Friday, 15 October 2010

Support the shopworkers call for respect

David Williams has backed Usdaw in their call for respect for retail workers, after they released preliminary survey results that show over one million shopworkers were assaulted, threatened or verbally abused in the last twelve months.

The survey shows that in the past 12 months, 6% of shopworkers were subjected to violent attack, 37% were threatened with harm and a massive 70% had suffered verbal abuse. The survey Also revealed that around 50% of incidents of abuse were as a result of selling age-restricted products, like alcohol, cigarettes, aerosols, etc.

David Williams said: “Shopworkers deserve respect and they have my full support. We must do more to help them do their job safely.

“I would like to see a high profile publicity campaign in support of ‘no id – no sale’ and ensuring that young people are aware that it is an offence to attempt to buy alcohol if you are under 18.”

“I am calling on MPs to sign EDM 791 to show my support and help make the voices of shopworkers heard.”

“I am challenging the Coalition Government not to declare shops as automatically safe workplaces, as has been suggested by Lord Young. They need health and safety inspections from time to time to ensure that risks are minimised. The Government must continue to support the HSE and local authorities to inspect all workplaces.

“I would also be concerned by a drop in the current record numbers of police and Community Support Officers who protect front-line workers and the public from violence, threats and abuse. The Government has a duty to protect communities.

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary, added: “We are delighted that David is supporting our campaign on behalf of shopworkers in Crewe and Nantwich.

"These figures are once again quite shocking and show that Usdaw's Freedom from Fear campaign is needed more than ever.

"Age restricted sales is an issue of real concern to our members. If they make a mistake and serve somebody under-18 they risk being prosecuted and receiving an £80 fine.

“If they fail to ask for age identification from somebody under-25, they run the risk of being disciplined for not following company policy.

“But asking for age identification can lead to abuse from customers who get frustrated and a refusal to serve can be a real flashpoint for threats or even violence. That’s why we are asking the shopping public to show respect and understand that the shopworkers are only doing what they’ve been told to do.”

Picture: David Williams attended an Usdaw event in Westminster. David put himself in the shoes of a shopworker and got behind a checkout to experience for himself the difficult situations Usdaw members face every day.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Join Labour before 8 September...

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Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Thank you letter to the Chronicle

Dear Sir

I would like to congratulate Edward Timpson on his victory at the general election and thank him and the other candidates for a good natured and well fought campaign. I believe that we all gave the voters a real choice, which is what democracy is all about.

I would also like to thank all those who came out to vote, I was delighted to see the turnout increase and I hope this trend that continues. It is really important that our democracy is built on the mass particpation of the electorate. I am particularly grateful to everyone who put their trust in me and gave me their vote, I am only sorry it did not lead to the election of a Labour MP. I was, however delighted that the Labour vote went up by 5,000, which gives me great hope for the future.

I am grateful to my Agent, Ken James, and his team of volunteers who worked tirelessly for a cause they truly believe in. We might not have had the full-time staff, expensive offices or considerable financial backing, but we do have a group of grafters who went much further than the extra mile. We are always looking for new people to get involved and anyone who wants to be part of Labour's team should e-mail me at: david@davidwilliams.org.uk

All the way through this election I had a simple message. We must get on with the regeneration of Crewe and Nantwich, so that we can bring new employers to the area and create much needed jobs. I have been frustrated by the lack of progress so far, we need an end to dither and delay. We need a redeveloped station on its existing site, a new town centre, a bus station that links in with rail services, the completion of the by-pass around the south side of Crewe and the development of the Basford sites that could bring 8,000 much needed jobs to the area.

If these crucial projects are not progressed, Crewe and Nantwich could be left behind. It is on these matters that our political leaders should be judged. Not by how many meetings have taken place, consultants employed or reports written; but by how many jobs are created, bricks laid, roads built and new employers brought to the area.

I have heard all the excuses over the last few years about how the lack of action is all the Labour Government's fault, which by the way is not true. Well that doesn't wash anymore. The people have spoken, the votes were cast and we now finally know the result of the general election: A Conservative Government, propped up by the Liberal Democrats. We've got a Tory MP, a Tory Council and a Tory Government, so there are no excuses now.

Yours faithfully

David Williams
Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich
david@davidwilliams.org.uk
4 Chantry Court, Forge Street, Crewe, CW1 2DL

Friday, 7 May 2010

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Gordon Brown - the choice for Britain

In a speech today, the Prime Minister set out the choice facing Britain:

"To those who are undecided, and I know there are many, let me say:

"After a huge global crisis that we had to fight against and overcome, it is right for people to ask what happened, to reflect on what was done to turn this global crisis around and what can be done to make sure that this global crisis never happens again.

"As you reflect I ask you to consider this:

"At every time in this crisis, I have put the British people first.

"Not the banks nor the financial industry not those at the top who do not want to pay their fair share - but the British people.

"For me the British people have been and always will be my first priority.

"And I tell you adversity has been my best teacher.

"Honesty my best guide.

"And faith in the future the greatest source of my strength.

"So we are fired with new determination.

"We are full of energy and firm of purpose because the values that are the core of a Labour Britain - your Britain - are now at stake and have to be fought for, for not only is the economic recovery at risk so is social justice.

"And we are all full of energy and purpose because we are on the road to renewing our economy so that we can build our new future of fairness and prosperity for all.

"And every second of the day and every inch of the way I am fighting so hard because I want 2010 not to be the beginning of Conservative cuts but the end of global recession.

"I am fighting so hard because I want 2010 not to be the year Britain starts going backwards with the Conservatives but the year when our NHS our schools and our police move forward together.

"I am fighting so ha rd because I want 2010 not to mark unemployment going up again, repossessions on the rise, more small business failing again as they all did in the 1990s.

"I want 2010, 2011, 2012 to be years of renewal and prosperity.

"I ask you when you go in to the polling booths to ask yourself.

"Who will stand up for you?

"Who when the forces of privilege raise their voice will raise their voice for you?

"Who when the economy is on the line will be your spokesman, who will always put your standard of living first?

"And who will fight for your family because they know what it is to walk in your shoes?

"And I say with humility - I will.

"And so I ask you to stand up for the great values of the British people that will make this country what it can and should become.

"And with all my resolve I pledge that I will always fight for you - I will secure the recovery, never put your livelihood at risk, and always, always, always fight for your future.

"And with that same humility I ask for your vote - and ask you to vote not just for me - but to vote for yourself, for your family, vote for your future - and see Labour as your best home, and your best hope."

DAVID WILLIAMS SHARES RESIDENTS ANGER AS O2 PHONE MAST GOES AHEAD

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, met and spoke with local residents in the Valley Road and Readesdale Avenue area of Crewe today and shares their anger as the O2 phone mast goes ahead.

David said, “Local residents contacted me and asked me to meet with them as the O2 phone mast was erected in Readesdale Avenue/Valley Road Crewe. I immediately met them at the site. I understand that Edward Timpson was also invited but he failed to put in an appearance.”

