Wednesday, 15 April 2015

LABOUR CANDIDATES FOR ROYAL BOROUGH OF WINDSOR & MAIDENHEAD COUNCIL: To see OUR MANIFESTO, scroll down.

CANDIDATES FOR ROYAL BOROUGH OF WINDSOR AND MAIDENHEAD COUNCIL:




Laura Binnie - PARK WARD.  
I am married with three children and work as a Geoscience Technologist for an International Oil Company. I help out at my local church and enjoy walking my dog in Windsor's beautiful Great Park. I strongly believe that Labour are the only party that can protect and improve the NHS. 




Peter Shearman: Eton Wick.


A local resident, I moved to Eton Wick in 2012 with my wife and two young children.

I believe communities are best served when they are represented by one of their own. I'm standing for the Labour Party at it is the only party that can make our care services and professionals feel valued and respected for the extraordinary work they do.




Yvonne Olney : CASTLE WITHOUT. 
I am married with 2 grown up children and work for an energy company as a Finance Manager. I love running  and am currently training for the London Marathon.  The Labour party is the only party to have a clear commitment to banning zero hour contracts.




Fiona Dent: CASTLE WITHOUT.

My career to date has been spent in running cutting edge initiatives for Central Government and ensuring good quality local public services to improve our quality of life. If elected I will hold the Council Leadership to account and make sure that Castle Without residents have a clear voice and influence in Council decisions.
For my Parliamentary website please go to
www.fionadentlabour.com 




Michelle Boundy: CASTLE WITHOUT.

I believe getting a fair deal in your money matters is a basic right - without this, people cannot feel included in their community. I have a long history of working with credit unions and I currently work for the financial ombudsman service. I am standing as a Labour party candidate because I believe they are the only party working to create a society that's fair for everyone.



Tony Mathews: Clewer North

Tony Matthews – I am a retired BBC-TV Producer. Have lived in Windsor since 1964. Until April 2014 I was Chair and founder Trustee of Windsor & Maidenhead Crossroads (Caring for Carers) for 22 years Now I’m a writer and beekeeper. I have written several plays about Windsor’s local history, performed by local people




Spike Humphrey: SUNNINGHILL & SOUTH ASCOT.


I moved to Sunninghill and then Ascot with my family 9 years ago, brought here by my work as a marketing manager.
I am keenly involved in the local community, in several areas including as a Parent Governor at Charters School, a Parish Councillor, a ‘virtual’ member of my local GP’s patient participation group, and I represent all the Windsor parishes on the Royal Borough’s Crime & Disorder overview & scrutiny panel.  I’m a leading member of the Save Heatherwood Hospital campaign (which succeeded in saving the hospital, and is now continuing to campaign for the right services to be provided there) and part of the team which promoted a Yes vote in the Neighbourhood Plan referendum – achieving 91% in favour.
As an economist by training, I am concerned about the cynical way in which the Coalition has returned to the bad old days of manipulating the economy.  They apparently aimed to generate a ‘feel good factor’ just in time for the general election, but the basis for the economic growth is very shallow indeed, and is the exact opposite of a long term plan which they claim to have.  More locally, I see a similar electioneering cynicism by current councillors, who claim to be cutting out ‘waste’ – but are actually cutting out the people who do the work, and so degrading the services we all rely on.




Jenny Ward: Datchet

Jenny is a long term resident of Datchet and is now retired. In the past, she worked locally for an international magazine and for the NHS. She has served as a school governor and is a member of Unison. Currently, she is the Chair of the Windsor Consituency Labour Party.




Peter Ward: Horton and Wraysbury

Peter has lived in the locality for many years and has been a member of the Labour Party for over 30 years. He works for the NHS and is a member of Unison.



Janet Campbell - Clewer East
Janet is married to David and has lived in Windsor since 2014. She is originally from a large family in Northampton. Her interests are reading, embroidery, cooking and socialising. She joined the Labour Party to help the poor and unemployed, end unfair sanctions on people looking for work, protect the NHS from privatisation and to end the bedroom tax.



Anne Brindle - Sunningdale
I am a former journalist who is married and has lived in Sunningdale for eight years. I now work in a local library and passionately believe that having access to good local services is vital to creating a strong and fair community for everyone.

Roy Reeves - Old Windsor
Roy is recently retired but was gardner to the Queen for very many years. He was also a GMB representative through his working life.

