Archive for May, 2008

I have never smoked but…

May 31, 2008

I read an article on the BBC website earlier today with the latest on the battle against Smoking.  Iain Dale posts an interesting take on this.  I agree with some of what he is saying.

Had I been elected at the 2005 General Election, I would not have voted to ban smoking in so called public places.  Do not get me wrong, I have never liked cigarettes and I do not miss having to go in the shower after a couple of pints in the pub.  I would also hate the idea of my children ever smoking when they are older.

This latest attempt does not convince me that this will deter people from smoking.  As one person said on the BBC earlier today, some smokers may buy packs of 10 so that they can reduce their intake.

More generally, I have always worried about the disproportionate impact that this has on working class and lower income communites.  This can be seen by the damage that the ban has had on pubs, especially ones that are landlocked and cannot increase their footprint in way that they can accommodate smokers and still comply with the law.  Bingo Halls across the country are really struggling, in part as a result of that ban.  The politician who spoke the most sense on this subject for me was Dr John Reid MP.

The latest from Councillor Jagdish Sharma

May 29, 2008

No response from him to my email of 13 May (which was chased on 23 May).

However, the comments he made at the 22 May meeting of the Central Hounslow Area Planning Committee are worthy of exposure.  Please see agenda item 8.  I have also listened to his comments on the Council’s webcast.

So a Council, whereby its Members of different Political Groups (and none) approve the authority to issue enforcement notices in respect of:

a) The conversion of family dwelling into flats without the benefit of planning permission; and

b) An outbuilding located in the rear garden equipped and used as a separate residential unit without the benefit of planning permission. institutionally racist?  Is he going to abstain on planning enforcement matters forever more?  And will he be able (or willing) to be subjected to the burden of proof?

Keen’s mentioned in today’s Daily Express, Daily Mail & Times

May 26, 2008

I have not said much about this controversy but here is an article today’s Express, an article in today’s Mail and an article in the Times.  Any others today?

At the General Election count in 2005, Alan Keen did say he would provide an explanation for the second property in Covent Garden. Other than saying he complies with the rules, he has not said anything.

My first blog dilemma

May 24, 2008

Censorship is something very few of us go for as a norm but I have received the first posting that I consider racist, unpleasant and not in the least amusing (if that was the intention of the poster).  I have not yet approved the comment and very much doubt that I will.


17.6% swing to Conservatives

May 23, 2008

What a brilliant and deserved result.

Of course, I would love to achieve a similar result in Feltham & Heston.  As Kevin Keegan once said, “I would love it!”

Update on exchange with Alan Keen MP

May 22, 2008

I received an acknowledgement card today.

The Chronicle also covered this in today’s edition.  As you will see from my letter to Alan Keen, they do not have my concerns captured entirely correctly but at least more residents are aware of what has been said.

Still no response from Councillor Sharma.

Some free votes in Parliament last night

May 21, 2008

My neighbouring Conservative candidate, Mary Macleod, has commented about the above on her blog.

I would vote with Mary on this one.

Whilst I would not wish to judge any woman for what must be a very difficult thing to do, I have always been pro-life so it should be of no surprise that I would vote in this way.  However, I believe that this should be relaxed in cases such as rape & incest.  I would have attempted to get some information about the amount of abortions taking place between 20 to 24 weeks for these reasons.  Maybe an MP did but I have not read Hansard yet.

I would also have voted with Iain Duncan Smith on his cross party bid.

A New Mayor in the London Borough of Hounslow

May 20, 2008

The Annual General Meeting of the Council was held yesterday evening.  Councillor Genevieve Hibbs was voted in as the Mayor for the next year.  I thought that she addressed the Council very well and I wish her all the best for the forthcoming year.

It is worth saying something about her predecessor, Councillor Andy Morgan-Watts.  I thought that he was a truly first class Mayor, indeed one the best I have ever seen or known.  It was always very clear how much the role meant to him.  He Chaired meetings very well and, more importantly, he engaged with hundreds (maybe thousands) of people during his year and raised an incredible amount of money for the Mayor’s charity.  I wish him the best for the future also.

Another local paper goes online

May 16, 2008

I found out today that Chronicle are now online.  The Times are also online and have been for a while.

I have been thinking about a weekly review of the local papers on this blog.  This will make it easier.  Watch this space!

Cannabis Factories

May 14, 2008

This morning, I had a short interview with BBC Southeast about the above.  Think it went ok considering that it was my first TV interview.  Around half a dozen or so landlords have had their properties turned into cannabis factories without them knowing.

Having another interview at lunchtime with London Tonight.