House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
2015 United Kingdom general election
The 2015 United Kingdom general election was held on 7 May 2015 to elect 650 members to the House of Commons. It was the first general election at the end of a fixed-term Parliament. Local elections took place in most areas on the same day. Polls and commentators had predicted the outcome would be too close to call and would result in a second hung parliament similar to the 2010 election. Opinion polls were proven to have underestimated the Conservative vote as the party unexpectedly won an outright majority, which bore resemblance to its victory at the 1992 general election. Having governed in coalition with the Liberal Democrats since 2010, the Conservatives won 330 seats and 36.9% of the vote, this time winning a working majority of twelve seats. The British Polling Council began an inquiry into the substantial variance between opinion polls and the actual result. Forming the first Conservative majority government since 1992, David Cameron became the first Prime Minister to continue in office after a term of at least four years with a larger popular vote share since 1900, the only Prime Minister other than Margaret Thatcher to continue in office after a term of at least four years with a greater number of seats.
The Labour Party, led by Ed Miliband, saw a small increase in its share of the vote to 30.4%, but incurred a net loss of seats to return 232 MPs. This was its lowest seat tally since the 1987 general election. Senior Labour Shadow Cabinet members, notably Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, were defeated; the Scottish National Party, enjoying a surge in support since the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, recorded a number of huge swings of over 30% from Labour, as it won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats to become the third-largest party in the Commons. The Liberal Democrats, led by outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, had their worst result since their formation in 1988, holding just eight out of their previous 57 seats with Cabinet ministers Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Danny Alexander losing their seats. UKIP came third in terms of votes with 12.6%, but only won one seat, with party leader Nigel Farage failing to win the seat of South Thanet. The Green Party won its highest-ever share of the vote with 3.8%, retained the Brighton Pavilion seat with an increased majority, though did not win any additional seats.
Labour's Miliband and Murphy both resigned. Farage said that his resignation was rejected by his party, he remained in post. In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party returned to the Commons with two MPs after a five-year absence, while the Alliance Party lost its only seat despite an increase in total vote share; the Conservative majority meant that Cameron was able to fulfil a manifesto commitment to renegotiate British membership of the European Union. That renegotiation was followed by a referendum in June 2016, which resulted in a majority of 51.9% voting to withdraw from the European Union, led to the resignation of Cameron as Prime Minister. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 led to the dissolution of the 55th Parliament on 30 March 2015 and the scheduling of the election on 7 May, the House of Commons not having voted for an earlier date. There were local elections on the same day in most of England, with the exception of Greater London. No other elections were scheduled to take place in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, apart from any local by-elections.
All British and Commonwealth citizens over the age of 18 on the date of the election were permitted to vote. In general elections, voting takes place in all parliamentary constituencies of the United Kingdom to elect members of parliament to seats in the House of Commons, the dominant house of Parliament; each parliamentary constituency of the United Kingdom elects one MP to the House of Commons using the "first-past-the-post" system. If one party obtains a majority of seats that party is entitled to form the Government. If the election results in no single party having a majority there is a hung parliament. In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition government. Although the Conservative Party planned the number of parliamentary seats to be reduced from 650 to 600, through the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies under the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the review of constituencies and reduction in seats was delayed by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 amending the 2011 Act.
The next boundary review is now set to take place in 2018. Of the 650 constituencies, 533 were in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern Ireland. In addition, the 2011 Act mandated a referendum in 2011 on changing from the current "first-past-the-post" system to an alternative vote system for elections to the Commons; the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition agreement committed the coalition government to such a referendum. The referendum was resulted in the retention of the existing voting system. Before the previous general election the Liberal Democrats had pledged to change the voting system, the Labour Party pledged to have a referendum about any such change; the Conservatives, promised to keep the first-past-the-post system, but to reduce the number of constituencies by 10%. Liberal Democrat plans were to reduce the number of MPs to 500, for them to be elected using a proportional system. Ministe
Capenhurst is a village and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester and the ceremonial county of Cheshire and located on the Wirral Peninsula to the south west of the town of Ellesmere Port. According to the 2001 Census, Capenhurst had a population of 237, increasing to 380 at the 2011 Census. Capenhurst was a township in Shotwick Parish of the Wirral Hundred and included parts of the hamlets of Dunkirk and Two Mills; the population was 147 in 1801, 148 in 1851, 159 in 1901 and 253 in 1951. Capenhurst is home to a uranium enrichment plant owned by Urenco Group. A new Tails Management Facility is expected to be commissioned in 2018. Adjacent, but separate from this is the Capenhurst Technology Park; this contains EA Technology, other spin-off companies. Capenhurst village has its own railway station, on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network; the local amateur football team, Capenhurst Villa, play in the Carlsberg West Cheshire League. The local Rugby Union team play in the South Lancs & Cheshire Division 3.
