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Didcot Voice

"Where all the facts are checked"

Why I Will Not Vote Conservative.

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It's undeniable that the state of UK politics under this Tory goverment is a complete disaster.

The Conservative Party, which was once respected, has lost its way, with all the decent people leaving. Rather than standing for true conservatism, they now prioritize their own interests, making decisions that benefit disaster capitalists and ultra-nationalists. It's time to acknowledge that the current government's actions are very similar to full-blown fascism.

It's outrageous that Boris Johnson, a man who has been dismissed multiple times for lying, held such an important role in the government. His handling of Brexit was catastrophic, giving Putin his first victory over the west in his policy of destabilizing western democracy by funding populism. The Leave Group used Russian money to fund their campaign.

What's worse, the privatization of the NHS and the neglect of state schools are ongoing trends, placing profits over the health and well-being of the people. Members of this government do not use the NHS or send their children to state school, which highlights their lack of interest in the welfare of ordinary citizens.

Moreover, the environment is under threat, with companies prioritizing their profits over the health of our rivers and beaches. This is unacceptable, and we must hold these companies accountable for their actions and create a cleaner, healthier future.

It's time to stand up for our values and support politicians who will work towards a better future for all.
Olly Glover, a member of the Liberal Democrats, is a politician who genuinely cares about you and your loved ones. He is committed to bringing about real change in the UK, and he deserves our vote in the next election. Let's come together and make a difference!
Vote Olly Glover Lib Dems!

Why I Will Not Vote Labour.

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I left school at the age of 16 in 1966 and started working as an apprentice pipe fitter welder for a company that provided maintenance and construction services for various industries in the Midlands. During my first week, I was sent to the Pressed Steel Fisher works in Coventry where they built the bodies for the MGB sports car. As an apprentice, my primary job was to make tea. One day, while walking across a yard where shop stewards held meetings, I was asked to raise my hand in support of a strike. However, I refused as I was a contractor and not part of their workforce. They threatened me, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

After completing my apprenticeship, I became a skilled arc and gas welder, having completed arc welding courses to the highest level. My firm sent me to work on a steam boiler at Land Rover in Solihull, which had been ordered by the boiler inspectorate. It was crucial that the work be completed quickly as the boiler powered a lot of machinery and would be shut down over the weekend. However, due to demarcation, an electrician had to wire in the heavy-duty electric welder I was going to use. Even though I had been trained and certificated to do that, I was not allowed to because I wasn't in their union. Unfortunately, the electrician didn't show up on both Saturday and Sunday, causing the management to become concerned. They instructed me to wire the welder up myself as they wanted to be sure everything was operational the next day. We worked all day until late to complete the job.

However, the workers went on strike the following day because I had wired up the welder myself. The management then barred me from working at Land Rover to get the workers back to work, and my union didn't offer any help. As a result, I decided to move to London and got into sales, which turned out to be a very successful career.

In 1966, Coventry had the highest-paid workforce in the UK and was home to many famous engineering firms such as Alfred Herberts, which was once the largest machine tool manufacturer in the world. The city also had car makers like Standard Triumph, Roots Group, Jaguar (now owned by Tata and no longer in Coventry), Alvis, and Triumph Motor Bikes (which has been reborn and is going strong in Hinckley, Leicestershire). Unfortunately, due to bad management, government meddling, and trade unions led by the Militant Tendency, all these companies have either left Coventry or gone out of business.

It's no surprise that workers voted for Margaret Thatcher.

When Labour came to power with Tony Blair and his "New Labour," I hoped there would be a change for the better. But to my surprise, at the end of Blair's time as PM, it was revealed that fewer houses, including social housing, were built in all his ten years compared to each year of Thatcher's time as PM.

Second illegal Iraq war. Then, there was the second illegal Iraq war, a war that was fought based on a lie as there were no weapons of mass destruction. Thousands of people have died and continue to die because of this war.

The loss of the Afghan war, the refugee crisis, the rise of ISIS, and even Putin's belligerence in Ukraine can be linked in a straight line to the second illegal Iraq war, a massive failure of judgment even worse than the Suez Crisis.

Because of the above, I will never vote for Labour.

Thames Water on the Brink

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What does this mean to the people of Didcot?

Privatisation of a public utility that is a monopoly is not a good idea. Thames Water turned from being the provider of clean water and good sewerage to a provider of massive salaries, huge dividends, and a licence to print money. CEO Sarah Bentley's total wage package, £1.5m for 2022-23. Not bad for failure.

The water companies all backed Brexit because it meant they did not have to comply with EU regulations on pollution and Oh Boy! they all took advantage of this with sewerage discharge into our rivers and sea’s. Between 2016 and 2021 water companies discharged sewage into waterways and the sea for a total of 9,427,355 hours, the equivalent of 1,076 years an increase of an increase of 2,553% over five years.

£14 billion worth of debt and now severely struggling to service it.
Financial mismanagement is just one of a series of accusations levelled against the company. Its problems have been in the spotlight for years, especially for its links to leaks and pollution. Its CEO Sarah Bentley stepped down yesterday, forgoing her bonus. Poor Sarah! Now the question is whether its new boss will temporarily be the government.

The company’s largest shareholder is Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, with a 31 per cent stake. Other investors include UK pension fund Universities Superannuation Scheme as well as the Chinese and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds and infrastructure fund Aquila GP. If the government bails Thames Water out it means the taxpayer is paying the above money. If I was in charge, I would tell the shareholders to refinance the company, or the company will be liquidated and renationalised with no compensation. If you and I buy share and the company goes bust, we lose are money. They have received £1.4 billion in dividends!

