Monday, August 27, 2007

Tories Cry Wolf over Warwick Hospital Again.

Well it looks like the Tories are crying wolf again over Warwick Hospital. Having been caught out last December making claims that were simply not true. They have included Warwick in their recent list of hospital’s that may be at risk. (The same list the prompted an apology and then a retraction in Kings Lynn)

Of course the Hospital is one of the most important assets our community has and if I felt it was under threat I would be out there with the Tories campaigning to preserve it along with most of the town.

I visited the Hospital last month with our shadow health secretary Norman Lamb and met hospital bosses for a full and frank conversation. A&E and Maternity in Warwick are not under threat and there has been investment in new services at the site especially in Cancer care.

In fact I cannot believe the Tories have made the same mistake twice. This highlights that they are all about spin and chasing headlines rather than tackling real issues. I though spin went out of fashion in British politics when Blair stepped down.

Story in The Courier this week.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Britain has no hope of meeting revewable targets Blair signed up to in the spring.

"Government officials have secretly briefed ministers that Britain has no hope of getting remotely near the new European Union renewable energy target that Tony Blair signed up to in the spring - and have suggested that they find ways of wriggling out of it". Stated the Guardian this morning.
An internal briefing paper for ministers, a copy of which was obtained by the newspaper, reveals that officials think the best the UK could hope for is 9% of energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar or hydro by 2020.

It says the UK "has achieved little so far on renewables" and that getting to 9%, from the current level of about 2%, would be "challenging". Revealed the Guardian.

Britain could make its renewable target and provide skilled jobs at the same time.

This is dissapointing. Its not as if the UK has a shortage of Wind, Tide and Hydroelectric opportunities.

The demand for Renewable Energy Technology is growing as opinion and regulation demand more and more energy is produced in this way.

Our closest trading partners, Europe and the US representing the biggest markets for this technology.

With some imagination and government investment Britain could be a world leader in this technology and meet our targets signed upto by Mr Blair earlier this year.

Fantastic Response to Parking Survey

I have had a fantastic response to my Parking Survey that has been going out in parts of Warwick.
Apart from the Guy Street, Cherry Street area where residents have done a lot of excellent work to get things changed, there are problems in the Packmores area and also along Watham Road.
All these hotspots are in the same residents parking zone although the problems are slightly different.
I shall wait until the last of the survey responses comes in and will write a report to the District & County Council outlining the problems you have told me about.
If you did not receive a survey and do have problems in Warwick or Leamington you can download a copy here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Greening Britain's Housing

Whilst channel hopping tonight a Gardeners World Special captured my imagination. The program was dealing with how developments such as the Greenwich Millennium Village and BedZed and others around Europe are looking at how green spaces can be included in high density housing projects to increase the quality of life in the property and also its commercial value.

There are many benefits to the environment, the community, crime rate, property prices, the list goes on. Imaginative ideas such as placing the car parks underground and covering it with a communal garden & quality safe play areas.

Contrast this with some of the high density developments I have seen just in Warwick over the past few weeks. (Right) Unaffordable, cramped single occupancy housing surrounded by grey acres of car parking.
If we are to build the new homes we need for the future, then lets use a bit of imagination and create something really stunning, fit for the 21st Century rather than repeat the mistakes of the past.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Useful information on Street Parking.

The issue of parking in some streets in Warwick is a real issue as I explained in my previous post. I met with some residents yesterday for a photo shoot for the local paper and this morning a few of us were interviewed on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.

I have found some links to documents that residents might find helpful as they contain the guidelines that are used in planning street layouts. What has impressed me is how communities in Warwick are not just complaining to the council, they have been out measuring the roads and trying to come up with solutions that suit their own areas.

These documents may help anyone with similar problems to understand the guidelines that the council may be using and that way they are armed with the information and will not be blinded by science.

The link below is the Manual for Streets a joint publication produced by the 'Department for Transport' and 'Communities and Local Government'. Chapter 7 and 8 are the most interesting dealing with street geometry.

The following link is for a document from the institute of civil engineers and contains much the same information as the above only without pictures.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Parking Confusion in Warwick & Leamington

Changes to the way in which parking is managed in Warwick & Leamington start today and already there is confusion.
Some residents have not yet received their permits and many of the on street parking ticket machines do not appear to be operating yet. Recently painted double yellow lines were obliterated last week when roads in Warwick were resurfaced. Why they did not wait until afterwards to paint the lines is anybodys guess.
I have spoken to some of our Lib-Dem councillors who have told me that the parking wardens will be taking a soft approach early on as people get used to the scheme. I will be having a walk around later to see what impacts the new scheme is having and talking to some residents.
There will be a review of the scheme in a few weeks and it is hoped that problems can be sorted out then.

Email Me - If you are having problems in your street, this will help me understand any problems this is causing and I can pass these onto any review.
Download our Parking Survey and return this to me.
More information can be found on the Warwickshire County Website including maps of residents parking zones and road markings.