Tottington Horticultural Show

I always look forward to visiting the Tottington Horticultural Show which is held in the Old School at Greenmount. I went this afternoon and the quality and variety of the exhibits is quite outstanding, the daffodils were particularly good I thought this year.
Tottington is lucky to have so many green fingered residents. I enjoy pottering about in our garden but I have very little knowledge of what I am doing so I often winder if I am doing more harm than good.

St. Paul’s Church Ramsbottom

Today I attended a Coffee Morning at St Paul’s Church in Ramsbottom. Whilst I was there I met Councillor Dorothy Gunther who has some guests staying with her from Schorndorf one Bury’s twin towns in Germany. One of the Church wardens kindly gave us a guided tour of the Church I can not speak German but fortunately the two ladies could speak some English and it was interesting to be able to chat to them. They were very surprised to see a Church having to hold a coffee morning because they thought that in Germany the church receives money from general taxation!

Campaign Launch

Yesterday saw the formal launch of the Conservative Manifesto for this years local elections in Bury. Oliver Letwin MP who is the Head of the Conservative Party’s Policy Review came up for the launch and met with local Councillors and Candidates. Before that we went to Visit Broad Oak School which was threatened by Labour with closure last year and only saved thanks to the vote of the School Organisation Committee where the Conservatives voted to keep it open.

Council Meeting and Area Boards

I attended the final meeting of the current municipal year of Bury Council last night. An interesting meeting dominated by Labour’s proposed changes to the Area Boards. The principle of area boards is it would appear accepted by all parties but for some strange reason that I do not understand the ruling Labour Group seem determined to change something which from what I am told by our Councillors in Bury North works quite well. It is I am sure merely a coincidence but the fact that Labour only control two out of the six Area Boards whereas in the past they have controlled five out of the six might have something to do with it!
More importantly in many peoples eyes was England’s result against Andorra. I appreciate things are changing in the world of football but I for one am surprised that Engalnd, with all their very highly paid footballing superstars, could only score three goals against a nation which has a smaller population than Bury North!

Elton Community School

I visited Elton Community School yesterday with the Shadow Minister for Childcare Paul Goodman MP. It is a couple of years since I last visited the school and it was interesting to see the changes they have made. We were particularly looking at the Foundation Unit and the childcare provision at the school. In the evening I attended a meeting of the Conservative Councillors Group on Bury Council.

Weekend Away

Have been away this weekend. Spent a couple of nights at Ravenscar on the Yorkshire Coast between Scarborough and Whitby. Walked to Robin Hood’s Bay and went up to Whitby on Sunday. Great weather especially on Sunday and all in all an enjoyable weekend.

Smoke and Mirrors

Budget Day is a British Institution. Even people who rarely take an interest in politics know that once a year the Chancellor of the Exchequer sets out the Governments plans for taxing and spending. Invariably tax goes up on beer, wine, petrol and cigarettes and this year is no exception. I always advocate that the political effect of a budget can not be accurately assessed on the day of the budget itself. The details and the small print have to be studied. Today, the headline news is that the basic rate of income tax has been changed from 22% to 20%. What has not received so much headline publicity is the fact that the current 10% lower rate is to be abolished the result being that for millions of lower paid workers they will be paying more income tax. What Labour give with one hand they take back with the other.
The reality is that for thousands of people in Bury North who have this week seen their increased Council tax bills drop through the letter box this budget will make it even more difficult to make ends meet.