John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Friday, September 26, 2008
  Results: Thursday 25th September 2008.
Camden LBC, Hampstead Town
LD Linda Chung 1242 (44.1; +11.5)
Con 1114 (39.6; -6.9)
Lab 289 (10.3; -1.0)
Green 140 (5.0; -3.3)
BNP 29 (1.0; +1.0)
[Ind (0.0; -1.3)]
Majority 128
Turnout 36.7%
LD gain from Con
Percentage change is since May 2006

Chiltern DC, Chalfont St Giles
Con 927 (68.1; +0.6)
LD Paul Meakin 434 (31.9; -0.6)
Majority 493
Turnout 25.4%
Con hold
Percentage change is since May 2007

Greenwich LBC, Plumstead
Lab 1318 (59.1; +12.4)
Con 542 (24.3; +1.5)
LD Leonie Barron 195 (8.7; -10.6)
Green 175 (7.8; +7.8)
[Ind (0.0; -11.2)]
Majority 776
Turnout 21.5%
Lab hold
Percentage change is since May 2006

Stevenage BC, Pin Green
Lab 716 (54.4; +6.9)
Con 321 (24.4; -5.1)
LD Gordon Knight 112 (8.5; -2.8)
UKIP 85 (6.5; +6.5)
Free England 81 (6.2; -5.4)
Majority 395
Turnout not known
Lab hold
Percentage change is since May 2008

Swale BC, Minster Cliffs
Con 549 (48.0; +1.6)
Sheppey First 328 (28.7; +28.7)
Lab 204 (17.8; +1.8)
LD Dave Manning 63 (5.5; -25.9)
[The official Monster Raving Loony Party (0.0; -6.2)]
Majority 221
Turnout 19.8%
Con gain from Sheppey First
Percentage change is since May 2008

Swale BC, Sheerness East
Lab 326 (38.5; +6.7)
LD Colin Howe 177 (20.9; +10.0)
Con 173 (20.4; -1.8)
Sheppey First 171 (20.2; -14.9)
Majority 149
Turnout 23.1%
Lab gain from Sheppey First
Percentage change is since May 2007

Wealden DC, Alfriston
LD Andy Watkins 495 (51.6; +23.4)
Con 465 (48.4; -23.4)
Majority 30
Turnout 48.0%
LD gain from Con
Percentage change is since May 2007

Winchester City DC, Colden Common and Twyford
LD Daryl Henry 1180 (54.1; +1.1)
Con 938 (43.0; -1.6)
Lab 64 (2.9; +0.5)
Majority 242
Turnout 51%
LD hold
Percentage change is since May 2008

Abergavenny TC, Priory
LD Melissa Toombs 175 (50.3)
Con 115 (33.0)
Ind 58 (16.7)
Majority 60
Turnout 23%
LD gain from Lab

Bognor Regis TC, Pevensey
Con 266 (31.7)
LD David Meagher 249 (29.7)
Lab 191 (22.8)
BNP 132 (15.8)
Majority 17
Turnout 20.7%
Con hold
 
Monday, September 22, 2008
  Gordon's Housing Bubble is Bursting
The link is to Norman Lamont's article about the Government's Economic Policy.

I always wondered why there was such a treasury constraint on the building of housing for rent through Social Landlords. I had this theory that it could be as a consequence of trying to push up house prices through scarcity of resource.

In any event having a policy based upon equity withdrawal and ever increasing house prices to drive the economy was always unsustainable.

We are now starting to have to deal with the consequences of this.

The figures of 90-100bn for PSBR are very high indeed. I haven't yet seen a breakdown of this, but it would be interesting to see one. I shall try to post such a breakdown if I find one.
 
Friday, September 19, 2008
  Election Results: Thursday 18th September 2008.
Glasgow City UA, Baillieston
SNP 2318 (45.3, +12.1)
Lab 2167 (42.3, -3.7)
Con 259 (5.1,-1.4)
LD David Jackson 159 (3.1,-0.7)
BNP 73 (1.4,+1.4)
SSP 58 (1.1,-5.6)
Green 45 (0.9,-0.8)
Ind 43 (0.8,-1.3)
Turnout 22.7%
SNP hold
The election was held under the AV system and the winner was elected at the 9th stage. Percentage change are on 1st preferences since May 2007 when the ward elected 2 Labour and 2 SNP councillors.


