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.