Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Labour's Poster Challenge

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

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, 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, 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, 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
01270 589 132
4 Chantry Court, Forge Street, Crewe, CW1 2DL

For the latest news on David's campaigns:

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


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, 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


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, 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, 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, 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


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


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

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, 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.”


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


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.”


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.”

Car Park Charges Protest Continues


David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, is leading a ‘Rainbow Alliance’ to protest over Cheshire East Councils’ car parking policy.

Following on from the Protest held on Saturday 27th February, David will lead a Protest March against Cheshire East Council’s policies on Saturday 13th March. The March will start at 11.00am from Chantry Court, near to the Hops Bar and Christ Church car park, and will proceed at a gentle pace along Forge Street, through the Town Centre and end outside the Crewe Municipal Buildings in Earle Street.

David said, “We plan what may more correctly be called a protest stroll rather than a march. The Tory-controlled Cheshire East Council has turned their backs on Crewe and Nantwich and we need to show them that will not tolerate that.”

David continued, “Following our protest on 27th February, the Leader of Cheshire East has conceded that there needs to be ‘fairness’ on the issue of Sunday parking and is proposing to scrap the charge in Crewe and Nantwich. This is a victory achieved by a small demonstration. What we want now is equality on parking charges. Crewe and Nantwich pay 70p per hour whilst Macclesfield pay 60p and in Congleton it is only 30p. A large turn-out on Saturday 13th March will show Cheshire East Council that we mean business. I would appeal to everyone to join us on Saturday 13th March to show the Council that we are not prepared to be ignored. Meet at Chantry Court at 11.00am and make your voice heard.”

Sunday, 7 March 2010


David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, and David Kidney MP, Environment Minister at the Department for Energy and Climate Change, spoke with students at South Cheshire College last Friday.

The visit was arranged by the South Cheshire Young Labour and David Williams to enable David Kidney to meet with students at the college and to listen to their views on the environment and climate change.

Sam Colclough, Student Officer for Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party, and himself a student at South Cheshire College, said, “There is a lot of interest in environmental issues among the students, and I asked David Williams if he could arrange for a Minister to come along and listen to their views. We were delighted when David Kidney agreed to come along and he was very interested in what we had to say.”

David Williams said, “David Kidney was more that delighted to visit South Cheshire College. He was able to hear at first-hand the concerns and ideas of local students and to tell them about some of the things that the Labour Government has been doing to combat climate change. In addition we were able to look round the construction of the new college buildings.”

David Kidney commented, “I am always eager to hear the views of young people on the environment and the dangers threatened by Climate Change. We had a very good session in the ‘Cafe Chill’ area and I was impressed by their ideas. I was also very impressed by the work that is being done in building the new college and I am especially interested in the energy-saving measures that are being incorporated into the design.”

David Williams added, “I know that there has been some disruption to residents around the college site during the building work. I also know that college officials have been consulting with residents during the building programme. Most residents accept that there is bound to be some disruption but I am keen to see that every step is taken to keep that disruption to a minimum. The new college is due to open in September and the main building work will be finished some time before that, so the situation will ease quite considerably. The new building will be really impressive and will match the very high reputation that the college has for academic achievement.”

Sam Colclough concluded, “It’s not every day you have a chance to put your views directly to the Government Minister. The Students at Danebank certainly appreciated his visit and the fact that he was keen to listen to us.”


David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has this week given his backing to the campaign in support of Sure Start Children’s centres, which provide universal services for all families and children under five.

The ‘Shout out for a Sure Start’ campaign was launched by the charity 4Children and the popular children’s TV character Peppa Pig. The campaign has the support of children’s charities, Trades Unions and the Children’s Secretary Ed Balls.

David Williams said, “Parents across Crewe and Nantwich tell me all the time how much they value their local Sure Start Children’s Centres, the services on offer and the help and support they provide. Most parents I talk to cannot imagine what it would be like if their local Children’s Centre was no longer there. That’s why I’m backing this campaign to shout out for a Sure Start and to promote the universal services on offer for families in Crewe and Nantwich.”

