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If the public were allowed to choose the Tory Chancellor, would they pick Osborne or Clarke?


A bit general but I'd be very interested in his comments on daniel hannan and douglas carswell 'the plan' particularly in respect to 'localism'.

Eric, as a proud Northerner. What can we do to ensure that the Conservatives become and electoral force in Northern cities like Sunderland, Carlisle, Leeds, Manchester and perhaps even Newcastle?

Should Conservative councils fight the government over their plans to build three million extra homes or help them?

Should local councils fund PCSO's through the already overstretched council tax?

Will the Conservatives suspend, abolish or agree not to enforce all regional spatial strategies when they come to power, so that local people can regain control over what is built where, or will you let them run their course?

Should an English branch of the Conservative party be established to help us to re-engage with the North of England?

How? Launch and base in the North, York is quite pleasant, and fanfare the English Conservative branch as recognizing and representing the collective common identity of the English people within the context of a United Kingdom.

After all, we just re-branded with the UUP and same applies in Scotland and Wales.

And what Wearside Tory said.

What are your recommendations for strengthening the resolve of Conservative councillors, especially those in authorities that have recently changed hands, to deal with executive officers who either drag their feet over plans for efficiencies and savings or condone/encourage unacceptable treatment of council taxpayers in the name of the council?

The way that we are going by the time the Conservatives get into power in 2010 (probably) Local Government is going to be in the most terrible mess, with a mixture of unitary and two teir authorities, plus two tier councils that are in the throes of transferring into unitaries. The lack of uniformity is going to make policy making very difficult. How will Eric Pickles cope with this situation?

How should the Conservative Party deal with those councillors who wore blue rosettes to get elected but who do not follow Conservative principles?

When back in office will we continue to tolerate the mayor led and cabinet led bu**ers muddle across LAs or does CCHQ have an agreed policy on conformity to one model?

Since you ask, Commitees and a Policy & Resources committee please.

Ken Clarke in 1990 brought in the Health reforms -'the money followed the patient' now in 2008 Labour have got round to THE SAME policy with 'Choice' I was a first wave NHS Trust Chairman. Why are we not shouting from the roof tops it has taken 18 years to get back to what we started and all the wasted time.

Would you like to be Party Chairman? If so, what would you do differently, e.g. on campaigning and candidate selection?

Has he had an answer to the question that is bugging so many local councillors - "At what point did the Cahncellor know that Icelandic Banks were dodgy and if he did know earlier than the councils (and the Audit Commission, Pension Funds and Universities)why did he not advise them accordingly?

Why the hell are you not the Party Chairman?

Do you approve of Conservative Councils using anti-terrorism powers to spy on their electors?

When back in will the Conservatives get rid of the 'cabinets' in Local Government. This is too much power in too few hands.
When I was a councillor in the 80s ALL elected members had a right to speak & vote at a full Council meeting - that is democracy

There has been some talk about amalgamating some district councils into unitary authorities, when the Conservatives come to power. Is this not unwise in a first term, given the economic situation, and a probable lack of backing within the Shadow Cabinet?

Why wasn't the Conservative party been reorganised on federal/country lines years ago and why is it still not now?

If there is a Scottish Conservative Party ,a Welsh Conservative Party and,it would seem , an emerging Ulster Conservative Party, then why on earth is there not also an English Conservative Party to represent England within an overall British entity?

What is the nature of the mental blockage which prevents this obvious organisational change and why cannot it simply be put into place now to reflect the realities of 2008 as it will be one day anyway?

Folowing on from this why cannot England be recognised as a country with her own attitudes, priorities and concerns within the United Kingdom and why cannot the British Conservative Party adopt a policy of fairness and equity in their dealings with England and thus why cannot the party wholeheartedly espouse the idea of an English parliament and government which they already do for Scotland?

Avoidance of doing these things,the necessity of which are obvious to anyone familiar with stable federal/confederal political entities ie a very large part of the world, simply implicitly recognises and accepts the injustice and fragility of the present British state and also implicitly accepts that one day it must end.

Is it a fear that the very act of change will be so turbulent as to precipitate the very end of the United Kingdom they so dread?

You have already said that a Conservative Government would abolish Regional Asseblies. Would you agree that, if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified and Cameron does NOT submit this ratification to a referendum, we will ultimately be compelled by further EU integration to implement their plans for regional governments?

