Robin Walker, Parliamentary Candidate for Worcester has spoken to local Conservatives about the past year, his hopes for the city in 2008 and the priorities for his campaign.
He has pointed to success in the fields of business, sports and tourism, a continuation of Worcester's special relationship with the armed forces and a better deal from Whitehall as his key hopes for the city, but concluded that a year without floods would be best of all.
"In the spirit of seasonal goodwill I have to say that I read some comments from our MP on his website today with which I wholeheartedly agree. We do not always see eye to eye on everything but his celebration of Worcester's business successes was spot on. This great city has a huge amount to offer the world and I am proud of Worcester's history, its present and its future as an innovative centre for business. Over the course of this year I will step up my meetings with Worcester's business community to ensure that their voice is heard and that local Conservatives do the best job possible to support their success."
"I am hopeful for a more successful year for our sports sides. Watching the Warriors this year has been a nail-biting experience but with some of the great world class players we now have, I am sure the team can get the results we are all hoping for. After a flood affected 2007, which still saw Pro40 glory I will be cheering on the County cricket side all the more and I would be delighted to see Worcester City FC get promotion."
"Living in Worcester it is easy to forget what a great place it can be for visitors. Some of the work that has gone into improving our parks and our riverside over the last few years has made it even more so and events such as the Christmas market and the Trafalgar day parade bring people from all over. I hope that over the coming year, more people than ever come to visit Worcester and find out for themselves what a wonderful place it can be."
"The parade that the City held for Falkland's veterans and the more recent march past of the returning "Woofers" reinforced a special role that Worcester has in supporting and celebrating the work of our armed forces. I was pleased to see honours in the New Year honours list for one Worcester veteran and I hope that this very special, very important relationship will continue to thrive in 2008. Politically we must ensure that our armed forces get the support they need and not just what it is convenient for the government to offer."
"Unfortunately not everything about the last year has been encouraging. We have seen moves to close Foregate Street Post Office and the Bransford EOC in the teeth of public opposition. We have a government that is failing to listen to the case for fairer funding and, at one stage last year, moved to take money away from our already underfunded schools. I will step up my campaigns to raise fairer funding as an issue at every opportunity; to get a Post Office that is accessible and to keep an emergency operations centre in Worcestershire."
"Most of all I will step up my campaign to meet and to speak personally to people all over the city. Many people I have met over the past year, either enjoying the sunshine of a Summer's day or bedraggled and soaked in Winter canvassing, have expressed surprise at seeing a politician who actually comes to the doorstep. I intend to continue to do so week in week out, rain or shine so that I can hear from all the people of this great city. Only by hearing the concerns of the men and women who make up our city, can any politician hope to represent their views, and this is something that I see as a personal mission to take into 2008."
"Last summer, soon after the floods, I had the opportunity to visit the doorsteps of some of the worst affected areas. I met people who had seen their homes ruined and still got on with their lives, helping their neighbours and keeping their chins up. Their good humour and determination should be an inspiration to us all. These people have since been let down by a government that has failed to come up with the goods on flood relief and is still failing to come up with the goods on flood defences. The County can ill afford another crisis of extra repairs and disruptions and it seems we are no better protected from floods than we were a year ago. Therefore, if I were allowed just a single wish for the New Year it would be that Worcester can see a flood free 2008."