Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Monday, 12 February 2007

Summit to Discuss Market Square

Michael Fabricant will be meeting market traders and local shopkeepers on the 23rd February to discuss the disruption to the centre of Lichfield City and held urgent talks with Nina Dawes (Chief Executive of Lichfield District Council) and Richard King (Development Director of the Council) on Friday 9th February.

"The meeting revealed that contrary to the impression of many traders, work in the Market Square will be completed in around 8 weeks time and not 6 months as some traders believe. Moreover, the contractors' compound for the project is at Cross Keys near the end of Reeve Lane and is not the Market Square itself." says Michael. "I hope that will provide some reassurance that the disruption will not be endless.

"I do accept that there is upheaval, but I believe that the centre of Lichfield has long been in need of a make-over to attract more visitors to our City. We have lagged behind other historic towns in that respect. Fortunately, the works are being undertaken at a relatively slack trading period - not the run up to Christmas or high summer. Nevertheless, there may be changes the contractors could make to alleviate problems in the centre of the City and I will be interested to hear practical suggestions from local traders when I meet them in a couple of weeks time."

Michael's meeting with Nina Dawes also included how best to promote Lichfield when the Annual Conservative Party Conference moves to Birmingham in 2008 and again in 2010 and what steps need to be taken to ensure that train commuters have the best services from Lichfield when the new train timetable begins in December 2008.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Theresa May Campaigning with Tom Biggins in Telford

Theresa May Visited the West Midlands, campaigning in Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands and in Telford.

Tom Biggins, Parliamentary Candidate in Telford gained publicity for his action day to tidy Madley Park and visited Thomas Telford School, which made the front page of the local newspaper.

Theresa May's visit also received airtime from local BBC radio.

City of Coventry Conservatives Advertise for a New Agent

Vacancy: Conservative Party Agent

Constituency: City of Coventry Conservatives

Details: Applications are invited for the position of full time Agent for the City of Coventry Conservative Association to replace the present Agent, Matt Edmonds, who is leaving to take up a position in Worcestershire.

The Association is proud of its record of having had Agents and is determined to appoint an energetic, experienced person who shares our ambition and vision to cement our control of Coventry City Council and continue to build the membership, organisation, and funds of the Association over the coming years.

The Association has a well equipped office not far from Coventry City Centre.

The successful candidate should have a proven track record of effective fund raising, and will be expected to play a major role in strengthening branch infrastructure.

Coventry has three Parliamentary Constituencies of which Coventry South and Coventry North West are target seats for the next General Election. The Conservative Party has had an overall majority of seats on the City Council since 2006 with 30, the Labour Party has 19, the Socialist Alternative Party has 3, and the Liberal Democrats have 2. There are City Council elections in 2007 and 2008.

The successful applicant will be a trainee or qualified Agent and fully conversant with the latest campaigning techniques

A salary in accordance with the scales published by the Party Board in January 2007 will be considered together with expenses.

Applications: A CV and covering letter should be sent to Robert Ashman at CCHQ, 25 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 0DL or by e-mail to For an informal discussion applicants should contact the Chairman, Ian Johnson on 024 7671 2555.

Closing Date: 19th February 2007

Chairman: Ian Johnson

Liberal Democrat District Councillor in Malvern Joins the Conservative Party

A long-standing member of the Liberal Democratic Party at Malvern Hills crossed the floor of the District Council last Friday to join the Conservative Group.
Councillor Pat Mewton was welcomed by Councillor Serena Croad, the leader of the Conservatives on Malvern Hills District Council, and gave three reasons for his crossing the floor:

1. Increases in Council Tax for next year (2007-2008) would be almost totally absorbed by increases in the staff pension bill, and not spent on services to the electorate.

2. The quality of Liberal Democrat leadership has lost the trust of the citizens and taxpayers of the Malvern Hills

3. The Liberal Democrats cannot be trusted with any aspect of the future security of the country.
Councillor Serena Croad, Leader of the Conservative Group, said: “Pat enjoys a reputation as a good community ward Councillor and has represented the residents of Pickersleigh for seven years. We welcome Pat, a former soldier in our armed forces, across to the Conservative Group and he has been selected for the May 2007 District Elections for his local ward in Pickersleigh. He is now a valuable member of a growing Conservative Councillors team and will work with us to take back control of Malvern Hills Disctrict Council in May”.

Pat Mewton added:

“I was naturally disappointed not to be reselected by the Liberal Democrats to contest the Pickersleigh Ward at the next council elections. When I made the decision to contest the seat I had to leave the Party which I was becoming increasingly disillusioned with. However two days after resigning from the Liberal Democrats I was asked by them to contest one of the seats in Priory Ward on their behalf.

