Friday, October 27, 2006

By-election Victory


If anyone needs proof that the people in Chester are saying it is time for a change, last night’s by-election result in Newton St Michael’s is it. Our candidate, Adrian Walmsley, ran a positive campaign, playing to people’s hopes and not their fears, and it paid off. The Conservatives are listening to what people want and we are delivering accordingly, which is what democratic government is meant to do. The Lib Dems put forward their highest profile person in the area, an area they have dominated for over 20 years, and then embarked on a very dirty negative campaign : Newton’s residents have clearly spoken about who, and what style of Party, they want to represent them, and that is the Conservative Party.

We gained five new Councillors in the May 2006 elections, one of which was Marigold Roy in Newton St Michael’s ward: Adrian’s success demonstrates that May was not a one–off and that Chester’s residents really are looking for Change. The Conservative Party is the only party that is offering not only change, but giving people and communities a sense of hope and optimism. Adrian and Marigold make a great team and I know they will make a real difference to Newton St Michael’s – an area that has been under-represented for too long. I will continue to work with them both to make sure that Newton’s residents also get the representation they deserve at a national level.

So to the people in Newton, I can simply say – the future’s bright, the future’s blue.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Tories 39% - Labour 29% - Lib Dems 22%

......and that's on the front page of the Guardian !!!!!!

This poll, in my view, endorses what David Cameron is doing to change the Conservative Party and is a huge vote of confidence. This is also Labour's worst poll rating since 1987, which sums up the state of the government.

I have to say though, this is no surprise. The best indicator of public opinion is to ask the public, and that is what we do in Chester week in and week out. Across all wards, there is a significant swing away from Labour and to the Conservatives - so this national poll confirms what we are being told on the doorstep.

A real test for us in Chester will be tomorrow's by-election, which is in a ward where we gained a Conservative Councillor in May 2006, after over 20 years of ward dominance by the Lib Dems. To take the second seat off the Libs will be a great result for our canddiate, Adrian Walmsley, who has worked tirelessly for his community and is therefore deserving of a victory.

It will show that in Chester we are gaining from both Labour and the Libs, and because we are the Party most in touch with public opinion in the city.

Good luck Adrian.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stance on Tax

Once again, the Conservatives are being pressed by the media and Labour to give a commitment to tax cuts - I wholly support David Cameron's and George Osbourne's response to the Tax Reform Commission's recently published report - economic stability comes before tax cuts.

This does not mean that the Conservatives have abandoned any core principle: we still believe that low tax economies are the strongest economies, and we believe that economic growth can be shared between increased spending and tax cuts.

Some people ask, How can you increase spending and cuts taxes at the same time? Simple, for example, a 4% economic growth could mean half of that growth going on extra spending and the other half on reducing the tax burden.

A high tax burden, especially for businesses, can stifle economic growth by reducing economic competitiveness, and that is why George Osbourne is right to focus on simpler and fairer taxes for businesses.

George Osbourne's response to the Tax Reform Commission's report is:
“The Commission have given us a menu of options that merit serious consideration. Some we will accept, some we will modify and others we may reject. But the framework of our tax policy is now set. Sound Money means that stability will always come first before promises of tax cuts. We will not be promising up front, unfunded tax reductions at the next election. We will, however, rebalance our tax system. Green taxes on pollution will rise to pay for reductions in family taxes. This Report sets out some options for doing that. And we will also embark on a major simplification of business taxes that will pay for a significant reduction in our business tax rates. This report represents a major step in that direction. The battle for a simpler, fairer and more competitive tax system has begun.”

Sounds straightforward to me!!!!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

BA is wrong

That's my view on BA's decision not to allow a member of staff, Nadia Eweida, to wear a crucifix that can be seen by the public. The Mrs Eweida is a strong Christian and wants to show that, in the same way as religious belief is shown by people who wear turbans, hijabs and religious bangles.

BA is mig-guided and even the Muslim Council of Britain supported Mrs Eweida's stance, describing it as an "expression of private religious belief".

I agree with Ann Widdecombe that the decision is "religious discrimination" and call for a boycott if it isn't reversed. Mrs Eweida plans to sue BA and I hope she wins her case.

Multi-faith means multi faith and there needs to be acceptance and tolerance of all faiths.

My real concern is that BA's action is causing great offence and is actually fuelling resentment and discrimination against members of other faiths, such as muslims, which it is setting out to avoid.

Post Office Closures

Yet again the government is set to damage communities across the country by slashing the number of post offices.

Alistair Darling MP, the Trade and Industry Secretary, has indicated that the government will not maintain the subsidy necessary by post offices, despite the fact that many are struggling because the government has taken away key contracts, such as paying pensions.

The number of post offices has been slashed from 22,000 to just over 14,000 and Labour wants that figure reduced considerably.

I have always been a staunch supporter of post offices as I recognise the vital role they play in communities. Many pensioners cannot travel miles and the loss of their local post office can bring hardship and exclusion.

In 2003, the government forced pensioners and benefit claimants to receive their payments via bank accounts. Those that couldn't have a bank account had the option of having a card account, but the government now plans to scrap the card accounts in 2010, putting the post office network under even greater threat and forcing pensioners to do business the government's way, not the pensioners' own preferred way.

