As a local man with a young family I know how important it is that communities have a strong voice, and are able to influence and shape their future. I have heard from many in Clewer North about the struggles they have with local planning, and how marginalised they feel by the council. I will work tirelessly to stand up for the residents of Clewer North, to ensure the community retains its character and regains control of its future.
On the 4th June the Queen read out the programme of Bills that David Cameron has lined up for the next few months. There were not many of them so perhaps he needs some help with his planning. This is the Bill that I would like to see discussed at Westminster.........
Given free reign to propose a bill for the Queen’s speech, I would like to choose something that would be a vote of confidence for the scientists, medics, engineers and manufacturers of the UK. Technical professions such as these are not generally well paid in the UK and there has long been a drain of our talent, particularly to the US. Our research and development ability is second only to the US and it is a crying shame that we do not value these people, their skills and knowledge as much as they deserve. There have been many examples over the years of our universities and hospitals developing new treatments or medical breakthroughs only for a private company to snap it up, register the patent, then sell the product back to the NHS at great expense.
For too long the direction of knowledge development and technical innovation has been skewed by the private sector. For example the pharmaceutical companies put great effort into developing drugs for chronic conditions in order to ensure a steady, long term income from their efforts. That is, after all, the purpose of a private company, to make a reliable profit. However, ideally, as a government, we would commission research in a more methodical way, to ensure our priorities are met and not just rely on the vagueries of the market. There are complex and life threatening conditions and diseases that are under researched and that we need to find treatments and medications for.
My bill would create a Medical Science, Technology and Engineering Foundation. It’s role would be to commission research and development for new treatments, new medication, new bionic prosthetics and other new medical technologies. Centres of excellence around the country would be commissioned to perform the research and ultimately to work alongside manufacturers in order to bring certain products to completion. Not only would this benefit each special area of expertise but it would also create long term economic growth and specialist manufacturing in each of the regions.
In the case of the scientific or medical development, the Patent would belong to the Foundation and over time this would provide an income for the Foundation. This income would not be the only financial benefit to the UK tax payer: The new treatments, medications and technologies would only be cost price for the NHS and they would also help to ensure a happier, healthier and therefore more productive population making fewer demands on the NHS. Now wouldn’t that be a bill to smile about?
This blog was also published by the centre left think tank Progress 4-6-2014
Photo taken in Ed Milliband's office on 4-6-2014
Over five months after our letter to the council which asked key questions about the 388 missing laptops, we've received a response from them. We've given copies of the response to the local press we've also put them here.
Why have we done this before we respond ourselves? Well we wanted to enable other people to give feedback on the situation. We have our own views and to be frank, we're more than a little shocked how bad the information security regime seems to have been at RBWM.
Kudos to reporter Dan Whiteway at the Royal Borough Observer - if it wasn't for him picking up on a chance comment (that wasn't minuted) in a council meeting, we would not have known about this gross waste of money and potentially even worse situation regarding citizen data protection.
For the Chairman of the Audit Panel originally describing the issue as "not a major security breach" in November, the council have gone to disclosing the issue to the Information Commissioner's Office (the ICO) in March, following our questions.
We remain very concerned as you can see from our press release today. Please have a look at the council's response to us and give us your feedback by the 23rd of May 2014 via our email contact: email@example.com We'll then ensure all the received points are covered in our response to the council.
This press release was sent to the local newspapers on the 14th of May 2014:
Labour Party has expressed concern at a report into 388 missing laptops at the
Royal Borough’s council.
The report follows a letter from the Windsor
Labour Party containing 10 key questions for the council to answer about the
388 missing laptops. After waiting over five months for answers to the Labour
Party’s questions, the council finally responded on the 7th of May.
The startling report shines a light on
information security incompetence at the Royal Borough of Windsor &
Maidenhead council over a period of at least ten years revealing that no
disciplinary action has taken place over the issue and that the laptops could
not be found. They also appear to have misled the public in a response to a
Freedom of Information request by stating that only 6 laptops were missing.
Jenny Ward, the new Chair of Windsor Labour
said “the council simply doesn’t know what data was on the missing laptops, or seemingly
who they were issued to and that is extremely worrying.”
The council admitted that they’d sent a
report to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on the 28th of
March following an investigation prompted by Windsor Labour’s query. In
November 2013, a Councillor described the issue as “not a major security
The Labour Party has made the council
response available on their blog at blog.windsorlabour.org.uk for local
residents to enable them to give feedback before a formal response is made to