John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Saturday, May 31, 2008
  Smoking Adverts through the ages
The link is to a blog entry by NHS Blog Doctor looking at Cigarette Advertising. That was in the days where you could advertise cigarettes without having to lend the Labour Party £1 Million.

I have never smoked. However, I started out going to political "smoke filled rooms" in the 1970s which I found quite uncomfortable.

Much that I discourage people from smoking I dislike the way in which the arguments are exaggerated.
 
Friday, May 30, 2008
  Results: Thursday 29th May 2008
Mendip DC, Shepton East
Con 435 (50.3 +4.1)LD Bob Champion 307 (35.5 - 3.0)Lab 122 (14.1 -1.1)Con HOLDPercentage changes are from May 2007.

Mendip DC, Street North
LD Bryan Beha 347 (47.9 -19.8)Con 297 (41.0 +8.6)Ind 81 (11.2 +11.2)LD HOLDPercentage Changes are from May 2007.

Somerset CC, Shepton Mallet
Con 950 (47.4 +10.0)LD Rachel Witcombe 783 (39.1 +5.5)Lab 271 (13.5 -15.5)Con HOLDPercentage changes are from May 2005.

Somerset CC, Shepton Mallet
LD Jenny Kenton 423 (47.2 - 5.0)Con 320 (35.7 -0.7)BNP 154 (17.2 +17.2)[Lab (0.0 -11.4)]LD HOLDPercentage changes are from May 2007.

Offerton Park PC, Stockport
No comparable figures for previous elections.
Two separate wards in Offerton Park PC held by-elections:. The independent candidates were endorsed by all three main parties.
Ind 100BNP 72
Ind 125BNP 73
 
Thursday, May 29, 2008
  Labour Cash Crisis
The link is to the story about Labour having to find about £7m in cash. This is a consequence of the large sums of money spent on campaigning. Parties have fewer volunteers in part because there are fewer volunteers in many types of activity, but in part because there is less of a willingness to be involved in party politics.

This is replaced considerably by spending money. A party that looks like it will be in power will attract cash - see Bernie Ecclestone's "loan". I was always surprised that the fact that a payment of £1m occurred followed by an exemption from the smoking advertising ban did not elicit any wider concern.

I don't think this will tip them over the edge, but as they go towards 2010 their financial position will be weaker. Don't be surprised if suddenly taxpayers money becomes available to political parties for political activity (as opposed to the Short monies which are supposed to be for policy).

Reading the article, however, it appears that the GMB have indemnified their NEC members. This effectively means that the GMB have underwritten the whole of the debt. I am not sure that the GMB are aware of this.

If the unions are going to underwrite Labour's debt one presumes they would wish to exact a consideration for this.
 
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
  Indonesia Leaves OPEC
Although not surprising the fact that Indonesia is no longer an Oil Exporter is still an important part of the effects of depletion.
 
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
  Cafcass South East - report by Ofsted
Ofsted see this report as being better than The East Midlands one. However, the following is in the report:

Overall, Ofsted judges safeguarding in the region as inadequate

The key is the following:

Inspectors found no consistent use of an assessment
framework in their analysis of case files and court reports,
or in discussion with Family Court Advisers. Recent
inspections of Cafcass have reported similar findings
from around the country.20 Inspectors found that Family
Court Adviser’s practice is not supported systematically by
knowledge which is based on research and best outcomes.
Instead, service delivery is determined by the individual
experience of Family Court Advisers or that of their
immediate colleagues.


I did write to Cafcass after the last report. However, there is no sign that they are going to move towards a research and evidenced based approach.
 
  Standards Board Cases in Administrative Court
The following appear to be all the Administrative Court decisions relating to Local Government Standards Board cases.

Plus David Boothroyd's Comment:
Note also the Standards Board case APE0241 relating to Paul Dimoldenberg in Westminster, wherein the Standards Board accepted (after legal submissions) that councillors accused of disclosing confidential documents had a public interest defence open to them. Although this finding was accepted at the original hearing rather than imposed through the courts, it made a substantial difference to cases where unauthorized disclosure was involved.
 
Friday, May 23, 2008
  Birmingham City Council's Statement: Khyra Ishaq
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said:

“A serious case review into the death of Khyra Ishaq has been officially
started today (23 May 2008) after a meeting of the Birmingham Safeguarding
Children Board (BSCB), an independent, cross-agency body. A serious case
review will always be conducted when a child dies and abuse or neglect is
known or suspected to be a factor.

