Saturday, August 28, 2004

I don’t want to get too obsessed with polls but the latest opinion poll for Norwich South is:

Clarke (New Labour All In Favour Of Tuition Fees) – 36% (down AGAIN)
Little (Norwich Conservatives) – 26% (up AGAIN)
LibDems – 24% (down AGAIN)
Greens – 11%

Using the 2001 turnout as a guide figure, that puts Clarke’s majority at a slender 3,800 and an election that is all to play for!
I am officially taking the weekend off from blogging because we have old university friends up to stay, but I could not let this new policy from the LibDems go past without comment. I just don't have time to go into what's wrong with their proposals to raise the crime age and get education and social services to deal with the vast majority of youth offenders under the age of 14 - but I would love to be a fly on the wall of the LEA and social services offices when that one lands on their desk! And the LibDems have the cheek to wonder why people think they are soft on crime. In the week that the Conservatives announced a return to a "respect culture" and a severe clampdown on anti-social behaviour (including fly tipping, grafitti and littering), people can really see the difference between the two parties. I have really focused on crime and anti-social behaviour since being selected for Norwich South - and one notable local Lib Dem this week accussed me of scare mongering. I think the only thing we need be scared about is a Lib Dem MP in this area and their so-called "law and order" policies.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I’ve really been enjoying the last week of the holidays. Whilst Louise continues in her quest to provide the perfect learning environment (?!?) yesterday I went out again in the City Centre delivering my latest edition of “Norwich Matters”. Got an amazing response from the August edition around the constituency – new members in Thorpe Hamlet, Lakenham, New Costessey, Mancroft, Cringleford and Bowthorpe! Really shows the enthusiasm for the Conservatives is well on the way back. Whilst out on Bull Close Road I met Green Councillor Bob Gledhill. Bob is a very rare Green politician (as well as being a former Geography teacher, I think) - utterly likeable, normal but still dedicated. Whilst some of the Greens (like all parties, I suppose) have people who are slightly fanatical and a bit scary, Bob is a really down-to-earth guy and I was impressed when he came to talk to my Year 10’s recently. It seems like the Greens are quite heavily targeting Mancroft Ward – it’ll make a really interesting fight next year, with Labour holding the County seat, the LibDems the City seats and both now the Greens and Conservatives targeting it.

Last night was the AGM of the Norfolk and Suffolk Conservatives, held in Diss. I was extremely bored during the formal part, but the guest speaker was excellent. John Gummer is one of our local Conservative MPs and an extremely experienced former government minister. His speech on localism and the route that the Tories need to get back to power was really hard hitting. Good for a local meet up and chat.

Today was mainly spent in the office getting things sorted for a major survey that we’re launching next week!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Completely ignore the blog below – nothing, of course, works out the way it should! The more time limited I seem to be, the less chance there is of things happening! When I got into Louise’s school on Monday morning, she promised me that she wouldn’t have much stuff to move. I have seen people relocate was less gear than she took. In fact, how it all fitted in her store cupboard in the first place (or how it fitted in my tiny Fiesta subsequently) was amazing. Over then to the new school and the new classroom - where all of the furniture (and I mean, all) was stacked in one corner. Following Louise’s standard cry of “not in my condition” I have to lug the whole lot around. Finally, now trying to get over to meet a group of deliverers in Town Close when I get a call from one of our activists in Lakenham – she’s about to do her delivery round in sheltered housing and would I like to come? Of course, I say, and half an hour and three dozen handshakes later… I must admit that I did enjoy it, even at a moments notice. Finally over to Grove Walk, Town Close, just in time for it to rain and for me to pick up Louise. Back we go and I finally get back to help finish the leafleting in Wensum Ward. Phew!

Then there was today … car went in for a service at Busseys, Whiffler Road, and thinking it should only take a few hours I head off into the City. Firstly was yesterday’s postponed meet with the Town Close Campaigners and a walk around Langham Place and leafleting around the Southwell Road area. Then, in the rain and failing to hear anything about the car, I go off to the City for a spot of lunch, canvassing and leafleting. A full six hours later my car is ready and my legs about to fall off. Particular killers are those flats!

