CONSERVATIVES: CLEARING UP THE MESS WHILE LABOUR PUT THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND

 

Tameside Conservatives are out and about in the borough delivering their latest leaflet, showing the ridiculous stand taken by Labour – to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the mess they left after 13 years of mismanagement and waste in Government. 

DEFICIT DENIER BALLS’ POLICY OWN GOAL

 

HE DOESN’T KNOW HIS RIGHT FROM HIS LEFT: ED BALLS’ CONTRADICTORY POLICY ANNOUNCEMENTS

In a rush to respond to the disappointing GDP figures today, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls raised more questions than he answered about Labour’s economic policy.

Mr Balls insisted that he stood by “every paragraph” of a speech he made last summer in a pitch to become Labour leader – despite last week ditching his principles to get the Shadow Chancellor job. 

Speaking at Bloomberg in August 2010, Ed Balls rejected Alistair Darling’s plan to halve the deficit over four years. Instead he set out new tax rises including a mansion tax and revising down the 50p rate of income tax to everyone earning more than £100,000.

Last week, however, Balls promised Ed Miliband he would adopt the Darling plan, which would consolidate the public finances at a faster pace and make spending cuts starting this year. 

Michael Fallon, Conservative Party Deputy Chairman, said that Mr Balls was confused about Labour policy. He said, “Ed Balls had to ditch his economic plan to get the Shadow Chancellor job, but it has taken only five days for him to become confused about what Labour’s policy is.

“Ed Balls cannot escape his record. He was at Gordon Brown’s side when Labour maxed out the nation’s credit card and burdened our children and grandchildren with billions of debt.”

CUTS ARE LABOUR’S LEGACY TO TAMESIDE

BUT COALITION GOVERNMENT PROTECTS FUNDING FOR VULNERABLE RESIDENTS

Alistair Darling, British politician and Chanc...
Image via Wikipedia

CHANCER OF THE EXCHEQUER – ALISTAIR DARLING AND LABOUR WASTED BILLIONS OF POUNDS OF TAXPAYERS’ CASH AND THEN PLANNED TO CUT PUBLIC SPENDING BY 20-25% IF LABOUR HAD WON THE GENERAL ELECTION.

Cuts to public spending are the direct result of Labour’s wasteful years in Government. That was the message driven home by Cllr. John Bell at Tuesday’s State of the Area Debate.

The Tameside Conservative Leader slammed the Governments of Blair and Brown for leading Britain to the brink of bankruptcy, and leaving David Cameron’s Government with the largest deficit in peacetime history.

And he defended the cuts that are now being made to public spending by citing the economic crisis that is gripping Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, warning that Britain could be next.

Cllr. Bell, who has been warning the Council for over three years about over-spending, said, “Labour left us with a disastrous legacy. Who can forget Liam Byrne’s two-fingered farewell note to the Treasurey, in which he wrote, ‘there’s no money left… good luck!’?”

“Make no mistake, these cuts are Labour’s cuts. It’s their legacy to Tameside and to Britain.

“If we were to carry on down Labour’s path in five years time we would be spending £70 billion-a-year on the country’s debt interest alone – more than education, transport, and the environment.”

To jeers from Labour councillors, he retorted, “Until you come up with your own credible plan, instead of naval gazing about your leadership problems, you have no right to attack the Government’s actions.

“Your hypocrisy knows no bounds. You planned to raise VAT. Alistair Darling cut £23 billion of public spending, and you planned to cut public spending by 20-25 per cent if you’d won the election. But now you oppose every cut, and refuse point blank to set out your alternatives. You demand a plan B from us, but you don’t have a plan A.

“So, as with all Labour Governments, it is left to the Conservatives to pick up the pieces.”

Cllr. Bell went on to outline Conservative commitments to protect spending for vulnerable residents, including:

  • More money for adult social care;
  • More money for affordable and decent homes;
  • More money for the supporting people programme;
  • Retention of free and concessionary travel on public transport for pensioners; and,
  • More flexibility for the Council to spend its money and the services that mattered.

Cllr. Bell said, “Tameside Council will have greater control over spending with the ending of ring-fencing in many areas.”

He also outlined the Government’s financial commitment to allow local authorities to freeze council tax. “We will be interested to see how you will handle this one at budget time,” he commented dryly.

