Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Saving St Andrews and others from the Planners, the UKIP way.

I fervently hope that residents of North East Fife, especially those concerned about the autocratic and often crippling Fife Structure Plan, have read the UKIP policy on Housing and Planning.

St Andrews and Cupar, facing massive developer led over-development, could both be saved from those dire consequences, were UKIP policy to prevail.

Here are some highlights from the Executive Summary:

UKIP will abolish the Planning Inspectorate (Scottish Reporter) and end appeals to
Government Ministers. Planning decisions will be taken by local authorities and local
Referenda with a final right of appeal to the High Court.

There will be direct binding Referenda on all major housing schemes and economic
developments such as supermarkets, housing developments of more than 50 homes and
other major building projects.

UKIP will abolish centrally and regionally directed housing requirements.

UKIP will scrap centrally and regionally directed targets. UKIP will also abolish
Regional Development Agencies and Regional Assemblies.

UKIP will return to county, local and district plans that will be under the control of the local authorities. UKIP will also introduce a UK National Plan that will provide an overview and guidance for local authorities. This won’t be a rigid framework as is currently the case.

UKIP is opposed to mass housing estates.

UKIP will encourage the building of more ‘community’ housing such as the Dorchester
suburb of Poundbury as well as smaller developments of fewer than 50 homes.

UKIP will demand higher quality and standards of material, craft, soundproofing and
spacing for new homes to ensure that any new houses last as long as Edwardian and
Victorian homes.

From the saved UK contributions to the EU, UKIP will spend 1.5 billion a year on
building new quality social housing and demolishing poor quality houses.

UKIP will encourage the building of new local council homes by local councils instead of forcing developers to provide social housing on new developments which amounts to a ‘homeowners development tax’. That puts house prices up.

UKIP will remove VAT and its replacement Local Sales Tax from the costs of
conversion of listed buildings, buildings in conservation areas and on empty buildings.

UKIP will encourage the return to productive use of the nearly one million homes that are currently empty.

An unfortunate coincidence?

What a shame for the Lib Dems in North East Fife: their candididate's campain poster is the same shape as a scatter cushion......a constant reminder of the expenses scandal.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

The three wise monkeys, Nick, Dave and Gordon...

The three wise monkeys, Nick, Dave and Gordon, offer no solution to the elephant in the room; the EU.

The EU dominates our lives with its hidden influences over our economics, trade, defence, borders, immigration, environment, employment regulations, excessive business and health and safety rules and already has 100% control over farming and fishing.

UKIP will withdraw immediately from the Common Fisheries Policy and we guarantee farmers no sudden loss of CAP payments on leaving the EU.

Tax and NI: You pay 20% tax and 11% NI on everything over about £8000 - with UKIP, NI will go, and only after you earn £11500, we’d have a flat rate tax of 31%; this takes 4.5 million lower paid people out of tax altogether.

UKIP wants Britain to regain three essential freedoms by leaving the EU:

Freedom of Action, so we control our borders and no longer grovel to the EU for permission to save our Post Offices, factories, etc.;
Freedom of Resources, keeping the £16.4bn p.a. in cash (£45m a day) currently sent to Brussels and spending that money in the UK;
Freedom of the People, with real power returning to British citizens from remote EU bureaucrats.

We must regain our Sovereignty. We can with UKIP.

Monday, 19 April 2010

The European Union scores again - another own goal!

If proof were needed of the idiocy of the European Union we have it now. The airlines are saying it, normal people are saying it – UKIP is saying it: One size does not fit all.

Eurocontrol, coordinating airspace over Europe, has got it wrong, causing huge economic damage in an over-reaction to the threat posed by volcanic ash. Simple as that.

Of course aircraft shouldn’t fly through volcanic ash. I suspect that aircraft captains and pilots know that! The Met Office warns of bad weather (mind you, we need to have a review of the way they work – summer barbecues etc, come to mind) and can warn of areas in which volcanic ash clouds can be seen by satellite etc.

Then the EU steps in – in the form of Eurocontrol – and blanket bans commercial flying. Lunatics. The sooner we resume business as normal under a sovereign national government, the better.

Mike Scott-Hayward

Stop the insanity blowing in the wind....

I support the comments made by my UKIP colleague Mike Arthur, MSc, our candidate in Dundee East. He points out that the revelation that 5,587 out of 18,531 sources quoted in the IPCC's 2007 report do not have the standing of proper scientific papers supports UKIP's scepticism of claims made that global warming is man-made.

UKIP opposes the taxes and subsidies which the energy market, in particular by directing "investment" towards unreliable 'renewables'.