Amusing story, I was caught by one middle aged man putting my leaflet through his door. He snatched it out of my hand and then looked slightly embarrassed when he saw me on the front! Not to be deterred, he then went into a big rant about how the LibDems were ruining the City and that I should be ashamed. Funny you should say that, Sir, I began… If I have to take abuse for the LibDems I hope I can take their votes too! Judging by the response I got on the doorsteps yesterday and today that looks like a pretty good bet.
Result of the last two days? Haven’t managed to be in a single place at the right time and loved every moment of it.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I feel absolutely shattered today - double dose of Sunday leafletting, firstly in my home ward of Bowthorpe and then over to Lower Hellesden and finishing off in Town Close. The really good thing about my helping other wards with their delivery is that I get to see parts of the constituency up-close that I wouldn't otherwise do. There is so much going on in the constituency at the moment it's almost hard to keep up! People seem really bouyed by the polls that have come back on our surveys!

Back in the "homestead" the preparations for going back to school are in full flow - my wife is teaching a Year 1 class next year and I have the joy of reverting back to teaching full time History, so there's much preparation to do. Tomorrow, whilst Louise carries the teaching torch forward, I'm over in Town Close for leafletting in the morning and then canvassing in the City Centre in the afternoon.
Further to my post, below, about opinion polls, here is an extract from this week's FT - whose MORI poll (again, no friend to the Conservatives) shows yet more bad news for the LibDems. Charlie Kennedy this week said is party wasn't going in for unsustainable claims, yet his MPs are predicting he'll be PM within a decade. Errr....

The Liberal Democrats have failed to make significant political gains from their opposition to the Iraq war despite foreign affairs topping the public's list of concerns, a poll for the Financial Times suggests. The Mori survey offers little evidence to sustain Lib Dem claims that the party is set to break Labour and the Tories' traditional stranglehold on domestic politics, opening the way for a genuine three-party contest in next year's general election.

The poll conducted between August 12 and 16 puts the Lib Dems on 21 per cent of those certain to vote, markedly trailing the 32 and 36 per cent backing the Tories and Labour. Charles Kennedy, party leader, this week claimed his party was “without any shadow of doubt” in a much stronger position than at any time in his experience. But the Lib Dems' 21 per cent rating is only two points higher than its share of the vote in the 2001 general election.

The rating also suggests the party's opinion poll bounce from last month's Leicester South by-election victory has already evaporated. The 21 per cent rating is a three-point fall on last month. The proportion of people satisfied with the way Mr Kennedy is doing his job has also dropped, down from 44 to 39 per cent.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Tomorrow I am launching the Norwich branch of the national Conservative Survey on Disability. If you would like to recieve a copy of the survey or have any issues to raise before the deadline of 30th September, please get in touch:

Antony Little, 4 Constitution Hill, Norwich, NR3 4BU
Tel / Fax: 01603 482830

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I am spearheading calls for Norwich City Council and the Norfolk Constabulary to get tough on binge drinkers and declare parts of Norwich as a “controlled drinking zone.”

The plans, drawn up by the Norwich Conservatives, would see the zones as part of a crackdown on drunkenness and anti-social behaviour just as Norwich City Council seems set to give the City a 24 hour drinks licence.

Norwich City Council are on the verge of introducing 24-hour licensing as one way of stopping rowdy behaviour in City hotspots such as the Prince of Wales Road and Riverside. The plans that we are announcing today would clamp down on the kind of behaviour that puts people off going out socially in these areas.

The “zones” would be agreed by the City Council and the Norfolk Police, but would almost certainly include Riverside, the Prince of Wales Road and the area around Gentleman’s Walk – but they might also included open spaces where under aged drinking is a problem.

These areas have suffered higher crime in the past relating to drunkenness, anti-social behaviour, vandalism and graffiti,” said Antony. “Police officers and police community support officers can ask anyone drinking in the street or a park to hand over their cans, bottle or glass. Those who refused face a fixed penalty notice and the possibility of arrest.