After speaking to the Conservative Party Group Leader Serena Croad I was asked to apply to be a candidate for the Conservatives in the Pickersleigh Ward. I am happy to say that they selected me and I will now contest the ward on their behalf.”

Another Success for Community Conservatism in Tamworth

Christopher Pincher, Tamworth’s Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, recently arranged a community clean-up after being approached by local residents. The call went out and over 40 helpers converged on the Bumpy, armed with black bags and litter pickers. In just 3 hours they filled more than 60 bags of rubbish and built up over a tonne of dumped bikes, furniture, car tyres and broken gym equipment. The team spent approximately 120 man-hours on the project – equivalent to one person spending nearly two weeks cleaning up the open space. They also arranged with the Council’s Street Scene team to collect the bags and junk. Another success for Community Conservatism.

Fair Deal Campaign Hits Number 10

A group of Solihull and Meriden Conservatives have taken the issue of local government funding all the way to the top. Over thirty local Conservatives delivered a letter of protest and a petition, campaigning for a Fair Deal for Solihull to Number 10 Downing Street.

Maggie Throup, Solihull’s Parliamentary Candidate and Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden joined the delegation, demanding a better Government Grant for the borough of Solihull. The residents of Solihull will be receiving just £244 per head, compared to an average of £462 per head for other Metropolitan Councils. Birmingham will be receiving the astonishing figure of £582 per head.

Ms Throup commented: “The financial consequences of this decision are immediate and unavoidable. Solihull and Meriden Conservatives will continue to lobby for a Fair Deal 4 Solihull.”

Mrs Spelman added: “The borough of Solihull is not all leafy, healthy and wealthy. I have some of the most deprived wards in the country in my constituency. Residents across the whole borough are being penalised as a result of this poor Government settlement.”

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Latest news: Wolverhampton South West Open Primary

Conservatives in Wolverhampton South West have chosen the three candidates who will face the wider public vote to become one of the city's would-be-MPs.

Details of the three candidates campaigning for the nomination can be found on the local blog site of the Open Primary at

Blogger Barwell

Regional Deputy Chairman Launches Blog

Charles Barwell, West Midlands officer has launched a new blog.

It can be viewed at:

Oliver Letwin Visits Wyre Forest

Key Local Representatives of Public Services Meet With Conservative Policy Chief

The Right Honourable Oliver Letwin MP, Conservative Shadow Cabinet member and Head of Conservative Policy Review, last night visited Wyre Forest to meet with local representatives of core public services.

Mr Letwin was a guest of Wyre Forest Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman Mark Garnier and was in Kidderminster to hear the views of interested local parties – views that will crucially be taken into account when the Conservative Party finalises its policies ahead of the next general election.

With the Conservative Party now consistently 6% to 10% ahead of the deeply troubled Labour Government in opinion polls, it is entirely probable that the views put forward at the meeting will be included in implemented national policy.

The meeting discussed a top down approach, as opposed to minutiae, and the overriding message from all concerned was that people who work in the public sector want, more than anything else, stability. In order for public sector workers to be able to deliver their services, they want an end to unwelcome re-organisations and unsettling initiatives, and a period of stability to let re-organisations to ‘bed down’. Moreover, in a system that is now dominated by targets and confusing organisation, a clarity of who the customer actually is is essential. Finaly people asked for both locally focused services and for fairness in delivery.

Comenting, Oliver Letwin said; “I am very grateful to Mark for bringing me to Wyre Forest. What I can assure people is that we will not simply change things as sson as we become the government. Our policy review process is extensive and it is thorough and my visit to Wyre Forest is important because I need to see what the views are of people over the whole country.”

Mark Garnier added: “It is very important indeed for Wyre Forest to have its voice in Westminster. Although we have a very hard working MP, because of the nature of politics and the party system, national policy is not formulated by independent MPs. It is absolutely crucial that Wyre Forest gets its voice heard in the policy making debate and not just when Parliament votes. Wyre Forest was heard loud and clear in 2001, but since then it has been off the main radar screen politically. I want Wyre Forest to be heard now and it is my job to make sure Wyre Forest’s interests are best served by the party who will probably form the next government. That is why I will be bringing more of our policy makers to Wyre Forest to hear what people want from their next Government.”

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Oliver Letwin Set to Visit Region Tomorrow

Oliver Letwin will be visiting a number of projects, including Balsall Heath, Solihull and a policy meeting in Wyre Forest arranged by Mark Garnier.

