Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Higher charges for Car Parking? Yes if you are the Independent Party

In an unreported debate at the last full council, the Independent Party's latest way of helping hard pressed residents was to increase car parking charges for the town's commuters.

Southend Council has recently increased the parking facility behind Leigh Station and undertaken some environmental improvements and has imposed a charge for all day parking of £1.00 per day to offset these costs.

Prior to these improvements there was no charge, however, cars parked all over the place and along the narrow road making it dangerous for pedestrians and access was difficult.

There is a large station car park operated by a national chain but the charges there are so high that many commuters cannot afford to park in that car park.

The idea that all commuters have vastly well paid City jobs is ridiculous, many do not even go as far as London and I would not want to deter them from using the train or working.

Given the increasingly high cost of train travel before 9.30 adding another £25 a week to local residents costs simply does not encourage train travel or working up the line in low to medium paid work.

I do not approve of squeezing the motorist and tax payer for every last penny, they pay their road taxes, their national taxes and their council tax, why should they be ‘taxed’ yet again for parking to get to work?

Yes we are in difficult economic times and yes all councils including Southend are having to look very closely at budgets, but before we start adding to the cost of getting work let’s at least consider what happens when that cost gets too high resulting in the commuter either moving away or giving up work- as that cost could be far greater to economic prosperity of Southend.

Labour Manifesto Called for Housing Benefit Reform

Earlier this month Red Ed Milliband piously called on the Lib Dems to block the implementation of the Housing Benefit Reform policy, claiming, “That is not what they came into politics for. I hope they will vote with their consciences.”

Intrestingly, the other day I was looking through the three main parties general election manifesto's. Upon further reading of the Labour manifesto was this snippet:

‘Housing Benefit will be reformed so we do not subsidise people to live in private sector accommodation on rents working families couldn’t afford’

The quote is taken from the Labour Party manifesto, written by one Red Ed Miliband…

James Purnell when he was at the DWP said he wanted to ensure “people on benefits do not end up getting subsidies for rents that those who work could never afford”

I would agree, £20,000 a year in rent is of course way beyond what the majority of us can afford!

I just find the barefaced hypocrisy from Labour breathtaking...

Clegg's Sneaky Coffers Liner

Nick Clegg is responsible for guiding the AV bill through Parliament, he backs it, as does his party.

I have been handed some latest Lib Dem leaflet artwork that has been given to all Lib Dem branches for the start of the Yes campaign, but rather sneakily and possibly illegally, the LibDems are pulling a clever little ruse:

On the fundraising form that is not just for LibDem members, but the whole Yes to AV campaign, it clearly asks people to make out cheques to the “Liberal Democrats”, not to the official pro-AV campaign.

Not only is it completely inappropriate for the Deputy Prime Minister to be attempting to fund-raise for his party on the back of a piece of legislation that he is responsible for, the form is completely deceptive.

The forms are also definitely for use before the Bill has gone through the House as they talk about the referendum “next year”. Sneaky.

I wonder how many people will fall for their trick of pretending to give money to the Yes to AV campaign when they will actually be lining the LibDem coffers. Dishonesty on a LibDem leaflet? Surely not…

The Return Flight

It was interesting to see in the latest list of nominated peers that the name of Howard Flight appeared.

You may recall that former Tory MP Howard Flight was secretly recorded discussing plans for cuts in the run up to the 2005 election.

What he suggested has been completely eclipsed just five years later and fell far short of even what Labour proposed at the last election. Michael Howard, in a last-ditch bid to look like a strong leader in the waning election campaign, summoned the TV cameras to his home and fired Flight live on air.

His treatment was a textbook example of when being ruthless was unnecessary. Nick Herbert, now the policing Minister took his safe seat and seemingly ended the career of the experienced former MP.

I'm sure he will get on famously with his fellow red-bencher Lord Howard…