Local Liberal Democrat councillors have welcomed a report, published today, which calls for action to be taken to protect bus services, particularly in rural areas and for local people to be consulted more fully when there are plans to cut bus services.
The report, issued by the Transport Select Committee of MPs, states that many elderly, young and disabled people in rural areas are losing out because of cutbacks to bus services. Here in Hinckley and Bosworth Cllr Bill Crooks and Cllr Michael Mullaney have been campaigning against cutbacks to local buses. Recently they sent in a petition of more than a 1000 names asking for cutbacks to the 153 bus service to be reversed. The service covers, among other places, Market Bosworth, Barlestone, Osbaston, Newbold Verdon and Desford. The petition is to be considered by the County Council’s Scrutiny Commission on the 7th September.
Over a 1000 people living in Hinckley and Bosworth have signed a petition demanding better bus services through their villages.
People in Barlestone, Market Bosworth, Newbold Verdon, Desford and Osbaston have signed a petition opposing recent cutbacks to their bus services.
The petition, run by Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs Spokesman Cllr Bill Crooks and the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for Hinckley and Bosworth, Cllr Michael Mullaney, calls for improvements to the 153 bus service.
This follows a decision by the bus companies earlier this year to axe the number 152 Leicester to Coalville bus service and to reduce the 153 bus service that runs from Leicester through the affected villages.
Cllr Bill Crooks said “The changes to the bus services have really made life difficult for many people in these villages. There are now no Sunday services running through Barlestone, Osbaston, Newbold, Desford and Market Bosworth. The evening services have also been cutback.
“The changes have made it particularly difficult for people who work in other villages but don’t drive. This is especially the case for young people quite a few of whom have Sunday jobs outside the villages they live in, now they don’t have buses to take them to work.”
Cllr Michael Mullaney said “The huge response to this petition shows there is a real demand from local people for improvements to the bus services through their villages.
“We’ve sent the petitions into Leicestershire County Council. We hope they will listen to the more than 1,000 people who have signed it and work to ensure that the bus companies can restore to these villages the bus service local residents used to have and still need.”
Local campaigners in Hinckley and Bosworth are celebrating news that cheques are to be saved.
The Payment Council, on behalf of the big banks, had announced the abolition of cheques by 2018.
However, massive protests against the moves have forced a rethink and cheques will now be kept.
Cllr Michael Mullaney, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman for Bosworth welcomes the news “This is a great win for people power.
“3,000 people in Hinckley and Bosworth signed the petition to save cheques. Many more people from across the country also backed the campaign.
“Public pressure has forced the banks to listen and cheques will now be saved.
“This is good news for everyone who uses cheques. In particular, small businesses, local community groups and pensioners and disabled people who would have been particularly badly hit if cheques had been scrapped.”
Official figures show that between December 2009 and December 2010 there were 421 fewer people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in the Bosworth constituency.
Bosworth Liberal Democrat parliamentary campaigner, Michael Mullaney, said “This is really positive news. I am delighted that hundreds of people in Bosworth are finding work.
“Nationally we are going through really tough economic times. Hopefully this fall in the number of people claiming jobless benefits shows that the difficult decisions being taken by the government to put the economy right are starting to produce results.”
Deputy leader of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, Cllr David Bill added “There’s more good news in the pipeline. If all goes according to plan there should be 5,000 new jobs over the next few years in the Hinckley area. This includes the new developments at MIRA, the bus station, the Greenfields and several other schemes that will come to fruition.
“In addition the Lib Dem council has built into the planning conditions of the new developments that preference should be given to local people when it comes to employing people”.
Liberal Democrats in Hinckley and Bosworth have backed a campaign to “Save the Cheque”.
This follows the decision by the banks to abolish the cheque by 2018.
Michael Mullaney, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hinckley and Bosworth said, “We have set up a petition for people to sign opposing the banks plans to scrap the cheque.
“Many national organisations are opposed to the scrapping of cheques. These include Age UK, Which?, RNIB And The Federation of Small Businesses. All have concerns that the banks’decision will hurt the most vulnerable, charities and many small businesses who rely on cheques.”
You can sign the petition to save the cheque online at http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/savethechequebook
In December 2009 the Payment Council, a group made up of the 28 big banks and financial companies announced plans to phase out the cheque.
Speaking to yesterday’s Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham Michael Mullaney welcomed the big Liberal Democrat input into the new government’s economic policy and said that it could finally mean the end of Thatcherism.
Michael Mullaney said to the conference “Many people, including myself, were worried during the election about the return of a Conservative government, that it would mean massive cuts to public services and a return to mass unemployment as happened under previous Tory governments during a recession.
“But we don’t need to fear this now. For who would have thought that the Liberal Democrats could force the Conservatives to drop their plans to cut taxes for millionaires and instead cut taxes for people on middle and low incomes taking many of the lowest paid workers out of tax altogether?
“Who would have thought that we could force the Conservatives to invest billions of pounds into early year’s state education to give every child, whatever their background, a fair start in life?
“Who would have thought we could get the Conservatives to accept the need for job creation programmes to deal with unemployment?
“We have heard a lot in recent days about the end of New Labour. Well maybe we are witnessing the end of an even worse ideology; Thatcherism.
“Liberal Democrats have got the Tories to accept the need for investment in education, taking action to combat unemployment and cutting taxes for people on middle and low incomes.
“The Liberal Democrats have forced the Conservatives onto the middle ground and we must keep them there.
“With this agreement and the likelihood of a change to a fairer voting system it looks as if we may have finally consigned Thatcherism to the dustbin of history where it belongs. If that is the outcome of this coalition it shall have been worth it”.