“The death of Khyra Ishaq is however the matter of a criminal and coroner’s
investigation and therefore the BSCB will not impede or compromise these
investigations.

“Results of this serious case review will be made public sometime after the
completion of the criminal process. The findings will be issued to OFSTED
and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

“Statutory guidance is being followed by launching a serious case review;
pupils and teachers at Khyra Ishaq’s school, Grove Primary School, in
Handsworth, are being supported by city council psychologists; and the
council has provided public statements each day since the case became
public on Tuesday (21 May 2008).

“Birmingham City Council Chief Executive, Stephen Hughes, spoke to local
MP, Khalid Mahmood by telephone yesterday to update and reassure him on the
case, he followed this up with a letter today and committed to keep Mr
Mahmood informed throughout.

“As part of the formal processes, each service involved in child
protection, both within the council and other public agencies, will be
carrying out an internal management review. This is partly to provide
information to other investigations but equally importantly it is to find
out if there are any gaps in the processes, procedures or guidance
(statutory and otherwise) which could have made a difference. If any are
found, immediate changes will be made without waiting for the findings of
the investigations.

“Khyra’s death is a tragedy and our thoughts are with her family, friends
and the local community within which she lived. And all those people can be
reassured that the city council and all other agencies involved are doing
everything they can to find out what happened and look after her brothers
and sisters to the best of our ability.

“The city council is seeking to ensure that the privacy of Khyra’s brothers
and sisters is respected.”

This second statement is sent on behalf The Birmingham Safeguarding
Children Board, an independent body, which is not a function of Birmingham
City Council.

The Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board said:

"Any child's death is a tragedy and our thoughts are with Khyra's family
and friends at this difficult time. Following a meeting this morning the
Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) have now commenced a serious
case review, an independent examination into the circumstances surrounding
the death of Khyra.

"Local Safeguarding Children Boards have a statutory duty to review all
child deaths, particularly those that appear to be due to abuse or neglect.
We have started this process, however the BSCB are mindful of the on going
criminal and coroner's investigations. The full report of this serious case
review will be sent to Department for Children, Schools and Families and
Ofsted for scrutiny.

"The findings of this review will be made public in due course following
the completion of the criminal process."
 
  Crewe and Nantwich By-election result

By Election Results For Crewe & Nantwich

At the By Election in Crewe & Nantwich on 22nd May 2008, 41856 votes were cast (approximately 58% of the total number of eligible voters) with the following result:

49.1%
Edward Timpson (Conservative): 20539 votes (+16.5%).

30.3%

Tamsin Dunwoody (Labour): 12679 votes (-18.5%).


14.4%
Elizabeth Shenton (Liberal Democrat): 6040 votes (-4.2%).

2.2%
Mike Nattrass (UK Independence Party): 932 votes (+2.2%).


0.9%
Robert Smith (Green Party): 359 votes (+0.9%).

0.7%

David Roberts (English Democrats Party): 275 votes (+0.7%).

0.6%

The Flying Brick (Official Monster Raving Loony Party): 236 votes (+0.6%).

0.5%

Mark Walklate (Independent Candidate): 217 votes (+0.5%).

0.3%
Paul Thorogood (Cut Tax on Petrol and Diesel): 118 votes (+0.3%).


0.3%
Gemma Garrett (Independent Candidate): 113 votes (+0.3%).

Thanks to Tim Prater-Raines for the result

Historic worst swings results Lab->Con Crewe at 8
1) Walsall North 1976 (Swing to Con: 22.6%)
2) Dudley 1968 (Swing to Con: 21.2%)
3) Ashfield 1977 (Swing to Con: 20.9%)
4) Meriden 1968 (Swing to Con: 18.4%)
5) Walthamstow West 1967 (Swing to Con: 18.3%)
6) Oldham West 1968 (Swing to Con: 17.7%)
7) Birmingham, Stetchford 1977 (Swing to Con: 17.6%)
8) Crewe and Nantwich 2008 (Swing to Con: 17.6%)
9) Leicester South West 1967 (Swing to Con: 16.6%)
10) Walthamstow East 1969 (Swing to Con: 15.9%)
                       CHESHIRE, CREWE and NANTWICH [287]

Election Electors T'out Candidate Party Votes % Ch.%

1992 68,307 81.9 NOTIONAL Lab 26,622 47.6
ELECTION C 21,751 38.9
L Dem 6,991 12.5
GP 579* 1.0
maj. 4,871 9.7

