December 28

by davidridgway on 28 December, 2010

It’s been. yet again, some time since my last post. Such a lot has been going on!

Firstly to Fire business, we have been awaiting the results of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) and the Government finally delivered. My first direct appreciation of the Coalition Government was put severely under pressure. On Friday December 10, at a Fire Futures meeting in London, the Fire Minister (Bob Neill, Conservative) stated categorically that the cuts in government grant to the Fire Service would not exceed 25% over 4 years and the first year would be around 6%. This was broadly what was expected – how silly, how naive. In the event, the duplicity became apparent on the following Monday morning when Friday’s announcement should have included the words “on average across the country”, because the Metropolitan Fire Authorities are to suffer cuts of 9% in year 1 and potentially 37 1/2% over the four. Some shire counties will receive an “increase” in grant in years 3 and 4.

So, where’s the duplicity – well the Mets are predominantly Labour dominated authorities with the greatest social deprivation and the Shires are predominantly blue. So the Government has indulged itself in blatant party politics and there is now a great possibility that the protection offered by the Fire Brigades in the Metropolitan Areas in year 4 and beyond will be severely challenged and possibly reduced. Time will tell.

Locally, the Colne Valley ward has, at last, got its leaflet for delivery. This is now being delivered, but the snow is curtailing the distribution and Christmas has intervened. However, we appear to be on top of it all and, with a bit of luck, it will be done for the New Year.

I have been over to Oldham for the by-election in Saddleworth. This seems to be going OK, but the number of posters demonstrates that it is a fight between the LibDems and UKIP. UKIP? Who are they? The Labour candidate is the self-same candidate from Colne Valley in May – Debbie Abrahams. Yes, indeed, she who claimed a life-long affection for the Colne Valley in general and Longwood in particular, to the extent that she has been selected to fight the Golcar ward in the forthcoming May elections. She did appear, albeit briefly, on the Golcar register from January through May, but then disappeared and is not on the new version as published in November. She must live in a really confusing world, not knowing where her real home is. Just goes to show that Labour just continues to tell lies, despite having their last MP expelled for – yes, that’s tight – telling lies. Will they ever learn?

Gotta go. Christmas is over and my boys are back to London today in the knowledge that Australia’s generosity has risen to the top once more and that the Ashes are safe with England. Hoorah.

Best wishes for 2011.

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