Identity Cards

According to press reports today Manchester is one area which is under consideration for use as a pilot area for the Government’s Identity Card scheme. I am opposed to the introduction of these costly cards. I have managed all these years and never once had any problem proving who I am. The latest Home Office estimates are that this scheme will cost a sum approaching £5billion. Yet another pointless waste of our money by Labour.

Big Garden Birdwatch

David taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch

David taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch

I joined hundreds of thousands of others around the Country this morning by taking part in the 30th Big Garden Birdwatch organised by the Royal Society of the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Birdwatching is one of my hobbies and both Sue and I are Life Members of the RSPB.

The way that the Big Garden Birdwatch operates is that participants have to record the maximum number of each individual species of birds that they see during a one hour period. I began by downloading the Personal Record Sheet from the RSPB’s website, this is not essential but it makes for easy recording of the results. Then having topped up the food in our garden bird feeders I began to observe. The start was slow and I realised that a neighbours feline was relaxing on the garden wall once it had moved in the activity began. You only record the birds that actually land in the garden so that excludes any seen flying over. The highlight was the arrival of a pair of long-tailed tits. The fact that their was only two was unusual because normally the long-tailed tits arrive in a small flock often of 10 to 12.

My full results were House sparrow 8, Blue Tit 5, Long-tailed tit 2, Blackbird 1, Coal tit 1, Dunnock 1, Great Tit 1, Robin 1.

I then submitted my results to the RSPB via their website and I look forward to reading the collective national results in a couple of months once they have all been collated.

Last Wednesday I attended a meeting of the Bury West Local Area Partnership at Bolton Road Methodist Church. Their were the usual presentations from the police including a special presentation on how to establish a Homewatch scheme. Many local residents who attended were very upset that the Planning Committee had decided by a majority of 6 to 4 that the Lutyens Memorial outside the former Barracks on Bolton Road could be moved to Sparrow Park in Bury town centre. This was despite thousands of residents signing a petition opposing such a move.

CeeCee’s First Operation

CeeCee after his op.

CeeCee after his op.

No! CeeCee has not tried to eat a lamp. He has had an operation two in fact. He was in for a certain operation which has left slightly less of him than there was before and whilst he was in they also removed a small lump on his side which has gone away to be tested. Hopefully nothing serious will be found. CeeCee is stuggling to come to terms with his special Buster collar which he has got to wear for a week to ten days to stop him licking the area where the operations took place.

Ramsbottom Health Fayre

David with local Park Ranger Amy Leach

David with local Park Ranger Amy Leach

This afternoon I visited the Ramsbottom Health Fayre at Ramsbottom Civic Hall. This is a new venture organised by Kim Griffiths the Local Area Partnership Manager and others. The aim was to bring together as many local agencies as possible who are conserned with health and helping people live heathier lives. The main hall in Ramsbottom Civic Hall was full of exhibitors all dealing with different aspects of health. For example there were stands encouraging people to stop smoking, become organ donors, undertake bowel cancer screening and many many more. I attended shortly after the event opened in the afternoon and it was snowing heavily so I hope that the snow did not put people off and that lots of local residents took the opportunity to call in and have a quick look round.
The photo shows me chatting with local Park Ranger Amy Leach who had an interesting stand with lots of goodies to give away including free “doggy poo” bags. I was pleased to endorse the message that all responsible dog owners must always clean up after their dogs. Sue and I always do and I am always amazed and I have to say annoyed at how much dog excrement is around. As with many things the minority of dog owners who do not clear up give the rest of us, the majority, a bad name. Amy was also promoting the health benefits of walking. The Rangers organise walks around different areas of Bury to cover all levels of expertise. For details visit

Smart Meters For All

David Cameron’s policy announcement was all about the Conservatives’ plans for improving energy efficiency. One highlight of the policy is that an incoming Conservative Government would provide every home with a smart electricity meter which would make it clear when it was the best ie cheapest time to use electricity. I would like to see meters that show the actual cost of the electricity being used and the total bill due in “pounds shillings and pence” rather than just have meters which display numbers which are meaningless to most people.

CeeCee was ten months old on Friday the above photo was taken on the day of his ten month old birthday.

Gordon Brown’s Debt

This week sees the launch of the Conservative Party’s first National poster campaign of the year. I am not sure if we will have any up in Bury so I have reproduced the ad above. I thought it was quite striking although no doubt Labour voters will not approve!

Last night I went with Sue to take CeeCee to his training class and then on to a meeting of the Conservative Group at the Town Hall, the first of 2009.

Last Wednesday evening I attended the Ramsbottom, North Manor and Tottington Local Area Partnership meeting which this month was held at St. Andrew’s in Ramsbottom. The main speaker was from the NHS who spoke about their priorities to improve peoples health. As usual the meeting was not very well attended. I tend to interpret this as meaning local residents are generally happy with the situation. If there is a major problem locally then, quite rightly, residents will attend to voice their concerns. Some points were raised by those present such as whether Bridge Street in Ramsbottom needs to be closed for the Christmas Market and I am sure that the pros and cons of this will be considered over the coming months.

On Saturday I was surprised that despite the freezing weather which resulted in all but three of the games in Division Two of the Football League being postponed Bury’s game at Gigg Lane was still on. I went along and in what was not one of the most attractive games I have ever seen Bury won 1-0 to keep up their push for a play-off place at the end of the season.