Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Eve of Poll

Giles McNeill, Conservative Candidate in the West Lindsey District Council Election being held on Thursday, 1st May 2008, has issued the following statement.

"I would like to wish my fellow candidates every best wish for tomorrow, while we may have disagreements over policy, I hope as we enter the last twenty-four hours of the election we have all been enriched by meeting voters, discussing their concerns and thinking about ways we can bring about the change local people are looking for.

"I know that I have worked hard during the campaign to convince residents of Granges-de-Lings, Greetwell, Nettleham and Riseholme that I share their aspiration for a better tomorrow, that I have the policies that can deliver for them."

Campaign Diary - Wednesday 30th April 2008

It has been another busy day, meeting local residents, solving problems that have come up and attending the opening of postal ballots at the Guildhall in Gainsborough.

The good news it that I firmly believe I have a good chance tomorrow, every local resident's vote will matter. Consistently local people tell me that they are tired of getting so little from the District Council - their bins emptied and the cemetery grass cut, just isn't enough. It's time for change. A change for the better, a Conservative led council.

The polls open in fourteen and a half hours and I'm now really looking forward to tomorrow's events.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Tuesday 29th April 2008

I have been out this morning in Nettleham meeting local people and canvassing their opinions. It's so great to get such a warm welcome on people's doorsteps.

I have spoken to Noel Robinson at the Highways Department at Lincolnshire County Council and I have been assured that work on the paths of Sudbrooke Lane is scheduled to be complete by the end of summer.

If you have any suggestions or ideas I should follow up please email me:

Monday, 28 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Monday 28th April 2008

The last crucial days of the campaign are upon us and I feel more invigorated than ever. On the doorstep and in the street people are giving me such a warm reception, telling me how much they want rid of the Labour Government and change at the Guildhall in Gainsborough.

A number of residents who have Malcolm Leaning posters on their property have told me that they are supporting me on May 1st - because they recognise that it's time for change. They have lost faith in Malcolm Leaning, who has served for too long, with not enough achieved.

Malcolm's latest 'Focus' leaflet has a number of items that may mislead local people. Malcolm suggests that 'the Parish, District and County Councils are working together to try and prevent any reoccurance' of the summer floods: It is not entirely clear to me how politicians prevent acts of god - all we can do is support local people when these things happen and try and make decisions which reduce the likelyhood and severity of the effects. I have seen no evidence that the Liberal Democrat controlled West Lindsey District Council have acted to implement any of the recommendations of our expert consultants report. Maybe it has something to do with Malcolm not agreeing with the reports recomendation. He has become a roadblock to securing peoples property against flooding.

The 'Focus' goes into some depth discussing Malcolm's use of Information Communications Technology - but within the article it is suggested the Malcolm is Chair of the Planning Committee. He is not. Cllr. Bernard Theobold is Chairman.

A further article implies that the cost of our policy to abolish the charge for Green Bins will cost £54.50. This is wrong. At the moment the Green Bins are subsidised by the Council, residents who have a green wheelie bin pay £24.50. Our proposals are fully costed. The cut is primarily financed through abolishing the endless administrative task needed to collect the fees each year. The Lib Dems are misleading people; our policy is not to give a free green bin to everyone. It is quite clear that the figures used to support there case are those of when the scheme was first proposed. Is it a surprise that Liberal Democrat David Cotton would say "Free Green Bins would add £54.50 to everybody's council tax bill" - he wants to be re-elected. You simply can not trust a word they say. Many people now have green bins. There is a large number in storage - because the Lib Dem ordered too many - so no costs involved in acquiring more to supply increased demand.

I am leading a positive issues and policy lead campaign. My policies include:
1. Bring back concessonary travel before 9:30am.
2. Abolish £24.50 charge for Green Wheelie Bins.
3. Keep Black Bin Collection Weekly
4. Lobby Central Government to fund the police at a proper level.
5. Continue the Councillor's Initiative Fund and split it between local projects in different communities fairly.
6. Get a fairer deal for local residents of the tax we pay to the District Council being spent in our communities.
7. Oppose the significant development of our villages.
8. Work to make our communities safe and secure.

