Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Family Christmas

I have managed to see all of my family this Christmas. My Sister had a baby girl a couple of weeks ago and so I took one of my teenage sons over to see the baby and to take my sisters two boys over to visit my mother. My youngest nephew had always been quite shy around me and my boys, since he has become a 'big brother' he has really grown up and sees his role as a great responsibility so it was really nice to get to know him.

Boxing day I went back round to my sisters where they had an open house with various friends of my sister and her husbands popping in. My Mom is especially pleased as this is her first grand daughter after four grandsons. My other sister had come up from London and was there, so it was good to get us all together on a really happy occasion.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

This made me chuckle.

Live Music @ The Jug.

I popped down to The Jug & Jester last night where, The Tide, Men in Caves, Circle 3 & King Tide were holding a Pre Launch Party for a regular slot they are organising on a Wednesday night.

The live music scene in Leamington is starting to flourish again over the past couple of years and this is all due to the hard work and efforts of the people involved organising gig's and events, raising money for charity and generally encouraging up and coming musicians in the town. There is a fantastic arts scene in both Leamington & Warwick which is sometimes just outside the mainstream.

It was good to bump into a few old friends and I hope the regular slots starting in January are a success.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Protect our Back Gardens.

The Government’s current planning policies treat your back garden as a “brownfield site” - like an old industrial site - which means they are vulnerable to infill development.

This is an issue we have suffered from in Leamington especially and we need to be sensitive to the unique nature of our town and the knock on effects of increased traffic, growing parking problems and we need to protect many of the fantastic trees we have that help make Leamington a great place to live.

Liberal Democrats believe back gardens serve an important social and environmental purpose and have published a Bill in Parliament calling on the Government to protect back gardens and parkland from over-development. These local green spaces should be treated as the important “greenfield” sites they really are - not as old industrial sites as the Conservative and Labour Governments have labelled them.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hill Close Gardens - Open Day.

This morning I walked in the crisp winter air along the Common to Hill Close Gardens, where they were having an open day. These gardens are unique and are probably the only remaining example of Victorian town gardens in existence. The new visitors centre is an ecofriendly building that uses a Ground Source Heat Pump, it was certainly very effective and the place was very warm.
The Gardens & The Visitors Centre are a fantastic resource for education, meetings and leisure as well as being a working example of how we can use ecotecnology.

I look forward to having some meetings here in the near future.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

PPC Selection. - Warwick & Leamington.

Yesterday I was selected as the Lib-Dem, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Warwick & Leamington. This is the culmination of 12 months of training, going through the approval process and applying for my home constituency.

For those not familiar with the term Prospective Parliamentary Candidate or 'PPC' (and wonder what all the fuss is about just being 'prospective' as opposed to the 'real' candidate) this is a quirk of our election law that means we cannot be called an actual 'candidate' until an election is actually called.

(I think this may have changed recently, though until I am clear on this one, I am not taking any chances.)

A PPC is sometimes called a 'Parliamentary Spokesperson' and probably summarises best, what I shall be doing in Warwick & Leamington. It is my job to stand up for, comment and campaign on national issues that affect our towns.

If you live in Warwick and Leamington and would like to get in touch then please email me.

I would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement over the months, this really has meant a lot to me.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Lib Dem Transport Plan Praises our Railway

The Lib-Dem response to the Eddington report outlines a A 6-Point Plan for the Green Transport Switch which includes proposals for a bigger and better railway.

The report praises our own excellent local Chiltern Railway which I use a lot when travelling to London or Birmingham. The report suggests that one reason why Chiltern is able to provide such a good service is down to its long franchise term which allows it to make the long term decisions required to run an effective railway.

Other proposals include Improving Local Transport Services to include greater control at a local level, more bus and tram services and A Realistic Strategy for Road Transport that will cutting down on building new roads.

As our roads become ever more congested, the answer has to be to invest in a modern integrated transport system to encourage a shift from our roads.