Thursday, 13 March 2008

Cigarettes n' whisky n' wild, wild, wimmen!

Older readers will recognise the song. It is about wild living dragging a man down. The budget seems a bit of a contradiction, the government introduced 24 hr drinking which has resulted in an increase in binge drinking and alcohol fuelled violence and now wants to try to tax it out of existence. They seemed to think we would adopt the continental mode of sitting outside cafes sipping an aperitif. We are of course of Anglo-Saxon stock and they were notorious for drinking themselves unconscious and then starting again. But then this government does tend to ignore the lessons of history.
This has been a varied week. On Monday Keith attended the Cabinet to talk about the Birmingham Children's Plan. This is good news for all our kids but just needs a tiny bit of fine-tuning.
On Tuesday there was a meeting of Northfield Community Safety Partnership. There were some excellent figures on the reduction of crime. We still maintain that low level anti-social behaviour is the main concern of residents and needs the 2 pronged approach of cracking down on the yobs and providing more facilities for youngsters. That evening we went to the Meadows school for a meeting with residents of School Close who are suffering from anti-social behaviour. The police were there in strength and hopefully we can get something done and give them some peace. Our Labour Councillor turned up and showed his ignorance of the problems. He also put his new leaflet on all the seats but only about 2 were picked up. It is quite a poor leaflet but then he hasn't put one out for over 4 years and he has to introduce himself to the thousands of people who have never heard of him.
On Wednesday Keith caught an early train to London for an LGA conference on Children's Services which looked at the latest research, methodology and legislation affecting the services for children with disabilities in the near future. A really interesting day but why are conference halls so hot? Back on a hot train to a hot Council House for an update on the Local Area Agreement. This seems to have had the difficult and surprising affect of annoying Councillors from all parties. Ructions ahead.
Sue was at the Fostering Panel for most of the day. This involves the most incredible amount of reading for days beforehand on some really complex cases but Sue does enjoy it. She was also at the LAA meeting and we took the opportunity to go for a curry afterwards at a local place in Alvechurch Road. An excellent restaurant called Thania Spice, we can recommend it.