Droitwich Standard Article

During 2011 Droitwich people should see real change for the better, but I know none of this will happen without people worrying and most seriously, some people, especially those in the public sector, facing the loss of their jobs.
If there were an easier way to drag this county back from the brink of bankruptcy, I would be urging the government to take it. My constituents are, quite understandably, writing to me in considerable numbers advocating their own special cause for concern. For some it's university fees, for others it's arts funding, for others changes to the benefits system. The simple problem is that the last government spent too much. The interest on the debt they built up will, this year, be greater than the combined budgets of the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Office.

The changes we are making to public services this year should bring positive change to communities like Droitwich. By making schools more responsive to local people and freeing them from central control, teachers should find teaching easier and students should find schools reflecting their needs better. By removing bureaucracy from the NHS, doctors should find it much easier to get what their patients need.

Perhaps the biggest change for Droitwich, though, will be the Localism Bill, which will return power to town and parish councils and finally end top-down planning policies, giving local communities far more say in where new houses go. It's so frustrating for Droitwich people at present who still see vast housing estates proposed in places they just don't want them. Of course, new houses for an aging population in Worcestershire are unavoidable but we can make sure local communities have a real say over how many and where they go.

So 2011 looks set to be quite a year!

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