Saturday, 22 November 2008

Stealth Tax??

Ken is really starting to get into his scrutiny positions now with Housing being one of them. At the recent scrutiny meeting he was horrified to find out that every week from the rent paid by our council tenants an average of £13.50 is taken by the government - and to make it worse the government will want nearly £17.00 per week from next year ! Birmingham City Council have written to the Labour Government Minister for housing highlighting that this money should stay in Birmingham for the benefit of Birminghams Council Housing and nothing else. We will post the response if and when we get one.

Frankley All Out Day

While Keith and Sue are enjoying their Pearl Wedding break Ken has been busy across the Ward. Ken says "You dont realise just how much work there is until you have to do it all yourself - I will be pleased when they get back !". Thankfully PPC Keely Huxtable has also been helping in the Ward handling some of the Advice Bureaux.
On Friday 14th November the Frankley All Out Day was held. This was arranged working with residents and the Parish Council in Frankley utilising funds allocated by Longbridge Ward from the Community Chest fund.
The day was got off to a great start with some tea and cake. Police were on hand to provide advice on Crime Prevention, the Fire Brigade were fitting smoke alarms and our hard working neighbourhood team removed nearly 2 tons of rubbish as well as cutting back hedges and removing graffiti. The teams were helped by residents and Parish Councillors as well so it was a real team effort and a great success with more of the same to follow. Thanks go to everyone who put in a lot of hard work to make sure it all went off smoothly. Ken and Keely took the the opportunity to see what its like to remove graffiti and as the photos show they were soon getting stuck in. Both Ken and Keely certainly got a kick out of removing the TAGS that blight our walls across the Ward.

Keely gets stuck in

Ken gets stuck in and wet !!

Ah the cake !!!

Parish Councillor Eric Carter, with Urn aided by Penny Moore who did the cake

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

With Baroness Warsi

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John Hemming MP addresses the meeting

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Dance troupe

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Diwali celebrations

Later that afternoon we went to Millenium Point for the Diwali celebrations as guests of the Hindu Council of Birmingham. There were a great deal of attractions outside but a deluge rather put a dampener on things. We heard some very good speeches and afterwards met Baroness Warsi the Conservative spokeswoman in the Lords.

Marines, hard or what!

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Here come the brasshats

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On parade


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Remembrance Service

On Sunday all three of us attended the Remembrance Service at Hall of Memory.
It was a very cold day but as usual it was very well attended. Afterwards to the Council House for a warm and some refreshments.

Friday, 7 November 2008

A very spry Centernarian.

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Council meeting

Things got a bit heated at Tuesday's meeting. Keith asked Cllr John Lines a question on housing and a guy in the public chamber started shouting at him. He is apparently a member of a group who are squatting on a site in Balsall Heath where he is demanding we build houses. He does not appear to be employed himself so we suppose he wants everyone else to pay for them. Isn't it amazing that those who won't pay always have the biggest demands. The "something for nothing" tendency are still alive and well. We are not sure how linked this parasite is to senior members of the Labour Group but rumours abound. Anyway after a 10 minute break we went back in and carried on. Let's hope he is banned from future meetings.
Keith also seconded a motion on skills and manufacturing and later spoke during Len Gregory's report on Highways and Street Services.
The next day Keith went off to Warwick University to an "awayday", surely that should be an "awaynight" as we stayed over.
Today we had another highlight! Sue and Keith went to Callowbrook Day centre to present a cake to a lady who is celebrating her 100th birthday. Her name is Gertrude but she prefers Trudy, and why not. We hope to attend many more centenery's in the future.
On Sunday morning we will be attending the Remembrance Service followed in the afternoon by a Diwali celebration at Millenium Point. It is a varied life.

Sue at Wembley

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In the Lord Mayor's seat.

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Will with the Lord Mayor & Lady Mayoress

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Les Ferdinand

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Meetings, meetings and yes, more meetings.

We won't bore you with every meeting we attend. Most of them are held monthly so you will have read about them previously. We will try a edited version bringing you the "highlights".
On Thursday Sue was off to Wembley as a guest of the FA no less. This was in connection with the KICKZ project and an awards ceremony. Sue got to meet Les Ferdinand and one of the lads from Solihull KICKZ picked up an award. (Pic to follow)
The highlight of Keith's week was to be invited to the Lord Mayor's Parlour for tea with Cllr Rashid Chaudry and the Lady Mayoress and a local family that they had met at the inaugaration of the Balaam's Wood Local Nature Reserve. The yougest member of the family, Will, made such an impression when he presented a posy to the Lady Mayoress that they instantly became firm friends and this was the Lord Mayor's thank you. Afterwards Keith showed them around the Council House and Will was very impressed with the Council Chamber and the Lord Mayor's seat.

Silver Wedding

Congratulations to Mandy & Bill Hollis who last week celebrated their Silver Wedding at the Reaside Centre, Frankley. Bill and Mandy are local stalwarts who work tirelessly for their neighbours. Bill is a member of the Parish Council, Frankley Neighbourhood Forum, Frankley & Rednal Neighbourhood Tasking Group and, of course, the Reaside Centre. Mandy is also a member of the Reaside Centre and is never far behind Bill. We need so many more people like Bill and Mandy and it was an enjoyable evening.
Afterwards the three of us and Cllr Barbara Wood went to have a look at the Bugle Horn pub which has re-opened following a murder there some months ago. We have our doubts about the future of this pub and will be asking local residents to keep a close eye on it. We like to work with the landlords to help them keep well run premises but when a pub gets a bad reputation it can be a difficult challenge, Keith should know, he was in the Licensed trade for 20 years.