Monday, 30 June 2014

Conservatives Improve Nottingham Train Station

A lot of people ask, for obvious reasons, "what has the Government done for me?" For the people of Nottingham there is one answer to this question that is very apparent and makes life a bit easier for most people.

Over the last few weeks people have been getting this leaflet in Nottingham telling them about the new developments in Nottingham Station. The main building has been redevelopment, track has been improved and more platforms have been added. Overall this extra investment has mean increased capacity and a much easier ride for all Train users in Nottingham. As a prolific user of Nottingham Train station I am very pleased with the new developments and what they have done. The new re-development of the entrance building is the pinnacle of this. It looks great.

The great new  redevelopments to the entrance building.

The Conservative led Government put up £43.2 million to renovate Nottingham Train station and it most certainly has been worth it. This investment will lead to much more business in Nottingham which means more jobs and higher wages. Its great to see that the Conservatives are doing so much to improve Nottingham Station and thus investing in the people who use it.

Jane at Nottingham Station with Tory Party Chairman, Grant Shapps MP. 

Jane Hunt, who is standing as the prospective MP for Nottingham South, has said "I’m delighted that the Conservatives have delivered considerable investment in Nottingham’s infrastructure ... the train station upgrade was long-overdue. Investment now needs to go further to continue our city’s expansion as a cultural and business hub in the East Midlands. I’ll do all I can to deliver that investment."

Jane with Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond MP.

In fact the Conservatives, under former miner and now Transport Secretary Patrick McCoughlin, are investing in trains and the railways across the country with record levels of spending, despite government cuts and other huge rail projects like HS2. Over the next five years network rail will invest over £38 billion in the railway structure. This £38 billion doesn't include trains and other miscellaneous items that are needed for rail travel. This is also much more than under the last Labour government invested in our trains and railways.

Transport Secretary, Patrick McCloughin, after a hard day at work.

So if anyone asks you "what has the Government done for you in Nottingham?" just point to the Train Station.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Thoughts On Juncker

The whole Juncker saga over the last week or so has really made an impact on our future in the EU, and its not wholly because arch-federalist Jean Claude Juncker is the new President. Not only has Andre Walker got a new person to ask the British public "do you know who this man is", but we know that not much can change in the EU because of the leaders of Europe.

Only two countries out of twenty eight in the EU voted against Jean Claude Juncker being appointed as EU President. This shows that either the vast majority of European leaders are committed to greater political integration to form a federal Europe or that many of the leaders of 'Eurosceptic countries' are too cowardly to try stop the EU. Personally, I think it is a bit of both. Even if the Swedes, Germans and Dutch did vote against Juncker the majority of EU countries still back greater powers going to the EU.

Who wears the trousers in Europe now?

Of course the Germans may have been able to make a difference in selecting a different President but they weren't going to even though it is believed Angela Merkel actually didn't want Jean Claude Juncker. I agree, for once, with Jermey Hunt. European leaders were 'cowardly'. How can we hope to get any substantial change in Europe with these weak leaders? There is no support to change from the path of moving as quickly as possible to the ultimate goal of the Treaty of Rome of political integration.

No one except David Cameron will stand up to 'ever closer union' in Europe.

No one in the EU with any major power apart from the United Kingdom wants to make changes to Europe from fear of the geriatric Brussels bureaucracy or a real desire to bring about much closer integration. Angela Merkel said after the Juncker vote that "There can be different speeds for member countries to adopt come to ever closer union ... It was made clear, yet again, that the idea of an ever closer union as it is stated in the treaties does not mean that there is equal speed among member countries." But people of the UK do not want a slower descent into the pit of political union, we want a reversal and for it to stay like that.

I admire David Cameron in standing up what was right here. Juncker will only make the effect of the EU on Britain much worse and it was thus right for the PM to do all he could to stop him. Dave knew that he was unlikely to win but he did what was right for the nation. But if anything this shows that you cannot beat Brussels at their own game. We're not going to get anything that we want from negotiation with Brussels and thus we should leave the EU. Dave will try to renegotiate and a large proportion of people still want him to have the chance to do so. But all it can is prove for once and for all we're better off out. Thank god the Conservatives will allow us to do that with a referendum and hopefully the Prime Minister will ask the country to back an EU withdrawal.

Friday, 27 June 2014

RoadTrip2015: Destination Portsmouth [VIDEO]

On the 12th of July hundreds of Conservative activists will descend upon Portsmouth South where by-election fever is already causing waves. disgraced former Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock has admitted his guilt to being a criminal sexual sleaze-bag to one of his constituents and the local newspaper has told him its 'time to go'.

If the Lib Dems weren't worried enough about what's going on in Portsmouth, Road Trip is set to come on the 12th July to build a base to take this seat either at a by-election or the next general election. The Road Trip armies next destination is Portsmouth, you can join up here.

The Cian Model Of Campaigning In Nottingham

Following the #ThingsElliottSays model of Cian, I am pleased to do another post about our campaign with Jane Hunt in Wollaton on Wednesday. We surveyed Charlbury Road, formerly the longest cul-de-sac in Europe, and got some very positive results from the residents. We then went to the Wollaton pub where I had a Stowford Press Cider. Is that good enough Cian?