Back in 1997 there were no Children’s Centre, but, thanks to investment from the Labour Government, there are now twelve Sure Start Centres across Cheshire East with five Centres in Crewe and Nantwich, delivering services to 12,280 children and their families across Cheshire East. By the end of the year another eight are expected to open meeting the Government’s target of 3,500 centres open by 2010.

The Labour Government has said it will keep investing in Sure Start because the early years of a child’s life are so important, but the Tories plans to cut £200million a year from Sure Start budgets. This is the equivalent of one in five Children’s Centres having to close its doors.

David said, “David Cameron has said that the Tories would take Sure Start away from families on modest and middle incomes and focus it on the poorest families instead, but I think that would be a big step backwards. Sure Start makes a difference to hundreds of families across Crewe and Nantwich. It should be open to all parents and children, not just a few. That’s why I am going to keep shouting out for Sure Start and I urge local parents to back the campaign as well.”

Saturday, 6 March 2010


David Williams, the Labour Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, congratulates local pensioner Nan Walton on making good use of the savings from the temporary reduction in VAT.

Local pensioner Nanette Walton of Brierley Street in Crewe is putting the savings she has made from last year’s VAT reduction to good use.

She told David Williams “During the time that VAT was reduced from 17.5% to 15%, every time I went to the shop I put the saving into a jar. Over the year it mounted up and I found that I have £55.56p.”

Nan continued, “I've been supporting Crewe Alex for 60 years and I’ve decided to put the money towards next year’s season ticket.”

David said, “When the Government brought in the temporary reduction in VAT they intended to put money into people’s pockets to help stimulate the economy during the global economic downturn. Although we were criticised by the Tories, Nan has demonstrated just how much this initiative was worth to people.”

Friday, 5 March 2010


David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has welcomed the news that the number of repossessions during 2009 was less than had been forecast, and is almost half of the number that took place in the early 1990s, but he insists that the Government must continue their help for homeowners.

David said, “Lower interest rates and Labour’s measures to help people have assisted more struggling families stay in their homes than previously predicted. Repossessions in Crewe and Nantwich have fallen by over 7% but I believe that this is still too high and that the Government must continue with its help for struggling homeowners.”

Compared to the early 1990s recession, fewer houses have been repossessed – 46,000 across the UK in 2009 against 75,500 across the UK in 1991. Arrears are also down whilst the number of mortgages has increased from 9.8m to 11.1m.

David commented, “The main difference this time is that Labour has taken action to support people. Instead of leaving people to sink or swim, we have invested to help keep people in their homes. This help must continue if we are to see the number of repossession fall further.”

Michael Coogan, Director General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said, “The fact that mortgage arrears and possessions did not rise as much as we feared in 2009 is testament to the effect of low interest rates, and a great deal of concerted efforts by lenders, Government and the advice sector to help borrowers to address financial difficulties when they occur.”

Howard Archer, Chief UK and European Economist at IHS Global Insight, said, “The CML and Ministry of Justice data indicate that Government initiatives to reduce repossessions by requiring lenders and borrowers to examine all alternatives is having a significant beneficial impact in helping people to keep their homes.”

David concluded, “The risk of repossessions is still too high and families are still feeling pressure on their finances. That is why the Government must continue and extend its support for those who need it most. The Government is working with local advice agencies to make sure people can access the help they need – from free legal advice to the backstop Mortgage Rescue Scheme for the most vulnerable households. More than 330,000 families have benefitted from help advice with their mortgage over the past year and Labour is committed to doing everything we can to prevent families from going through the trauma of repossession.”

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Car Park Charges Protest

Tory councillors called on to resign in shame as anger grows over Crewe and Nantwich car parking charges

A rainbow alliance of local residents, Labour and Nantwich Independent councillors took to the streets on Saturday to protest over Cheshire East Council car parking charges policy.

