A reply to Cllr Janet Gardner

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In the Uxbridge Gazette on 23rd November, Cllr Gardner wrote in to the letters page with a piece called ‘Remembrance and our town’s solidarity’. I reproduce the letter below –

I would like to thank PC Emma Reed and her Police colleagues for organising yet again an event in Hayes for the community that live in Hayes and to again prove to the narrow minded critics of Hayes that rather than be a fragmented town as is often claimed, we are in fact ‘in solidarity’.

The event was conducted on the frontage of the Social Centre in Botwell Lane with prayers said by some of the local clergy and a PCSO, the local faith centres were represented by members of their congregations – Christians,Muslims,Buddhists,Sikhs,atheists, all observed the two minute silence.

Over 100 people attended the event, some with their little children,in remembrance of those who have died and are still dying in wars all over the world, and of course with emphasis on those who are affected by wars, many of who live alongside us in the community that is Hayes. Something we all tend to forget.

Children from the local school attended and I am sure some have family members who know first hand the horrendous effect of war.

So again I would like to thank the local Police teams and Emma especially for their ability to make many of the cynics realise that people who live in Hayes are all part of one community and not just many diverse groups living in isolation.

Firstly, can I express my whole hearted agreement that we are all one community – indeed, I have said as much on leaflets we have put out across Hayes. My grandfather served in the Western Desert and Italy during World War 2 and fought alongside Australians, Sikhs and Gurkhas to rid us of the Nazi menace – brave men all.

But a number of things about her letter have caused me to write this reply.

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The truth about Hillingdon Council’s ‘Financial Prudence’

Hillingdon council cabinetOur national debt recently exceeded the £1.5 trillion mark – We spend more money in interest payments on the debt annually than we do on defence. Locally, our Conservative Council constantly tell you about their outstanding financial record in much the same way as their national party do at Westminster. ‘Council tax frozen’ is one of their favourite cries, neglecting to mention that Hillingdon levies one of the highest council tax bills in London already.

Their ‘financial prudence’ claims are further tested by the write off of £2.5 million of your money in 2011 in a failed Icelandic Bank, with millions still owing from Landsbanki and Heritable.

 

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Ray Puddifoot – Strong leader, aloof bureaucrat or poor communicator?

Yesterday I highlighted a number of issues in Charville ward in Hayes surrounding potholes, flytipping and lack of grasscutting on the UKIP Hillingdon website. Because of the council website constantly flagging up ‘error’ when reported, I wrote the post and as stated sent a link through to relevant people by email to address the problems.

Romney Rd alleyway H3 dumping 2Those people included the three ward councillors, the local MP, the councillor listed as being responsible for heritage and environment and the council leader, Ray Puddifoot MBE.

Below is the email that I sent

Good afternoon
As the LB Hillingdon website is once again refusing to allow me to notify issues in Charville ward, please find below a link to said issues that we have highlighted on our website
I would appreciate it if these can be passed on to the relevant departments and email addresses for said departments made available so I can rectify future issues with them directly
A local resident would also like to bring to your attention a skip that has been outside Romney Parade for 6 months and is now a serious rodent hazard. (Pictures attached)
I have copied Cllr Markham in as environment champion at the council
Thanks for your assistance

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Is Hillingdon council leader Ray Puddifoot calling Boris Johnson a liar?

UKIP Hillingdon press release 31st March 2015

Ray PuddifootIn The Gazette dated 25th March, Ray Puddifoot (Left) responded to UKIP criticisms of council spending on self-promotion by stating that “Hillingdon Council is not responsible for Police budgets” and accused our Parliamentary candidate for Uxbridge & South Ruislip, Jack Duffin, of having a ‘Lack of understanding’

Freedom of Information requests by Mr Duffin had revealed that Hillingdon Council had spent £8435.54 for on line advertising in financial year 2013/14 to add to the nearly £100,000 spent on their promotional magazine ‘Hillingdon People’ in the same period.

UKIP policy in Hillingdon is to scrap the magazine and redirect that money to front line services including Policing.

Jack Duffin profile high res

In reply to Mr Puddifoot’s statement, Jack Duffin said, “ If the council is not responsible for Police budgets, then why did Boris Johnson state in his 2012 Mayoral campaign that for every extra police officer funded by a local authority he would match that in a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer from the Greater London Authority (GLA)?