Cllr. Bell concluded, “The emphasis for Tameside Council in future years must be creativity and innovation, fundamentally re-examining every aspect of the way we work, maximising efficiency and productivity with our partners, whilst bringing down the excessive pay of senior managers.”

HOW WOULD YOU CUT YOUR DEFICIT, MR. MILIBAND?

Conservative Co-Chairman Sayeeda Warsi has congratulated Ed Miliband on narrowly winning the Labour leadership election.

She called on the new leader to recognise his role in creating the financial mess that Britain is now in and tell us what he’d do to fix it.

Sayeeda said, “For the past five months, all we’ve heard from Labour is knee-jerk opposition, now’s the time for Mr Miliband to tell us how he’d cut the deficit. He promised us a Labour spending plan before the spending review, now we’d all like to see it.”

And she added, “Ed Miliband wasn’t the choice of his MPs, wasn’t the choice of Labour Party members but was put in to power by union votes. I’m afraid this looks like a great leap backwards for the Labour Party.”

Sayeeda’s comments came after a dossier was published that showed massive black holes in the spending commitments of both Miliband brothers.

The dossier, by Conservative MP Matthew Hancock, showed that both Ed and David Miliband had made massive unfunded spending commitments during the Labour leadership campaign, in which they also opposed the Coalition government’s actions to deal with Labour’s record deficit.

Both Miliband brothers had committed to £44bn worth of deficit reduction but were unable to make their sums add up, opposing individual cuts and making extra spending commitments. The shortfall in David Miliband’s spending plans added up to £55bn, while brother Ed’s was even greater at £67bn.

Read Sayeeda’s exclusive blog post by clicking here.

Read more about the Milibands’ spending black hole by clicking here.

OSBORNE BUDGET SETS OUT TO CLEAR UP LABOUR’S DEBT

ASHTON METROLINK EXTENSION TO GO AHEAD & SERVICES FOR VULNERABLE PROTECTED

ABOVE: GEORGE OSBORNE LEAVES 11 DOWNING STREET TO DELIVER HIS ‘FIRM BUT FAIR’ BUDGET

Commenting on today’s emergency budget, Cllr. John Bell, the Tameside Conservative Leader, said, “This is a firm but fair emergency budget, designed to drag the country back from the brink of financial oblivion. In just 13 years Labour took our wealthy nation and built up the largest national debt in our history. Their massive deficit has to be cleared up without delay.

“Despite the massive burdens we now face, George Osborne’s budget protects the most vulnerable members of society, with tax cuts for nearly one million low paid workers and spending on the NHS and education protected.

“Capital schemes, such as the Metrolink extension to Ashton, have also been retained. The Metrolink extension will bring much needed investment and jobs to Tameside through its construction and future inward investment.”

Cllr. Bell concluded, “I simply have no time for any criticism from Labour politicians until they spell out the action they would have taken to cut the debt. It is their mess, and once again it is left to a Conservative Chancellor to clear it up.”

TORIES SAVE ASHTON METROLINK EXTENSION

THE METROLINK IS FINALLY COMING TO ASHTON!

(Photograph by Dr. Neil Clifton & reproduced by kind agreement from Wikimedia Commons.)

Tameside Conservatives are celebrating, after the new Conservative-led Coalition Government saved Ashton’s Metrolink extension.

The extension – which Labour had failed to build in 13 years of Government – was threatened with the axe after Gordon Brown’s Government had taken the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

However, the new Government announced that the extension would be built, putting an end to over a decade of Labour dithering.

Ashton Conservative, Dr. Paul Buckley couldn’t contain his delight. He said, “What wonderful news!

“After the mess the last Labour government left the country in – with a deficit of a whopping £168bn – it was predicted the Metrolink expansion would be shelved to help save money and balance the books. However, despite Labour’s scaremongering throughout the election the Conservatives are committed to Tameside, improving the economy and lives of all the people who live here.”

Dr. Buckley continued, “The Conservatives started the Metrolink system in the early 1990s – now we are taking the service to a new level. Along with the decision to finish the M60 ring road through Tameside in the early 1990s the Conservatives have improved the transport infrastructure and prosperity of Tameside immeasurably.”

He concluded, “Thanks to everyone who fought to keep the Metrolink expansion on the right track Tameside has a healthy future ahead.”

