Poor Planning and Development – due to vanity, silo thinking and lack of local democracy

by Phil Cunnington –  Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham

As Conservative plans to hide Wokingham town centre’s character beneath a layer of ‘concrete vanity’ come closer to fruition, UKIP want to make sure local people can have their voice heard.

Voters on the doorstep are telling us that they feel the Conservative council will carry out their plans regardless of what local people think.

This isn’t only the case in Wokingham town centre but all over the constituency from Norreys to Arborfield to Mortimer to Burghfield residents are frustrated and feel that Wokingham Borough Council and West Berkshire Council give the impression of engaging with the public and listening to their views and concerns but that this is little more than a ‘tick box exercise’ on behalf of the councils. There is no real accountability because the cabinet system of local government means that opposition party councillors are side-lined and ignored in decision making.

There are a number of key policies proposed by UKIP which deal directly with this issue, here are a few:

Local UKIP policies

• Protection of local Green Space with development on brown-field sites only supported by a range of incentives to developers.

• Local referendums on key issues including development instigated by a petition of 5% of the population.

• Abolish undemocratic council cabinet arrangements. In Wokingham Borough Council and West Berkshire District Council an ‘Executive Committee’ of 10 councillors effectively dictate policy and the other 4o+ councillors and their electorate are ignored.

• Support for local small businesses by accompanying any regeneration in town centres with suitable travel infrastructure including free car parking near to local shops.

National UKIP policies

• Control of our borders allowing us to know how many people will be living in the Country and to plan accordingly – uncontrolled immigration means planning housing and infrastructure is all guesswork.

• Abandoning the EU Common Agricultural Policy which encourages inefficient farming practices, favours overseas farming communities leaving the UK incapable of feeding itself.

• Elected representatives that answer to the people that elected them rather than toe the party line ignoring the views of their constituents.

The simultaneous implementation of roadworks at significant locations and traffic congestion spots show the lack of sensible scheduling and no concern for the inconvenience to local people and businesses.

One resident commented that the Wokingham Conservatives are proposing ten years of major development and that relief roads will not be completed before housing.  So whilst no-one knows if things will be better going forward from 2025, potentially the final ten years of their life willbe spent embroiled in the misery of building lorries and disruption, traffic and town centre chaos and loss of beautiful and vital green space. That’s no way to enjoy hard-earned retirement.

A wider view

Stuart Agnew MEP said at the UKIP conference in Margate that right now the UK is at the tipping point of being able to be self-sufficient for food. Over the next five years the situation will get significantly worse with the major contributors being EU agricultural policy and building on green spaces.

The interlinks between local development policy, agriculture policy, immigration policy and local accountability are often discussed separately by political parties but UKIP takes a wider view and proposes a cohesive approach for the benefit of the wider public rather than silo thinking and vanity projects.

 

UKIP Policy on Health announced

by Phil Cunnington – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham

10690231_906135792741645_7290862145739452837_n.pngHave no doubt, UKIP believes in the NHS.  We understand the esteem in which the NHS is held by the general public but we also recognise that it cannot be a bottomless pit.

We have announced our policies for the NHS aimed at maintaining the health services the UK public needs whilst ensuring it huge annual funding is targeted effectively where it is most needed.

Louise Bours, UKIP Health Spokesman announced the following policies:

  • Keep the NHS free at the point of delivery
  • £3bn more invested in to NHS directed to frontline services
  • Dementia funding £130m per year – £650m over Parliament – double Tories pledge and in line with what Alzheimer’s Research UK say they will need
  • License to manage, as doctors and nurses are licensed so should medical management
  • 10995993_906135762741648_3353603962826699122_n.pngNegate the drift of disgraced hospital managers being fired only to find another job elsewhere within the health service
  • Abolish CQC- inspections would be taken up by local health board,who would also be encouraged to take evidence from whistleblowers and patients with grievances. The media have closed down more failing establishments than CQC
  • Merging health and social care is a priority to enable more joined up integrated patients management
  • Elderly social care funded with £1bn per year
  • Hospital Parking charges scrapped £200m which we would find from tackling health tourism which costs up to £2bn per year
  • Scrap tuition fees for medical students (on a means tested basis). Train nurses on wards and reinstatement of SEN (State Enrolled Nurse) to encourage more home grown medical talent

 To read the full speech and explanations of the policies click here

1509854_906135802741644_6230717523918979410_n.png

Abolish Tuition Fees for Key Degrees

by Phil Cunnington – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham

An interesting conversation with a secondary school teacher today led to me explaining our policies on education.