Both you and David Cameron have spoken about the need for local voters to have the right of local referendum to hold their local councils to account. Central government does not have time to monitor the idiocies of each and every council -local voters do They can say Yes you want to run your councils efficiently but not by invoking terrorist legislation/forbidding traditional celebrations/charging outrageous prices for licences or parking - go away and think again. Can we have local referenda please?

Lasr year both you and David Cameron spoke of the need for local voters to have the right of referendum to hold their councils to account. Central government does not have the time to monitor all the idiocies of local government - local voters do. Local voters can say via referendum Yes you may want to run your council efficiently but not by invoking antiterrorist legislation / banning traditional festivals / charging extortionate fees for licences or parking - go away and think again. It would also remind councillors who they are meant to be serving. Can we have local referenda please?

We'll it won't be, 'How can I lose some weight'

Will you guarantee that under a Conservative government, areas like Merseyside will not be forced to become "city regions"? Will you also guarantee that the people of such areas would be given a referendum on the issue if it came up?

Conservatives would:

* Reduce interest rates to 1%
* Nationalise the banks
* Compel all utilities and phone companies to operate a price control mechanism
* Abolish unnecessary bureaucracy such as ID cards and wasteful tiers of local government
* Invest in the NHS, transport infrastructure, schools and universities


Earlier in the year the Conservatives announced that there would be extra money to fund weekly residual waste collections. The LGA has said EVERY household in Britain could soon be told to throw out leftover food in a separate bin as a scheme to reduce landfill is rolled out across the country.

There are a plethora of different arrangements for waste collection in place.

Is some consistency needed or are you happy with a free for all?

"Why the hell are you not the Party Chairman?

Posted by: Rightwingery | November 24, 2008 at 11:17"

Because Eric would kick out Shireen Ritchie and her cronies.

At a time of deep recession would it be better for the government to abolish the RDA's now, rather than wait until we are in power? £15bn has been spent on them so far, shouldn't we have a bonfire of the quangos and hand over their powers to local government?

Can Eric Pickles tell us why Conservative controlled councils are getting on the bandwagon regarding idiotic wheelie bin rules,and fortnightly collections.Also I notice the council leaders of some of these councils, are also on the large salary, and say they are worth it. No council leader is worth any where near £100,000.I do not want to hear the excuse that they could be like MP's,earn more in the private sector.Most of them, and I include MP's, would not be able to get employment in the private sector.
They are all "too full" of what we used to say in the Royal Navy, "Their own P--s and importance."
It is about time we ruled the roost instead of being led by the nose by Council jobsworths.We elect councillors to do what we want, but they just do what
Local Government employees say.
End of???

Back again, I agree with BJ Thomson,it is about time we all agreed with his very sensible comments.Some of them are near mine,but he has put more succinctly than I have.
I also agree about Eric being Party Chairman.Give The People back their power over their own communities.
One other comment:I do not believe one whit in Global Warming.The earth has been here for Zillions of years and the UK's emissions, even if we were concerned are nothing short of negligible in the great scheme of things.
Nuff said

Please be careful to distinguish between
Council leaders (elected and drawing allowances of between £5k and £50k) and
Council Chief Executives (Local Government employees on around £100k)

Mr Pickles,

I am disgruntled, to say the least, about the manner in which this wretched Labourite government has destroyed the 120 year old Cheshire County Council and abolished the Borough of Macclesfield and other local authorities within Cheshire. Significantly these unrequested changes will come fully into force on April Fools' Day 2009!

Already this re-organization of the former county of Cheshire is costing council taxpayers considerable amounts of money to no particular purpose. For example the new incongruous logo for the new eastern section of Cheshire has cost a quarter of a million pounds. It signifies nothing, except, of course, a complete waste of public money!

While I cannot expect a new Conservative government to revert Cheshire to its former status, I do trust that such a new government will make some attempt to return Cheshire, and other abolished counties, to true local government and stop this unwanted move to regionalization which will, of course, remove administration ever further from the people at large.

Thank you and good luck with your valuable work.

Dear Mr Pickles,

Do you think the party should be championing the policy of having directly elected local police officers more loudly?


Are you happy being the Tory John Prescott?

The Labour government is, largely successfully, forcing the amalgamation of district councils into unitaries against local voters wishes.

Will a Conservative government revisit this issue and if local people wish to return to district councils to enable that?

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