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Archive for the ‘General Stanmore Politics’ Category

We’ve been talking about it for ages. In every newspaper, on every radio or TV programme, on Facebook and Twitter, the hot topic is the race to run the country.   

But away from deficits, bigots and Nick Clegg, Stanmore Politics is on hand with what Harrow needs to know for the 2010 election.  

When is the election?  

Next Thursday, May 6th. You will be voting in the general election for an MP for either Harrow East or West, as well as in the local election.  

Unless you have voted by post, you will need to cast your vote at a polling station between 7am and 10pm.  

Who can I vote for in the general election?  

In Harrow East:  

Madeleine Atkins - Green  

Bob Blackman -  Conservative  

Nahid Boethe - Liberal Democrat  

Tony McNulty - Labour (read an exclusive interview with the incumbent MP here)  

Abhijit Pandya - UK Independence Party  

In Harrow West:  

Herbert Crossman – Uk Independence Party  

Rachel Joyce - Conservative  

Rowan Langley – Green  

Chris Noyce - Liberal Democrat  

Gareth Thomas - Labour  

Who can I vote for in the council election?  

Stanmore Park. For other Harrow wards click here  

Conservative  

 Camilla Bath  

Christine Bednell  

Mark Versallion  

 Labour  

Ann Groves  

Trevor James  

Eileen McNulty  

Liberal Democrats  

Cliff Thomas  

Sylvia Warshaw  

 Green  

Linda Robinson  

Find out who the current Stanmore Park councillors are here.  

Will I be voting in the same place as last time?  

Not necessarily.  Boundary changes mean the Greenhill and Marlborough wards and one part of Harrow-on-the-Hill are now in Harrow West. Meanwhile former Harrow West wards of Hatch End, Pinner, and Pinner South are now under the new constituency of Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner. Check with Harrow Council to be sure.  

Does my vote matter in Harrow?  

If you go by the 2005 results, no – both Tony McNulty and Gareth Thomas clinched a third term. Thomas has a nominal majority of  2,028 and McNulty of 4,730.  

But don’t let the numbers fool you. Both were safe Tory seats until 1997, and the last few years have not been easy, especially with the legacy of expenses hanging over Harrow East.  

Thomas faces a particularly powerful challenge from Joyce, a doctor who has been making her mark in the area for some time.

While Blackman is himself a controversial figure, on his fourth attempt to enter parliament, 2005 saw the constituency swing a significant 6.9 per cent towards the Conservatives.  

You can see just how powerful your vote is here, but essentially, the result is difficult to predict. Which means all the more reason to get out and vote on Thursday.  

Where is my nearest polling station?  

To find out, type your postcode into Harrow council’s helpful device or look at the map on the official polling Election Poll Card you should have received in the post.  

What if I haven’t got a polling card?  

It may still be delivered, but don’t panic. As long as you are on the electoral register you can still vote.  

When will the result be announced?  

Both Harrow seats are set to count their votes on the night, but as for the national result, the numbers may not give us much of an outcome. Pollsters are predicting a hung parliament (read a good guide to that here). But as soon as the results are in, Stanmore Politics will be on hand to tell you the score.  

Any other questions?  

Still confused? Don’t know who to vote for? Drop me a line at stanmorepolitics@gmail.com or on Twitter at @stanmorepol

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It’s been a few weeks since I posted on Stanmore Politics so here is a brief update of local news:

 Bye Bye Briggs

Professor Tim Briggs, the surgeon in charge at Stanmore’s Orthopaedic Hospital will not be challenging Labour MP Tony McNulty in the upcoming election. The scientist had suggested he might run back in January, angry that he had not secured funding for a much needed upgrade to the facilities.

However now that the Department of Health have found a way to come up with the £60 million required, there will be no such challenge. Just shows the merit of a good publicity stunt.

Criticising what he saw as a ‘pork-barrel’ plan, Jeremy Warner in the Telegraph notes the funding has dealt ‘a possibly fatal blow’ to Conservative candidate Bob Blackman, who has been vociferously promising the money if he were elected.

Hot Cross Travellers

As an extra Easter present the good people at TfL have ensured that both the Jubilee and Met lines will be down for the Bank Holiday Weekend, driving more Harrow people back into their cars. The whole of the Jubilee line is down until Monday and the Met line is partially stopped.

