Opinions

Volunteering for a Pay Cut?

Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles is never one to mince his words.  He recently berated the size of salaries of senior town hall chiefs.

Southeastern Trains

Whilst at one level it is understandable that some services have struggled to cope with the current severe weather, what has been unacceptable has been the complete lack of information provided by some.  Southeastern trains have been at the forefront in this regard. 

Snow Chaos

I am all too aware of the problems which have occurred today as a consequence of the severe winter weather.  The A2 and A20 were closed for parts of the day and local roads were grid-locked by the diverted traffic and vehicles getting stuck in the snow.  Bexley Village ground to a complete standstill for parts of the day.

Coca Cola Visit

Whilst I'm no great fan of the overburdening reach of red tape and health and safety regulations, when it comes to food hygiene I know it's essential to set high standards.  So as part of a recent visit to Coca Cola Enterprise's bottling and canning factory in Sidcup, I had no hesitation in making sure that I was suitably attired.

Age Concern Bexley

Age Concern Bexley does an extraordinary amount of good work for older people living in the Borough.  So much of this work relies on the support of volunteers - as I discovered when I popped into the 'Pop in Parlour' in Bellegrove Road, Welling.

Plas Meddyg Surgery

I was delighted to be invited to open the new extension to the Plas Meddyg GP surgery in Bexley Village.  The practice now has three additional consulting rooms to support the work of Dr Sykes and the rest of the healthcare team.  I hope it will help the practice to continue to broaden the range of community healthcare services for residents living in Bexley Village.

Hornchurch Farewell

With the General Election imminent the boundary changes which will divide and abolish the Hornchurch constituency will come into effect in a matter of days. These changes will also mark the end of my period in office as the Member of Parliament for Hornchurch.

Combating Computer Crime

On-line crime is one of the fastest growing crimes in Britain today. Senior police officers estimate that a crime with an online element is committed every ten seconds. This has serious consequences for not only our economy, but our everyday lives where the virtual world has become an integral part of the day to day functioning of the physical world.

The Olympic Tower

One of the lighter issues discussed on LBC 97.3 last night was the Turner-prize winning artist Anish Kapoor's striking steel sculpture for the Olympic site. There have been various descriptions of the twisted steel design, most uncomplimentary. I described it as resembling inter-twining red musical treble clefs. Cathy by contrast said it looked more like collapsing steel cranes - you get the difference of view even in this household! The tower currently has the title of the Arcelor Mital ‘Orbit'. I suspect that in time a more everyday description will develop.

Preparing for the next drug problem

Tragically, the drug Mephedrone has been dominating the headlines over the last few weeks. The so called 'legal high' has been linked to the deaths of a number of people. Focus has rightly been placed on public health concerns and controls applied to the drug and moves to classify the drug are welcome. It seems that many young people are making the mistake that because it's legal they think it's safe. It isn't with the chemistry of Mephedrone being similar to that of an amphetamine.