Saj Reports Back
North West England
June 2009 Edition
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have helped us to achieve our fantastic result in both the County and European elections earlier this month.
You really have been so supportive and hard working; your efforts have truly paid off and I am delighted with our achievements.
I would also like to congratulate all our newly elected County Councillors and of course Sir Robert and Jacqui; who I am delighted to be working with in Europe. I am very excited about our new team and the newly formed delegation and I have no doubt that we will work exceptionally well together.
Lancashire County Council
I am absolutely delighted with this fantastic result. Our Conservative message received a remarkable reception in Lancashire and we stripped Labour of the Council, which they have controlled for nearly 30 years. What’s more, for the first time in Labour’s history, it does not control a single county council in England.
We managed to gain 22 seats on the 4th June when Labour lost 30 in the County, which really sends a strong message to the Government, to Gordon Brown and to the entire Labour Party – it is time to call a General Election and let people have their say as to who should be running our country.
Cllr Geoff Driver took over from Hazel Harding on the 25th June and I am confident that Geoff will do a truly fantastic job in leading Lancashire’s County Council.
Congratulations to everybody who contributed to this outstanding achievement.
Cumbria County Council
Labour suffered not only in Lancashire but also in Cumbria’s County Council elections as well. In the County Poll, Labour gained one seat, but lost a staggering 16 seats, whilst we won 11 seats from Labour and replaced them as the largest party on the Council. The Conservatives have now established a joint administration with other groups.
The new Council now comprises of 38 Conservative Councillors, which is an increase of 6 seats, 24 for Labour, 16 for the Liberal Democrats and 5 independents (4 of which formed a group) and 1 People's Party.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their hard work in Cumbria and to congratulate the team for gaining 6 new seats.
In the Lancashire County Council elections, we wiped the Liberal Democrats clean out of any remaining seats in Pendle, where the Liberal Democrats have always been strong.
We doubled our number of County Councillors from 2 to 4, whilst the Lib Dems have been slashed, losing all of their 3 key seats. They are left with no Councillors in Pendle serving on the now Conservative led Lancashire County Council.
Again, Congratulations to all our fantastic candidates and activists in the area. This is a very memorable achievement.
The European election results were the most abysmal performance of any government, ever. Labour has hit an all time low.
In the North West of England, where the number of available seats for the European Parliament was reduced from 9 to 8, we had a battle on our hands. We fought a very positive and a very strong campaign.
Sir Robert Atkins and I we re-elected to serve the North West along with Jacqueline Foster. We are delighted with this result and I am very much looking forward to working to build a strong Conservative team delivering for the North West in Europe.
Labour took two seats (losing one), the Lib Dems retained one seat, as did UKIP and the BNP gained the 8th seat, edging slightly ahead of the Green Party by a mere 0.3%.
We did particularly well in South Ribble, Pendle and Manchester City where we increased our vote and we were at the top of the poll in many other key areas including Bury, Rochdale, Bolton, Pendle, Carlisle, Warrington and many more.
The full breakdown of the Euro results, by local authority area, can be found here.
The all important new grouping for the Conservatives in the European Parliament
We, as a delegation, have been working hard to negotiate a new grouping in the European Parliament.
Our new group in the European Parliament comprises of Centre and Centre-Right MEPs from eight EU Member States. The new grouping, the European Conservatives and Reformists was announced, last Monday (22nd June).
The 55 MEPs who make up the group, which is likely to be the fourth largest group in the newly elected parliament, have been active in shaping its foundations.
It is important to remember that negotiations are still underway and we hope that other EU parties and MEPs will be attracted to the group by the time the new parliament commences on the 14th July in Strasbourg.
Each party (which is listed below) has signed the declaration which was negotiated in Prague. The declaration sets out the aims and values of the new group. Should you wish to view the declaration notes, please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Until the make-up of the group has been finalised, my colleague Timothy Kirkhope MEP, leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, has been elected as the interim President of the Group. I would like to take this opportunity to Congratulate Timohy, the William Hague MP and of course, Mark Francois MP for getting the group this far.
The make-up of the grouping this far is as follows:
Belgium: Lijst Dedecker (LDD), with 1 MEP in the new group
Czech Republic: Civic Democratic Party (ODS), with 9 MEPs
Lithuanian Party: The Polish Electoral Action, with 1 MEP
Hungary: Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) with 1 MEP
Latvia: For Fatherland and Freedom (TB/LNNK) with 1 MEP
The Netherlands: Christian Union (Christen Unie) with 1 MEP
Poland: Law & Justice (PiS) with 15 MEPs
United Kingdom: The Conservative Party, with 26 MEPs in the New Group.
To end on a healthy note...
It has been announced that a decades-old political ‘hot potato’ for the European Commission will finally be ‘repeeled’ at the beginning of July, when the EU lifts its ban on oddly shaped fruit and vegetables.
There were stringent marketing standards in place for the 26 types of fruit and veg, which governed the size and shape of many products and prevented healthy food being marketed purely due its irregular shape, will be completely abolished. For a further ten types of fruit and veg, standards will remain in place but they can however be sold so long as they are clearly labelled as ‘mis-shapen’.
I am very pleased to see that the Commission is starting to take a proper look through some of the ridiculous legislation it has on its books. The idea of wasting perfectly healthy food in the current economic climate is both wasteful and immoral, particularly given the devastating global food shortages. I just hope that the Commission continues in this direction!
Once again, many thanks to all the activists who have helped fight such a strong and successful election campaign.
Please do keep in touch.
Sajjad Karim MEP - Putting The North West First