I went to inspect the latest plans for the proposed cinema development on display at the town hall today. It’s a great pity that there isn’t a model, although I was assured that one will be ready next month. The plans are an improvement on the single monolithic slab previously proposed, but the whole development is still vast, apparently larger than St Albans Abbey, and I will need a lot of persuading that they are appropriate to such a sensitive city centre site.
Liberal Democrats have responded to the Labour Government’s plans to cram the district with over 10,000 extra houses with a ‘Hands Off Herts’ campaign, to be launched on a cross-party basis on 18 January. Liberal Democrat Leader of St Albans District Council Robert Donald said
We are not going to take this lying down and will protest at every appropriate forum – at council meetings, at the regional assembly, in Parliament and wherever there may be people who will listen and take action.
I see that the UK Met Office is predicting that 2007 will be the hottest year since records began because of the El Nino effect.
The Government has to reverse the overall cuts in green taxes that
Gordon Brown in his wisdom has delivered every year since 1999 and
fast. We can use the tax system to help us change our behaviour
without increasing the overall burden. It’s simply about taxing
Pollution not People.
I have just spent a fascinating hour calculating my personal carbon footprint. I used the calculator provided by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) on its CarbonLimited website supporting its campaign for all of us to take responsibility for our personal carbon emissions and then find ways to reduce them. The website link is www.rsacarbonlimited.org , and I commend it (and the RSA) to everyone.
Ahead of the 60-hour shutdown of Britain’s rail network over the Christmas period, the Liberal Democrats have released research which reveals that services run on Christmas Day in every other country in Europe apart from the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
14 of the 17 countries surveyed run near to normal services. Historical figures reveal that up until the mid-1960s, when cuts began to be made, train services did run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Lib Dem Transport Spokesman Alistair Carmichael MP said:
Shutting down our rail network will mean than we are either shunting passengers off trains and into cars, trapping people away from home for several days or preventing people taking trips to visit family and friends in the first place. It is in direct opposition to the Government’s stated aims of reducing carbon emissions, promoting social mobility, and reducing drink driving. In the age of steam trains in the 1950s, when passenger numbers were comparable with today, services did run at Christmas. In that aspect alone, a return to the steam age would be welcome.