What are the Liberal Democrats offering in this election?

Lincolnshire Echo Candidate Profile Online

The Lincolnshire Echo has published profiles of candidates standing for election to West Lindsey District Council on Thursday 1st May 2008. Read Giles McNeill's profile, together with other candidates here.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Friday 25th April 2008

It has been a busy week. But there is no time to relax. From tomorrow there will be just 127 hours remaining until the polls open, only 142 hours before the polls close and in just 150 hours time we will know whether local residents want change or more of the same.

A reduced version of my election address, which is being delivered to homes as I write, has been published in the Gainsborough Standard. It also contains comments from the numerous other candidates (excepting the UKIP candidate who submitted nothing). What is clear is that only the Conservatives in West Lindsey are putting forward policies that will make a difference to the quality of people's lives.

I had the good fortune to chat to Chris Heaton-Harris MEP earlier this afternoon who wished my colleagues and I luck in the local election on May 1st. Chris is the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Daventry and like West Lindsey they have elections every year. He reports that they have a solid grip on the council which they hope to improve; I will just be grateful if we secure a majority.

Today has also seen the launch of my latest election video. I am very pleased with the result. I hope should local people elect me on May 1st that I will be able to make a regular video blog about my activities on local resident's behalf, I also hope to contribute a regular column in the Nettleham News as a District Councillor and distribute regular 'In Touch' Newsletters twice a year.

Family doctor surgeries across West Lindsey face closure under Whitehall plans

Giles McNeill expresses concern over plans to impose ‘polyclinics’ on communities

Giles McNeill, Nettleham Parish Conuncillor and Conservative candidate for West Lindsey District Council, voiced his opposition today to Whitehall plans to replace local GPs’ surgeries with impersonal super-surgeries known as ‘polyclinics’. It has been estimated that 1,700 family doctor surgeries could be closed down across England. Estimates have suggested that across Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust, six GP surgeries could be shut under Labour’s plans.

Polyclinics are little different from a small hospital, and nothing like the independent, local GP practice with just a few doctors whom patients know and trust. Labour Ministers are planning to end the era of local GP surgeries in almost every area. This will mean that patients will have to travel further to receive treatment, which will particularly disadvantage the elderly and families with small children.

Giles McNeill commented,
“We already knew that the Labour Government is planning to close thousands of local Post Offices. Now I fear that local GP surgeries are in their sights. Patients will have further to travel and will be lucky to see the same GP twice. We all know that the long term furture of the Nettleham Medical Practice with in the village is underthreat.”

“Labour politicians in Whitehall must not be allowed to force polyclinics on areas where they are unwanted and not needed.”

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Wednesday 23rd April 2008

I have a suggestion for something to ask the Liberal Democrats on the doorstep : "Why will abolishing the Green Bin charge (£24.50), as I and my Conservative colleagues have pledged, going to cost everyone £54.50?"

In my view, the problem is the Lib Dems are trying to deceive voters. We are not proposing the outright abolition of the Green Bin charge all in one go, for everybody. Our policy is specifically targeted at helping pensioners and then to roll out to the rest of the district once we have opportunity. We are not suggesting that everyone get a green bin - but certainly issuing more bins would not be a problem the Lib Dems bought too many and they now cost taxpayers' money to keep in storage.

UPDATE:We had the annual parish meeting last night at the Large Hall at the Old School in Nettleham followed by an Extra Ordinary Parish Council Meeting. It was good to see a number of local residents attend to raise issues of concern. Local Resident will be pleased to know that at the meeting I proposed a motion that will have save taxpayers in Nettleham between £10-£15 a year. Not a bad evening’s work. It was also very good to have Roger Buttery in attendance, the Parish Council's new financial advisor - for too long the Parish Council has been relying on inadequate financial information when making decisions.

Campaign Diary - Tuesday 22nd April 2008

I have watched the web-cast of the Council meeting held on Monday 21st April. The disdain showed to one of the most qualified councillors to look into financial affairs is truly disgusting. Vote Conservative on May 1st and we can bring back some civility to the council chamber. (web cast here.)

