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  • Martin Burfoot at Wolds farm (Martin Burfoot)
    Article: Jan 18, 2019
    By Peter Dobbs and Martin Burfoot

    As Liberal Democrat councillors, we are constantly reading moving letters and emails from residents opposing the huge and highly contentious proposal for 415 more houses off Gritstone Road and Pinewood Road. Some of them have seen their homes and gardens flooded on a regular basis and have been victims of a gridlocked Cavendish Road. .
    However, we don't know how the District Council's planners will react and respond to the hundreds of objections to this completely unsustainable and inappropriate plan (with none in favour - see the Council website: ref 18/01242/EIA) .

  • Article: Jan 15, 2019
    By Robert Court

    Observing the Brexit saga unfolding in Parliament, you might have thought that it seems almost like a pantomime. Here is an outline of the plot…

    The Country has voted to Take Back Control and become a Brexit Island. The Blue Queen has tried to implement the Country's decision. But many of the Blue Princes and Princesses are unhappy with the Blue Queen's plan and are in open revolt against her, because they say we would not be a True Island. The problem is that everyone somehow forgot that if the Country has a Land Border, it cannot be an Island. So how can you have a Land Border with no Border Controls, while at the same time Taking Back Control? The Blue Princes expect the Blue Queen to come up with a solution, but what is their Plan? After over two years of deep thought, they have no Plan. Meanwhile the patience of Blue supporters wears thin, especially because many of the Blue Princes like Davis, Boris and Moggis are devoting most of their energies to plotting to depose the Blue Queen and replace her.

  • Buxton Rd Ashbourne (Peter Dobbs)
    Article: Jan 14, 2019
    By Peter Dobbs

    A few months ago an estate agent, extolling the virtues of Ashbourne, Derbyshire as a place to live, praised the air quality of the town. It is instructive to reflect on how they might have decided that Ashbourne air is 'good to breathe'.

    It seems that all sources of information that purport to tell you about air quality rely on figures supplied to DEFRA (headed up by Mr Gove). The collection of such data in the Derbyshire Dales is the responsibility of the local authority - Derbyshire Dales District Council.

  • Article: Jan 6, 2019
    By Matthew Parris in The Times

    Matthew Parris, formerly Conservative MP for this constituency, wrote in The Times on 31 December 2018 under the headline "Never have I ever… (but in 2019 I just might…) … not voted Conservative". He has always and in all circumstances up to now voted for the Conservative candidate, but…

    "This time it could be different. My way is clear. If there's a general election this year, and if my MP (and successor in what was once my constituency) stands again, I will vote for him, Sir Patrick McLoughlin: a good, moderate, sensible Tory who campaigned for Remain. But if it's not Patrick . . . ah, horrid thought - I'll do the deed.

  • Ben Gummer (Ipswich Star)
    Article: Jan 5, 2019
    By Ben Gummer, Paul Geater in Ipswich Star

    Ex Conservative cabinet minister and co-author of the 2017 Conservative manifesto Ben Gummer, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's PM programme on 3rd January. Asked for his advice to Conservative MPs about to vote on Mrs May's Brexit Deal he said;

    'This is a curious position for members of Parliament to be in - I think it is probably unique in modern parliamentary history because MPs are being asked to walk through the division lobbies to make the country and their constituents permanently poorer and less secure, not just in one generation but in two or three. MPs have never been asked to do that before. And to do so knowingly…..so this is really a vote of conscience for them and I think it will be an incredibly difficult one for almost all of my former [Conservative] colleagues'.