Straight Talking with Ian Mean

Are our Newly Elected MPs in Gloucestershire Starting off on the Right Track?

Posted in Uncategorized by ianmean on May 10, 2010

Following the election results in the county, The Citizen asked our winning parliamentary candidates in the area of this newspaper’s circulation for their Monday manifestos in 300 words—the priorities for their constituencies from today.

We publish their priorities on page seven today and leave you to decide if they are starting out on the right track.

They must forget the machinations being played out in national government, deals and talk of coalitions. They must get down to work in earnest to fulfill the trust the Gloucestershire voters have placed in them.

It’s about local issues and local people who voted for them.

If we weigh up their submissions to us over the weekend, the most positive and realistic was probably that written by Richard Graham, the new MP for Gloucester.

He rightly highlights regeneration across the whole city-not just the docks that to many of us has just become a glorified housing estate.

And he points to that eyesore of the Railway Triangle as a priority for action. He wants to look at the NHS Hospitals Trust’s much criticised plans to shut beds at GloucestershireRoyalHospital—we agree with that.

On jobs for our young people, Richard Graham wants to review the administration of Gloucester Works which we also agree with—is it really delivering for the huge amount of money being ploughed into it?

In the Forest of Dean, Mark Harper, stresses that reducing our huge economic deficit is essential to get business in the Forest to grow and encourage more to set up. We saw the real enthusiasm of business in the Forest recently at our Forester Business Awards.

Mark with our weekly sister newspaper in The Dean, The Forester, has been campaigning for a better broadband service to help business. He is saying that private investment and if necessary, part of the licence fee, could be used to fund new broadband cabling in rural areas.

Neil Carmichael, victorious for the Tories over Labour’s David Drew in Stroud, has a really hard act to follow and his Monday manifesto is arguably the weakest.

It lacks detail on local issues but perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt. He talks about the importance of the environment to the people of Stroud, which is well known and protecting what he calls “rural characteristics”.

For the Tewkesbury constituency, which takes in parts of Gloucester like Hucclecote and Longlevens, Tory Laurence Robertson puts fighting against what he calls ”inappropriate development in flood risk areas” as high on his early working agenda. We agree with that.

Our newly elected MPs must drive into these local issues from today and try to isolate themselves from the political deals being done in London.

They face a real challenge with the voters of Gloucestershire. They want to see urgent action on local issues from their MPs and total honesty and transparency in their working.

One Response

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  1. Shaun Shute said, on May 10, 2010 at 11:58 am

    These local manifestos are mere space fillers for the Citizen. They will all have to be re- written after we know who is in government.


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