1997 68,472 73.9 Hon. Mrs. G.P. Dunwoody Lab 29,460 58.2 +10.6
M.W. Loveridge C 13,662 27.0 -11.9
D.J. Cannon L Dem 5,940 11.7 - 0.8
P. Astbury RP 1,543* 3.1
maj.15,798 31.2

2001 69,040 60.2 Hon. Mrs. G.P. Dunwoody Lab 22,556 54.3 - 3.9
D.R. Potter C 12,650 30.4 + 3.5
D.J. Cannon L Dem 5,595 13.5 + 1.7
R.P. Croston UKIP 746* 1.8
maj. 9,906 23.9

2005 71,628 60.7 Hon. Mrs. G.P. Dunwoody Lab 21,240 48.8 - 5.5
Mrs. E.H. Moore-Dutton C 14,162 32.6 + 2.2
P.D. Roberts L Dem 8,083 18.6 + 5.1
maj. 7,078 16.2
 
Thursday, May 22, 2008
  Oil breaks new price barriers
Crude oil rose to a record above $135 a barrel in New York after U.S. stockpiles unexpectedly dropped and a report said the IEA may lower supply forecasts.

The price will be likely to drop from time to time, but all the evidence is that we are now an a systematically constrained supply situation. This changes the market from primarily a buyers market to a sellers market.

Demand, therefore, does get reduced. The system everyone is going for at the moment is that where the weaker members of society suffer.

After a few more airlines have gone bust I don't think we will see any arguments about expansion of airports.

20th May Willie Walsh, British Airways’ CEO, has told journalists that he expects a string of bankruptcies and mergers in the commercial airline industry to make headlines this year.
 
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
  Khyra Ishaq
The rather tragic case of Khyra Ishaq has occurred (and her siblings). Obviously we should not jump to any conclusions.

However, for a child of 7 - which is school age - to starve to death raises a large number of questions. After all it does not happen quickly.

In a sense it is a test of the new post Laming framework. We now have a vastly larger number of references to Childrens Services (Specialised Services in Birmingham). I have been concerned for some time at the overwhelming effect this has on the system.

I have always felt that the system should concentrate on the more serious cases. Superficially this appears to be one of those. However, although serious questions need to be answered now is not the time to speculate.

I must admit I have supported the calls from practitioners for the retention of the Child Protection Register in preference to the Common Assessment Framework - that puts all sorts of irrelevant information into a database.

However, questions will need to be answered.
 
  Child Protection damages Public Health - AIMS
The following is an AIMs press release sent out recently that I quote.


The punitive way child “protection” is practised in the UK may be doing more harm than good. In their many cases on file, the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services has numerous examples:

These and many other examples were outlined in a letter AIMS sent to Chief Medical Officers in the UK - which has now been published. “We make sure officials have the information - then they can’t say they did not know”, says Jean Robinson, former Hon. Research Officer who wrote the letter.

“The most worrying thing is that there is no adequate research base showing benefits and risks of these draconian and expensive interventions. Yet medical interventions have to be proved. The harm that can be done from even short term, minor interventions, is both deep and long lasting, yet no one has wanted to collect the data showing how serious and common it is.”
 
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
  HFE Bill again
Yesterday I voted generally against human hybrid embryos on the basis that currently research regulation is not working and I am hence concerned about pushing the boundaries of the law whilst research regulation is inadequate.

I voted both (present abstention) on saviour siblings and to prevent a saviour sibling from being created to give an organ transplant. (the "regenerative" option).

On the issue of children and IVF I am concerned that insufficient priority is given to considering children and their interests. When it comes to lesbian couples and single women the law already requires that they are not discriminated against. I do, however, think that it is better for the child for there to be a knowledge of who a child's father is with the potential for (infrequent) contact than no links to the father other than through a clinic - hence "need for a father". The parental responsibilities would lie with those caring for the child, but there would be a positive option for the child of knowing its father. (hence need for a father and mother rather than father or male role model)

On the issue of abortion I will vote for either the 24 week or 23 weeks 6 days option. The later abortions that occur are generally very difficult situations for the parents and I do not think bringing the criminal law to bear will assist in resolving these situations. I do think more effort needs to go into reducing the numbers of abortions. This mainly has to involve the use of contraception although for young teenagers obviously abstention as a first choice should be the government policy, with contraception as a second best. It is depressing to know that some 14 year olds have had more than one abortion.
 
