Monday, 30 March 2009

Visit by Alan Duncan, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

Alan Duncan MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, visited Lincolnshire earlier today and had a meeting with the Executive Head and Academy Head at The Priory LSST Academy. This was followed by a question and answer session with members of the Sixth Form's A-Level Politics group, who were able to quiz Alan and Karl McCartney, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Lincoln.

Karl McCartney said:
"The students asked very intelligent questions and seemed to enjoy the opportunity to quiz us both. The were especially interested to hear about MPs expenses which have made such big news in recent weeks."
Alan and Karl joined Giles McNeill, Conservative County Council Candidate for the Nettleham & Saxilby Division, together with other city, district and county councillors for a buffet lunch at the Adam & Eve Tavern on Lindum Hill.

Giles McNeill and Alan Duncan MP

Giles after the lunch commented:
"It was really good to get to speak to Alan again, and very good of him to give us a first rate chat about the importance of doing well in the County Council elections on June 4th. We discussed a number of issues including Lincoln's Tourist Information Centres, The Economy, Parliamentarty Expenses and The G20 summit."

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The penny drops for Gordon Brown

Conservatives have this week released a dossier entitled "Debt's rocketing and the pound's collapsed. Now the penny drops."

The document outlines how Gordon Brown's economic policies have failed, and how he has been forced to accept our big argument on the recession.

The Conservatives have consistently stated that a discretionary fiscal stimulus could make things worse and that monetary policy has to take the lead.

Finally Gordon Brown has taken our advice.

"Debt's rocketing and the pound's collapsed. Now the penny drops"

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Daniel Hannan: "The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government"

For those of you yet to see the stinging attack on Gordon Brown by Daniel Hannan MEP I present it here. Notice that our MEP Roger Helmer is sat to Hannan right.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Tourist Information Offices in Lincoln

Giles McNeill has today issued the following statement:
"The City Council has announced plans to close Tourist Information Centres, despite increasingly strong and sustained opposition from local people - I join with local residents now to support ensuring the Lincoln has viable tourist information services for many years to come. We are all aware of the impact Lincoln has on the local communities of the Nettleham & Saxilby Division.

"The decision has come despite projected increases in tourist numbers this year from both the domestic market, and international visitors, using the strong dollar and euro to holiday in the UK.

"I know that the City of Lincoln Council is like so many of us having to weather the economic problems caused by the Labour Government and I do not envy Cllr. Darren Grice's position of having to make the hard decisions, but in this instance I hope he can be prevailed upon to find other solutions to the council's financial problems brought about by Labour's mismanagement."

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Not Getting Anywhere - Ray Sellars

County Councillor Ray Sellars (Nettleham & Saxilby Division, Liberal Democrat) admitted at last night's Nettleham Parish Council Meeting that thoughout his two terms, or eight years, on Lincolnshire County Council he had been unable to make any real difference or progres

A resident of the village attended the meeting and raised the issue of the current state of the roads in the village and later in the meeting Cllr. Evans, giving a report on the Parish Plan Committee's progress raised the issue again.

Specifically addressing the matter of the state of the roads in the village Cllr. Sellars said:
“I pursue the matter everytime and I never get anywhere.”
Giles McNeill, also a Parish Councillor, later commented:
"You really do have to wonder what makes people keep standing for office election, after election when they make statements like that. I know that if I were elected as the County Councillor for Nettleham on June 4th I would be doing everything in my power and not just declaring defeat and hoping for a quiet retirement."

Saturday, 14 March 2009

On St. Patrick's Day Why not try to Save the Great British Pub?

With nearly 6 pubs closing every day of the week, and local pubs under threat, we believe that the Government should be doing more to save the Great British pub.

33% of the price of every pint goes in Beer Tax to the Chancellor. Now the Government plans to increase beer tax further.

We are calling on the Government to help save our pubs and safeguard jobs by: Cutting taxes on lower alcohol drinks such as low alcohol beers and raising taxes on problem drinks like high strength ciders and alcopops in order to use the tax system to target binge drinking whilst ensuring that responsible drinkers and the traditional British pub are not unfairly penalised. Enforcing existing laws to deal firmly with irresponsible drinkers & premises. Trusting adults to make informed choices, not punish them for the actions of an irresponsible minority. Supporting the British pub as a vital part of local communities.

