Sunday, 8 February 2009

True grit

Its been a topsy turvy week with some meetings cancelled and others missed due to the snow. A big thank you for all the gritting teams who have been working hard to keep the main roads clear. We know that sometimes the weather conspires to defeat their best efforts but they have done a tremendous job in very tough conditions.
Keith & Sue spent Tuesday morning clearing about 5" of global warming off the drive in order to get to the Council Meeting.
This was a strange affair, we started with oral questions with Keith asking Cllr Alan Rudge about the Chinese New Year celebrations on the previous Sunday. As Cllr Rudge revealed he was born in the year of the ox Keith informed the chamber that the members of the opposition would not be surprised to learn that he was born in the year of the rat. This drew quite a bit of laughter but it led on to a question about the way celebrations to which everyone is invited & welcomed emphasise the things which bring us together rather than some occasions which could keep us apart.
There followed several lead member reports on Housing, Licensing, Planning and Public Protection. These showed all these departments had had successful years and the officers had worked very hard to make sure these services were top notch.
Ken & Keith both indicated to speak on Housing but time did not allow. There was a bit of nowtrage from Labour about the Taxi consultation but David Osborne made short shrift of an opportunistic attack from the opposition.
The Labour group then withdrew their motion. This is unusual as each group gets first choice once every 3 months, it appearred they wanted to seem statesmanlike by allowing more time for our motion on the JLR crisis. In the end it was decided to combine both the motion and the Labour amendment in a show of unity and support for JLR. The B'ham Mail got their report wrong by saying that the Labour amendment was lost. As there was no-one there from the press at that stage this is not surprising.
The Mail also published a disgraceful personal attack on Len Gregory by John James which used quite vicious language to accuse Len of failing to use apostrophes in street signs. This practise ceased about 10 yrs ago when his socialist friends were in power but we don't think James has the grace to apologise. Keith has written a rebuttal to the Mail but he will not hold his breath waiting to see it published.
On Wednesday Keith was able to clear the remainder of the snow and ice from the drive before attending a meeting at Alpha Tower about the future of the Longbridge Consultative Group. The consultation phase has now ended and we need to seek a different role for the group.
Ken has been attending his advice surgeries and working in Wolverhampton in the by-election there. A slight disapointment as we failed to take another seat there but it was always going to be a tough nut to crack.