Thursday, 3 April 2008

Cycle path celebration - the video

Here's the youtube footage of the rally at the end of the cycle path celebration on Sunday. Excellent speech from Paul Smith, Labour candidate for Bristol West.


Whitby Bridge said...

Good news about the cycle path.

Are you going to sign the Early Day Motion about the Chancellor's abolition of the 10% tax rate? If not, why not?

Kerry said...

I'm PPS to a Cabinet Minister so I don't sign EDMs. But I will be speaking in the Second Reading of the Finance Bill on April 21st, and intend to raise it then - in the context of other changes in the Budget which benefit many people who would otherwise be negatively affected by its abolition. I've also written to the Chancellor regarding a specific case that was brought to my attention at a recent surgery.

Whitby Bridge said...

That's good.

Because as from Sunday it seems I will be paying £212 more in tax. That's almost £20 a month. Solely, as far as I can see, to fund a tax cut for the middle classes.

I don't honestly know where I'm going to find that £20. Council tax, gas, electricity bills are astronomic.

Meanwhile in 2003 tax payers subsidised Tony Blair for his TV licence, dishwasher, council tax and mortgage payments (even though he had no 10 given free), John Prescott for his cleaning and food, Gordon Brown for his cleaning and food etc etc.

There is an inequity in this which even the blindest can see.

The Bristol Blogger said...

I think you'll find that we paid Gordon's subscription to Sky Sports!
No doubt he needed it for the good of the nation?

Whitby Bridge said...

The EDM on the 10% tax rate has now been withdrawn, apparently after 'assurances' from government ministers.

Though John Hutton says it's impossible to scrap the abolition of the 10% tax band:

"I really don't think it is possible to do that. We have made the decisions now on the Budget. This package of measures was voted on and debated last year," he said.

You say that as PPS you don't sign EDMs.

You have been PPS at the DFID since 28th June 2007.

Between 6th November 2007 and 13th December 2007 you signed 23 EDMs, for one of which you were the primary sponsor, and three of which you supported (as opposed to simply signing).

How does that work? Either, as PPS, you do or you don't.

Kerry said...

I knew that question was coming... (re signing EDMs). OK, the fuller explanation is - I originally carried on signing EDMs on everything except international issues when I became PPS to Douglas, (in the same way a DFID PPS can't ask Qs on issues which fall within DFID's remit) but it became increasingly difficult to do so, especially given Douglas' wider role as election co-ordinator. So I eventually took a blanket decision not to sign any, and haven't done so since the Christmas recess. Most PPSs - or at least most of them who are aides to senior Ministers - don't sign EDMs.

I don't intend to enter into any more of a dialogue about this, or the 10p tax, on this blog - the initial post was about the cycle path - if you're not interested in that, don't bother commenting. If you want to raise your own issues you can do so in the usual way, by writing to me or emailing me - if you're a constituent, I'll reply. If you're not, I suggest you lobby your own MP instead.

Whitby Bridge said...

I already wrote to you

Kerry said...

Fine, you'll be getting a response soon.

Martyn Whitelock said...

Whitby - What is the good news about the cycle path?

Like you, the media and public think the Railway Path has been saved from development under the BRT plans. This is actually NOT the case until the Labour councillors vote to preserve it as the beautiful green corridor it has become.

In his defence, I think Faruk Choudhury was just as confused as the media and general public. See this:

Just to be clear, this is the spin that Labour’s Mark Bradshaw put on the whole issue. His idea of preservation (ha, ha!) is developing the path into a shared transport route with a bus. Whereas the local community, 10,000 petitioners, 100 school children, the Green Party and LibDems want the path preserved as it is - a green corridor. There’s quite a difference! It’s very scary to think our lives can be so affected by such uninformed voting. So Faruk and others, make sure you understand what you’re voting about the next time - it’s your duty to the people you serve!

Martyn Whitelock said...

Kerry - Please can you communicate the facts to the public, as opposed putting more spin on the issue as Mark Bradshaw does. You're title "Cycle path celebration - the video" is misleading and you of all people know this!

We all know the Railway Path has not been protected until Labour councillors vote in agreement with the Green and LibDem motion, which a great many people expect you to do in the next round of voting.

Kerry said...

It was billed as a celebration of the cycle path by the organisers - not my wording. In fact it's repeatedly described as a celebration on the Save the Railway Path website, and aren't you something to do with that campaign? Your name is mentioned on the home page.

I've made clear my position on the cycle path iun other postings, but I would just point out that it was actually the Lib Dems who commissioned consultants to look at a BRT link along the cycle path, when they were running the council. And the Lib Dems in South Gloucs are the ones pushing for a link to Emersons Green - have they rejected a link along the cycle path yet? Mark Bradshaw has made it quite clear that he wants to look at alternative routes for the BRT link - but it's a West of England partnership decision, not Bristol City Council, so I hope you're lobbying the other councils too.

Kerry said...

Here's a link to the site,
with "Videos of the Celebration on 30th March". I rest my case!

Martyn Whitelock said...


The march (Sunday 30th March) was in reality a joint celebration and demonstration. A celebration not in terms of saving the path (as your misleading title suggests) but of its twenty years as a highly valued green corridor. The organisers state "This is not a protest, it is a 'we like the path as it is, thank you!' event".

It was a demonstration in terms that the proposed use of the path for BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) is totally unacceptable, given all the reasons.

According to Labour's voting on 1st April and as reported by Sustrans, Bristol City Council are planning a public consultation later this year, which includes the Railway Path. So please, don't lay the responsibility with WoEP.

Why are you NOT reporting the continued threat to the path on your blog, especially given your passionate support of the local community's views?

Also, do you mean the same West of England Partnership that holds public forums in the day when most of the general public can't have their say?

Let's face it, this is all pretty academic since we ALL know who will ultimately decide the future of the Railway Path. I can tell you, it won't be Mark Bradshaw or the current objectives of this Labour Council!

Kerry said...

The last time I posted something about the cycle path on this blog was not so long ago - April 17th. And I've raised the issue in Parliament since, at the Local Transport Bill Committee on April 22nd, which has been reported on my main website:

I've also just had a response back to my letter to Rosie Winterton, the Minister responsible for cycling at the DfT, which will appear on my website soon. And I've also done a fair bit of media, including the Politics Show, about the LT Bill, during the past week or so. I think that's pretty good going!

The cycle path links Bristol and South Gloucs so I repeat my original point; you need to be getting answers from South Gloucs too.