I’ve been getting some emails from local residents who are concerned about a threat to local lollipop people – I think as a result of this Living Streets campaign (an organisation I would normally support – indeed, I’d be quite keen to get a local branch going here!).
This has come as a bit of surprise, since a combination of campaigning by local people, hard work by local school governors, teachers and council officers and pressure from local councillors has just helped us get two more locally – one in Cheriton Road and one in Stockbridge Road. I was chatting to the newly appointed lollipop man in Stockbridge Road only two days ago! more …
The Hampshire Chronicle has reported why the two Conservative MPs in the Winchester District voted as they did on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.
George Hollingbery said:
“This was a free vote and one that was a matter of conscience. I have always believed that a defining characteristic of any developed society is that it treats its citizens equally.”
Steve Brine said:
“I have received more contact from constituents on this, mostly opposed to the Bill for what it’s worth, than any other subject in almost three years, and many said to me the coalition should not be spending any time on this has no mandate for such a major constitutional change.”
If you want to know what Steve Brine thought before so many people wrote to him, Andrew Emmerson has provided a useful summary on his blog.
What should people write to him about next?
(Perhaps we could tell him what a ‘constitutional change’ is?)
Discussion on Facebook has made clear that this wasn’t even populism! As this Guardian poll makes clear, the majority of the population support equal marriage.
I’ve changed the headline from ‘principle vs populism’ to ‘principle vs pandering’.
It’s interesting to see micro-chipping of dogs in the news again. About 10 years ago, the Lib Dems discussed animal welfare and micro-chipping.
It was a long, earnest and fairly one-sided debate – and some of the journalists and researchers watching appeared to be losing the will to live – when I stood up and opposed the motion (at least part of it).
It’s safe to say, it’s not the most serious speech I’ve ever made. Mark Pack and I came up with the idea for it in the bar the night before. But the journalists liked it. And I didn’t have to buy myself a drink for the rest of conference on the back of it.
The Guardian described it the ‘wittiest speech of the day’ – which I’ve always been rather proud of.
And the policy I was opposing ended up being cited in The Orange Book
as an example of the nanny state. I once had great fun asking Paul Marshall why it was only me – a social liberal – who actually opposed the policy at the time, while the Orange Bookers stayed silent… more …
According to Twitter, I’m one of 250,000 users who have possibly had their account hacked.
According to TechCrunch, this makes me cool!
After reading around, in addition to changing my password (natch), I’ve followed the advice in this Slate article and switched off java in my browser as well. more …
For your information (not least because Hampshire County Council doesn’t put submissions on its website), our response to the planning application for Westgate School.
While the architecture of the new school buildings is of a high standard – irresponsibly inadequate attention has been given to the traffic, transport and safety issues arising from 420 new primary pupils attending the expanded Westgate School; and the proposed relocation of the nursery school. Planning permission for the new school buildings should be withheld until there is a clear plan, with timetable and budget, for investing in transport infrastructure in the vicinity of the school in order to create a safer environment around the school with new measures to reduce congestion and increase safety in and around Cheriton Road and to make it easier for the majority of the 4-16 year old pupils to walk for some or all of their journey to school or – for the older pupils – to cycle.
The current planning application is not in accordance with paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that ‘plans should protect and exploit opportunities for the use of sustainable transport modes …[and] should be …designed where practical to give priority to pedestrian and cycle movements’. Nor is it in accordance with Policy T5 in the Winchester District Local Plan Review (2006) or CP21 in the Winchester District Local Plan Part 1 – Joint Core Strategy. The creation of 420 new school places is a major development and the planning application currently itemizes little or no investment in off-site highway improvements including new and improved pedestrian and cycling facilities. In addition the application is not in accordance with the West Fulflood & Orams Arbour Neighbourhood Design Statement (NDS), published in 2008.