We would also like to see Community Wardens and other park officials have these powers too.

Drinking is not banned in the zones. The aim is to curb rowdy behaviour that spoils other people’s enjoyments, especially during weekends and evenings.”
I ask Norwich City Council and the Norfolk Police to take seriously the request of so many local people to clamp down on rowdy behaviour in our City. I will do all I can to support and push these measures.
The editor of a new blog - UKFuture - e-mails me to say that we are now linked. And so we are. This blog appears to also concentrate some of its fire on the poor, old LibDems who I thought came out of Newsnight rather badly. Oh dear!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

There is a fascinating poll in today's Guardian which bears out a lot of what I have been experiencing on the doorsteps lately. Despite a LibDem campaign that has put Iraq at the centre, voters put that issue at the bottom of their priority list. People say to me that Iraq has damaged their faith in Blair and the Labour Government, but still issues such as education, the NHS and crime will decide how they vote - hence the ICM poll puts NHS top with 59%, the education on 42% and law & order on 35%. Maybe, in seats like Norwich South where it is the Conservatives who are challenging Labour, the LibDems may live to regret their "Iraq, Iraq, Iraq" strategy. The ICM poll - notoriously the worst of the major polls for the Tories - puts Labour on 36%, Conservatives 33% and LibDems down again on 22%.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I welcome proposed new laws by Conservatives to give local people the final say over the location of mobile phone masts. Representing the biggest changes in planning regulations since the 1984 Telecommunications Act, Conservatives would ensure all masts require full planning permission, that health concerns are taken into account and visual intrusion is reduced.

The policies come amid warnings that under 3G technology, there could be an estimated 100,000 more masts being sited across the country, in addition to new ‘Tetra’ and Network Rail masts. This policy could have stopped controversial Masts in places like the Bowthorpe Park, the Ipswich Road and in Eaton.

The erection of poorly-located masts has been causing considerable disquiet across many parts of Norwich. There is a presumption in favour of development inherent in the current planning system, which overrides local, environmental and safety concerns.

Under the new five point plan unveiled by Conservatives:
1. All mobile phone mast developments would require full planning permission, so that local councillors are clearly accountable and answerable for where masts are located.
2. There would be a single process for deciding all masts, including those on Network Rail or church property, Tetra masts, as well as small antennas being covertly installed in street furniture or signs.
3. Councils would be allowed to take health concerns into account such as near homes, hospitals and schools. Current national planning guidance prohibits this.
4. Mast operators would be required to demonstrate that any development does not result in unacceptable damage to visual amenity or harm environmentally sensitive features.
5. Councils would be asked to draw up their own supplementary planning guidance to ensure consistency and clarity for operators and residents, and ensure a plan-led approach to future development.

We all want to be able to use a mobile phone, but this doesn’t mean masts should be constructed without any regard for the well-being of local people. Conservatives will champion the interests of local residents and address the feelings of powerlessness and frustration experienced by those living under the threat of badly sited masts. Local councillors, answerable to local residents via the ballot box, should have the final say on the best location for any new masts.

If we had this new Conservatives then maybe the LibDems would have the guts to vote against more and more mobile phone masts instead of continually breaking their word and supporting them.
Antony Little unveils new City policy first on his weblog

The Conservatives say they would let car drivers use bus lanes as long as they are carrying adult passengers - and I think that City Hall would do well to test the idea on the Newmarket Road.

We want to allow vehicles to use the lanes if they contain up to two adults, but children would not be included in the scheme. The sheme could boost car sharing, without clogging the roads with the school-run.

It is one of a number of proposed measures which the Conservatives nationally say will help drivers deal with everyday traffic irritations.

Sunderland council has already opened up bus lanes to taxis, lorries and cyclists as part of a trial system, and now we want Norwich to get on-board with this congestion cutting initiative and take it further. There is a much underused bus lane on the Newmarket Road which would make an ideal trial scheme - if it works, we could roll it out elsewhere. This could be an imaginative scheme to cut congestion without resorting to the congestion charge of Labour and the LibDems."