David added, “Local residents have campaigned to stop this mast being erected in this residential area. Mr Timpson had been involved and has gone on record as supporting the campaign against the mast, but his Tory colleagues on Cheshire East have paid little attention, either to him or to the local campaigners. I understand that a Notice of Motion to the council had been withdrawn at the last minute, denying Labour Councillors the opportunity to voice their opposition to the mast.”

Local resident Nerys Steventon of Readesdale Avenue said, “Thank you for taking the time out of what I know is a very frantic schedule to speak to the group and show your support. I am convinced that if Gwyneth Dunwoody was still our MP, the mast would never have received the go-ahead in the first place.”

David commented, “Here is yet another example of Edward Timpson saying one thing in public and then failing to follow it through. Crewe and Nantwich needs a strong voice, someone who will stand up for Crewe and Nantwich both nationally in parliament and locally. I am not afraid to stand up against the Tory-controlled Cheshire East Council and to voice the hopes, needs and wishes of the people of Crewe and Nantwich.”

He added, “I think there is going to be a need for a further campaign to stop more mast being erected in this area. The campaigners will have my full and active support.”

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS: APPRENTICE TO MP?

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, could become the first apprentice to represent Crewe and Nantwich in parliament.

David said, “Here in Crewe and Nantwich we have always been proud of our tradition of apprentices – the future represented in the training of new skilled people. I served my apprenticeship in Crewe at Rolls Royce and Bentley Motor Cars in Pyms Lane. I am proud to be a skilled coach trimmer, a craftsman making seats for the then best car in the world.”

If elected on 6th May, David Williams will be the first apprentice to represent Crewe and Nantwich in the House of Commons.

David added, “The House of Commons is stacked full of lawyers, graduates and so-called ‘professional politicians’. Many people tell me that they want a different type of MP. I offer something different. I know what it is like to get my hands dirty. I know what it is like to do a hard day’s work. I am proud of my roots and will never forget where I came from."

Monday, 3 May 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS WILL BE LEADING A WALK AROUND CREWE AND NANTWICH ON THE SUNDAY AFTER THE ELECTION

Irrespective of the result of the election on 6th May, David Williams, the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, will be spending the Sunday after the election walking around the constituency.

David Williams, who is a keen walker, will be leading a group from the Long Distance Walkers Association on a walk around the Crewe and Nantwich constituency on Sunday 9th May – the Sunday following the election, and he is extending an invitation to residents of Crewe and Nantwich to join him on all or part of the walk.

David said, “Win, lose or draw, I will be taking a walk around the constituency in some of the most beautiful countryside that Cheshire has to offer."

The walk will be starting off from Crewe Railway Station at 9.00am on the following Sunday and heading towards Bridgemere aiming to arrive in time for lunch. From Bridgemere it is on to Nantwich for tea at The Red Lion, and then back to Crewe.

David said, “I am hoping that the weather continues to be fine for the walk. I would welcome anyone who wishes to join us, either for the whole day’s walk, or at any point on route.”

Friday, 30 April 2010

The constituency of Crewe, Cheshire need a Labour MP

By Paul Routledge: In Crewe, Cheshire, to interview Health Secretary Andy Burnham, I bumped into Labour’s candidate David Williams.

I wish him well next Thursday. This constituency needs a Labour MP once again, after losing the by-election in 2008 to Tory Edward Timpson, heir to the High Street shoe repair shop fortune. Timpot sank without trace at Westminster, as I predicted. David Williams, a former shop steward at the town’s Rolls-Royce plant and on the buses, is a much better bet. He was agent to Gwyneth Dunwoody when she was the MP, and these days he’s political officer for shopworkers’ union Usdaw.

David halted in its tracks the daft idea of moving Crewe station out of the town centre, and secured funding to develop the magnificent Victorian building. It must be the only junction to star in a music hall song “Oh! Mr Porter…

He jokes: “I’ve worn out six pairs of shoes in this campaign – I can’t get them mended because the Tory candidate owns all the repair shops in the Crewe and Nantwich constituency!”

The constituency of Crewe, Cheshire need a Labour MP

Thursday, 29 April 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS AND NORTHERN IRELAND MINISTER MEET SHOPPERS IN NANTWICH TOWN CENTRE

David Williams, Labour'S Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, was joined in Nantwich Town Centre yesterday by Rt Hon Shaun Woodward, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

David and Shaun spent several hours on the square at Nantwich meeting and speaking with shoppers.

David said, “Lots of shoppers were keen to stop and have a chat. Most wanted to talk about the things that matter to them – the bus passes for the elderly, tax credits, winter fuel allowances, the minimum wage and the Health Guarantees were mentioned time and time again. The economy of course underpins all of these.”

The Secretary of State said, “I am really pleased that I have been able to come to Nantwich to support David Williams today. Crewe and Nantwich is a very important seat and I believe that David will be the ideal person to represent Crewe and Nantwich as their MP. He is a local person, who is extremely capable and experienced. I know that he is getting lots of support but it is important that people turn out on 6th May and use their vote ... and use their vote for David Williams.”

The Labour Party balloons and carrier bags were popular again and lots of people wanted to take time out to speak to David.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS BACKS THE ‘SAVE OUR CHEQUES’ CAMPAIGN DURING HIS VISIT TO COMMUNISIS

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, visited the Communisis print factory in Catherine Street today.

David said, “I was keen to visit Communisis who specialise in security printing as I am aware that recent moves to do away with chequebooks and replace them with plastic credit and debit cards could mean job losses at Communisis. I have backed the ‘Save our Cheques’ campaign.”

He added, “I toured Bentley Motors in the morning and then came on to visit Communisis in the afternoon. Although the two are very different in terms of product and scale, I was struck by the thing that they both have in common - a highly skilled and dedicated workforce. Crewe and Nantwich has a reputation for producing highly skilled workers and I am determined to do everything I can to ensure that we continue to provide jobs in this area for them to go to.”

DAVID WILLIAMS TOURS BENTLEY MOTORS CREWE

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, who was a young apprentice at Rolls Royce and Bentley Motor Cars, went back to tour the Pyms Lane Factory last Wednesday.

David, who was joined in on his tour by members of the trade union Unite, spent some time in the various departments and chatted to the Bentley workers who were keen to show him their skills.

David said, “I spent several years here serving an apprenticeship and emerging as a skilled coach trimmer making seats, so it was extremely interesting for me to return to the factory and find that the highly-skilled crafts and meticulous attention to detail is still very much the rule at Bentley.”

He added, “Bentley Motors has a very well-deserved reputation for building the best cars in the world. After a spell of difficulty, they have emerged stronger than ever and are expanding their operations in Crewe. Much of this is due to the highly skilled work-force which is a credit to the company.”

David Williams with Ed Miliband at the Red Lion



Courtesy of Jules Hornbrook at Crewe Blog

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS AND JOHN PRESCOTT MEET STUDENTS AT SOUTH CHESHIRE COLLEGE

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, and former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott visited South Cheshire College, Dane Bank Avenue, Crewe last Friday.

The former Deputy Prime Minister arrived at the college in ‘The Prescott Express’. John and David were greeted by spontaneous applause as they entered ‘The Bubble’ where they addressed a packed hall of students in an extended Question and Answer session.

