At a special general meeting of Lichfield Conservatives held at the George Hotel in Lichfield last night (Wednesday 21st September) chaired by Association Chairman John Price OBE, the draft manifesto of 121 clauses was discussed by local Conservative Party members.
Michael Fabricant told local Conservatives that 5 clauses held particular relevance to Lichfield and Burntwood. " Local schools will be given autonomy to choose their own catchment areas for pupils and run themselves as they think best with an extra £540 per pupil being funded directly from central government; Power will be restored to local doctors (removed by this Government in the Health Act) to refer patients to the hospitals of their choice – ‘money following patients, not the other way round’ – which will strengthen services at The Victoria Hospital which are currently under threat of closure; Rural policing will be bolstered as will police numbers (Staffordshire police have lost around 240 officers and men over the last 2-3 years) and asylum seekers will be put in secure accommodation until their future is decided – at present they are free to leave the accommodation and disappear into the community illegally; Farmers will see red tape cut and the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, which benefits French and Spanish farmers at the expense of our own, will be renegotiated; Green areas will be preserved and greater use made of brownfield sites in urban areas – at present the Government has instructed 5,000 homes to be built around northern Lichfield.
"In addition, on constitutional matters, a Conservative Government would not enter the weak Euro, there will be no further surrender of powers to Brussels without first calling a national referendum, and now that Scotland and Wales have their own parliaments, Scottish and Welsh MPs will no longer be allowed to vote on laws made in the House of Commons that affect England only." Party members will now fill in secret ballot forms approving (or objecting to) the draft manifesto and return them to Conservative Central Office. "It was a lively meeting which lasted over two hours" adds Michael Fabricant. "Some tough questions were asked on our spending plans, but members thought the new ideas in the manifesto would have a direct and positive effect on the life of people here in Lichfield and Burntwood particularly on local hospitals and schools".