Thursday, 13 May 2010

Settling dust....

For the first time today it feels as if things are returning to normal....out and about I didn't overhear a single conversation about politics and the BBC's 'BREAKING NEWS' banner has gone from announcements such as 'BROWN RESIGNS' to 'Nick Herbert gets Policing Minister'.  Hmm not quite as sexy is it?
David Cameron chaired his first coalition cabinet meeting since WWII and things looked very cosy with Nick wedged between a couple of Tories and Dave vice versa. Lovely. All the papers have used the wedding analogy and things look reasonably cosy two days in...but that is not our concern. My interest is policy - what is happening, which promises are being kept and/or broken and how it is affecting us day to day.
Things are still reasonably sketchy, and most of todays information came from radio and TV interview soundbites from the new cabinet ministers. Things to watch out for.....Olympics budget will not be protected....LibDems can abstain on new nuclear power station, which are unlikely to be built as they won't be government funded.....persistant rumours that VAT will increase to 20% and that employees NI will increase as per Labour plans in April 2011.....
Perhaps no huge surprises as we know we are in for tough times in the next few months and years but lets see what else comes through in the next few days as we move away from the media frenzy to more mundane Westminster affairs and eagerly await the Queens Speech on May 25th.  

The Department for Children, Schools and Families with its bright rainbow logo has already been renamed today by Michael Gove. It is back to the Department for Education (cost of renaming and rebranding??)  we understand that as per the Tory manifesto the majority of Sure Start centres will close in order to save money in this department. Speaking to a worker in our local centre yesterday she was nervous about the future, which she believes is assured until 2011,  as these centres are, in my experience, widely praised and provide an excellent support network for families and mothers in communities all over the country as well as being of particular value for immigrant families; often providing the first interaction outside of their ethnic community. They also provide services such as nutritional advice, English lessons for non native speakers, baby massage courses, new mother support groups and stay and play sessions for under 5's. Let us see what transpires here....Comments and thoughts welcome as ever!

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