This is a policy area which weaves its way into many other policy areas which is no surprise because, of course, education is at the start of all of our lives and prepares our children to be the innovators, entrepreneurs and workforce of the future.

Art 28 Artwork scientistWe have skill shortages currently in the UK in industries where we have worked hard to be amongst the world’s best.

To start to address these shortages, UKIP will remove tuition fees for students taking approved degrees in science, technology, maths, medicine and engineering if they live, work and pay tax in the UK for five years after completing their degrees.

Labour brought tuition fees in. The Lib Dems and Tories trebled them.
UKIP thinks it is wrong to saddle students with huge debts if they have shown ability and wish to study a subject which will enable them to make a big contribution to Britain’s economy after they graduate.

Our UKIP education spokesman Paul Nuttall MEP said: “I was opposed to tuition fees from the start. I thought they would saddle bright young people with a debt that many could never repay. I also believed they would hit students from poorer backgrounds the hardest.”

Funding will be derived from reducing the number of students going to university and by charging EU students appropriately. So the net spend would be unchanged.

Art 02 Photo schoolboysWe can achieve this by introducing an Apprenticeship Qualification Option in place of four GCSEs, which can then be carried on to A-Level. Encouraging the “Apprenticeship Qualification Option” at this early stage in a student’s education will equip them with the necessary skills for a successful career or in running their own business, and relieve our current desperate skills shortage.

UKIP have other policies to announce about routes into work through vocational training supported by developing childrens’ education according to their skills and ability whether it be academic, technical, practical or artistic.

Britain’s three corporate political parties should hang their heads in shame over inaction on tax evasion

by Phil Cunnington – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham

I have received representation from a large number of peope across Wokingham asking about our view on tax-dodging.

I have replied individually, however here is a statement released today by UKIP Economic spokesman Patrick O’Flynn:

“It is becoming increasingly clear that both the last Labour government and the present Conservative-Lib Dem coalition have failed to clamp down on tax evasion.

UKIP has led the way in arguing that multi-national corporations that indulge in scams to dodge tax should face a charge based on their UK turnover to ensure they at least pay a floor rate of tax.

Patrick_O'Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn – UKIP Economic Spokesman

Of course, when we leave the EU, we will be able to regain our sovereignty over corporation tax, and prevent companies from avoiding paying the tax they should owe the UK Treasury.

We also believe that tax evasion by individuals should face a zero tolerance approach. Every pound that one person manages to illegally evade equates to an extra pound that a law-abiding taxpayer has to pay.

Britain’s three corporate political parties should hang their heads in shame that they have all proven so lax and so lenient towards tax evaders while hammering working people on modest incomes with hefty tax bills.

Something is rotten in the British tax system and the Tories, the Lib Dems and Labour must all share in the responsibility for that.

Britain needs lower and simpler taxes that are internationally competitive but it also needs a party that does not turn a blind eye to those who seek to dodge what they are legally bound to pay while still availing themselves of the many advantages of living or doing business in Britain”.

UKIP is the one party with the appetite to tackle these infuriating abuses. The British people demand change and UKIP is ready to deliver.

Reasons to Vote UKIP

by Phil Cunnington – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham

In discussions around the area, I am often asked for UKIP’s position on any number of policy subjects. I am always happy to answer where I can and am currently touring the constituency doing just that.

As a party we have come a long way from the initial seed of a Party fighting on the single issue of withdrawal from the EU and its federalist agenda.

I will be posting on this site regularly over the coming months, but to give us a start I thought it would be useful to lay out some of the principles that I am fighting for in this election, in fact 100 of them!

UKIP has a fast-growing membership of people from all backgrounds and if you support what you read here, why not join us?

Here are the first 10 of 100 great reasons to vote UKIP

1. Get Britain out of the European Union
2. Get control of immigration with an Australian-style, points-based immigration system
3. £3bn more, annually, into our NHS which desperately needs it
4. Scrap tuition fees for students studying Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths, or Medical degrees
5. Pay greater attention to elderly care across the country
6. Cutting £9bn from our foreign aid budget
7. Give the people the ability to “recall” their MPs, without parliamentary or MP approval
8. Stopping our endless, foreign wars
9. Promoting a British identity, as opposed to failed multiculturalism
10. Allowing existing schools to become grammar schools

Click here to view all 100

Election 2015 starts in earnest and with the NHS

by Phil Cunnington – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham

This is going to be an important year for the United Kingdom as it faces what is shaping up to be the most unpredictable General Election in recent history.