Chester has had more than its fair share of post office closures and my Conservative colleagues and I will fiercely oppose the closure of any more. If you share my concerns and oppose post office closures, let me know by e-mailing me at

Many thanks.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Stop Brown's NHS Cuts

Gordon Brown's financial mismanagement of the NHS has led to widespread cuts to NHS services across the country, including:
  • 18,000 jobs cut from NHS hospitals (Royal College of Nursing Press Release, 16 August 2006).
  • Hospitals – large and small - facing cutbacks and closure.
  • Trainee doctors and nurses facing unemployment.
In Chester, we have seen 53 beds close; loss of specialist nurses; cuts to respite care budget and a Digital Retinopathy Programme scrapped, to name just some cuts. Enough is enough.

We believe the NHS is a number one priority, so we are having a national campaign to put pressure on the government to stop the NHS cuts.

Click on the following link to add your name to our petition

Thank you.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

PC Madness

I was made aware of a conversation that a group in Chester had on Monday, which was about the type of Christmas cards that they should send. It was suggested that the words 'Seasons Greetings' should be used, or even no message at all, so that members of other faiths would not be offended. I, and most Chritians, find that suggestion offensive and it is UTTER NONSENSE.

I support us becoming a nation made up of multi faiths: that means we should learn to understand non-Christian faiths, but memebrs of those faiths must also learn to understand, and accept, the Christian faith.

I think we should welcome and encourage the celebration of festivals such as Eid and Diwali, and I personally send many Eid and Diwali cards to Muslims and Hindus. But we must also encourage the understanding and celebration of Christmas.

Playing to the obsessive political correctness brigade will only go to fuel resentment and do nothing to build a harmonised society.

My message is clear - Send Christmas cards that say Happy Christmas and welcome the receipt of cards celebrating other faiths.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Blair the Fraud

Last night's news headline was Tony Blair saying he would give our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan whatever equipment they needed. AND THAT WAS A HEADLINE STORY!!!!!!!!!

Does this mean that Blair admits our troops have not been given the equipment they have needed to-date? Is he admitting that he has sent our troops into war poorly-equipped?

The other thing this highlighted is what a fraud he is. Look at why he make this statement.

On Wednesday 4th October David Cameron said in his conference speech that our troops have told him they do not have the armoured personnel carriers or helicopters that they need. So on Saturday 7th October Tony Blair makes a big announcement that he will give the troops the armoured personnel carriers and helicopters that they need.

Well all I say is that this demonstrates why the Conservatives should not disclose any policy now, as Blair will copy it within days.

Also, well done Cameron for making Blair sit up and listen to the troops.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Labour's state control

When I was canvassing today in Newton St Michael's, I had a really interesting conversation with a lady who highlighted the difference between Labour and the Conservatives.

She is a single mum who is working full time and has been made to feel like a criminal the way the government clawed back the amount they had over-paid her in tax credits. Not wanting to be beholden to the state, she is doing a HNC so that she can better her prospects for the future. She received no help whatsoever from the state towards the cost of the HNC and had to borrow the £800 course fees from her father. This is not an isolated case.

The Conservative Party is the party that believes in ambition and opportunity. Here is a lady who, under Labour, is not encouraged to be ambitious and certainly not given any opportunity. She has made me realise that if it is not Conservative Policy to provide people like her with free access to higher education, then it ought to be and I will raise the matter with our policy teams.

As for this person, and many others like her, I wish her luck and hope that she learns to realise that her beliefs and values are core Conservative values, not socialist values.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Conference Speech

One of today's key debates was on Localism and I had the priviliedge of being able to take the stand and talk of my opposition to the government's regionalisation with respect to Chester.

My speech was:

“Last week we had a demonstration of extreme hypocrisy. At Labour’s conference their delegates spoke out about democracy and local accountability, yet in practice they do the opposite as they continue to press on with the expansion of regional government.“

“The people in the North East resoundingly rejected Prescott’s regional plans, yet the people in Chester, the North West and other regions have been denied an opportunity to have our say. Instead, Prescott thought he knew best and gave us a Compulsory Regional Assembly Programme, C.R.A.P. for short.”

“In Chester we have a housing moratorium, not because we don’t need new homes, we do, but because unelected bureaucrats in the North West Regional Assembly, the North West Regional Development Agency, the Government Office North West and the Government Office Liverpool are promoting a Regional Spatial Strategy that says Chester is a second level priority area when compared to Manchester and Liverpool. This is nothing short of social engineering and is damaging to Chester’s future.”

“I believe that Chester, like every village, town and city across the country, is a first level priority and must be treated as such. We need to make sure that after the next general election we have a Conservative government so that we can abolish these quangos and restore true democracy and allow local decisions to be made by locally elected representatives who have local accountability.”

The Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, Oliver Heald MP said, “Paul undoubtedly gave the best contribution to the debate and spoke out about Chester with passion and pride. After the debate Paul gave me a detailed briefing about the effects of regionalisation to Chester and I assured him that a Conservative government will abolish regional assemblies and give the people of Chester the ability to decide their own affairs.”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Party Conference

Party conference started today with a great speech from Cameron and amongst an electrifying atmosphere.

Us staunch Tories know what it is like to go to a conference and witness the plotting and gloom. What a joy to know those days are long long gone. Labour have just experienced the in-fighting and a sense of defeat at their conference whilst we are clearly in a period of rock solid unity with an ever growing belief that we can win and return to government after the next general election.

I'm hoping to get a speaking slot in the Localism debate on Tuesday, so will keep you posted. Chester needs someone willing to stand up and speak out on the issues that matter. Loss of democracy and local decision making is becoming a real issue for Chester, and I will stand up and highlight out concerns - if given the opportunity.