SUCCESS IN LETTER APPEAL
I WOULD like to thank the Express for helping me reunite a Christmas card and family photo from Australia with the right family in Macclesfield.
For the past four or five years I have received a Christmas letter from the Davis family in New South Wales, Australia, incorrectly posted to my address on Brocklehurst Avenue.
It has been addressed to Mr and Mrs Stephen Shaw, but I have had no way of forwarding it on to the correct address.
This year it has a beautiful family photograph and a newsletter of all the year’s events.
I wrote to the Express to try and find the family.
The paper published my letter and Mr Shaw then came to my house after seeing the letter.
I was so pleased to be able to reunite the picture and card with the family.
It was a happy ending and I want to thank the Express for helping find the Shaw family. Ellen Poole Brocklehurst Avenue Hurdsfield
PUT TWEETS IN CONTEXT
FOLLOWING all the excitement around the leader of Cheshire East Council, Michael Jones’s, so-called tweeting I wanted to share my thoughts to give that story some context.
Michael Jones isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, in that he cuts a big figure in local politics and enjoys the cut and thrust of political debate.
The tweeting story is being pushed for electoral purposes and distracts from Cheshire East’s achievements under Michael Jones’s leadership.
Let me remind you of the things started or starting during Michael Jones’s tenure that will have lasting impact long after he has gone.
• CEC played a leading role in a national taskforce to secure the future of Alderley Park, likely to produce 5,000 jobs in the next 10 years
• Cheshire East has one of the biggest road and rail infrastructure programmes outside of a major city with £800 million of public investment announced
• Our business case for an HS2 Superhub station is supported by Prof David Higgins and has been recommended to government. That is likely to create 64,000 jobs across the wider area
• Planning permission achieved for the regeneration of Macclesfield town centre which will bring a new cinema, new restaurants and new shops
• 400-500 new science and technology jobs which includes a new HQ for the Waters Corporation which was opened by the Chancellor last year
• Creation of ‘Fairer Power’, a new energy supply company to address fuel poverty for Cheshire residents by providing cheaper energy based on single tariffs in each area so levelling the playing field
• Fastest roll-out of broadband delivery in the UK with 97 per cent coverage by next March
• Nine per cent growth in the visitor economy last year beating every other area in the north west
• Backed /secured £800 million investment in Bentley to produce the new SUV model in Crewe and a further £40 million investment in new research and development
• I’ll not mention four years of council tax freeze.
If officers have tweeted on behalf of Michael Jones or anyone else, that’s wrong; but for goodness sake let’s develop a proper and well rounded perspective on the matter! David Marren Cheshire East Councillor
TWITTERGATE RAISES ISSUES
LAST week it was reported that Cheshire East Council staff have been writing tweets attacking political opponents of the Conservative leader of Cheshire East Council, Coun Michael Jones, on his personal Twitter account.
There are clearly questions to answer as to why this breach of the rules that council staff should be party politically impartial was not stopped.
There is one email which reads “if it all hits the fan from these tweets going out tomorrow I want it known other than getting the content I was not involved!”
I am unsure about whether to praise or criticise the writer of this email. Should I admire this person for putting in writing that what was being done was wrong, or should I criticise them because they knew it was wrong and did nothing to stop it?
There is a clear whistleblowing procedure for staff to raise concerns within Cheshire East Council. In the light of the Twittergate revelations, I will be asking questions about whether those whistleblowing procedures are effective.
There are two problems with what has been going on. Firstly, it is clear that the rules that council staff should be party politically impartial have been broken.
This will make it more difficult for nonConservative councillors to work with council staff.
The staff who have been drafting tweets attacking Labour councillors are staff who should be supporting me and working with me as a Cheshire East councillor to promote Sandbach and the good work of Cheshire East Council on issues like playgrounds, refuse collection, leisure and education.
Secondly, the cost to the council of paying the salaries of staff who appear to have been doing work for the Conservative Party is not good value for money for council tax payers.
Cheshire East Council must not be, or even appear to be, paying for campaigning for the Conservatives in the run up to the elections in May. Coun Sam Corcoran Labour and Co-operative Councillor for Sandbach Heath and East WE must tackle environmental problems to leave the world fit for our children and grandchildren to live in.
Grabbing all the good stuff and leaving things in a mess is not fair to future generations.
Fairness is the basis of green politics, and the Green Party stands for both environmental and social justice.
We believe government should be for the common good. Government should provide services for all and should be fair and efficient. We should not waste energy, or subsidise low wages from taxes. We should not poison the insects that pollinate our crops.
We are living in a time of austerity. When that means efficiency, fine. But is that what it means, when the richest get richer, and the poorest get poorer?
No-one goes into politics to damage society. However, the ConDem government is not being fair. They have barely reduced the yearly deficit which means the budget is not balanced and we must borrow more. They have not reduced the debt.
They tell us that they must balance the books like a household. But a government is not a household; it employs people to support the infrastructure of the country. These people pay income tax and VAT, and spend money on goods and services, supporting tax-paying businesses.
The taxes return to the government. The purpose of ‘austerity’ is to cut government spending permanently and it is not being done fairly.
What would a Green government do differently? We would raise the minimum wage to a living wage, ending poverty pay. We would move to a system where the highest earner in a business gets no more than ten times the lowest.
We would invest in a low carbon economy making renewable energy, producing reliable, repairable machines, creating real jobs and investing in a fairer future.
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