Sign our petition to show your support.

Jeremy Hunt, Shadow Culture Secretary:

"We all have our favourite local pub but up and down the country people have been losing theirs. Not only are they a critical part of our heritage but they are often hubs for local communities helping social groups, sports clubs and often even the village shop."

"For too long the Government has tried to tackle binge drinking by punishing responsible drinkers and landlords. With massive tax hikes and heavy-handed regulation, all Labour will succeed in doing is closing down more pubs. This has to stop. We should be proud of our brewers and proud of our pub industry and do what we can to support them - which is why we are launching this campaign."

Giles McNeill said:

"The future of British pubs are under threat and we must do all we can to save ensure their survival. Pubs are often small, family-run businesses - they are the social heart of our communities, they provide jobs and support the British brewing industry. Now, in the face of great adversity, we must do all we can to save our local pub so I urge people to go to the pub and celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Pint of Guinness? Bailey's anyone?"

Giles McNeill and Jeremy Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport

Monday, 9 March 2009

More help needed for Lincolnshire’s small firms during the recession

Call to make business rate relief automatic for small firms

Giles McNeill today welcomed Conservative plans to cut taxes and paperwork for small shops and small firms. In a new initiative, small business rate relief would be given automatically to firms across England, rather than making businesses claim it and complete time-consuming forms. Giles McNeill was speaking as Parliament discusses a Conservative Private Members’ Bill to change the law in this way.

Small business rate relief was introduced in 2005, allowing small firms to claim up to 50 per cent off their business rate bills. However, firms have to fill out paperwork to claim the rate relief, despite the fact that Whitehall’s tax inspectors know precisely which firms are eligible.

• According to the most recent figures, 736 firms claimed small business rate relief in West Lindsey.
• The Local Government Association has estimated that some 870,000 firms are eligible for the rebate but less than half have claimed. The take-up rate is estimated to be 48% in the Midlands.
• By contrast, in Wales, small business rate relief has been automatic since 2007.

After rent and staff, business rates are typically the next biggest cost to local firms. Business experts have warned that 32,300 businesses will fail in 2009. Firms face a hammering this April from the Government thanks to soaring business rates:
• Business rates are to rise by 5.0 per cent in April 2009, despite RPI inflation forecast to be negative this year. This is because of a statistical quirk in the way business rate rises are calculated.
• Transitional relief from the 2005 business rates revaluation has expired, pushing bills up further for many firms in April 2009.
• The Government has slashed back rate relief on empty properties. As the recession bites, firms are unable to rent out vacant property, and have to pay rates in full without any income from rent.

Giles said:
“Small shops and businesses across Lincolnshire are facing tough times in Labour’s recession. These firms, from our corner shops to local pubs, are the lifeblood of our local community. A responsible government would do more to help them.

“Yet Gordon Brown is making it difficult for small firms to claim the tax relief to which they are entitled. He is adding to their misery by finding new ways to drive up business rates by stealth.

“Conservatives would ensure that small firms automatically receive rate relief, cutting their paperwork and tax bills, giving many of them a fighting chance to stay afloat.”

Monday, 2 March 2009

Practical advice for Lincolnshire’s homeowners as repossessions soar

Giles McNeill, today launched a Repossession Advice Pack with practical advice for homeowners across Lincolnshire worried about meeting their mortgage repayments.

The Pack gives step-by-step advice to households who fear that they may not be able to keep up their monthly mortgage payments, and tells people how to avoid making their situation worse. It can be downloaded here (PDF file).

This new Conservative initiative comes as the latest official Government statistics show a large increase in mortgage repossession orders being made by the courts – with 313 being issued across the country every single day. In Lincoln, 623 were made in 2008, an increase of 37% on the year before.

Giles said:
“As the recession bites and the number of repossessions soar, there are thousands of people across Lincolnshire who are worried about paying their mortgage. I hope this advice pack will provide them with some practical help and support.”