Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ed Miliband sets out 'profound' changes to Labour party

Ed Miliband

Ed Milibandlaunches his party on "the hard road back to power", saying it has to move beyond NewLabour and commit to changes in policy and organisation as profound as those introduced by  Tony Blair in 1994.

A commission on party organisation will be launched this weekend. It will examine the rules under which he was elected party leader, including the role of the unions.

• A policy review will be conducted including commissioned work by independent thinktanks and studies by each shadow cabinet member on the issues in their field. "In terms of policy, but not in terms of values, we start with a blank page," he says.

• The review is likely to include low pay, tough crime measures including asbos, and the "contributory principle" in the welfare state.

• His main priority next May will be the devolved and local elections and not the referendum on the alternative vote. He says the Liberal Democrats should change the referendum date if they really want to win.

• He will stand up for the "squeezed middle classes", a group he claims Cameron does not understand.

He also reveals he will spend time away from Westminster informally meeting people at work ranging from cleaners, small businessmen and bankers, in an attempt to understand more about their concerns.
He sticks with Labour's plan to halve, as oppose to eradicate, the deficit by the end of the parliament, insisting he will not concede that the Labour government overspent before the 2010 election.

Labour, he says, "has got to be the best community organisation in the country".
(with courtsey of "Guardian"

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Sadly, Cuts Are Affecting All, Prime Minister. Able and disabled alike

David Cameron spoke movingly about his son Ivan as he and his wife made an emotional visit to their child's former school.

David Cameron makes emotional visit to Ivan's former school
The Prime Minister has spoken in the past about the profound impact that caring for Ivan had upon him   
Samantha Cameron looked emotional as her husband described how Ivan had loved swimming.
(courtsey of Daily Telegraphs)

Dance Cable Dance

Vince Cable dances with Alesha Dixon 
Vince Cable dances with Alesha Dixon: 'a bit of a dream come true'.
Business secretary Vince Cable is to take time out from grappling with Britain's multitrillion-pound debt to tackle something of even greater national importance.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Smart Cities

Urban Evolution and Smarter Cities (Hammerson need not apply)

Click for Guardian web site

"Imaginative partnerships between the public and private sectors, led by local authorities, are essential to the delivery of innovative 'smart cities' of the future."

Another Guardian article
"This summer Coventry, in the West Midlands, hit on a novel way of using technology to the gather opinions of its residents.
"In conjunction with IBM it held a three-day mass online conversation – called CovJam – [with five forums] between some 3,000 residents, politicians and council officers.

"[Using the local authority's 'Inform, Consult, Involve' framework] the ideas that emerged from this discussion are now being used to reshape the authority's sustainable communities strategy."

THE GOOD NEWS: "A5/A406 Corridor Local Enterprise Partnership.


 The overall proposed remit of the A5/A406 Corridor LEP is to identify opportunities for growth and prosperity, in order to stimulate growth in the private sector through:
  • transforming growth areas through regeneration and development
  • increased investment and innovation in infrastructure provision, including lobbying to be a pilot for Tax Increment Financing with TfL as partners."