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
  HFE Bill - Second Reading
I voted against the Second Reading of the HFE Bill.

It was interesting listening to the arguments about the Bill from its proponents. One argument related to establishing rights in respect of contact with children for lesbian couples. This was done last year in the House of Lords. Similarly the arguments about discrimination are not valid because the various acts against discrimination take precedence when interpreting the 1990 Act.

My constituency consultation was against the Second Reading. My concerns are that the direction we are taking is one that devalues certain people. That is seen specifically in the RP case where she was not allowed a trial because an expert said she was too stupid.

It is very worrying how we are trampling on the rights of people who have difficulty fighting for themselves. Although some of the detailed decisions in the Bill are finely balanced the general direction is a worrying one.
 
Sunday, May 11, 2008
  The Leeds story
"How social workers took away our children for 11 months without a shred of evidence."

This is the real world result of the single expert system. The experts get things wrong whether or not there is malice. At times you might as well toss a coin. The real problem, of course, is that they get rewarded financially for alleging abuse.

Thats because they get family court expert fees.
 
  Trial by Expert
The link is to a well argued article about the over use of experts in Family Proceedings. The only key point it misses out is that the courts tendency to allow the Local Authority to exclude experts from giving evidence (the single expert system) leads automatically to an unfair process.

If parents cannot even ask an alternative expert about a case without permission from the judge they are unreasonably hobbled in their defence.
 
  Peak Oil EDM
The link is to my most recently tabled EDM relating to Peak Oil which states:
That this House notes that current movements in energy and food prices are in conformance with the predictions as to what would happen as oil production peaks; and calls for the Government urgently to review its predictions as to when peak oil occurs with a view to determining whether or not urgent policy adjustments are called for.

At the time of writing 31 MPs have signed it which is quite a good response.
 
  More Sub Post Offices threatened
Post Office Ltd have stated that they only want about 4,500 Post Offices. The government are moving in this direction closing about 2-3,000 Sub Post Offices in each tranche.
 
Friday, May 09, 2008
  [2008] EWHC 802 (Fam) LEEDS CITY COUNCIL v Mr & Mrs YX
As part of my collection of important cases this is the one in respect of Mr Justice Holman and Leeds. This relates to the quality of expert evidence in abuse cases.

I wish only to stress, as that document does at paragraphs 1.2 and 1.13, the very great importance of including in any assessment every aspect of a case. Very important indeed is the account of the child, considered, of course, in an age appropriate way. An express denial is no less an account than is a positive account of abuse. It is also, in my opinion, very important to take fully into account the account and demeanour of the parents, and an assessment of the family circumstances and general quality of the parenting. The medical assessment of physical signs of sexual abuse has a considerably subjective element, and unless there is clearly diagnostic evidence of abuse (e.g. the presence of semen or a foreign body internally) purely medical assessments and opinions should not be allowed to predominate. Even 20 years after the Cleveland Inquiry, I wonder whether its lessons have fully been learned.
 
  Election Result: Thursday 8th May 2008
Medway UA, Rochester South and Horsted
Con 1847 (48.7 + 7.2), Lab 819 (21.6 -5.0), LD Viv Parker 767 (20.2 + 3.6), BNP 257 (6.8 + 6.8), Green 104 (2.7 + 2.7), [Medway Ind (0.0 - 6.2)], [UKIP (0.0 - 9.2)].
Majority 1028. Turnout 41%. CON HOLD. Percentage change is since May 2007.
 
  The Court of Appeal [2008] EWCA Civ 462
The linked judgment is the one in which I was criticised by the Court of Appeal for two points.

Bias and Apparent Bias
Firstly I provided the court with evidence that local authorities and Nottingham in particular had been in receipt of hypothecated funding ringfenced towards adoption. This practise ceased from 1st April 2008.

The second leg of Natural Justice requires Nemo Judex in Causa Sua. The decisions of the local authority in terms of both whether to initiate care proceedings and assessment fall foul of the need for the local authority to make those decisions in an unbiased manner. It is clear that both the existence of the BV163 adoption targets and the hypothecated funding (both scrapped from 1st April 2008) created an apparent bias on the local authority. Magill v Porter [2001] UKHL 67 [2002] 2 ACT 357 at [103] (Lord Hope: “The question is whether the fair minded observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased.”) The decisions of the local authority would have been potentially subject to judicial view. Similarly, the expert in acting as the agent of the local authority is subject to the same apparent bias. This could be merely a bias in terms of the selection of the expert rather than necessarily a bias in terms of the actions of the expert herself.