Monday, 21 April 2008

Queen's 82nd Birthday

The Queen was today celebrating her 82nd birthday by marking the occasion privately at Windsor Castle.

The Coldstream Guards Band played a rendition of Happy Birthday during the changing of the guards ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Giles McNeill said:
"I was very proud to see the union flag flown on the flag pole at the Old School, Mill Hill in Nettleham this morning in her honour. God save the Queen."
The Queen has two birthdays, with her actual one coming on 21 April and her official one being held in June, celebrated with the Trooping the Colour parade.

Campaign Diary - Monday 21st April 2008

Well it has been a busy couple of day, meeting local residents in Grange-de-Lings, Riseholme, Greetwell, Scampton and in Lincoln. So many people each with there own unique story and concerns. It reminds me of the scale of the opportunity before me to serve. An opportunity I intend to put my all into.

I was glad to see that Stuart Wheeler will be at the High Court in London tomorrow requesting a judicial review of the government's decision not to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. I have long supported the 'I want a referendum' campaign.

Mr Wheeler said:
"It is a straight matter of law. We will be referring to the manifold statements by the heads of state in Europe, saying 'isn’t it wonderful that this new Lisbon treaty contains everything that was in the old one of any importance’."
I hope he succeeds; we were promised a referendum by all the main political party's on this issue at the last General Election in 2005 and that includes Labour MPs. Whether you agree or disagree with ratifing the treaty it is important in my view that politican's keep their promises. I promise that is what can be expect of me when they cast there vote form me on May 1st.

The hearing will be in Court 3 at the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2A 2LL, starting at 10:30 a.m. Anyone hoping to be there should note that it can take up to 20 minutes to clear security.
Giles McNeill today attacked the record of Malcolm Leaning and the Liberal Democrats, for failing to deliver for the people of Nettleham, Grange-de-Lings, Riseholme and Greetwell.

Giles McNeill, the Conservative Candidate for Nettleham Ward in the West Lindsey District Council local elections, taking place on Thursday 1st May, addressing a group of local residents and supporters saying:
"Malcolm has been on West Lindsey since May 2000 - eight years ago. Local people are rightly asking me on the doorstep what benefit has there been? There has been no major funds from the district council to pay for any projects. We pay our fair share of council taxes to the district and get so little in return.

"It is time for a fare share for the Lincoln Fringe. A fare rate of spending on villages like Nettleham and Greetwell, Grange-de-Lings and Riseholme."

Criticism has also been directed at the Liberal Democrat's lack of policies which benefit local residents. What do the Liberal Democrats actually promise to deliver if returned on May 1st? Local people can't seem to find out.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

New report shows closure of local services under Labour – Giles McNeill

Local communities are losing Post Offices, GPs, schools and shops

Millions of households across the country are being deprived of a post office, primary school, shop or GP surgery, according to a new report. A major academic survey by Oxford University has shown the parts of the country which are most ‘geographically deprived’ because essential services are far away from them.

Conservative analysis has highlighted the areas of the country hardest hit by the disappearance of local services in the last four years – based on the report’s measure for access to local services. This measure reflects the distance to the nearest GP surgery, convenience store or supermarket, primary school and post office.
· 45 per cent of neighbourhoods across England have deteriorated markedly a result of the loss of community services during the last 4 years.

Many communities will be even worse of as a result of Government policies, through:
· The closure of 2,500 post offices in a Government programme of massive cuts.
· The knock-on effect on local shops of post office closures; it is estimated that 1,000 shops which double up as post offices will close if their post office business is axed.
· The closure of hundreds of primary schools, especially in rural areas; Whitehall is threatening to withhold money for councils which do not close schools and remove so-called ‘surplus places’.
· The closure of local GP surgeries under Government plans for new ‘polyclinics’.

