Archive for September, 2008

Excellent news for residents in Feltham & Heston

September 30, 2008

I should have commented on this staight away.  This is wonderful news for residents and there is now the real prospect of no increase in tax at all, which in real terms is a decrease.

Day 3

September 30, 2008

I tried to go to the debate organised by The Sun on the broken society but it was totally packed and could not get in.  It is a shame as there were some interesting people on the panel, including Cherie Blair.

So far I have walked around some of the stalls and may pop into the Main Hall for the debate on Welfare at around 2:30pm.

Update: Could not get into the Hall so walked around the stalls some more and got a photograph taken that will be used on official websites in the future.

End of Day 2

September 29, 2008

I went to the following fringe meetings earlier today:

1) Local Government Information Unit.
Representation and Participation: Is our democracy in balance?
Speakers included: Eric Pickles MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government;

2) Urban Hub
Cities Question Time: Debating the future for Britain’s cities
Speakers included: Eric Pickles MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government;
Mike Whitby, Leader – Birmingham City Council;
Jesse Norman, Author ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ and PPC

3) Conservative Transport Group – The Robert Kinghorn Memorial Lecture

4) ModernGov Presents “American Election Update”

Probably the best set of fringe meetings during one Conference Day of any of the Conferences that I have been to.   I got the chance to ask questions in three of the above.  At number 2, I raised a concern about the growth of HMOs in Urban Areas.  At number 4, there were representatives from both the Democrat and Republican Parties.  Both were excellent.  The Republican is McCain’s Campaign Manager in New York State.

Back in Hotel at 11pm, which for most people at a Party Conference is an early night!

Good Night!

Latest from Electoral Calculus

September 29, 2008

The latest is that they are predicting a Labour Hold with a majority of 1.40%.  I think that this will go back and forward.  I just need to keep getting out the message on how effective Conservatives have been locally, how Feltham and Heston needs a local MP and just how important it is that Labour are kicked out of office.

Britain to follow London Borough of Hounslow!

September 29, 2008

I was not in the Hall during the announcement but George Osborne has said that there will be no Council Tax increases.  Obviously, I like this proposal because I know how well a freeze has gone down in Feltham and Heston during the previous couple of years.

I just want to know more about the following:

“Central government cannot force bills to be frozen – but any council which limits spending rises to 2.5% will get that amount from Whitehall, he said.”

I would hate for Councils that spend more to be compensated and the ones that have already taken the tough decisions in essence being penalised for being ahead of the game.

I will try and find out what this means for the London Borough of Hounslow!

Conservative Conference so far!

September 29, 2008

Arrived yesterday.  Pleasant drive to Birmingham, except all the [necessary] diversions around Broad street.

There was a change of agenda on the first day and we got to listen to a speech from David Cameron, plus some discussions between George Osborne and a range of people impacted by the current economic crisis.

I went to my first fringe meeting last night and it was about the future of Scotland and the Union.  A majority of people present – unlike those on the panel – clearly wished that we could go back to the post Scotland Act settlement.

Not been to anything yet today but I did hear that the Theresa Villiers has announced that there will be no third runway during a Conservative tenure in Government.  Not read the detail yet but my only concern would be if the party claims that there is no economic argument in favour of expansion.

Will update later – there are only 5 internet terminals here and there is a big line behind me.

Labour Conference

September 21, 2008

Started over the weekend and not seen much of it, though did catch some of a speech from Paul Murphy, Secretary of State for Wales, whom I find very decent and interesting.  How he must hate his comrades sharing power at the Welsh Assembly with the Welsh Nationalists.

Would love to witness some of the fringe group meetings at their Conference.  Could be quite a bit of heckling and disagreement that not even New Labour could manage out of the proceedings.  I see that a prominent backbencher, John Cruddas, has come out calling for more tax increases.  In times like this, tax increases are the last thing any businessmen would want.

LBH new look website

September 16, 2008

What do you think about this?  Feedback should be given at the bottom of the link.

Dr John Reid MP

September 16, 2008

When Tony Blair stood down as Labour leader, I said that I would have supported John Reid for Leader had I been a member of the Labour Party.  I have always found him to be a hugely impressive politician and one that Tony Blair clearly deployed to sort out the performance of some departments.

As a Conservative, I am glad that they did not have the sense to go for Reid and very much hope that they stay loyal to their current Leader.

Is it ok to chase?

September 14, 2008

I came across a story about Noel Edmonds not paying his TV Licence.

Now I could easily support a privatisation of the BBC (and would not have huge problems with whatever policy we adopt) but why would he have a beef with getting people to pay their licence whilst that is the funding model for the BBC?  If some do not pay, it is others who pick up the tab in some form.  He talks about the way in which they do this.  I do not have an ethical problem about this.  Of course someone should not be thrown in jail but messages must be clear.

The same thing would apply with Council Tax.  We are improving our collection rates and that is great news for everyone in the London Borough of Hounslow.  Part of the reason why there is an increase is that the Council is doing better at ensuring that we all pay.