Election Pledge

Two concerns have been brought to my attention whilst out campaigning in Chopwell this week. The first is the proposal of the Labour led Gateshead MBC to cut the funding to Sure Start, particularly here in Chopwell. The ward councillors are not prepared to support the interests of the local people and pledge their support for this essential local service…..but I am. I will campaign for the retention of full funding for the Chopwell Sure Start. The second concern is the plan to build on the greenbelt to the west of Chopwell. UKIP is committed to preserving the greenbelt and I will do my utmost to ensure that we conserve the beautiful countryside around Chopwell.

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Red Ed’s loss of power.

I really cannot understand the economics behind Ed Miliband’s new policy on energy prices. For a start, everyone is denouncing the profits of firms such as SSE, the second largest energy provider in the UK, but their profit margin last year was a quite reasonable 4.2%. Compare this to Tesco’s profit margin of 5.21% for the same period. Surely based on this Red Ed should be targeting the retail industry. I’m sure the Tesco shoppers in Rowlands Gill will agree. So lets get real. Energy prices are high, Ed, because the price of the oil and gas we import is high, because of the EU’s costly green taxes and because the last and current Governments have failed to ensure that our energy sector is self sufficient or capable of storing fuel. This last point means that we have to sell fuel to the continent at low summer prices and buy back at high winter prices, while the Germans, French and Belgians etc. benefit by storing our fuel for us! But what really worries me is the prospect of the blackouts that this policy could lead to. I remember well what that was like under another weak Labour leader in the … Continue reading

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Save our Coastal Path

Childhood memories of playing on the beach, the smell of the sea air, the awe-inspiring views. As an island nation, we’re drawn to the coast. Wouldn’t it be great if we could enjoy all of it? Work has already begun to open up 150 miles of the Durham, Cumbria, Norfolk, Kent and Somerset coast for everyone. But, our out of touch Government might be pulling the plug on this exciting project. Own Patterson, the Environment Minister from landlocked Shropshire, called the coast path “an expensive legacy” and is threatening to scrap it. The England Coast Path is fantastic value for everyone. It’s costing just £164,000 a year to build but will bring in so much more to the struggling coastal communities in the North East and Cumbria – the South West coast path, for example, generates £307 million pounds a year for the local economy.

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A letter to ‘Views of the North’

What brilliant news it is that the North East Local Enterprises Partnership (LEP) is to get to oversee funds which would normally be administered by Whitehall. I really believe that the optimism is rightly placed in the North East being the best place to oversee spending in the North East. What a shame it is that Nick Brown, Labour MP for Newcastle East, does not share this view and wants to see the end of the LEP and the appointment of a Westminster based Government minister in its place. An even bigger shame is that a large proportion of the funding could have been so much more, if it hadn’t had a large chunk (of our money) creamed off by the wasteful EU, before being returned to us.

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