These worrying facts about community deprivation come as a Conservative commission, set up by David Cameron, has called for more to be done to protect small shops. It has slammed Government proposals to weaken planning rules which currently control out-of-town retail development. If the rules are relaxed, the hearts of villages and towns centres could be ripped out by a new wave of out-of-town hypermarkets.

Giles McNeill, Conservative Candidate for West Lindsey District Council, said:
“Under Labour, local neighbourhoods and villages are losing access to essential local services, as shops, pubs and schools close. Thanks to Government policies cooked up in Whitehall, more local post offices, schools and GP surgeries now face shutting their doors.

“This is yet another sign that Labour politicians have lost touch with local people, and that Gordon Brown and his Whitehall bureaucrats are ignoring the needs of West Lindsey.”

Vote Blue, Go Green - and Save Money

On 1st May, voters in many parts of the country will be going to the polls to decide who runs their councils. These elections are really important. Local people and communities expect their council to deliver good service and value for money, and they expect them to help improve the quality of life locally. That’s why, increasingly, people are choosing the Conservative Party.

Today, we have the highest number of Conservative councillors since 1985, with more councillors in England than Labour and the Liberal Democrats combined. The reason is simple: Conservative councils deliver better services and better value.

So our message in this local election campaign is simple: vote blue, go green – and save money. That’s the kind of change people really want. Conservative councils are greener, helping to improve the local environment and protect green spaces in our towns and villages. And crucially, at a time when Labour’s economic incompetence is pushing up the cost of living, Conservative councils offer better value for money. On average, Conservative councils levy lower council taxes than their Labour or Liberal Democrat counterparts. They’re also safer, fighting the crime, anti-social behaviour, vandalism and graffiti that ruin people’s quality of life.

This election is a chance to vote for change and to send a message to this failing Labour Government. A new Conservative Government will deliver value for money by improving the way public services are run.

We’ll improve the NHS, raise standards in schools and fight back against crime. And we have a long-term plan for the economy to fix the country’s finances and make sure public money is spent properly. That’s the only way to get taxes down and get a grip on the cost of living.

We have a clear vision for Britain’s future. We want to see a country where people have more opportunity and power over their lives; a country where families are stronger and society is more responsible; a Britain which is safer and greener.

We have the new ideas and the long-term policies to make it happen: every Conservative vote on 1st May will help to turn these aspirations into reality.

David Cameron

Friday, 18 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Thursday 7th April 2008

Sorry for the lateness of this post.

I and my campaign team have been extremely busy today, especially with David Cameron's launch of the party's local election camapign for 2008.

A number of people have been contacting me with problems that they face and I have been dealing with as many as possible.

I think that the (likely) resignation of Angela Smith is going to very dmaging for the Labour Party, and Harriet Harman even made a direct request for Angela to reconsider on the BBC's Question time last night.

Virtually all households in the Ward have now recieved an In Touch newsletter from the Conservative Group on West Lindsey District Council. If you have not - please get in touch:

Thursday, 17 April 2008

David Cameron Launches "Vote Blue, Go Green... and Save Money' campaign

David Cameron will today launch our Local Election campaign.

The launch document, entitled Vote Blue, Go Green - and Save Money, highlights how Conservative councils deliver better services and better value.

And it gives examples of Conservative councils across the country being greener, cleaner and safer.

David will say, "This election is a chance to vote for change and to send a message to this failing Labour Government."

He will be joined at the launch by Caroline Spelman, the Party Chairman, and Eric Pickles, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Wednesday 16th April 2008

In today's Times there was an article about the Local Elections taking place and I was somewhat surprised to discover that they had ranked West Lindsey District Council as the Conservative Party's fifth top target council in these elections.

Certainly, we have a very good chance on May 1st even despite the nasty way the Liberal Democrats unsubtly tried to suggest earlier in the year that we had been flooded with large donations from the central office and 'big donors' - this is not the case. We are a local party, with local candidates who bring local knowledge. But we also bring with us the support network of being part of a significant national party with more councillors than Labour and the Liberal Democrats combined.