The protesters gathered on a rainy day at Christ Church Car Park and were lead by would-be MP David Williams and Clr Dorothy Flude, Labour Group Leader in Cheshire East.

David Williams said, “It's time to take a stand because this Tory controlled council are not listening to reasoned argument. I congratulate the Labour, Liberal and Independent Councilors for their efforts to reach a fair settlement for Crewe and Nantwich.

“This week’s Cheshire East Budget Meeting proved that the Tories have turned their back on Crewe and Nantwich. The area is are being undermined with parking charges higher than other nearby towns. This disgracefully unfair policy is damaging to local businesses trying to survive in these difficult times.

Dorothy Flude said, “All we are asking for is fairness for Crewe and Nantwich. Yet local Tory councilors, who claim to represent the area, failed to stand up for us. None of them joined the Labour, Liberal and Independent opposition to these terrible parking charges aimed at fleecing local motorists.

“How can it be right that in the same authority we in Crewe and Nantwich pay 70p per hour; Macclesfield pays 60p, and it’s only 30p in Congleton. Yet again Crewe and Nantwich is the poor relation.

Nantwich Independent Councilor Arthur Moran said, “Parking in Crewe and Nantwich is really expensive and it will harm businesses in the two towns. We must remain a shopping destination and attract people from outside the area otherwise we will end up with two ghost towns. The situation is that serious.”

David Williams concluded, “Crewe and Nantwich Tories either abstained or voted against a proposal to reduce parking charges. They should hang their heads in shame, or better still resign and make way for people who will stand up for local motorists.

“Feelings are running high amongst local residents and we are not going to let this go. We are planning another protest in two weeks time and we will keep up the pressure until Cheshire East listens to reason.”

The next protest will take place on Saturday 13 March. Meet at 11am, at Chantry Court opposite Christ Church Car Park in central Crewe.

Questions to the candidates: David Williams on Law and Order

Labour has reduced overall crime by over one-third tackling years of Tory under-investment in community policing. Labour has delivered more uniformed officers patrolling our streets, ASBOs to tackle anti-social behaviour and local councils now work closely with the police.

Neighbourhood policing has been a big step forward. Every time I raise constituents’ concerns I receive an immediate and positive response from local PCSOs and police officers who are eager to help.

I know how effective these measures have been because I work with retail employers against crime and anti-social behaviour in shopping areas. I organise a high profile campaign to protect shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse for my trade union Usdaw and lobby Government and councils for action.

In this global economic downturn we feared crime would increase. It rocketed in the Tory recessions of the 1980s and 1990s. However, Cheshire’s overall recorded crime is down by 9% over the last year, unheard of in a recession. It shows that Labour’s action has made a lasting difference and I’d like to thank the police for their hard work in achieving that reduction.

The Tories offer nothing but fake statistics and an immediate 10% in the police budget, with further savage cuts to come. They make up stories suggesting Crewe and Nantwich is a dangerous and violent place to live, which I totally reject.

Despite the improving situation, too many people’s lives are blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour, so we have much more to do. If Labour wins the election we will tackle the most difficult families; providing help to overcome issues of truancy, criminal activity, vandalism and anti-social behaviour that so often brings down a neighbourhood.

Labour is the only party that offers tough action on crime and continued investment in a highly visible uniformed presence on our streets.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Camera on Ashcroft

Letter to the Chronicle

Dear Sir

It was bad enough that along with thousands of others I watched the Alex go down 0-1 to Chesterfield; but my Wednesday evening got even worse when I was left waiting for an hour for a bus to Sandbach.

Having left the match a minute before time to sprint down Gresty Road and catch the 2140 from Crewe Arms, I and others had to wait an hour, because our bus had been cancelled. Now I'm sure that Arriva have a genuine reason for this and to be fair to them the 38 route is generally very reliable, but where are the contingencies?