Leeds City MBC, Farnley and Wortley
Green 1183 (27.1, -17.5)
LD Rosie Spencer 1151 (26.3, +22.2)
Lab 1009 (23.1, +1.1)
BNP 556 (12.7,-1.1)
Con 428 (9.8, -5.2)
Ind 45 (1.0, -0.5)
Majority 32
Turnout 24.8%
Green hold
Percentage change is since May 2008


Pembrokeshire UA, St Dogmaels
Ind 496 (55.7, +17.4)
LD Elfyn Rees 177 (19.9, -41.8)
Ind 160 (18.0, -20.3)
Con 57 (6.4, +6.4)
Majority 319
Turnout 49.3%
Ind gain from LD
Percentage change is since May 2008


Rothwell TC, Trinity
Con 477 (52.5%)
Lab 373 (41.0%)
LD Daniel Garside 59 (6.5%)
Majority 104
Turnout 31.0%
Conservative hold


Suffolk CC. Woodbridge
LD Caroline Page 970 (41.8,+2.3)
Con 826 (35.6, -4.4)
Ind 378 (16.3,+16.3)
Lab 147 (6.3, -14.2)
Majority 144
Turnout 37.2%
LD gain from Con

Percentage change is since May 2005


Suffolk Coastal DC, Woodbridge Riverside
Con 313 (46.0, -8.5)
LD Guy Jewers 254 (37.4,+13.1)
Green 57 (8.4, -3.5)
Lab 56 (8.2, -1.1)
Majority 59
Turnout 42.9%
Conservative hold

Percentage change is since May 2007


Woodbridge TC, Riverside
Con 263 (43.3%)
LD Vic Harrup 246 (43.3%)
Lab 59 (10.4%)
Majority 17
Turnout 43.7%

Conservative hold
 
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
  Standing Orders and Labour Leadership
When it comes to attempted coups within parties the standing orders are key. Generally things have been tightened up in all parties to make challenging the leader harder.

It was recently explained to me, but I have not confirmed this, that Labour's standing orders effectively permit the Cabinet to remove the leader. Hence it would be surprising for any cabinet minister to call for this publicly (and be sacked) because they would then be unable to participate in the coup.
 
Sunday, September 14, 2008
  RAB v MIB conflict between Scottish and English Jurdisdictions
The link is to a Scottish Appeal about a case where someone took a child to England from Scotland and an English Family Court decided unlawfully to take jurisdiction.

It is symptomatic of the way in which some English and Welsh Family Courts do not follow proper procedure and yet the system basically tolerates this.

I have even seen a case where a couple were divorced without the husband being told.

Note importantly in 6.
Despite the length and complexity of those proceedings, it may be noted that there has never been any hearing in England in which evidence respecting the substantive issues concerning the welfare of the child has been heard.

This is the Court of Appeal judgment from 2004
 
Friday, September 12, 2008
  Election Results: Thursday 11th September 2008.
Guildford BC, Stoke
LD Zoe Franklin 864 (56.0; +3.0)
Con 410 (26.6; +7.6)
Lab 211 (13.7; -14.4)
UKIP 59 (3.8; +3.8)
Majority 454
Turnout not known
LD hold
Percentage change is since May 2007

Harrogate BC, New Park
LD Matthew Webber 843 (61.1; -14.2)
Con 491 (35.6; +20.9)
Lab 45 (3.3; +3.3)
[UKIP (0.0; -3.6)]
[BNP (0.0; -6.4)]
Majority 352
Turnout 33.7%
LD hold
Percentage change is since May 2007

Redcar and Cleveland UA, Guisborough
Con 1124 (55.9; +13.5)
Lab 887 (44.1; -0.8)
[LD (0.0; -12.7)]
Majority 237
Turnout 34.4%
Con hold
Percentage change is since May 2007