People across the West Lindsey District are beginning to realise the problems that have been caused by two years of Liberal Democrat dither and delay at the Guildhall. It's time for change. It's time to make progress. It's time to improve people's lives.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Tuesday 15th April 2008

Today I signed up to the Right care, Right Deal pledge.

Right care, Right deal is the campaign to achieve the right solution for social care in England.

We want a future where people can live their lives, their way; supported by a care system which is better funded through a clear, simple and sustainable deal, entered into by the state, community, family and individuals.

Giles McNeill signs up to Social Care pledge

Giles McNeill today commits to a reinvigorated vision of social care

Giles McNeill has today signed a social care pledge, committing to working towards a reinvigorated vision for social care if elected.

Giles McNeill, Conservative Candidate for West Lindsey District Council, said:
"Many of the people of Grange-de-Lings, Greetwell, Nettleham and Riseholme are reliant on social care services in their day to day lives. The term 'social care' covers a huge range of services from care homes and meals on wheels to fostering services and drop-in centres. West Lindsey District Council contributes to delivering these services for local residents.

"I believe social care should be about supporting people to live a better life, expanding their opportunities, not just managing their needs.

"If elected on May 1st, I will work hard to achieve a reinvigorated vision for social care, ensuring we have a personalised, easy to understand and accessible system for all."
Paul Cann, Head of Policy at Help the Aged, said:
"I'm pleased to welcome Giles to our campaign. Right care Right deal is the new joint national campaign launched to build public awareness and support for brave and innovative solutions for the social care system."

Monday, 14 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Monday 14th April 2008

I went out this morning and walked around the village delivering some literature about the many positive things Conservative across West Lindsey have been doing in recent months and what we will do for local residents if we are the majority after May 1st.

I spoke to one lady who raised with me the issue of speeding traffic along Deepdale Lane. It is hard to believe that the two district councillors and one county councillor, who are all Liberal Democrats have continued to fail over the course of several decades to find ways to encourage motorists to be sensitive to local residents while drive down Deepdale Lane. Their plans to borrow the Road Safety Partnership equipment to measure speeds has failed to materialise; I can only presume it was another attention grabbing gimmick.

I will tomorrow be signing the 'Right care Right deal Pledge' to work to achieve a reinvigorated vision for social care, ensuring we can all have a personalised, easy to understand and accessible system for all. I spoke to a resident of Shaw Way off Sudbrooke Lane the other week and she convinced me that we need to renew efforts to improve social care for all in our community and ensure that we are not blinkered into believing that social care is only required by the elderly. It is clear to me that we can and we must do more.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Leading the Way

Local people say Conservative schemes such as the Flood Action Group, Councillor's Initiative Fund and the Regeneration of Gainsborough, Market Rasen and Caistor have had a real impact on their lives and they will continue to enjoy the benefits in years to come.

The new council office building, bitterly opposed by the Liberal Democrats, has delivered a capital windfall of £600,000, an annual saving of £100,000 and ensured the building of Marshall's Yard Shopping Centre. Because Conservatives believe in giving residents a fair share we want this money spread across the district.

£500,000 has also be secured for leisure facilities in the Lincoln Fringe following persistent campaign by Conservative Councillors.

Conservatives want guaranteed 24 hour concessionary travel for all those eligible and have called for an urgent review of the new bus pass scheme.

Conservatives are leading the way at West Lindsey.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Saturday 12th April 2008

Well polling day is moving ever closer. So now is the time to start articulating what exactly a conservative lead West Lindsey Council would do for you. It means talking about our Green Bin, Blue Bin and Black Bin Policies, Our opposition to Gas Storage Plans, Campaigns for more NHS Dentists, Keeping Post Offices open and support of Social Action Projects: It means talking about how we have been leading the way at West Lindsey despite the Liberal Democrat implementing our spending plans and our policies despite promising voters the opposite.

Over the course of the coming week householders will be receiving an 'In Touch' Newsletter from my campaign highlighting the positive agenda that we Conservatives have put together to improve the lives of real people - it is not an exhaustive list.