David commented, “The hall was packed full and we had a very good reception. The students raised some very thoughtful and challenging questions. John was very entertaining and yet serious at the same time and he certainly connected with the students who gave him a rousing reception.”

John Prescott said, “It is pleasure to be back in Crewe again supporting David Williams. He will make a very fine MP for Crewe and Nantwich. South Cheshire College is a fine centre of learning, another example of the results of our investment in education. The new building will build on an already excellent record of achievement at the college.”

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Out in Crewe Town Centre Today

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, was meeting with shoppers in Crewe Town Centre and with Crewe Alex supporters in Gresty Road on the penultimate Saturday before the election on 6th May.

David Williams and his team are now a common sight in Crewe Town Centre on a Saturday morning. With only two Saturdays left before the election of 6th May, David was once again meeting and chatting with shoppers last Saturday where he received a warm welcome.

David said, “I have been able to meet and chat with lots of people and have found it very useful in finding out what their concerns and hopes are. I am a firm believer in making myself available to chat with people in an informal way, and without the need to make an appointment to see me.”

He added, “A number of shoppers said they had not made their minds up yet and were keen to chat. A couple who vote for the Conservative candidate in the By-election were keen to tell me that they would be voting Labour on 6th May.”

Red balloons and ‘Vote Labour’ carrier bags proved to be very popular. Two young girls (pictured) were happy to pose with their red balloons while their mum quizzed David on what he had to offer to Crewe and Nantwich. The elderly lady (pictured) wanted something done about the uneven pavements in the town centre.

After spending the morning in the town centre, David moved on to Gresty Road where he spent some time talking with Crewe Alex supporters before watching the Alex overturn the defeat at Accrington by winning 5-1.

David commented, “The very successful morning in the town centre, was crowned by an equally successful afternoon in Gresty Road. A number of fans stopped to have a chat, and it was made special for me as I had a chance to chat with Crewe Alex (and Stoke City) Legend Johnny King. To round off the day, The Alex reversed the defeat at Accrington in what could have been a dull end-of-season match but turned out to be a very entertaining game.

Jules from Crewe Blog joined us for a short time and took a few snaps. Click here for the full story.

Friday, 23 April 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS ‘ROCKS THE VOTE’ AT CREWE GIG

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, joined over a hundred young people for a ‘Rock the Vote’ gig at The Box on Nantwich Road Crewe last week.

Over a hundred students and young people attended the ‘Rock the Vote’ gig at The Box on Nantwich Road, Crewe last week. The gig was organised by the South Cheshire Young Labour and Labour Students Group.

Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party’s Youth Officer, Benn Minshall said, “It was a good night. Emma Dyall, a Young Labour member, performed with her group ‘Photo Booth Smile’ and everyone had a good time.”

David Williams said, “Young Labour invited me to join in the party. I was able to chat with many of the young people there and stress the importance of using their votes. I especially enjoyed Emma’s band ‘Photo Booth Smile’ and I had a good night out.”

Sam Colclough, Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party’s Student Officer added, “We had a lot of interest from local students and several joined Young Labour during the evening.”



Thursday, 22 April 2010

Andy Burnham with David Williams


Video courtesy of Jules Hornbrook at Crewe Blog

David Williams, the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, and Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Health, visited the Eagle Bridge Health and Wellbeing Centre in Dunwoody Way, Crewe yesterday afternoon.

They toured the centre visiting the multitude of facilities and departments, speaking to staff and patients.

David commented, “Eagle Bridge brought together three GP practices under one roof together with a whole host of facilities such as Dentistry, Blood Testing, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, and even a cafe run by ‘Wishing Well’ – a local community group. I was proud to be able to show the Secretary of State a fine example of how Labour’s investment in the NHS has resulted in a first class facility, and this is only one of three such centres in Crewe and Nantwich.”

The Secretary of State said, “The Eagle Bridge Health and Well Being Centre is a great example of Labour investment in the NHS. It is a wonderful state-of-the-art facility for the people of Crewe and Nantwich.”

Following the visit to Eagle Bridge, the Secretary of State went to David’s Campaign Office at Chantry Court to meet and speak with Labour Party members.

Declaration of Interests Form

Name of candidate: David Williams
Constituency: Crewe and Nantwich
Political party: THE LABOUR PARTY
Date of publication: 22/04/2010

(a)Other paid jobs and whether I intend to continue to hold them, if elected


Full-time National Political Officer for the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, earning £41K per year. If elected I will resign from this post immediately, becoming a full-time MP with no second job.

(b) positions of responsibility in some types of organisation, even if unpaid, and whether I intend to continue to hold them, if elected.

None.

(c)(i)Directorships, and whether I intend to continue to hold them, if elected.

I hold no directorships.

(c)(ii) Clients, and whether I intend to continue to advise them, if elected.

None.

(c)(iii) Land and property, and whether I intend to continue to hold this, if elected.

I only own a family home with my wife. We will have a family home in Crewe and Nantwich after the election.

(c)(iv)Shareholdings, and whether I intend to continue to hold these, if elected.

I hold no shares.

(d)Tax matters

I pay all my tax in the UK.

(e)Any other interests which I consider relevant.

None.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS CALLS FOR ACTION TO CLEAN UP LOCAL ‘GROT SPOTS’

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has called on Cheshire East Council to take positive action to clean up local ‘Grot Spots’.

David commented, “In walking around areas of Crewe, meeting and speaking with local residents, many have drawn my attention to areas that have become dumping grounds for all sorts of rubbish. In many cases the residents tell me that they have requested the council to clear the rubbish, but have been told that it is not their responsibility.”

Simon Thomas from Lord Street has approached the council on a number of occasions but they refuse to clear the rubbish saying that it is not on public land.

Helga Armonies in Chamber Street is in a similar situation with rubbish accumulating in the alleyway behind her house.

David said, “Many of these ‘grot spots’ pose a health and safety hazard and as such Cheshire East Council should be taking action rather than trying to pass the responsibility on to someone else. If Crewe had a Town Council, they could have employed a local handyman as many other Town Councils have done. Areas such as these would then have been cleared quite quickly and easily by the ‘man and his van’. As Cheshire East refused to allow Crewe to have its own Town Council, they must also accept that it is their responsibility to do those things that a Town Council would have done.”

Monday, 19 April 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS DEPOSITS HIS NOMINATION PAPERS

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has deposited his nomination papers for the General Election to be held on 6th May.

David commented, “I am proud to be the Labour candidate for Crewe and Nantwich. Now that my nomination papers have been submitted, it marks the start of a very important election campaign”

David’s nomination has been supported by many well-known local people including:

Doug Butterill – former Mayor of Crewe & Nantwich and active member of Nantwich in Bloom.

Jules Hornbrook – local author and creator of the Crewe Blog.

Dorothy Flude – Mayor of Crewe and Leader of the Labour Group on Cheshire East Council.

David Newton – former Chairman of Cheshire County Council.

Peter Nurse – former Cheshire County Council and Chair of the Cheshire Police Authority.

