Friday, 25 July 2014

Day 151 - Out and about

I didn't mean to do this but today I've visited a few sites. Firstly I decided to look at the repair work on the Ferry Bridge (5) but first I visited the new public loos in Stapenhill Gardens. (1 and 2). A stroll through Stapenhill Gardens to the bridge, passing the Ferry Cottage (now inhabited) en route.

Then I headed for the Garden of Remembrance which needs a little TLC. (6) Then I looked at the lovely sensory garden (7). Not sure that it's called the sensory garden any more.

Finally this evening I met two residents at Brook Hollows, Rolleston. (8 and 9)


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Day 150

It is 150 days ago today and also coincidentally exactly five months today, since I became Leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council.

In that time I have attended somewhere around 122 meetings and just to celebrate the special day, this afternoon I was back at the Town Hall to chair a meeting of the Joint Parking Committee.

I think that there is general recognition that that area around the Queen's Hospital (visited yesterday) is the highest priority parking problem in the borough.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Day 149 - Belvedere Road site visit

Site visit to Belvedere Road opposite Queen's Hospital this afternoon with members of the public, County Councillor Shelagh McKiernan and county council officers. The purpose was to look at possible sites for parking for a residents' parking Zone. (RPZ)

This is not easy. Progressing but slowily.

Day 148 - Mental health event

Off to the Zen cafe for the mental health discussion event organised by Matt Long with Kevan Jones MP. Over 65 people there on a very hot day and standing room only. This shows how important the issue of mental health and the lack of adequate funding in the NHS is.  After a stuttering start, the meeting went very well.

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!