Douglas Carswell, local MP for Holland-on-Sea, has asked the Environment Minister "what steps will be taken to ensure that funding is available to allow the sea defences at Holland-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea to be reinforced?"
Local MP, Douglas Carswell, this afternoon helped give the green light in Parliament to important legal changes that will ensure local Police Community Support Officers have more consistent powers.
In a rare example of cross party cooperation, Douglas teamed up with other MPs on the House of Commons delegated legislation committee to approve changes under the 2002 Police reform Act. As a result, PCSOs will now have appropriate powers to support neighbourhood policing and to deal more effectively with anti-social behaviour.
Douglas says "This is a practical step to help our local PCSOs. I don't see PCSOs as simply being auxillary police, but as playing a key role in the fight against crime and disorder".
"Giving PCSOs better defined powers will help them to do their job better - and that is good news for people concerned about vandalism and yob culture in Clacton, Frinton and Walton."
"We need to give PCSOs greater recognition and support for the work that they do".
"When I decided to back this important legal change, I very much had local people in Clacton, Frinton and Walton - who have been troubled by vandalism and yob culture - at the front of my mind".
"Giving police and PCSOs the tools to fight crime, coupled with greater accountability to local people for how they then tackle crime, are going to be absolutely essential features of policing in future".
Local residents invited to a meeting on Friday to protest against proposed Post Office closures
There will be a meeting of local residents in Walton-on-the-Naze this Friday to protest against the proposed closure of local Post Offices.
The meeting will take place from 7:30pm at the St Georges Hall, Hall Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze and press and journalists are most welcome.
The event has been organised by local Cllr Mick Page, and will be addressed by local MP Douglas Carswell.
The recent announcement could see many local Post Offices being shut in this one part of Essex. Closures could involve rural, suburban and urban branches. The impact of the proposed closures would be particularly badly felt as the area has one of the largest number of retired people in the country.
Government MInister confirms that there is no statutory requirement for local councils to provide public documents in languages other than English.
Its official; there is no requirement for Tendring council to promote the use of Urdu, Polish, Gujerati, Turkish, or any other language other than English.
Minister Parmjit Dhanda has formally replied to local MP Douglas Carswell to say that "In England, there is no statutory requirement for local councils to provide public documents in languages other than English".
While the Minister goes on to say that there will be "new non-statutory guidance", the Minister admits there is nothing forcing the council to do what they are doing. Moreover, Mr Dhanda goes on to say that the government "do believe knowledge of English is a vital part of integration into British society, as well as a personal advancement".
Clacton's MP, Douglas Carswell, says "I don't often agree with much that this government says, but the Minister is right. There is no requirement for Tendring Council to promote the use of Urdu, Polish, Gujerati, Turkish, or any language other than English."
"Tendring council is promoting this folly not because anyone voted for it, nor because the government has decreed it. It is happening because unelected council officials have decided that it should happen"
"According to a national newspaper, this sort of translation costs many millions of pounds. Yet even Tendring council admits that no one has asked for these translations. The council is being doubly foolish"
Douglas adds that Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi, wrote last week that "multiculturalism has led not to integration but to segregation. It has allowed groups to live separately, with no incentive to integrate and every incentive not to. It was intended to promote tolerance. Instead the result has been, in countries where it has been tried, societies more abrasive, fractured and intolerant than they once were."
"Encouraging the use of English creates cohesion. That is a good thing"
"It is time for Tendring council to stop this nonsense. This is England - and public documents must be in English".
Douglas tells government Ministers just how angry local people are over proposals to shut local Post Offices.
Local MP Douglas Carswell told government Ministers just how angry local people are over proposals to shut local Post Offices.
In a fierce exchange on the floor of the House of Commons this morning, Douglas questioned the logic of closing local Post Offices that do pay their way - and on which many local older folk depend.
Douglas says "The government wants to shut our local Post Offices in Walton, Kirby, Clacton, Harwich, Dovercourt - in fact right across Tendring.