CAMERON CONDEMNS LABOUR NEGATIVITY & MISINFORMATION

DAVID CAMERON CONDEMNED LABOUR’S MISINFORMATION ABOUR SURE START, CANCER TREATMENT & WINTER FUEL PAYMENTS

David Cameron has criticised Labour’s negative approach to campaigning and governing.

In answering a question after the launch of the Conservative manifesto, Cameron criticised Labour for having “nothing positive to say”.

“They’re going to spend this entire election trying to frighten people”, he said, referencing Labour’s misinformation about Sure Start, winter fuel payments, and cancer treatment.

“That’s what a government does when it’s got nothing left to give, nothing left to offer, it’s profoundly depressing”, he added.

In contrast, Cameron said the British people are crying out to hear something positive that will impact their lives.

He said, “They are longing to hear something positive, something concrete, something specific, something that will actually make a difference to their lives. And that’s what this document is all about; it is unremittingly positive, optimistic and upbeat about what we can all achieve if we come together as a country.”

He concluded, “It’s a very optimistic, hopeful, forward-looking message and I don’t think Labour have got a chance of matching it. Glad I got that off my chest!”

PURNELL WAS “NEVER A STALYBRIDGE & HYDE MAN”

CONSERVATIVE RESPONSE TO LABOUR MP’s SHOCK RESIGNATION

Responding to news that James Purnell is to resign as the Labour MP for Stalybridge & Hyde, Cllr. John Bell, the Tameside Conservative Leader and Hyde Werneth ward councillor, said:

“James Purnell was never a Stalybridge & Hyde man because he never fully concentrated on his duties as a constituency MP. From day one, he had an eye on the bigger Westminster stage and he never made any secret of his desire to rise through the ministerial ranks as soon as possible.

“As a result he was sloppy in his approach and his judgement was questionable. Mishap followed him around wherever he went – most famously when he insisted on being photoshopped into a photograph with the management of Tameside Hospital.

“At the 2008 local elections more people voted Conservative than Labour in the eight wards that make up Stalybridge & Hyde, and we were hoping to defeat him at the next General Election. Now, that he has resigned I can say that he won’t be missed.

“Irrespective of their politics, an MP’s first concern should be their constituents. Purnell always put them second to his own political ambitions. It was therefore right that he should go.”

Further comment was added by Rob Adlard, the Conservative Prospective MP for Stalybridge & Hyde, who said he was “disappointed” that Purnell would not now be held to account by the electorate in the forthcoming General Election.

Rob was speaking in an interview for Tameside Radio, which can be heard here.

LABOUR’S PUT US IN A RIGHT STATE

CONSERVATIVE LEADER HIGHLIGHTS LABOUR’S FAILURE TO PROTECT TAMESIDE’S ECONOMY, RESIDENTS, YOUNGSTERS & HEALTH

In response to the Labour Council Leader’s annual State of the Area Address, the Tameside Conservative Leader, Cllr. John Bell this year highlighted the failings of the Labour council beyond their meaningless accolades for hanging baskets and tick-box inspections.

Failings that mean, “…residents feel unsafe to walk the streets at night. Where children get left behind their national peers. Where the health of our residents is the one of the worst in the country.”

SPEECH BY CLLR. JOHN BELL [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY]

NATIONAL OVERVIEW

This State of Area Address takes place against a backdrop that sees our nation teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

It is now the second Area Address in succession to be presented during a recession – a recession that is now the longest and deepest recession since records began.

This Government will leave us a nightmare legacy at the end of this Parliament that spells real trouble for families and businesses in this borough.

Figures out last week saw public borrowing this month at EIGHTY-EIGHT times worse than this time last year.

Meanwhile, according to the Bank of England, lending to business is falling at the fastest rate since records began.

The terrible irony is that the Treasury is borrowing much of this money to prop up the banks – who are then hoarding the money.

What is really terrifying is that the Government seems to be in total denial about how extremely serious our economic plight is.

Its only response in the Queen’s speech was an utterly ridiculous law that demands the reduction of the budget deficit without actually saying how.

Brown would have more chance legislating for sun on a Tuesday.

At yesterday’s CBI conference, Brown, once again, repeated his mantra that only state funding and more central state meddling can see Britain through the recession – as if that hasn’t brought us to this situation in the first place.

Everybody knows what must inevitably happen. Public spending must be dramatically cut, after Labour’s decade of irresponsible spending and squander.

