9:31am Friday 24th October 2014
9:35am Thursday 23rd October 2014
Last Saturday I had the great pleasure of attending the Diwali celebration hosted by the Swindon Indian association. It was most enjoyable to share in this festival of lights and it made me reflect on the different communities we are lucky to have in the town with all the positive qualities diversity brings.
3:00pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014
This week we heard some good news about Wiltshire’s Fire and Rescue Authority. The government announced the outcome of a bidding process by which £75 million will be distributed to authorities across the country. The good news is that Wiltshire’s bid was successful; the even better news is that we’re getting the second biggest grant of any authority – more than £5.5 million.
12:00pm Friday 17th October 2014
The Council continues to face two enormous pressures on its budgets. The biggest pressure comes entirely from the rise in the number of vulnerable people who require the Council’s support. At the same time, we have to operate in a wider environment where the Government is working to restore responsibility to the nation’s public finances. In order to meet these challenges, the Council must make radical changes to almost all its services.
11:57am Friday 17th October 2014
4:13pm Friday 10th October 2014
Youth unemployment has always been one of the toughest sectors of the job market to tackle; for those aged 18-24 not in employment, education or training it can be hard to find the help that they need to get on in life.
9:32am Thursday 9th October 2014
I’m not really up on my Bible, but I’m pretty sure it says something in there about helping the needy
11:48am Tuesday 7th October 2014
9:31am Friday 3rd October 2014
10:28am Thursday 2nd October 2014
On Monday, I was speaking on behalf of Swindon at a breakfast forum organised in Birmingham by the research unit Centre for Cities. It is a sign of our town’s economic importance that they rank us alongside some of Britain’s major cities. At the forum, I showed how Swindon is a business-driven town with four private sector jobs to each one in the public sector. This makes us the third highest of 63 cities and towns in the recent Centre for Cities Outlook 2014 in terms of the ratio of private to public sector workers.
5:13pm Wednesday 1st October 2014
9:19am Wednesday 1st October 2014
AS I write, I’m in Birmingham for the Conservative Party conference. What you see on TV – the big speeches from the main hall – is actually only a minor part of the whole event. Conferences are a huge opportunity to lobby cabinet ministers and decision-makers about some of the issues facing Swindon.
In 2011 I even had to cut short my honeymoon in order to return to Parliament to debate the phone hacking scandal
9:24am Friday 26th September 2014
9:56am Thursday 25th September 2014
9:58am Wednesday 24th September 2014
9:39am Wednesday 17th September 2014
3:36pm Tuesday 16th September 2014
10:20am Friday 12th September 2014
10:36am Thursday 11th September 2014
9:23am Wednesday 10th September 2014
9:42am Friday 5th September 2014
Each and every election that passes we continue to see a worrying trend of increasing voter apathy. A 65 per cent turnout at the general election, just over 30 per cent for the local and European elections, and a shameful 10 per cent for some PCC elections.
10:40am Thursday 4th September 2014
As children start the academic year, I am pleased to see the ever-growing choice from the good schools that are available in this borough. This September we will see the new University Technical College join our existing secondary schools and colleges as it accepts its first pupils. We also have new primary classes opening in the town centre and north Swindon. Although it’s the Council’s role to ensure that there are sufficient school places, since 1988 the law and government policy has made parental choice a key part of the school allocation process. Over the next few weeks, we will be inviting parents to register for school places in September 2015. Since I am both a parent and a former Cabinet Member responsible for Children’s Services, I know how important these choices are.
9:45am Wednesday 3rd September 2014
This week Parliament has returned after the summer recess. It’s been a busy few weeks and a very welcome opportunity to spend even more time in Swindon, talking to residents, meeting community groups and attending a large number of local events.
10:13am Friday 22nd August 2014
Over the last few days we have witnessed the horrific and disturbing images of the brutal murder of American photojournalist James Foley at the hands of the barbaric terrorist organisation known as the Islamic State.
5:52pm Thursday 21st August 2014
As work goes on to tackle the fire at the Averies waste site, I would like to explain the huge amount of work that has been going on, much of it requiring meetings with our partner agencies about operational matters. The Fire Brigade has responsibility for putting the fire out. The Environment Agency has responsibility for licensing such sites. The Council has no formal role, but as the smoke was affecting residents and businesses, we used our powers to help co-ordinate activities.
3:50pm Tuesday 19th August 2014
3:52pm Monday 18th August 2014
JUSTIN TOMLINSON: Their confidence, work ethic and determination to put something back into their local community is amazing
1:40pm Monday 18th August 2014
THIS summer, across Swindon, hundreds of young people aged 16-17 will have taken part in the National Citizen Service (NCS). NCS is a scheme that was the personal project of Prime Minister David Cameron.
5:00pm Thursday 14th August 2014
ROBERT BUCKLAND: The actions of the militants have been brutal in the extreme and the effect has been awful to watch
10:30am Wednesday 13th August 2014
1:43pm Monday 11th August 2014
4:06pm Wednesday 6th August 2014
11:43am Tuesday 5th August 2014
11:10am Monday 4th August 2014
1:07pm Friday 1st August 2014
MONDAY marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. In the four years that followed, more than 20 million people were injured and 16 million men, women and children lost their lives; including more than a million British casualties who made the ultimate sacrifice.
12:12pm Thursday 31st July 2014
1:56pm Wednesday 30th July 2014
12:02pm Wednesday 30th July 2014
1:54pm Monday 28th July 2014
1:23pm Friday 25th July 2014
11:25am Thursday 24th July 2014
11:27am Wednesday 23rd July 2014
AS I write, it’s exactly a week since David Cameron asked me to join the Government as Solicitor General as part of his reshuffle. It’s an honour and privilege to have been appointed to this historic position, records for which date back to the 14th century.
11:25am Wednesday 23rd July 2014
11:20am Monday 21st July 2014
THIS week’s column has been made possible by a twist of fate that happened in 1882. It’s all to do with my great great grandfather, who was born in 1831, lived in Upper Stratton and went by the impressive name of Adolphus Adams (not many people can say they have an Adolphus in their family).
4:37pm Thursday 17th July 2014
Last week we had an unwelcome example of something that has thankfully become much rarer these days – a national strike by some trade unions about national issues, which had a disproportionate effect on some local residents.
BARRIE HUDSON: I wish someone would open a Lapp-dancing club featuring a knees-up with a fully dressed person from Finland
12:18pm Tuesday 8th July 2014
THE Swindon licensing committee plans to consult the public on the regulation of ‘sexual entertainment venues.’ “Sexual entertainment venues’ is apparently the official term for strip joints, lap-dancing places and those shops with the blacked-out windows where mucky books and terrifying pieces of equipment are sold.
11:50am Monday 7th July 2014
5:10pm Friday 4th July 2014
Ofsted recently published a report Going The extra mile: Excellence In Competitive School Sport warning too many pupils are being denied the chance to take part in competitive sport and it is often treated as an optional extra.
7:00am Thursday 3rd July 2014
THE public sector is going through an extensive period of change as we face falling budgets and rising demand. To cope with this, we are adapting from being a council whose job it is to provide things – the traditional model with which everyone is familiar - to being a local authority that works with partner organisations to get the best results for people.
2:20pm Wednesday 2nd July 2014
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