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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Local government is hugely important

October saw the return of Parliament, following on from the party conference season. As always there was great anticipation from the media about the importance of each conference for the respective party leaders.

John Stevenson photo
John Stevenson, Conservative MP for Carlisle

October saw the return of Parliament, following on from the party conference season. As always there was great anticipation from the media about the importance of each conference for the respective party leaders – and depending on the paper you read, and its political affiliation, each political leader made the political speech of his life!

The reality is a little different – Ed Miliband certainly impressed by making a speech without notes, but seemed to say little about actual policy. David Cameron spoke as a Conservative leader rather than as Prime Minister of a coalition. And Nick Clegg – well, he survived!

As for me, the return of Parliament sees me joining the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, something which I am very pleased to be doing.

Local government matters hugely, particularly in areas like Carlisle and Cumbria, which are far away from the influence of Whitehall. As someone with strong views on the future development of local government both nationally and locally, I am very much looking forward to the opportunity of influencing government policy and taking a more high profile role in the general debate about local government.

It should never be forgotten that the work and responsibility of local councillors in trying to improve the everyday lives of people up and down the country is as important as MPs and national government – something that is recognised by local media, but often missed by national media.


A terrific day - well done!
Congratulations to all the runners who completed the Cumbrian Run and also for the all the efforts made to raise funds for many charities.

I ran, along with many others, in support of Eden Valley Hospice and was also given the privilege of wearing the number ‘one’ race jersey by Carlisle Leisure.

Sadly, as expected, and as was pointed out to me by one spectator, I didn’t finish number one in the race – but it was a terrific day, great atmosphere, and some wonderful weather. Well done to all those who helped make it such a successful event.

By John Stevenson
Published: November 6, 2012

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