Instead, our delusional Prime Minister wants to carry on regardless, unveiling more unfunded plans for public spending.

Maybe he could have carried on regardless if his public spending hadn’t have been so shambolic, but our public sector projects are £19 billion over budget, and, last week, the Local Government Association identified that £4.5 billion is wasted in the Labour Government’s red tape.

The chances are that somebody else will have to clear up the Brown mess after the next General Election.

For now though, we know Jedward are gone, but we’re still left with Deadwood…

ECONOMIC IMPACT ON TAMESIDE

The impact of Labour’s failed economic plan has had a catastrophic effect in Tameside.

In the last two years:

  • There has been an on-going increase in the borough’s unemployed.
  • The number of benefit claimants has increased by 122 per cent – from 3,127 in October 2007 to 6,939 in October 2009 – the third highest increase in Greater Manchester.
  • The number of benefit claimants between the ages of 18 and 24 has increased by 25 per cent.

Furthermore:

  • Tameside has the lowest number of full-time available vacancies, and second lowest number of part-time available vacancies, in Greater Manchester. In total there are less than 800 job vacancies in Tameside – amounting to just one vacancy for every nine benefit claimants.
  • Tameside workers have the second lowest wages in Greater Manchester. On average, they earn £983-a-year less than the Greater Manchester average wage, £988-a-year less than the North West average wage, and £2,101-a-year less than the national average wage.

Whilst the Conservatives have supported Tameside Council’s Works First initiative, it is clear that the impact of Labour’s recession has hit tens of thousands of homes in the borough.

TAMESIDE LABOUR’S RECORD

Tameside Labour’s record is one based on tick-box inspections and huge propaganda, whilst core service delivery remains questionable.

In total, £362,480 was spent on Government inspections in 2008/09.

However, the inspections are flawed, and the cost of propaganda does not, in any way, provide value for money for council taxpayers.

FLAWED INSPECTIONS

Labour has an enviable record for scoring well in inspections, but who inspects the inspectors?

It has recently been revealed that Tameside Council’s previous auditors, failed to find mistakes amounting to £5.3 million on the 2008/09 balance sheet.

They were paid £235,000 for this inspection.

Can we expect Tameside Council to be demanding a refund from our former auditors for their inspection incompetence?

How can the inspection process be trusted when failures of this magnitude occur?

LABOUR PROPAGANDA

In 2009/10 Labour will spend the following amounts on propaganda:

  • Increase in the Marketing & Communications’ budget – £160,000
  • Tameside Citizen, The Wire, Tameside TV – £121,000
  • Community Notice Boards, street art, cultural developments, bronze statues and maps – £419,000

In total, these items alone will amount to almost £700,000 in 2009/10.

Furthermore, this money will have come directly from the money raised via Council Tax and not capital grant money, as suggested recently by a number of Labour councillors.

What does this mean for our residents?

It means that our residents live in a borough where the council has failed to get a grip of endemic problems in the borough’s neighbourhoods.

Where residents feel unsafe to walk the streets at night.

Where children get left behind their national peers.

Where the health of our residents is the one of the worst in the country.

COMMUNITY SAFETY

Labour’s community safety record is truly criminal.

Tameside Council has a multi-million pound community safety budget, but year-on-year little significant impact is made on crime, with youth annoyance and anti-social behaviour still endemic.

The police are let down by Labour policy that fails to give them the necessary support to do their job.

WE KNOW LABOUR PREFERS HIRED SECURITY GUARDS TO EXTRA POLICE OFFICERS

They are paying for private security guards to patrol the streets of Tameside.

They ordered the patrols, in response to uncontrollable youth annoyance and anti-social behaviour in Dukinfield – a panic measure in response to their failure to combat anti-social behaviour.

The security guards have no legislative right to enforce the law, yet according to a company representative they are, “…breaking up groups, moving them on, taking them back to their parents.”

Patrolling with a Rottweiler dog, the security guards are all “ex-military” and their aim is to, “…get things done.”

How do they ‘get things done’, with their Rottweiler dog, when they have no legislative right to do the duties they are undertaking?

Who sanctioned these patrols?

Who has liability for the patrols in the event of a member of the public getting injured?

Why does Tameside Council prefer to employ the services of private security guards when they could be providing extra funding for the police?

