Saturday, 20 September 2014

Day 208 - Able Too Games

Of the the Meadowside this morning to see the Able Too Games. It was great to see so many people making light of their disabilities. Well done everybody. Also thanks to the Burton Consolidated Charities for sponsoring the event.
Right - circus skills. Riding a penny-farthing. You won't catch me up there.

Event was opened by the mayor (below)

Friday, 19 September 2014

Hospital Forum

A good meeting last Wednesday. Progress is being made towards a Controlled Parking Zone. The next stage is to contact local residents to gauge support.

Next meeting: Wednesday 10 December 6.30 pm

Referendum north of the border

I must confess that until this week I was a bit bored by the Scottish referendum. Here was an election that was nothing to do with me.  In the end I was quite excited.  

But I don't think the English (Cameron, Miliband, Clegg) should tell Scots how to vote. They are big enough to decide for themselves. Scottish politicans such as Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling were bound to have more impact.

But I can now reveal that I asked if the Saltire could be flown above the Town Hall on Thursday, as a sign of support the union and a reminder that it was referendum day. This followed a request from Jim McMahon, leader of Olham Council and leader of the Labour LGA (Local Government Association).

Unfortunately the council had no saltire flag so it didn't happen. It's amazing how hard it is to buy a flag when you want one.

Now to hear what powers will be given to English regions, if any.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

R.I.P. Edie

Twenty odd years ago, the Horninglow Labour Party branch held a weekly fund-raising bingo at Carver Road Community Centre.  Edie Rayner (who died recently aged 90 and whose funeral was yesterday) and her daughter Pam were two of our helpers. 

One day Edie informed me that the main organiser (we’ll call her Mrs D) had her ‘hand in the till’. After collecting evidence, I came to the conclusion that Edie was almost certainly right but could I prove it?

 As treasurer, I then had the very difficult job of putting these accusations to Mrs D, who of course denied them all.

So I said that I would sit next to her at the next bingo, checking every penny in and every penny out to ‘clear her name.’ Mrs D reluctantly agreed to this. The next day I received a letter from Mrs D through my front door regaining as organiser.

The following Monday, Edie, Pam and I ran the bingo. It was a steep learning curve for me – I knew nothing about bingo. But I can count. Under Mrs D the bingo raised around £5 to £10 a week. Our first bingo with Pam and Edie in charge raised over £100.

Over the next seven years Edie and Pam (and a few other helpers and I) raised literally tens of thousands of pounds. Thanks, Edie. Thanks, Pam.

As for Mrs D, I was not surprised when I heard that she had been running a bingo in a South Derbyshire village and had been kicked out for fiddling the books.

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Ferry Bridge – black and white or plum?

Burton’s Ferry Bridge was originally painted bottle green when it was built in 1889. Later it was painted in plum and gardenia – the colours of the Burton County Borough.  Older Burtonians will recall that the town’s buses and other vehicles as well as the Ferry Bridge were painted in this plum colour.

In the late 1960s that bridge was repainted in its current black and white colours.

At its recent first meeting, the Ferry Bridge Working Group discussed possible colours for the bridge. English Heritage representative Alan Taylor said the exact colours will be found when the current paint is removed and taken back to the bare metal as part of the renovation works.

Then English Heritage are likely to make the decision as to which set of colours should be used to repaint the bridge. The county council will need to get planning permission for the renovation works, which will be made on the advice of English Heritage.  

Amongst the group there was support for both black and white and plum and gardenia. The group were shown photos of a green model of the bridge shown previously in the Burton Mail but there was no support for the bottle green colour.

It was hinted that plum might be the favoured colour.

No surprise as county council consider St Modwen's to stay as a school

The news that St Modwen's School in Belvoir Road may continue to be used as a school is hardly a surprise. The county council need to find hundreds of extra primary school places. There is an empty school in Belvoir Road. It would appear to be a no-brainer.

However there are issues. The Scientia Academy has opened bringing with it new traffic and parking the area. Problems with parking at the hospital continue. If the county council want to have a new school in Belvoir Road, they will have to prove that the local roads can cope with extra traffic. This will be very difficult.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Day 192 - Police and Crime Commissioner

Six o’clock and I was at the Town Hall to hear Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Staffordshire, Matthew Ellis reporting back to his constituents - all 21 of them. Someone pointed out that this was only slightly less than the turnout at the election for PCC in November 2012. By quarter past it had increased to 27.

Matthew has clearly made some changes in the way police work and financial savings. But would this have happened without elected PCCs that seem unpopular and a waste of money?