There are a lot of people that use the Newmarket Road in and out of the City and it tends to be drivers on their own. Car-sharing has been trialled by councils such as Leeds and they use cameras to check up on drivers. I think Norwich City Council could do worse than run a trial system. It could be the answer to our City's congestion.
Back from my weekend visits to find rather a lot of e-mails and mail to go through – plus surveys from Cringleford, Colney and New Costessey still coming in, which is why I haven’t posted the results yet!

Spent much of the afternoon getting the house in order and then went into my constituency office to work on leaflets and press releases. Got a phone call from a gentleman who lives in Town Close to say that he had seen my letter about LibDem hypocrisy in the Evening News on Saturday and that had convinced him not to vote for them again. Everything seems to be in order – only a week and a half of the holidays to go, can’t believe it’s gone by so quickly.

Oh, and here’s a rather funny story from the world of the LibDems … wonder if the Norwich variety may follow suit?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

At the tender age of just 25 (ahhh!) I must be amongst the youngest parliamentary spokesman in the country, so here is the compulsory link for Conservative Future, the youth section of the party of which I am a member.
I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. Either way, Boris is welcome in Norwich South anyday...
It's been a while since my last post, but I have been away for a few days with my parents in Hillingdon. Good opportunity to catch up and have a drink to celebrate our recent good news - my wife and I are expecting our first baby next February. Needless to say we have two very excited mothers (first grandchild on both sides of the family). The excitement of the mothers doesn't even compare to the joy of the parents (and Daddy in particular!). Such good news, and hopefully just before the general election too. Don't even start us on names - most favoured so far are Michael or Howard for a boy and Margaret or a girl (!) I won't say anymore as I now know that my family monitor this site closely! Back in Norwich on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Police stations are vanishing while crime increases: spot the problem

New figures from the Home Office show that 227 police stations have closed since May 1997, representing three closures for every month that Labour has been in power.

Rural areas have been hit hardest by the closure programme as services have been centralised in urban areas.

Essex has lost 59, Gloucestershire 23, Nottinghamshire 22, Hampshire 20 and Cumbria 10. Other areas which have seen double-figure closures include Greater Manchester (15), Gwent (10), Lancashire (13), South Wales (22), and South Yorkshire (12).

Police spokesmen argue that the cost of maintaining old and ill-equipped buildings justifies closures. In London and other major cities, police stations may be sold to property developers in order to boost funds.

The closure figures have emerged at a time when crime figures are increasing. Government ministers say the British Crime Survey points to a decline in crime – but the Survey excludes around 12 million crimes a year from its calculations, ranging from murder to shoplifting.

Although smaller police stations have been closing for a number of years, these latest figures highlight the difference between Labour’s talking about crime and what happens in reality.

On television, Government ministers tell us they are spending more on policing. In practice, violent crime is soaring and the public feels let down by Labour’s record.

As Michael Howard has stated in his speech about fighting crime and restoring respect, we need a new start in policing with more officers on the streets, less paperwork and bureaucracy and an emphasis on results, not targets.

In his speech on Tuesday, Mr Howard quoted Sir Robert Peel, the founder of Britain’s police force, who said, “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder – not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it”.

But in instances of domestic burglary or violent crime, said Mr Howard, “David Blunkett’s ‘Policing Performance Assessment Framework’ requires the police to ‘measure the victims’ satisfaction with the overall level of service provided’.

“What the victims of burglary and violent crime want is to see the criminal who caused the crime caught, convicted and punished.”

He added, “We need to police our streets, not de-police them. We need a police force which intervenes, confronts and challenges every kind of crime and disorder… in short, we need zero-tolerance policing.”
Just come back after a gorgeous curry at “A Passage to India”, on Magdalen Street, and feel the need to lie down. Spent most of today in the Conservative Office and in meetings with Councillor Eve Collishaw, our Leader on Norwich City Council. Combined with a visit from some of Louise’s family, it’s been a busy day.