This proposal stinks. Post Offices that pay their way - and on which many older folk depend - could be closed down. This defies economic sense, and is grossly unfair. Post Masters have been gagged from speaking up. The so-called proposals seem to be presented to us as a done deal - despite that fact that I had written to the Minister on several occasions asking him to tell us what was going on"
"Here we have yet another consultation leading to yet another local service closure."
"Post Offices in Walton, Clacton and Kirby are under threat because of the government's decision to axe 2,500 Post Offices nation-wide - after an entirely bogus consultation."
Meeting with Post Office officials yesterday at the House of Commons to express his anger, Douglas demanded to know if any of the currently announced closures involved shutting a Post Office in the consituency of a Cabinet member. "How many Post Offices are being shut in Gordon Brown's constituency?".
"This decision cannot be seen as a rational economic one. First, the Post Office has admitted to me that Post Offices that pay their way could well face the axe. Second, Post Masters have been threatened with a gagging order if they speak out. Third, if you look at where these cut backs are happening, there seems to be a blatant partisan bias. I was shocked to learn from Post Office officials that if an election had been called last week, these closures would not have been unveiled. The implications of this are so cynical that it is shocking".
Douglas will be addressing a public meeting on October 26th in Walton called to organise opposition to the proposals by local Cllr Mick Page.
Douglas steps up his Plain English campaign
Clacton's MP has stepped up his campaign against local officialdom’s promoting of languages other than English in England.
After his local council offered him public documents in seven different languages other than English, including Urdu, Polish, Gujerati and Turkish - and having discovered that no one had yet in fact asked for a translation in Urdu, he has now raised the matter in Parliament.
Douglas says "Having asked local officialdom why they promote social division and seperateness, they tried to imply that they were mandated to do so by central government. I simply don't believe that - where is the law that forces them to be politically correct?"
Stepping up his Plain English campaign, Douglas has asked the Minister if she can:
Provide details of the statutory and non-statutory guidance for local councils on the provision of public documents in languages other than English?
What advice does the Minister's department offer local authorities about the provision of public documents in English, and will she make a statement?.
Does the minister believe that providing public documents in languages other than English enhances or diminishes a sense of social cohesion and inclusiveness?.
In light of her plans to provide local councils with £50 million to enhance social cohesion following the report by the Commission on Integration and Cohesion, will the minister also review guidelines for local government on the provision of public documents in languages other than English?.
Douglas adds “I'm worried about my country’s cohesion. I don't think that the so-called "multi-cultural consensus" has worked, and I hear even Trevor Philips saying we need more integration, rather than seperateness."
"Yet local officialdom is promoting cultural relativism. Who voted for that? "
"Promoting the idea that it is okay not to learn English is harmful to everyone - especially those people who would be socially excluded by their inability to communicate effectively. Without a common language we are denied the tools to create common understanding with one another. That means tensions, divisions and social fragmentation."
"It is wonderful that in this country people celebrate their different heritages. We've been a plural society since the time of Cromwell - if not before. In the private space, it is good that people have the particular and the distinctive. But in the public space, we need common cultural reference points - and that begins with language. That language is English."
Douglas demands answers about the cost of the consultation over the future of the Peter Bruff ward.
"What was the cost of consulting over the future of the Peter Bruff ward?"; that is the question local MP, Douglas Carswell, has put to health Ministers today.
News that Peter Bruff ward would not close came in an email from local health chiefs to Douglas, and the decision was revealed in direct response to a campaigning video he posted on local website www.TalkClacton.com . The decision was then formally confirmed by the local Primary Care Trust last week.
Welcoming the decision to keep Peter Bruff, Douglas says "The PCT claims that it decided not to shut Peter Bruff because there is not any chance of alternative local provision for those vulnerable people who might otherwise depend on Peter Bruff."
"Any number of local people could have told them that in five minutes. So why the lengthy and costly consultation? Why consult if it is so obvious that the ward is so clearly needed"
"The cost of this consultation can be measured not only in terms of money, but in the stress that the uncertainty has caused very many local people"
"It is a sad fact that today we need to maintain a constant vigilance to safeguard our local services".