Labour will wave the flag of nationalisation and the Tories will continue to scream privatisation. Both parties are wedded to their donors and 19th century philosophies. There is another way, run the operation properly within a rigid set of rules that puts the quality of the product for the end users first. For that you need a party that puts ALL the people on an equal footing – LibDems.
Stephen Cole 

To Mow or not to mow?

Last year OCC decided to join the national ‘No Mow May’ campaign organised by conservation charity, Plantlife. Their campaign aims to encourage people to mow less during May to help enhance biodiversity.
When lawns and other grassy areas are kept short through very regular mowing, wild plants don’t get the chance to grow, flower and seed.

So in May 2022 they had an initial idea to support ‘No Mow May’ and did a trial and let the grass grow on sections of land they owned on the Ladygrove estate in Didcot and at Radnor Road in Wallingford, with one or two cuts at the beginning and end of the growing season. This allowed wild plants and flowers to grow, which was good news for insect life, particularly pollinators such as bees and birds.
This year they extended this trial further with new Let It Bee project includes a total of eight sites across the district.
These are carefully managed and monitored with the aim of increasing wildlife, as well allowing the existing plants to thrive by not being cut so often. This should make the plants and soil better able to withstand periods of extreme weather.

Why do we need biodiversity?
Humans rely on biodiversity to survive. We are intertwined in a big natural system, and each element supports and enables all of us to thrive.
It is easy to see why humans need nature: we need fresh water, clean air, and plants and animals for food. But what we need specifically is biodiversity. Nature around us isn't enough - we need a natural world that is complex, resilient, thriving, and full of variety.

This is not a belief, but a fact backed by well researched evidence tested by the proven scientific method worldwide repeatedly. It is time to trust the science and not those with vested interests.
Stephen Cole

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How the Council Works

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Didcot Town Council Website

Motorists should love cycle paths.

For every cyclist that leaves his car at home to go to work or to the shops leaves more space on the roads and in the car parks for those who have to drive.

30 or 20mph in Didcot? 

The difference between a driver hitting a pedestrian at 30mph and 20mph is substantial. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), at 20mph there is a 1.5 per cent chance of being fatally injured, compared to an eight per cent chance at 30mph.
The length of the Broadway is less than a mile the difference in time at 30mph and 20 is measured in seconds.
I certainly don’t want to get hit by a car at any speed but if I was I would rather it be doing 20 than 30mph.
Everyone would think the same and that’s why I want to see a 20mph speed limit throughout Didcot. It will prevent serious injury and save lives – surely that’s worth the few seconds it might add to a journey time?
How about you? Make your Didcot-Voice count by sending a letter to the editor .

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A by-election will take place on Didcot Town Council following the departure of the only Tory councillor last month.
By-elections cost money – lots of money! Thousands! Tories and Labour (more to come on Labour wasting money - it will shock you- watch this space) are very good at wasting taxpayers’ money.
When the LibDems took over South Oxford District Council it was over £3 million in debt now bought back into budget without major cuts.
Voters in Park Ward will have the chance to select a new representative after Karen Durman failed to sign the paperwork to take up her position as councillor by the required deadline on May 15.
The poll will take place on Thursday, July 27.

Don't Shoot the messenger!

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People don’t like bad news and in ancient Greek mythology the messengers were killed. The equivalent of killing the messenger today is spouted by government’s spokes people like Michael Gove calling scientists Cassandras trying to belittle them. Cassandra was a Greek Goddess and if Gove had done his research, he would see the flaw in his argument as Cassandra’s prophecies came true!

Most scientists accept that the biggest cause of climate change is human activity and we have been pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution by burning fossil fuel and if we don’t do something about it the future will be very bleak – for everyone – including you the reader because there will be no future for mankind. Yes, a horrible message that nobody wants to hear, and our present government would rather win the next election than put in place measures to reduce climate change. The Tories are opening coal mines and drilling for more oil in the North Sea and marching backwords on a pledge to allow more on shore wind farms.

In Didcot we see the new homes on large estates being built around us without solar panels on acres of south facing roofs. All these new housing estates could have been carbon neutral, but the Tories imposed them on us ignoring any advice from environmentalists. I dread to think what effect it’s going to have on our clapped-out sewage system that can’t cope now pumping sewage into our local stream 40% of the time last year come rain or shine. You should be aware that building companies are among the biggest donors to the Tory party.

We need new homes and that is a problem Labour ignored when they were in power. In the 10yrs Blair was PM less houses were built including social housing than Thatcher did EVERY year of her reign. We all know that the unions are the biggest donors to the Labour Party and some of them are about as carbon neutral as a Saturn 5 rocket.

Didcot Town Councill and the South Oxford District Council is now under the control of the LibDems, and they intend to do everything possible in their power to combat climate change. They will make it as easy as possible for people to walk, cycle or use public transport and in every new building application planning consent will favour those who use clean renewable energy and good insulation.

You can make a difference. One person making small changes doesn’t make much of a difference, 10 people do, 34,598 the population of Didcot makes a tremendous change. Those changes don’t have to be massive, walk, cycle, use public transport when you can, eat less meat and try to switch to a more vegetable based diet, repair rather than renew.

One action could be a life saver and might mean you are changing the habit of a lifetime in the soon to be here General Election. Let’s get our LibDem candidate Olly Glover into Parliament. The LibDems have sound realistic climate policies driven by science not donors because we only answer to you the people.

Climate change is real, and the only question is, what are you going to do about it?

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