Sunday, 29 March 2009

Glasgow owe East Ren £600,000 so why is no one within Labour doing anything for East Renfrewshire to secure our cash?

Regular readers of my blog will know I take a very simply view of life where I think matters are indeed simply. There tends to be a right and a wrong in most instances and nothing needs to take as long as bureaucrats seem to make them.

Thanks to some great work by Councillor Gordon McCaskill, local conservatives have discovered that Glasgow City Council owes East Renfrewshire Council a whole load of cash and simply aren't paying up because they don't feel like it. I press released this on Friday and copy this on my blog so everyone can see just how little Jim Murphy and the Labour Party are actually doing for the people of East Renfrewshire:

Glasgow City Council owes East Renfrewshire £600,000

Murphy inaction puts new special needs school on ice

Conservatives are calling on Labour led Glasgow City Council to return the £600,000 plus it owes East Renfrewshire Council Tax payers for services provided to people living in Glasgow. In particular the sum is owed for the provision of regular school education on placement requests and specialist schooling at Isobel Mair School for children with special needs.

East Renfrewshire Conservatives can reveal that a binding legal opinion was received by both Councils in December, but so far Glasgow has not returned the money (see notes to editors). As a result East Renfrewshire Council has had to postpone plans to build a new Isobel Mair School, which is one of only two schools in East Renfrewshire rated below B for structural condition.
Commenting on his findings Conservative Westminster candidate for East Renfrewshire, Richard Cook, said:

"Glasgow must pay up now so East Renfrewshire can build the new Isobel Mair School. For Glasgow to withhold this money is nothing short of scandalous.

"East Renfrewshire has a Labour MP, a Labour MSP and a Labour led council, but all continue to sit on their hands as their Labour colleagues in Glasgow withhold more than half a million pounds of East Renfrewshire taxpayers’ money.

"Instead of trying to manufacture political spats with the SNP and going on overseas junkets, East Renfrewshire’s MP and Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy should be fighting to get a fair deal from the Labour Party in Glasgow. Mr Murphy has had 3 months to use his influence to bring this stand-off to an end, but at the moment it seems he would rather be in China playing golf and taking boat trips to dinner with the great and the good.

"So the message to East Renfrewshire Labour is simple. Stop dithering, get this money from your Labour colleagues in Glasgow and give Isobel Mair pupils a new school now! It’s simply not acceptable for Labour in Glasgow to be bumping up its minimum wage to £7 per hour at the same time as it withholds money that would build a new school in East Renfrewshire for children with special needs."

Conservative Councillor for Netherlee, Stamperland and Williamwood, Gordon McCaskill, who has been working with Richard Cook on this investigation, added:

"I was aware that Glasgow’s Labour council had not paid us to educate their children for quite some time, but was not aware that the courts had found against them in December last year. Both councils kept that quiet! The money East Renfrewshire is owed would pay for the new Isobel Mair School, the building of which was postponed by the Labour led administration during this year’s budget process due to lack of funds.

"Isobel Mair School has a national reputation for excellence and I am not prepared to sit back and watch its pupils and staff suffer as a result of Glasgow City Council dragging its heels. This is Labour’s fiasco and it’s Labour’s job to bring it to an end, now."


1. East Renfrewshire Conservatives are able to release today details of a judgement passed down by Lord Penrose on 12th December 2008, in relation to the case in the Court of Session of East Renfrewshire District Council against Glasgow City Council. This opinion relates to monies due to East Renfrewshire over many years totalling more than £350,000. The remaining monies due to East Renfrewshire relate to legal costs and interest payments awarded to East Renfrewshire Council.

2. East Renfrewshire's Labour led Council rejected the Conservative Groups budget amendment to start building the new Isobel Mair School this year. This requires capital of £152,000 in the forthcoming financial year and £444,000 next year.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Mervyn King - finally someone in power talking sense!

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, is not one renowned for interfering in government policy and yet he has publicly criticised the Prime Ministers desire for further economic stimulus.

In short, Mr. King is saying that UK Plc simply cannot afford any more debt. With the total liability of the taxpayer now more than £2 trillion, when you include our liability for part nationalised banks and current economic stimulus packages, it is clear the Bank of England believe that any further government financial stimulus that requires us to borrow more as a nation will essentially mean we go bust.

