Saj Reports Back
North West England
May 2009 Edition
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
May I take this opportunity to encourage you, if you haven’t already, to sign the petition to scrap Strasbourg as a second European parliamentary seat, please see below for more details -
Once a month, as I am sure you all know too well, MEPs have to go on a travelling circus to Strasbourg. I agree that we should STOP this tremendous waste of tax payers’ money. Please sign the ONE SEAT CAMPAIGN petition by sending us your name, address and contact number to 442-444 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 0BQ, or by emailing email@example.com - encourage others to do the same - the more signatures we get, the more likely we are to stop it.
No Grounds for Prison – Oldham, 1st May
Oldham Councillors Eileen Hulme, John Hudson, Philip Rogers and Jack Hulme invited me to the Ferney Field Site, the proposed site for a 1500 inmate high security prison. I was astonished that such a site is a serious consideration for such a facility. The site is near Radclyffe School and parkland; it is clearly completely an unsuitable location. I don’t want to alarm people, but to create proper access for a significant amount of large vehicle movements you would have to remove some of the housing to meet the planning criteria. I have contacted the Chief Executive of Oldham Council to ask for a full update on the situation; I am yet to receive a response.
For the news report by Oldham Chronicle, please click here.
Liverpool Conservative Club Dinner, 1st May
I attended the Liverpool Conservative Association’s dinner on the 1st May with my wife. We were warmly welcomed, as always by Liverpool Conservatives. I was delighted to be able to talk to the guests about the benefits that Liverpool has seen as a result of European Union Membership; the Capital of Culture, the regional development funds which brought about £313 million to Liverpool which helped create and safeguard jobs, supported training courses, assisted SMEs in difficult times and reclaimed 374 hectares of ‘Brownfield’ land, to name but a few of the benefits.
Interview with Nassira El Moaddem, 5th May
I was invited to have an interview on the role of Islam in Europe, my views on the accession of Turkey into the EU, the Israel-Palestine question and the French Presidency of the European Parliament. The interview was for a blog named ‘BondyBlog’, which is a widely read political forum in France that addresses pressing current affairs issues. To view the interview, please click here.
Statement by the President of the European Parliament, 6th May
During the final plenary session of this parliamentary term, the President of the European Parliament, Hand Gert-Poettering addressed the House. He talked about the value of democracy, the enlargement of the EU, REACH, Erasmus and the current economic downturn. He emphasised the importance of European integration, richness and diversity. He reminded us of the importance of the middle-east peace process and of engaging in Intercultural dialogue. Lastly, he called upon all European citizens to vote in the forthcoming European elections. This sentiment I would like to echo once again. Use your vote on the 4th June.
To view President Poettering’s speech, please click here.
Coppice Community Centre Reception, 12th May
The European election campaign has taken me right across my North West England constituency. I was welcomed to Oldham on the 12th May for a very important gathering of community figures and activists. I was pleased to hear our Lancashire County Council candidate, Mohammed Abdullah address the gathering. I was pleased to be able to engage with the community about key concerns such as Kashmir and extraordinary rendition.
Jewish Representative Council Meeting, 13th May
The Jewish Representative Council invited me to join them for a meeting just outside of Manchester. It was an extremely important meeting where we discussed inter-cultural and inter-faith dialogue, community cohesion, the middle-east peace process and a recent report that was debated in the European Parliament that was particularly poignant to the Muslim and Jewish community’s religious rites concerning the slaughtering of animals. I am looking forward to building close relations with the Representative Council and working with them in the future.
Conservative Muslim Forum North West Launch Dinner, 14th May
The ‘Conservative Muslim Forum North West’ celebrated their launch on the 14th May in Manchester. Attending the event was Lord Sheikh, Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Mohammed Amin, Vice Chair of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Caroline Spellman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mohammed Idrees, Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum North West, Azmat Hussain, Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum North West and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Manchester, Mrs Khumi Burton JP DL. The evening was a great success and had an impressive turnout. The ‘Conservative Muslim Forum North West’ serves to build strong links with mosques, faith schools and local associations to ensure that it accurately reflects the views of British Muslims.
Euro Debate, Blackburn College, 15th May 29, 2009
I participated in a debate at Blackburn College along with European Parliamentary candidates from Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP. The debate was chaired by Bret Davidson from BBC Lancashire. We had a heated debate on various European issues and an interactive audience.
Campaign House Meeting, Danehouse, Burnley, 17th May
I was so pleased to be able to attend the very first Conservative Campaign House meeting in Danehouse, Burnley. This really is representative of a breakthrough for the Party and signals a really positive step for the Party in its ability to reach out.
David Cameron Launch of the European Election Campaign, 18th May
David Cameron came to Rawtenstall in the heart of my North West constituency to launch the European Parliament Election campaign. At the launch, David announced that he was turning the campaign we had planned for these elections into the campaign Britain needs; a campaign for a General Election. As David so rightly said, the scale of the problems facing Britain; the recession, the debt crisis and the political crisis that has been caused by the abuse of MPs’ expenses all point in one direction and there is only one way of sorting out the mess; an immediate General Election. At the launch, all Conservative MEP candidates signed a pledge for transparency and ethics and we set out a tougher regime that requires us to give more detail more often than before.
Turkish Community Centre, 19th May
I met with the Turkish Community at the Education Dialogue Charity Centre in Manchester. We discussed the work of the Education and Dialogue Charity and issues facing the Turkish Society in the North West and what avenues we can explore together to promote intercultural dialogue.
Kassim Darwish Grammar School, 21st May
I was really pleased to be able to get across to the Kassim Darwish Grammar School in Chorlton in order to deliver an assembly to the students on the European Union and the importance of the forthcoming European Elections. The students were really enthusiastic about the elections and in today’s political affairs. I was so pleased with their interest and knowledge surrounding European affairs and am positive that the students have a bright future ahead of them!
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all the activists and supporters in the North West for all their hard work, enthusiasm and efforts in the run up to the County and European Elections on the 4th June. Keep up the hard work!
If you haven’t already, please don’t forget to send in your details so that we can add you to the One Seat Campaign. Either email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at 442-444 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 0BQ or telephone on 0161 861 7571.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Sajjad Karim MEP - Putting The North West First