Video: PM David Cameron answers questions from workers at Crown Paints in Darwen (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Video: PM David Cameron answers questions from workers at Crown Paints in Darwen
CROWN Paints boss Joe Devitt promised to mix David Cameron a special shade of paint for his children’s bedrooms when the Prime Minister toured the firm’s Darwen factory.
The boss of the Hollins Road company made the offer after the PM told staff that if he cut his hours of work, his wife would want him to decorate their dens.
Tackled during the question-and- answer session with workers on whether shorter working hours, and a lower retirement age, would provide more jobs for young people, Mr Cameron said: “If I had more spare time, I think Sam would say ‘great, now you can paint the children’s bedrooms.”
Mr Devitt said later: “We would be happy to mix the Prime Minister a special shade of paint to his, and his wife’s, taste.
“We would be happy to supply it at a discount price to be negotiated.
“I don’t say we would give it him for free.
“We were delighted to have him here and give our factory, and the town, a bit of national exposure.”
It turned out to be lively session for the Prime Minister, answering questions on the benefits of ‘fracking’ for shale gas, Jesus urging the rich to give away their money, and whether councils have adequate powers to tackle illegal travellers’ sites.
He repeated advice to families to boycott bullying websites, and managed a swipe at his Liberal Democrat coalition partners, saying if the Conservatives alone formed the next government, they would sort out the European Court of Human Rights.
The most challenging moment came when he was asked whether he followed Jesus’s urging for the wealthy to give away their riches to the poor.
Clearly taken aback, Mr Cameron said: “I have never been asked that one before. I must admit I have trouble with that one.”
He said as a member of the Church of England, he preferred Christ’s word on loving your neighbour, and doing to others what you want them to do to you.
Another testing question was whether he favoured fracking, and on possible earthquakes in Darwen and East Lancashire. Mr Cameron said the procedure for extracting shale gas offered huge opportunities, provided local communities saw direct financial benefits for residents.
He told another questioner fears that wind turbines would sprout all over East Lancashire’s hills were overstated as on-shore wind power was unlikely to play a big part in the nation’s future energy mix.
On illegal travellers’ camps springing up near the factory, and around the area, Mr Cameron promised new powers for councils to move them on if needed – similar to those to demolish house extensions built without planning permission.
The Prime Minister pledged East Lancashire’s welfare was high on his list of priorities, as shown by this visit. He pointed out that with Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry on his Downing Street policy board, he could not forget the area’s needs Mr Cameron added: “I just don’t accept the argument that the government is not sufficiently focused on Lancashire. We are.
“It’s the second time in about a month I have been to Lancashire.
“The North West and Lancashire are doing well out of the regional growth fund, and we’ll keep it up.”
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