Monday, March 29, 2010

Tory cuts hit Lincs families who need most help...

Families in Lincolnshire caring for children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus have been dealt a devastating blow by local Conservatives.

The Tories who run Lincolnshire County Council have decided to axe funding the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Next week the group, which supports 155 people and their families in Lincolnshire, will lose its £17,000 annual grant.

In the scheme of things, and given LCC's whopping budget, £17k does not sound like a lot of money to provide support to 155 families. It's a little over £100 per family. No doubt the costs of a local authority social worker offering similar support would be considerably more than that.

Having served as a county councillor for eight years until last year, I could certainly suggest a few more effective ways of saving a few bob of taxpayers money...

Why is it that those who need our help most always seem to suffer first when it comes to 'efficiency savings'...?

In any case, as this letter from the Association in the Stamford Mercury suggests, the cost-cutting may be a false economy. In the end it will be social services who have to pick up the pieces when it all goes wrong for the families helped by the Association...

By his own admission, David Cameron is desperate to start taking an axe to public spending, promising, in his own words, an age of austerityif he gets the keys to Downing Street.

Pulling the plug on vital public services that millions of people rely on would, in my view, damage our social fabric. It seems a bit rich trying to get elected by telling us (wrongly!) that Britain is Broken, and at the same time planning to slash public services.

Cameron's axe would also put the fragile economic recovery of our nation at risk as we come out of the worst world downturn in half a century.

Sadly, 155 families in Lincolnshire are getting an early taste of what life under a Conservative Government would be like for millions.

Same Old Nasty Tories eh?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Brave Hykeham lad awarded George Medal...

The exceptional bravery of our troops in Afghanistan is brought home by the posthumous award of the George Medal to a lad who went to the same school as me in North Hykeham near Lincoln.

Captain Daniel Shepherd was killed last summer attempting to defuse 13 Taliban bombs in 36 hours, and honoured with a full military funeral at Lincoln Cathedral. On Friday, Captain Shepherd was awarded the George Medal.

I see from the press coverage that, like me, he went to All Saints Primary School, Moor Lane, North Hykeham.

Even though I never knew Captain Shepherd, the fact that we went to the same primary school perhaps three decades apart, makes it hard not to feel a connection, however tenuous.

And I can't help wondering if, 20 years ago, young Dan might have been a cub in one of my late Mum's packs in North Hykeham, or perhaps sailed one of the dinghys donated to Hykeham scouts by my late Dad...

Anyway, this is the Ministry of Defence tribute to Captain Shepherd when he died last year

At the time of his death, family members left heart-breaking tributes to Dan on the Lincolnshire Echo site.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Have you spotted the white blackbird...?

Not seen in my garden yet, but this resident of Deeping St James was given a mention on national 5Live radio the other day - and the Peterborough ET has a photo.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cameron throws red meat to his Tory Euro-sceptics...

Good to see the ugly face of David Cameron's Conservatives finally getting some exposure.

This week our local Euro-MP Glenis Willmott is rightly questioning why Cameron's Conservatives have allied themselves with a right-wing - some would say extremist - organisation.

The Conservative Leader wants us to believe he has the judgement to lead our country - but he can't see a problem getting into bed with a right-wing party which takes part in controversial marches said to celebrate the wartime Latvian SS.

I would have thought the very name Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party would have set alarm bells ringing with David Cameron who wants us to believe he has the judgement necessary to lead our country...

But David - or do we have to call him 'Dave' now - clearly did a deal with the unsavoury right-wing Euro-sceptics in his Party when he became Tory Leader.

Just about the only promise Cameron has kept is to abandon the British Conservatives long-held links with the moderate European Peoples Party, and join a new rag-bag coalition of right wing nutters - including the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party, amongst others.

By abandoning the EPP - the party of Sarkozy and Merkle, the UK Conservatives are isolated in Europe. Given the chance, they would isolate Britain in Europe.

You don't have to take my word. Ask life-long Conservative MEP Edward McMillan Scott who defected to the LibDems at the weekend.

McMillan-Scott put it in his own words in a telling article in The Observer in which he describes the Conservatives under David Cameron as not a nice party.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Railway Days and Mondays...

Railway Days and Mondays always get me down...

Early train to London this morning wasn't. It was half an hour late 'due to an earlier breakdown'.

And the homeward bound train is now also running late 'due to earlier congestion in the St Neots area'...


That's a new one on me after 30 years of travelling this route.

I suppose it's better than the alltime classic excuse of a few years ago - the wrong kind of leaves...!

Disabled driver's victory over 'unfair' Tory charges

A Lincoln man has won a major victory against the Conservative-run city council winning a review of a new charging regime which he claims charges disabled drivers more than able-bodied motorists...

Guess who pays for Tory cuts...?

Yep, it's those who can least afford it who pay the biggest price when the Tory axe strikes.

If you run a car, you probably won't even notice that Conservative-run Peterborough City Council are cutting bus services.

So what happened to the Tory's 'go-green, vote-blue' campaign in which David Cameron tried to persuade us the Conservatives were no longer the 'nasty' party?

Remember salesman Dave's media stunts attempting to persuade us that voting 'blue' would deliver 'green' policies?

There was his infamous bicycle ride - with a chaffeur driven car following behind to carry his polished shoes and briefcase...

And let's not forget how 'green' Dave arrived in the Arctic for a 'save the earth' photo-stunt with husky dogs - by jet airliner...

What a phoney...

It's the same old Tories.

Don't say you weren't warned!!