* Tallymen estimate that turnout was 56.1%
* Pearse Doherty tops tally with 39.7%
* Labour Party vote lower than expected
"The Nineteenth century saw a great Springtime of Nations as the revolutions of 1848 saw new countries created the length and breadth of Europe. In our world today we are now seeing our own Spring Awakening with people and cultures that have long been dormant and subdued asserting their right to exist, their right to dream." Adam Price MP
Posted by Alan Jones at 11:40
Posted by Alan Jones at 00:52
A pledge was made by the Lib Dems before the election. Before the election the Lib Dems were in opposition to the Labour government. After the election everything changed - the Lib Dems formed a Coalitition with the Conservatives and joined the government as equal partners.
In order to work effectively a Coalition of two parties requires compromise. It involves give and take and an acceptance of economic realities. Despite their political beliefs, high principles and heartfelt desires and against their better judgement both Tories and liberals acted in the best interests of the coalition and the nations of Britain. Sections of the media, TV interviewers, student leaders apparently fail to grasp the sheer necessity for their stand in the light of the greatest calamity that has befallen the nations of Europe since the Great Depression. The causes of this are plain to see:
lack of banking regulation;
inflated salaries in the public sector;
corrupt banking practices;
inflation of the property market;
government waste of public money.
Posted by Alan Jones at 13:10
Posted by Alan Jones at 03:20
Mr Lawrence Isted,
Chief Planning Officer
Wrexham County Borough Council,
Dear Mr Isted,
I write to you in support of Planning application P2010/0881 (The new Welsh School on Delamere Avenue, Gwersyllt). My reasons for supporting the applications are:
1. There is a big demand for Medium Welsh Education in Gwersyllt
2. To improve educational facilities in Gwersyllt as Ysgol Plas Coch is overcrowded and oversubscribed.
3. The School Building Improvement Grant of £4.2 million is site specific
4. That the site that has been chosen despite being outside the settlement is suitable for a school and will enhance the area.
5. The plans accord with the Unitary Development Plan.
6. There will be minimal impact on the character or appearance of the area as the school will only take up a small proportion of the available land and there is ample other Public Open Spaces in that ward.
7. The other seven options for locating the Welsh school have been assessed and discounted with only the Delamere Avenue site being found suitable.
8. A £6 million development will bring economic and employment opportunities to the area.
9. There will be little impact on residential amenity i.e hours of opening will be mainly 8 till 4, 5 days a week, 39 weeks a year, there will be no noise and the building will not be high or dominant,
10. Children currently travel by car to Plas Coch, therefore by having a school nearby children may walk to school.
11. There will be 20mph speed limits outside the school and traffic calming to address any road safety issues.
12. The development will create additional amenity to local people i.e additional playing field.
I would be grateful if you could copy this letter to all members of the Planning Committee prior to the application being heard.
(Insert name & address)
Posted by Alan Jones at 01:00
Posted by Alan Jones at 05:21
Posted by Alan Jones at 00:55
Posted by Alan Jones at 10:27
Salmond puts UK straight on Scottish tax power
Home » News » Holyrood
Alex Salmond has set the UK Government straight over the tax powers available to the Scottish Parliament. In a public letter to the Scottish Secretary Mr Salmond responds to a series of inaccurate claims from the Scottish secretary about the future of the 3p tax power.
The SNP has always made clear that the current tartan tax is an unfair and regressive tax.
The full letter is below:
Your letter of 18 November about the Scottish variable rate of income tax (SVR) is a travesty of the position. The reality is as follows.
The then Scottish Executive paid the UK Government £12 million in 2000 to add SVR functionality to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax collection systems. Thereafter, an annual fee of £50,000 was paid.
HMRC said in 2007 that additional work was needed to maintain the readiness of the IT system, and in summer 2008 made clear that they would be installing a new IT platform. Scottish Government officials attempted to elicit information on what this meant for Scotland and the functionality of the 3p tax power.
We were finally asked on 28 July this year to pay over the sum of £7 million to HMRC for this purpose. Why nowhere in your letter did you mention this.demand?
Anyone proposing paying this £7 million to HMRC would need to explain where the equivalent cuts would be made in Scottish public spending.
And even if we had paid it - at a time when Scotland is on the receiving end of massive cuts to our budget from your government - the SVR under the new system could not have been implemented until 2012/13: another key point which you failed to mention.
In any case, at that stage it seemed an academic debate because the SVR itelf is set to be replaced under any version of the legislation which you intend to introduce in the next few weeks.
On 20 August, Scottish Government officials offered talks with HMRC on the issue of the SVR - an offer which has not been responded to. The first we have heard from the UK government on the matter since 20 August is your letter of yesterday.
It is clearly unacceptable that Scotland should be asked to pay, again, for something which millions of pounds have previously been paid for. If HMRC choose to replace their IT systems, that is clearly a matter for them. However, anyone would expect them in specifying their new systems to replicate the functionality of the old.
No Scottish administration has used the 3p tax power, none of the main parties in Scotland advocate using it now, and it is intended to be overtaken by the Tory/Lib Dem Calman financial proposals - flawed measures which, had they been established for the start of the current spending review, would have resulted in the Scottish Budget being £900 million lower in 2009/10.
The real issue, therefore, would appear to be about the future.
You stated - as did Danny Alexander in his letter to me of 20 October this year about the Spending Review settlement - that: "it is an established principle that the costs of devolution should be met from the Scottish Budget."
This is not the case - in fact, the opposite is true.
HM Treasury's recently-updated Statement of Funding Policy states at paragraph 3.2.8 that:
"Where decisions of United Kingdom departments or agencies lead to additional costs for any of the devolved administrations, where other arrangements do not exist automatically to adjust for such extra costs, the body whose decision leads to the additional cost will meet that cost."
The clear impression can only be that your letter was not about the cost of financial powers that are going to be superseded, but rather about establishing a precedent for the Scottish Government paying to instal and administer the Calman tax proposals - which unlike the SVR will require to be used every year.
Given the huge pressures on the Scottish public purse because of your government's spending cuts - and the further threat to our budget from the Calman proposals themselves - we need answers to these key questions as a matter of urgency:
How much is the UK Government intending to ask the Scottish Government to pay for the Calman tax powers - measures which could reduce Scotland's budget, as indicated above?
When do you propose asking the Scottish Government, and therefore the Scottish people, to pay?
Exactly when would these financial powers be capable of being implemented?
A copy of this letter goes like yours to Annabel Goldie MSP, Iain Gray MSP, Margo MacDonald MSP, Tavish Scott MSP and Patrick Harvie MSP, and David Gauke MP, and also to the leaders of the Scottish parties at Westminster: Angus Robertson MP, Ann McKechin MP, and David Mundell MP. I am also sending copies to John Swinney and Fiona Hyslop.
Given that you released your letter to the media, I am also releasing this.
Posted by Alan Jones at 05:50
Diolch am eich cefnogaeth
The official campaign period for the referendum on greater powers for the Assemby is about to start. It's hoped that the Referendum Order will be approved by the Privy Council on the 15th December with the official campaign starting on the 16th December.
In order to be ready amd prepared for this intensive campaign period Cymru Yfory Tomorrow's Wales is compiling a database of volunteers for the Yes campaign. If you are ready to give practical help with the YES campaign would you be so kind as to reply to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org noting what you could do during the campaign:
Writing to the press:
Organising a meeting:
Thanking you for your support,
Posted by Alan Jones at 05:47