Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Edward Leigh MP Demands Action on Insult

Edward Leigh MP has called on the Government to amend a law that criminalises the use of insulting words – as MPs were blocked from debating the issue in Parliament.

The Conservative MP for the Gainsborough Constituency has tabled an amendment to the Protection Of Freedoms Bill, which is being debated in Parliament this week, that removes the word 'insulting' from Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The amendment, which was tabled in conjunction with Labour MP Tom Watson and Lib Dem MP Alan Beith, has been backed by 65 MPs from across the political parties.

It has also won the support of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and backed by civil liberties groups like Justice. However, Mr Leigh claims the Government is using a procedural device in the House Of Commons to block debate on the amendment – even though it is far and away the most well-supported amendment tabled to the Bill. Mr Leigh said:
Edward Leigh MP for the
Gainsborough Constituency
"It is ironic that MPs should be denied the opportunity to speak about the freedom to speak."
Writing on the ConservativeHome blog, the Conservative parliamentarian said that while freedom of speech is 'perhaps, our most precious civil liberty after the right to life itself', there is a 'widely held concern that civil liberties such as freedom of speech are being eroded'.

Although some blame the previous Labour Government, 'policing practice' has also contributed to the 'erosion of freedoms'.

Mr Leigh explained that 'insult' has a low threshold and 'is open to misuse'. He said:
"Whatever self-restraint the police exercised in the past in applying the law against insults appears to be melting away.
"No doubt we can blame it on external pressure from activists and internal pressure from out-of-control 'equality and diversity' programmes."
Mr Leigh noted that while freedom of speech 'does have its limits', he cautioned that it is not 'legitimate' to 'criminalise words or behaviour that are merely insulting in the ordinary meaning of the word'.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Edward Leigh MP Welcomes Eric Pickles' Visit

Mrs. Suzanne Scott, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP,
Edward Leigh MP and Cllr. Burt Keimach.
Edward Leigh, who represents the Gainsborough Constituency, welcomed the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to the Gainsborough Constituency on Thursday, 13th October 2011 together with fellow Conservatives, Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Burt Keimach and Cllr. William Parry, the authority’s Chairman.

The Secretary of State visited the Hemswell Cliff Primary School to open the community’s new ‘Room of Requirement’ – named with the Harry Potter books in mind. Head teacher Mrs. Suzanne Scott said:
Eric Pickles MP is shown Marshall's Yard
in Gainsborugh flanked by Cllr. Keimach
(Left) and Edward Leigh MP (Right)
“It's a great honour to welcome the secretary of state to our school.

“We are looking forward to using this facility along with our community.”
After opening the facility, The Secretary of State, Edward Leigh, Councillors, council officers and other stakeholders were briefed on the need to regenerate dilapidated former RAF bases into thriving communities. Mr Pickles said:
“I will rattle the MoD's cage on this as this is a place we should celebrate.”

Friday, 14 October 2011

Eric Pickles Brings Westminster Magic to West Lindsey

As exclusively revealed on here at the start of July the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Her Majesty's Principle Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, visited West Lindsey, Lincolnshire yesterday.

Arriving at Retford Station Mr. Pickles was greeted by Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Burt Keimach, Conservative (Market Rasen Ward) and Chairman of West Lindsey Distirct Council, Cllr. William Parry, Conservative (Scotter Ward).

Eric Pickles and Liam Smith, lock wands at the opening of the
Room of Requirement at Hemswell Cliff Primary School
(c) John Jenkins/Lincolnshire Echo
Mr. Pickles was speeded away to Hemswell Cliff Primary School yesterday to open a new £10,000 community facility, their 'Room of Requirement'. Named after a secret room within Hogwarts Castle, the library will be open to residents inside and outside of school hours. The Secretary of state even engaged in a wand duel with one pupil to celebrate the opening of a Harry Potter-inspired library.

Mr Pickles praised villagers for their 'heart' in trying to improve the community. Mr Pickles. told pupils:
"If I had known this was being named after Harry Potter I would have wanted a wand.
"I am not from the Ministry of Magic but times are hard."
Speaking of Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero. Mr Pickles said:
"He said for complete contentment that what you need is a garden and a library. Today he would have said what you need is a garden and a Room of Requirement."
The ninety-one pupils from the school sang two songs which Mr. Pickles praised. Head teacher Mrs. Suzanne Scott said:
"It's a great honour to welcome the secretary of state to our school.
"We are looking forward to using this facility along with our community."
After touring the school, Mr Pickles was briefed on West Lindsey District Council's plans to revitalise ex-RAF bases at Hemswell Cliff, Brookenby and Newtoft, plus RAF Scampton by Cllr. Paul Howitt-Cowan, Conservative (Hemswell Ward), who said the aim was to create more community spaces.

Having seen some of the dilapidated buildings, Mr Pickles said:
"I will rattle the MoD's cage on this as this is a place we should celebrate. What you do have should be a joyous occasion. It shouldn't be like visiting the Bronx. In fact, the Bronx is better."
Mr Pickles later visited Gainsborough to hear about the work of West Lindsey District Council and the way an 'entrepurnurial council' is being delivered.

In the evening Mr. Pickles was guest of honour at a Gala Dinner held at the Gainsborough Golf Glub, Belt Road, Thonock.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Local Kids Learn About Lincolnshire

Children from across Lincoln have been busy painting pictures, putting up bunting and baking traditional plum bread to celebrate Lincolnshire Day the Lincolnshire Echo reports..

A host of activities have been arranged across the county to mark the fourth official Lincolnshire Day, which commemorates the Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536.

Liam Robinson teaching some youngsters at Nettleham
 Junior School learning a Lincolnshire folk song.
(c) Chris Vaughan/Lincolnshire Echo
Pupils at Nettleham Church of England Aided Junior School in Mill Hill, Nettleham, learned Lincolnshire folk songs with county musician Liam Robinson and listened to a talk by Grace Timmins of Lincoln's Tennyson Research Centre.

Head teacher Mr. David Gibbons said:
"The children and staff had a great day. It's wonderful to give the children a chance to explore the history and character of the county they live in."
Other celebrations taking place yesterday included a food-tasting event held by Lincoln Country Market at Bailgate Methodist Church Hall, an evening of traditional folk song organised by Lincoln Folk Club and a special Lincolnshire-themed day at Gainsborough Old Hall.

Lincolnshire Day will be celebrated with a range of events, including guided tours of Lincoln, birds of prey flying displays at Lincoln Castle, a vintage fair at Lincoln's Engine Shed and craft and farmers' markets at Lincoln's Cornhill, High Street and St Mark's Square.

Lincoln Business Improvement Group events and promotions manager Mr. Michael Armstrong said:
"As each year goes by, more and more people seem to embrace Lincolnshire Day and it's wonderful to see so many people keen to celebrate it.
"It's very important to commemorate our history and heritage and hopefully our Lincolnshire Day celebrations will grow and see more and more people get involved."