The village has a cricket club consisting of two Saturday sides that play in Div 3 & 5W of the Cheshire Cricket Alliance. All three sports teams share Pavilion. In 1999 the journalist Duncan Campbell published claims that a 50 metre high tower on the premises of the uranium enrichment plant had been used to intercept telephone calls transmitted by microwave between the British Telecom towers at Gwaenysgor and Pale Heights, near Chester. Campbell claimed that the interception was conducted by the Government Communications Headquarters from a temporary installation on the roof of the plant until commissioning of the tower in 1990; the main route for phone calls between Ireland and the United Kingdom was via the submarine fibre optic cable UK-Ireland 1, landed at Holyhead, Anglesey transmitted by a microwave link. Campbell claimed that calls were monitored by GCHQ until 1998 when the Irish telecommunication system was changed; the tower was demolished in 2004. Listed buildings in Capenhurst Holy Trinity Church, Capenhurst Photos of tower Alan Turnbull's page on the tower Richard Lamont's page on the tower hackHull?
- Capenhurst Tower
Aldford is a village and former civil parish, now in the parish of Aldford and Saighton, in the county of Cheshire, south of Chester. In 2001 it had a population of 213; the civil parish was abolished in 2015 to form Saighton. The village lies on the east bank of the River Dee; the Aldford Brook joins the Dee just north of the village. Most of the building stock was constructed as a designed village in the middle of the 19th century by Sir Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, in rectangular form. A number of buildings in the village were designed by the architect John Douglas; these include the Grade II listed the Grosvenor Arms public house. The remains of Aldford Castle consisting of earthworks and a few fragments of stone can be found to the north of the church; the River Dee outside the village is crossed by the Aldford Iron Bridge, built in 1824 by William Hazledine for the 1st Marquis. Iron Bridge Lodge, adjacent to this bridge, was designed by Douglas & Fordham in 1894 and is listed Grade II.
Eaton Hall and the Roman road Watling Street are outside the village. Listed buildings in Aldford Aldford Hall Aldford Iron Bridge
1918 United Kingdom general election
The 1918 United Kingdom general election was called after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War, was held on Saturday, 14 December 1918. The governing coalition, under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, sent letters of endorsement to candidates who supported the coalition government; these were nicknamed "Coalition Coupons", led to the election being known as the "coupon election". The result was a massive landslide in favour of the coalition, comprising the Conservatives and Coalition Liberals, with massive losses for Liberals who were not endorsed. Nearly all the Liberal M. P.s without coupons were defeated, although party leader H. H. Asquith managed to return to Parliament in a by-election, it was the first general election to include on a single day all eligible voters of the United Kingdom, although the vote count was delayed until 28 December so that the ballots cast by soldiers serving overseas could be included in the tallies. It resulted in a landslide victory for the coalition government of David Lloyd George, who had replaced H. H. Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916.
They were both Liberals and continued to battle for control of the party, fast losing popular support and never regained power. It was the first general election to be held after enactment of the Representation of the People Act 1918, it was thus the first election in which women over the age of 30, all men over the age of 21, could vote. All women and many poor men had been excluded from voting. Women showed enormous patriotism, supported the coalition candidates, it was the first parliamentary election in which women were able to stand as candidates following the Parliament Act 1918, believed to be one of the shortest Acts of Parliament given Royal Assent. The Act was passed shortly, it followed a report by Law Officers that the Great Reform Act 1832 had specified parliamentary candidates had to be male and that the Representation of the People Act passed earlier in the year did not change that. One women, Nina Boyle, had presented herself for a by election earlier in the year in Keighley but had been turned down by the returning officer on technical grounds.