The danger, therefore, with the single expert system is that an apparent bias exists in terms of the selection of the expert whose evidence is then not contested as has happened in this case.

I did give reference to the legal precedents relating to bias when listening to opinion.

File Tampering
I pointed out to the court that certain documents were unusual. One document was sent by the Official Solicitor to the mother's solicitor. This document had an unusual address format and also did not have a "received" stamp from the solicitors office in which it would have been received.

A second document was a note in a completely different format to other notes. It indicated that the first document had been posted to the mother with a compliments slip. The use of a compliments slip was an unusual instance. The date on this note was clearly wrong as it was the same day as the first document had been posted when the first document would not have been received.

In the 1980s I was involved in a number of legal cases as an expert witness looking for fraud. I took the view that the above indicated that the file had been tampered with. Indeed it was recognised that retrospective changes had been made to the file, but I am not going to contest the argument that they were not fabricated.

The Key Point
The key issue, however, is not whether or not the file had been tampered with, but that the mother had never been given an opportunity to put her side of the argument.

Human beings should have some rights. However, the one of the most fundamental has to be to have the opportunity to be heard in legal proceedings.

The Court of Appeal have determined that the fact that the mother was never given an opportunity to challenge the assertions of the local authority and its experts is acceptable.

This is a far more important issue than whether or not my contested assertions are true or not.
 
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
  Abortion - statute is not the answer.
One of the problems in the UK is that there is an obsession with using laws to get solutions. This arises in part from the fact that parliament is hobbled from properly holding the executive to account.

There is no doubt that the number of abortions in the UK is high. The question is what the best way of dealing with this is. Yesterday I had a meeting with the pro-life group and I made the point that they should be looking at how we could get the numbers of abortions reduced without trying to use the criminal law.

What should happen is that the Department of Health should look at why women end up having abortions and review what would be a better way forwards. Having a late term abortion is not something that has no effect on the mother and this should also be recognised.

We really do have to ask questions about a society in which a 14 year old child has even one abortion let alone two. Arguing at length about the number of weeks will give no answers to this question. In any event the assessment as to the foetal age is only accurate to +/- 2 weeks.
 
  HFE Bill - consultation set for Saturday
Any constituents wishing to attend this meeting should contact the constituency office. 722 3417.
 
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
  East Sussex Adoption Case
The link is to the judgment in terms of the East Sussex Adoption Case as reported recently. I post it here because people could do with a link to it.

Note
"There are many who assert that councils have a secret agenda to establish a high score of children that they have placed for adoption."

The Adoption Targets (now essentially scrapped) wree not a "secret agenda", but indeed a public agenda.
 
Monday, May 05, 2008
  Cleveland Lessons not learned
Justice Holman is a judge who has made a number of really good judgments. This one (linked) is another one.

The secrecy of the family courts allow masses of miscarriages of justice to occur. In the linked case things have been sorted, but not without a year of trauma for the children as well as the parents.

At least they were able to stay with their grandparents.
 
Sunday, May 04, 2008
  Bring the Sunshine in


John Hemming, a Birmingham MP who chairs the organisation "justice for families" is releasing a charity song called "bring the sunshine in" to fight miscarriages of justice against mothers and fathers.

"The song", he said, "calls for more openness in the Family Courts. Britain has a network of secret courts that lock up mothers, fathers and grandparents for heinous crimes like talking to their children or grand children. These secret courts make lots of money for lawyers and expert witnesses, but the general public is not allowed to know what goes on".

"The verses in the song refer to real situations although some of the names have been changed. If the names had not been changed then people could be sent to jail for playing the song because of the secret courts."

"The money raised will go to the Angela Cannings Foundation and to pay for advisors to help parents fight for justice."

"Not all of the decisions of the Family Courts are wrong, but many are. However, people are not allowed to reveal publicly what goes on in the court without permission. We do need a system to protect children, but it must be accountable. Those who abuse their power need to be held to account."

Explanation of the lyrics:

Lets bring the sunshine in
lets end this awful sin
mums and dads are being convicted
because the truth has been evicted

The chorus is one of the campaign's objectives. We need people to be able to talk about what happens in the Family Courts so that miscarriages of justice can be prevented. At the moment people have their children removed when they have not done anything wrong.

