Second guest blogger


Iain Lindley is the Prospective Conservative MP for Worsley & Eccles South and the Conservative Councillor for Walkden South Ward on Salford City Council.


I’ve been a regular reader of Simon’s blog since he started writing it and I’m very grateful to him for the opportunity to write a guest blog. I was interested to read of the local opposition in Wesham to proposals for large-scale housing development on a green space site and pleased that local Conservatives are supporting residents who have stood up to the scheme.


Similar debates are taking place in communities across the country, but rather than help those community groups and residents who want to protect their local green spaces, the Labour Government is giving ammunition to those developers who wish to build on our green field and green belt sites. The Government’s mechanism for doing this is the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), the latest version of which was published in September 2008. Local Councils must comply with these Labour diktats when they draw up their own planning policies.


The net result here in the City of Salford is that as a Council we must plan to build a further 38600 properties across the City by 2027 – an increase of 40% in the total population of the City. This is entirely unsustainable and leaves the Council in a no-win situation of writing planning guidance either to cater for thousands of new apartments in the urban core (the market for which is already beyond saturated) or allowing significant development on our green belt and green field sites. Neither are desirable outcomes, and whilst Labour-run Salford City Council has tied hands they have made no worthwhile attempt to dissuade their Government from their folly.


Fortunately help is at hand. Eric Pickles MP has recently been promoted to the role of Conservative Party Chairman but in his previous position as Shadow Communities Secretary he confirmed that an incoming Conservative Government would abolish the regional planning guidance. This would allow local communities to protect green spaces and the local environment and decide for themselves the most suitable level of development for their area. Councils who have already complied with the Government diktats will have the opportunity to revise their plans.


This means that the planning rules for the local communities in Wesham and across Fylde will be decided at the most appropriate level – by Fylde residents, for Fylde residents. That can only be a very welcome step forward.



The first guest blogger has posted.

The Problem With Politics……………


Hello readers, my name is Martin Howarth. I am a 31 yr old resident of Wesham.

I would like to start by thanking Simon for allowing me to hijack his blog for a short while. I do have a blog of my own blog (Benignintervention) but a change of scenery in the blogosphere is always a good thing.

I am going to use this opportunity to discuss a problem, The Problem With Politics……..


The subject of politics can be rather inflammatory. Argument is the nature of the beast, after all! It can also be a fairly confusing affair. Academics can spend their whole lives studying the subject and, I dare say, still have questions that need answering at life’s end.

The beast is ever changing. The people, the ideas, the agreements/disagreements. It is all encompassing, it affects everyone.


Many a conversation is taken up by a layperson’s view on how things should be done, how the country should be run. My response to the armchair critics is STAND UP AND DO IT! My advice to the jeering hoards is don’t merely complain – CONTRIBUTE!


Every Political party in the world has it’s own ideas (Ideals). For these parties/ideas to survive and flourish the ideas need to be discussed and developed. This development and implementation is the job of the politician. So where do the ideas come from? The public, the people, the constituents, the voters.


The time politics goes wrong is when politicians think of, discuss and implement the ideas without consulting the people they represent. These ideas are usually are for our own good (so we are told). We know what’s good for us, we have ideas, it is only a politician’s job to implement those ideas. This utter lack of respect has been the downfall of many great nations.


Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly virulent in British/European Democracy. The following recent example highlights the level of disregard and contempt some politicians hold for the General Public.


            Discussing Britain adopting the Euro as currency and if a referendum was likely, Jose` Manuel Barroso (President of the European Commission)  said:


“The people who matter in Britain are currently thinking about it”


I would like to think the people that matter he refered to are You and Me! I sadly doubt it though. Barroso has come along way since starting his political career in The Communist Party of the Portuguese Workers (PCTP). As I said earlier, politics and politicians are constantly changing.


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