Monday, 25 February 2008

93% say NO!

Local residents are definitely saying a strong 'NO' to the Government's expansion plans of Heathrow.

I have recently sent out 45,000 surveys to local residents asking for their views. So far, 93% of respondents have said that they are against expansion.

This view was supported at the public meeting I organised in Isleworth this week. The speakers were (from left to right of photo):

- John Stewart, Chairman of HACAN (Heathrow Association for Control of Aircraft Noise)
- Maggie Thorburn, Friends of the Earth and local resident
- Roger Wiltshire, Secretary General of BATA (British Air Transport Association)
- I am in the middle
- Cllr Barbara Reid, Hounslow Council's lead member of aviation
- Cllr Phil Andrews, local ward Councillor
There was a really good turn out at the Isleworth Working Men's Club on St John's Road on Thursday night. It showed the strength of feeling that people have on this issue these plans will affect their quality of life on a daily basis.

We must continue to speak out on this, to make the Government listen to public opinion. Lets not give up the fight!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Women in the World Today

I attended today the launch of a paper, which I helped create with Rt Hon Theresa May MP, called 'Women in the World Today'. It outlines the opportunities and challenges that we face in society today:

a) Women in the workplace - there is still a gender pay gap of 17%, flexible working is still not readily available and women typically have smaller pensions.

b) Women in their communities - there is a lack of choice for childcare and female carers suffer from a lack of support and a loss of earnings.

c) Vulmerable women - homeless women have issues in being housed, female prisoners suffer isolation and self-harm, 1 in 4 women still suffer domestic violence in their lifetime, victims of stalking are not properly supported and women are victims of human trafficking.

d) Women and ethnicity - women in Britain are being forced into marriage, polygamy exists in some communities, women in some communities experience enforced segregation, female genital mutilation is widespread in the UK and British women suffer 'honour' violence and killings.

e) The role of women in international development - women overwhelmingly bear the burden of extreme poverty and deprivation but can be used effectively as recipients of aid and can improve development.

I believe that these are incredibly important concerns within British society today and it is difficult to believe that some of these issues still exist in today's world. We need to be able to give women real choice over their own lives - a choice that remains elusive for too many women in 21st century Britain. I believe in an approach which is based on equality of opportunity and equitable legal, commercial, social and political treatment. We are all individual human beings, who deserve to be treated the same, no matter who we are, what our gender is or where we come from. I want choice and opportunity for all.

Pictured here are some female Conservative Parliamentary candidates with Rt Hon Theresa May MP (I am sixth from the left hand side..beside the yellow coat)

Monday, 4 February 2008

Rebuilding trust in politicians

There was much talk this weekend in the press about the Conservative MP Derek Conway, who has been suspended from the House of Commons, after it was alleged that he paid his son out of public funds, for work that did not appear to have been done.

I think David Cameron was right to withdraw the Conservative whip from him as it is important that we stamp out any misuse of public money... and show clearly that in Britain we do not tolerate any corruption within the political process. The behaviour of a few MPs over the years have tarnished the standing of all parliamentarians. This has helped to create huge apathy towards politics and a widespread distrust of politcians.

It is important that we now try and rebuild this. There are many MPs and aspiring politicians, like myself, who really are in politics for the right reasons and will work hard to make a difference to the country we live in. Most of us can be trusted!

Friday, 1 February 2008

GLA elections approaching

Elections for the London Assembly will be taking place in May this year. Given January has quickly disappeared... it will not be long until May!

We have had a great Assemblyman in Tony Arbour, who works incredibly hard for the Boroughs of Hounslow, Richmond upon Thames and The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
I must not forget his wife Caroline. She is an amazing support to not just Tony, but to so many Conservative candidates in west London! Thank you for all that you do.

It is our turn now to work hard for Tony ... to get him re-elected.