The Conservatives have proposed a series of immediate and practical measures to help families and businesses through the recession. A Conservative Government will:
– Abolish income tax on savings for basic rate taxpayers
– Raise pensioners’ personal allowance by £2,000
– Start credit to businesses flowing again and save jobs with a £50billion National Loan Guarantee Scheme
– Help small businesses with cashflow by delaying VAT bills for six months
– Help companies start hiring again with a tax break for new jobs
– Freeze Council Tax for two years by cutting wasteful Government spending
Last night I joined over 1100 guests at an event organised by the Conservatives aimed primarily at members of the British Muslim community in the North West at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton. The main speaker was Conservative Party Leader David Cameron MP.
Mr. Cameron explained how Conservative values are the values of so many British Muslims.
I paid my first visit of the by-election campaign to Crewe and Nantwich today. Glorious weather and I would guess the warmest day of the year so far. I joined in some canvassing and leafletting and then accompanied the Leader David Cameron and our Candidate Edward Timpson on a walkabout in Crewe town centre.
There is no doubt that Gwyneth Dunwoody was a much loved Member of Parliament but I certainly felt that lifelong Labour voters were far from impressed at the way that Labour have started the by-election campaign even before the funeral has taken place and have parachuted her daughter in from Wales to try and survive the by-election on the Dunwoody name. It was clear from my visit today that we already have an excellent campaign underway and in Edward Timpson a superb local Candidate who really deserves to win.
This evening I have attended a meeting of the Conservative Group on Bury Council as they set about organising the membership of all the various Council committees for the next year.
At last I have been able to get away from the phone and bring my on line diary up to date. Yesterday was a long day, it was past 4am this morning before I finally got to bed and four hours later I was up to start planning today and the visit of our Party Leader. As the result as been widely reported it hardly seems necessary to recite it here but for the record we gained the three seats we needed to take overall control of Bury Council for the first time in 22 years. The crucial gains came in Radcliffe North Radcliffe West and Redvales. I would like to thank all those who played a part in this election campaign.
It had long been rumoured that David Cameron would visit Bury again if we were able to take control of the Council and overnight we received confirmation that the Leader would be back in Bury around 1pm. A huge media scrum awaited his arrival and all those Councillors and helpers who might have been hoping for a photo with the Leader were disappointed as the media crowded around and many of those shots are now appearing on all the National, regional and local media.
I have now got to start catching up on dozens of litle jobs that I have been putting off ‘until after the election’ !
The Conservatives now have the opportunity to show how we can change Bury for the better and make improvements that will benefit the residents of Bury Ramsbottom and Tottington. It will be a tremendous challenge and I am sure there will be difficult decisions to make. I am looking forward to helping the Councillors in any way I can but first I am looking forward on catching up on a full nights sleep!
The pace of our campaign has stepped up a gear in the last few days with the bulk of our election addresses being delivered across the Borough. We have continued to receive high profile visitors and on Monday we welcomed the Party Leader David Cameron back to Bury. After meeting with Councillors in Bury Town Centre I accompanied him on a visit to the Hollins Lane Health Centre where he cut the first turf for their new extension. We were highlighting Labour’s plans to create hundreds of new ‘polyclinics’ across the Country which will mean the loss of the local doctors surgeries which we all rely on.
I have been helping our campaign in Ramsbottom, Tottington and Elton Ward in the last few days. On Sunday I spoke at a meeting organised by the Muslim Friends of the Conservatives in support of our Candidates in Redvales and East Ward. Yesterday, our campaign in Moorside received another boost as we were joined by the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Chris Grayling MP.
I am now back in Bury after a busy couple of days which began with David Cameron’s visit to Bury. After a private meeting with Councillors we walked over to the Market where we met some of the stall holders and David was able to enjoy some Bury Black Pudding. He even bought one to take home.
Sue and I then drove over to the Reebok Stadium in Bolton where we attended a lunch for Party Members which David Cameron attended. The Conference was then formally opened and David Cameron made the openin speech and answered questions from the floor.
The next session was with Shadow Chancellor George Osborne MP during which my colleague from Bury South Councillor Michelle Wiseman made an impressive speech explaining how the current problems in the housing market were affecting residents in her constituency.
On Friday evening we attended the Conference Dinner where I have to say the food was a great deal better than it was last year. Actor Paul Nicholas attended the Dinner and circulated with guests.
On Saturday the Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague MP was the main attraction and treated Conference to an excellent and witty speech that was up to his own incredibly high standard. I had the tricky task of being the next speaker after William and I used my speech to outline the developments we have made in Bury North over the past year.