Brighton Spring Forum

I am attending the Conservative Party’s Spring Forum in Brighton this weekend. Yesterday there were speeches from (among others) the Party Chairman Eric Pickles, William Hague and Shadow Chancellor George Osborne. There was an excellent session on the NHS.

Today the Conference will be closed with a speech from Party Leader David Cameron. If you are reading in Bury and it is not raining yet then it might be soon – it is raining heavily here and from the forecast I saw yesterday it is moving North!

A no gimmicks budget

I have attended the Special Meeting of Bury Council this evening when the Council Tax for next year was set. The increase for the Bury Council share will be 3.39%. Once the increases from the police and fire authorities are added the increase will be 3.75%.

The ruling Conservative Group could have tried to use creative accounting to keep the Council Tax increase artificially low but despite looming local elections and the pending General Election Councillors have rejected the temptation to have a budget full of gimmicks and populist measures.

The meeting this evening demonstrated how politics is all about competing choices. Both opposition groups proposed amendments which their supporters would approve of but in the end politics is all about difficult choices and inevitably it is the Party in control that has to take those decisions.

Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Last night I attended a fund raising party at Tottington Village Hall to help raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. To be more accurate a young student from Tottington Hannah Price is running the London Marathon this year and apparetly to get a Golden Entry ticket to run costs £2,000. Hannah had already raised over £1,100 and last night the Party was held to raise more funds. I have not heard how they did but the Hall was full. There was an Indian meal, a band and disco plus a raffle with top quality prizes ( eg a holiday in France! )

Earlier in the day I had been out helping one of our leaflet delivery teams.

Consider the Conservatives

In this video – CLICK HERE
Conservative Party Leader David Cameron MP explains why even voters who have never voted Conservative before should at least consider looking at what the Conservatives have to offer at the next General Election.

Over the weekend I have been out with one of our canvassing teams in Ramsbottom. Today in between all my other meetings and calls I spent a couple of hours with the political editor of The Economist magazine who had travelled up from London to find out about the Bury North constituency.

Inter-Faith Marriage Exhibition

I took part in a panel discussion last night at Manchester Cathedral at the invitation of the Manchester Diocese Mother’s Union. The topic was the importance of marriage and was held as part of a week of events around the subject of marriage. Also on the panel was Paul Rowen the Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale and representatives from the Church of England and the Mother’s Union. Labour did not send a representative although they had been asked. The questions covered the benefits for Society of marriage and what the Government should be doing to try and strengthen the institution of marriage.

Accession Anniversary

Today is the 58th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s succession to the throne following the death of King George VI. This afternoon I attended a special service of Evensong held at St. Anne’s in Tottington to mark the occasion. The service was organised jointly with The Prayer Book Society and was held in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Bury. Following the service, after coffee and biscuits, there was a tremendously informative and entertaining talk on the subject of Coronations down the centuries held in the village hall.

Wine tasting event

Last night Sue and I attended the President’s Evening for the Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People at the Mayors Parlour in the Town Hall in Bury (The Mayor is always the President of the Society). The evening was a Valentine themed wine tasting with eight different wines sampled and descriptions given for each one. There was also a beef strogonoff and rice for the meal. Unfortunately, I was driving so I did not take part in the actual wine sampling but I can say everyone enjoyed the evening and most importantly I understand around £300 was raised to help the valuable work of the Society.