I enjoyed the party conference last week. David Cameron laid out plans to cut tax if the Conservatives win. Starting with people on the minimum wage working up to 30 hours a week, who will pay no income tax at all and increasing the tax brackets to help all tax payers even those paying the most.
There is a risk to promising long term tax reductions as we do not know what the future holds. However after almost five years of coalition it is important to know what the leaders of our country think we want them to do.
I thought the best line was “On May 7th you may get into bed with Nigel Farage but wake up with Ed Miliband.”
Here the Fire Authority make the tough decisions on allocating their assets. When I was the local Government whip I arranged a number of discussions with Mark Yates, Chief Fire Officer, and with two different Government Fire Ministers.
I have repeatedly fought for a level of funding that keeps my constituent’s safe as well as supporting the marvellous retained firefighters who put their lives on the line, despite doing their everyday jobs, to keep us all safe.
No better example is Kingsland Fire Station was under threat.
I visited the station and met the firefighters and those involved in the campaign to see what help I could offer and I am very pleased that we managed to save the station.
I am not an expert on the fire service and fire engine provision, so I have to rely on senior fire officers who allocate fire engines, or pumps, to the locations where they will do the most good.
Reassuringly our firefighters are all retained so unlike the Fire Brigade Union they will not go on strike on Bonfire night, just when the risk is greatest as we light our bonfires and set off fireworks.
The final decision on these plans was taken last week by Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority this is a body on which councillors sit and not MPs, so the final decision about the options available was not open to me or my colleague.
Herefordshire has a great story to tell with the safety and reduction of fatal incidents over the years, especially from fires.
Since 2001 when I was first elected there have been less than one fatality due to fire per year. This is testament to the skill, bravery and dedication of our retained firefighters and I am sure readers will agree that, although even one death is too many, they have done a brilliant job and will continue to do so.