Aftermath of the Referendum result

I am not going to lie that I wasn’t shocked, saddened and disappointed waking up on Friday morning. I know many of my friends and family felt the same way, and over the weekend the divide in the country was continually being shown over social media. I did vent a bit myself on Facebook on Friday as couldn’t see any positives from the result personally. It does seem like some of the 51.9% who voted Leave did it on protest against the current government and establishment, and others who didn’t realise what they were voting for (or their’s not making a difference) now regretting their decision with the pound dropping slightly, along with shares and talk of price rises. (Which was predicted by experts beforehand!)

Another worry I had as have friends working in Science Research is the loss of the money from the EU to universities and elsewhere to carry out research. Some will say well “we had Science Research before the EU and we will again”, but will our government(s) still provide the same level of funding? I liked an analogy I saw from my friend Gill for this, who said:

“But that’s like turning off all the electricity in all the hospitals overnight and pointing out that there were hospitals before electricity was used and they managed fine then.”

Following the decision revealed early on Friday there has been turmoil politically as David Cameron has announced his resignation, and a number of Labour’s shadow cabinet members have quit in protest over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. This seems to be making evoking article 50 sometime off yet, even though other EU leaders have talked of wanting a quick exit. Even Boris Johnson who led the Leave campaign seems to say there is no rush which makes many wonder was his stance all about political gain, and he wasn’t expecting a Leave result? Maybe neither want has responsibility, and be remembered as the one who evoked it, which I’m sure has been mentioned in the media? Also don’t get me started on some of the ‘lies’ used by the Leave campaign including the £350 million a week money for the EU that the NHS could now get! Scotland who voted for Remain overall has also talked of a new independence referendum, with Nicola Sturgeon looking at trying to veto the overall UK decision as it takes Scotland out against it’s will.

I know there was a lot of fear spreading before the vote and now, but I can’t see any positives as mentioned above with leaving the EU. It may not be perfect but there were many advantages I believe for us all staying as a member. If things turn out well in a couple of months or years I will hold my hands up and say I was wrong, but currently I can’t see a positive way forward from leaving.


Great coaching session

At the end of last week I met up with Samantha Bridger at the Village hotel in Warrington to discuss my tube map, and ideas to bring it forward. This week

Samantha offers business and life coaching; so you are “able to achieve what you want in both your working and your personal life”, while “making realistic & sustainable plans and decisions to help you on your way to a better and brighter future.”

More information can be found on her well designed website here:

Sam helped a great deal, and we came up with some good starting points on the need to brainstorm, and create a business plan. This will include planning, research, target customer, size of prints/products and costings. Sam also recommended keeping records of everything so you have them to look back on, and greatly helps when getting further advice.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been keeping in touch with Halton Housing Trust, and Visit Isle of Wight in create a map they could use or sell. For Halton Housing the initial idea was a map of Runcorn & Widnes showing the main areas of the towns and main developments they have located within each. I have been discussing this with the Communications Manager Anna Lambert, and Chief Exec Nick Atkin to take it forward.  For Visit Isle of Wight I have been talking about my idea with Visitor Experience Manager; Zoe Stroud. The next step is creating a  1 page mini proposal with the artwork and ideas of the type of product I would supply to Marketing Boards, and Tourist Information Points on the Island.

It definitely feels like an exciting time with taking this idea forward, and I will leave you with my Halton map:

halton underground1.png

Beautiful blue skies for Birchwood Carnival

A bright blue sky ensured Birchwood Carnival at Birchwood Forest Park, went without a hitch.

Cllr Russ Bowden; Chair of Birchwood Town Council & Executive member for finance for the borough council opened the carnival after a short procession. The winning group the local Brownies and Guides dressed as the planets; and were presented with a prize after a short speech of thanks to the organisers.

(Warrington pipe band and procession)

The afternoon was well attended, with something for all ages including a funfair, Vale Royal birds of prey display, circus skills, donkey rides, a dog show, Warrington pipe band, refreshments, a local heritage tent and much more. Many local charities also had stalls including Warrington Disability Partnership; now in it’s 25th year raising money with a cuddly toy tombola, the Scouts and Guides and the Women’s Institute. Friends of the Feral Cat and Kitten Rescue also had a stall, which had a tombola, lucky dips including one for the adults with the chance to win water, bottled beer or wine, and raised £575.

(Vale Royal Falconry)

(Friends of the Feral Cat and Kitten Rescue, with Mark Campbell in red)

The afternoon was organised by Birchwood Carnival Committee in partnership with the town council.