Yesterday I went to campaign with the South Norfolk Conservatives at a district by-election for the Easton Ward. Great reception on the doorstep, and particularly plenty of enthusiasm for Michael Howard. Not very much support at all for the LibDems, contrary to their national literature. Not even I hope they do as badly as they did in this recent by-election!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Michael Howard's speech today on law & order, putting it firmly back on the political agenda. Crime, and the fear of crime, is a massive issue on the doorstep - as suggested by the returns on our surveys in Cringleford, Colney and New Costessey - and it is good that the Conservatives are making headway here. For anybody who doubts Michael Howards's sincerity on this issue, or for those who believe that we would not be tough on crime, please click here to read the speech in full. It's time for zero tolerance - a return to respect and cutting crime.
Council Dossier Row Engulfs LibDems

LibDem hypocrisy exposed: “They’ll blame anybody but themselves,” say Norwich Conservatives

The LibDem criticism of County Council Leader Alison King’s council dossier has backfired after the Norwich Conservatives revealed that the Lib Dem run Norwich City Council had too blamed the government for dumping legislation on them without adequate funding.

Alison King had put together 135 government acts in dossier to prove to a constituent the pressure being put on Norfolk by the Labour government. However, LibDem Leader Barbara Hacker once again chose to side with Labour and accused Cllr King of using a “pretty lame” excuse for the Conservatives’ running of the County Council and said that the council was more responsible for tax hikes than the government.

However, in the March edition of the LibDem leaflet “Lakenham Focus”, then-Councillor Linda Harper also attacked Labour for putting more and more legislation on councils. Under the front page headline “Government Dumps more onto councils”, Focus reports that Cllr Harper is “highlighting that the Labour Government has dumped more things for the council to do – but makes you pick up the bill through higher council tax.”

Norwich Conservative’s Parliamentary Spokesman Antony Little blasted the LibDems for their “blatant hypocrisy” whilst campaigning with the South Norfolk Conservatives at the Easton By-Election.

Antony commented: “County LibDems love to blame the council, not the government, whilst City LibDems love to blame the government, not the council. This shows the blatant hypocrisy in the LibDem position.”

“They love to blame anybody but themselves. If Cllr Hacker is right, then the LibDems should take the blame for City council tax hikes. However, it is clear that the Conservatives in Norfolk have got it right, and it is at least decent of the Norwich LibDems to agree with them.”

“Or is this another example of how Norfolk LibDems never agree with the Norwich LibDems? Two messages for two different groups of people. It is especially strange as Cllr hacker represents Thorpe Hamlet – a ward in Norwich City!”

Antony’s stinging attack on the LibDem position went on: “It is almost as if they make it up as they go along. Not quite sure what to say, but trying to please everybody. The LibDems made a hash of being in power in Norfolk and now once again they’re backing Labour to try and defend the government. It is becoming ever more clear that when the LibDems are trusted with power they don’t know how to behave.”

“Norwich market, community wardens, Magdalen Street flyover, chaos in the snow and now Council Tax. The LibDems love to stick their fingers in their ears, shift blame and hope nobody noticed. We’ve noticed and we’ll campaign day-in-day out to make sure the residents of Norfolk and Norwich know.”

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Lazy Sunday afternoon… after a bit of a lie in (following, sadly, one-too-many at the Garden House last night), the day has rather been dominated by my eating scrambled eggs in the garden and generally sitting around. Going for a long walk over Bowthorpe Southern Park later and who knows, maybe even a BBQ later. This is what summer holidays are for…

Saturday, August 07, 2004

My blogging fame now extends to Conservative Commentry - staple blogging diet of the party and much noted intellectual powerhouse. Thanks guys!
Why do LibDems never say they’re sorry?

