Sunday, 30 June 2013

Hogging the Limelight

It seems that our Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg has decided to help himself to £650 per month of our money as a housing allowance, on top of his £85,000 salary. Mr Hogg says he needs the cash to be able to stay near Police HQ in Exeter, because he lives in Helston; only problem with this, is that he police HQ at Middlemoor has ensuite accommodation. However this accommodation is not 'appropriate' for a person of Mr Hogg's standing; instead, he wants the money to be able to stay with chums at the local Royal Navy base. Mr Hogg has already taken on more staff than under the old Police Authority and has spent a further quarter of a million on consultants and agency staff. This latest news really adds insult to injury. How can Mr Hogg be taken seriously when he asks government for more frontline police, whilst he is diverting money which could be used for bobbies on the beat and using it to pad out his £85,000 salary with unnecessary expenses.

Friday, 28 June 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Credit Union in Teignmouth

Councillor Donald Baldy and I will be calling on Teignmouth Town Council to support the Devon credit union - Plough & Share. The rise in living costs and the pressure on family finances mean some people are turning to high interest (pay-day) loans and loan sharks to make ends meet. Credit Unions offer fair and affordable financial services, which are regulated. Plough and Share Credit Union is a co-operative, owned and controlled by its members. It promotes savings, provides credit at reasonable rates, and provides financial services to its members. It's authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme - so investors' money is safe. Donald and I want the town council to support Plough and Share Credit Union, by getting Bitton House to be a Service Point, and to work with Teign Estuary Transition to promote the credit union.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Stop whining Tories -It's Your Policy

Local Tories have asserted that Liberal Democrats have changed our policy on an in-out referendum. So let’s look at the facts the Liberal Democrat position in 2008 (when our MPs walked out the Commons after being refused a debate on an in-out referendum) was that we wanted a referendum to decide whether the UK should stay in the EU in the light of the Lisbon Treaty. The Conservative position was that a referendum should decide the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty itself. The 2010 manifesto said: “Liberal Democrats … remain committed to an in/out referendum the next time a British government signs up for fundamental change in the relationship between the UK and the EU – so no change there; the manifesto still committed us to an in-out referendum; however because the Lisbon Treaty had already been ratified by 2010, the Conservative referendum had become impossible, but the Liberal Democrat referendum was still entirely possible. The European Union Act 2011 says that when there is fundamental change in the EU-UK relationship there must be a referendum about such changes themselves – not an IN/OUT referendum as per the Liberal Democrat manifesto. So what happened? It’s very easy to explain the Coalition Agreement says: ”We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum on that treaty – a ‘referendum lock’.” No mention there of any in-out referendum. The Coalition Agreement adopted the Conservatives’ position lock, stock and barrel. We need to ask the Conservatives why they are attacking Liberal Democrats for standing by a the Coalition Agreement which on EU referenda accepted Conservative policy, not Liberal Democrat.