Howard Curran – former Mayor of Crewe & Nantwich and local historian and author.

Connie Jones – well-known Nantwich personality and active member of Nantwich in Bloom.

Peter Kent – former Mayor of Crewe & Nantwich and Leader of the Borough Council for 16 years.

David Williams said, “This election is probably the most important for over sixty years. Several people have said to me that they voted Conservative at the by-election as a protest against the government but in the knowledge that it would not change the government. That is no longer the case. This election is all about who will form the government and the road that the country will travel over the next five years. Labour has already shown that their policies are bringing the country out of the world-recession and it is vitally important to us all that we secure that recovery and not make the same mistakes of the past. We need investment now to ensure that people have jobs and to protect the NHS, Education and the Police. In the recession of the 1980s the Tories said that high unemployment was ‘a price worth paying’. Labour does not accept that.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The first debate


You can airbrush your posters, David Cameron, but you can't airbrush your policies.

In the debate tonight, Gordon Brown spoke for all of us when he demanded to know what the Tories will do to safeguard the economic recovery and protect jobs. No surprise - Cameron refused to offer any guarantees.

Above is my favourite moment from tonight's debate, when Gordon Brown wouldn't take it anymore.

Over the last two years, the Tories have used every trick in the PR handbook in order to duck the difficult questions. As the debate rolled on, Cameron boasted again and again about his plan to cut £6 billion out of the budget - but again and again he couldn't tell us where it would come from.

That's because there are some answers that even David Cameron can't airbrush. The simple truth is that deep cuts like those the Tories propose will mean lost jobs, poorer public services, and a real threat to the fragile recovery.

The Tories may think that's a price worth paying - but you and I know better.

After watching tonight's debate, there is no doubt in my mind: a Tory government would be a disaster for ordinary working people in Britain. Join me and other union members to get the word out.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sunday, 4 April 2010

NEW POWERS FOR PARISH COUNCILS TO BOOST AFFORDABLE HOUSING

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, welcomed the Housing & Planning Minister John Healey MP to Crewe and Nantwich where he announced new powers for Parish Councils to boost affordable rural housing.

David said, “John was with me today visiting residents of Crewe and Nantwich when he made the announcement. Cheshire East Council is delivering only 43% of the affordable homes that the national housing charity ‘Shelter’ believe are necessary. Recent figures show that Cheshire East is one of 216 local councils that are delivering less than half of the number of homes that they have identified as being needed.”

David added, “John’s announcement will give a boost to rural communities with proposals to give a special planning power to Parish Councils to build new affordable homes. The proposals will be consulted on this summer and will allow a limited number of affordable homes to be built in rural villages without the need for individual planning applications, where the parish council has backed the new homes.”

The Housing & Planning Minister wants to extend ‘permitted development’ rights so that a maximum of 10-15 new affordable homes could be built when parish councils have set out clear evidence and design expectations. This means decisions on how many homes are required, what they look like and where they are built would be taken locally by those who are closest to what the local communities need and want.

New guidance on social housing allocations that was published in December has also strengthened the scope for local authorities to ensure that people living and working locally are given greater priority for affordable houses in rural parishes.

John Healey said, “There is a need for more affordable homes in rural communities, where the price of an average home is £40,000 higher than in towns and cities. My concern is to see new homes available at affordable rents, especially for local young people and their families who otherwise have little or no option but to leave the area. A handful of new homes can make huge differences to the life of rural villages and make local schools, pubs and shops more sustainable. My aim is to place more power with Parish Councils to see new homes built.”

He continued, “I propose to establish a permitted development freedom for Parish Councils to initiate the building of a small number of homes in their area without the need to gain planning permission from the local authority. This would help Parish Councils directly and swiftly to meet the need for affordable local homes in rural areas. It will give Parish Council the power to breathe new life into their villages and small towns. This would be a radical reform of the planning system and a significant new power and freedom for our most local elected councils.”

The new permitted development right will be made available to Parish and Town Councils in settlements of less than 3,000 people where the council identifies a registered social landlord as their development partner. Green Belt, Habitat Sites and other important designated protections will be retained.

David Williams commented, “The availability of affordable homes is vital to our local communities and even more so in the rural areas. Cheshire East Council commissioned independent experts to investigate the need for affordable housing. They said that 577 new affordable homes were needed to be built in Cheshire East each year but only 247 were built last year. I welcome the new proposals as they will go some way towards closing the deficit that Cheshire East Council has left. The lack of new homes in rural areas has created huge pressures that are now holding many rural communities back. More affordable homes will help rural towns and villages prosper and provide an essential boost to local businesses. With more opportunity to stay in their own communities, young people will be less likely to leave for cities in search of cheaper houses.”

Pictured, David and John Healey MP in Crewe today.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS WELCOMES EXTRA GOVERNMENT CASH TO TACKLE POTHOLES

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has welcomed the boost from the Labour Government to tackle the pothole problem in Cheshire East.

The Labour Government has injected an extra £900,000 into Cheshire East to repair the potholes caused by the recent severe weather.

David said, “It seems that everywhere you go in Crewe and Nantwich there are big potholes in the road, and they are getting bigger every day. Cheshire East Council has boasted that they have done a good job in repairing the roads, but it does not seem that way around here. This extra cash from the Government – just under an extra million pounds – is very welcome and I hope that Cheshire East will be using it to tackle the pothole problem in Crewe and Nantwich where it is needed most.”

He added, “I am receiving complaints from residents on a daily basis. It has never been as bad as this before. Some repairs have been done, but filling the holes with a shovelful of tarmac is no answer. As soon as a few cars have run over it, the tarmac is gone and the pothole is bigger than before. We need a proper repair job doing. The Government money is very welcome but it is now up to Cheshire East Council to use it wisely.”

Friday, 2 April 2010

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's April Fool posting...

...nicked from the Guardian.

We remember the Tories

What is Labour's greatest achievement

"We've changed the world before, and we are going to change the world again."

Gordon Brown's words are the very essence of what the Labour Party is fighting for. Over the past decade, we've fought and won so many battles for working families - from cutting crime in half to bringing half a million children out of poverty.

We still have so much work to do - so we must remind Britain of our greatest achievements to encourage our future plans and agenda. What have you been most proud of?

Tell us your ideas of Labour's greatest achievement of the decade

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Labour's Poster Challenge


One of the entries in the competition to design Labour's next poster:

www.labour.org.uk

Question to the candidates: David Williams on rural affairs

Crewe and Nantwich constituency had a much larger rural patch when I worked for our former MP, the late Gwyneth Dunwoody, and I used to assist her with monthly Saturday afternoon surgeries, touring the villages.

Some of the most pressing concerns for rural communities are often shared with those living in towns. People in rural areas are equally worried about employment opportunities, income, affordable housing, public transport, etc. But living in the countryside can make overcoming these difficulties more problematic.

Many people benefited from the selling of council houses. However, I doubt Mrs Thatcher foresaw the impact on rural families, making it very difficult for sons and daughters to find affordable housing, forced to move into town when they leave home. This break up of countryside communities adversely affected the viability of businesses like shops and pubs. Labour is helping small businesses in the recession, the Tories would leave them to sink or swim.

