Budget boost for North West

Chris Davies, the Lib Dem MEP who represents Tameside and the rest of North West England, has welcomed the budget for the help it provides to his constituents.  He said, “2.6 million of my constituents will get a £700 tax cut compared to 2010 when Labour were in power – and it is the lowest paid that are getting the benefit with 286,000 people taken out of tax altogether.

“279,231 families in the region could benefit from tax free childcare and 95,000 businesses will benefit from the changes to National Insurance, creating and preserving jobs.

“A typical motorist will save £7 per tank of petrol compared to Labour’s plans and I am working in the EU to try and increase that number by making  sure new cars use less fuel to travel the same distance – delivering savings for working people as well as benefits to our environment.

“There is even good news for Tameside pubs with 6,714 pubs across the region set to benefit from the cut in beer duty.  Even the serial complainers of UKIP should be happy with that, after all their MEP did promise to hold surgeries in pubs.  Personally I shall be enjoying my cheaper pints outside work hours.

“The Liberal Democrats are trying to build a stronger economy and a fairer society and this budget proves our influence in government.”

Liberal Democrats gear up for Euro campaign

Chris Davies MEP

Chris Davies MEP

Liberal Democrats in Tameside have picked Euro-MP Chris Davies to lead their campaign to hold on to their European parliament seat.

The list was chosen by party members in a postal ballot. Chris will be joined by businesswoman Helen Foster-Grime, economics professor Jo Crotty and community activist Qassim Afzal on his team of candidates for the eight places up for grabs in Brussels.

In 2009 the North West of England constituency returned 3 Conservative MEPs, 2 Labour and one each of the Lib Dems, UKIP and the BNP.

Chris Davies has represented Tameside in Brussels since 1999. He is the environment spokesman for the 85 Liberal Democrat MEPs from across the EU. He claims credit for introducing a billion euro funding mechanism that is supporting research into new renewable energy technologies.

Chris said “I’ve been proud to have represented the people of the North West in the EU for 13 years and I want to use this experience to drive forward environmental improvements and promote EU reform.

“Firms across Tameside depend on the EU for access to markets and thousands of jobs here depend on us staying as members. If UKIP got their way and we pulled out, any benefit we got by reducing our membership fee would be wiped out and more by the jobs we would lose to countries like China.”

Often outspoken, the MEP has campaigned for a change in the law to allow patients suffering intolerably to seek medical help to die. His call for drugs to be decriminalised and for their supply to be taken out of the hands of criminals will also be an issue for opponents of the Lib Dem team.

Lib Dems second across the borough




Across Tameside the Lib Dems came second in Thursday’s election. The results in the election for Police & Crime Commissioner in Tameside council area were:

Labour 12083
Lib Dem 3361
Conservative 2782
Independent 2623
UKIP 2316

(Read the borough by borough results here)

Lib Dem candidate Matt Gallagher wrote on his blog earlier today:

“I would like to thank everyone for their support, best wishes and kind remarks.

“We came third, just 2,160 votes behind the Tory machine, and with 40,318 first preference votes and an estimated 60,000 second preference votes (more…)

Former copper Matt Gallagher selected as Lib Dem candidate for Police Commissioner for Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Liberal Democrats have selected retired former police Inspector Matt Gallagher to be their candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner.

Matt Gallagher said today, “I have 30 years police experience, and a detailed knowledge of the Greater Manchester Police. That is why I am best candidate to work with police officers and cut crime across Greater Manchester.”

He added, “Survey after survey shows that the public would prefer to see a former copper as Police Commissioner than a failed former politician. The people of Greater Manchester now have that choice.”

Matt has a strong public service record. His grandfather was a police officer, his wife and daughter are mobile carers and his son is a Royal Marine Commando.

Mr Gallagher served for thirty years with GMP, six as a front line inspector in the force’s elite Tactical Aid Unit, where he confronted the city’s drugs gangs and organised football hooligan’s, and targeted anti-social behaviour and gun crime.

South Manchester MP John Leech added, “I supported Matt because he was made for this job. 30 years a copper, six years in the Tactical Aid Unit. Better a copper with an understanding of the job that a failed former minister.”

He beat former Councillors Jackie Pearcey and Qassim Afzal polling over half of the first preference votes.

Say YES! to the Alternative Vote on 5th May

On 5th May you have a choice. You can keep the discredited First Past the Post system to elect our MPs, or you can choose a new and fairer system – Alternative Vote (AV). Back the campaign for change at www.YesToFairerVotes.org

AV is a small change that makes a big difference.

Saying YES! to Fairer Votes Means:

MPs working harder to earn – and keep – our support. Your next MP would have to aim to get more than 50% of the vote to be sure of winning. At present they can be handed power with just one vote in three. They’ll need to work harder to win – and keep – your support.

A bigger say on who your local MP is. Ranking candidates gives you more say – in who comes first and who comes last. If your favourite doesn’t win, you can still have a say. It’s as easy as 1,2,3…

Tackling the ‘jobs for life’ culture. Too many MPs have their ‘safe seats’ for life. Force complacent politicians to sit up and listen, and reach out to the communities they seek to represent.

It could change politics here across Tameside.  At the last General Election, of the three MPs in the area, only one had the support of a majority of voters.

AV keeps what works with our current system, and eliminates many of its weaknesses. It’s a long overdue upgrade to make a 19th century system fit for the politics of the 21st century. Our parliament will better represent our communities. MPs will have to have a better view of what your community thinks – and that’s because they will have to listen harder to your views. It’s simple. If someone wants to represent your community they need the votes of the majority of the community. That’s what making every vote count really means.

On May 5th: Vote YES

Not too far. Not too fast.

Tameside MEP Chris Davies writes in his blog today about the plan to reduce Britain’s deficit:

“Most people know that the country is in a very bad situation. But I don’t think many of them realise just how bad things are, or how much worse they could get if the Government gets the strategy wrong.

To understand you have to go back to 1997.”

Read the full story here on Chris’ website.

Live Music Bill? Cheers!

Today the Government announced that it would be supporting Liberal Democrat peer, Lord (Tim) Clement-Jones’ Live Music Bill, which seeks to remove the bureaucratic burden from small venue owners, such as pubs and community halls, who want to have live music play for their guests

Lord Clement-Jones said: “There is clear support across all parties to reform the current system as the Licensing Act has had a deadening effect on the performance of live music in small venues.

“The Live Music Bill will benefit hundreds of small pubs, restaurants and church and community halls who want live music at their venue by generally removing the need to apply for a complicated licence.”

“I’m glad the Government has responded so positively to this Bill and I look forward to working with them to fulfil the Coalition Agreement’s pledge to put an end to red tape and bureaucracy.”