Saturday, 9 June 2007

Catch up

Time to catch up I think.
Wednesday was my first meeting with other Scrutiny chairs at a meeting of the Co-ordinating committee. This is the committee that looks at the work the various committees are undertaking and makes sure there is no duplication of effort and also suggests work that should be undertaken.
I took the opportunity to pop down New Street to the Blood Donation Centre and give up half an armful. I had to take a break since last October as our trip to India in November meant I could not donate for 6 months after my return as India is a Malaria risk country. If anyone wants do do something to help others please think about blood donation, it requires little time or effort and you get free biscuits as well.
On Thursday I took a Ward day to catch up on casework. Housing queries make up most of the work with ASB not far behind. We had some travellers move onto the Egghill estate on Sunday but were gone by Wednesday. Unfortunately they only moved onto Cofton Park. It's the piles of rubbish they leave behind that costs us money to move, especially if they are involved in tar-maccing. I would not recommend anyone to use their services, if their price seems cheap there is a reason for that, they do a cheap job and you have no recourse against them. I believe they will move off quite quickly. There are a lot of jobs in Worcestershire coming up and they will want to move down there.
Thursday evening saw me at a meeting of the South Birmingham Young Homeless Project who do a lot of good work with young people who are in danger of becoming homeless or are homeless. Like all organisations they spend a lot of their time chasing funding but I was recently able to help out with their lease with BCC.
Straight from there to another meeting at Longbridge Technology Park with the Development Consultation Group. This is made up of local residents and organisations who have been advising on issues for some years. There is always a robust exchange of views and some diverse opinion at these meetings and this was no exception. This was the first meeting held in the new Innovation Building. The first of many to be built on the site, it already has some occupants and more moving in.
On Friday we had to drive down to Somerset to complete formalities and arrangements for the funeral next week. First we drove to Bridgewater to clear out the room in the residential home where Sylvia had lived for the last 3 years. Sydenham House is an excellent home with dedicated staff who work extremely hard for the oldsters in their care and we are grateful to them for the care they give. On then to Taunton to register the death. I was waiting for Sue to park the car and got chatting to a lady who turned out to be a Councillor, luckily a Conservative one. She was telling us that they had recently lost control over the issue of stock transfer. The Labour Party campaigned against it locally whilst knowing full well that if the County Council gets it's wish for the county to become a Unitary Authority local control of housing will be lost anyway. And people say the Lib-Dems are devious.
We then had to pick up Sue's brother, drive to Bridgewater to the funeral directors and the solicitors. We dropped Mike off back at Taunton and hit the M5 northwards. Luckily and clear journey back, dropped in to see some friends on the way and settled for fish and chips at about 9pm. A long day.
Today we are trying to catch up with gardening and housework. Tomorrow we are going to an engagement party and then off to the Civic Service at St Martins with the Lord Mayor.

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