10 Reasons to Leave the EU

Following on from my last post on remaining in the EU, in the interests of balance some may ask for, here is 10 counter arguments for why the UK should leave:

  1. The EU undermines British democracy because the European Parliament makes laws on an EU-wide basis, and by leaving we would be free to govern ourselves;
  2. Leaving the EU will not stop the UK from trading with Europe, as Britain would be legally entitled to use existing trade deals worth billions of pounds even if leaving the European Union;
  3. Despite warnings, Brexit from the EU  would be a slow, gradual process that minimises turmoil in new deals but eventually offers us new opportunities;
  4. The EU is wasteful as it hands out money to member states faster than they can spend it, and on innapropriate projects;
  5. The EU is not transparent in regard to laws being discussed and drafted in informal meetings, with secret TTIP negotiations taking place recently;
  6. The UK does not need the EU to be relevant on the world stage, as we are one of only 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, a member of the powerful military alliance NATO, and we are key players in the IMF and the World Bank;
  7. Britain will only have a fair, controlled immigration policy outside of the EU, because of the free movement of people;                 
  8. NATO which the UK is a prominent member, is more important for Europe wide peace than the EU;                                       
  9. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for farming is seen as hugely wasteful, and helps the rich get richer;                 
  10. Finally 10 prominent leave campaigners are Sir Michael Caine, Duncan Bannatyne, Sir Ian Botham, Sol Campbell, Julian Fellowes, Katie Hopkins, Roger Daltry, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove & Nigel Farage.

Whichever way you choose to vote remember to use it in this important decision on June 23rd, and the closing date to register is Tuesday 7th.

10 Reasons to Remain in the EU

As it’s now under three weeks to go to the referendum date of June 23rd, I would like to give my personal views with 10 reasons to stay as part of the European Union. I know there has been many points shared on both sides of the campaign, but these are the strongest points I feel should be considered for remaining in the EU:

  1. In regards to economic stability almost  9 out of 10 economists working across business, the city, academia and industry believe our economy will be halved during Brexit in a recent survey;
  2. The EU directly pays for much UK science research and innovation; with scientists agreeing that because of funding being a low priority from the UK government the loss of this money would be a disaster, and science works without borders to share expertise;
  3. EU laws help us protect Britain’s environment and wildlife, and the RSPB and the World Wildlife Fund UK say they believe that staying in the EU would be the safer option for Britain;
  4. The EU negotiates trade agreements together with the world. If leaving the EU Britain would have to renegotiate trade deals alone with the UK becoming a lower priority for other counties to negotiate a new trade deal;
  5. Over 1.3 million British citizens live throughout the rest if the EU in countries like France and Spain, just as EU citizens have moved here; There are also thousands of UK students studying in Europe and easy travel without a visa is available.
  6.  The EU has helped secure peace in Western Europe and now into Eastern Europe, with the 70 years of peace since the end of the Second World War can be seen as resulting from the EU; 
  7. Equal pay and anti-discrimination rulings are enshrined in EU law, with projections of  average weekly wages being £38 lower by 2030 if Britain votes to leave;
  8. Cross-border collaboration is essential to effective tackling of crime and terrorism in the UK. To remain safe the sharing of intelligence, pooling of resources and joint working across Europe would be in danger by leaving;
  9. In EU consumer law is the concept that, generally, a shopper in any member state cannot be charged a higher price when buying products or services owing to their nationality or country of residence; This has been shown with lower mobile phone roaming charges, lower credit card fees, cheaper flights and proper compensation when flights are delayed or cancelled from being an EU member.
  10. Final point is a vote to leave would mean these 10 figures in Business, Science and Entertainment are wrong;                                                                                                            Lord Alan Sugar,  Professor Stephen Hawking, Emma Thompson, Sir Richard Branson, Eddie Izzard, Karren Brady, Sir Patrick Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Carney & Danny Boyle.

June 23rd will now come up fast and remember to use your vote in this important decision, and the closing date to register is Tuesday 7th.

Love Warrington After Hours

The second Love Warrington After Hours took place last night (1st June) @ The Loft (above a la Turka) in Stockton Heath.

Founders of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation; Colin & Wendy Parry, and Jonathan Levy (Donor Management and Fundraising) spoke about the charity’s history, the peace centre and it’s significant work in today’s world. From the door entry and raffle £85 was raised for the foundation; with prizes of a hamper and a meal for two at a la Turka.

More information on the charity can be found at

The Loft above a la Turka offers an intimate and venue with an exclusive feel. Delicious Turkish & Mediterranean dishes from the restaurant are  available, along with its own bar and comfy seating.

Various members of the business and charity community within Warrington attended including Gary Skentelbery; MD of Warrington Worldwide, Geoff Plass; Director of Aspire Computers, Lucy Jackman from Comma Sense, Lymm Hotel and St Roccos Hospice.

Love Warrington After Hours will be back 6-8pm 6th July; supporting St Roccos Hospice at a la Turka with admission £10 including welcome drink and food and raffle.

I myself have grown to Love Warrington over the past almost 7 years, and can see the town heading in a positive direction with the new Time Square Development, and a possible bid for  UK Capital of Culture 2021 in the near future.

(my Love Warrington selfie)

(Gary Skentelbery with Colin & Wendy Parry)

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