The Tories’ bus deregulation made routes to villages unattractive to private operators. They became reliant on public subsidy, which successive Tory-led councils have cut back on.

Labour helps rural and urban communities. The Government has provided additional funds to build affordable housing, yet Cheshire East Tories fail to make land available. The National Minimum Wage and Tax Credits are making work pay for agricultural, food manufacturing, retail and tourism workers who were abandoned on poverty pay when the Tories abolished the wages councils.

The Conservatives have consistently let down people in the countryside, as they take their votes for granted. Despite these issues the Tories’ key countryside priority is to repeal the hunting ban, a policy I and most rural dwellers oppose.

If elected I promise to stand up for everyone across the whole of Crewe and Nantwich.

Monday, 29 March 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS SUPPORTS MMU STUDENTS UNION OVER TUITION FEES

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has pledged his support against any increase in higher education fees in the next parliament.

David Williams visited the Students Union at MMU Cheshire yesterday to meet with Leanne Cardill, the out-going MUS Cheshire Vice-President and Rhiannon Sears, the newly elected Vice-President. David also met and chatted with some of the students at MMU Cheshire over a cup of coffee.

David said, “Leanne and Rhiannon made me very welcome and I was more than willing to add my name to the NUS pledge against any increase in tuition fees. Labour is committed to education and I believe that young people should have every opportunity to take up a university place.”

David added, “I met and chatted with some of the students at MMU Cheshire and I was impressed by the facilities and the standard of tuition available at the Crewe campus. We can be very proud of the Higher Education provision in Crewe and Nantwich. MMU Cheshire University, South Cheshire College and Reasesheath Agricultural College, together with many excellent schools, make Crewe and Nantwich a centre of educational excellence.”

NUS - Vote for Students

Sunday, 28 March 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS URGES EARLY START ON CREWE LINK ROAD

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, welcomes the Government funding for the Crewe Link Road and is urging Cheshire East Council to come up with its share to enable an early start to be made.

The Labour Government has given Crewe a huge boost by confirming £22m in funding towards the Crewe Green Link Road South. Cheshire East Council now has to develop full plans to connect the Weston Gate roundabout to the Shavington by-pass. A further £14m will be needed to complete the project.

David Williams said, “I welcome this boost to Crewe. This vital road link will open up land that could provide 7,000 to 8,000 jobs. I am amazed however that a Tory MP and a Tory Council are going cap-in-hand to the Government for funding. They must be hoping that Labour wins the election because there is no chance of a Tory Government backing this much-needed scheme. The Tories have already said that they will immediately put all projects under review and doubt if they will support any of Labour’s existing commitments.”

David continued, “Progress on this scheme is crucial for Crewe and Nantwich to take advantage of the recovery, yet the council has dithered and delayed, and the MP is now trying to score political points against the Department of Transport to cover-up his lack of action. Unbelievable! I want to see the council immediately stump-up its share of the costs so that work can start straightaway.”

David commented, “I have brought two Transport Secretaries to Crewe to get action on redeveloping the station and promoting the Crewe Gateway Project. On the first occasion we stopped the nonsensical move of the station to Basford and on the second occasion we secured new money to help revamp the station on its existing site. At every attempt to make progress I have been frustrated by a Tory Council and a Tory MP who couldn’t make up his mind on whether the station should be moved or not.”

David concluded, “I have always been very clear that the area is best served by having Crewe Station in Crewe. That might sound obvious, but there are those who do not understand that simple concept. I have always been clear that the best way for us to combat unemployment is by encouraging new employers to the Basford site, not by turning it into a shed-like station and a massive car park. If our elected politicians had shown similar clarity of thought, we would be in a much better position than we are now. Crewe and Nantwich has been let down by the Tories yet again.”

Friday, 26 March 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS SUPPORTS MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

David Williams, the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, is supporting the National Housing Federation’s campaign for the provision of more affordable housing.

David said, “Never has the availability of affordable housing been so important for the people of Crewe and Nantwich. With housing waiting lists rising, most house prices are still beyond the reach of many. Families and young people are simply unable to get on to the ‘housing ladder’. I have signed up to the National Housing Federation’s campaign to help ensure that the issue of affordable housing remains a top priority.”

David added, “Cheshire East Council is delivering only 43% of the affordable homes that the national housing charity ‘Shelter’ believe are necessary. Recent figures show that Cheshire East are one of 216 local councils that are delivering less than half of the number of homes that they have identified as being needed.”

‘Shelter’s Chief Executive, Campbell Robb said, “These figures are extremely worrying. With more than 7,000 households on the housing waiting list in Cheshire East, the council must work far harder to ensure more desperately needed afforded homes are provided if it ever hopes to meet the housing needs of the local population.”

David commented, “Cheshire East Council commissioned independent experts to investigate the need for affordable housing. They said that 577 new affordable homes were needed to be built in Cheshire East each year. Last year only 247 were built. Cheshire East Council must stop dragging their feet on this and take positive action to meet their targets.”

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Take a long hard look at the Tories on crime


When it comes to crime, the current Tory MP is more concerned with headlines than policies. That’s why he talks Crewe and Nantwich down by deliberately misleading the public about crime figures, even though his party has been censured by the Statistics Authority for doing this. Only Labour is taking the action necessary to reduce crime.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Questions to the candidates: David Williams on proportional Representation

Democracy is not a mathematical puzzle. Democracy is about representation and accountability.

As a researcher for Gwyneth Dunwoody I learnt a lot about representing the people who elect you. Gwyneth was a strong supporter of the current electoral system because she believed in the direct link between MP and elector; she represented constituents regardless of how they vote.

That is my core principle. Elections should be about debates and discussions between competing views, but once the balloting is done, the counting is over and the result announced; the successful candidate should put party politics aside and represent all constituents.

In the current climate of mistrust of MPs, it is their behaviour that is more important than electoral systems. It is about whether our elected representatives are open, accountable and honest. It’s about whether they do a proper job of work for their constituents or just parade themselves around a variety of photo-opportunities seeking self-publicity.

If I have the honour of representing the people of Crewe and Nantwich, I will be an accessible, honest and accountable MP. I will hold Saturday surgeries all year round, not just at election time. Constituents will be able to see me without an appointment and will not be pre-interviewed by a member of staff. That’s the level of service we had under Gwyneth and I will restore it.

The more proportional the electoral system, the weaker the link between elected representative and voter. Crewe and Nantwich already has a proportional election for the European Parliament. It is so popular that only 16% of voters participate, around half the turnout of when it was a first-past-the-post system. Hardly a ringing endorsement for electoral reform, but worse still can anyone honestly say they feel connected to their MEP?

Letter to the Chronicle

Dear Sir

There's no point the MP attempting a cover-up by organising Tory cronies to abuse me letters page, yet again. The fact is he's been caught red-handed using fake crime statistics to talk down Crewe and Nantwich (Chronicle, 3 February), making out we live and work in a dangerous and violent place.