Further Details to follow

Great News for Birmingham and the West Midlands

Birmingham to host 2008 Conservative conference

The Conservatives are to break with tradition, and stage their annual conference in Birmingham for the first time.Instead of the usual seaside location, the 2008 and 2010 annual October conferences will take place in Birmingham's International Convention Centre.The move was announced by Party Chairman Francis Maude following a full review of conference locations. A decision on the venue for the 2009 annual conference is expected to be made shortly.

Announcing the Birmingham location during a visit to the City, Mr Maude said: "Following the success of our 2006 Spring Forum in Manchester, we are delighted to be bringing our main conference to England's second city."With the decision certain to deliver a multi-million pound boost to the city's economy, he added: "Birmingham is one of the country's great heartland cities, representing a dynamic and cosmopolitan Britain."And Mr Maude explained: "Having looked at the five venues across the country that can hold a full conference, we are keen to move the conference across the country. We have not ruled out returning to other venues in the future."The decision to stage the Conservative 2008 conference is Birmingham builds on the great success of last year's Spring Forum in Manchester. And together with the creation of Campaign North, it shows that the Conservatives are not just a party of the South.

Meanwhile, the Conservative 2007 Spring Forum will be held at the Royal Centre in Nottingham from 16 - 18 March, while this year's annual Party Conference will take place in Blackpool from 30 September - 3 October.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Wolverhampton South West to Select Parliamentary Candidate in Open Primary

Conservatives in Wolverhampton South West are about to start the parliamentary selection process by an open primary. This is where all voters living in the constituency can take part and pick the man or woman fighting to be the next MP.

Adverts will be published in local newspapers and on websites to give everyone the opportunity to take part in this process.

Watch this space for further details

Five More West Midlands Seats Advertise for Candidates

The following seats are set to select candidates:

Birmingham Northfield
Birmingham Selly Oak
Coventry North West
North Warwickshire
Warwick and Leamington

Further details regarding the style of selection will be posted here.

Monday, 29 January 2007

David Cameron in Birmingham

Bringing down the barriers to cohesion

David Cameron has called on the people of Britain to resist extremism, and work flat out to tackle the 'five barriers' dividing society and blocking cohesion in the community.Delivering a keynote speech in Birmingham, the Conservative Leader said that instead of seeking to blame one group or another for the breakdown in relations, the country should confront the underlying causes: extremism, multiculturalism, uncontrolled immigration, poverty, and poor educational standards.He warned that those radical Muslims who seek a sharia state, or special treatment and a separate law for British Muslims, appear like a mirror image of the BNP, as they try to divide people into 'us' and 'them', and deliberately seek out grievances to exploit.

And Mr Cameron called on government to use all the available instruments of public policy to draw people away from the ideologies which attempt to separate British Muslims from the mainstream, and to make society inclusive, fairer and more just.Speaking after an opinion poll was published showing that anti-western attitudes are strengthening among young British Muslims, he declared: "We need big changes. Let's take down all the barriers in the way of a stronger society - the barrier of extremism, the barrier of uncontrolled migration, the barrier of a multiculturalist approach that's failed, and the barriers of poverty and poor education."Likening Muslim extremism to the ideologies of the BNP, he stated: "We must mobilise the instruments of public policy to draw people away from supporting such ideologies. The BNP pretend to be respectable; but their creed is pure hate. And those who seek a sharia state, or special treatment and a separate law for British Muslims are, in many ways, the mirror image of the BNP. They also want to divide people into us and them. And they too seek out grievances to exploit."Warning that multiculturalism has been manipulated to favour a divisive idea - the right to difference - Mr Cameron stressed the need to bring people close together, and pressed for Muslims to be taught English. He said: "We've got to make sure that people learn English, and we've got to make sure that kids are taught British history properly at school. I believe that the Government should redirect some of the money it currently spends on translation into additional English classes. This would help people integrate into society and broaden their opportunities.

"Mr Cameron insisted that government must get a grip on immigration. "We can only live together if there is proper integration. You can't have proper integration if people are coming into Britain at a faster rate than we can cope with," he said.On poverty, the Conservative Leader warned of an emerging underclass, crippled by family breakdown, drug and alcohol addiction, unemployment, ill-health and crime. "It's a self-perpetuating cycle. In some of our urban areas people are living in conditions of multiple deprivation. Not only is this an affront to social justice; it's also a breeding ground for resentment and division. So tackling poverty is a priority. And the most effective way of beating poverty in the long run is to give people in deprived areas decent schools," he said.On education, he called for action to bring down the 'educational apartheid' existing in many towns and cities - "not between faith schools and non-faith schools, but between good schools and bad schools. A good education is important for everyone, but for children in poor areas it's absolutely vital."