For less than £2million-a-year, Tameside Council could support the recruitment of 100 Specials to work a 20-hour week, as well as 20 full-time officers. All in support of our neighbourhood policing teams, to target hotspot areas of high anti-social behaviour and youth annoyance.

Unfortunately Labour chose to condemn such an idea because they prefer Rottweilers to fully –trained police officers.

YOUNG PEOPLE

Labour is failing our young people in Tameside, with cuts to the youth service. As a result, youth annoyance and anti-social behaviour is endemic in the borough.

BINGE DRINKING & DRUGS

Young people across Tameside are putting their lives at risk by binge drinking on a regular basis.

A report by North West Trading Standards put Tameside in the top five worst places in the North West for heavy drinking among 14 to 17-year-olds.

The report found that the borough’s young people were:

  • 40 per cent more likely to use illegal drugs and to have mental health problems.
  • 60 per cent more likely to have been homeless, and ran almost double the risk of criminal convictions.
  • 40 per cent more likely to have had accidents.
  • Almost four times as likely to have been excluded from school and 30 per cent more likely to have gained no qualifications.

In March 2007, following a report that children as young as nine were drinking in the streets of Dukinfield, it was reported in the press that Labour councillor David Sweeton said, “We cannot have this on our streets. It’s tantamount to child abuse.”

Yet still Labour seem to be doing little to combat this ‘child abuse’, with incidence of alcohol-related youth annoyance high, causing misery to residents on a daily basis.

YOUTH OFFENDING TEAM ONLY MEETS “MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS”

Is it any wonder that youth offending is out of control when a Government joint inspection of Tameside’s Youth Offending Team found that, “…potential was not being fully realised,” and that, ”…Inconsistent performance, compounded by recording deficits and a lack of organisational resilience, diminished the overall standards achieved…”

The inspection also found, “…insufficient consistency of operational performance or focus on the aim of reducing offending.”

Furthermore, whilst, “…Many staff in prevention services showed considerable energy and enthusiasm… A lack of continuity of funding, relatively unfocused targeting of children and young people and insufficient assessments diminished the otherwise positive delivery of services.”

For all criteria – including “management & leadership” – Tameside’s Youth Offending Team was found only to meet “minimum requirements”.

Don’t Tameside’s young people deserve better?

Shouldn’t residents, whose lives are blighted by anti-social behaviour, expect more for the Council Tax they pay?

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE

Under Labour:

THE HEALTH OF TAMESIDE IS “SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE” THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE – ACCORDING TO THE LATEST HEALTH PROFILE

Rates for obesity, drug misuse, and alcoholism are some of the worst in the country.

As a consequence, rates for heart disease, strokes, cancer, and deaths from smoking are ‘significantly worse’ than the national average, with people nationally living, on average, more than two years longer than their Tameside counterparts.

The findings come in this year’s Tameside Health Profile, published by the Department of Health and the Association of Public Health Observatories.

Of 31 relevant indicators contained in the report, Tameside is rated ‘significantly worse’ than the national average in 24 areas, despite the borough being a ‘spearhead’ target area to tackle poor health.

Worryingly, the poor health rates are not confined to adults. Poor rates of child poverty, educational achievement, physical activity, tooth decay, smoking during pregnancy and teenage pregnancies are all cause for concern. Mercifully, childhood obesity and infant deaths are not significantly different from the national average.

FOR THE SECOND YEAR RUNNING TAMESIDE IS NAMED AMONGST THE TEN WORST AREAS FOR ALCOHOL-RELATED PROBLEMS AND DISEASE – OUT OF 300 LOCAL AUTHORITY AREAS.

Tameside is above the national average – in some cases significantly – for almost all of the 23 ‘indicators’ including the number of alcohol-related admissions to hospital, which has increased every year since 2002.

The evidence against Labour’s health failing is damning, yet in a report that went to the Executive Cabinet on the 4th November 2009, no mention of these failings was reported. Instead a litany of bureaucratic “identified strengths” was reported.

FUND CUTS FOR SERVICES FOR THE BLIND?

According to a letter from the Tameside Blind Association to the Executive Director for Community Services, dated 8th November 2009, and which was received by all councillors, “…there may be a withdrawal of the funding” for the  RNIB’s Talking Blind Book Service.

This service costs Tameside Council just £7,500-a-year.

The letter states, “…The services provided by Tameside Libraries… cannot compare with the range offered by the Talking Book Service. we urge you to think again before making the decision to withdraw this service to this vulnerabel group of residents.”

