Posts Tagged ‘Kingswood’

MP tops up salary with £14k in book deals

Posted on Tuesday 18th October 2011 at 5:46 pm by SH (Editor)

Press release by South Gloucestershire Labour

The Labour Party

A local MP earned almost £14,000 as advanced payments for book-writing deals in the first six months after his election.

The latest edition of the Register of MPs’ Financial Interests shows that Conservative MP for Kingswood, Chris Skidmore, was paid almost £14,000 in four separate deals between May and October 2010. The largest of these up-front deals was for almost £9,900 and the smallest just over £500.  One book deal worth £2,800 up front is requiring Mr Skidmore to work 15 hours a week for two years on top of the hours he is supposed to work as an MP.

The MPs’ register also shows that two speeches made by Mr Skidmore have earned him £3,500 from a firm of pharmaceutical lobbyists called STAC Consultancy, based in Bournemouth.  Mr Skidmore, who is a member of the House of Commons Health Select Committee, has donated the £3,500 to his local Conservative constituency party in Kingswood.

Kingswood councillor and leader of the Labour Group on South Gloucestershire Council, Andy Perkins, said:

“Clearly Mr Skidmore is not spending all of his working hours dealing with his constituents’ problems.  How many employers do you know who would allow their employees to spend at least 15 hours a week writing books?”

Money earned from speeches should go to local charities says Labour councillor »

Source: South Gloucestershire Labour

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Labour would bring back housing targets, claim Tories

Posted on Thursday 13th October 2011 at 12:49 am by SH (Editor)

The Conservative Party

Local Conservative councillors and Green Belt campaigners have criticised confirmation that a future Labour Government would reintroduce regional housing targets.

The Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) were a spectacular bureaucratic failure representing an affront to local democracy yet also proving ineffective in getting houses built – house building fell to the lowest level since 1924.

The South West RSS proposed 32,800 more houses for South Gloucestershire, including concreting over the Kingswood Green Belt and deleting entire communities like Shortwood, Siston and Warmley.

But the respected Planning magazine reports that Labour would reintroduce regional housing targets.

At a Royal Institute of British Architects fringe meeting at the Labour Conference the Shadow Planning Minister Jack Dromey MP said the Government’s decision to scrap the targets was “crazy”.

Mr Dromey said:

“You cannot sensibly address meeting our housing needs, infrastructure, transport and protecting our natural environment other than if you have a regional and sub-regional approach.”

“So there is no contradiction between a localist agenda that does believe in maximising local say through neighbourhood plans with saying that you’ve got to have that strategic approach, including the kind of imperatives that were inherent in the regional spatial strategy framework.”

Asked if this would include regional house building targets, Mr Dromey replied “yes”.

More: Labour hasn’t learnt from mistakes of the past »

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council

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Challenge over “half empty” Kingswood council building

Posted on Friday 16th September 2011 at 10:10 am by SH (Editor)

A South Gloucestershire council building which has recently received a multi-million pound makeover could lie half-empty when it re-opens, and senior Labour councillor Terry Walker is challenging the ruling Tories over the reduced number of staff now scheduled to work at Kingswood Civic Centre.

The council has embarked on a major accommodation strategy with a view to consolidating its headquarters in three main building and vacating expensive leased office space.  As part of the strategy, staff moved out of Kingswood Civic Centre in the Spring of 2010 to enable the multi-million pound upgrade.  This upgrade will provide a smarter One Stop Shop, which also houses a local police presence, a new council chamber and committee rooms, and modern office accommodation for the returning staff.  However, a reduction in staff numbers since the project was planned, combined with recent decisions to divert a large number of staff the council had planned to house there to other offices, means that the new building could be half empty.

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Source: Labour Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council

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Kingswood councillors take to the streets

Posted on Monday 12th September 2011 at 10:01 am by SH (Editor)

Woodstock Labour Councillors

Councillors in Kingswood have begun their annual programme of holding surgeries within every street of their ward.

Labour councillors representing the Woodstock ward of South Gloucestershire Council, Gareth Manson, Andy Perkins and Pat Rooney operate their ‘mobile surgeries’ each year in addition to their regular monthly surgeries which they hold in local schools.

A few days before the surgery, residents will get a leaflet through their door advertising the date and time when the councillors will be in their street. Residents are invited to stick the leaflet in their window so that the councillors will know to visit. Residents can also telephone or email their councillors to ask for a visit.

The councillors said:

“People like the idea of their councillors walking their streets rather than just holding traditional surgeries. We often stop for a quick chat with people even if they don’t have any immediate problems they want us to deal with.”

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Source: Woodstock Labour Councillors

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