Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Are convicted prisoners being housed in Sittingbourne Police Station?

You read things in National Newspapers and the events seem some what distant but it seems a National Problem is on our door step.

Chief Superintendent Alasdair Hope
Mid Kent Area Commander
Police Station
Central Avenue
ME10 4NR 30th January 2007

Dear Alasdair
I have heard reports that Sittingbourne Police Station is currently being used to house convicted prisoners who would normally be found places within the prison system, but for whom no places are available because of the serious problem of overcrowding facing the Prison Service.

If these reports are true, I am concerned that police officers who would otherwise be patrolling the streets of Sittingbourne and Sheppey, are being detailed to guard those prisoners.

I would be grateful for answers to the following questions:-

1) Are convicted prisoners being housed in Sittingbourne Police Station?

2) If yes, how many police officers are needed to guard those prisoners?

3) Is the use of police officers as prison guards having any impact on your ability to properly police Sittingbourne and Sheppey?

4) What is the cost of housing prisoners and who meets that cost?

5) Has the Prison Service, or the Home Office given an indication of how long this situation might last?

Yours sincerely

Friday, January 19, 2007


This was emailed to me recently

Bank charges are unlawful. Take them on and get your money back. Help spread the word. Please forward to anyone who may be interested.

The campaign to reclaim unlawful bank charges is the biggest consumer revolution for years. Anyone who's had a penalty charge/fine from a UK bank in the last six years should get their cash back. Tens of thousands already have, many in the £1000s. Yet it's in danger of being hijacked by commercial claim handling vultures, who are dominating Google with ‘no-win, no-fee’ ads. It's hoped this e-mail will help combat that, spreading the word that you should....
...Never pay any company to reclaim bank charges!
Everything needed, including template letters to send to the banks, is available free, without registration, at Plus further support can be found at penaltycharges and consumeractiongroup.
Please forward this to everyone in the UK you think will be interested.
These details are provided for information only

Friday, January 12, 2007

Modern Education can learn from Kano

Although there are many categories or education, Jigoro continues, they can
be divided roughly into two main groups: general education and specialized education. Both are important for the further advance­ment of the society, but general education is the more important of the two.”
Why is that, sir?” asked the reporter.
“General education has two objectives: to educate the vast majority of the general public arid to provide a basis from which students can go on to specialized education. Specialized education is concentrated on a rela­tively small group, and no matter how many technical advances are made, if the public at large is allowed to remain in a weak intellectual, moral, and physical state, specialized education will be of little benefit to the society as a whole.”
The reporter nodded thoughtfully.
“In addition,” said Jigoro, “the ability to absorb specialized insiruc­(ion must he cultivated over the course of one’s general education.”
If general Education is raised to a high enough level, then the achievements of those receiving specialized education should increase proportionally, shouldn’t they?” asked the reporter.
“That is so Jigoro replied. “On the other hand, if the level of genera! education is too low, specialised education is unlikely to hear much fruit, Furthermore, a basic moral education usually unfolds during the period of one’s general education. An important part of this, however, is the education that a child receives at home during the years before for­mal schooling begins. This period largely defines the child’s future direc­tion in life.”
“Thus the proverb: What a three-year-old child has learned stays with him for a hundred years,” said the reporter.
“That’s correct,” said Jigoro. “The moral education that a child receives during the primary education period has a strong bearing on the child’s conduct for the rest of his life.”

(The Father of Judo-Biography of Jigaro Kano by Brian Watson)

The above excerpt is very relevant to today, when the Labour Government want to produce an elite group of children, they should take note of Jigaro Kano who not only founded Judo he also played an important educational role in transforming Japan into a modern nation. To summarise he said “ If general education is raised to a high enough level, then the achievements of those receiving specialized education should increase proportionally but if general education is to low specialised education will not bear much fruit” this man made these comments over 100 years ago.
This labour government continually come with new ideas but never put their brain in gear before they announce them. I agree with elitism as long as it is based on a ability rather then knowing the right people but before we have an educational elite we need the whole populace well educated, since Tony Blair’s government has been in power the standard of education has nose dived mainly because of their interference. I left school in 1965 at 15 years and 3 months from a secondary modern school and I and my classmates came out with a better basic education then any 16 or 17 year old does today. This government with its lefty free thinking educationalist should keep out of education and let the parents and teachers get on with job only that way will we see some improvement.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I have attached a letter from Gordon Henderson, which sits pretty well with the announcement in the Press that the Government is thinking of revaluing our property on an Annual Basis so our Council Tax can be assessed regularly. This is just another way of cutting back on Council Grants with the excuse “The property value has increased so therefore you can charge more Council Tax” and another absurd idea is where they will pay Tax Inspectors a £2000 bonus to catch Tax Dodgers (I thought that what they were paid for any way) all this will do is for them to pick on the small businesses and self employed. This government is content on destroying this country.

Date: 6th January 2007
Release date: Immediate
Subject: Scrapping Swale Borough Council could add £345 to our council tax bills

Council tax will rise under the Labour Government’s plans for major town hall restructuring, Gordon Henderson warned today.

Ministers in Whitehall are planning to pass a new law to give themselves unprecedented new powers to scrap either district or county councils. The Government will be able to force changes on local communities, including creating new councils that completely disregard existing shire boundaries. In our case, the Government’s preference will probably be to make Kent a unitary authority and abolish Swale Borough Council.

