Sunday, 23 November 2014

Day 270 - Badger Trust

I suppose it is all the fault of Kenneth Grahame and his book Wind in the Willows. Many of us must have read it at school.  Toad is a nasty piece of work who escapes from prison dressed as a washer woman.  Do they still have washer women?

Badger on the other hand is cuddly. And nice. 

 No wonder 80 per cent of us oppose the culling of badgers.  Dominic Dyer, CEO of the Badger Trust came to talk to our Labour Party November meeting. very interesting it was too. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

Postcard from Rochester

I feel a little sorry for Emily Thornberry who had to resign as a Labour Shadow Minister for tweeting a picture of a house with two England flags hanging from upstairs windows and a white van on the drive.

The tweet read Image from Rochester - hardly a hanging offence.

What has happened to humour? Are politicians supposed to go around in grey suits? Have any of them smiled since the day Tony Blair resigned? 
At least it proved that Ms Thornberry was knocking on doors at yesterday's by-election.

So here's a photo from outside my house last summer. No white vans, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Parking issues - Conservatives get it all wrong

Parking issues - Conservatives get it all wrong
Last weekend the local Conservative Party issued a leaflet to homes near the hospital. Sadly, as you would expect from someone jumping on the bandwagon, the leaflet was has inaccuracies, mistakes and scare-mongering.

The leaflet refers to a proposal from East Staffordshire Borough Council for a residents parking zone:

This is nonsense:  the proposal is from the council that is responsible for highways –Conservative controlled Staffordshire County Council. The Conservative agent who is a county councillor should know this.

The leaflet says, “We think you should have a say over (a parking zone)”

This is scare-mongering. The county council will consult all local residents. A parking zone will only go ahead if there is 85 per cent support for the proposals

If the Conservatives had attended any of the many public meetings that we have held at the hospital they would know this too.

What is most disappointing is that the Conservatives are trying to turn the parking problems into a political football. The Labour Party has always tried to work across parties, for example when Liz Staples was county councillor for the area. This is because the solution has to be what local residents want, not what councillors want.

It is disappointing that the leaflet makes no mention of the local action group who are working hard with county council officers, county councillor Shelagh McKiernan and your borough councillors to find a workable and affordable solution.

Incidentally the Conservatives leaflet uses a photo taken directly from the Burton Mail website, apparently without asking permission! They couldn’t be bothered to go to the hospital and take a photo for themselves. How lazy is that?




Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Day 266 - Uttoxeter Leisure Centre

I had a brief tour of Uttoxeter Leisure Centre today to see how the work was coming along. everything is on time and it is due to re-open on 17 January.


Jimmy starts with a win

I must confess that the appointment of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager of Burton Albion was a bit of a surprise. But he was only 3 to 1 on SkyBET on November 1 so somebody must have known!

He fits the bill as a young, ambitious manager with Premiership playing experience and a little coaching/management experience. After winning his first game in charge at high-flying Wycombe, he looks a good signing.

Of course, one swallow doesn't make a summer but I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of passing and attacking football at the Pirelli. Go, Jimmy.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Day 266 - Coltman VC Peace Wood (2)

Day 266 - Coltman VC Peace Wood

Off to a cold Winshill this morning for the official opening of the Coltman VC Peace Wood. Bill Coltman was a local legend and war hero. He refused to fight and served as a stretcher bearer.

This did not prevent him from being the most decorated non-commissioned officer in the First World War, winning VC, DSO and bar and MM and bar.

It was a moving service conducted by my colleague Dennis Fletcher. The highlight was 94 children from Tower View Primary, Winshill each planting a cross to commemorate the 94 Winshill men killed in World War One.

The event was extremely well attended. Well done Winshill Parish Council.