Theresa May’s words on entering Number 10

Theresa May

I have just been to Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to form a new Government.

And I accepted. In David Cameron, I follow in the footsteps of a great, modern Prime Minister.

Under David’s leadership, the Government stabilised the economy, reduced the Budget deficit, and helped more people into work than ever before.

But David’s true legacy is not about the economy, but about social justice. From the introduction of same sex marriage to taking people on low wages out of income tax altogether, David Cameron has led a One Nation Government, and it is in that spirit that I also plan to lead.

Because not everybody knows this, but the full title of my party is the Conservative and Unionist Party.

And that word unionist is very important to me. It means we believe in the union, the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But it means something else that is just as important. It means we believe in a union, not just between the nations of the United Kingdom, but between all of our citizens.

Every one of us, whoever we are, and wherever we’re from.

That means fighting against the burning injustice that if you’re born poor you will die on average nine years earlier than others.

If you’re black you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white.

If you’re a white working class boy you are less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university.

If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you are educated privately.

If you’re a woman, you will earn less than a man.

If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand.

If you’re young, you will find it harder than ever before to own your own home.

But the mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone means more than fighting these justices.

If you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise.

You have a job but you don’t always have job security.

You have your own home, but you worry about paying the mortgage.

You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school.

If you’re one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly.

I know you’re working around the clock, I know you’re doing your best, and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle.

The Government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours.

We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.

When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful but you.

When we pass new laws, we’ll listen not to the mighty but to you.

When it comes to taxes, we’ll prioritise not the wealthy but you.

When it comes to opportunity, we won’t entrench the advantages of the fortunate few.

We will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you.

We are living through an important moment in our country’s history.

Following the referendum, we face a time of great national change.

And I know, because we’re Great Britain, that we will rise to the challenge.

As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world.

And we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us.

That will be the mission of the Government I lead, and together we will build a better Britain.

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David Cameron’s main achievements since 2010

David Cameron

As David Cameron bows out, here are just some of the achievements he has made in his time as Prime Minister.

· The economy has been turned around with the deficit as a share of GDP cut by nearly two thirds;
· There are 2.5 million more people in work with the security of a pay packet;
· There are over 1.4 million more children in good or outstanding schools;
· We have introduced the new National Living Wage – giving people over 25 on low wages a pay rise – and we have lifted 4 million people, and rising, out of income tax altogether;
· Almost 2.9 million new apprenticeships have been created;
· We now have a welfare system that rewards hard work, with a cap so no family can earn more out of work, than the average family earns in work.
· We have protected the living standards of our elderly by delivering the triple lock on the basic state pension;
· Our corporate tax system will be the most attractive in the G20 by 2020, bringing jobs and investment into this country;
· The NHS has been protected in real terms;
· Crime is down by over a quarter;
· We are building a bigger and stronger society including through the National Citizen Service;
· We have introduced same-sex marriage;
· Infrastructure: we have the biggest road investment since the 1970s and the biggest rail investment since Victorian times;
· Over 700,000 new homes have been delivered since 2010;
· We delivered the 2012 London Olympics;
· We are keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world, and protecting our security, by maintaining our commitment to aid spending;
· Britain is stronger in the world again – we are meeting the NATO two per cent target for defence spending with new aircraft carriers, world-class equipment for our armed forces, and the military covenant enshrined in law.

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“Together we will build a Better Britain’ – Theresa May

Theresa May

Today, Theresa May officially became the new Leader of the Conservative Party.  On Wednesday, she will become the 76th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  This is what she had to say following the announcement:

“I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen by the Conservative Party to become its leader.

I would like to pay tribute to the other candidates during the election campaign, and I would like to pay tribute to Andrea Leadsom for the dignity that she has shown today.

During this campaign, my case has been based on three things.

First, the need for strong, proven leadership to steer us through what will be difficult and uncertain economic and political times.

The need of course to negotiate the best deal for Britain in leaving the EU and to forge a new role for ourselves in the world.

Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.

Second, we need to unite our country.

And third, we need a strong, new, and positive vision for the future of our country. A vision of a country that works not for the privileged few but works for every one of us.

Because we’re going to give people more control over their lives. That’s how together we will build a better Britain.

Thank you.”

Theresa May has my complete backing as the new Conservative Party Leader and as the next Prime Minister.

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“Brussels meddles in local government and pushes up council tax” – my piece for Conservative Home

Matthew Sephton

My passionate dislike of the EU was one of the first issues that got me involved in politics as a teenager. As someone interested in government and democracy, I couldn’t understand the fact that we elect a UK government only to give away their power to a foreign body with little or no accountability, and whose laws are then supreme over ours. I also could not comprehend why the diversity of nations across the EU should have to be eradicated by a one-size-fits-all approach promoting homogeneity across member states.

I continue to find this puzzling and I now see, first-hand, both as an elected councillor and school teacher, the impact of EU membership.

What many people don’t realise is that the EU affects our everyday lives at local council level and that we pay more tax as a result.

