On Wednesday Sue attended the Fostering Panel at Sheldon. As we have said before, this involves an enormous amount of reading in order to be fully conversant with the cases when they come up. When you are making decisions that affect children's lives it is an awesome responsibility and one which Sue takes very seriously. Some of the cases can be quite traumatic but this is balanced by some wonderful people who want to take responsibility for other people's children.
Keith meanwhile was carrying out Custody Visits to our 3 local police stations. This is nothing to do with the Council but is something Keith has done for some years. It involves going to custody suites and carrying out snap inspections. The idea is to ensure PICs (Persons in Custody) are receiving their rights and are being treated properly. We must remember their are no guilty people in custody. They have to be charged, tried and convicted first. This does not mean they are all innocent either, we do see the same faces quite often and on many ocassions we hear complaints which, when we check the custody record, turn out to be complete fiction. Still, Nils Desperandum. On this ocassion the police stations were very busy and the visits took quite some time. It may be the good weather that brings out the ne'erdowells and the drinkers who end up inside the next morning
That evening all 3 of us attended the Longbridge Ward Advisory Board. This is the body that advises us on how we spend Ward funds. We made decisions on roughly £70000of the £100000 we have to spend. At this rate we will be spent up by September.
Thursday evening we were all at the Police Neighbourhood Tasking Meeting in Rednal. This was considerably better than the first one and some real police issues came out of it. One of the problems is that these meetings mainly attract people from the immediate vicinity so we only get a limited number of issues from very close to the venue. We will continue to publicise these meeting in the hope of getting a wider audience.
On Friday evening Sue was out with the police and a sniffer dog on a visit to a local pub to see what the drugs situation is there. A clean bill of Health for the pub and the landlord was very welcoming.
Saturday saw Keith at Police Headquarters at Lloyd House for a seminar on preventing deaths in custody and the workings of the Terrorism Act. It is not generally known that terrorist suspects are just as entitled to a visit from a Custody Visitor as any one else in custody. As the police use a special custody suite in Coventry it is not something that will worry Keith much.
Sue and Ken meanwhile were out with the Flying Squad delivering our latest newsletter to people in Rednal. Keith was enjoying a nice cup of coffee and a biscuit when he looked out of the window and saw a tremendous downpour, he felt really guilty that he was there while all the others were out getting soaked and had to have another biscuit to help him feel better.