In the meantime, an official Tameside Council news release reports that the Mayor (Cllr. John Sullivan) and Cllr. Jim Fitzpatrick are providing the Tameside Talking News for the Blind with a £450 cheque for a laptop.

Cllr Sullivan said: “I invited the volunteers to the parlour to say thank you for giving up their own time to provide such a valuable service to the local community. However when I realised they were struggling with such old, time consuming and limited equipment I thought we might be able to do something more practical to acknowledge our appreciation of their efforts.”

Cllr Fitzpatrick said: “This is just the kind of cause I’m keen to support as so many people will benefit – not just the volunteers but also the many local people who make use of their service.” 

Whilst Labour are happy to boast of a £450 donation, they are not so eager to boast of the £7,500 funding they could be withdrawing.

It appears that what Labour giveth with one hand, they taketh away more with the other.

CONCLUSION

According to a flawed inspection regime, Tameside is a four-star rated local authority that is very good at producing hanging baskets.

However, the facts I have outlined speak for themselves.

No amount of inspections and hanging baskets can hide these facts – which have an impact on residents every single day.

Whilst Labour congratulates itself on another irrelevant tick box award, they are in self-denial about the reality many residents now face.

Labour has had 30 years to deal with these issues in Tameside, and the borough is still left looking for answers.

LABOUR WAGE CUTS: IT MAY BE LEGAL, BUT IS IT MORAL?

CONSERVATIVE LEADER HITS BACK AT ‘UNLAWFUL’ PAY FREEZE CLAIM

WAGE LOSERS ARE ‘LOYAL, RANK-AND-FILE MEMBERS OF STAFF’

bell-john_portrait

CLLR. JOHN BELL: “QUITE SIMPLY A CONTRACT SHOULD BE A CONTRACT”

Cllr. John Bell, the Leader of Tameside Conservatives, has hit back at Labour claims that Conservative proposals to freeze the salaries of some council staff, instead of allowing them to face pay cuts under the equal pay legislation, was ‘unlawful’.

Cllr. Bell said, “It is ‘unlawful’ because the Labour Government say so, having passed the equal pay legislation in 1997 as a sop to its union paymasters.

“The unions naively thought that equal pay meant increased pay for those at the lower end of the pay scale.

“Labour interpreted it as a ‘cost neutral’ exercise – for every winner there would be a loser who would have their wage slashed.

“Tameside Council call this process ‘harmonisation’.”

Cllr. Bell continued, “The losers are not those at the top end of the pay scale, but loyal, rank-and-file staff whose jobs don’t measure up well to the unequal parameters set out in the guidance cobbled together by Labour and their union comrades.

“Not a single member of staff had their arm twisted when they accepted jobs at Tameside Council. They signed contracts with a set salary – however high or low – that included benefits not always available in the private sector, such as a final salary pension, guaranteed holiday rights, and job security.

“Quite simply a contract should be a contract.

“However, this Labour Government has made that idea ‘unlawful’ and is now complicit with the unions in tearing up the contracts of between 16-33 per cent of staff, and sending them home with a pay cut and a threat to them to sign up by 9th November to secure their jobs.

“So-called socialist values torn apart in a socialist stitch-up.”

Cllr. Bell concluded, “It may be lawful to Labour, but it is certainly not moral.”

“LABOUR’S LOST IT!” THE SUN OFFICIALLY DESERTS LABOUR FOR THE CONSERVATIVES!

sun.labour's lost it

IT’S A SUN SENSATION! AFTER 12 YEARS OF SUPPORTING LABOUR, THE SUN DROPS BROWN & GIVES ITS SUPPORT TO THE CONSERVATIVES

(Screenshots courtesy of ConservativeHome)

sun.redsblewit

The Sun has officially dumped Gordon Brown, and is now backing David Cameron and the Conservative Party to “put the great back into Great Britain”, and win the next General Election.

Following Brown’s shocking Labour Party Conference speech, Britain’s biggest selling daily newspaper dropped the bombshell earlier today.

In a front page exclusive, the Sun said, “After 12 long years in power, this Government has lost its way. Now it’s lost The Sun’s support too.”

The paper’s editorial went on to explain, “The real story of the Labour years is one of under-achievement, rank failure and a vast expansion of wasteful government interference in everyone’s lives…

“Britain feels broken . . . and the Government is out of excuses.”