Already over 1,500 residents in Nettleham have had the newsletter delivered through their post boxes this morning by myself and other local conservative who want to see change happen. The feedback has already been positive. If you haven't had your copy through the door yet there is one on public display on the Riseholme Parish Council's notice board, it is next to Malcolm Leaning's 'Focus' Newsletter that went out last month; so you can compare and contrast what we are both saying.

I spent the afternoon up on and around Washdyke Lane speaking with local residents about their concerns. Universally they are opposed to the Truelove development proposals, and as I have said before such a significant development would change the village community Nettleham residents enjoy so much.

Give teachers the powers they need to sort out discipline – Giles McNeill

Growing concerns over violence and disruption in schools and on the streets

Giles McNeill, Conservative Candidate for West Lindsey District Council, today welcomed new policy proposals announced by Conservative leader, David Cameron, to restore classroom discipline and raise standards of behaviour in schools.

Life in local communities is being marred by violence and disruption in schools - and on the streets as well from children playing truant. These social problems hit the poorest areas the hardest. Bureaucratic rules imposed by the Labour Government have made it harder for teachers to keep order, while false allegations and assaults on teachers have never been higher.

Since 1997, across Lincolnshire, the number of permanent exclusions from secondary schools has fallen by 3% as a proportion of the school population – not because of better discipline, but because it has become more difficult to exclude troublemakers.

Conservative proposals include:
· Restoring the authority of headteachers, by ending the right to appeal against exclusions to external panels. Parents would still have a right of appeal to school governors – who are the people who should decide such matters.

· Changing the law so that teachers can physically restrain violent pupils if they need to.

· Establishing new protections for teachers from false and malicious allegations.

· Giving headteachers the freedom to pay bonuses to teachers who do a good job.

· Allowing headteachers to ban any items they think may cause violence or disruption in schools.
Giles McNeill said:
“In too many of our schools, good education is ruined by bad behaviour. The problem doesn’t lie with teachers – but with the Labour Government’s rules and regulations that stop teachers instilling proper discipline. Conservatives will give teachers and heads the powers they need to tackle disruptive kids, improve standards and ensure parents have a real choice over where to send their child.”

Friday, 11 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Friday 11th April 2008

Abolition of the 10p income tax rate

Recently, the income tax rise for the lowest paid which Gordon Brown announced in his 2007 Budget came into force. Many hard-working people – like cleaners, waiters, and shop assistants – will have seen their tax rate double overnight, on top of an already rising cost of living.

The Treasury have confirmed that 5.3 million families will lose out in total – even when the changes to tax credits are taken into account. One in every five families will be worse off – by anything up to £464.

Here in the East Midlands, hard-working people like a Nursery Nurse will have to pay an extra £168 in tax on average – and a Sales Assistant an extra £224.

Labour have over-spent and over-borrowed, and as a result the public finances are in a mess. That is why Gordon Brown is putting up taxes, and kicking people when they are down.

Conservatives, like me, have specific proposals to help hard-working families. Together we will oppose Labour’s plans to double the 10p tax rate; give people power through local referendums to stop large council tax rises; and raise the threshold for inheritance tax, taking 98 per cent of family homes out of it altogether.

That’s the sort of help hard-working families in Grange-de-Lings, Greetwell, Nettleham and Riseholme deserve.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Thursday 10th April 2008

Election Day will soon be upon us.

I was in Kingsway yesterday evening canvassing local residents and finding out their views. One of the positive comments made by a number of residents is how pleased they are that the Conservative led County Council is going to be shortly resurfacing their paths.

The highways maintenance budget for the county has been upped to almost £50m for this year - which represents excellent value for a county the size of ours.

The £4.63m increase is set to cover the maintenance of roads in more rural areas, including filling in potholes and resurfacing badly affected areas. The increased funds have been drawn from a mixture of financial sources but have not meant a cut in any other services.

I have recieve assurances from Highways Manager, Alan Brown, that Church Street and the village Green in Nettleham will be resurfaced by the autumn.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Wednesday 9th April 2008

I was very pleased to receive David Davis' endorsement earlier today. It was a real honour to know that people like David are taking an active interest in the problems that local residents report to me.

