Coalition Government

A Fire Sale ?

A regular onlineFOCUS reader has contacted us because he is concerned about possible plans to privatise the Fire Service. The Daily Mirror reported earlier this month: All 46 fire and rescue services in England could be sold off to private firms under secret Government plans.Local government minister Brandon Lewis calls for new laws that “would enable fire and rescue authorities in…
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Councillors Are Revolting ….

The government’s proposals for relaxing some of the planning rules are facing a backlash revolt from grassroots Lib Dems and Tories. Certainly, our four Lib Dem District Councillors – Chris Black, Ron Oatham, Chris Lumley and June Lumley all oppose this. And we understand that our local Tory leader , Terry Cutmore, expressed similar objections when he briefly spoke to…
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The Coalition’s Idea Of Planning…..?

Since the coalition announced its latest proposals on planning last week, we’ve talked to a few Lib Dems and Conservatives and got a mostly negative reaction. The most optimistic response was ‘Wait for the details’. The most hostile response – in relation to building extensions – was ‘This is just desperate stuff that won’t help the economy’. You can read…
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£513,000 Pupil Premium For Rayleigh and Wickford Constituency

Chris Black received the following email today from Lib Dem Education Minister Sarah Teather: Dear Christopher Liberal Democrats have always believed that education is the engine of social mobility, now we are making it happen. _ Today the Government released the final Pupil Premium figures for every English local authority, constituency and school. I am delighted to announce that every…
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The Government’s New Planning Policies Are Up For Consultation

Things have just become even more complicated regarding planning. This week the government has announced a new “Draft National Planning Policy Framework” which is now up for consultation until October 17th. You can download the document from this page here and you can respond to the consultation online from this page here. What does it all mean in practice? It’s…
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A Hopefully Helpful New Government Policy On Business Rates

An interesting story on the BBC website: Councils in England will be allowed to keep the business rates they collect rather than paying them into Treasury coffers, under new government plans. . Deputy PM Nick Clegg said councils had no financial incentive to boost growth and prosperity in their areas. . But he said changes would be “fair” and poorer…
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New Government Planning Statement

Prue Bray, who is a Lib Dem Councillor in Berkshire, has pointed out a rather worrying statement on March 23rd by Conservative MP Greg Clark, the Coalition minister for Decentralisation. You can find it here. It’s about ‘planning for growth’, which sounds good in terms of improving the economy, but there are some alarming bits for people concerned about over-development:…
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