Morley Train Station

Morley Train Station

The 12 weeks of improvement works at Morley train station has now been completed. The works, that includes under ground water storage tanks to prevent flooding, a reed bed and wild flower area, new and more efficient lighting, extending and resurfacing the car-park and access road and a new wall and fencing,
The increasing popularity of rail travel, nationally passenger numbers have roughly doubled in the last decade, but passenger numbers at Morley station have increased much, much more. Back in 2003 54,591 passengers used Morley station, the same figures show that in 2012 that number now stands at 347,610; a massive rise. Undoubtedly the reason for this rise is the speed, punctuality and low cost of rail travel when compared to the buses in this area. Local rail travel can be around 40% cheaper than travelling by bus.
So the increasing passenger numbers has brought better facilities. CCTV was added in early 2011, even back then the station was a bare place. But this year the platforms have been brightened up with flowers instead of weeds and the platforms and the surrounding areas are a much cleaner and brighter, thanks to the ‘Friends of Morley Station’ group, that was formed in 2012.

Blank Display?

Blank window?

Since all our political parties now put money making over the interests of of the people, I was pleased that at least in Australia the Government put the people first. In Australia the Government have past a law forcing cigarette manufacturers to pack their cigarettes in a plain pack. No more advertising or brand loyalty, because there is nothing to promote. If only our coalition Government could put people before profit. We could follow Australia, and reduce smoking even further. We could turn back the clock, and have zero promotion in bookmakers shop windows. Now they offer free £50 bets, to tempt in the young and vulnerable. At least all of the bookmakers used to pay full corporation tax. But now they avoid tax by having their head office in tax haven.

A&E Attendances Are Up 4.1%

It was interesting that my MP, asked the Secretary of State for Health, what the average employer pension contribution is for a junior doctor. The written answer that she received was that junior doctors are at the bottom of the pile, when it comes to employer contributions. I am not sure if her intension was to highlight the plight of junior doctors under this Government. Our NHS seems to be out of the media spotlight, now that Brexit and Grammar schools are under the media spotlight.

The performance of our local NHS trusts is well below standard. The long-term trend is one of missed targets, with emergency admissions up 3.8%, diagnostic tests up 6.1% and consultant-led treatment up 4.2%. A&E attendances are up 4.1%. The NHS is a wonderful organisation, but it seems that we are getting more emergency treatment. Is this because we are less healthy and general practitioners are failing to respond due to lower budgets?

Chief executives of London’s FTSE 100 companies 10% pay rise

The High Pay Centre says chief executives of firms on London’s FTSE 100 index saw their mean average income rise by 10% in 2015. Which is rather strange because the most employees in the UK received a pay increase of around 2%; and even stranger still the FTSE 100 is down around 200 points from its peak in April 2015.
So whilst the UKs largest 100 companies are worth less on the London Stock Exchange, which is surely an accurate measure of the top executives poor performance, they are paying themselves more. Our new Prime Minister has sacked George Osborne, the man responsible for our countries economic performance. We should be showing Theresa May the yellow card, we do not want more of the same.

Vote Remain

What are the issues that make people want to leave the EU, immigration, lack of housing, getting a doctors appointment, migrants keeping wages down or being favoured when it comes to jobs?

The people to blame for 330,000 per year immigration is our last and present Government. The Conservatives have been in power for six years. When they were elected in 2010, they promised to keep net immigration to below 100,000; they made the same promise in the run up to the 2015 general election; 184,000 people came into this country from outside of the EU. If vote leave wins the referendum, they may promise nothing, or they may promise to keep net immigration to below 100,000.

Half of our immigration is from outside the EU, and half from inside the EU. So why is net immigration over 330,000 when we can control it from outside of the EU.?
We can reduce immigration now, there is no need to leave the EU. We can also build more housing and schools, with our elected representatives fighting for funding and helping the planning process. So many things are delayed or cancelled due to planning objections and strict planning rules, not the fault of the EU.

Margaret Thatcher brought in the right to buy your own council house, a very good policy. But we need to build more houses, social housing, the lack of housing is not the fault of the EU.

Our NHS is performing poorly; because of Jeremy Hunts poor handling of the doctors pay increase.
Manufacturing is already in recession, but things could get worse if we vote leave. Vote remain, but campaign for better democracy.

It is a shame that we live in a more divided country. Lets hope that after this referendum councillors and politicians can be more honest, and not scapegoat the EU, get on with their job in a positive way and fix our problems.

Poor UK economy

The Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney has given its starkest warning yet that a UK vote to leave the EU could hit the economy. Mark Carney, warned that the risks of leaving “could possibly include a technical recession”. We already have almost stagnation; In 2015, the UK’s current account deficit was £96.2 billion, how much worse can the balance in trade get?

Official UK CPI Inflation continues to hover just slightly above 0%, which is very close to stagnation, way off the Bank of Englands target of 2%. With a poor 1.6% GDP growth, most of that 1.6% is as a result of the UK population is increasing at the rate of around 1% per year, so in capital terms it means most people are actually going to feel poorer. Unless you are in charge of Beeches Academy Trust. An academy and free school trust praised by the Prime Minister has paid its chief executive a second salary passed through two separate companies, a government report has said. The UK economy only continues to grow, because of high house prices and  immigration, but in reality, that means the people of the UK are suffering.

The Trade Union Bill

The trade union bill going through Parliament is a political attack on a vital organisation for many people. I am hoping that the bill will have many changes to it in the House Of Lords, the Lords seem to have the balance of views that our MPs do not. The trade union bill will see the prospect of people protesting on picket lines being forced to wear an arm band to identify themselves, the bill would also impose a minimum 50% turnout – and public sector strikes would need the backing of at least 40% of those eligible to vote. In an ideal world a 40% turnout would be a good thing for all elections, but just singling out the public sector is wrong.

David Davis as saying this trade union bill is like something from the dark days of General Francos regime, which our present Government is becoming more like every day. We have gone back to the days of the Conservatives being the nasty party. In 2005 David Davis won the first round of the leadership election to lead the Tory party, had became the leader of the Conservative party instead of David Cameron, things would be much fairer.

Low interest Rates, A Boon To The Banks !

Just as there are benefits, there are costs associated with keeping interest rates below their natural level for an extended period. Some argue that an extended period of low interest rates (below the natural rate) is a key contributor to the housing boom and the marked increase in household debt relative to after-tax incomes.
Other costs are associated with very low interest rates. First, low interest rates provide a powerful incentive to spend rather than save. In the short term, this may not matter much, but over a longer period, low interest rates penalize savers and our pensioners that rely heavily on interest income.
Those desiring higher nominal rates might be tempted to seek more speculative, higher-yielding investments, such as property, fueling the property boom.
The keeping interest rates low for an “extended period” may lead to a Japanese-style deflationary economy.

Our Government needs to show some bravery, and start increasing interest rate, slowly.

Network Rail and Public Sector Strikes

It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the Network Rail pay dispute. Network Rail owns the infrastructure, including the railway tracks, signals, overhead wires, tunnels, bridges, level crossings and most stations; but it is mostly a Government funded organisation, a Government owned company in all but name. The National Audit Office and the Statistics Commission both treat Network Rail Ltd as a state-owned company. The previous coalition Government failed to honour the recommendations of the NHS pay review body, it gave public sector workers, including teachers below inflation pay rises year after year. Facing a 3 day strike, Network Rail have already offered a above inflation pay rise over 2 years; which has been turned down by the members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union. The NHS unions will certainly be taking note, the teaching unions and all the public sector.

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