Okehampton TC, East Town
Con 452 (50.8)
LD Jackie Reynolds 437 (49.2)
Majority 15
Turnout 32.4%
Con gain from Ind

Stowmarket TC
Con 330 (40.0)
LD Nicky Turner 246 (29.8)
Green 156 (18.9)
Lab 93 (11.3)
Majority 84
Turnout 13.5%
Con hold
 
Thursday, September 11, 2008
  Free Markets and Energy Supplies (The Weather Again)
The government are now facing the consequences of a total free market in Energy. The difficulty lies in moving from a buyers market to a sellers market. Those people lucky enough to have stocks of fossil fuels make large sums of money through serendipity rather than inventiveness.

I will be waiting to see the Winter Outlook reports before coming to any conclusions as to what might happen this winter. If, however, the weather is as cool compared to normal as it has been in August then we are likely to face supply challenges. However, recent winters have been quite warm so it may not be any difficulty.
 
  Kingsnorth Verdict
The Kingsnorth verdict shows the need for juries. This prosecution was a vindictive prosectution about political campaigning.

It is the second time Greenpeace have used the lawful excuse argument about a protest.

I don't think it is a general permission to put graffiti all over the place or do real damage to a power station that stops it working (for example).

However, it is a shot across the bows of an intolerant government.
 
Sunday, September 07, 2008
  Forced Caesarian [1998] EWHC Admin 490 (7th May, 1998)
I have linked to this case because it is an important case. I have not myself come to a view on it as yet.
 
Saturday, September 06, 2008
  Catz Club - the real issue
The link is to the report on the Charities Commission website about the repayment of the Catz Club's £15,000.

Much less money that Bernie Ecclestone's "loan" of £1m.

From the report:
Findings
The Charity confirmed that it had issued a cheque for a general donation of £7,500 to the Labour Party. However, it explained that ‘the payment to the Labour Party was an administrative error’. The Charity had contacted the Labour Party who had agreed to reimburse the Charity’s donation. The Charity advised that the donation should have been made by the trading subsidiary, Catz Club Services Limited (“the trading subsidiary”).

Our enquiries identified that Catz Club Services Limited was the Charity’s trading subsidiary company. The Commission made clear to the Charity that as the trading subsidiary was a charitable asset owned by the Charity, it was therefore not permissible for the trading subsidiary to make a donation to the Labour Party either.

The Charity advised that in total £15,000 had been paid to the Labour Party, £7,500 of which was a general donation to the Party and separately £7,500 to attend a Labour Party event where the charity engaged with and lobbied senior politicians to encourage increased funding for after school childcare facilities. The Charity explained that they were also engaging and arranging to attend meetings and events with senior Conservative Party Members for similar purposes, although to date it had only done so through one to one meetings.


So basically they paid the money as part of persuading Labour "to encourage increased funding for after school childcare facilities".

Let us not dispute the merits of having more after school facilities. However, a system of lobbying whereby a party gets an argument for a particular policy accompanied by a bung links policy to payment. "Cash for policies".

With Bernie Ecclestone he did get delivery on his objective and probably would have had a return even if the "loan" was a "donation" (as was originally intended).

Still it does show how money is used to get access to the Labour Party.
 
Friday, September 05, 2008
  Bingo and Prize Winning Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
I attended the Acocks Green Branch of Mecca Bingo today to launch their energy efficiency campaign. Together with Southern Electricity they are offering 2 energy efficient lightbulbs to everyone who turns up.