Sarah they said was slow
So her babe she had to go
In court the experts said
They turned the truth right on [upon] its head

This verse refers to a case which has been in the Court of Appeal. The judgment has been made public for the first hearing, but the second judgment is due for publication on Thursday 8th May. The name has been changed. It refers to someone who was told she was too stupid to tell her solicitor what to do. Hence an organisation called the "Official Solicitor" was appointed and they decided not to contest the case so there wasn't a trial. Let me stress the situation this woman's baby has been put up for adoption, but there has never been any trial at which she was allowed to challenge the assertions of the local authority. This fails under "audi alteram partem" aspect of Natural Justice.

Poor Sally's children died
in court the doctors lied
they put poor Sally inside
What have the courts got to hide


This verse refers to Sally Clark's case where the Doctors were thought to have so badly misled the jury that one of them was found guilty (after a number of court hearings) of "misconduct". Although this was a case in the Criminal Division it was infected by the bad practise in the unaccountable Family Courts.

Molly was wanted for a family switch
So they said [that] Fran was a Munchausen’s witch
She flew to Sweden to keep her babe
Of course The Doctors they got paid

This verse refers to the case of Fran and Molly Lyon. Fran left to have her baby in Stockholm which she did in January 2008. She is now a refugee from the Family Courts. It refers to the fact that the doctors make a lot of money out of being "expert witnesses". Some experts have admitted that they simply write what they are asked to write by the Local Authority that pays them.

The boys they say that they won’t talk to their mom
The judge says foster care is what must be done
Dad says its wrong by writing a book
He’s put in jail ‘cos somebody looked

This verse refers to a surreal case where two teenagers were placed in care because they refused to talk to their estranged mother. The local authority have continued to misbehave into May 2008.

Danny was eight when was stolen by the state
He ran away at 4 by the gate
Mom ran to France with her new baby’s dad
Sending him to jail the judge said he was bad

The middle 8 refers to another "mum on the run" who escaped to France with her 8 year old son (whose name has been changed). Her husband was imprisoned for 16 months for driving her to France. He was released from prison in late April 2008. Whilst in France she was airlifted to hospital to have her new baby.

Lyrics Note: The lyrics are not totally precise a number of things have been changed for legal and artistic reasons.

Production: The tune was written by John AM Hemming MP in collaboration with John A Hemming (no relation). The Lyrics were written by John AM Hemming MP. The song was produced by John A Hemming of Moseley Sounds who performed most of the instruments and sung by John AM Hemming MP.

Distribution: The tune will be available via iTunes, Amazon, Coolmusic, orchard, beatport and eMusic and is a worldwide digital release.
 
Saturday, May 03, 2008
  By-elections from 1st May
Aberdeenshire UA, Troup
SNP 1721 (62.5%; +14.8%)
Conservative 515 (18.6%; -5.7%)
Liberal Democrat (Edward Acton) 503 (18.3%; +10.7%)
Turnout 36%. SNP hold – elected at 1st stage
(Percentage change since May 2007).

Barnet LBC, Hale
Con 2798 (50.1; +4.0), Lab 1882 (33.7; -2.5), LD Geoffrey Jacobs 487 (8.7; -1.8), BNP 213 (3.8; +3.8), Green 206 (3.7; -3.4).
Majority 916. Turnout not available. Con hold. (Percentage change since May 2006).

Bournemouth UA, Queens Park
Con 910 (47.6; -7.3), LD Mike Carlile 466 (24.4; -10.6), UKIP 175 (9.1; +9.1), Lab 149 (7.8; -2.3), Ind 146 (7.6; +7.6), Liberal 67 (3.5; +3.5).
Majority 444. Turnout 26.3%. Con hold. (Percentage change since May 2007).

Bournemouth UA, Winton East
Con 590 (35.6; -14.9), LD Anson Westbrook 411 (24.8; -3.5), Lab 244 (14.7; +3.1), Ind 132 (8.0; -1.7), Green 126 (7.6; +7.6), BNP 104 (6.3; +6.3), UKIP 51 (3.1; +3.1).
Majority 179. Turnout 24.6%. Con hold. (Percentage change since May 2007).