Our policy opposes wind farms in general and we would require them to funded by the market. The market will find the most efficient solutions, from a wide choice, including nuclear.

Moreover, UKIP would establish a Royal Commission to determine the truth about man-made global warming.

Mike Arthur points out that "The lights will go out in a couple of years due to the closure of coal power stations under the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive." Out of the EU under UKIP policies, that Directive would be repealed.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The elephant in the room is the EU

The elephant in the room is the EU. Let us hope that the three wise monkeys will address the issue in their next debate.

The EU dominates our business rules, employment, health and safety – in short, EU directives and regulations, EU membership, loads us with costs– hampers our trade.

The EU per se costs us a fortune – hindering our economy. Our money is used by the EU to give our competitors the edge over us – infrastructure elsewhere is leaving ours behind.

Out of the EU, the money they currently give back to us can initially still be used as now – at less administrative cost and effort, but we can over time make those spends better match United Kingdom needs. And the net contribution beyond that which comes back to us will give us the room to breathe new life into our own British needs. Moreover, there is nothing to stop us agreeing a really free trade agreement with the EU, getting our seat at the World Trade Organisation back. We could seek to establish a Commonwealth Free Trade Area. And much else.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Fife Council is having difficulty with Area Budgets

Fife Council allocates "devolved" budgets to Area Committees, such as the North East Fife area Committee, and also to Locality Budgets covering council wards, such as East Neuk and Landward, etc.

Area Budget decisions are openly decided in public Committee Meetings. Locality Meetings are meetings between elected ward councillors and the Locality Manger, to whom the budget, with limits, is delegated. Spending decisions are made in consultation with the councillors: if there is any disagreement, the Locality Manger may authorise the spend in line with the prevailing view of the local members, or even refer the spending decision to the Area Committee.

I think the system works well - the Locality Meeting focuses on local need and the limits stem any excesses.

But what happens when the Area Budget is unable to meet demands on it? There is currently a case, a worthy enough cause, where an approach has been made to Localities to make a contribution to a shared need - a matter that ought really to be met by the Area Budget after public discussion in the Area Committee.

The Administration has to face up to the realities of its financial position - clawing back from Locality Budgets is not on - unless done openly at a meeting of the Area Committee.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

What the Press missed about Scottish Regiments

I issued a press release following the astonishing Tory confirmation that they would not revive the Black Watch to local press - as far as I know, the view I submitted remains unpublished. The releases are appended:

From: mikescotthayward@msn.com
To: xxx@dcthomson.co.uk; yyyyy@dcthomson.co.uk; courier@dcthomson.co.uk; edcitizen@fifetoday.co.uk
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 07:39:04 +0000
From: mikescotthayward@msn.com
To: edherald@fifetoday.co.uk
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 08:06:35 +0000


"I was astonished to see Liam Fox confirm that the Tories will not revive the Black Watch and other traditional regiments. It is entirely feasible, despite a statement when he ran for the party leadership, by Cameron, that it is not."

UKIP's North East Fife Parliamentary candidate, Mike Scott-Hayward, was speaking after the revelation that the Tories have abandoned the traditional regiments. "That stance by Cameron contributed to my leaving the Tories - and I commend the UKIP defence policy which includes commitments to increase the Army to at least 125,000 personnel (trained requirement) in order to enable it to cope with its existing deployment and roles.

"We will restore many traditional regiments, such as the Black Watch and Staffords, subsumed as battalions of EU-inspired ‘super-regional’ regiments of the Royal Welsh, Royal Mercian and Royal Regiment of Scotland, in order to serve in EU battlegroups.

"By stopping wasting our money on bolstering the undemocratic European Union, we will save millions daily- to use in Britain's interests. We will be able to stop trying to buy defence on the cheap. UKIP will spend an extra 1% GDP year on defence – an increase of 40% on current budgets. This means we can restore the Navy to its 2001 strength, with 3 new aircraft carriers (one extra), assault ships, 30 destroyers and frigates, 12 Fleet Submarines, 25 coastal vessels and 50 Merlin helicopters, with around 7,000 extra personnel to 42,000 (2003–41,550). UKIP would guarantee the futures of Plymouth and Portsmouth. I would fight for the re-establishment of Rosyth.

"The strength of the British Army lies in its regimental system - with strong local roots - none of which is understood in the European Union, nor, sadly, apparently by Cameronian Tories."

Mike Scott-Hayward
UKIP Parliamentary Candidate
Sawmill House
Kemback Bridge