Sadly, as I am now back in Wisbech for a while, so I will not be joining Jane and the team on the campaign trail for a fair few weeks. But they'll be keeping up the pressure on the Lillian Greenwood MP and try to replace her with Jane when it comes to the General Election next year.

Stop The Hospital Car Parking Rip-Off

Rob Halfon MP, the great campaigning backbencher, has started a new campaign to 'stop the hospital car parking rip-off'. I would ask you to back his campaign to really stick to the NHS principle of 'free at the point of use'.

The one thing I have never properly understood about our healthcare system is the principle of 'free at the point of use'. In my opinion this is a very good principle but in so many cases it isn't actually applied. One of these is hospital parking. Why are we charging ill people or their families to park at hospitals? The government does allow for hospital car parking in England to be free, as it is in Scotland and Wales, so why is it very rare?

Free at the point of use?

The answer to this question from the bods incharge of hospitals/ the government often is that paying for parking covers the cost of having the spaces. But I have never really understood this argument because the NHS is so wasteful it is almost unbelievable. Surely there is enough money in £137 billion institution to pay for hospital parking, which let's face it would be a tiny amount.

It's great to see Rob, pictured here in his famous mustard suit, campaigning on such an important issue to those who are ill and their families.

So how can we pay for parking out of the NHS budget? Rob points out the case on the over use of branded drugs rather than generic drugs in the NHS in his proposals to do something about hospital car parking. But there is of course the obvious answer as well of too much bureaucracy in the NHS. My personal belief is that of the public's, the number of civil servants in the NHS should be as low as possible whilst the amount spent of treatments/ on more doctors and nurses should be increased. The Coalicious government has gone some way to solve this problem but there is still more to do.

£4 to park for the first hour!!!

But if we have to keep hospital car parking we should at least reduce the rates because it is so expensive. My local Nottingham hospital QMC is one of the worst, charging £4 for the first hour of parking. This is an unbelievable cost considering that families need to visit very ill patients or ill patients themselves need to park. Rob Halfon's investigation into hospital car parking has found stories of cancer patients having to cut down on what they eat just to pay for the travelling and parking expense of getting to hospital. It is is obviously unacceptable to force patients onto the breadline by paying for car parking.

I thus urge you to sign Rob's petition to stop the hospital parking rip-off. Why should we force patients or their families to pay so much just to park for a health service which is 'free at the point of use'?

You can view Rob's full proposals here.

Monday, 23 June 2014

RoadTrip2015 Great Yarmouth [VIDEO]

The Road Trip team have created another super video to sum up the fun weekend we spent in Great Yarmouth. I hope the Left are terrified by the numbers of campaigners and that you join in the grass roots movement of the century. Join the next Road Trip to Portsmouth South here.

#RoadTrip2015 Great Yarmouth

From across the country Conservatives over the weekend came together to fight for a proper Tory government. From as far away as Manchester, Nottingham and Weston-super-Mare they gathered to help win the seat of Great Yarmouth for the Conservatives. The current MP there is the great Tory Brandon Lewis who has worked hard over the last 4 years to serve the people in his constituency. We wanted to give this super MP a hand in our first seaside Road Trip.

People came by train, coach and car to get to Great Yarmouth with some fun adventures on the way. 

And of course there was the now customary stop off at KFC on the way down.

However, there was one splitter who couldn't be bothered to travel all the way to Great Yarmouth. Love you Mo.

So the day of campaigning then began and as mentioned in the above tweets Sam Armstrong, NUCA's treasurer, was keeping his 100% of turning up to all of the Road Trips. He holds this joint title with Stephen 'The Hoff' Hoffman of being the most keen to go on a Road Trip. Of course Mark Clarke, who runs the Road Trip, had to once again congratulate Sam on his hard efforts.

We spent the morning campaigning in and around Gorleston, a major town in the constituency. We were canvassing people's opinions on local issues and whether they would support Brandon again in the 2015 General Election. It was nice to see that a lot of people will be voting for Brandon and are pleased with what he has done so far as an MP. 

As a reward for the large amount of work they had done some of the campaigners stopped off for a treat.

Of course after lunch we took that all important group photo to show the hundred or so activists in Great Yarmouth that day. I hope Labour, UKIP and the Lib Dems (if they're crazy enough to go on the offensive in Great Yarmouth) are watching.

We then went off to deliver newspapers about Brandon and the large amount of work he has done to thousands of residents across the constituency. A few of us also thought someone else would like to have a look at the newspaper.

All in all we came into contact with 20,000 households in Great Yarmouth. Well over half of Brandon's constituents was either spoken to, had a newspaper delivered or at the very least received a calling card when they were out. I hope local people will be happy to see how active their MP is and how keen we are to campaign for him.

We then went to have dinner at a great local fish and chip shop in Great Yarmouth. 100 rounds of cod and chips took a great amount of time to make but they were fantastic. 

