Local MPs condemned for blocking independent audit proposals

Bury South MP Ivan Lewis and Bury North MP David Chaytor have been attacked by local Liberal Democrats for helping to vote down proposals for external auditing of all MPs’ expenses.

148 Labour MPs, 21 Conservative MPs and UKIP’s only MP united on Thursday night [3rd July] to vote down the proposal for an independent audit of all MPs’ expenses claims.

No Liberal Democrat MP voted against the audit plans.

Commenting, Vic D’Albert, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Bury South said:
“This decision by MPs is foolish and wrong. It is a disaster for anyone who believes in cleaning up our politics and improving Parliament’s reputation. The House of Commons had the chance to vote for proper auditing of everything MPs do with public money, but an unholy coalition of Labour and Conservative MPs prevented it.

“I am deeply disappointed that both Ivan Lewis and David Chaytor voted against allowing all MPs’ allowances to be externally audited. 52 of their Labour colleagues joined the Liberal Democrats and some Conservatives in voting for independent auditing. Ivan Lewis and David Chaytor must tell us – why did they vote to water down the proposals?

“Rarely a week seems to pass without a story in the press about MPs apparently fiddling their finances. The vast majority of MPs are not corrupt. But so long as they resist having their expenses and allowances subject to robust, external audit, the public can be forgiven for wondering what they have got to hide.”

Vic D’Albert, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Bury South welcomed the announcement by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg that his party is committing to unilaterally introduce proposals rejected by Parliament yesterday, including independent spot checks of the expenses of the party’s MPs:

“It is good to see Liberal Democrat MPs setting an example and showing that they have nothing to fear from open, independent scrutiny of their expenses.

“I hope that the Labour and Conservative leaderships will follow Nick Clegg’s lead in implementing these measures, and we can begin to restore public confidence in politicians.”

Details of how MPs voted can be found here:
http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-07-03&number=253&display=allpossible&sort=name

Bury Liberal Democrats welcome “No” vote to an elected Mayor for Bury.

A referendum on the issue of an elected Mayor took place on July 3rd, when local people were asked whether they wished to change the way the Council is run. The option to replace the current system with an elected Mayor was defeated.

Commenting on the result, leader of Bury Liberal Democrats, Cllr Tim Pickstone said, “The Lib Dems in Bury campaigned hard for a “No” vote in the referendum, and I am glad that the idea of an elected Mayor has been rejected by local people.”

The “Yes” campaign suggested that the voting for a Mayor would help defeat plans for a congestion charge. Cllr Pickstone rejected this view,: “The idea that a Mayor could stop the congestion charge was always false, and I always thought that local people wouldn’t believe it. Bury Lib Dems continue to oppose the congestion charge, and the Council is now free to carry on working hard to get improved public transport for Bury without this additional tax.”

Cllr Pickstone added, “The issue of the Mayor was always about more than the congestion charge. A Mayor would have meant a less democratic system for local people, and would have cost a small fortune every year. Liberal Democrats believe that decisions should be taken in local communities, not by one person at the Town Hall. We also believe that tax payers money should be spent on better services and lower taxes, not on a big car and a big office for an elected Mayor. The rejection of the Mayor gives us the best chance to continue fighting for real power for local people, and better local services for everyone.”

Bury Election Results 1 May 2008

Besses – Labour hold 32.44% turnout
Besses – Labour hold 32.44% turnout
Baum, Julie (Liberal Democrat) 614
Boden, Derek (Labour) 1084
Douglas, Adele Naomi (Conservative) 584
Morris, Stephen (English Democrats) 354

Church – Conservative hold 44.29% turnout
Chesters, Linda (Labour) 789
Kay, Julia (British National Party) 292
Thomson, Tamsin (Liberal Democrat) 287
Walker, Roy Edward (Conservative) 2425

East – Labour hold 33.17% turnout
Byrne, John (Labour) 1148
Davison, Emma (Liberal Democrat) 384
Hussain, Azmat (Conservative) 1023

Elton – Conservative hold 36.57% turnout
Carter, Simon Richard (Labour) 775
Creswell, Yvonne (Conservative) 1861
Sloss, Robert (Liberal Democrat) 405

Holyrood – Liberal Democrat hold 36.54% turnout
DAlbert, Vic (Liberal Democrat) 1632
Hague, Matthew (Conservative) 852
Shatliff, Benjamin Francis (Labour) 669

Moorside – Labour hold 35.66% turnout
Cane, Angela (Conservative) 1197
Cassidy, Dot (Labour) 1279
Finney, Nissa (Liberal Democrat) 223
Hagan, Victor (Independent) 130
Sedman, Phil (British National Party) 317