Yet research by Cambridge University has estimated that the reorganisation costs of converting two-tier councils to unitary councils could be in the region of £121 per head, and “there is every prospect that on-going costs would in fact be increased”. Such a bill would be equivalent to £345 per council tax-paying household. Police authorities across England are already facing extra costs for their now-cancelled plans to restructure.

Northern Ireland is being used as a testing ground for the drastic council restructuring. Plans there to reduce the number of councils from 26 council to just 7, are to cost £143 million. Identifiable localities like North Down will become part of anonymous ‘East Local Government District’.

Conservatives are warning that the real agenda of the Government is to undermine local identities – replacing well-understood, historic boroughs and counties with ‘sub-regional’ unitary hybrids that have little popular support. In turn, more power will be transferred to the unelected regional assemblies, based on the EU / Government Office of the Region boundaries.

Gordon Henderson said:
‘Yet another restructuring of local government will do nothing to improve local services and could make town halls more distant from local people. I am very concerned that working families and pensioners, already suffering from punishing council tax hikes, could see their bills rise by up to £345, with little likelihood of any long-term savings.

‘Just as with the cancelled police force reorganisation, Labour’s real agenda is regionalisation by stealth. If England’s boroughs and counties are wiped off the map and replaced with ‘sub-regional’ hybrids, it will weaken local identities and create a vacuum in which the unelected regional assemblies will suck up yet more power. If the Government really wanted to save money, it should start by scrapping John Prescott’s tiers of regional bureaucrats.

‘I believe that all Kent’s borough councils are opposed to these plans, I just hope that the Government listens to our local representatives and doesn’t simply ride roughshod over their views.’

Notes to Editors


The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill, which will shortly be debated in Parliament, gives unprecedented power to the Government to scrap traditional councils and impose unitary councils, including those that cross county boundaries. The power is given to the Secretary of State to do so “where he believes it would be in the interests of effective and convenient local government”.

In October 2006, the Government invited councils across England’s shires to make bids for unitary status by January 2007 - in other words, bidding to abolishing either the district/borough or county councils.


During the last local government reorganisation, Humberside County Council (John Prescott’s local council) spent £53 million in one-off reorganisation administrative costs in 1998 (Hansard, 18 November 1998, col. 658W). Using Humberside as a benchmark figure, abolishing the remaining 34 county councils could cost up to £1.8 billion in 1998 figures – equivalent to £2.2 billion today.

New research by Cambridge University has highlighted the costs of local government restructuring. Emeritus Professor Michael Chisholm has warned:

· “There is no reason to suppose that the conversion of districts to unitary status would be particularly relevant in raising the performance of councils in the discharge of their current district functions” (p.21).

· Reorganisation costs will be in the range of £121 per head (p.24).

· “In financial terms, however, the evidence shows that it is unrealistic to suppose that the creation of a single unitary council in an otherwise two-tier county area would generate financial savings, and that there is every prospect that on-going costs would in fact be increased... [there is] every reason to suppose that on-going costs would be increased, thereby providing no return on the cost of the change” (p.26-27).

Emeritus Professor Michael Chisholm, Cambridge University, Critique of the INLOGOV Document: An Independent Review of the Case for Unitary Status, September 2006.

Conservatives have estimated that £121 per capita is the equivalent of £345 per council tax-paying household (methodology: the English population is 50.4 million, whilst there are 22.1 million homes on the council tax valuation list; 20 per cent of homes pay no council tax since they are on 100% council tax benefit).


As a testing ground for the forthcoming English council tax revaluation, Labour Ministers are already rolling out a revaluation in Northern Ireland in April, with a revised system of local taxation – a house price tax. From April 2007, the average tax rate will be 0.633%, applied to the home’s value to calculate the yearly bill.

In addition to the house price tax, the Government are merging the councils across Northern Ireland, into anonymous, arbitrary hybrids: entitled the Belfast Local Government District, Inner East Local Government District, Inner East Local Government District, Inner East Local Government District, Inner East Local Government District, Inner East Local Government District and the North East Local Government District. The only political party to support these proposals in Northern Ireland is Sinn Fein.

The Government admitted last week that the cost is likely to be as much as £143 million – equivalent to £204 per household (there are 700,000 households in Northern Ireland) – but would be higher once those on benefits are excluded and the burden is placed on rate-paying households. The cost in England would be higher, since NI councils provider fewer services (many are provided by quangos).

“Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what the total estimated one-off restructuring costs are for the local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland; what (a) central and (b) regional funding the Government is providing to local councils to assist with the costs of the local government reorganisation; if the Government will publish the business case for local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland.

David Cairns: Initial research by consultants to inform decisions in relation to the Review of Public Administration in Northern Ireland, which included the reform of local government, indicated that the costs associated with the reorganisation of local government would range between £47 million and £143 million.

At this stage no additional funding has been provided by central government to local councils to assist with the costs of the local government organisation. I am, however, working closely with local government as Chair of the Local Government Taskforce, to develop a more detailed estimate of the costs associated with implementation of the Review of Public Administration’s decisions in relation to local government. The business case being developed will be used by Government to inform decisions on any funding to be provided to local government to assist with implementation. Consideration will be given to the publication of the business case at a later date.”

Hansard, 4 December 2006, col. 95W.


Friday, January 05, 2007

True Value


Jigaro Kano Founder of Judo