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What we can learn from the French

10:27am Tuesday 13th September 2011

Clive Balchin column: Well here I am, back from my jollies to French France.

What we need from our politicians is leadership

4:26pm Friday 5th August 2011

Clive Balchin column: This week I’m getting frustrated and mad with our council and the councillors.

£250m on Libya mission, and not a lot achieved

11:49am Thursday 21st July 2011

Clive Balchin column: I trust that readers will recall my column some months ago when I questioned the wisdom of our compliance with UN resolution 1973.

I'm looking forward to a new start

10:18am Thursday 30th June 2011

Clive Balchin column: MY column is a bit of a reflective one this week (and may perhaps show some signs of a mid-life crisis.)

What will these strikes achieve?

5:49pm Thursday 23rd June 2011

Clive Balchin column: For as long as I have been working, as far back as the three-day-week, I have never understood strikes.

All is not lost on the DIY front

2:24pm Thursday 16th June 2011

Clive Balchin column: FOCUS in Rawtenstall has ceased to trade and I’m sad for a number of reasons, firstly because people have lost their jobs and because it means that yet another big retail unit will stand empty - who knows for how long.

Thanks for the Rossendale Triathlon

11:45am Thursday 9th June 2011

Clive Balchin column: How many people does it take to get one 57-year-old to wobble around the Rossendale Triathlon course?

E-mails make brave foolish and vice-versa

1:04pm Thursday 26th May 2011

Clive Balchin column: To me, it seems that the art of communication is lost on most councillors who cross my path.

Regeneration is easier to type than do

10:35am Thursday 19th May 2011

Clive Balchin column: In preparation for my attempt at the Rossendale Sprint Triathlon on June 5, I’ve realised, as I plod and wobble around on my bike, how much more of the valley you see than when you’re driving – and there are some run-down areas.

Party politics shouldn't come into it

10:55am Thursday 12th May 2011

Clive Balchin column: They say that if you want a friend in politics, buy a dog.

Why we all should get out and vote

11:06am Thursday 5th May 2011

Clive Balchin column: I like canvassing at election time and love going around ringing on strangers’ doors enquiring how they may vote.

It’s time to change the planning law

11:43am Thursday 28th April 2011

Clive Balchin column: Plamnning is a hugely complicated area of local government and, like super injunctions, favours those with oodles of cash who are in the know.

Action at last on road 'digger uppers'

1:44pm Thursday 21st April 2011

Clive Balchin column: In recent weeks I have been chuntering on about the Utilities companies and the way they carry on for a few weeks now.

Local election time and I’m in my element

1:42pm Thursday 21st April 2011

Clive Balchin column: I know what you're all thinking this week. 'Yahoo, it’s local election time again.'

Trek to pay homage to a tradition

10:57am Thursday 14th April 2011

Clive Balchin column: St Nicholas's Church in Newchurch, is celebrating 500 years of being on the site this year.

Going to the vets? No, the dogs

11:20am Thursday 7th April 2011

Clive Balchin column: What a wonderful country we live in. Thank God for the NHS.

I find floral tributes so bewildering

10:46am Thursday 31st March 2011

Clive Balchin column: It's not often I sit on the fence on a subject but the council’s ban on teddies and other keepsakes placed on headstones in graveyards has me confused.

Why I think that we are really lucky

12:24pm Thursday 17th March 2011

Clive Balchin column: I was speaking to Bernard ‘the window cleaner’ Wilkinson the other morning.

I blame utility firms for 70% of potholes

6:08pm Thursday 10th March 2011

Clive Balchin column: I went out on my bike for the first time in years at the weekend, as part of my training for the Rossendale Triathlon.

Nobody cares about democracy

11:45am Thursday 3rd March 2011

Clive Balchin column: This week I will mostly be banging on about … well those temporary traffic lights on Burnley Road in Rawtenstall.

AV would put power back with people

11:45am Thursday 24th February 2011

Clive Balchin column: This week’s ramblings are unlikely to make me popular with some of my Tory friends and 'enemies'.

Life is so hectic for the Big Society

12:10pm Thursday 17th February 2011

Clive Balchin column: I really don’t get David Cameron's ‘Big Society’ philosophy.

Our public servants are here to serve

11:03am Thursday 10th February 2011

Clive Balchin column: This week’s column is something of a mélange, with some good news and some bad.

I’m back...as a political dinosaur

4:02pm Friday 4th February 2011

Clive Balchin column: It may have escaped your attention but I took a few months off from writing this column.

Running made us all proud

2:49pm Thursday 20th May 2010

Clive Balchin column: Finally race day arrived and we set off to Manchester for the Great Run last Sunday.