The local Detective Chief Inspector confirmed that the Tory stats do not compare like with like (Chronicle, 17 March).

Even Cllr Brian Silvestor, not a man I often agree with, says the MP got it wrong (Chronicle, 10 March).

The truth is that crime under Labour has come down by one-third. That over the last twelve months overall crime is down by 9% across Cheshire. This is unprecedented in a recession, people will remember that crime rocketed in the Tory recessions of the 1980s and 1990s. The police and the council should be congratulated not criticised.

The MP aspires to be a 'honourable member', well it's time he did the honourable thing: Apologise for using fake and misleading stats; acknowledge that Labour's policies have helped the police and the council bring down crime, and promise to stop talking down Crewe and Nantwich.

Yours faithfully

David Williams
Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich
david@davidwilliams.org.uk
01270 589 132
4 Chantry Court, Forge Street, Crewe, CW1 2DL

For the latest news on David's campaigns: www.davidwilliams.org.uk

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS VISITS HUNGERFORD SCHOOL

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, visited Hungerford Primary School yesterday, accompanied by Bill Bailey, Chair of the Governors and School Governor Jeff Welch.

David spent some time with a class of young pupils who questioned him about what a MP did and then subjected him to a spelling test.

David said, “I was spot-on with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, which surprised me, but I managed to forget the second ‘m’ in accommodation.”

David then toured the school accompanied by the Head-teacher Rhian Futcher, Chair of Governors Bill Bailey and Governor Jeff Welch, before chatting with them about the school.

David said, “I am really impressed with the school. I am especially keen to support the school’s bid for funds to build two new classrooms that would link the infants and the junior’s blocks together and dispense with the need for the mobile classroom. This would be a tremendous improvement to what is already a great school. The school has been described by Ofsted as being ‘an outstanding school in all aspects’ and the addition of two new classrooms will enable the great work being done at the school to continue.”

DAVID WILLIAMS INTERVIEWED BY GRANADA TV

David Williams, the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, recorded an interview with Granada Television during his visit to Hungerford Primary School yesterday.

David said, “Granada Television has identified Crewe and Nantwich as being one the ‘critical’ constituencies in the North-West. If the Tories win in Crewe and Nantwich they will most likely form the next Government.”

David continued, “Granada is recording interviews with the candidates in these bell-weather constituencies in readiness for the General Election. Crewe and Nantwich will come under the spotlight during the election and I anticipate that more national media will be focused on Crewe and Nantwich. This will be an opportunity to promote the area.”

David added, “The Tories asked people at the by-election to lend them their vote on the basis that it wouldn’t lead to a Tory Government. Well that isn’t the case at this election. If Crewe and Nantwich votes Conservative, we will probably have a Tory Government. From the conversations I am having on the doorstep that is not what the people of Crewe and Nantwich want because they remember what the Tories did to Crewe and Nantwich in the 1980s and 1990s. The Tories have not changed. They did not back Labour’s investment in jobs because they still believe that unemployment is a ‘price worth paying’. This election is about a real choice on who will secure the recovery and help people back to work.”

Monday, 22 March 2010

TRADE UNION FORUM

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, together with Tony Lloyd MP, the Chair of the Parliamentary Group of Trades Union MPs, met with representatives of Crewe and Nantwich Trades Unions yesterday.

About 50 representatives of local Trades Unions went along to The Alexandra Suite in Gresty Road last Sunday to listen to and talk with Tony Lloyd MP. The forum was chaired by Dorothy Flude, Leader of the Labour Group on Cheshire East Council.

Tony said, “David Williams asked me if I would come to Crewe and Nantwich to meet with local Trades Unionists and to listen to their views at first-hand. I was delighted to do so, and the evening proved to be very successful.”

David added, “Not surprisingly the subject of taking the railways back into public ownership was high on the agenda for local Trades Unionists. It is something that I personally support and have campaigned for. It was also clear that local Trade Unionists felt they were ‘under attack’ by the Tories and that the coming elections would be all about the choice we have to make, about the kind of values we uphold and the kind of society we want to be.”

Sunday, 21 March 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS CONGRATULATES CHESHIRE EAST COUNCIL ON SCHOOL ADMISSIONS

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has congratulated Cheshire East Council on the rise of First Choice applications that have been approved for secondary school admissions in September 2010.

David Williams, the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has welcomed the fact that the percentage of Cheshire East parents and carers securing their first place preference school has increased this year to 93.62% compared to 91.32% last year.

David said, “I am pleased that more parents and carers have been offered their first choice of school. Following the Government guidelines, Cheshire East have improved the allocations process with the resultant increase in offers being made. I would now urge the council to find speedy resolutions to the outstanding cases by listening to the needs of both the parents and students.”

Saturday, 20 March 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS GETS ON HIS BIKE FOR SPORTS RELIEF

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, got on his bike in an 'end-to-end' challenge at Nantwich Sainsbury's in aid of Sports Relief last Saturday.

David Williams joined a relay of bike riders cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End without leaving Nantwich.

Nantwich Sainsbury's organised the bike ride in aid of ‘Sports Relief’ and installed an exercise bicycle in the entrance to their store. A team of riders took it in turns on the bike and the distance they covered was closely monitored.

David said, “I was more than happy to accept Sainsbury’s invitation to take part in this ride. Sports Relief is a cause close to my heart and one that I am pleased to support. As a keen walker and cyclist I was able to bring the total distance completed up to the 900 miles mark and the exercise has done me good as well.”

David’s son, Tom, joined his Dad in supporting Sports Relief as he took over from him on the next stint of the journey.

David added, “Theoretically I spent the morning cycling in Cornwall towards the end of the journey from one end of the country to the other. Sainsburys Staff and their friends have done a great job in raising funds and many of the shoppers at Sainsburys did their bit by dropping donations into the collecting buckets as they left the store."

Sport Relief Website

Friday, 19 March 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS DEPLORES THE TORIES ‘NO GUARANTEES’FOR MAJOR RAIL SCHEMES

David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has deplored the statement made by Theresa Villiers, Tory Shadow Transport Secretary, in the current issue of Railnews.

In an interview with ‘Railnews’ the Tory Shadow Transport Secretary said that, if the Tories were to win at the coming General Election, they would review major railway projects and plans and would not give a ‘guarantee that any scheme would go ahead under a Conservative government’ She is also reluctant to give any commitment on such major procurement schemes such as the Thameslink Programme fleet and Intercity Express.

David Williams said, “More delay on investment in the railways is just what we do not need at this time. It appears that dithering and delay not only applies to Tory-controlled Cheshire East Council, it also applies to the Tory Party nationally. When the Tories broke up the railways in the early 1990s we warned that it could lead to a loss of railway engineering work and skills in this country and the Tories seem determined to see that happen. Crewe is a proud railway town with an enviable reputation for railway engineering skills, but if there is no work, those skills will not be passed on to future generations.”

David continued, “I support the calls for the Government to explore ways of taking the railways back into public ownership. I support and urgently ask for more investment in the railways. The last thing we need right now is more dithering and delay.”