When we met we discussed issues of crime and anti-social behaviour that affect rural communities like Nettleham, Greetwell, Grange-de-Lings and Riseholme and what could be done to improve our communities. Local people know that they need a safe pair of hands for a secure future and that what I'm offering. A Conservative government will deliver neighbourhoods that we feel safe in by cutting paperwork and getting more police out on the streets fighting crime. Through my active engagement with the Key Individual's Network we have influenced the local Community Panel to make Anti-social behaviour, Underage Drinking, and Graffiti in and around Mulsanne Park a priority.

I was out canvassing yesterday evening in Nettleham and recieved positive welcomes on the doorstep from local residents. Time and again I heard voiced concern about development in and around the village. Nettleham residents care that the village's services are not stretched to breaking point, they care that development does not increase flood risk and they care that we keep a village community feel to Nettleham.

Certainly the expansion of Nettleham in recent decades has changed the village significantly. The 2001 Census records a population of 3,514. I am increasingly convinced that Nettleham does not want or require further large-scale development and that 400 new homes is not what residents want - regardless of the carrots that may be attached to the stick. Such an increase to the village would add around a third again to our population and make Nettleham more like a town, or worse a suburb of Lincoln.

Shadow Home Secretary supports Nettleham Ward Candidate

The Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, today added his support, to that of a growing number of local residents who want change, change that will improve their lives, by supporting Giles McNeill in the local elections to West Lindsey District Council on May 1st.

David commented:
"I am pleased to support Giles McNeill as your Conservative Candidate in the elections on May 1st. Giles is an exceptional individual who understands that everyone wants to live in a safe community free from anti-social behaviour."
Giles McNeill with Shadow Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon. David Davis MP

Giles said:
"I am standing as a Conservative, as only the Conservative Party represents the change, on so many issues, that we desperately need. I am from our local community and have lived in Nettleham village for eighteen years; I will be local people's champion on West Lindsey District Council. In Grange-de-Lings, Greetwell, Nettleham and Riseholme: it is time for change. I want to be that change – change that will improve all our lives."

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Tuesday 8th April 2008

I was out in the village this morning meeting residents, talking about this issues that matter to local people, observing Nigel Kingston's banner across the front of his house - and pondering the lack of any suggestion of what he would do if he's elected - and going to the green to catch a bus into the office.

As I sat on the bus I observed a poster about new Sunday bus services. "Good", I thought, "finally a better bus service". But alas no. The poster was advertising an expansion of bus services for villages south of the city. The '2 service' which links Branston, Heighington and Washingborough with Lincoln will be running every two hours during the daytime on Sundays, but no such provision for the north of the city. I have written a letter to Stagecoach asking if a similar provision could be made for Nettleham, Welton and Dunholme - the '11 service'. I have been a strong proponent of better public transport provision and the Nettleham Parish Council I have worked to improve the services in the village. The 18:20 service from Lincoln was implemented by Stagecoach in response to requests by the Parish Council at my urging.

The video below is, I think, a good example of the positive actions that the Conservative party are looking at to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Campaign Diary - Monday 7th April 2008

Over the weekend I have been out knocking on doors and talking to local residents and been pleasantly surprised at the warm reception I have received despite the occasional flurry of snow.

I am standing as a Conservative, as only the Conservative Party represents the change, on so many issues, that we desperately need. But I want to be clear I will be answerable to you and you will be my priority above party interest when I am elected as your representative.

The Labour Party have launched their first party political broadcast related to the local elections on May 1st. It begins: "It's your chance to have a say about we've been doing and what you've been seeing in your local community." It isn't really as there are no Labour candidates in the West Lindsey Local Elections.

The first thing that came to mind when I heard that was the lack of funding for the police which is contributing to the massive rise in Council Tax bills.