Of the 2 million lightbulbs 10 win extra prizes of either a car or £1,000. Those lightbulbs are identified by the fact that they go green when plugged in.
cropped
 
  Results: Thursday 4th September 2008
Barrow in Furness BC, Newbarns
Con 478 (52.3; +9.4)
Lab 177 (19.4; -1.7)
Peoples Party (Furness) 155 (17.0; +17.0)
BNP 104 (11.4; +11.4)
[Ind (0.0; -36.0)]
Majority 301
Turnout 21.9%
Con hold
Percentage change is since May 2008

Harborough DC, Broughton Astley – Broughton
Conservative elected unopposed
Con hold
[Result in May 2007 – Con 447 (65.3) Ind 238 (34.7)]

Havant DC, Waterloo
Con 849 (48.7; -21.5)
LD Fred Dunford 801 (45.9; +26.6)
Lab 95 (5.4; -5.1)
Majority 48
Turnout 23.2%
Con hold
Percentage change is since May 2008

Melton BC, Melton Egerton
Lab 314 (43.2; -4.8)
BNP 236 (32.5; +4.5)
Con 177 (24.3; +0.3)
Majority 78
Turnout 26.3%
Lab hold
Percentage change is since May 2007

Stocksbridge TC, East
Con 422 (46.7)
LD Keith Davis 369 (40.9)
Lab 112 (12.4)
Majority 53
Turnout 30.0%
Con gain from Ind

Further Result from Thursday 28-8-08

Crewkerne TC,
LD Robin Pailthorpe 1317 (59.7)
Con 814 (36.9)
Lab 75 (3.4)
Majority 503
Turnout 38.6%
LD hold
 
Thursday, September 04, 2008
  Source and Destinations Analysis for Children in Care
The link gives the detailed spreadsheet for the years 2004 to 2006. Remember that it takes some time for a child to have a destination hence the figures in each destination as a proportion of the whole grow year by year (and the numbers "in care" reduce).
 
  Emigrating to avoid forced adoption (Sam Thomas)
I have linked to the story about Sam Thomas in the Daily Mail. http://fightingmonsters.wordpress.com/ is a web log written by a Social Worker who comments on this issue.

Pregnant Sam Thomas emigrated to Ireland a couple of weeks ago because she and her mother (Carol Hughes) were concerned that the local authority (in this case Somerset) were set on taking the newborn baby into care and that this would be likely to result in the baby being given to another family and them banned from seeing it again.

It is worth looking at a few facts in respect of this case. At the time Sam emigrated there had not been a case conference. However, one was held on Monday (1/9) which resulted in a decision by the local authority that the unborn baby should be placed on the child protection register.

This means that the LA believe that the baby faces a "risk of significant harm". This implies that they will initiate care proceedings when the baby is born. There is then the question as to what that means. It is very very rare for the court to refuse a care order for a newborn baby. Hence in essence that is a rubber stamping exercise.

We can then look at the figures as to what happens to babies taken into care at birth. If anyone wants the full spreadsheet for 2004,2005 and 2006 they should email me and I will send it. If a lot of people ask I will publish it.

However, I have the figures (from DCSF) for source and destination by age of child. In other words I have the figures for the number of newborns (0-7 days) taken into care in England in each of those years and what had happened by 2007.

What the parents are interested in, of course, is "return to parents". We can also look at adoption.

>
YearInto careReturned to parentsAdoption
200458090360
2005600100320
200667070140


In each case fewer than 1/5 of newborn babies return to their mothers. I have expressed it as the situation where if mother stays then you have to toss a coin twice and get heads both times to keep your baby. The chances are, in fact, worse than that.

My advice to parents facing this difficulty can be summarised as follows:
  1. If you emigrate then English Social Services lose authority for the child protection proceedings as long as you emigrate before the baby is born.
  2. Emigration is not a trivial issue. However, if you emigrate to a country that does not have forced adoption (eg Ireland, Sweden) then even if your baby is taken at birth you stand a good chance of having your baby returned to you (unlike in England)
  3. If you Emigrate do it as early as you can and don't take chances with the health of the baby by doing it close to the expected date.
  4. Emigration means you are going elsewhere to live and are not intending to return (at least not for a number of years).

There are a lot of other complications as well. However, the statistics above demonstrate that Emigration should be considered. It is important to remember that very few Child Protection Conferences reject the recommendations of the social workers and that you cannot rely on the Family Court to bring sense into the proceedings. There are some good Family Court judges, but there are also others who could be replaced by a rubber stamp (and it would be a lot cheaper).

BBC TV Interview with Sam Thomas
 

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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