Brown was then shamed with a litany of failure.

The Sun outlined how Labour had “FAILED on law and order”, “FAILED on schools”, “FAILED on health”, “FAILED on immigration”, “FAILED our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan”, and, “…FAILED the children they claimed to have made their priority. After 12 years of Blair and Brown, Britain is officially the WORST country in the developed world in which to grow up.”

The paper then turned up the heat, claiming that, “…all along the Government has had one overriding concern: Itself…

“Labour’s driving ambition has not been to improve Britain. It has been to retain power at all costs – with no lie judged too great in its ruthless and relentless self-promotion.”

The Sun finally turned towards the future, and wholeheartedly backed the Conservatives.

“Britain needs a brave and wise Government to restore our self-respect… This will not be a Government that merely talks the talk, as Labour has. It will ACT… We hope, and pray, that the next Government will have the guts and the determination to do these things.

“And we believe David Cameron should lead it.”

The paper concluded,”The Sun believes – and prays – that the Conservative leadership can put the great back into Great Britain.”

WHERE YOUR MONEY WAS SPENT LAST YEAR

uk public spending 0809

(Source: The Guardian)

The Guardian have, this week, produced an excellent ‘atlas’ that illustrates UK Government spending in 2008/09.

In the week, that Gordon Brown finally admitted that Labour would have no choice but to cut public spending, the atlas shows exactly where he spent taxpayers’ money in the last 12 months.

An incredible £620.685bn was spent, including a staggering 49,891 per cent increase in the cost of the Treasury – which snatched an additional £85.5 billion from taxpayers’ pockets to prop up failing financial institutions.

The atlas also illustrates the scale of Gordon Brown’s borrowing, with Britian’s interest on its debt now costing taxpayers £24.1 billion-a-year – up seven per cent on the previous year, and almost as much as the Home Office (including policing) and the entire transport system combined. 

To take an audio tour of the UK spending atlas please click here.

WORKING FOR A CONSERVATIVE TAMESIDE

conhome.jb article

This article first appeared on the influential ConservativeHome website on Saturday 22nd August 2009:

Cllr John Bell, the Conservative opposition leader in Tameside, on the fight for lower Council Tax – and the reintroduction of weekly bin collections…

In May 2008, Tameside Conservatives enjoyed their best local election results for 30 years, taking 37 per cent of the vote and gaining seats in two wards; one of which we had not won since 1975, the other never won at all.

In two other wards, we came within seven and 14 votes respectively of adding to our numbers, and in the marginal Ashton Hurst ward we turned a 12-vote majority into a 784-vote romp.

And it proved a shock to local Labour MP, James Purnell, who found that in the eight wards of his Stalybridge & Hyde constituency more people voted Conservative than they did Labour. Stalybridge is now a Conservative town, and Purnell’s recent resignation had more to do with saving his Parliamentary seat than any botched plot to overthrow Gordon Brown.

 Nonetheless, for all our success, at the end of the campaign, when the seats were added up, we were still only left with 10 Conservative councillors compared to the entrenched group of 44 Labour councillors that run Tameside Council.

If the Conservative Party ever felt the urge to make a case for proportional representation they need not look any further than Tameside.

Our present position is a million miles away from the days of the late 1970s, when Tameside Tories controlled the council on the back of a famously successful fight against the Callaghan Government’s introduction of the comprehensive education system.

Since then it has been a rollercoaster ride in Tameside. From the high of 1976, our numbers plummeted to a low between 1996-98 – when there wasn’t a single Conservative councillor in the borough.

However, since those dark days, we have been on the up, and the 2008 results were another step in the right direction, towards the real possibility of further gains in 2010.

With Labour’s recession biting hard in Tameside, we are committed to a programme of ambitious reform in Tameside. However, we face a determined Labour Group obsessed with their image and frivolous, expensive pet projects that aim to court public popularity.

At February’s budget meeting we tabled an amendment that aimed to slash their propaganda and waste from the public purse. This amendment would have frozen Council Tax for 2009/10 and saved over £2.2million, equating to between £23 and £76 per council taxpayer. However, this was rejected by the Labour Group, who voted to carry on regardless and increase Council Tax, as they have done every year since the Council Tax was introduced.