Cambridgeshire CC, Romsey
LD Kilian Bourke 781 (37.0; -8.0), Lab 597 (28.3; -5.0), Con 289 (13.7; +4.0), Green 237 (11.2; +0.4), Left List 207 (9.8; +9.8), [UKIP (0.0; -1.2)].
Majority 184. Turnout not known. LD hold. (Percentage change since May 2005).

Camden LBC, Highgate
Green 1482 (33.1; -0.5), Lab 1185 (26.5; +1.0), Con 1180 (26.3; -4.4), LD Dr Henry Potts 633 (14.1; +3.9).
Majority 297. Turnout 56.5%. Green gain from Con. (Percentage change since May 2006).


Cheshire CC, Abbey
Con 2213 (63.2; +16.6), LD Arthur Wood 857 (24.5; -1.9), Lab 432 (12.3; -9.1), [Green (0.0; -5.6).
Majority 1356. Turnout 35.5%. Con hold. (Percentage change since May 2005).

Dumfries and Galloway UA, Abbey
Conservative 1713 (40.8%; +7.0%)
Labour 1393 (33.2%; +5.1%)
SNP 755 (18.0%; +0.2%)
Independent 173 (4.1%; -11.3%)
Liberal Democrat (Keith Mycock) 164 (3.9%; -1.0%)
Turnout 45%. Conservative hold – elected at 4th stage.

Ealing LBC, Greenford Broadway
Con 1790 (43.8; +0.6), Lab 1770 (43.3; -0.5),
LD John Bernard Maycock 529 (12.9; -1.0).
Majority 20. Turnout 38.2%. Con gain from Lab. (Percentage change since May 2006).

Hammersmith and Fulham LBC, Sands End
Con 2257 (57.5; +0.3), Lab 1147 (29.2; -5.3),
LD Dugald Macinnes 518 (13.2; +4.9).
Majority 1110. Turnout not known. Con hold. Percentage change is since May 2006.

Kensington and Chelsea LBC, Brompton
Con 1748 (76.4; -0.9),
LD Stephen Kingsley 326 (14.3; +2.3),
Lab 213 (9.3; -1.3).
Majority 1422. Turnout 39.8%. Con hold. Percentage change is since May 2006.

Mid Bedfordshire DC, Flitwick East
LD Les Thompson 682 (43.6; -14.6),
Con 668 (42.7; +0.9),
Ind 119 (7.6; +7.6),
Green 95 (6.1; +6.1).
Majority 14. Turnout 36.1%. LD hold. (Percentage change since May 2007).

Newcastle under Lyme DC, Madeley
Con 485 (35.9; +0.2),
Lab 393 (29.1; -0.1),
LD Anne Becket 364 (26.9; -2.3),
UKIP 109 (8.1; +2.1).
Majority 92. Turnout not known. Con gain from Lab. Percentage change is since May 2007.

Oswestry BC, Sweeney and Trefonen
Con 684 (54.9; -14.8),
LD Clive Humphries 562 (45.1; +14.8).
Majority 122. Turnout 40.4%. Con hold. (Percentage change since May 2007).

Oxfordshire CC, Kidlington and Yarnton
Con 2921 (52.2; +13.7), LD Suzanne Wilson-Higgins 1681 (30.0; -1.4), Lab 675 (12.1; -11.0), Green 321 (5.7; -1.3).
Majority 1240. Turnout 39.5%. Con hold. Percentage change is since May 2005.


Pendle BC, Boulsworth
Con 1189/1006 (59.9; +23.0), LD Alan Davies 663/David Robertson 618 (33.4; -3.1), Lab 133/69 (6.7; -0.2), [Green (0.0; -4.2)], [BNP (0.0; -15.5)].
Majorities 526/343. Turnout 48.35%. Con gain from LD. Percentage change since May 2007.

Rossendale BC, Whitewell
LD Tim Nuttall 1006/James Pilling 733 (61.4; +24.7), Lab 433 (26.4; -11.3), BNP 200 (12.2; +12.2), [Con (0.0; -25.7)].
Majorities 573/300. Turnout 34.1%. LD gain from Lab.
Percentage change is since May 2007.

Sandgate TC, Sandgate Valley (Shepway)
LD Season Prater 174 (58.4; +35.1), Con 76 (25.5; -18.9), Ind 48 (16.1; -16.2).
Majority 98. Turnout 35%. LD gain from Ind. (Percentage change since May 2007). (With thanks to Tim Prater who adds that this is the first LD ever elected to Sandgate TC).

