Thursday, 6 September 2007

Gardens, offices and Brandwood.

On Sunday Sue & Keith went to Kings Heath Park for Gardener's Weekend. this is one of the city's most successful events. Luckily it wasn't as hot as previous years which made it so much easier to get around and spend money.
This has been a week for catching up after the holiday.
On Monday Keith spent most of the day in his new office answering several hundred e-mails and going over reports for the committee meeting. The table supplied for the room was too small for the number of people who come to pre-agenda meetings etc so a larger one has to be located. All the furniture is second hand by the way, or should that be "pre-used"? This is all part of Cllr Ian Dow's efforts to keep costs down. A stance which we fully support. As long as the furniture is in decent shape why should we spend tax payers money on new stuff?
Monday evening saw us at the Longbridge Ward Advisory Board. This is where decisions are made on spending of NRF. There was general agreement on all the issues and the meeting went well. Now we, that is the 3 Ward Councillors, have to formally agree the bids at Ward Committee, then they are assessed to death by officers, constituency performance board and in some cases the Cabinet Member and hopefully some of them will actually take place before next April.
Tuesday morning we attended a meeting of the Great Park Business Group. There was a lot of good news about the continuing fall in crime figures for the park. From being the worst in Birmingham the car parks have gone to being among the best with car crime falling off the scale. The businesses have also seen their trade increase sharply since the security measures were put in place and it is hoped they can be increased soon. A Business Watch scheme is to be put in place which will see trouble makers banned from all the businesses on Great Park and it is hoped this will continue the success in attracting families back to the area.
That evening a group of us went over to Brandwood for a canvassing exercise. This was extremely positive and we remain confident in retaining the seat.
Wednesday saw Keith again in the Council House for a pre-agenda meeting for his committee.
There is a really heavy workload for this year, not least because of the Government's "Care Matters" white paper. This will undoubtedly lead to more responsibilities for us but without the money to carry them out. Same old same old.
Today Sue has gone to Keele University to do some recruitment work for the BMA. She still keeps her hand in by doing a little bit of work for them.
Keith is again going over the mountain of reports for his committee but has promised to attend a meting of "Youth Aware" at Hampstead House to see if he can help in any way.

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