Our frustration was compounded by seeing an "out of service" Arriva bus pass us twice during the one hour wait. If it was being driven by a mechanic rather than a bus driver, and therefore unable to pick up passengers, he could at least have stopped to tell us our bus was cancelled. We'd have been grateful in the knowledge that we could have retired to one of Nantwich Road's excellent pubs and wait for the 2240 in the warm.

I used to be a bus driver in Crewe when the situation would have been very different. First there used to be two buses to Sandbach every hour in the evening; the Macclesfield bus and the Winsford bus. Second, because Arriva's predecessors garaged at Crewe Bus Station they were able to mobilise alternative vehicles very quickly in the event of a breakdown.

When I look at the investment Labour has made in bus services and the fantastic improvements for passengers in other areas, I feel badly let down by Cheshire East Council. It's twenty years since I was on the buses, the local service has deteriorated in that time, whilst services improved elsewhere. Why does the Council expect people to use the bus when the services are so infrequent and the information is so poor?

These are my three top priorities for bus improvements and I hope Cheshire East Council is listening:

1. Live passenger information at bus stops. Commonplace in many areas, keeping passengers informed of delays and cancellations. It is a disgrace that some bus stops in Crewe and Nantwich that don't even have a timetable, just an expensive telephone number to call for information.

2. A new bus terminus in Crewe. We are all fed up with our existing bus station, it is an embarrasment to the Town. We need a new bus station, not in the town centre, but at the railway station. Let's have a proper integrated transport network that reflects the geography of the town and links to the Crewe Gateway Project, which could deliver an upgraded rail station on the existing site, a new link road and the opportunity to create 7-8,000 jobs on the Basford sites.

3. Crewe and Nantwich based bus companies. I believe that Cheshire East should only hand out contracts to companies who garage their buses in the Crewe and Nantwich area. We are a major bus and rail hub and it is unacceptible that existing local operators garage way outside the area.

If the Tory leadership of Cheshire East Council were as reliant on public transport as I and many others are, we would have a better bus service. The only way to tackle environmental concerns and the ever increasing problems of congestion is to have a bus network that is fast, frequent and friendly to passenger needs. The ball is in your court Cheshire East Tories.

Yours faithfully

David Williams
Labour's Parliamentary Candidate
for Crewe and Nantwich

Monday, 1 March 2010


David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, condemned Cheshire East Council for delaying improvements to Crewe Railway Station in its so-called ‘Vision for Crewe’.

David said, “The presentation made recently to local Councillors is further evidence that Cheshire East is all words and precious little action. The plan, which now has a twenty-year time-span, put the much needed improvements to Crewe Railway Station in doubt once again.”

David Williams has consistently campaigned for a redeveloped Crewe station on its existing site and has work closely with CREAM to this end. He has twice brought the Secretary of State for Transport to Crewe. After the first visit the immediate threat of the station moving to Basford was removed and after the second visit he secured new funding for investment in the existing station.

David said, “I am increasingly frustrated by Cheshire East’s dither and delay. Instead of employing consultants to kick the project into the long grass, they should be building the link road to open up the Basford sites. Cheshire East Council is preventing Crewe and Nantwich taking full advantage of the recovery. These sites could provide 7,000 to 8,000 jobs and we should be bidding for investment and attracting new employers to the area rather than wasting money in an excuse to do nothing.”

David went on to say, “The local MP is failing to stand up for Crewe and Nantwich. He spends most of his time running down the area and making false claims on plans for a Basford super-prison. He does not want to stand up to his Tory mates in Macclesfield, who prioritised a by-pass around Alderley Edge over a job-creating link road for Crewe.”

Local Councillor and member of CREAM, Roy Cartlidge said, “I am appalled at this latest presentation. Cheshire East Council is now asking Crewe to wait another 20 years before we see any improvements. Can Crewe afford to sand by and wait another twenty years?. It seems that Cheshire East Council and the local MP do not care about Crewe at all and that only David Williams is prepared to stand up for Crewe and Nantwich as he is the only one that has made any progress on this.”