete falicy that it is. According to their spokesperson they are concerned that the publicity will reflect badly on the council, but it is of course them who have generated and sustained all the publicity. Rarely has an argument rung so hollow as theirs.

Incidentally, we are thinking of organising a whip round to buy the Tory spokesperson a tie as he clearly couldn't afford one!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Inappropriate Comments

The leader of the council last week used a phrase in a meeting which was wholly inappropriate. He has however offered an unreserved apology for it and for any offence caused. I for one am happy to accept this and the matter should now be closed.

Initially it seemed that this would be the case. Our Tory opposition, having told the press that they were going to move a motion of no confidence, failed to do so and said that if a full apology was offered then as far as they were concerned the matter was closed. However it took just 48 hours for their lies to be exposed, after I received a call from the BBC asking me to appear on TV on Sunday to discuss the matter in opposition to the leader of the Tory group. Which I wonder is the bigger sin, the council leader making a comment in a meeting where no members of the public were present and for which he apologied unreservedly, or the dishonesty of the Conversatives who, having told everyone about the remark in the first place, then said that they accepted an apology and regarded the matter as closed but who then immediately stirred things up about it again.

I've always known not to trust the Tories and this just demonstrates so clearly why. A party with no morality is totally unfit to govern.

42 Days and All That

Well the events of the past few days in Westminster have been breathtaking. Labour got their crazy 42 day proposal through only by selling out to the DUP. If Gordon Brown thinks that this is an endorsement of his premiership then he's deluding himself. The simply fact remains that there is no justification for this and it's yet another attack on personal freedoms in this country. Frankly the Government is doing the terrorists jonb for them.

Next David Davis resigns to force a by election on the issue. For the first time in my life I found myself agreeing with him. The Tory Party leadership though appears to have scored a huge own goal by failing to support him wholeheartedly. Thank God that the Liberal Democrats reallyt do believe in freedoms. If we didn't exist you'd have to invent us.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Poverty In The UK

Today's revelation that in the past year 3,000 more pensioners and 1,000 more children have fallen below the poverty line shows how badly Labour are letting down the people that they promised to support. Mind you, this is the party that gave pensioners an extra 75p per week a few years back, and last year suspended the winter fuel allowance, For a minister to describe the figures as disappointing, as one did on Radio 4 today, is the understatement of the year. These aren't disappointing, they're appalling. They are a national disgrace. Labours promise to halve child poverty by 2010 and abolish it by 2020 rings hollow. The truth is taht they have abandoned the people who looked to them for help.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

I have been given the honour of contesting the Broxtowe Parliamentary seat for the Lib-Dems for the third time at the next election. I'm delighted with this and would like to thank the many members of the locally party who voted for me.

My intention is to campaign positively as to the benefits that the Lib-Dems can bring. I'll leave negative campaigning for others. I want people to feel that politics is something relevant to them, and to encourage as many peoople as possible to get involved.