Ahamed Mashood - Old Windsor
Mulle Price - Clewer South
Mark Olney - Ascot and Cheapside
Biographies and photos of these candidates will be uploaded shortly


LOCAL LABOUR MANIFESTO RBWM

FAIR TREATMENT FOR THE VULNERABLE AND THE PEOPLE WHO CARE FOR THEM: Labour will make Children’s Services and Adult Services fit for purpose.

HOUSING:
We commit to the building of affordable rented housing which will be owned and run by the council for the people of the Royal Borough.  Local residents will be given first priority in the allocation of these new homes.

APPRENTICESHIPS/HIGHER EDUCATION:
Labour will work with RBWM’s Further Education colleges and local employers to significantly raise the numer of of quality apprenticeships for local people. We will also look for ways to support local people as they go through Further Education.

BUSINESS RATES: 
We will apply fairer business rates for local businesses.

TRANSPORT: 
We will support the development of more cost-effective, more environmentally friendly transport systems.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Another tax cut for the wealthy

The Conservatives are once again displaying their party-of-the-rich credentials. Only a few days removed from defending the hereditary principle for non-doms, the Prime Minster has now committed £1bn for an inheritance tax cut for 10% of estates.

This is the government that scrapped Child Trust Funds, closed SureStart centres, and cut child benefit, while slashing the top rate of tax for high earners, giving wealthy pensioners a state handout through Pensioner Bonds, and now promising £1bn for an inheritance tax cut for children of the asset-rich. Their priorities are clear. The wealthy get state backing and handouts, the poor get cuts and labels.

The next time you hear the Prime Minister talk about creating a fair society for future generations, think of his record, and ask whether his actions represent the type of 'fairness' you want for the country.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Take from the young, give to the elderly - good politics, but terrible leadership

The Prime Minister is continuing his elderly voter giveaway ahead of the election. This may be good politics, but it is terrible leadership. The UK should expect more from its Prime Minster than simple Tammany Hall politics.

I've previously blogged about Osborne's pensioner giveaway, signing us up to £500m more in interest payments on our national debt than the market required. This was in effect paid for by scrapping Child Trust Funds. Money taken away from the young, and given to the elderly.

Now we have a commitment to no means testing of pensioner benefits. So the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes, and TV licences will continue to be funded for those on final salary pension schemes, with a Jag in the driveway and a Sky Sports subscription.

For comparison, this is the government that scrapped the means-tested Education Maintenance Allowance for those aged 16-19, introduced a decidedly cack-handed means testing of child benefit, and withdrew funding from SureStart.

Many commentators suggest that policy choices such as this reflect the fact that the elderly turn out to vote and the young do not. Many even fawningly applaud the leaders for smart 'politics'. However, many of the young people affected by cuts cannot vote. They are the under 18s, and they need leaders to have a view beyond the next election cycle.

This is why it is terrible leadership. It is pandering to those that can vote, at the expense of those who cannot. 

The young need political leaders to stand up for them, protect them, and invest in their future. They are not enfranchised to do this themselves. Cameron and Osborne have instead decided that power itself is more important than what you do with it, and are mortgaging their future to buy off voting pensioners this May.

I'm reminded of a Mr Burns quote from the Simpsons, at a time when there was a power shortage in Springfield,
"We've syphoned extra power off from the orphanage. Who are they going to complain to? Their parents?"

Monday, 16 February 2015

Windsor Labour Annual General Meeting 19-2-2015 8pm

Labour Party Members are warmly invited to the Windsor Labour Annual General Meeting on Thursday 19th February 2015. 
It will be held at Clewer Lodge, Mill lane, Windsor SL4 5JG at 8pm 


DIRECTIONS:
Drive into Mill lane, passing the Swan Pub on your left.
200 meters further on you will see a small Church like building on your right, that is Clewer Lodge.


As usual the AGM business will be concluded in an efficient and timely way then we will move on to discussing the election campaigns and other exciting developments!


Sunday, 25 January 2015

PEOPLE'S MARCH TO SUPPORT THE NHS


COME AND JOIN OUR ‘PEOPLE’S MARCH’ TO SUPPORT NHS STAFF ON 29TH JANUARY 2015
SUSPENDED
DO NOT GO TO HEATHERWOOD HOSPITAL ON THURSDAY



On the Thursday 29th January 2015 many NHS staff will be striking, they are simply asking for a small payrise to help them pay the bills and to stop their colleagues leaving nursing and other health professions to go to better paid, less stressful jobs.