Railnews article

Pictured: David with Lord Adonis, at Crewe Station, talking about Labour's future investment in railways.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Questions to the candidates: Pensions

Pensioners are better off with Labour. We are a long way from the days when Edwina Curry used to tell elderly people to stay warm by wearing their overcoats, hat and gloves in their own living room. Labour introduced the Winter Fuel Allowance for over 60s, worth £250 and £400 for over 80s. There’s also free home insulation for over 70s.

Margaret Thatcher broke the link with earnings, devaluing the state pension. Labour introduced the Minimum Income Guarantee, so no single pensioner has to live on less than £130 per week or £198 for couples. Labour increased the state pension by more than inflation and will restore the link with earnings.

Labour introduced the over 65s tax allowance, which has almost doubled pensioners’ tax-free earnings to £9,450 per year.

All this combined means that the average pensioner household is over £1,500 per year better off under Labour.

Under the Tories, Cheshire pensioners had to pay two-thirds of an adult bus fare and full fare outside the county. Labour has given all pensioners a free off-peak bus travel for all England and over 75s get free passports.

Mrs Thatcher brought in charges for eye tests, Labour made them free for pensioners.

Under the Tories there was no funding for flu jabs, Labour has made them available for all pensioners.

We learn about the future by studying the past. The Tories haven’t changed. Labour made all of the above available to everyone regardless of income, but the Tories are already talking of ending benefits for ‘middle-class’ people. So that’s means-testing and when they say ‘middle-class’ I believe everyone with a modest company or private pension will lose out under a Tory Government.

Happy St Patrick's Day

Each and every year on St Patrick’s Day we celebrate the links between Britain and Ireland and the enormous contribution the Irish have made to the world.

But of course this St Patrick’s Day is particularly notable for us, because this year we are able to look forward to the completion of the final stage of devolution in Northern Ireland – and with it the dawn of a lasting peace.

It took hard work. It took many hours of detailed negotiation. But most of all it took men and women of courage prepared to forgive the past in the service of the future.

This settlement would simply never have happened without the intense levels of cooperation between UK and Ireland – and in partnership we have achieved a dream many said could never come to pass.

And this year, with the upcoming Papal visit in September, many people in our Irish community have another reason to celebrate the links between Britain and the wider world and to reflect upon the values which unite us across boundaries of religion and geography and nation.

This year we stand stronger together than we could ever be apart.

Please pass my warm best wishes for St Patrick’s Day to your family and friends.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

John Prescott and David enjoying chips


David Williams, the Labour Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott rounded off their day with chips at TJs on the corner of Nantwich Road and Gresty Road Crewe.

After a busy day, during which John Prescott officially opened the new Labour Party Campaign Office in Chantry Court and then walked round Crewe Town Centre with David Williams meeting and speaking with local shoppers, they nipped round to TJs Chippy on Nantwich Road for a quick snack and a chat with owner Jack.

David said, “TJs is well-known with Crewe Alex fans and I often pop in here either on the way to or coming back from a game. I can heartily recommend both their chips and their service. TJs therefore seemed an appropriate place to come for a bite to eat and a chat.”

John commented, “We’ve had a very good reception here in Crewe. I came down to support David and to win back Crewe and Nantwich for Labour, but he did promise me that we could get a good fish and chip supper here at TJs. People are realising that there is a very important election on, and that we should never have lost Crewe and Nantwich. It was our fault, not the people, but we are now correcting that and we will take it back for Labour.”

David concluded, “The By-election was a referendum on the Government at that particular time. We were getting some things wrong and we were told by the people of Crewe and Nantwich very clearly that we were getting some things wrong. We have learnt from that. The General election will about who you want to run the country. The Tories are falling far short of gaining the confidence of the people. Gordon Brown is showing himself to be an important Leader, one who is bring the country out of recession in the best shape to take advantage of the recovery. A Business man like Jack here at TJs needs a good recovery, and the best way to provide that is by voting Labour in the General Election.”

Thanks to Jules at Crewe Blog for the video interview yesterday.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

JOHN PRESCOTT MP OFFICIALLY OPENS THE CAMPAIGN

David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, welcomed Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to Crewe last Saturday when he performed the official opening of the Labour Campaign Office at 4 Chantry Court.

John Prescott, who is the former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Prime Minister, arrived in ‘The Prescott Express’ Battle Bus to the theme from Rocky blazing out from loudspeakers.

David said, “John is a very popular and inspiring figure both within and outside of the Labour Party. I was delighted to welcome him back to Crewe, a town he knows very well.”

John gave a rousing and very well received speech to the crowd that had gathered at Chantry Court to welcome him – so well received that a man at the nearby ‘Hops Bar’ came across to him with two half pints of beer saying he agreed whole-heartedly with what he had said and invited John to have a drink with him.

Following the opening John and David toured Crewe Town Centre meeting and speaking to shoppers.

Photo courtesy of stefbennettphotography.com

JOHN PRESCOTT MEET SHOPPERS IN CREWE

David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott met and talked with shoppers in Crewe Town Centre last Saturday.

After opening the new Labour Party Campaign Office in Chantry Court Crewe last Saturday, John Prescott and David Williams walked into Crewe Town Centre to meet and speak with shoppers.

David said, “John proved to be very popular with the shoppers in Crewe, especially with young people. There were many very anxious to hear what he had to say and to have their photo taken with him.”

Photo courtesy of stefbennettphototography.com

John Prescott in Crewe


Thanks to Jules Hornbrook of Crewe Blog fame for capturing part of John Prescott's barnstorming speech at the opening of the Crewe and Nantwich Labour Campaign Headquarters. If you've never heard John's version of "the punch" then you're in for a treat.

Friday, 12 March 2010

DAVID WILLIAMS SIGNS UP TO THE ‘EVERY DISABLED CHILD MATTRSS CONSTITUENCY PLEDGE’

David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has expressed his support for ‘Every Disabled Child Matters’ campaign and added his name to the growing ‘Constituency Pledge’.

David said, “There are around 770,000 disabled children aged under 16 in the UK and the number is growing, particularly for children with complex health needs and those diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders. They and their families are one of society’s most vulnerable and marginalised groups. Of the 770,000 disabled children, only about 6% receive any form of regular specialist support.”

The ‘Every Disabled Child Matters’ campaign is being organised by a consortium of four of the leading organisations working with disabled children and their families : ‘Contact a Family’, ‘The Council for Disabled Children’, ‘Mencap’ and ‘The Special Educational Consortium’

The campaign is asking both Central and Local Government to

- Give disabled children and their families new rights to the services and support they need to lead ordinary lives.

- Invest in new resources to make sure these rights can become a reality. This will be achieved through funding to sustain, embed and build on ‘Aiming High for Disabled Children’.

- Give disabled children and their families a new level of priority, and work with them to improve the services they receive.

David said, “The Labour Government is committed to raising the priority of the needs of disabled children, and the needs of children in general. The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, only last week announced a series of new measures to support trainee teachers who want to work with severely disabled children. I support the aims of ‘Every Disabled Child Matters’ and urge the Government to continue the work that is being done to address the needs of disabled children and their families.”