I had a very interesting telephone conversation with an old school friend today and, as it tends to, the conversation turns to politics and in particular the recent London Mayoral Elections. My friend, who is a small-c-conservative, is one of a faithful band that I can rely on from my old sixth form class to always vote for the blues. Imagine my surprise she declared that she had voted for Simon Hughes, the failed Lib Dem candidate, and felt very angry because of it. Well, I said, I’d feel angry if I’d voted for Hughes too (unlikely that I would ever do so, as a Norwich resident I don’t actually have a vote in the London Mayoral Elections). However, my friend falls into a big category of people that always vote but pay very little attention to what is going on in politics. She told me that she had received Lib Dem leaflets bearing the slogan: “Only Simon Hughes can beat Ken Livingstone” (or similar, we all know them!) and had believed it. She really wanted Ken out of power and so would vote for anybody who stood the faintest hope of unseating him. Fooled by the LibDem hype (which they try in every election - ever), she duly voted for the man she thought would oust Ken. Then the result came in – Conservative Steve Norris runs second to Ken in a close contest, with Simon Hughes miles behind in third place. My friend was furious that she was tricked and should have voted for Norris. How many more people, she asked, fell for this “con trick” (her words)? The result in London gave away the LibDem lie that they are always best placed to beat Labour. Having only now bothered to check previous results which showed the LibDems always get crushed in London, my friend telephoned LibDem HQ to demand an apology – only be told that Simon Hughes was the only man to beat Ken … if only the voters had voted the way they should have. The moral, I said, was never to believe the LibDems when they claim to be the “only party to beat Labour” or “it’s so close”, because in elections anything could happen - it's down t the voters. In fact, I said, always vote according to what you believe. Just out of interest, did they say sorry, I asked? Don’t hold your breath…
Great news - we now have a third blogging Conservative parliamentary candidate in Kingston's Kevin Davis. It looks like he's doing a great job in holding a Lib Dem MP to account - so good, even LibDem Watch covers him! I have a personal interest in watching Kevin become the next MP for Kingston & Surbiton because my wife hails from New Malden, in the neighbouring Richmond Park constituency, so I know all about the lunacy of the LibDems in that part of London. Good luck Kevin!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

There seems to be a real perception at the moment that all politicians are the same and there is no difference between the two major parties. This view is supported when one week the Conservatives announce massive cutbacks in the Civil Service and then the next week the Labour government adopts the idea as policy.

However, beyond the headlines the real dividing lines between the parties are not noticed. Labour talks a Conservative talk, but can't walk the walk.

In the same week that Chancellor Brown announced the cutting of 100,000 civil service jobs, the government advertised for a further 1,000 public sector jobs - with a wage bill totaling £36m. Various positions, with wonderful job titles attached, that betray Labour's true feelings. They talk about cutting the bureaucracy, whilst continuing to let it grow.

The funniest and, at the same time the saddest, element of this fraud is that people are being hired to add to the numbers in a quango that the Government recently announced it was abolishing. Adding staff to quangos that do exist is bad enough; adding staff to quangos that don't exist is the ultimate sign of a government that has totally lost touch.

People may see the two parties as being similar but you have to look beyond the headlines. Labour believes in big government, the Conservatives believe in small government.
As research reveals a massive hole in the Norfolk Police Budget:


"Will the £7.8m black hole in police funds for next year land on council tax payers", asks Norwich Conservatives Parliamentary Spokesman Antony Little as new research again reveals how the government is failing to be tough on crime.

Some police authorities are so short of cash that cuts in manpower and service levels are in prospects, Shadow Home Secretary David Davis has warned.

Responding to this news, Norwich resident Antony Little said: “Police authorities increasingly find their hands tied behind their backs by Labour’s centralising approach to policing. Police forces have every right to feel aggrieved at the lack of local control as they are held to ransom by a government that tells them how to spend their money and forces them to spend time on form filling and gimmicks and not on meeting local priorities and needs. We see it in the NHS and education and now we see it in the police service too.”

“Reports of funding problems and cutbacks in police forces across the country come as a double whammy for the public who have already paid for their police through the council tax. This news means one of two things - poorer standards of policing or a massive hike in the police precept on our council tax.”

