Sunday, 20 July 2014

Day 146 - Tucklesholme

This morning, Sunday, together with a lot of people from the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, I visited Tucklesholme Quarry.

The quarry is between Barton under Needwood and Walton on Trent and very close to the River Trent.

At the moment, the quarry is in use for the extraction of sand and gravel. But in 2017 it will be turned into a beautiful nature reserve, a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife.

The borough council contributed £20,000 towards the project. Click on the image for the full size version.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Day 143 - Skating rink

Remember the skating rink in the market place? Bought by the Tories when they were in charge for £41,000 of public money. They then ran it for two winters and lost a further £6,000.

Average daily usage:
  • adults 3
  • children 13
  • no ice
  • no customers
  • no money
You wouldn't believe that Tory councillor Bernard Peters thought it a success.

Well the Labour/Independent council has cut its losses and the 'rink' has now been sold for £20,000. We can draw a line underneath it and move on.


Day 142 - acronyms

Off to Kidderminster, which is apparently halfway to Cornwall for a meeting of the GBSLEP Board. (Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership for those of you who are not yet up to speed.)

Agenda Item 4 - European Structural Investment Fund Governance, paragraph 12 started as follows:
There will be a requirement to work with CLG to ensure strategic fit of the ESIF projects to SEP and EU priorities; it is proposed that BCC provides the secretariat function for the ESIF Strategic Programme team which will support the work of the LEP Area Partnership. 

That’s seven acronyms in one sentence. There were four more in the next sentence -  a whopping 11 acronyms in the whole paragraph!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

They think it's all over - it is now

What do people do when there's no world cup on the telly. It's been a good tournament:
  • Suarez wanted to leave his mark on the world cup
  • Uruguay wanted more bite in attack
  • England wanted to play like Spain and nearly managed it
  • The Germans were ruthlessly efficient
  • Messi went missing
  • At least Scotland didn't qualify


So why does Burton's MP keep on saying that he has discussed Burton Market with me?
  1. He has never spoken to me about the market
  2. Nor phoned me
  3. Nor sent me a letter or an email
If he contacted me, we could talk about incentives to attract traders.

But I have heard nothing from him.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Day 140 - Bin tax

Back in January the Conservatives were still in charge of the council, they had a half a million pound hole in the council's budget.

So they were considering introducing a charge for emptying your brown bin. They said it would cost about £40 extra per household.

Yes £40 extra.

Then they lost control of the council. Suddenly they opposed the charge. It was a bad idea, a very bad idea, a stealth tax. They called it the 'brown bin tax.'

Even though it was their idea.

We set up an all-party working group to look into the issue. The Conservatives refused to be on the working group.

The working group looked at evidence and came to the conclusion that the 'brown bin tax' would hardly save any money.

So the Labour/Independent council have today agreed not to have a 'brown bin tax'.  But we will keep our promise of no extra council tax.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

FIFA World Cup

With just two clubs left in the competition, it's time to look at my predictions to see how I did.

What happened
· No new name on the trophy
No new name on the trophy – one of the eight teams that have won it before will win
· It won’t be England
Not England
· It won’t be Brazil
Not Brazil
· Watch out for Germany
Germany in final
· Watch out for Chile
Got to last 16 and lost on penalties
· Argentina have an easy draw
Argentina in final
· Dark horses to do well -Belgium
Got to last eight
· Holland peaked too soon
Holland scored 8 in first 2 games. Struggled to score after