UKIP will have a big part to play and that will mean representing the concerns of the public and standing up for them against big corporations, the EU and political self interest.

Other partiesambulance are already setting out their stall. So get ready for their unachievable and unfunded promises on the NHS.

When they promise X thousand new doctors or nurses, remember that it takes the best part of 10 years to train a GP and at least 3-4 years to get a pre-registration nursing degree. They have already raided the world for doctors and nurses, many from countries that cannot afford to lose those skills. Politicians in office thought that was cheaper than training our own. Ultimately and sadly this is proving to be a false economy.

So what they are actually admitting is that their pointless re-organisations have achieved little and cost fortunes.  Their flirtation with privatisation/outsourcing/PFI has cost billions of pounds and left services and patients floundering.

Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have let the public down.  They have let the doctors, nurses and ambulance staff down. They have built problems into the NHS and this must stop.

UKIP will protect the NHS that the people need and keep it free at the point of delivery.

UKIP will NOT make promises that cannot be kept.

What UKIP will do is tell it how it is.  This means people from all parts of the political spectrum will have to understand:-

–  Outsourcing is no panacea.  Worst of all, it fails when the unexpected happens;

–  Training begins at home and that means nursing shouldn’t be a degree-only profession;

–  Hugely expensive management blobs and talking shops should be discarded;

–  Funding should be targetted at the front-line, clinicians and clinical services in  both physical and mental health;

–  Managers should be responsible for supporting clinicians and running operations efficiently.

Look out for the UKIP 2015 manifesto to spell out practical policies for the Nation.

Thank you for your support and Season’s greetings

by Phil Cunnington – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham

I would like to thank you to the people of Wokingham and especially the people of Norreys ward, where I live, for their support and encouragement during the last year.

2014 cemented the UK Independence Party as a serious contender and winner of both National and local elections.  It is clear for all to see that a vote for UKIP can mean you get UKIP.  In Wokingham we camechristmas second in a number of wards which shows that local people can vote with confidence that their vote can make a difference.

Next year can be remembered as a year when the people of our great Country find their voice and the representation they need in the governance of the Nation.

I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting door to door through this year and am looking forward to meeting more.  I will be holding a number of Q&A sessions in the coming months, so look out for one in your area, pop in and say hello.  If you have a concern or a question, I wil be happy to talk with you.

Finally, to all residents of the Wokingham constituency a very happy Christmas and a successful, prosperous and healthy New Year.

We remember those who have died, we must also remember those who live.

by Phil Cunnington – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham

It’s now a week since we remembered all those who have given their lives in service of our Country to protect our freedom and our right to self-determine.

wokingham remembrance parade 2015

Wokingham Remembrance Day Parade

I would like to bring to attention those who live among us having survived conflicts around the world, having served our Country selflessly, who have now returned to civilian life. Those who are the primary beneficiaries of the money collected by poppy sales and donations.

They stand proudly displaying their medals and regimental badges and are looked upon warmly and appreciatively by the gathering public. We know them as Military Veterans.

However, many of these men and women continue to be affected by common problems, such as anxiety, low mood, unhealthy drinking and the impact of traumatic memories. Yet it is quite common to hear of veterans who have never really spoken about their military experiences.

In the NHS, stoicism is well known to be both beneficial and problematic.  Beneficial because people don’t run to NHS services at the slightest sniffle and can self-manage many illnesses and conditions; Problematic because in some circumstances it can mean the opportunity for early intervention is missed and recovery is more difficult to achieve from a worse starting position, or some can suffer unnecessarily for the sake of ‘not bothering the doctor’.

The physical disabilities suffered are often clear to see and the problems they cause are more readily accepted although the effect on mental wellbeing is not so easily understood.

Ex-servicemen and women are by their very nature a proud and resilient community, and so many do not seek or accept assistance until their condition has worsened over a period of many years. Often it is family and friends who see the signs of these problems and it is important to make it easy to find help.

The transition to ‘civvy street’, whilst often difficult, has seen most veterans settle comfortably into everyday life without a problem, or they have overcome any difficulties themselves or with the help and support of their family and friends.  However, this isn’t always the case.