David added, “There are a number of organisations in Crewe and Nantwich that work with disabled children and do amazing work, usually manned by volunteers and usually on very limited resources. I would urge Cheshire East Council to look closely at how they could support the good work being done by these organisations by way of grants, free use of premises, access to specialist advice and support etc.”

CHESHIRE EAST TORIES ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON CREWE AND NANTWICH

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, points to further evidence that Tory-controlled Cheshire East Council is turning its’ back on Crewe and Nantwich.

A recent press release from Cheshire East Council lauds the fact that they have approved £3.5 million for the regeneration of Poynton village centre.

David Williams commented, “I do not want to set town again town and I have nothing against Poynton, but this is further proof that the Tories simply do not care about Crewe and Nantwich.. Yet again we see priority being given to a town in the old Macclesfield borough and no money or assistance for Crewe and Nantwich.”

David said, “Crewe is the key driver of the Cheshire East economy and yet we are suffering dither and delay on key projects such as the Crewe Gateway Project, the regeneration of Crewe town centre, the replacement of the bus station and interminable delays in the completion of Queens Park. Worse still, residents and visitors to Crewe and Nantwich are penalised with the highest parking charges in Cheshire East.”

David concluded, “It is time for the people of Crewe and Nantwich to take a stand. We are not asking for any preferential treatment, we just want fairness and equality from Cheshire East Council, something that we are clearly not getting at the moment.”

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Questions to the candidates: David Williams on the economy

There is no doubt that we’ve been through tough times recently, but it could have been so much worse. Labour’s fiscal stimulus saved jobs. For those who suffered the personal tragedy of redundancy, we are helping them back to work quickly. We did not pass by on the other side.

Contrast that with the Tories, who would have let the recession run its course, leaving people to sink or swim in the deepest economic downturn since the 1930s.

The Tories fundamentally called it wrong three times. First, they would have let a bank go bust, thereby deepening the banking crisis. Second, to make deep and savage cuts now risks the fragile recovery. Third, having said they would back Labour’s action, they u-turned and bottled taking the tough decisions.

Gordon Brown led the world in tackling the global economic crisis. The Tories proved they cannot be trusted on the economy and we see that writ large with their leadership of Cheshire East Council. They should have been preparing the area for the recovery, but have dithered and delayed. They failed to rebuild Crewe station, they failed to regenerate Crewe town centre and they failed to open up land in Basford that could create thousands of job opportunities.

Unlike the Tory recessions of the 1980s and 1990s we will not leave young people with no hope and no opportunities. Unemployment is not a price worth paying.

Labour is the only party that promises to halve the deficit over four years, whilst continuing to invest in front line services and offering young people the guarantee of an apprenticeship, training, college place or work.

Monday, 8 March 2010

HOME OFFICE MINISTER DAVID HANSON LISTENs TO RESIDENTS’ VIEWS ON CRIME AND POLICING

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, and the Minister of State at the Home Office David Hanson MP visited the Marshfield Community Centre last Monday to listen to residents’ views on crime and policing.

David Williams and David Hanson, Home Office Minister with responsibility for Crime and Policing, attended a packed meeting at the Marshfield Community Centre in Crewe last Monday. David Williams arranged the meeting to enable the Minister to hear the views of residents on crime and policing.

David Williams said, “I think it is important that Minister should be able to hear directly from local residents about their hopes and fears, about their concerns and about the success stories. I was therefore very pleased to be able to bring the minister for State at the Home Office who has responsibility for crime and policing to the meeting.”

David Hanson said, “Crime in general has reduced steadily and this is the first time ever that the UK has gone through a recession without crime rising. During the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s crime rose considerably and everyone expect it to rise again during the current recession but crime actually fell this time around so we must be doing something right.”

The latest crime figures for Crewe and Nantwich show that crime fell by 7.9% in Crewe and by 2.9% in Nantwich when compared to the same three month period last year.

He continued, “I was pleased to hear of the work being done by the local Police Community Support Officers in Crewe. It is clear that they have formed very valuable partnerships with the local communities and fulfil a role that is valued by those communities. The Tories are proposing to cut the ring-fenced funding of PCSOs if they win the next election and I think this is a grave mistake on their part. It is obvious to me that PCSOs play a very important part in communities and will be sorely missed if the funding for them disappears.”

The Minister went on to announce the introduction of a 101 non-emergency telephone number to be introduced later this year. He said, “This telephone number will allow resident to contact the police in a non-emergency situation rather than by using the 999 number thus freeing up that 999 system for use by true emergencies.”

He also criticised the Tories attempt to politicise the police by their commitment to introduce directly-elected Police Commissioners to run our police forces.

David Williams commented, “The meeting with the Minister went really well and enabled local residents to put their points directly to him and to hear about some of the plans for the future.”

HOME OFFICE MINISTER DAVID HANSON VISIT ‘THE RAVINE’

David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, and Minister of State at the Home Office David Hanson visited ‘The Ravine’ last Saturday at the request of local residents.

David Williams and David Hanson, Home Office Minister with responsibility for Crime and Policing, accepted the invitation of local residents of The Rockwood Estate in Crewe, to visit what is locally known as ‘The Ravine’ – a long wide strip of open land running between the aluminium bungalows in Doddington Road and the houses in Capenhurst Avenue.

Local resident Kath Harvey said, “The residents in this area have banded together over the past few years to transform our estate from what was once a poor rated area into one where there is a great deal of local pride and community spirit. We have worked well with the two local PCSOs and the results have been fantastic. The one area that is still an eyesore and a source of petty crime is ‘The Ravine’. People from outside the area gather there to consume alcohol and use drugs. There is a litter problem and because it is so overgrown with bushes and trees it is a very difficult problem to tackle.”

Kath added, “We have worked closely with the local community police officers and they have been a great help, but, despite requests to Cheshire East Council to clear out the overgrown bushes and trees we do not seem to be getting anywhere. That is why I spoke to David Williams to see if he could help.”

David Williams said, “When Kath spoke to me I went down to see The Ravine for myself and it is very densely planted with trees and shrubs that have not received any maintenance since they were planted. I can well see how this is a problem area. The local PCSOs have been very helpful in doing all they can but more pressure is now need to be put on Cheshire East Council to clear out the dense bushes and make the area one that not only can be used as a play area by the children, but can be properly police by the PCSOs. I invited David Hanson to have a look at the area and speak with local residents, and to hear about the good partnership that has been built up between the residents and the Community Police Officers.”

David Hanson commented, “It is good to hear about how successful the partnership between the local residents and the PCSOs has been in this area. It is a message than I am hearing all over the country. ‘The Ravine’ would be an ideal spot for children to play, away from the roads, or for the residents to hold community events to build on the community spirit that has already been established, but in its present state it is a haven for petty crime and anti-social behaviour. The local council need to drastically clear out the overgrown bushes and trees and transform it from an eyesore to something that is useful in the community.”

David Williams concluded, “Together with the residents and the local community police, I will be asking Cheshire East Council to take action on clearing this area and make it an asset for the local community rather than a source of annoyance.”