Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Warning From Spain

I may be on holiday in Spain but there are a few differences which raise my political hackles sufficiently for a quick blog entry.

I leave it to you to decide which is worse; needing an I.D.card just to hire a locker at a water park or being able to circumvent the security/bureaucracy with a car park swipe card with my photo on? Ardent supporters of I.D. Cards will excuse the former by saying that the Spanish will have their cards with them in their wallets anyway. The same cannot be said for tourists I didn't anticipate needing my passport to do my best impression of a walrus on a waterslide. I happened to have my swipecard in my wallet.

Isn't this another example of why the introduction of identity cards in the UK would be an expensive and futile exercise. Now where is that suncream?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Back Garden Too Far

I'm sitting in front of my PC doing some last jobs before I escape the downpour that has just started by going to Spain for a fortnight. Blogging will be off the menu for a while.

In the meantime, I look out of my office window to enjoy the view (thanks to digital photography, you can too.) But I wonder for how much longer will I be able to look out on an unspoilt green oasis. A planning application has just been submitted to build four 3-bed houses in the long narrow parcel of land between the gardens of my neighbours in Salisbury Road and those in Carshalton Park Road. If passed, there will be a 7.5m brick wall just to the right of my garage shown in the photo. Fortunately the plans are somewhat optimistic since they show an access road passing straight through my garage. Suffice to say, I won't be allowing any demolition work.

I hope that neighbours will send their opinions to the Council saying enough is enough. 41% of 'brownfield' development in Sutton is in fact on garden land, well above the national average. This proposal is the thin end of the wedge. Access is poor, irreversible damage will occur to the ecological balance of the area (I have had stag beetles, herons, woodpeckers and jays in and around the garden in recent years) and around 30 householders will be adversely affected. If any local resident is so minded to write, the planning reference is C2007/58001/OUT. You can write to London Borough of Sutton, 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton, SM5 2JG or comment directly here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Council Meeting 23rd July

I thought I would do something different following the last full Council meeting. This short film is the result. It took a while, hence the delay. Let me know what you think and whether it is worth doing more.

As well as the points in the film, we spent a little time discussing the recent flooding, though it will be a few more weeks until we have compiled all of the lessons learnt from the experience.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Blogging Awards

Probably a bit late to get on the scoreboard but what the hell. If you feel so minded, it would be good if you could score me highly on your list. Instructions below taken from Iain Dale.

In September Harriman House will publish the 2007 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK. It will contain articles on blogging by some of Britain's leading bloggers, together with a directory of UK political blogs, and a series of Top 20s and Top 10s.Instead of me picking my Top 100 UK political blogs (as I did last year) I'd like fellow bloggers and blog readers to send me their Top 20 UK Political Blogs by email. I'll then compile the Top 100 from those that you send in. Just order them from 1 to 20. Your top blog gets 20 points and your twentieth gets 1 point.The deadline for submitting your Top 20 to me is August 15th. Please email me your list to iain AT iaindale DOT com and type Top 20 in the subejct line. Or you can of course leave your Top 20 in the Comments on this post. UPDATE: You don't have to send 20, but try to do 10 as a minimum.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Throwing Brown a Bone

What do the US make of the revised Special Relationship after Gordon Brown's visit Stateside?

Hat-tip: Guy News TV