Somerset CC, Mendip North East
Con 1568 (51.2; +6.9), LD Ian Philip Hasell 1497 (48.8; +9.7), [Lab (0.0; -16.5)].
Majority 71. Turnout 43.8%. Con hold. Percentage change is since May 2005.

Staffordshire CC, Newcastle Rural
Con 1994 (50.7; +4.2), LD David Becket 820 (20.9; -1.4), Lab 588 (15.0; -10.9), UKIP 529 (13.5; +8.2).
Majority 1174. Turnout not known. Con hold. Percentage change is since May 2005.

Taunton Deane BC, Comeytrowe
LD Mollie Floyd 1362 (60.1; +4.0), Con 778 (34.3; -1.3), UKIP 127 (5.6; +5.6), [Lab (0.0; -8.3)].
Majority 584. Turnout 50.1%. LD hold. Percentage change is since May 2007.

Tower Hamlets LBC, Millwall
Con 2133 (48.5; +4.7), Lab 1421 32.3 +0.6, LD Mohammed Nasir Uddin 370 8.4 -0.7, BNP 219 5.0 +5.0, Respect 170 3.9 -11.5, Left List 83 1.9 +1.9.
Majority 712. Turnout 38.6% Con hold Percentage change is since May 2006.

Tower Hamlets LBC, Weavers
Lab 1421 37.4 +18.3, LD John Griffiths 930 24.5 -16.2, Respect 637 16.8 -1.8, Con 435 11.5 +5.8, BNP 154 4.1+4.1, Ind 143 3.8 -3.9, Ind 77 2.0 +2.0. Majority 491. Turnout 47.7%. Lab gain from LD. Percentage change is since May 2006.

Vale Royal BC, Leftwich and Kingsmead
Con 855 54.8 +24.5, Lab 383 24.5 -3.4, LD Glyn Roberts 323 20.7 +3.4, [Ind 0.0 -24.5].
Majority 472. Con hold. Percentage change is since May 2007.

Wansbeck DC, Ashington Central
Lab 427 50.9 +12.9, LD Baber Ali Sikander 412 49.1 +21.5, [Fresh 0.0 -34.3].
Majority 15. Lab gain from Fresh. Percentage change is since May 2007.

West Somerset DC, Alcombe East
Con 263 (59.4; +21.0), Ind 103 (23.3; -38.3), Lab 42 (9.5; +9.5), LD Tony Bowden 35 (7.9; +7.9).
Majority 160. Turnout 41.1%. Con hold. Percentage change is since May 2007.
 
Friday, May 02, 2008
  Birmingham votes by Parliamentary Constituency
LDmLabConBNPGrnOthLDm %Lab %Con %BNP %Grn %Oth %
Edgbaston139458321147111281380164213696.52%27.29%53.68%5.28%6.46%0.77%
Erdington26155581704516995932651779814.69%31.36%39.58%9.55%3.33%1.49%
Hall Green84658262406475697456712819230.03%29.31%14.42%2.68%3.45%20.12%
Hodge Hill1007511715251119596512192713037.14%43.18%9.26%7.22%2.40%0.81%
Ladywood54948196170554665224931908628.79%42.94%8.93%2.86%3.42%13.06%
Northfield16636499953526598320211887.85%30.67%45.00%12.55%3.93%0.00%
Perry Barr486784094452141170120192185922.27%38.47%20.37%6.46%3.21%9.24%
Selly Oak3426623910286173520171102381314.39%26.20%43.19%7.29%8.47%0.46%
Yardley122443749228226015883222178656.20%17.21%10.47%11.94%2.70%1.48%
Sutton Coldfield21473355148251521854782234849.14%14.29%63.13%6.48%3.64%3.33%
 
Thursday, May 01, 2008
  East Sussex Case
This story from East Sussex demonstrates that the priorities of Childrens Services are not what is defined in statute.

Effectively they have used sleight of hand to prevent a father from caring for his child. I think procedurally he may just be out of time to take the authority to judicial review. On the other hand he should be able to use the argument that he applied to the Court of Appeal to deal with this.

I have not read the judgment on this. However, I have some scepticism as to whether the judgments on the Convention of the Court of Appeal on Family matters are properly in accordance with Jurisprudence at the ECtHR. More on this later.
 

Click Here for access to higher resolution versions of the photos The license for use allows use of the photos by media as long as they are attributed.

better brent chart

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