Wouldn’t it nice if the Chancellor’s Autumn statement this week announced the HS2 plans are being abandoned?
As well as all the homes and views that will be irrevocably destroyed or damaged by this huge white elephant just think what the country could do with the £55 billion that would be saved.
Everyone knows the NHS is seriously ill and needs an urgent infusion of cash to make it fit for purpose so the money not wasted on the high speed rail link could literally make the difference between life and death.
And the figures currently quoted will inevitably continue to rise and rise and the vast majority of people in this country rightly do not believe it is value for money.
Many commuters already struggle to pay their rail fares and I shudder to think how much tickets will cost to travel on this folly. Continue reading Abandon HS2 plans
It seems to me that once again, residents and visitors to the Crewe and Nantwich areas of Cheshire East are footing the bill when it comes to council parking charges after paying a whopping £1.5 million.
Some may argue that Nantwich is a thriving market town, bustling with independent shops, nice cafes and well kept pubs; however, the same can’t be said for Crewe. The town centre of Crewe is on its knees and some parts of the high street now resemble an economic ghost town.
Meanwhile, more affluent towns such as Sandbach continue to enjoy free parking. Consequently, it is of no surprise that whilst Sandbach continues to thrive, Crewe is left to wither and die. Continue reading Save Crewe Town Centre
As your local MEP, I would like to congratulate Cheshire Police in their successful raids across the county in an effort to stamp out modern day slavery and exploitation of foreign workers.
The recent case of Romanian workers at the Waves Car Wash at Congleton Tesco where employees were paid just £3.63, half the minimum wage, is sadly just the tip of the iceberg.
Foreign workers often have their passports taken away from them whilst being forced to hand over their wages to brutal gang masters and exploiters. This is happening not only at car washes but on construction sites, warehouses and farms up and down the country.
Continue reading Cheshire police praised
The tragic case of a five month old kitten who was dumped and left to die in a sealed box with no food or water outside the entrance to Blackpool Zoo, highlights the urgent need to give the RSPCA the sharper teeth they need to catch and prosecute cases of animal cruelty. Sadly, these cases are happening all too often and not enough criminals are being brought to book.
We are famously known as a ‘nation of animal lovers’ largely due to pioneering legislation to safeguard animal welfare and the establishment of the RSCPA by William Wilberforce and other great social reformers of the time. However, with every case of animal neglect and cruelty that goes unpunished, we lose that title.
I would very much like to see animal welfare legislation toughened up so that anyone who is convicted of animal cruelty receives a full life-time ban on keeping or looking after animals in the future whilst tripling the maximum jail term for serious offenders.
Louise Bours MEP
The opening of a brand new £11.3 million state-of-the-art leisure centre and 25 metre swimming pool complete with outdoor 3G football pitches is good news for Workington as it ensures local residents will have somewhere modern to exercise.
One of the main objectives of the London 2012 Olympics legacy was to get more young people into sport and regular exercise. However, last year a damning report found that even with the backdrop of a growing population, a further 1.5 million adults were not participating in any sport whatsoever since 2010.
The largest decrease in sport participation was in swimming which saw a decline of 264,000 people or 9.4%. Football, the nation’s most popular game, has lost a staggering 11.1% of its participants in the same period.
We need to get people back into sport for the obvious benefits it provides to both physical and mental well-being.
The recent Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio De Janeiro have been a high water mark for elite sport for Team GB. Unless we have the facilities in place to nurture those inspired by the likes of Adam Peaty and Ellie Simmonds in the pool, the success of our elite athletes will always be bittersweet.
Louise Bours MEP
In most walks of life, people make mistakes on more than one occasion and we are happy and ready to forgive and forget. However, the same most certainly should not be the case for violent thugs such as Jason Bamford who has been spared from going to prison despite throttling his girlfriend whilst serving an 18 month suspended sentence for a previous assault.
I am sick to death hearing of soft-touch judges who seem too petrified to send a violent man to prison.
How many more times must a violent offender be found guilty before this judge passes a custodial sentence?
For the sake of public safety, convicted violent thugs should be removed from society and put in prison where they belong.
Louise Bours MEP
HEART FAILURE TEST CONCERNS BY LOCAL MEP
Concerns over failure by some health authorities to provide a simple heart failure test which could save the NHS £3.8 million have been raised by local MEP Louise Bours.
Early diagnosis of heart failure greatly improves outcomes for patients and saves the health service money with reduced hospital referrals, admissions and procedures.
In the wake of a report by the All Parliamentary Group on Heart Disease, which has highlighted the problem, Ms Bours is writing to all the Clinical Commissioning Groups and hospital trusts in the North West.
“I want to know if they provide this test, which measures natriuretic peptide, and if they do not I want to know why not and if the situation is to be reviewed and the test introduced,” said Ms Bours, MEP for the North West.. Continue reading Heart failure test concerns
The UK has for many years provided a safe refuge for those escaping persecution, particularly in the twentieth century. Jews in Europe in the 1930’s and Asians in Uganda in the 1970’s faced almost certain death and I am particularly proud that we as a nation were ready to accept those fleeing for their lives.
However, the recent case of Oldham resident Arshad Kharajan, now serving a 20 month sentence for taking sexual advantage of a vulnerable underage girl should bring in to question whether his continued refugee status should remain intact.
Whilst we have stepped up and taken responsibility for Mr Kharajan, he too should step up and take responsibility for his own actions.
I am of the firm belief that refugees and those seeking asylum who commit serious crimes, particularly those of a sexual nature should be stripped of any protected status and returned to their country of origin once their sentence has been served.
Surely we should prioritise protecting the safety of our own citizens above the protection of others.
Louise Bours MEP
I would like to congratulate Ellesmere Port and the German city of Reutlingen on celebrating 50 years of twinning.
English towns and cities have twinned with those in Europe for over a hundred years and the Ellesmere Port – Reutlingen friendship pre-dated the UK joining the European Economic Community. Twinning is now becoming common with cities in China and America.
I would therefore like to assure everybody that there is no reason why this twinning would not continue long after we leave the European Union.
Last month, the nation voted by a clear majority to leave the European Union and I now hope that the process of formally applying to leave, so called Article 50, is carried out as soon as possible.
But let us be clear, we are leaving a political union. We are not leaving Europe. We are not moving our isles into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. An independent Great Britain will still be very much European in a geographical, economical and cultural sense and we will always be good neighbours to our friends across on the continent.
Therefore I see no reason why twinning of Ellesmere Port and Reutlingen cannot go on for another 50 years to come.
Louise Bours MEP