Ping Pong Prorogation and Catch up

Well it has been a strange week in Westminster following on from the week of the funeral of Baroness Thatcher it was a week of what is invariably called in the media Parliamentary Ping Pong. What it actually involves is both Houses of Parliament coming to an agreement as to the precise contents of any outstanding Bills. Usually a compromise is reached between the Commons and their Lordships or sometimes if the elected Commons keep insisting the Lords backdown. Unless a Carry Over motion has been passed any Bill which has not been agreed upon by both Houses so the impending close of the current Parliamentary session tends to concentrate minds as any Government is always loathe to lose legislation after hours of Parliamentary have already been spent on it.

Once all Bills have been agreed upon by both Houses Parliament was prorogued on Thursday and will stand prorogued until the new session of Parliament begins with the State Opening of Parliament which will this year take place on Wednesday 8th May. The Queen’s Speech will set out the new legislative programmes for the next session of Parliament – the 2013 – 2014 session. Once upon a time the contents of the next legislative programme would be almost entirely unknown. Nowadays with the trend to publishing more Bills in draft to allow for more pre-legislative scrutiny and the use of Carry Over motions a good chunk of Parliamentary Business is already on the runway.

Since I returned from Westminster I had various meetings on Friday including with the Acting Chief Executive of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust when we discussed the various challenges they face. I also dealt with my usual surgery cases. Then time for a bit of relaxation. I joined Bury Curry Club on their visit to OneOneSeven for an Indian on Friday. evening and yesterday I took in my first Cricket of the new season as Tottington St. John’s had been drawn at home against no less than the reigning Lancashire League Champions Lowerhouse. Although the result was really never in doubt st. John’s acquitted themselves extremely creditably against such illustrious opposition and it was a great experience for all the St.John’s players.

Today I it was the Annual Meeting of the Church at St. Anne’s and I was re-elected as one of the Churchwardens for another year and in doing so became the Senior Warden as the current Senior Warden retired after completing her seven year term. Then it was on to the Annual Beavers, Cubs and Scouts St. George’s Day Parade and Service at the Parish Church.

Usually at this time of year I am heavily involved in election activity as we approach the Annual Council elections normally held on the first Thursday in May however this year as the Council is elected in thirds for a four year term is the fallow year. It would have been the year when elections were held to the Greater Manchester County Council which was abolished some years ago. There are however elections in many other Counties and Unitary Authorities across England which will no doubt attract some attention including mine as I have offered to help out with the campaign in Lancashire.

St.Anne’s Flower Festival


I am no expert when it comes to flowers. I tend to be reduced to describing them by their colour and size( big yellow/ little white that sort of thing) but the displays at the St.Anne’s Flower Festival on show last weekend were pretty spectacular. It was a pity the weather was not better on the first two days, although I was told it was good for helping to maintain the displays in good condition.

Back at Westminster two of the new sessions Bills the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and the defamation Bill have received their Second Readings and will now go off to be considered in detail in committee.

Happy Christmas

A very happy, peaceful and blessed Christmas to all visitors to my humble blog.

I am spending Christmas at home with family and, in addition to attending to my duties as one of the churchwardens at St. Anne’s on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I am planning to go down to Crompton Meadows to watch the traditional Boxing Day cricket match between Tottington St. John’s and Brooksbottom. It does not look as though the fixture will be played in snow as it was the last time Tottington hosted the game but I am sure there will be great entertainment as ever.

Harvest Lunch

Sue and I attended the harvest lunch at St.Anne’s in Tottington yesterday. Well Sue did more than just attend as she was one of a group of ladies who organised the lunch including providing the food. My contribution was to help with the chopping up of various ingedients for the pasta salad Sue made on Saturday afternoon. Well over 80 attended this year and it was the first time we have been able to enjoy the harvest lunch in the much improved surroundings of the refurbished parish hall – the new kitchen made an enormous difference.

By the way if you have noticed fewer, shorter posts recently that is because our laptop computer which I use has is away being repaired. Last week CeeCee was having one of his mad moments jumping at me, Sue was using the laptop at the time and put it down on the floor to help control CeeCee and he managed to bounce right on it smashing four of the keys right off. We could only find three and we think he has eaten one of them. So it is in for repair and a new keyboard!

Well, the Conservative Party Conference starts today and as it is just down the road in Manchester for the first time I am not having to stay in hotel to attend Conference and I am planning just to travel down as necessary.