PM announces new Free School on the Peninsula

SCHOOLS_SKILLSPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

I’m delighted that in his education speech today, the Prime Minister announced Stationers’ Academy Greenwich Peninsula as one of 49 new Free Schools set to open in September 2016.

The secondary school – part of the Leigh Academies Trust – will be a ‘sister’ school to the highly successful and Crown Woods Academy in Eltham.  The school will focus on business and digital enterprise, to tie into the growing digital economy on the Peninsula – and follows the extremely popular and over-subscribed Greenwich Free School as the second to be approved in our borough. Continue reading PM announces new Free School on the Peninsula

Happy New Year! 4 months 4 days to go…

BBC Radio 5 LivePlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

It was terrific to get back on the Greenwich & Woolwich campaign trail today after a lovely family Christmas and a chance to rest up (and catch up on 100s of emails!) in the run up to the New Year.  It’s going to be a busy one!   Continue reading Happy New Year! 4 months 4 days to go…

More people (and young people) in work across Greenwich & Woolwich

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

There has been a flurry of good economic news over the last month, including the product of some busy statisticians’ labours on the latest trends here in Greenwich & Woolwich.1.8m more people in work

Continue reading More people (and young people) in work across Greenwich & Woolwich

Hot air and tempers at last council meeting for a while

Woolwich Town HallPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Last night’s meeting of the full council was the last such meeting until September or more likely October, and just to make up for it went on well into the evening with hot-tempered councillors barracking each other until 10pm.

During members questions’ I raised two issues that have been raised with me in recent weeks.  One was on the issue of the re-zoning of Woolwich Arsenal station.  I am supporting this petition being organised by residents and calling for Transport for London to be re-zoned into Zone 3, in the wake of Stratford’s re-zoning announced last week.  Darryl at 853 has a good piece on the arguments here.  For me this is a simple issue of fairness and parity – a re-zoning is long overdue. Continue reading Hot air and tempers at last council meeting for a while

My campaign for Greenwich & Woolwich

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

I am thrilled to report that last night I was selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich for the coming General Election.

It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to stand in this wonderful constituency and in the place I am proud to call home.  In a borough that has been dominated by Labour for too long, residents in Greenwich and Woolwich need a strong voice – and I am determined to provide the representation they need. Continue reading My campaign for Greenwich & Woolwich

The polls close and the phones go silent in Newark

Newark campaigningPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

The polls have just closed in the Newark by-election, and after a useful briefing on the Planning system at the council this evening I was pleased to be able to put in a couple of hours making last-minute telephone calls to the residents of that lovely town and the surrounding villages in support of Robert Jenrick’s campaign.

Since the local elections here 2 weeks ago I have mainly been occupied with getting started in my new role as a councillor, helping organise our ward surgeries programme – and this week, trying to hold the council to account over the incredibly disappointing closure of the M&S store in Woolwich town centre.

I managed to get up to Newark on Saturday, however, for a day’s campaigning and have been hitting the phones to help the party’s massively energetic by-election campaign – which with any luck, has today secured the constituency the strong local MP it deserves. Continue reading The polls close and the phones go silent in Newark

PM highlights Eltham MP’s somersault on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Fixed Odds Betting TerminalPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

There were signs of the beginnings of a rare consensus developing at PMQs today, over the deeply worrying problem of the spread of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals that can see high street gamblers lose up to £300 a minute.

Labour’s motion in the House of Commons this afternoon seems to have been accompanied by a slightly bizarre political somersault from Eltham MP Clive Efford, who spends a good deal of his time enjoying being Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport.  The Prime Minister pointed out during PMQs that as recently as November, Mr Efford was arguing that there is “no evidence to support a change to stakes and prizes” on the machines – and yet today he has been talking in totally contradictory terms about “pulling the plug” on them. Continue reading PM highlights Eltham MP’s somersault on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Five thoughts from the Party Conferences

David Cameron's speechPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

This year was the first Conservative Party conference I’ve been able to get to since 2009 – and I was pleased to be there for an encouraging week.  As I tweeted on Wednesday, I left Manchester even more determined than I entered it – and I suspect I was far from the only delegate to feel the same.

Now that the dust has settled on the Party Conferences (and I’ve had a chance to sleep mine off), here are my top five reflections on this year’s conference season. Continue reading Five thoughts from the Party Conferences

Paul Dacre has done more than just shoot himself in the foot

newspapersPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

There are three groups of people who have a right to be angry, to varying degrees, at the Daily Mail’s unwarranted attack on Ralph Miliband last weekend.  Number one, and of course most importantly, is the Miliband family.  Ed Miliband is behaving entirely properly in defending his father’s reputation and demanding an apology and retraction.  Any son would do the same. Continue reading Paul Dacre has done more than just shoot himself in the foot

Small businesses don’t deserve this Pavement Tax

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.
I’m writing this, after a busy few weeks away from the blog, on the train up to #cpc13 in Manchester – the first chance I’ve had to commit words to screen since Thursday’s public meeting on Labour’s new Pavement Tax in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
 
Supporting small businesses are three words guaranteed to get a good airing in Manchester this week – and it was curious to hear these same words bandied about a fair bit by Ed Miliband last week at the Labour Party gathering in Brighton.  In Ed’s case, his warm words about cutting business rates sound pretty hollow here in Greenwich, where his own Labour council has introduced a punitive new charge on local traders who use the pavement outside their shops.  Think grocers, florists, cafes – and in actual fact almost every type of business that is being hit by this Pavement Tax at a time when many are struggling and need support. Continue reading Small businesses don’t deserve this Pavement Tax