Friday, 26 January 2007

Maggie's Campaign Gets Top Tory Backing

On a visit to Solihull, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Peter Ainsworth, met with Maggie and local campaigners, fighting to stop two phone masts currently proposed in Solihull, at Widney Manor and at Shirley Heath.

Maggie commented: "At the moment the law favours the mast providers. I am campaigning to get the law changed so it is on the side of local residents. Residents deserve to have more say in where these masts for the new generation phones are sited."

Mr Ainsworth added: "Maggie has achieved great success in stopping phone mast applications across Solihull and I am sure she will be successful with these two. It is only by changing legislation that people will really have a voice. This is why I am backing Maggie's campaign for local people to have their say."

Solihull residents can find out more about Maggie's campaign to get the law changed by emailing her at

Wyre Forest Shows Off Recycling to Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment

Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment Peter Ainsworth MP today visited Wyre Forest to see for himself the much heralded local facilities. After visiting the Network Worcestershire electrical goods recycling plant in Oldington and Foley Park, and then the Green Street offices of Wyre Forest District council where recycling is managed, the Conservative front bench spokesman for the environment declared himself “very impressed indeed”.

Peter Ainsworth was invited to visit Wyre Forest by Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman Mark Garnier.

Council leader Steven Clee hosted the visit to the district council offices in Green Street where recycling officer Andrew Dickens told Peter Ainsworth about the fantastic progress the council is making in its recycling and collection targets.

Mr Ainsworth was also taken to The Network Worcestershire in Oldington and Foley Park. Mark Garnier has been helping the Network raise publicity over their activities, as well as helping with certain legislative issues. Conservative leader David Cameron MP has been a visitor and a delegation was taken to London to meet with Shadow Secretary of State for Industry Alan Duncan MP.

Commenting after the visit, Mark Garnier said: “Wyre Forest is leading the way with recycling and I am proud to be associated with a district that takes the environment so seriously. Today we visited two operations. One was a privately started charitable project; the second a local government service. Both work together and both show that issues of recycling and refuse is something that everyone can get involved with. This is a priority and it is being led by Wyre Forest.”

Peter Ainsworth added: “I am very grateful to Mark and Steven for looking after me and showing me what is going on here. The Network Worcestershire is a terrific organisation in that it re-uses electrical goods, it provides a disposal service for the whole county, it provides local jobs and it provides necessary domestic appliances to those people who would otherwise not be able to afford them. And I was particularly impressed with the achievements at the district council under Steven Clee’s leadership. The fact that they are achieving and breaking their targets is entirely down to sound management and clear thinking. It was a very valuable tour for me as I can take with me the key to Wyre Forest’s successes and look at them in the context of national legislation. Well done to all in Wyre Forest.”

Monday, 22 January 2007

West Midlands Set to Launch Member's Magazine - Can You Help Name it?

The Conservative Party in the West Midlands is set to launch a Member's magazine. It is important that all Party member's are kept in touch with Party activity and the new publication will be launched in 10 days time.

To keep all members involved, the Regional Chairman, Mrs. Prue Winton is inviting all members to help 'name' the magazine. Please email Sandra Gillett by Thursday at 1.00pm.

Sandra's email address is

Local Conservatives Spend Saturday Morning Tending Flower Beds and Collecting Litter

Mark Garnier and team pictured after a busy morning making Wyre Forest a brighter place to live.

'No' To Major Home Build and Urban Sprawl

In his formal response to the West Midlands Regional Assembly Report on the 'Regional Spatial Strategy' which determines the house building programme for Staffordshire and the rest of the west midlands, Michael Fabricant has said a resounding 'No' to the construction of 16,000 new homes in Lichfield District.

In his response to the Regional Assembly, Michael Fabricant says "While I recognise the need for additional housing, Options 2 and 3 proposed by the Strategy are wholly unacceptable and would destroy the quality of life currently enjoyed in Lichfield District". Option 3 calls for 77,900 new homes to be built in Staffordshire (excluding Stoke) of which 16,000 (21%) would be built in Lichfield and Option 2 calls for 67,900 new homes to be built in Staffordshire (excluding Stoke) of which 11,000 (16%) would be built in Lichfield.

Option 1 calls for 51,300 new homes to be built in Staffordshire (excluding Stoke) of which 6,500 (13%) would be built in Lichfield. Michael Fabricant has told the Regional Assembly that Option 1 "is an acceptable and realistic building programme that would not have a major impact on the environment in Lichfield".
Commenting on his response, Michael now says: "Taking into account completions of house building since 2001 and current building commitments, Lichfield already has completed an existing programme of 5,500 homes. So the acceptance of Option 1 offered by the Regional Assembly would mean, in practice, that the District would have to find sites for 1,000 homes. Although this seems considerable, I understand that they could be accommodated on brownfield sites and through 'windfalls'.
"My concerns are that these sites are chosen sensitively to ensure that Lichfield City does not encroach onto greenbelt separating the City from the Birmingham conurbation and that 'brownfield' does not mean the Government's definition which includes large back gardens.
"Lichfield has a unique identity and we will lose it all if we are swallowed up into Birmingham's characterless urban sprawl".

Ellie Bishop Trust holds a Successful Evening

From left to right: Chris Kelly (Chairman of the Ellie Bishop Trust), Maurice Hudson (Hudsons of Dudley Ltd) & Margot James.

The ever-popular pantomime, Cinderella, was performed by the Young Ones & their guests in a very special evening at the Netherton Arts Centre in Netherton, Dudley on Saturday 20 January with all proceeds going to the Ellie Bishop Trust ( A capacity crowd of around 350, including a large number of children, enjoyed the evening which was opened by Black Country comedian Tommy Mundon. Free ice-cream for all children was provided at the interval by one generous benefactor. Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Stourbridge, Cllr Margot James, was on stage to draw the raffle for some fabulous prizes including mountain bikes & a flat-screen TV alongside the Trust's Chairman, Chris Kelly, & local businessman, Maurice Hudson of Hudsons of Dudley Ltd.

In all the evening raised about £5,000 for the Trust.