Council should take Pride in cleaning up!

11:22am Thursday 6th May 2010

Clive Balchin column: Regular readers of this column will know I have a pathological hatred of litter and grot spots in the Valley.

Politicians have one thing in common...

12:12pm Friday 30th April 2010

Clive Balchin column: I was with Jimmy Neary of the famous Neary’s food store in Helmshore at a barbecue on Saturday night.

Walk the patch when it’s not election time

11:43am Thursday 22nd April 2010

Clive Balchin column: On a nice spring evening there’s nothing better than delivering election leaflets – well, for the first hundred houses or so!

Wake up and smell the Gravy Train!

11:42am Thursday 15th April 2010

Clive Balchin column: FAITHFUL readers will recall that I started training for the Manchester 10K on May 16.

We need to see candidates in the ring

2:17pm Thursday 8th April 2010

THEY’RE under starters orders, and they’re off!

You don’t have to be Carol Vorderman

11:53am Tuesday 6th April 2010

I WOULD like some new hardwood garden furniture, and Mrs B wouldn’t mind a new car. But we won’t be going on a spending spree.

I cannot believe their gullibility

12:01pm Thursday 25th March 2010

Clive Balchin column: Would you Adam and Eve it! Another week, another scandal at the Palace of Westminster.

Scary statistics on voting

12:00pm Thursday 25th March 2010

Clive Balchin column: Last week I wrote about the Apathy Party being the biggest in party politics, and the quest to find a candidate for Rossendale who is truly committed to the radical reform of Parliament.

The Apathy Party won and it’s so wrong

10:01am Thursday 11th March 2010

Clive Balchin column: Call me a saddo (‘Saddo’ echoes around the Valley), but I am really excited about April 13 and, no, it’s not my birthday (that’s July 22nd and cards with cheques enclosed will be gratefully received).

How have we ended up with so many takeaways?

3:16pm Thursday 4th March 2010

Clive Balchin column: During the past few weeks I have had reason to visit a number of East Lancashire towns, mainly at night.

Great – I’d be a 55-year-old free spirit

5:17pm Thursday 25th February 2010

Clive Balchin column: I recently got invited out to my pal Roger’s villa in Spain for a long weekend – mainly for ‘high level international business talks’, but there was a fair bit of R&R chucked in.

They’ve got me on run to lose weight

7:34pm Friday 19th February 2010

Clive Balchin column: I am afraid I am going to be more curmudgeonly than usual over the next few weeks.

Cold comfort from the kids who are cool

7:34pm Friday 12th February 2010

Clive Balchin column: What's up with our secondary school kids?

I loathe turbines with a passion

1:40pm Thursday 4th February 2010

Clive Balchin column: I'm going to have to come out of the closet and declare ‘I am a climate change denier!’

Let’s have a Local on cold snap

2:15pm Thursday 14th January 2010

Clive Balchin column: I was going to give Rossendale snow chaos a miss as there has already been a blizzard of opinions on the subject.

Let’s try to keep it local

5:00pm Monday 11th January 2010

Clive Balchin column: I thought we would start 2010 with a quiz. As you will be marking it yourself, I will have to put the Caribbean prize on hold.

The selfish few spoil it for the many

4:12pm Thursday 17th December 2009

Clive Balchin column: Without sounding like a pompous prig (hard for me, I know) I do try to be a good citizen.

Boy, it is hard to be good!

1:08pm Thursday 10th December 2009

Clive Balchin column: My next door neighbour Fred, invited me to a service being held at St Nicholas church in Newchurch the other day.

Get them out of there!

11:54am Thursday 3rd December 2009

Clive Balchin column: I have been watching ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ and it got me thinking that we could have a new game – “I’m a councillor and you elected me”.

Parents – strap in your kids!

10:30am Thursday 19th November 2009

Clive Balchin column: I am going to have to be careful with this column. Last week I got accused of baiting councillors.

Nice work if you can get it saga

2:41pm Thursday 12th November 2009

Clive Balchin column: At one time not long ago ordinary people from all walks of life stood for election because they wanted to put something back into the community or were keen to improve things.

Sixth-form plan should be a no-brainer

1:44pm Thursday 5th November 2009

Clive Balchin column: I hated being at school and yet the minute I left, I wanted to get back.

Don’t abuse your blue badge privileges

2:32pm Wednesday 28th October 2009

Clive Balchin column: I’m getting a bee in my bonnet about abuse of the blue badge parking scheme.

Two things voters shouldn't know

1:13pm Thursday 8th October 2009

Clive Balchin column: followed Leonard Entwistle’s campaign for a directly-elected mayor in Rossendale with some interest, I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t engaged with the local community.



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