Please take part in the poll.

Some weeks ago I was critised for having my mobile phone on during a town council meeting.  It was doing nothing, it was not ringing, buzzing or, other than telling me the time, anything other than just sitting on the table – quietly.  Some people took exception to this and I took exception at their demanding ways.  We’re not in big brother Soviet Russia.  If I had been constantly taking calls – well that would be another matter.

But it did get me thinking.  Why not use a mobile device in meetings.  I have the technology to live blog.  I could use my Blackberry to Tweet important decisions to the people who follow me and update my Facebook status at the same time.  Surely this will see local democracy come alive and closer to the people.  At most Fylde meetings we have say half a dozen members of the public in attendance, at Wesham meetings it’s usually nobody.  So why not let people know what’s going on live.

I can update this blog by email, by text and live on my Blackberry.  Spending a few seconds after every agenda item updating would not be a hassle and would allow instant live information.  It’s just a bit of thinking – but let me know what you think.


The Prime Minister has after so many years of saying no cuts, has finally realised that public spending is bloated, inefficient, wasteful, unnecessary and outdated.  We all agree that a certain level of taxation and then public spending is needed to support things like good schools, hospital, defence and other essential services.  But under this Government we’re paying more tax, especially stealth, whilst spending on public services has ballooned with very little visible benefit.

We’re in a recession, albeit one where despite the record levels of unemployment, few people are hurting due to very low interest rates.  The recession needs some degree of belt tightening as the public purse cannot sustain the level of public debt.  The Government is just as guilty of squandering good finances and toxic debt as some city bankers seem to be.

So for years we’ve been told by Brown that he’ll invest while the Tories will cut.  Well in my book we make investments to gain a return – and I see no return.  Cutting back budgets and spending will allow the Government to either pay back the debt or pass the savings on to the people – remember all Government money belongs to us, the people.  By passing on the savings in lower taxes people can decide to spend the money how they like, either savings, increasing their spending or investing in enterprise or wealth creation.  All of which benefit the economy far more than employing any number of equality inspectors.

I think the it all boils down to whether we trust Governments or we trust the people.  I know who I trust more and that’s the same whether it is Brown and Labour or Dave and the Tories.

Whilst crossing the road to go to the doctors I noticed what a state the road surface is on Church Street. I’ll be reporting it when I get home. But really, what are Kirkham’s councillors doing about it? I remember one dressing up in caving gear a few years back. They must have lost interest.

Breaking news – 170 jobs to be made redundant at BAE Systems in Warton.  Is this the first blow to Britain’s sovereign defence industry?  The next Government has to take a strategic decision.  Do we buy British made weaponry, tanks, subs, boats, fighter planes or do we buy slightly cheaper off the shelf from America.  Can we rely on the special relationship in the aftermath of the Lockerbie Bomber’s release and an increasingly isolationist Barack Obama.

I heard that the Defence Secretary was on the Fylde Coast last week.  He popped up for a day – these job loses will be with us for some time to come.  Labour’s procurement policy has left a lot to be desired…..

New figures published today suggest that 100,000 people are on a waiting list for allotments.  The wait in some areas of London can be 40 years.  It is obvious that allotments are more popular than ever – which is why I am saddened at the lack of action from Wesham Town Council and Fylde Borough Council over bringing into use as allotments the land behind Morland Avenue.

When I was on the cabinet at Fylde I made several impassioned pleas to get this land into use.  Although some Conservative members had sympathy with this call, others did not.  And when brought to the Town Council it got lost in a series of letters and discussions.

It is now time to re-open this debate and get some actual action rather than the usual inaction.

This Saturday I went out with a friend around Blackpool for Open Heritage Day.  We went to 2 churches and a very interesting tour of Blackpool’s Masonic Hall.  I was very impressed with the openness of tour and we got to see all the rooms, including the temple.

The visit to the  churches (one not in use any more) was also very interesting  St Stephens on the Cliff and Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine.  St Stephens is famous for having the Actors Alter paid for by amongst others Coco the Clown and Mae West.  Our Lady of Lourdes is now no longer used and is being restored by the historic chapels trust.  This great building has a 1920’s Art Deco feel about it and although deconsecrated still has a formidable spiritual feeling about it.

Open Heritage Day is a great scheme that allows the public to enter and tour buildings and places that are not normally open to them.  It is just a real shame that Fylde missed out this opportunity to see some of our great buildings opened.

After more than a 16 week wait the Ad-Shell bus shelter on Station Road is to be replaced following crash damage.  This is good news, but why the wait?

Sadly, today I wasn’t elected.  After a marathon campaign, it wasn’t enough to convince enough people to vote Conservative.  The actual result was:

  • Liz Oades – Independent – 2,594
  • Simon Renwick – Conservative – 1,607
  • Dennis Davenport – Labour – 317

Across Lancashire, the Conservatives elsewhere did better – winning control for the first time since 1977.   Congratulations to Paul, Tim and Fabian, who won their seats in Fylde, and to Geoff Driver who becomes the new Leader of Lancashire and who has again said Council Tax will be frozen next year.

My agent will be writing a post tomorrow on his views on the campaign and some of the people involved.

In the meantime, I’d like to finish this article by saying thanks to everyone who took part in the campaign and to those people who voted for me.  I remain a borough councillor for Wesham and will continue to work in the wider community on some of the issues which have been raised.  I’m off to bed!

About Simon

Simon is 33 years old and lives in Kirkham. He is a local councillor and works in the local community, on issues affecting this area.

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This blog is promoted by Simon Renwick, both based at Fylde Conservatives, Bradshaw Lane, Greenhalgh. No part of this blog, including images, may be used without the prior consent of the promoter.