NHS Campaign Day

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David with Andrew Lansley M.P.

I have been out on The Rock in Bury town centre today campaigning on the issue of the National Health Service.
We were joined by the Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley.
Andrew has been twice before to Bury and so he is well acquainted with our local issues – the main one being of course the decision to close the Maternity Department at Fairfield Hospital.

We had a tremendously positive reaction from all who came to chat to us and it is clear that there is still an enormous strength of feeling that a town the size of Bury should have its own Maternity Department. No one will ever convince me that the plan to send expectant mums from Bury down to North Manchester or over to Bolton will mean a better service for them.

Battlefields Tour

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Memorial to Private G.S. Peachment V.C.

I am visiting the Battlefields of Northern France and Southern Belgium this week with a coach party from St.Annes in Tottington.

The principal visit yesterday was to the memorial to George Stanley Peachment who was awarded the Victoria Cross following his bravery in trying to save his Company Commander during the battle of Loos in 1915. Private Peachment lived at The Nook, Beryl Avenue in Tottington and we were joined by members of his family as we laid a wreath during a short service of remembrance during which I read out the regimental Collect of the Rifle Regiment which Private Peachment belonged to.

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David at the Memorial to Pvte G.S. Peachment V.C.

Bury FC 2 Rotherham United 1

I attended the Bury v Rotherham match this afternoon as a guest of Bury MBC who were one of the sponsors.

Whenever Bury play Rotherham I have rather divided loyalties because I watched and supported Rotherham for many years before moving to Bury. Even though I now watch Bury more frequently than Rotherham and I want them to do well as any true football fan knows you can change your political allegiance, you can change your religion and some people even change their husbands/wives but you can’t change your football team!

Today’s game really was to use the terrible football cliche “a game of two halves”. In the first half the Shakers lost a striker and their goalkeeper through injury and in the resultant four minutes of injury team the Merry Millers scored so going in at the interval one goal to nil ahead.

The second half saw the Shakers equalise shortly after the restart and they played much better throughout the second 45. Despite Stephen Dawson missing a penalty Richie Baker sent the home fans home happy with a well taken goal in the 84th minute.

Update
I should point out that as on the previous occaision when I attended a match as a guest I have sent a donation in lieu of the hospitality received to Bury Hospice.

BNP on QT

The world seems divided as to whether it was right for the BBC to invite BNP leader Nick Griffen on to Question Time. I am of the view that whilstever the BNP are a legally constituted political party they must be tackled accordingly and their arguments and policies must be scrutinised and exposed.

What I found disappointing was that the programme concentrated on the BNP and they- became ‘the story’. I would have preferred to see the paucity of their policies on matters other than immigration demonstrated.

The next election will be a choice between continuing with he policies of this Labour Government or making a fresh start under David Cameron’s Conservatives. The BNP will not be forming the next Government – indeed it is unlikely they will even have a single Member of Parliament – and that is something we can all be grateful for.

Friends of Conservatives

Last night I attended an Eid Party organised by the Muslim Friends of the Conservatives held at the Radcliffe Civic Centre. The event was well supported with, I am told, over 400 people in attendance. The principal guest speaker was Saj Karim MEP and there were several other speakers including myself. In addition to the Council Leader Councillor Bob Bibby several other local Councillors also attended. I spoke about the importance of faith and the Conservative principal of trusting the people.

Today, in addition to dealing with various emails and items of correspondence I have been out helping to deliver our latest Conservative newsletter.

Tottington St.John’s Cricket Club Presentation evening

On Saturday I was invited along to present the awards at the Tottington St. John’s Cricket Club end of season presentation evening held at Tottington Conservative Club. Well over a hundred people attended thanks in part to the fact that the cricket club shared the presentation evening with the Michael Wood Homes rounders team presentations. The evening started with a quiz which merely served to demonstrate my woeful lack of cinematic knowledge! We then had some delicious pie and peas and fortunately there was enough for me to have seconds.

We then proceeded with the presentations, drawing the raffle and the evening concluded with a disco.

Bishop of Manchester Pilgrimage

On friday evening I attended a community reception followed by a service at Bury Parish Church led by the Bishop of Manchester. The Bishop is currently in the middle of a pilgrmage where he is planning to visit everyone on the churches in his diocese. This is the third such occasion I have attended the Bishop mentioned he still has a further 81 to go!