Monday was a "ward day" which we use to catch up on all the casework, letters and e-mails we need to answer. Casework varies greatly from serious cases which involve disruption to peoples lives to general moans and complaints about council services. One of the more numerous complaints is about the way people get passed around the system or the feeling that nothing gets done when they phone up and complain. We get annoyed because if we ring up and say the magic word "Councillor" things get done quickly. Why can't it be the same for all residents?
On Tuesday Keith went to Northfield Fire Station for a meeting of the Northfield Community Safety Partnership. This involves a multi-agency team which generally addresses crime and public safety concerns across the constituency. Some good news, crime figures are well down since April apart from wounding. This usually refers to assaults due to drink or domestic violence and needs some work to bring about an improvement. The security improvements at the Great Park have made a big difference to other categories.
Sue met up with the senior Parks Manager to discuss various issues. He is really helpful but as always is constrained by a tight budget. The Government always trumpet the increases in the grant they give us but always fail to mention that a big chunk of it has to be found from efficiency savings from our own budget. Another smoke and mirrors trick.
Later that day Keith was off to Bromsgrove to a board meeting of the Central Technology Belt. A strange name for what is the "Investment vehicle for Hereford & Worcester & Birmingham". It used to be the A38 Technology Corridor. Still we seem to impress AWM who tell us that our results far outstrip the other two "corridors" together.
Wednesday saw Keith at the Central Library for the launch of E-Voice Birmingham, a free system which allows community groups to set up their own web-sites. We will be giving it a go so watch this space for details. Later Keith was at the Education Committee where some of the "efficiency savings" were discussed. Sue was left with the really interesting job of printing hundreds of letters and stuffing them into envelopes for posting. These concerned the bush shelter we told you about a few days ago and a court case about an off license we opposed. The police got some really tough conditions attached to the license so the appeal was allowed. Not the result we wanted but the best we could expect. That evening we went to the meeting of Frankley Housing Liaison Board. One of the subject was some of the new bus shelters Sue got put in on Ormond Road. The mindless morons have already started to ruin them. I wonder what their own homes look like? Perhaps when we catch one of them we could all go into their homes and spray paint the interiors. I wonder what their parents would say to that.