Protecting Children on the Internet

I was pleased to be able to join Ramsbottom Councillor Ian Bevan, together with other local Councillors at Morrisons Supermarket in Ramsbottom this weekend, gathering signatures for our petition – Protecting Children Online.

Cllr Ian Bevan and David Nuttall at Morrisons, Ramsbottom

Cllr Ian Bevan and David Nuttall at Morrisons, Ramsbottom

I know that parents can’t monitor their children every hour of the day. When you’re busy at work or home, you want to be sure that they’re safe from harm. But increasing numbers are viewing inappropriate material on the internet.

I was shocked to learn that research shows 81% of children aged 14-16 have viewed adult material online; but only 46% of parents have filters in place on their online material.

We also need to protect children from people who use the internet to look at and share child abuse images and videos. We learnt from cases like the murder of April Jones that people often start accessing extreme material via a simple internet search – and some search terms are unambiguous – if people use them, they are looking for child abuse images.

The petition is aimed at Internet Service Providers – calling on them to install automatic family friendly filters. These filters block inappropriate material and will be installed automatically throughout the home, unless an adult chooses not to.

The petition was signed by hundreds of Ramsbottom residents – many of whom are parents or grandparents.

Hundreds of Residents signed our petition

Hundreds of Residents signed our petition

I would like to sincerely thank Councillor Ian Bevan and the residents of Ramsbottom for supporting this campaign.

If Ramsbottom residents would like to show their support for our campaign, they can sign the petition online at

Bill Johnson MBE

I have returned on the first train from London today in order that I can attend the funeral of the late Bill Jonson. a Councillor for over forty years, twice the Mayor, awarded the MBE and awarded the honour of being made a Freeman of the Borough; it was not for nothing he was known locally as ‘Mr Tottington’. Bill’s service to the people of Tottington and Bury was always conducted with dignity and humility. He was a committed Christian and he will be greatly missed by everyone particularly all the congregation at St. Anne’s Church in Tottington where the funeral will take place later today. A former Church Warden on two separate occasions I will be performing the same role today and if I can ever achieve a fraction of what the great Bill Johnson did I would be satisfied

St.George’s Day

Civic St. George's Day Flag Raising 2011

As St. George’s Day falls during the Easter Holiday weekend this year the Civic Flag Raising ceremony took place on Thursday 21st April. I attended along with the Mayor of Bury the Deputy Mayor, Mr Ivan Lewis the MP for Bury South, Cllr Bob Bibby the Council Leader and Cllr Yvonne Creswell the Deputy Leader. Prior to the flag raising ceremony the Rector of Bury Reverend John Findon gave a brief talk on the history of St. George and said prayers.

This morning St George’s day itself I took CeeCee up Holcombe Hill where Councillor Barry Theckston and Bryan Farlow had arranged to ensure the Cross of St. George was flying proudly from the top of Peel Tower.

Bryan Farlow, Cllr Barry Theckston, David and CeeCee

St.George’s Day

I attended the Civic Flag raising ceremony outside the Town Hall at 9 am then made my way up (on foot I hasten to add) to he top of Holcombe Hill to join Councillor Theckston from Ramsbottom who has for a number of years been arranging for the Cross of St. George flag to fly from the top of Peel Tower each St.George’s Day. We were later joined by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. I climbed to the top of the Tower and the view as ever was spectacular.

Then it was back to campaigning and after speaking briefly to the congregation following Friday prayers at a couple of the Mosques in Bury I caught him with a few more phone calls and emails.

In the evening I visited two more of the local Conservative Clubs to have a word with the members and visitors.

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.

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.

New Mayor

David with Mayor Councillor Sheila Magnall

David with Mayor Councillor Sheila Magnall

Yesterday afternoon I attended the Annual Council Meeting when after the formal business had been concluded Ramsbottom Councillor Sheila Magnall was installed as the new Mayor of Bury. Councillor Magnall takes over from Moorside Ward Councillor Peter Ashworth who now becomes the Deputy Mayor.

In the evening Sue and I attended the Archdeacon’s Visitation service held at St.Peter’s Church in Bury where I was formally admitted as one of the two Churchwardens for St. Anne’s Tottington.