Promising that an incoming Conservative government would fund an extra 40,000 police officers to tackle crime, the Antony added: “It is this type of commitment which is needed from the Government. Sadly they have refused to match it. Labour’s failure comes at a time when Tony Blair’s promise to be tough on crime seems increasingly hollow. Seven years of failed rhetoric have lead to crime soaring, with more than a million violent crimes last year alone.”

The survey found that Norfolk will be £7.8 million under funded.

"Think back to the last week's news", Antony declared. "The N&N is £15m in debt, there are to be up to 100 teachers laid off in Norfolk and now the police are struggling with a £7.8m black hole funding crisis."

"Labour cannot be trusted with our public services."

Check out Iain Dale's blog for another Conservative view on the crisis.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Afternoon spent watching three episodes of the West Wing, followed by shopping at Sainsbury’s in New Costessey and then laughing at Big Brother. Who says teachers waste their summer holidays?
Today we received through the Royal Mail a copy of the government’s much vaulted document "Preparing for Emergencies", which has really bought home the threat that many people – and too many civilians – face day in, day out. On very few occasions are the British public ever forced to face these kinds of realities and a good job too. I hope that as many people as possible read this booklet.

What, for me, was the most shocking was that parents are discouraged from collecting their children from school – one of the most natural reactions – in the event of a national emergency. Parents, grandparents, teachers and pupils should read the information and be prepared. Not scare mongering, as some on the left would have us believe, but rightful consideration.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I have always had huge admiration for the leadership and style of Norfolk County Council's Leader Alison King. As well as being massively on top of her brief, very much in touch with local people and a Councillor in my patch, Alison has given the government a right rocket in today's Eastern Daily Press. Alison has prepared a document showing 135 new - and unfunded - responsibilities or diktats sent down by central government to local government. We await Labour's response with glee! There's only one sure way to reduce council tax - government needs to give council's the cash they need to do their job.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Spent much of the day today in my campaign HQ sorting a lot of things out - including updating and sorting the links column, so I hope you'll visit a few sites. Particularly that of John Randall, the excellent and bearded MP for Uxbridge, and Ali Miraj, the Conservative's new PPC for Watford.
From tonight's Eastern Evening News:

Tory calls for rise in crime detection
A city political campaigner has criticised low levels of crime detection, as published in recent crime statistics. Antony Little, the Norwich Conservative Party's Parliamentary Spokesman, said it was a matter of concern that criminals were being let off the hook.

"More criminals are going unpunished across Norfolk. The detection rate has fallen by 3% across central Norfolk alone in the last year," he said. "We already knew that many types of violent crime are rising. But worse, we can now see that fewer criminals are being punished for those crimes.

"More criminals are getting away scot-free with their activities, and their victims are not seeing proper justice." Mr Little said: "Our police officers in Norfolk are working hard, but are being dragged down by Whitehall bureaucracy that prevents them from patrolling the streets and catching criminals."

"This is why Conservatives want to see a greater emphasis on nieghbourhood policing, a greater say for local people on how the police forces are run and backed up by more money for extra police officers across Norfolk."

Sunday, August 01, 2004

A great new blog to monitor the highs, lows, monkey business and dubious LibDem tactics in the Hartlepool By-Election.
I am rather ashamed that it has taken me a while to update this blog – it’s been quite a week! Time flies when you’re on school holidays…

I won’t be forgiven for not giving a mention to my agent, Trevor Ivory, for his wonderful BBQ last week. I was very impressed that he managed to create something not too dissimilar from a iron ore furnace out of a charcoal barbeque and still didn’t manage to destroy the food!

Last night a group of us went to dinner (and what a dinner!) at the home of John and Eileen Wyatt. Delightful evening, lots of Pimms and enough deserts to sink the proverbial battleship. Spent much of this morning working off desert by delivering our survey in Cringleford and then visiting the Little Melton home of Garry Wheatley, district Councillor for Cringleford & Colney, and his wife Joan.

Last week was mainly spent in New Costessey doing the first full survey (i.e. every house) in the ward for over a generation – I’ll post the results when we get them! Tomorrow is my next Campaign Strategy Meeting, held in Nelson Ward.