Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Jack Lopresti MP diagnosed with with bowel cancer

Posted on Thursday 6th June 2013 at 11:46 am by SH (Editor)

Jack Lopresti (Conservative), MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke

Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, has announced that he has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Prior to the diagnosis, the MP had been in and out of hospital with suspected appendicitis for three months, culminating in a major operation three weeks ago.

In a statement issued today, Mr Lopresti said:

“I am to have three months chemotherapy. I am not sure yet how I will be affected by the treatment, but it is my intention to get well as soon as possible and do as much constituency work as I can in the interim. I apologise in advance to all constituents if I am not out and about during the next three months as much as I normally am. I am looking forward to getting back into full-time action in September.”

“The future prognosis is positive, most of the cancer was removed during my recent operation and in my consultant’s own words they will ‘mop up’ any remaining cancer cells and are aiming for a complete cure and recovery.”

“I cannot praise enough the medical teams and staff at Frenchay and Southmead for the care I have so far received and that I was looked after wonderfully by them when I was admitted to Frenchay Hospital.”

“I would like to place on the record my huge thanks to them and all my friends and family who have rallied round and been incredibly supportive in what has been a difficult few weeks.”

“I am very lucky to be supported by a dedicated and professional team both in Westminster and the constituency. My local office in the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke, is open every day 9 – 5 run by Liz Jarvis, my office manager, and Mike Cobb my caseworker. Please give them a call or better still pop in to the office (no appointment required) if we can help in anyway. Mr Jonathan Benjamin, as my Senior Parliamentary Assistant, manages my London team and he can be reached on 0207 219 7070.”

“As far as my local and Westminster teams are concerned it is business as usual. I will continue to serve the people of Filton and Bradley Stoke to the best of my ability, which I am always very honoured and proud to do.”

Related link: Official website of Jack Lopresti MP


Labour accuses Tories and Lib Dems of misrepresenting “service cuts”

Posted on Monday 5th November 2012 at 11:52 pm by SH (Editor)

The Labour Party.

Labour’s leader in South Gloucestershire has accused the district’s Tories and Liberal Democrats of pretending that the council does not face cuts in its services.

This afternoon, councillors on the Policy and Resources Committee were asked to agree the public consultation questionnaire on next year’s budget. This document included a reference to “additional service cuts” if certain options are taken. Conservative councillors objected to the inclusion of the phrase “service cuts” and, supported by the Liberal Democrats, insisted on replacing it with “savings”. Labour made clear its support for the original wording.

Speaking after the meeting, Labour Leader Cllr Andy Perkins (Labour, Woodstock) said:

 “The Tories and Lib Dems refuse to admit what everybody knows – that cuts being made by their political masters in government will result in cuts in services here in South Gloucestershire. It is a con to pretend that reduced budgets will result in efficiencies or savings that are not cuts in services. The council has already been forced to take tough decisions caused by reduced funding, for example on youth centres and Sure Start, that will result in cuts in the service the council can provide.”

Cllr Perkins continued:

 “This afternoon’s committee meeting had already been told that the council faces a 10% cut in its Council Tax support funding, and that the cap of 2% on Council Tax increases announced at the Conservative Party Conference will mean that South Gloucestershire Council must identify a further £600,000 of annual savings. Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors pay lip service to openness and transparency but are afraid to use the clearest word available to describe the future – cuts.”

More info: Proposed questionnaire presented to councillors (see Q10)

Source: South Gloucestershire Labour


South Glos Council “lived within its means,” say Tories

Posted on Wednesday 13th June 2012 at 10:29 pm by SH (Editor)

The Conservatives.

South Gloucestershire Council “lived within its means” during the last year of the authority’s Conservative Cabinet, it was announced this week.

At the first meeting of the council’s Policy and Resources Committee, the authority’s budget ‘Outturn Report’ for 2011-12 was reported as showing an under-spend of £239K, which represents 0.1 per cent of the council’s £180m approved budget.

This is despite the challenge of having to achieve £43m of efficiency and transformation savings by 2014-15, of which over £24m over the next three years have already been agreed.

The authority has been better placed than many others to deal with its as-expected reduction of government funding, because Conservative councillors ordered the council to draw up money-saving plans as far back as 2008 when the previous Labour government’s out-of-control public spending began raising fears.

Over the past year, there has been a continuing reduction of senior management and reviews of support services and how the authority buys goods and services to improve value for money.

Cllr John Calway (Con, Longwell Green), who led the previous Conservative Cabinet for 5 years and remains Council Leader in the politically ‘hung’ committee system, said:

“As a Cabinet, we have been prepared to take the tough decisions to ensure the council has balanced its budget and lived within its means and this under-spend for 2011-12 is evidence of that.”

“My fear about the committee system that we now have is that some opposition councillors want the power – but not the responsibility – that comes with making decisions so that the authority is never spending more money than it has coming in.”

“We simply cannot allow what happened to our country to happen to our council and we hope that the council continues to balance its budget going forward into the future.”

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council


“Power dispersed closer to the people”

Posted on Wednesday 21st March 2012 at 11:28 pm by SH (Editor)

Liberal Democrats

South Gloucestershire Council has tonight voted to abolish the undemocratic Cabinet, and to return to a Committee system of governance, where all members are involved in decision-making processes.

Councils were forced to disband their committees by the Labour government, but new powers in the Localism Act allowed them to return to collective decision-making. South Gloucestershire is one of the first authorities in the country to take advantage of this new power to return decision-making closer to the people.

Cllr Ruth Davis, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on South Gloucestershire Council, said:

“Residents of South Gloucestershire voted for a balanced council – they didn’t want any one party to be in complete control. The concentration of all decision-making in a seven-member cabinet doesn’t have to be bad – but it’s better to have it dispersed. Involving, more members means that more points of view are represented, which is vital in a diverse area like South Gloucestershire where no one party and opinion dominates.”

“All Councils will need to decide what model works for them – we’ve always been consensual and co-operative on South Gloucestershire. Now, for the first time in ten years, the law allows us to operate a system of governance which reflects that.”

Cllr Claire Young (Liberal Democrat, Westerleigh) added:

“This is a chance for all 70 members of the authority to get involved – every front and back bencher on all sides. It’s an exciting opportunity to move this council forward, moving power closer to the people, and all of their elected representatives – of all three parties.”

More: "Council’s record on public consultation has been awful" »

Source: South Gloucestershire Council Liberal Democrat Group