Our NHS safe in Conservative hands?

Make up your own mind. This information is taken from NHS Key Statistics published today. Cancer waiting times are the worst on record. The waiting time target is that 93% patients should have their first consultant appointment within two weeks of referral. This target was met until recently. This target was met almost every month […]

Seeing the wood and the trees

The national media has been giving significant coverage to the antics of Extinction Rebellion in their protests. I share many of their objectives in raising the climate change issues but am less than impressed by some of their tactics which are losing them public sympathy. Over the last five years, the local media has devoted […]

Off the buses

I have written and spoken many times about the disastrous legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s privatisation – she called it ‘deregulation’ – of our bus services. The result has been passengers and routes cut by a third and increased congestion on our roads, with big additional costs for business – and, therefore, in the prices we […]

Under-occupied

Like you, I’m very familiar with the frustrated outburst “Well, somebody ought to do something about it.” I hear it all the time about fly-tipping, phoning whilst driving, speeding in 20 mph zones, unkempt front gardens, dropping litter, misuse of blue badges…and, most of the time, I share those frustrations. In nearly every one of […]

Boris gets something right!

Last week, I questioned Boris Johnson’s character, his ability to tell the truth, and how his behaviour was trashing the UK’s reputation for honesty and fair-dealing. Well, it seems I am not alone in that analysis. I don’t think I have ever heard a more damning judgement than the one delivered by Lady Hale today, […]

Eight minutes gone

It is unfortunate that we now have a Prime Minister whose assertions are so at variance with the facts. I’m reluctant to use the word ‘lie’; it’s not a word I normally use or find helpful. I far prefer to play the policy not the man. However, it is clear that we have a Prime […]

In the cold light of day…

The constitutional shenanigans of the last few days, stemming from Boris Johnson’s determination to avoid parliamentary scrutiny of his Brexit strategy, have overshadowed scrutiny of last week’s Spending Review (SR) announcement. The SR is meant to set firm expenditure limits for government departments and to state clearly what we should get for that spending. Introduced […]

Bin there, done that, get real!

Who could argue with the twin objectives of minimising waste and maximising re-cycling of what remains? But the government’s proposals to require one national prescriptive approach – not just a strategy, but also the detailed arrangements – to recycling and waste management are simply unwise. It’s a completely unnecessary, and counter-productive, burden on councils and […]

Planning disagreements

Every so often, there is a local media story about a planning issue. Typically, it is about someone – an individual or a company – having submitted an application for planning permission and other local residents or businesses objecting to the proposal. When the matter is particularly controversial, all sorts of comments are made and […]