All levies on councils are, naturally, passed on to council taxpayers, that is to say you and me.

One of the most obvious examples is the tax on landfill. Whilst I admire the fact that recycling rates are much higher than they were, councils have been virtually forced to change their collection of domestic waste by only collecting bins fortnightly (and I have recently heard rumours of one council considering changing to every three weeks).

Local residents really do not like this, understandably in my opinion. The reason for this is that when bins do get emptied, councils are charged a levy on it, for which the council taxpayer foots the bill. In 2015, this charge was £18 per tonne and is set to increase year on year. This means that a council such as Cumbria alone pays around £4 million a year in landfill tax.

Total tax paid so far amounts to over £1 billion and this is not going to get any lower. The result is that, especially families, have more rubbish than they can legitimately dispose of and fly-tipping or the leaving of domestic rubbish bags by on-street bins is on the up, creating all the obvious health hazards.

Of course, landfill is not the only area where the EU directly costs councils. There are also directives on public transport and the environment, which cost money to implement. Council staff costs are higher because of EU directives, while strict rules on procurement of supplies, equipment and the purchase or rent of buildings are enforced by a costly bureaucracy. Often, smaller, local businesses are also discriminated against as they are often pushed out of a bidding race by their larger, often non-UK, counterparts.

It is estimated that the total EU-imposed cost to local councils is £500 million per year. If we vote Leave, this money can be spent on our priorities rather than those of a faceless remote EU bureaucracy.

Just take the £350 million we send every week to Brussels. Yes, we get some back in the form of a rebate and some back as European cash to fund various projects across the UK. However, on the rebate, a huge chunk of that, fought so hard for by Margaret Thatcher, was surrendered by Tony Blair during his time as PM, because, in his words, it was a much-needed ‘compromise’. In other words, that rebate is by no means secure, and is, in fact, extremely vulnerable to the whims of a future Prime Minister.

On the European money provided to fund projects and investment in various parts of the UK, yes, cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow have been given funds for local projects. For example, some of the money used to drastically modernise Birmingham New Street station was ‘from Europe’, and in Swansea much of the city’s new central bus station was funded by this ‘EU money’. However, what we must remember is that this is not ‘EU money’. It is our money, but we get little say as to how it’s spent, as control of that is surrendered with our £350 million weekly cheque. Imagine if we vote to leave: government and local authorities will be able to take back control of that money and those projects.

Next there is the issue of our vital local services, especially our schools and how they are funded. When it comes to school places it was estimated this year that 100,000 parents would miss their first preference for primary school places, which are still mostly under local authority control.

When we consider the fact that the 2015-16 schools block unit of funding is £4,612 per pupil, 100,000 additional school places would therefore cost £461 million. Our gross contribution to the EU in 2014 was £19.1 billion, so 100,000 additional school places would cost just 2.4 per cent of that contribution. Indeed, that figure is just over a week’s worth of contributions to the EU. If we vote Leave, we can take control of that money and make up the school places shortfall in less than nine days.

Those warning of disaster if we leave the EU remind me of a used car salesman trying to sell us a 1957 European model that keeps breaking down and costs us a fortune to repair. Let’s leave this failing, undemocratic, outdated institution and regain control of our country. Let’s be able, once again, to elect and throw out governments of our choice who have ultimate authority in our country.

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Speech in Council – supporting the Budget Proposals


On Wednesday 17 February, the Annual Budget Meeting of Trafford Council took place.  I spoke during the debate and you can read my words below:

Thank you Mr Mayor.

Do you know?  For one moment tonight, I thought that we were going to hear an alternative budget from the Labour opposition for a change.  Hearing the words “The approach we will take…” from Cllr Ross had me sitting on the edge of my chair.  However, this did not happen and I am not at all surprised.

The fact is, Mr Mayor, that under Conservative control Trafford Council has successful met sustainable and balanced budgets for the last twelve years, a stark contrast to when Labour ran the Council.

It is plainly obvious once again that the Conservatives are the only Party in Trafford with a plan to secure a stronger Trafford and a balanced budget that delivers for our residents.  Yes, in difficult times and with many pressures, both local and national, but at least we on this side of the chamber have a plan, while the Labour Party opposite appear to not have a clue how to make a plan, never mind implement one.

I will be supporting these well thought-out budget plans, in difficult times, Mr Mayor.

Thank you very much.

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Reception at 10 Downing Street.

This gallery contains 23 photos.

On Tuesday 5 January, I was honoured to be invited by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to attend a reception at 10 Downing Street.  When speaking to the Prime Minister, I raised the subject of the Greater Manchester devolution deal … Continue reading


Trafford Council to host Senior Citizens’ Lunch

Trafford Council is to host a Senior Citizen’s Christmas lunch at the Terrace at Trafford Town Hall on the afternoon of Wednesday 9 December.

The lunch is £7 per head for a 3 course hot lunch and the Mayor will also be in attendance. Booking is required in advance. Please see below for full details.

Trafford Christmas lunch

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