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Council Tax set to rise by about 6p per week for policing

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As reported by the Bucks Free Press, the police element of council tax will be rising by 1.99% to protect the frontline. The story does not explain that the rise is about £3.19 per year for a band D property, or about 6p each week. Our Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld is responsible to the public at the ballot box for policing in the Thames Valley. As set out on his website: The job of the PCC is to ensure that the policing […]

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Why localism has disappointed?

Via BBC Worldwide, classic stuff from Yes, Prime Minister: All too true, I imagine.

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Wycombe Hospital consultation meetings

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A crucial public consultation on the future of Wycombe Hospital began on 16 January. It is being run by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Wycombe Hospital. This is our chance to have our say on proposals to change how NHS services are provided in High Wycombe. The exercise runs until 16 April and there are consultation meetings scheduled throughout the area every week in February. I urge everyone who cares about the future of our hospital to take part. Click here for an explanation of the […]

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Localism Bill becomes law

Last week, the Localism Bill was passed into law. I was glad to support its passage.  Through 13 years of New Labour, we witnessed continual moves towards centralised planning and micro-managing of our everyday lives. This new law will see central government interference cut and give power back to citizens, community groups and local councils. To accompany the Act, the Government have helpfully updated the ‘plain English guide’ that was produced to accompany the Bill. You can read it here. […]

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Simplifying the planning process: Enabling private sector businesses to invest and sustain growth

NB: this guest post is by Mimi Macejkova, my Parliamentary Intern and the views expressed are her own. In a recent letter sent to MPs, Greg Clark, Minister for Decentralisation and Cities of the Department for Communities and Local Government, introduces a Whitehall draft, which reforms a one thousand-page planning document to only 52 pages. This move is a step closer to fulfilling one of the Government’s goals towards a decentralised and simplified planning model and a shift away from central government […]

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Micklefield and Marsh awarded £1 million funding by BIG Lottery Fund

Micklefield and Wycombe Marsh in High Wycombe will be among the first 50 small areas to benefit from at least £1 million of funding awarded by BIG Lottery Fund via BIG Local Trust programme. The funding will be awarded from Autumn 2011. Wycombe District Council and the Wycombe Partnership cooperated on submission of an application with BIG Lottery Fund to identify communities in the Wycombe district that would most benefit from this funding. The Micklefield and Marsh community was recommended […]

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Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy

An excellent and timely TED talk forwarded to me yesterday: I’m encouraged by Meslin’s account of voluntarism but conscious that I don’t know if he is a consistent advocate of it: “community organisers” make me nervous… One of the worst features of our present political and socio-economic system is the coercive enforcement of intrusive decisions taken by unaccountable elites. If decisions must be imposed, then it seems to me that they should be: If broad in applicability, narrow in scope […]

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The Conservative Party | Helping local people save and run community facilities

Good news: Radical new powers will be given to local residents to protect community assets from closure and allow local people to take over the running of public buildings and community assets, Conservatives announced today. In a Party Political Broadcast to coincide with the Queen’s Speech, new policies are unveiled to create a ‘Community Right to Buy’ and allow not-for-profit community groups to take over the running of struggling local facilities, from post offices to pubs to parks. via The […]

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Queen’s Speech: 15 Bills, but only 33 days left of Parliament – Times Online

The Queen’s Speech: 15 Bills, but only 33 days left of Parliament: Labour has today promised “guarantees not gambles” as it used the final Queen’s Speech to draw dividing lines with the Conservatives ahead of the general election. The Queen set out the Government’s legislative agenda for the 33 sitting days left until the last date for a general election, in a programme containing 13 Bills and two draft Bills. The measures include plans to reform the financial services industry, […]

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Politics in the noughties

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Researching for my constituency applications, I revisited Carswell and Hannan’s The Plan, and rediscovered: To put it starkly, the political party as an organism – a complex structure bringing together local branches, clubs, activists, sympathetic newspapers, professions, trade unions, churches and pressure groups – is dying. The modern political party will be protean: a series of ad hoc, issue-by-issue coalitions. Curiously enough, one of the very few politicians to foresee the magnitude of the internet in the mid-1990s was Newt […]

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