Saturday, April 25, 2009

Smannell Lib Dems through their weight behind Nick Cleggs campaign to allow ex Gurkhas to remain in the UK

There are times in your life when you have to use the word "disgraceful" and every supporter of Gordon Brown and the Labour Party should hang their heads in shame after yesterday cowardly decision to discriminate against ex Gurkhas.
The Gurkhas who fought alongside my grandfather and father, (a life long labour supporter) in the First and Second World Wars would be turning in their graves if they heard the news. Smannell Liberal Democrats today threw its weight behind the brave Gurkhas right to settle in the UK despite attempts by Gordon Brown's "morally bankrupt" Labour government imposing punitive conditions on these brave ex servicemen.

In yesterdays government ruling imposed 6 tests on ex Gurkhas who despite fighting for King, Queen and Country and currently fighting in Afghanistan for the last 200 years were almost impossible to meet unless you were an officer with 20 years service. Ordinary privates excluded from serving more than 14 years can never make the 20 year qualification.

The Gurkhas have a lasting link with Hampshire and the Gurkha museum is based at Peninsular Barracks in Winchester.

Reacting to the Government announcement on the number of Gurkhas that will be allowed to settle in the UK.Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg asked "Are there any moral principles left in this hollowed-out Government?""

People who are prepared to fight and die for this country should be entitled to live in this country. Yet even this basic principle is broken by a Government desperate to cover its back and wriggle out of its commitments."This is the week Labour lost its last principles: dishonest with the nation about the state of our finances; cheating taxpayers by making MPs' expenses even murkier; and now turning its back on brave and loyal soldiers who simply want to live in the country they love and served."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lib Dems pledge to freeze Council Tax

Lib Dem County Councillors have committed to freeze council tax if they win control of the County Council on June 4th. "When times are hard, the county council shouldn't be increasing council tax unless it's unavoidable," commented leading Lib Dem County Councillor Robin Hughes."With the huge reserves that the council have stashed away and the low rate of inflation, there's no need to put up the County's Council Tax this year or next year. The Conservatives always hike up council tax the year after an election." It's time for a change. Tory run Hampshire County Council has put £83 million in extra reserves since 2006. This money could be used to improve services and freeze council tax in the current difficult times, rather than sit in the bank"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tory fat cats first class rail scandal

It is interesting to read David Cameron in last Sunday's Times castigating his own MPs on "feathering their own nests" when in Hampshire Tory County Councillors are sitting "comfy cosy" in first class carriages whilst the rest of us are struggling.

Perhaps David Cameron should "have a word" with his local Tories who are certainly wasting tax payers money! Scratch the surface and it is the same old Tories underneath. Cameron said this weekend: “All week I’ve been receiving letters from people saying the same thing: how can MPs claim they’re helping people through the recession when so many of them seem to be feathering their own nests? “They are right to be angry. We need to sort this out immediately. But restoring trust in politics goes beyond expenses and allowances. At a time when families and businesses are being forced to cut back, politicians should be asking how they can help bring down the cost of politics across the board - it is taxpayers’ money after all.”Andover Liberal Democrats have used the Freedom of Information Act to expose how leading Hampshire Tory County Councillors are travelling First Class to London at Council Tax payers expense.
Hampshire Tories already under fire for spending over £4.5 million on spin and publicity which includes branded mints and pens, and millions on refurbishment of County Hall were caught out wasting tax payers money when Andover South Councillor Kirk was spotted travelling to London on the 23rd Jan 2009.
Councillor Kirk travelling on the 1004 from Andover to London was spotted sitting in the first class carriage on a off peak train not busying himself with the affairs of his Education portfolio but mulling over Andrew Marr’s political history of Britain. The off peak standard class return on what was a quiet train that day would have cost the residents of Hampshire £26.30 rather than the whooping “fat cat” price of £93.20.An angry fellow traveller identified Councillor Kirk as he was wearing his County Council identity badge and asked Andover Lib Dems to investigate. A freedom of information act request followed and Hampshire County Council admitted that they had provided Councillor Kirk the warrant to buy the first class ticket and for good measure threw in a expenses claim for 4 miles mileage and a £12.50 taxi fare.
Andover South Lib Dem candidate Vince McGarry said “This is typical of the waste we are seeing at County Hall, Councillor Kirk could have travelled standard class that day but choose to ride in first class which cost the hard up Council Tax payers of Hampshire an additional £66. He had the choice. It is a scandal of the highest order when you consider the Tories are cutting jobs at Test Valley and spending £4.5 million on spin, including branded mints and pens, £40 million on doing up their HQ. Tory councillors should be leading from the front and setting an example rather than wasting Council Tax payers cash”
For more information please contact Vince McGarry on 07517 212000

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Smannell Rd closure - Cllr Hughes concern over signing‏

----- Original Message -----
From: Wilson, David
To: Alborough, Ray
Cc: Robin Hughes
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 4:52 PM
Subject: Smannell Rd closure - cllr hughes concern over signing


Councillor Hughes raised concern about the signing of the Smannell Rd closure. The main problem is the signing near Little London which states Smannell Rd closed suggesting to drivers that they cannot gain access to Smannell. It may be more appropriate to say “Road to Andover closed after Smannell”. In addition we need signs to say that the businesses (pub/s?) are open for business as usual.

I would appreciate if you could get the contractor to amend the signing ASAP and keep councillor Hughes informed of progress



David Wilson

Engineering and Transport Manager

Planning Policy and Transport Service

Test Valley Borough Council

HPSN 991 (8702)
Tel 01264 368702