Angry Pensioners

Pensioners have been expressing their anger at Harrow East MP Tony McNulty for letting them down in a key vote on for fair compensation for those who lost out with the collapse of Equitable Life. Campaigners demanded an apology but McNulty said he remains ‘fully committed to secure justice for Equitable Life victims’ and his vote was about not giving into a Lib Dem publicity stunt on the issue.

Problems in Pinner

The Evening Standard is reporting the chaos in Pinner after a feud at a GPs surgery led to it closing its doors, and forcing some 7,000 people to find an alternative.

Rachel Writes

On her blog would-be Harrow West MP Rachel Joyce has been voicing her upset over Labour smears regarding Tory cuts to cancer services. She rightly challenges the allegation, saying: ‘Scaring elderly ladies suffering from cancer is about as low as politics can get’, thoughwith respect, her indignation is somewhat weakened by the post below, which features a scaremongering Conservative campaign poster.

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… or so writes the Guardian’s Dave Hill. Compiling a list of sites around the capital, he says of Stanmore Politics that it offers:

Polished and dispassionate news and views from the outer London suburb on the north east corner of the Borough of Harrow.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Here are some of his other top picks for North London:

- NW6: the blog: “As well as politics, this blog contains reviews, anecdotes and local history from handsome West Hampstead.”

- Barnet Eye.

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Stanmore Politics is moving up in the world.

Take a look at this map (coutersy of Hyperlocal genius @tubbyteals) to see Stanmore’s companions in the world of local London blogging.

North London is still looking a bit empty, though Northwood Local and West Hampstead Life have set some pretty high standards to live up to.

Know of another Hyperlocal blog that hasn’t been put on the map? Let Stanmore Politics know!

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National politics came to Stanmore yesterday as commentators gathered at North London Collegiate School (NLCS) to discuss expenses, private education and John Terry’s future on a BBC Radio 4 programme.

The girls school was the site of the topical radio show ‘Any Questions’, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby. Panelists, including Benedict Brogan, the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator, and former NLCS pupil, entertainer and now idenepedent parliamentary candidate, Esther Rantzen, discussed a range of current news issues.

Much time was spent looking at the revelations earlier that day that three Labour MPs and a Conservative peer would face criminal charges for fraudulent expenses claims.

The guests, also including the onetime Lib Dem Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, faced questions on the role of private education in the twenty-first century.

When Dimbleby turned the question around and asked a student what her views were, she admitted that she was unsure, but ‘my parents made the decision’. Both Brogan and Ranzten defended the place of private schools.

Listen to the full broadcast here.

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It looks like Professor Tim Briggs won’t be contesting Harrow East as an independent after all.

The surgeon and medical director of Stanmore’s  Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital had hinted at an election bid to unseat Labour MP Tony McNulty earlier in the week. He threatened to run if the Department of Health didn’t find the £60m funding to make much-needed improvements.

Briggs has been campaigning for the hospital, Harrow East’s biggest employer, for some 15 years. It seems he is now a step closer, following a promise by Health Secretary Andy Burnham to find the money.

He hasn’t totally ruled out a 2010 bid though, and nothing has been said to absolutely guarantee the funding. Speaking to the Evening Standard he said:

“I’ve had a meeting with the Secretary of State and I’m going to sit tight until March. He realises this is an urgent matter for the NHS. He says he’s positive about the outcome.”

Whether or not Briggs does mount a challenge to McNulty, the election race is already heating up, with Conservative challenger Bob Blackman already very vocal in public.

Will Briggs add some fuel to the Harrow East political fire? Watch this space.

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Spurred on by the news that an aggrieved doctor may mount an electoral challenge to my local MP I have decided to create a new Stanmore-centric political blog.

In the run up to the 2010 general election I will look at the political issues that impact my ward (Stanmore Park), my borough (Harrow) and the constituency (Harrow East) in general.

Harrow has been hitting the headlines in the last year not least because the local MP is Tony McNulty, who became a very public name during last year’s expenses scandal when he was ordered to repay ten grand for claiming his parents house as a second-home, when it was just eight km away.

McNulty has a majority of 4,700 and the seat is an interesting one; traditionally Conservative held, McNulty entered with New Labour in 1997 and has held a series of ministerial posts since, most prominently as Home Office and Employment Minister.

Given his fortunes have linked firmly to Labour’s in general (he won fewer votes in 2005 than 2001) Harrow East is an interesting constituency to study as a microcosm for the election as a whole.

Over the next few months I hope to highlight news and views of interest, get in touch with political figures in the area and find what Stanmore and the rest of the constituency think about them.

Who knows what will happen at the election and after. I don’t, but I can’t wait to find out.

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