I support the NHS and believe that the staff should be paid better than they are; so to support the staff I will be marching from Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot to King Edwards Hospital in Windsor on the morning of the 29th. A distance of just over 6 miles.

You don’t have to be a walker to support ‘The People’s March:’ You can come along to Heatherwood Hospital simply to take part in the rally at 9am or you could join at King Edwards Hospital to welcome us there, we expect to arrive at 12 noon.  

The route follows a main road that runs right through the heart of beautiful Windsor Great Park and it will be mostly down hill. The views are lovely as you walk over the brow of the hill and look down over the park and Windsor and lots of passing traffice will see us.

9am: Meet at 9am at Heatherwood Hospital: If you are arriving by train, The hospital is a 20 minute walk from Ascot Station on the Reading/Waterloo line. Please allow time for this. MAP. 

9am to 9.30am: Opportunity to display banners and flags, press photos etc. I will be there but please congregate on the pavement outside the entrance where passing traffic can see you and make sure pedestrians can pass if they need to. 

9.20 am: Rally and speech at Heatherwood in support of NHS staff.

9.30am: Start the march; we will follow the main road for 6 miles down to Windsor and King Edwards Hospital. MAP.

12 - 12.30  We will be met by UNISON pickets and will rally in support of NHS staff. Some people may leave us here but others may join.

All being well we will march through the town ending at the Mainline Windsor and Eton station on the Reading/Waterloo line. MAP. Brief rally to thank everybody at our stop point then we will disband.  

If you let me know you are coming I will try to provide a high visability waistcoat for you. Wear trainers or your favourite walking shoes or boots. We are planning to walk on concrete and short grass so comfort is more important than high tech’ boots. Plenty of warm layers and a rain proof layer just in case! A small day back pack is a good idea for your spare layers/gloves/chocolate etc.

Thames Valley Police are aware of the march and want us to keep ourselves as safe as possible. We will walk 2 abreast for the march and those who want to, can carry banners or flags. About half the route has a pavement and half not: On the section that has no pavement we will still walk 2 abreast but one will be on the grass verge and one right on the edge of the road facing the oncoming traffic on the right hand side (so that we can see the cars that pass closest to us). High vis’ jackets and banners will make us very visible to traffic. I have checked the route and this is the best option.

There is nothing like a bit of positive action and a walk in the park to boost our morale as we get going on the 2015 campaign to save the NHS from underfunding, from break up and from privatisation. Please support me with this day of action; for more info and offers of support my email is fionadentlabour@btinternet.com  Remember you don’t have to be a Labour supporter to come long and support your NHS staff: you can keep track of my campaigning at www.facebook.com/fionadentlabour and www.fionadentlabour.com My number is 07824953354 if pickets, supporters or press want to contact me. Also I will be contacting the press separately. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 29TH!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Osborne's pensioner giveaway, paid for by the children of the UK

Over the weekend George Osborne celebrated the initial success of his Pensioner Bond giveaway. Over 10% of the £10bn allocation for the bond, which returns 4% p.a. over three years, has already been taken up. But while this may be clever electoral politics, it is a bad policy by any other measure.

This is a redistributive policy that gives money to wealthy pensioners, paid for by the rest of us in the form of above-market debt interest payments. That cost is estimated at £300m a year more interest than if we had borrowed £10bn from the gilt market. The hypocrisy of this from a Chancellor committed to cutting the deficit is clear for all to see - even the Taxpayers Alliance have lined up to criticise the policy.

For a comparison, one of the coalition’s first acts was to scrap Labour’s Child Trust Funds. These funds were given to a parent on behalf of every child at birth, maturing on the child’s 18th birthday. They were modest, but intended to encourage saving by the family for the child’s future.

Scrapping these funds saved £320m a year in 2010 and 2011.

In effect the coalition took money away from every child in this country, including the most deprived, and redistributed it to wealthy pensioners in a pre-Election giveaway.

Another insight into the Conservative’s priorities for this country.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Local Council fails the electorate.


On the first working day of the new year I phoned RBWM to ask how many registered electors there are in Windsor and they were clearly in the midst of working frenetically to solve their problems with the switch over to the new system.
I felt sorry for the staff I spoke to but I am worried that many people, particularly young adults, will lose their vote in this fiasco.
Fiona Dent
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Windsor Constituency.

Here the Windsor Express takes up the story.
CLICK on the article.