Wednesday, 23 September 2009
After leaving Medway campus I had a meeting with Cllr Nick Chard at Kent County Council about, amongst other things, trying to resolve the problem of traffic on Lower Lunsford Lane. I hope we will get some kind of closure on this issue soon.
Saturday, 19 September 2009
Net borrowing for the first five months of the financial year stood at £65.3 billion, compared with £26.1 billion at the same stage last year. Total borrowing soared past the £800 billion mark for the first time and total state debt as a proportion of national output reached 57.5 per cent.
Just to pay the interest on its ballooning debts the Government must find more than £30 billion a year — about £500 for every man, woman and child in the country.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
I am not the kind of person that likes to play party politics with a child's education and so I have always made my representation on these proposals in private. I had made it very clear to the portfolio holder that I believe both St John's and Ridge Meadow to be good schools with a strong community base, something that is often under-estimated and devalued in our current education system. I firmly believe that if we don't get primary education right, then we end up playing catch up throughout the rest of a child's education. This is not only unsatisfactory from a learning perspective but also costly.
I was also concerned that these proposals are being considered at a time when Government spending on capital projects is being examined in detail and as we know from leaked documents earlier this week that spending could potentially be frozen in light of the huge national debt that this Labour administration has built up. I remain extremely worried that the schools will be closed on a financial promise to invest in other schools which may then not happen. If this were to occur, our children will end up being educated in over-subscribed schools with an infrastructure unable to cope with the demand.
I am deeply passionate about ensuring that children across Chatham are given the best chance in life and fundamentally believe that the way to do this is to provide first class facilities, the best teachers, and an environment where they can thrive. Both St John's and Ridge Meadow, in my view, have provided such a base and so I am not going to pretend I am anything other than disappointed with the decision today.
Sunday, 13 September 2009
As you progress through the age groups the game development begins, so this season we play 11-a-side instead of 7, on bigger pitches with larger goals and for a longer time each way. Today we had an away game and an early kick off which was a bit of a shock to the system for those of us who have enjoyed their Sunday morning lie in during the summer break!
Our 10 girls (yes we were one short) battled hard against Gravesham and only really lost it in the last 5 minutes when the team understandably began to tire. No points but a happy manager, some very proud parents, and 10 exhausted girls who will no doubt sleep very well tonight!!
Saturday, 12 September 2009
Sunday, 6 September 2009
It was obviously a real honour to be given such a gift and Andrew was momentarily speechless - however, I think the next campaign he runs people will think twice about refusing to go out delivering leaflets in the pouring rain!! Anyway it was a wonderful event and one that Tashi, Andrew and the team thoroughly deserved.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
Obviously the first thing to do is to say congratulations to Tashi on his fabulous by-election win on Thursday. Luton & Wayfield has not had a Conservative Councillor for over 40 years and so it was a historic victory and one that I do not think local residents will regret. I went canvassing with Tashi a few times before I headed off to France and I genuinely believe that if he applies the energy and enthusiasm to being a councillor as he did on the doorsteps then we will see some pretty swift improvements in the area. Tashi has said he will work closely with Cllrs Tony and Val Goulden, two former Labour Councillors who I like and have previously worked with on a local issue and who now sit as Independents after being cast aside by the local Labour Party. Local Tory blogger Alan Collins carried a post on their resignation but the most interesting part of the post is the comment from Tony and Val's daughter giving the real story. When I heard the news about the Gouldens I rang and left a message on their answer machine - not to gloat or to dig further but simply to check they were ok. Leaving a party you've fought blood, sweat and tears for must be an extremely difficult thing to do and Michelle's comments make it clear how hard it has been for the whole family. So now Luton & Wayfield has a Conservative Councillor ready to work hard and will no doubt get a huge cheer when he enters Gun Wharf next week.
Speaking of Gun Wharf, the excellent "Tales from..." blog by Alan Watkins has returned after a short break (no pun intended) after being ordered to rest after he broke his leg. His misfortune led to one of the funniest out of office messages I have ever read: I am currently signed off until August 24 due to a slight contratemps with a carpet, a doorway, a carrot and (subsequently) a surgeon. The mind boggles...
Now I've blogged, drunk my coffee and checked out the local news it is time to turn my attention to the 350 emails blinking at me in my inbox - and these are candidate related ones - I daren't turn on my work blackberry! Think I need another cup of coffee...