It was also Brandon Lewis' birthday so he spent it with the 100 people who are helping to keep him in Parliament. Happy Birthday Brandon.

Brandon then thanked us all with a great speech. It was then ended in the traditional Road Trip way.

It was then off to celebrate our successful day in the pub for a pint or maybe four. Nigel Farage eat your heart out.

A few of us then went to try some of the arcade games. First and foremost Mahyar played the electric shock game but sadly the plot to get rid of him failed as he was still able to continue to the bar later on.

It was also nice to see a NUCA friend Di, who works for Brandon Lewis. She went to a few bars with us afterwards and got some really nice photos with Alex and I.

So we partied late and got up early. This really showed with Colonel Cooper who fell asleep on the seafront.

But it was no time for sleeping. Instead we went to have fun in the sand and at the Pleasure Beach.

It was great to see that the Tory Party big guns were also out supporting our campaigning. Road Trip is a great organisation long may it continue.

Road Trip is one of the highlights now of the Conservative year. People genuinely ask "when is the next one". Well don't worry the next one is in two weeks time and we're going to Portsmouth South. You can join up here.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Happy Birthday Boris

Happy Birthday Boris from #ThingsElliottSays. Alexder Boris DePeffel Johnson is 50 years old today and so far has done a great job as Mayor of London. Boris is of course much better known for his cycling, blond haired buffoonery and being gaffe prone yet attracting massive popularity. Here is my favourite Boris moment.

So go have a great day Boris with a few celebratory drinks and a slice of cake.

"My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it"

Vote Labour, Get A Free Owl

After a bad few weeks the Labour party have taken what they think is a wise step and offered a policy of a free owl for everyone. The Labour Party press team have take to Twitter to announce that "everybody should have his own owl".

Is this an attempt to turn Britain into a real life Hogwarts or just promotion of falconry? It could be association between the 'wise' old owl and the Labour Party, although one look at Ed Miliband would make voters think otherwise. I bet most of the Labour Press team found announcing this policy a hoot. One thing is for sure it is not the first time Labour have promoted a policy of having your own owl as this clearly unedited photo of one of Gordon Brown's last PMQs performances shows.

The not so wise Gordon Brown.

Campaigning, Conservatism and Cider in Wollaton

Yesterday we were out again in Wollaton campaigning for a Blue Nottingham. We were carrying out local surveys on Harrow Road, Wollaton Road, and some of the small streets leading off of them. The team was joined by councillor Georgina Culley who is a top rate local champion for her residents and the people of Nottingham. Georgina has been a councillor in Wollaton for longer than I have been alive; to be elected time and again even through the New Labour years shows how much she is respected by residents.

Sam and I with Georgina.

Some very interesting issues were raised by people in our campaigning session. One was that street cleaners are missing out the very top of Cambridge Road leading to a lot of weeds and litter on the pavements. Georgina will be chasing up the relevant people in the City Council to stop this corner being cut. It would take not much extra effort from the city's street cleaners.

Some of the team posing for a photo outside what seems to be the most Conservative house in Wollaton.

Georgina was very kind and treated us to a drink in the Wollaton pub after our session. It was a very hot day and a cider was very welcome. Thanks very much Cllr Culley.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Back in Wollaton

I'm back campaigning in Nottingham after spending virtually a month of my time in Newark. Yesterday I spent the evening knocking on doors on and around Runswick Drive in Wollaton. The weather was perfect and we got a lot of surveys done with a lot of issues raised which Jane and the Conservative Wollaton Cllrs will be tackling. Pavements again was raised as an issue. Perhaps Nottingham City Council should put some money into this? It seems to be a massive problem in Wollaton, I hope this can gets sorted.

It was good to see a lot of Conservative support yesterday I hope all the votes Jane is garnering really pays off come election day. I also met a fair few Green party voters, very interesting. Mind you the Green Party's first candidate for the recent Euro elections was from Wollaton, I hope you like that plug Duncan.

It was also good to see yesterday that 2 million more people are now employed by the private sector than under the last Labour Government. In fact more people are employed in this country now than have ever been before. In my opinion this is an outstanding achievement and the amount is more than I expected would happen. I would also like to say to counter act the moaning minnies of the left-wing that around 90% of these jobs are full time, not zero hours contracts or part time work. Furthermore the vast majority of the 2 million figure are British workers. Unlike what UKIP has said in trying to scaremonger, there are not 2 million more Bulgarians and Romanians 'after your jobs' in the UK.

All in all a good day, and to top it off Jane bought us a drink in the local pub. Cheers to Jane and to the Chancellor who has cut beer duty.

Cheers George for your cut in beer duty.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Road Trip Great Yarmouth [VIDEO]

Road Trip 2015 is off to Great Yarmouth soon for a stroll along the beach, a go on the ferris, and maybe a spot of fish and chips. This is of course on top of the campaigning, clubbing afterwards, and the chance to have a 'romantic relationship' ;-)*. But if me telling you all this was not enough to get you there Road Trip has created another video advertise their wonderful event. #ThingsElliottSays will be there and I hope to see you too. You can join the Facebook event here.

*A point much tooted by the BBC.