Saturday, November 03, 2007
John said, “Bin taxes will harm the local environment and public health by leading to a surge in backyard burning. The evidence shows this is what happened in the Republic of Ireland after bin taxes were introduced. Illegal burning of household waste releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. On top of tip-taxes, they will also lead to an increase in fly-tipping and put at risk Basildon Council’s good record in this area.
“Meanwhile, the set-up and running costs of such a complex tax, which involves installing microchips in every bin, will mean the overall burden of taxation will rise. Families now face the double whammy of record council tax bills and new bin taxes.
“The soaring costs of waste are yet another example of how Whitehall and EU burdens are being imposed on Basildon Council. The answer is not to create new local taxes. Labour Ministers must stop imposing unfunded obligations and red tape on local communities and cease hiking up local taxes by stealth.”
News of higher taxes comes as new official figures published by the Government have exposed that fly-tipping across England is soaring. Basildon Council has a good record in recent years in fly-tipping but, in total, cleaning up after fly-tipping has still cost local taxpayers £1,372,304 over the last three years. The Keep Britain Tidy campaign is warning that new bin taxes will make the problem even worse.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Let’s get this straight, the government have had no idea of how many foreign workers there were in the UK and no idea of how many of the jobs created since 1997 have gone to foreigners. Against this background we have been told for years that immigration was an unmitigated good and as recently as the 2005 general election anyone saying different has been branded a racist or a xenophobe. Now it turns out that the number of foreign workers in the country is at least 1.5 million and that more than half of the jobs created since 1997 have gone to them. This last is very serious as whenever the number of people on benefits refused to decline the government always pointed to the numbers in work as a defence. What these numbers are telling us is that the large numbers of people who a locked into dependency on the state by Labour’s failed policies have stayed there while the jobs that they may have had are taken by new arrivals. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of this as well if you talk to ordinary people in ordinary parts of our country, many of whom have been traditional Labour voters. That leaves aside the strain on public services and on the housing market of our steeply rising population. Now David Cameron has announced that a new Conservative government would tighten up on immigration, as well as doing something about people trapped on benefits, which also means being trapped in poverty. Labour meanwhile are floundering as ministers face the ruins of policies going back ten years. The country, and some of their own backbenchers, demands that they get on top of this situation. So far they seem to be in denial.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Wickford Town Centre doesn’t need ‘something doing to brighten it up’ which is the view of the 'Wickford Action Group' in their recent letter in our local paper; it needs proper regeneration to halt its decline. There is certainly a serious problem if you talk to the traders on the High Street, including the one who asked me if it was worth renewing the lease and staying in business because things have got so bad. There are also local examples of town centres going badly wrong and you only have to go to Grays or Laindon Town Centres and then consider what having half of the local shops boarded up does to a community. Basildon Council is not waiting for Wickford to reach a terminal state, which is why there is a Master Plan and why we are progressing with delivery. Another complaint is about town centre housing; this is government policy, which means that a local Council cannot turn down legal planning applications for residences in the Town Centre. We also don’t want to build on the surrounding Green belt that is Wickford’s vital green lung and gives the town so much of its character as a town instead of a suburb of Basildon. What is most disappointing is that the Wickford Action Group is now trying to rubbish regeneration efforts elsewhere in Basildon District, particularly in Laindon where regeneration of the Town Centre is desperately needed. They go so far as to claim that Councillors are misleading the people of Laindon in the consultation process there. In fact the consultation that has been going on is by the private owners of the Laindon Centre and nothing to do with the Council. So, who is misleading who?
Monday, October 29, 2007
There is also the small matter of sorting out the regulatory shambles that led to this situation. Someone needs to get a grip there.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Locally this prediction yields:
Basildon and Billericay
MP John Baron (CON)
|2005 Votes||2005 Share||Prediction|
|CON Majority||3,587||9.19%||Pred Maj||12.12%|
Basildon South and East Thurrock
MP Angela Smith (LAB)
Of course, there is probably a long way to go to the actual election, though with 'decisive' Gordon in charge who knows, but if I were Angela Smith I would be a little worried. This particular contest is marked by an incumbent who is actually a pretty good MP and a challenger in Stephen Metcalfe who will make an excellent MP. The people of Basildon and East Thurrock are lucky to have such high quality candidates for the next general election.