North Manor – Conservative hold 47.32 % turnout
Arthur, Ewan (Liberal Democrat) 338
Gunther, Dorothy Lyn (Conservative) 2694
Mitchell – Male, Lynette Elaine (Independent) 66
Nuttall, Tom (British National Party) 162
Parnell, Nick (Labour) 577

Pilkington Park – Conservative hold 37.60 % turnout
Burrows, Wayne (Liberal Democrat) 304
Campbell, Gill (Labour) 637
Wiseman, Michelle Jacqueline (Conservative) 1908

Radcliffe East – Labour Loss, Conservative gain 36.37% turnout
Halsall, Mike (Liberal Democrat) 308
Hurst, Sam (Conservative) 1384
Johnston, Daisy (Labour) 907
Rosser, Tom (British National Party) 466

Radcliffe North – Labour loss, Conservative gain 41.50% turnout
Chamberlain, Timothy Paul (Labour) 1265
Hallows, Peter (British National Party) 472
Harris, Jackie (Conservative) 1656
Molloy, Lynn (Liberal Democrat) 220

Radcliffe West – Labour hold 33.18% turnout
Clough, Stewart (British National Party) 484
Greenhalgh, Harold (UK Indepenence Party) 89
Isherwood, Tony (Labour) 1187
O Hanlon, Joanne (Liberal Democrat) 175
Slingsby, Bernard (Conservative) 727

Ramsbottom – Conservative hold 36.70% turnout
Robinson, Val (Labour) 872
Theckston, Barry (Conservative) 2010
Turner, Janet (Liberal Democrat) 354

Redvales – Labour loss, Conservative gain 38.55% turnout
Ahmed, Ijaz (Conservative) 1465
Brison, Bill 98
Harling, Mike (Independent) 104
Jenkins, Paul (Liberal Democrat) 302
Jepson, Brian (British National Party) 317
Southworth, Susan (Labour) 1093

Sedgley – Liberal Democrat hold 41.86% turnout
Adam, Frank (Labour) 906
Garner, Ann (Liberal Democrat) 1488
Grosskopf, Jonathan (Conservative) 1238

St Mary’s – Labour loss, Liberal Democrat gain 37.15%
Mary D’Albert (Liberal Democrat) 1308
Kevin Lee (Labour) 1013
Raymond Solomon (Conservative) 692

Tottington – Conservative hold 37.48% turnout
Roger Brown (Conservative) 1700
David Foss (Liberal Democrat) 456
Jane Lewis (Labour) 614
Reginald Norris (BNP) 210

Unsworth – Conservative hold 43.42% turnout
Ann Audin (Labour) 1165
Sam Cohen (Conservative) 1821
Theodor Tycyzyna (Liberal Democrat) 24

Nick Clegg Launches Local Election Campaign

Nick Clegg MP

The Lib Dems have claimed to be the “practical” party of local government at the launch of their campaign for council elections in England and Wales. Leader Nick Clegg said the party’s record was a “success story – quality services, and value for money”.

Speaking at the campaign launch in Sheffield, he accused Labour of failing on crime and the Tories of having “no stomach” for addressing green issues.

The party currently controls 29 local authorities across Britain, and is defending 700 Council seats on May 1st. We also hope to make other gains in Bury, including of course in St Mary’s.

Today, Nick Clegg said the party had come up with local solutions to problems including housing, crime and the environment.

“The Liberal Democrat record in local government is a success story – quality services, and value for money. And we are ready to apply the lessons that we have learned to councils throughout this country. “ He said: “We don’t promise to fix or solve every problem, but we do promise to give people a say, to give them the opportunity to fix things for themselves.”

Iraq Five Years On – Time to Hold our MPs to Account

Its five years since the start of our involvment with the war in Iraq.

Nick Harvey MP – the Liberal Democrat Shadow Defence Minister marks the occasion with this video.

Britain only invaded Iraq because MPs voted for it. Asked on 18th March 2003 to support Tony Blair’s motion for military action against Iraq, Labour and Conservative MPs lined up to vote “aye”.

Both the Conservative and Labour frontbenches in the House of Commons supported the war. The Conservatives even argued that the Government wasn’t being tough enough.

Five years on, over 170 British servicemen and women have been killed in Iraq, along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. British taxpayers have poured £6.5 billion into the conflict, and the Conservatives are trying to rewrite history by now calling for an inquiry.

Why not visit the special website – it’s time to hold the politicians who took us to war to account!