The election was noted for the dramatic result in Ireland, which showed clear disapproval of government policy. The Irish Parliamentary Party were completely wiped out by the Irish republican party Sinn Féin, who vowed in their manifesto to establish an independent Irish Republic, they refused to take their seats in Westminster, instead forming a breakaway government and declaring Irish independence. The Irish War of Independence began soon after the election. Lloyd George's coalition government was supported by the majority of the Liberals and Bonar Law's Conservatives. However, the election saw a split in the Liberal Party between those who were aligned with Lloyd George and the government and those who were aligned with Asquith, the party's official leader. On 14 November it was announced that Parliament, sitting since 1910 and had been extended by emergency wartime action, would dissolve on 25 November, with elections on 14 December. Following confidential negotiations over the summer of 1918, it was agreed that certain candidates were to be offered the support of the Prime Minister and the leader of the Conservative Party at the next general election.
To these candidates a letter, known as the Coalition Coupon, was sent, indicating the government's endorsement of their candidacy. 159 Liberal, 364 Conservative, 20 National Democratic and Labour, 2 Coalition Labour candidates received the coupon. For this reason the election is called the Coupon Election.80 Conservative candidates stood without a coupon. Of these, 35 candidates were Irish Unionists. Of the other non-couponed Conservative candidates, only 23 stood against a Coalition candidate; the Labour Party, led by William Adamson, fought the election independently, as did those Liberals who did not receive a coupon. The election was not chiefly fought over what peace to make with Germany, although those issues played a role. More important was the voters' evaluation of Lloyd George in terms of what he had accomplished so far and what he promised for the future, his supporters emphasised. Against his strong record in social legislation, he called for making "a country fit for heroes to live in".
This election was known as a khaki election, due to the immediate postwar setting and the role of the demobilised soldiers. The coalition won the election with the Conservatives the big winners, they were the largest party in the governing majority. Lloyd George remained Prime Minister, despite the Conservatives outnumbering his pro-coalition Liberals; the Conservatives welcomed his leadership on foreign policy as the Paris Peace talks began a few weeks after the election. An additional 47 Conservatives, 23 of whom were Irish Unionists, won without the coupon but did not act as a separate block or oppose the government except on the issue of Irish independence. While most of the pro-coalition Liberals were re-elected, Asquith's faction was reduced to just 36 seats and lost all their leaders from parliament. Nine of these MPs subsequently joined the Coalition Liberal group; the remainder became bitter enemies of Lloyd George. The Labour Party increased its vote share and surpassed the total votes of either Liberal party.
Labour became the Official Opposition for the first time, but they lacked an official leader and so the Leader of the Opposition for the next fourteen months was the stand-in Liberal leader Donald Maclean (Asquith
1929 United Kingdom general election
The 1929 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 30 May 1929, resulted in a hung parliament. It was the second of four general elections under the secret ballot and the first of three under universal suffrage in which a party lost the popular vote but gained a plurality of seats—the others of the four being 1874, 1951 and February 1974. In 1929 that party was Ramsay MacDonald's Labour Party, which won the most seats in the House of Commons for the first time, but failed to get an overall majority; the Liberal Party led by David Lloyd George regained some of the ground it had lost in the 1924 election, held the balance of power. The election was referred to as the "Flapper Election", because it was the first election in which women aged 21–29 were allowed to vote, under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1928; the election was fought against a background of rising unemployment, with the memory of the 1926 general strike still fresh in voters' minds. By 1929, the Cabinet was being described by many as "old and exhausted".