And the reaction of government? Well that is difficult to tell. Gordon Brown says there is no disagreement between his Government and the Bank of England, Harriet Harman refused to answer any question put to her on the subject when she stood in for Mr. Brown at Prime Minister's Questions today and the media report that the Chancellor is in general agreement with Mr. King.

That the Prime Minister still believes further economic stimulus is affordable shows just how deeply entrenched within him the feeling of denial has become. If British families have to live within their means so must the British government. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. So it's time to face up to the consequences of our actions as a nation and to admit we are on the brink of bankruptcy as a nation and must stop trying to spend our way out of trouble and get real for the sake of future generations.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Scotland's Nuclear Ambition Will Send Alex Ballistic!

If ever you want proof that the public know what's best for them while politicians prefer to listen to pressure groups within their own party, look no further that the debate on nuclear energy.

With the vast majority of Scots in favour of building more nuclear power stations in Scotland, to ensure we have energy security for generations to come, it is clear Alex Salmond and his SNP Scottish Executive remain completely out of touch with public opinion by continuing to exercise their veto over new planning applications for nuclear stations in Scotland.

In uncertain economic times only nuclear offers Scotland the energy security our economy needs. Russia switches the gas supply on and off as they see fit and oil remains both volatile in price and damaging to our environment. How else are we to ensure the lights don't go out when the wind doesn't blow?

Surely Alex Salmond and his band of increasingly unmerry men must now abandon their opposition to new nuclear power stations in Scotland in the national interest? If they do so and masquerade it in the press as doing what is right during this recession though through gritted teeth, I for one will cheer!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Hold On Tight For A Bumpy Quantitative Easing Ride

I am no longer sure the Government have any idea what they are doing!

Just a few weeks ago it would have been inconceivable, and considered bad practice, for us to be borrowing as a country at 10%, more than twenty times our national base rate. It would have been inconceivable, and considered bad practice, for interest rates to be at 0.5% providing no incentive for people to deposit money in banks that need to be better financed. And it certainly would be inconceivable, and considered bad practice, for the Bank of England to be printing £75billion of new money to buy questionable assets.

To make printing of money more palatable it is given a fancy name - quantitative easing! Sounds okay, means little to most people, but if we get this wrong the risks to every single one of us are massive.

If the additional money in our economy is too much, or the assets it buys prove to be worthless, we risk massive devaluation of Sterling on the international money markets, which in turn could lead to hyper inflation. Imagine the difficulties ordinary families would face in the midst of a recession if the cost of goods starts to shoot up because we import so much and our currency devalues every day. That is the threat posed by quantitative easing if it goes wrong in any way and yet no one is talking about this and warning the public of the risks Labour are taking with their way of life.

The United Kingdom is no Zimbabwe and yet that is exactly what Labour are turning us into, minus land grabs and police brutality. Labour are taking huge risks in the hope of saving their own political skins and what they are doing to us all is delivering an economic policy that is simply too risky and irresponsible to make any sort of sense.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Child Protection - Why Are We Failing?

The catalogue of failures, across the UK, when it comes to our ability to protect children in danger is truly appalling. Already this year there have been convictions in the cases of Baby P and now of little Brandon Muir - both killed by people known to authorities as both dangerous and potentially deadly.

Police, social work, health service and to some extent education service personnel must all look at themselves. Yet again no one is prepared to take personal responsibility and do the decent thing by resigning for having failed 23 month old Brandon. This poor child lived with a drug addict, prostitute mother who brought a man into her life who was known by authorities to be violent and a potential danger to her child.

Post a conviction we find out, yet again, that authorities were just moments away from taking a child who died into care. TOO LATE! Why oh why do we always hear what they might have done instead of hearing about early intervention to protect children who are being physically abused.

Statistics released today suggest that as many as 50,000 Scottish children are living with drug addict parents. Given the risk to them of their parent being unable to look after them, or indeed of accidentally taking drugs left lying about, it is surely time for state intervention on an unprecedented scale to protect these children.

Our continual inability to get this right is a stain on the reputation of our society and something we must address. There are thousands of possibilities out there for placement of children in need of proper homes. Foster care, adoption, care homes take your pick, all would be better than leaving children at risk in the way we continue to do.

I don't know why I was adopted just after birth but I am very grateful that I was placed with a loving, caring mother and father who would have given anything to protect me from harm. Where parents are not able to do this for their children it is the states role to step in and for as long as the state fails to do so effectively we should all hang our heads in shame.