Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chancellors' tv face-off

Vince Cable won the debate - according to the viewers' poll and the press. Which is what we expected. Certainly he exposed Osborne's latest National Insurance ploy for the nonsense it is.

"The Tories presided over two big recessions in office, they wasted most of the North Sea oil revenue, they sold off the family silver on the cheap. Now they want to have another turn to get their noses in the trough and reward their rich backers." Vince said that - it's a message that needs to get through.

The Leaders' debates will be coming up soon - they should make even more exciting viewing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Woodland Trust

As a candidate, I get many requests from members of different interest groups to announce their support for a particular cause. So far the greatest number have come from members of the Woodland Trust.

This is an excellent cause (as well as, clearly, being very well organised). It campaigns for an increase in British woodlands, which is a splendid and obvious goal. Our countryside is bare of trees, compared not only to our European neighbours and to our own historical past.

This is an excellent time to advance the idea. Farming is moving away from the goal of extracting maximum food from every acre by application of expensive fertilisers and pesticides towards a model that gives more prominence to the stewardship of the countryside for all. We are looking for stimulus schemes to avoid recession. The time looks right for large scale tree planting - with native deciduous species, not just forestry commission style pinewoods. The Liberal Democrats already have a policy of doubling the UK woodland cover by 2050.

The hills above Macclesfield were covered with forests in the not too distant past. They could be again.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Macclesfield town centre

Walk round the town with Councillors Ainsley Arnold and Christine Tomlinson. There is an enterprising and very enthusiastic display on avoiding food waste going on outside the town hall - which shows - among other things - the great opportunity this open space at the heart of the town presents. It's a shame it's not used for more.

The Registry Office also has a lot of potential
and the Heritage Centre marks out the difference between Macclesfield and Anytown.
The proposed development is still on hold. While Cheshire East and the consultants dither, local businesses in the town centre are suffering from the uncertainty.