The Liberals campaigned on a comprehensive programme of public works under the title "We Can Conquer Unemployment". The incumbent Conservatives campaigned on the theme of "Safety First", with Labour campaigning on the theme of "Labour & the Nation"; the 1929 election was the first general election to be contested by the newly formed Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru. This election would be the last time that a non-Labour or Conservative force polled more than one-fifth of the nationwide popular vote until 1983. All comparisons are with the 1924 election. In some cases, the change is owing to the MP having defected to the gaining party, retaining the seat in 1929; such circumstances are marked with a *. In other circumstances, the change is owing to the seat having been won by the gaining party in a by-election in the intervening years, retained in 1929; such circumstances are marked with a †. MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1929 Constituency election results in the United Kingdom general election, 1929 Howell, MacDonald's Party: Labour Identities and Crisis, 1922–1939, Oxford Redvaldsen, David, "'Today is the Dawn': The Labour Party and the 1929 General Election", Parliamentary History, 29: 395–415 Williamson, Philip, "'Safety First': Baldwin, the Conservative Party and the 1929 General Election", Historical Journal, 25: 385–409 United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979 1929 Conservative manifesto 1929 Labour manifesto 1929 Liberal manifesto
Blacon is a large suburb in Chester, containing a mixture of private homes and substantial public council-built properties which are made up of houses and bunglows for those less able. At one time it contained one of the largest council housing estates in Europe, but this estate is now owned and maintained by the Sanctuary Group in partnership with Cheshire West & Chester Council. Blacon has a working relationship with similar suburb'Lache', although the Lache is not owned by the Sanctuary group, like Blacon, is smaller. Blacon is situated adjacent to the Welsh border and is located on a hill, one mile to the north-west of, overlooking Chester; the village is built on what was farming land and is surrounded by open countryside. Blacon has views across to the city centre of Chester and to the Welsh hills some twenty miles to the west. Other nearby places include Upton by Chester to the north and Mollington to the north-west, Newtown to the north-east and the border town of Saltney to the south.
Blacon has a close proximity to the Wirral. It is 12 miles away from the village Overpool. Blacon was known as Blakon Hill and was owned by the Marquess of Crewe; the Parish of Blacon cum Crabwall was formed in 1923, on 1 April 1936, under the Cheshire County Review Order, 1936, most of the parish was transferred to Chester County Borough. It was a small farming village community until major building work by Chester City Council began in the early 1950s. Most of the older and original estate, was built in the ten years to 1960. In 2015, the Parade Enterprise Centre opened, a joint venture between Avenue Services and Cheshire West and Chester Council; the Parade Enterprise Centre houses Sanctuary Housing, Blacon Library, as well as a community hall and various other offices for local businesses. The British Army maintained an army camp in south Blacon, from just before, to just after, the Second World War. A mixture of wooden and'Nissen' huts were occupied by soldiers until the late 1950s. Blacon Camp housed various military operations, containing war prisoners at the time.
This part of Blacon is referred to as'The Camp' by local residents. The Blacon Together Pathfinder was established in 2001 as part of the first round of Pathfinders and subsequently the Blacon community took part in many initiatives, led by the government's Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Programme, a number of projects have been established by, for, Blacon residents. Progress to improve the estate continues apace, with work done by the Blacon Community Trust in partnership with the Chester and District Housing Trust forming'The Blacon Alliance'. Blacon is home to the new headquarters of the Western Division of the Cheshire Constabulary. St. Theresa's Catholic Primary School J H Godwin Primary School Dee Point Primary School Highfield Community Primary School The Arches Community Primary School Blacon High School a specialist Sports College school Building Young People's Potential – formerly: Blacon Young Peoples Project Bishop's School Charles Kingsley Secondary School for Girls There are several places of worship in Blacon to cater for Christian and Asian/Muslim faiths.
Holy Trinity-Without-The-Walls is the Church of England parish church. There is a Shah Jalal Mosque on Clifton Drive to the south of the suburb. Blacon Cemetery was laid out in 1940, during the Second World War, when two plots, in Sections A and H, were set aside for service burials; the cemetery's first interment took place on 20 December 1941. The cemetery contains in all the war graves of 461 Commonwealth service personnel, including an unidentified Royal Air Force airman, 97 war graves of other nationalities that are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; the plot in Section A was a Royal Air Force regional cemetery for air personnel from bases in Cheshire and neighbouring counties, while members of other armed services were buried in Section H. In 1965 Chester Crematorium, built with garden of remembrance adjoining Section A, was opened; the original chapel was replaced with a new larger chapel, built alongside it and opened in April 2013. The site of the older building, after its demolition, has been utilised as a memorial garden.
Blacon station was served from Chester Northgate Station, but was closed to passengers on 9 September 1968 as part of the'Beeching Axe' for the economic modernisation of the British railway network in the mid-1960s. Freight trains ran through Blacon until 20 April 1984, resuming as a single track line on 31 August 1986 before closing again in the early 1990s. Although the old station and railway line have gone, they have been replaced with a tarmac road surface, which now provides a cycle path, jogging track and a countryside walkway; this amenity is accessed from the side of old Blacon station bridge. Other joined. In 2008, a volunteer group headed up by Stephen Perry in association with the Blacon Community Trust began to raise support for a major improvement of the Blacon Railway