Indeed, Boris stated in the document ‘Fighting Crime in London’ that twelve London Boroughs, including neighbouring Harrow, had taken him up on the offer.

If this is the case, then either Ray Puddifoot has a ‘lack of understanding’ of what is available to him concerning policing in Hillingdon or he is calling Boris Johnson a liar.”

 

Press Release Ends

Related documents –

http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Boris-Johnson-2012-Crime-Manifesto.pdf

Fighting Crime in London – Boris Johnson manifesto 2012 (Relevant info on page 12)

 

More Taxpayers Money spent on Council self-promotion

hillingdon council noticeA freedom of information request submitted by UKIP Parliamentary candidate Jack Duffin has revealed that Hillingdon Council are spending further taxpayers money on propaganda rather than services.

 

It reveals that £8435.54 was spent in 2013/14 on social media, with spend to date in the current financial year at £6389.07.

 

420237_346537172116972_1380866219_nMr Duffin (Pictured left) said, “ Our previous investigations revealed that Hillingdon Council spent nearly £100,000 on their promotional magazine, Hillingdon People, in 2013 – Now we see that they are topping this up with additional spend in on line advertising. Meanwhile, they have cut front line policing numbers and the maintenance teams who look after our social housing. Is this a proper use of local taxpayer’s money?”

UKIP would axe the Hillingdon People magazine and redirect this cash in to front line services such as extra Police officers, street cleaning and the NHS, whilst encouraging more interaction by local councillors with their constituents and engagement with local media outlets to get information out.

 

Talking about the 99.7%

In light of the recent highlighting of a small number of UKIP misdemeanours in the national media over the last week, the following article went up on The Huffington Post from our North East MEP, Jonathan Arnott, earlier today. It lays out far better than I can what UKIP is really about….

Jonathan Arnott MEPI’m one of the 99.7%.

In the media, we hear a lot about the 0.3% – those candidates for Ukip who’ve said or done stupid things, things which neither Ukip nor anyone else in the country would. They’ve had the oxygen of publicity for far too long. I want to talk about the 99.7%, about what we believe.

We’re the champions of democracy, the people who believe that if your MP is involved in a scandal you should, if you have enough support, be able to force a vote to remove them. We’re the people who put that into practice: when Douglas Carswell MP and Mark Reckless MP joined Ukip, both of them immediately put themselves before the voters in their constituencies and asked them to re-elect them. They did. But before Ukip came along, politicians who defected never bothered to consult the people that matter: you. We’re the people who want the public to be able to force politicians to listen through calling a referendum on key issues, to drag democracy kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

 

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Hillingdon People Magazine – Town hall Pravda?

Below is a letter I submitted to The Gazette regarding a story that has been running about the local council magazine. Because I am now running as a candidate in the Charville by-election, it cannot be published because of rules around campaigning so I reproduce here as an example of the council waste that I will be campaigning to address

Hillingdon people mag Ickenham

 

I read with interest the ongoing story in the Gazette regarding the council’s Hillingdon People magazine (Council set to defy magazine warning, 15/10/2104)
Prior to this year’s local elections, we submitted a Freedom of Information request to the council concerning the cost to local taxpayers of the publication, and were advised that excluding staff working on the magazine as part of their wider functions (Who are therefore still being paid by Hillingdon residents on top) it came to £92,517 in the financial year 2012-2013.
This year it is likely to be considerably more as special ward editions were also printed and distributed just before the election expenses period kicked in.
So, what are we getting for our money?
In the July/August edition, there were 20 mentions of Conservative councillors highlighted in bold across the 35 pages telling us all what a good job they are doing, compared to just eight for community leaders and members of the public. There were no mentions for any of the opposition councillors who represent the remainder of the borough or update of the work they are doing in their wards.
It would appear that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, could have been thinking of Hillingdon when he coined the term ‘Town Hall Pravda’. Interesting too that when the Conservatives took control of the council all those years ago, they did so on a policy of scrapping the paper – In power, they have expanded it.
UKIP policy in Hillingdon is to do away with this unnecessary waste of taxpayers money.
The information could be put out via increased interaction and co-operation with local press and on line news services, plus on a ward basis we would encourage councillors to communicate more with their constituents via ward bulletins paid for out of their not ungenerous allowances
Hillingdon Civic Centre 2