Saturday, 28 March 2015

Ed's Battle for Number 10

Simon Danczuk has had a meteoric rise over the course of the last parliament in becoming Labour’s favourite Marmite son.
Never shy of the limelight his regular interventions are often timely and important. Look no further than the work he has done highlighting historic cases of child abuse in his constituency and on a wider level.
But, like all politicans, Mr Danczuk has a down side which is jaw droppingly apparent. His timing, shall we say, can be a little bit ‘off’.
There is no doubt at all that last week’s New Statesman article was damaging to Labour. At no time, but especially so close to an election, should a Labour MP be allowed to be quoted that their party leader is a ‘f***ing knob’.
Doing so immediately before the parliamentary terms final PMQ’s and then actually asking a question was simply a gift from above for Mr Cameron.
If you are an MP there is a time and place to go public on negative views of your leader. A week before the dissolution of parliament isn’t it.
But, and there is a big but coming, Mr Danczuk made an important point.
I will guarantee that anyone who has been out knocking doors in the past few months will have been told at least a few times ‘I’ve always voted Labour but I can’t vote for Ed’.
A significant minority of voters have arrived at a view, completely wrongly in my opinion and with no small help from the right wing media, that Ed is simply not Prime Ministerial material.
There is a strong argument that Labour has kept a fairly consistent lead in the polls for the past two years not because of Ed Miliband but despite him.
What Labour and Ed have needed for the past 18 months is a way of convincing the electorate that he is capable of being a strong leader. To be fair opportunities have been few but last night’s Battle for Number 10 ‘debate’ went a huge way to redress that balance.
Ed wasn’t on fire. Whilst some of his answers (the last Labour governments record on deregulation of banks) hit the spot for a 2015 audience others were weaker (highlighting the Dome as a major misstep is probably 10 years out of date).
Others still were undoubtedly a bit cringe worthy (‘Hell Yes’ was perhaps a little too rehearsed to be authentic and almost certainly won’t go down as his finest oratory).
The important point however is Ed didn’t have to beat David Cameron, although on balance he probably did on points, he had to show to the British public he was credible.
There is no doubt he absolutely did that and in doing so will give Labour a real boost.
With the polls so tight we desperately need those voters who previously identified themselves as ‘Labour Yes, Ed No’ to take another look at us.
Last night Ed gave us the ammunition to make that case strongly on the doorstep. I know I’m going to be a lot more hopeful out on the doorstep this weekend.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Shake up to Whitwick Post Office services proposed

The Post Office have unveiled plans to shake up services in Whitwick with the announcement of a proposed branch move in the village.

Under part of a major modernisation programme plans have been put in place to close the existing branch at 15 Hall Lane with services moving to the existing Mercury News shop at 4 Silver Street, Whitwick.

The Post Office have announced that along with longer opening hours and better access arrangements virtually all existing services will continue to be provided.

A formal consultation process to listen to the views of local residents has now started which runs until 27 May 2015.

County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, said 'I would urge all post office users to make their views known about the proposed changes. Many local people, particularly our elder residents, value the services that their Post Office branch offers. It is important to tell them what you think about their plans'

To share your views and for more information you can visit quoting branch code 30721799.

Should proposals be given the green light it is planned to commence services for the new branch in July or August.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Do you want to have a say in what happens in Whitwick?

Interested in our local community?
Ever thought of serving as a Parish Councillor?
Parish Council Elections are due to be held in May 2015 for 11 parish councillors representing 4 Whitwick wards.
You don't need to be an 'expert' (training and support will be available); you don't need to be a politician (though you can be); you can devote as much time as you are able. If you care about Whitwick, then being a parish councillor is for people like YOU.
For further information, please see the attached publication "It Takes All Sorts" which has been published by the National Association of Local Councils to highlight the difference you can make by representing your community on your local council. It explains the role of local councils and local councillors and explains how you can get involved. The booklet also features the thoughts of current councillors from around the country explaining a little about why they represent their communities.
If you would like to know more Whitwick Parish Council are arranging an informal session to discuss the role:
Whitwick Parish Council Drop-in Session - Thursday, 19 March 2015 - 6.30 to 8.30pm at Whitwick Community Enterprises, 74 North Street, Whitwick - coffee, cake and an informal chat
County Councillor, Leon Spence, said 'It would be great to see as many people as possible stand to be parish councillors. I would love to see a mix of political and unaffiliated councillors. Councillors from community groups, churches and local businesses. The parish council is so much stronger when it has 11 voices full of passion and ideas for our community.'

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Councillor updates Whitwick residents on footpath improvements

A local Councillor is updating residents of a Whitwick estate of County Council proposals to improve footpaths in the area.

County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, says 'Leicestershire County Council have scheduled footpath improvements for Leicester Road, Whitwick for this autumn.

'I have been made aware of concerns about the state of paths around St Bernard's Road and Beaumont Road. Highways officers will be carrying out inspections and I will be holding a meeting on site with district councillors and county council staff in the coming weeks to reiterate the need for safe pavements in the village and to insist that improvements are scheduled as a matter of priority.

'I would particularly be interested to hear from local residents who have suffered from slips, trips and falls on dangerous footpaths in the village.'

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Councillor calls on fast food giants to show corporate responsibility

A local councillor is calling on two international fast food chains to show corporate responsibility for tackling nuisance littering around their local restaurants.

County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, is making his concerns known after being contacted by local residents, he said 'I regularly receive phone calls about the state of local footpaths and bridle roads and the litter dropped on them, all too often wrappers and cups from McDonalds and KFC.

'Whilst it's obviously not the outlets themselves that are dropping the litter it's very evident that large amounts of it is a by-product of their food and drink.

Councillor Spence continues 'I have previously worked with Stephenson College who now organise regular litter picks by students but there is still a problem.

'I'm calling on both McDonalds and KFC to do more in the area surrounding their restaurants to tackle littering. These are multinational companies who are proud of their corporate environmental credentials, it would be great if they could do more on a local level.

'I will be writing to both businesses urging them to play a more pro-active role in tackling this problem.'

The photographs below were all taken earlier today along Bridle Road (Sludgy Lane) and less than 100 metres from Thornborough Road.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Temporary road closure - Main Street, Thringstone

Diversion route
Leicestershire County Council Highways has agreed to the closure of the above road.
The closure is required on main street from the junction with Booth Road to outside 161 Main Street. 
The road will be closed from 07:00 hours on Monday 16th March 2015 for up to 6 days.  
The Temporary Traffic Regulation Order is being enforced to safely allow for a new connection into the existing main in the carriageway.
During the closure, the alternative route for users will be via:- Glebe Road, Main Street (part) & Vice Versa.