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It was a fantastic experience, and spent over 3 hours there on Monday (Much to my parents' shock and disbelief!) - the orange waterproofs are clearly the Winter fashion accessory of choice!

This won't win us a single vote.

Oliver- you obviously don't get it.

I went down yesterday morning. It was truly fantastic. it was an excellent example of the local community and schools working with some help from us to acheive real change where they live.

Projects like this prove our principles - when you empower people, things happen. The head of the residents association had been trying to get something done with this peice of land for years. She is so empowered now she told me that she had now got her sites on 5 other peices of wasteland. That means real change for a very deprived community.

If the government had given another speicilist fund from the centre, you can almost gurantee that it would not have lasted or been loved in the way this garden will be. It is the kids who have painted the fences. This is the difference between us and labour.

This is not as simple as vote winning - this is chaging attitudes to us and showing our ability to deliver and that what we say works.

Oliver Arthurs - If we cannot practise locally what we preach nationally then we are not credible. Do you not see that your cycnical view is why so much in politics is viewed so cynically. And BTW - I bet there are local Grange Park people who have never considered voting Conservative, or even voting at all who see the Conservative party as positive and proactive.

"I haven't noticed other parties doing anything like this at their conferences yet, but if this kind of social action became the norm both politicians and the public might have a bit more belief in the public-spirited nature of politics"

The BNP do this type of thing but not at conference times. If local Conservatives do it at other times, as well as the national conference times, it could work. If it is just done at national events, it looks like a stunt to the skeptical.

One way of helping the environment would be to encourage people with gardens to bear wildlife in mind and not to make their gardens too tidy but have some provision for local wildlife. If the number of small garden ponds would double, it would have a massive impact. If the number of people who did their own composting would double, that would too.

Unlike carbon emissions, which wouldn't really have much of an impact if we went to zero, but countries like China and India kept increasing emissions, the above changes would actually have a massive impact.

BTW, this site can show you how to buy composters at a very much reduced price in your local area.


It also has lots of other info on green issues.

Christina, perhaps I should have mentioned that Parliamentary candidates have been strongly urged to set up such projects in their constituencies, and many have.

That's great, Sam!

I went down on Tuesday and it was a nice break from Conference. Well done to the organisers and the local community for putting this on. I made a few new friends who will be helping us develop our ideas in Barrow. I enjoyed it so much I was late for the NW Reception and still had paint on my hands and mud on my suit.

This sort of photo-opportunity gimmick has made people very cynical about the party over the past couple of years.

After the Rwanda fiasco you would have thought they might have learned.

I wonder if the vandals have moved in yet?

T.Tory - I doubt the vandals will have moved in, as approximately 15-20 local children (between 8 and 14) worked there, along with a few locals who really wanted something special there.

Sure, for a couple of MPs who shall remain nameless (not Cabinet members I hasten to add)they turned up in their suits and shoes, spoke to no-one, posed for a picture, then wandered off for free shampoo at the Imperial.

Speaking for myself and a couple of others, it was at the very least a nice way to break conference up, and it didn't feel like a chore. I fully intend to organise similar things in my area.

I regret the cynicism on this thread - especially from Oliver Arthurs. I'm sorry if Richard Lowe is right and if this was used by one or two as a photo opp (and I really hope he is wrong) but this is the sort of thing that socially-minded people get involved with.

It's not party-political: we join Round Table, Lodge, Rotary, Lions etc and put things back in to our own communities. Many of us stand for parish, borough and county councils - not wanting it as a stepping stone to Parliament but just to put something back.

My congratulations to everyone taking part there.

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