The end of military service can be incredible disabling.  It’s not just the end of a job.  It’s the loss of comradeship with those who would risk their life for each other mutually; the loss of understanding – you are no longer surrounded by people who share your memories and experiences; the loss of structure – control over your day to day life; the loss of support for you and your family, including housing; the gaining of time – time which needs to be filled.

Up and down the Country, the British Legion, SSAFA, Combat Stress and a host of other charitable organisations provide support and guidance for those leaving the Armed Forces whether because their term is finished or because of injury or illness.  In truth, for decades these were the only support because government saw the last service pay-cheque as the end of their responsibility.

There has been some change with the introduction of the Armed Forces Covenant in 2011 and its subsequent adoption by some Local Authorities and Public Services. Yet, for many in government they see this covenant as a job finished and have put it to one side.

It is not finished. It is a job only just started and it must be continued.

UKIP are determined to build upon the Military Covenant and Mike Hookem MEP, UKIP Defence spokesperson, delivered a speech at the UKIP conference in September in which he announced the following policy measures:

  • UKIP will guarantee those who have served in the Armed Forces for a minimum of 12 years a job in the police force, prison service or border force if they can’t find employment
  • UKIP will change the points system for social housing to give priority to ex-service men and women and those returning from active service
  • A Veterans Department will bring together all veterans services to ensure servicemen and women receive the after-service care they deserve
  • Veterans are to receive a Veterans’ Service Card to ensure they are fast tracked for mental health care and services, if needed
  • All entitlements will be extended to servicemen recruited from overseas

This is the policy approach I was yearning to hear and that confirms to me yet again I have joined and am working with a party that is for the people.

_____________________________________________________________________

for info: Phil is General Manager of an NHS Mental Health Service in Hampshire

The South Central Veterans Service has been set up by the NHS (alongside other services across the Country) to help with mental health problems experienced by military veterans and, whilst having limited funding, at least offers some opportunity for dealing with these problems alongside other NHS mental health services.

25 Erleigh Road, Reading , RG1 5LR
Phone: (0118) 9296426
Other Contact Info: CPE: 0300 365 0300
or email:  sc.veterans@nhs.net

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/

https://www.ssafa.org.uk/

http://www.combatstress.org.uk/

 

 

Meet the Wokingham UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Wokingham constituency

Phil Cunnington

Hi, I’m Phil Cunnington and I am standing to represent the people of Wokingham as a UKIP Member of Parliament.

For years a floating voter, who could never find a party to adequately fit my political beliefs, the last few elections had seen me vote UKIP because since the Single European Act the EU, and its aim for political and monetary union, is detrimental to the future prosperity of the UK.

The Maastricht treaty in 1992 was for me the ultimate treachery when John Major signed it without a referendum for the British people.

I originally viewed UKIP as a party of protest against the EU made up of slightly eccentric characters.

UKIP has now developed into a party for the unrepresented majority who have found themselves frustrated by the continuing reign of the ‘political class’.
This fired my enthusiasm to join the party, get involved and stand up for what I believe. The fact that previous Labour as well as Conservative voters and politicians are switching to UKIP shows me that it is a party the political landscape of the UK has needed for some time and represents points of view previously ignored by the political elite. Not left and right but right and wrong!

The brazen abuse of the Parliamentary expenses system by MPs to enrich themselves with our money, their disregard for our views for the Country and their false promises to the electorate on EU referendums, the NHS, university fees – in fact saying anything to get elected – has helped fuel the growth of UKIP to where it is today and a distrust of the political class and a feeling that they are ignored.

Well, I’m here to say their votes do count.  Far too late the main political parties are waking up to the fact they should have been talking to all of us about our financial situation, our hopes and aspirations.  But offering piecemeal half-hearted pledges which they will not implement because even if they wanted to, the EU wouldn’t let them, offers further opportunity for them to let the people down.

Today, UKIP is a party of the people. With common sense policies that people understand and have been discussing for years but traditional politicians never addressed because of misplaced political correctness or political ideology.

We know what we think about the state of the nation, money, jobs, healthcare, education, keeping the lights on, immigration, protecting our green space, the EU and more.

With a full set of policy proposals for 2015, UKIP are standing up for and with the people and shouting ‘ENOUGH!’

To see my video message to voters click here

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