The big story of today 'running strongly in all media since breakfast time', as Andrew Rawnsley puts it has been the Prime Minister's growing problems over the abolishing of the 10p tax band, which was one of his last acts before he moved from Number 11 to Number 10 Downing Street. It is intolerable that the 5,000,000 of the lowest paid people in this country are having to pay more tax to compensate for a cut for their more wealthy peers. David Cameron has been right today to call on the government to act.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Worrying numbers of home owners in West Lindsey are facing debt problems

Effect of credit crunch and rising mortgage interest rates

Giles McNeill, Conservative Candidate for Nettleham Ward, today expressed his concern at new figures which warn that 5 million families across Britain could be at risk of defaulting on mortgage payments and losing their home.

The analysis, conducted by The Spectator magazine using data from credit agencies, shows that 6,378 households in Gainsborough Constituency have a ‘sub-prime loan exposure’, and may be now struggling with debt.

This comes as the latest official Government figures show that 19,015 homes across the Midlands were hit with repossession orders last year, with 447 orders being issued by Lincoln County Court. The Bank of England has also warned that banks and building societies are planning to cut back their lending further in coming months.

The crisis in the credit market is reducing the availability of cheap loans and mortgages, hitting people on the housing ladder and those not yet on it. This year, 1.4 million mortgages will come to the end of their fixed rate periods. As interest rates are higher now than they were two years ago, this could add £200 to the average monthly mortgage bill, placing yet more pressure on severely stretched family budgets.

Conservatives are calling on mortgage lenders to do more to help these families by:
· Contacting home owners 3-6 months before the end of their fixed rate mortgage period,

· Offering free financial advice, and

· Not imposing sudden hikes in repayments.
First time buyers are suffering from the credit crunch too, as mortgage lenders are demanding larger deposits. In response, Conservatives are calling for stamp duty to be abolished by the Government for first time buyers, for homes up to £250,000.

Giles McNeill said:
“This week has brought more worrying evidence that under Gordon Brown, our economy is built on debt. Labour’s record is one of economic incompetence.
“Thousands of families across West Lindsey are now exposed to the possibility of losing their home. With many households facing soaring bills as their fixed rates come to an end, mortgage lenders should do more to help home owners with the soaring cost of living and help reduce the hardship under Gordon Brown’s Government.”

Campaign Diary - Saturday 5th April 2008

The election campaign has officially started with the release of the nominations list yesterday at noon.

I am pleased to see that there is going to be a real contest in Nettleham Ward with four candidates. I am unimpressed that the Labour Party have failed to field any candidates in district council elections taking place in West Lindsey. Back in 1999 they managed to field fourteen candidates. Today it is none.

I have been out into Nettleham this morning meeting local residents and discussing concerns with them. Residents on the door-step are very much concerned about the increase in their Council Tax bills, issues related to speeding & parking and crime.

Residents have reported to me that there have been a number of teenagers at Mulsanne Park in recent days 'building a tree house' which according to reports they had the Parish Council's permission to do. It is my understanding that this is certainly not the case.I have been liaising with Police Community Support Officer Jackie Parker and she is monitoring the situation.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Candidates Announced

The candidates who have submitted valid nomination papers in respect of the forthcoming District Council elections on Thursday 1st May 2008 are:

Giles McNeill - Conservative
Malcolm Leaning - Liberal Democrat
Steven Pearson - United Kingdom Independence Party
Nigel Kingston - Independent

Commenting, Giles McNeill said:
"It looks like it is going to be an interesting election. Local people from across the Ward, whether they live in Grange-de-Lings, Greetwell, Nettleham, Riseholme or inside the Lincoln By-Pass know that it is time for change. And I will be that change."

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Conservative MEP team chosen

The Conservative Candidates for the East Midlands European Elections in 2009 have been chosen by a postal ballot of all Party Members. The team is led by Roger Helmer MEP, supported by Emma McClarkin, Rupert Matthews, Fiona Bulmer and George Lee.

Retiring MEP,Chris Heaton-Harris, says
"This is a fantastic team to represent the East Midlands with a real depth of talent and wide range of experience".
The List on the ballot paper will be:
1. Roger Helmer
2. Emma McClarkin
3. Rupert Matthews
4. Fiona Bulmer
5. George Lee