As result, Tameside residents will now have to fork out for dubious commitments, such as:

  • £277,000 earmarked for increased communications spending;
  • £240,000 worth of ‘advanced’ spending with the two local newspapers and one radio station;
  • £11,000 committed to the pointless State of the Area Address; and,
  • £419,000 to be spent on bronze maps, statues, street art, community notice boards and ‘cultural’ developments.

We are committed to opposing such high spending in these areas, whilst delivering better core services; and within our manifesto we pledge to:

  • Reintroduce the weekly black bin collection;
  • Provide a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to community safety and anti-social behaviour by increasing funding for more police officers and pay for Special Constables – fully-trained, voluntary police officers with full police powers – whilst increasing youth provision, something that has been cut in Tameside in recent years;
  • Help local businesses by providing two-hour free parking;
  • Introduce a scheduled programme of road and pavement repair, and street cleaning, something that has a poor record in Tameside; and,
  • Ensure Tameside’s poor education standards are raised by placing a greater emphasis on the teaching of Maths, English and the sciences.

By cutting Labour’s excesses and concentrating on the basics, we believe that is the way in which residents will get the best value for money return on the Council Tax they pay, at a time of economic hardship.

However, our task won’t be easy. With a determined local Labour Party, and lively local minority parties, we will have to ensure our vote isn’t squeezed out if the success of 2008 is to be repeated in 2010 and beyond.

DENTON NORTH EAST LATEST: LABOUR’S CUTS, LABOUR’S LIES

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Labour’s calamitous Government and handling of local services has had a massive impact on local people, while their blatant lies have brought the Denton North East By-Election down to the level of the gutter.

The Conservative candidate, Floyd Paterson, answers Labour’s lies perfectly, with his latest leaflet (click on the images above).

Visit Floyd’s campaign blog by clicking here.

TAMESIDE HOUSING COLLAPSE ONE OF THE WORST IN BRITAIN

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Figures reveal that Tameside has experienced one of the worst collapses in house prices in the country.

In 12 months, the average price of a home in the borough fell by almost 18 per cent – one of the largest drops in the country, and the second largest fall in Greater Manchester.

Floyd Paterson, the Denton North East Conservative candidate, said, “The economic policies over the last decade of the Labour Government have directly contributed to this situation. By loosening regulations and reducing the power of the Bank of England, an unprecendented housing boom has led to an equally spectacular housing collapse.

“We are now left in the position where thousands of hard-working families are now left in negative equity – owing more than their house is worth.

“In Tameside we have been left particularly vulnerable, with one of the largest collapses in the country. And, with unemployment more than doubling in the last 12 months in Denton North East, some residents are facing repossession and bankruptcy – all thanks to Gordon Brown and Labour.

“The threat of financial ruin is a now a very real threat to many residents.”

Visit Floyd’s campaign blog by clicking here.

PURNELL USES HYDE UNITED CRISIS TO ‘SAVE HIS OWN POLITICAL SKIN’

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James Purnell has used the financial crisis engulfing Hyde United to ‘save his own political skin’ – according to the Tameside Conservative Leader.

In a letter to the local press, Cllr. John Bell wrote:

No sooner has James Purnell jumped like a rat from the sinking ship of Brown’s discredited Government, and Stalybridge & Hyde’s London-born, London-based MP begins an opportunistic campaign to save his own political skin.

His latest attempt to go native involved backing the campaign to secure Hyde United’s future. As a supporter and a recent sponsor of the club I wholeheartedly back the campaign, and wish it every success.

However, it was no occasion for him to brazenly use the opportunity to urge residents to vote Labour, criticise the Conservatives, and claim that he’s “…proud of what this government has achieved and will continue to achieve.”

What on earth has any of that got to do with Hyde United?

This is the same man who just a few weeks ago walked out of the Government he is so “proud of” because he could no longer support Brown as Prime Minister. According to his resignation letter, he believed Labour had to “fight to be a credible Government” for a country that needed “better public services” and “an open democracy” after 12 years of Labour power.

Or did his resignation have more to do with the fact that at last year’s local elections the Conservatives took more votes than Labour in the eight wards that make up the Stalybridge & Hyde Constituency?

For Hyde United’s worthy campaign he was photographed wearing a sweatshirt that read, “Save Hyde United”.

Maybe it would have been more straightforward of him to have worn one pleading, “Save My Seat”.

HELP SAVE HYDE UNITED, PLEASE CLICK HERE.