Thursday, 26 March 2009

Bold Heath Quarry

Last week I met with some North Widnes residents to discuss the Bold Heath Quarry. They are fighting an excellent campaign on behalf of local people and I offered them my full support.

Following our meeting I wrote to the Planning Inspectorate supporting the decision made by St Helens Council to reject the planning application in relation to the quarry, and have been in contact with the local press and made the following comment:

"I fully support the Bold Action Group in their continued campaign against plans to covert the Bold Heath Quarry into a landfill scheme. I met with local residents at the site last week and saw for myself the serious dangers the increased traffic and polluting dust would create in the area.

In January, St Helens Council rightly rejected the planning application in order to protect the health and safety of local residents. This decision should now be upheld by the Planning Inspectorate. I have written to the Inspectorate to support the case put by the residents and call upon all local people to do the same. The Inspectorate should now put the health and safety of residents first."

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

My expenses pledge to the people of Halton

MP's expenses have been in the news again this week and the conduct of some MPs have attracted further deserved criticism. I want to take this opportunity to set out my pledge on expenses and allowances to the people of Halton.

If I were to become the MP for Halton I would:

  • Be completely open about all of my expenses and allowances, publishing full details every year
  • Only claim expenses for costs I have incurred in doing my job as an MP (e.g. travel costs and office allowances)
  • Provide receipts for all my expense claims
  • Not employ members of my family
  • Only claim expenses in relation to a second home where they were genuinely incurred, not because I was "entitled" to them

The voters of Halton have a right to know how I would behave as their MP, and they have a right to know how all MPs are spending their money. I pledge complete openness with them on my expenses and allowances; it's the least they deserve as I would work for them.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

North West Conference- speaking up for Halton

On Saturday, I addressed the Conservative Party's North West Conference to speak in support of the Mersey Gateway project in Halton.
I reiterated my support for this vital regeneration project and spoke about the important role the next Conservative government will play in ensuring the project is delivered on time and within budget to get value for money for the taxpayer. I also reiterated the importance of ensuring the public enquiry supports a fair deal on tolls for the people of Halton. The event was also attended by William Hague, George Osborne, and Party Chairman, Eric Pickles.

Policing in Halton

On Friday, I met with senior officers at Cheshire Police to talk about a range of policing issues and priorities within Halton. It was an excellent meeting which further emphasised to me the huge contribution they make on our behalf.
The next Conservative government will support our police officers freeing them from unnecessary paperwork to get them out on the streets doing what they do best; keeping us safe. After Easter, I am going on patrol with officers to see for myself the challenges faced on the front line, especially over the weekend as they face late night drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Mersey Gateway

This weekend I met with Paul Campbell, Graham Evans and David Mowat (my fellow local Conservative PPCs to discuss the Mersey Gateway project). It was great to get together and talk about this important project, which we all support.

I am looking forward to the public inquiry (now set to start on 18th May) to put the case for a fair deal on tolls for the people of Halton.

Council tax- it's time to put local people first

This week, Halton Conservatives launched our council tax campaign. We believe there is a better approach than that adopted by the Labour Council, which has led to a 100% increase since 1998.

We think a better approach would be to:
  • Cut the number of senior managers
  • Root out waste in every council department
  • Slash payments to councillors
  • Reduce council tax for the first time in years

We will continue to speak up for the people of Halton on this and other issues. We believe it's time to put local people first.

This week

I had a series of meetings and calls this week, including discussions on local policing, the Mersey Gateway, the work of carers within the constituency, the new Council Tax rise, and a number of concerns about local planning developments. As ever I am struck by the hard work and dedication of our local Conservative Councillors. I look forward to continuing to work with them on these and other issues on behalf of the people of Halton.