Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Chuka Umunna


Chuka Umunna always speaks well; relaxed, confident, comfortable in any environment.
Truly a rising star in the party. Chuka has been the Shadow Business Secretary since 2011.
The next leader? Or the next but one?

Labour Local Launch - Leeds

Went to Leeds this morning.

Here's Harriet Harman in full flow. Also Hilary Benn, Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and Michael Dugher spoke.

Main issues are:
  • transport
  • devolution
  • devolved finance

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Pie in the sky

So the Conservatives plan to introduce free car parking if they win control of the council in the 7 May elections. Then they qualify this by saying when we can.

What sort of promise is that? This year? Next year? Some time? Never?

A bit like the promise of a new Town Hall, a new Tesco and a new leisure centre.

Incidentally the income from the council's car parks in the next financial year is £1,143,255 or nearly 10 per cent of the council's total budget. 

Seems like the act of a party desperate for a sound bite who recognise that the Labour/Independent council is better run than it ever was under the Conservatives.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Griffiths shows he likes a fight - ordered to leave the chamber

Two MPs nearly came to blows in the Commons in a row over a 'bitch' jibe aimed at Employment Minister Esther McVey.
Tory Andrew Griffiths, 44, and Labour's Ronnie Campbell, 71, squared up to each other – with Mr Campbell challenging Mr Griffiths to 'get outside'.
The row came after Tory Ms McVey was targeted by Labour over her role in welfare cuts.
She accused Labour's John McDonnell of having asked people in her Merseyside constituency to 'lynch the bitch'.
Employment Minister Esther McVey accused a Labour MP of asking people in her constituency to 'lynch the bitch'. Tory Andrew Griffiths and Labour's Ronnie Campbell then squared up to each other
As Labour MPs mocked Ms McVey, Mr Griffiths demanded that Mr Campbell stop laughing at her.
Then they left their seats and confronted each other, resulting in Serjeant-at-Arms Lawrence Ward, the sword-carrying official in charge of Commons security, ordering them to leave the chamber.
They continued their feud in the Members' Lobby before going their separate ways.
The row was sparked after Speaker John Bercow had taunted Ms McVey during a debate, saying she sounded like 'a washing machine that does not stop'.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Amazing game at the Pirelli last night.


Another good win for the Brewers

Tranmere Rovers 1 Burton Albion 4

Spot the ball.

Even here you can see three Albion players totally unmarked in the Tranmere penalty area.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Grant Aid Scheme

Every year East Staffordshire Borough Council gives nearly a quarter of a million pounds in grants to voluntary sector organisations in the borough through the Grant Aid scheme.

Organisations are asked to submit bids for funding.  Each year some new organisations make bids while others drop out. A record number of applications were received this year, totalling over half a million pounds - about twice the money available.

There have been no cuts to the Grant Aid Scheme this year, despite the Conservative–led government cutting its grant to the borough council by around £900,000. In fact there has been a small rise in the total grant.

Each application was evaluated across a range of factors including the described need and the benefit of the project or service to East Staffordshire’s communities.  The bids were evaluated independently by a team of people. 

These were difficult decisions. That is why it as important to judge each bid impartially on its merits. In a competitive bidding scheme, some organisations will do better than last year. Some will not do as well. 

The successful organisations for 2015/16 are: Age UK Burton, Art and Soul, Burton upon Trent and District YMCA, Burton Caribbean Association, Burton Youth for Christ, CREST, Careline, Donna Louise Trust, East Staffordshire Citizens Advice Bureau, Harvey Girls, Home-Start East Staffordshire, Pulse for Music, Re-Solv, SARAC and Support Staffordshire (East Staffordshire) who will all continue to receive funding. 
In addition, eight organisations are newly funded by Grant Aid in 2015/16: BrightFutures Un-Ltd, Derventio Housing Trust, Eagle’s Nest Project, Golden-Oldies Charity, Relate Derby and Southern Derbyshire, Rolleston Pre-School, Sherratt’s Wood CIC and The Eaton Foundation.

Andrew Griffiths MP has criticised the allocation of funds in this scheme.

  • This is a typical knee-jerk reaction, looking at individual projects and not at the whole picture.
  • The method for judging bids is the same as last year when the Conservatives were in control.
  • It is ironic that Mr Griffiths should complain about grants allocated to Burton YMCA when the Conservative-led Staffordshire County Council has cut £180,000 from its grant to the Burton YMCA.