» Thursday, March 1, 2007

Super Casino

Asked if all the Cabinet supported Manchester for the site for the super casino, the PMSO said that Tessa Jowell would put down the Government position. Asked that they would all be voting when it came to the House, the PMOS said that Tessa Jowell would put down a Government position and we would announce the position at a later stage.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Road Pricing

Asked if the Prime Minister believed that the wave of congestions taxes introduced should be progressive, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister believes that first and foremost people have to recognise that doing nothing is not an option. If you look at the projection for congestion it is clear that doing nothing is not an option. What the Prime Minister then believes is that what we need to do is find out what works and what doesn't work which is why we proposed ten pilot schemes, and then you come up with the proposals. There is a process of education for Government, for local authorities and for the public that we all have to go through. Simply reacting in a knee-jerk way to what people think the Government is proposing is not the way to go. People quite rightly feel strongly about this issue but what we have to do is have a mutual education exercise in which we all come to learn more about how we deal with this difficult issue. Asked what the difference between not having a knee-jerk reaction and the Prime Minster saying that the Government couldn't proceed if everyone was opposed, the PMOS said that what the Prime Minister was acknowledging, as we did acknowledge, was that people feel very strongly about it. People equally feel strongly about congestion and feel very strongly that they want congestion dealt with as an issue. Those two position are somewhat contradictory but what the role of Government is, is to see how we can deal with congestion in a way which people recognise as being fair and dealing with the problem and actually offering a long term sustainable solution. What is absolutely clear is if you don't look at the problem you will end up with something that people don't want which is cities in which no one can move. That is not just bad in terms of the use of peoples time and terms of the environment, it is also bad for jobs. The BBC estimate quoted that if nothing was done about congestion in Manchester it would cost 30,000 jobs.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Troops in Bosnia

Asked is there were concerns of troop withdrawal after some had said that the UK had a moral obligation to remain in order to remove all the unexploded bombs, the PMOS said that first and foremost what should be done is people take a step back and recognise the progress that has been made. The progress that has been made because of a decision to intervene in an area where in the past people have not intervened and where shown we have the patience, including people in this country, and political efforts to get us to where we are, and to get us to the position where withdrawal was possible. What the experience in Bosnia has shown is that patience and political skill can help resolve a problem which has bedevilled that part of the world, not just for a few years or decades but for centuries. Firstly, that was what should be recognised. Secondly, in terms of the balance between the presence of troops and the withdrawal of troops that was a matter for the people on the ground. They were the best judge of when you should and shouldn't make these kinds of decisions and we go with their judgement.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Police Inquiry


Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

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