Thursday, 25 February 2010

Ward Committee

Last night we were all at Frankley Community High School for the Housing Liaison Board at 6pm. This all went quite smoothly, the figures for repairs and the Housing statistics were very good. The only disappointment was in the gas repair figures. Last year our contractor JD Heating, which was very successful, was taken over by a company called Eaga Heating. This is a very large company with contracts across the country. During the cold weather we have been inundated with people without heating or hot water and who could not get through or could not get a service. We were kept extremely busy trying to sort all this out. Needless to say our concerns were passed on to Cllr John Lines (Cabinet Member for Housing) and the contract has been ended. A new contractor will take over on the 1st of April. They are holding a Jobs Fair for heating engineers and when we find out the details it will be put on this site and on Keely's website.
At 7pm it was into a different room for the Longbridge Ward Committee. There we had a presentation on the plans for the refurbishment of the Frankley Shopping Centre. This centre has been looking very tired for some time although most of the units are let and the Costcutters is successfully attracting customers to the centre. The plan is to open the area up and make it brighter and more attractive. This will start about June. The money has been in place for about 2 years and the wishes of local people for it to be done has been there even longer.
Another presentation was about the "YES" Group which came out of the Frankley Summit. You may remember we gave £10.000 from the Community Chest to young people and let them get on with it. It is no good us telling them how to spend it, we have to trust them to use it wisely. Thankfully they are doing a great job and we want the scheme to continue and expand to bring in even more young people.
Checking the numbers for yesterday it appeared 19 people viewed the site but no-one clicked on the adverts. We can't believe they were all Labour trolls so come on people, click on the adverts and raise money for Keely's campaign.
Today Sue is at Forestdale School and then on to a meeting with the local Police Inspector, this evening she will be at a Governors meeting at Colmers J & I and then on to meet Keith & Keely at Frankley High to discuss the future of the school.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Budget meeting

Yesterday was the full Council meeting to discuss the budget. The meeting is dedicated to the budget and nothing else although the Lord Mayor does allow some leeway.
Once again the Labour Group failed to present an alternative budget. This is their chance to say what they would do differently to the partnership but once again they failed in their responsibility to the electorate. Instead they moved an amendment asking for the budget to be delayed so that the Co-Ordinating Committee could have a look at it line by line. As the budget has to be signed off very shortly this would have been extremely difficult for a committee that meets once a month and usually has a full agenda. This was merely a device for the Labour Group to say they had tried to do something.
Sir Albert Bore started by saying that Mike Whitby had said in his speech that there would be no compulsory redundancies. This was repeated by at least 5 more of the comrades and in his closing speech Mike accused a Labour member of lying on this point. What Mike actually said was that every effort would be made to avoid CR through natural wastage, not filling vacancies and moving people into other jobs. There is an annual turnover of about 4,000 employees per year and there must be scope for some people to retrain etc.Last year we lost about 1500 full and temporary jobs with very few CRs. However, try as we might, there could be no guarantee that there would be no CR.
This is a typical trick that the comrades use. They say someone has said something and then accuse them of breaking their word later.
Ken made a good speech as the Deputy Chairman of the Housing & Constituencies Overview & Scrutiny Committee whilst Keith presented 2 petitions on behalf of St. James School & Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church parishioners calling for yellow lines on the junctions of Leach Green Lane.
Some of you will know that we are wary of what we put on this blog as the opposition keep a close eye on Conservative blogs to find out what is happening. One trick is to see an issue on a blog, get a few of their cronies to sign a petition and when the issue is dealt with claim credit for getting action.
Sue had a difficult day as she has an advice centre at FrankleyPlus Children's Centre on the last Tuesday of the month. This meant being at the Council Meeting at the start, going to Frankley and coming back for the rest of the meeting. It was a good job she did as 3 people turned up and Sue would not have wanted to let them down. This meant Sue had to get permission from the Chief Whip to do this and managed to get back for 4pm.
There was supposed to be a "Noisy" demonstration in Victoria Square during the meeting but not a sound was heard. Cllr Deirdre Alden took a look and counted about 100 people out there. On the BBC Midlands new this morning they showed a very tight shot looking packed with people but when they showed an aerial shot (very briefly mind, don't blink) there was less a crowd, more a group.

By the way, if you want to help out with election expenses, when you visit this site please click on the adverts at the top of the page. This pays small amounts of money which goes into our Election Account. Labour trolls are excused.
Many Thanks.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Labour letting people down.

News today that due to reductions in public expenditure Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  has to save £30million resulting in the loss of up to 200 beds in 2 hospitals. The Chief Exec has said it is all right because he knows they are inefficient and they don't need the beds anyway.

Labour letting people down

This is a quote in the Metro News today attributed to Yvette Cooper (Mrs Ed Balls).
"The continuing growth in the number of long term unemployed shows that Labour is failing to support the people who need their help the most. Unless Ministers wake up and stop treating these people like a statistic we risk losing a generation to a culture of worklessness".

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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Chinese New Year

Last Sunday Sue & Keith were at the Arcadian Centre at the invitation of the Chinese community to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This was again a stunning series of displayed which were enjoyed by everyone there.
It may be a victim of it's own success as the crowds became too large to get into the centre and a lot of people had to wait outside until someone else came out. It may be that a change of venue is needed.

Monday, 15 February 2010

PA says "we must go" but local candidates want a photo.

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Cameron Direct

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An opportunity not to be missed

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Meet the voters

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Opening of Edgbaston Conservative office

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Cameron Direct

On Tuesday David Cameron came to Bartley Green for another Cameron Direct. Firstly he opened the new Edgbaston Conservatives office in Illybrooke Square. This is a run down block of shops which now has a clean looking office instead of a boarded up derelict shop. David spent a good while there before shooting off to Bartley Green School for the main event.
There was a packed room and a mixed audience. Conservative candidates and activists were not allowed in although some managed to get in and stood at the back. There were some very varied questions and even Radio WM and BRMB managed to ask questions.
All in all a very impressive event.
Prior to the meeting there was a photo opp for PPCs and as the official photographer was unavailable Keith was asked to take the photos. He also managed to get into the main hall as well so there are some photos for you.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Mike, Sue & Keith congratulate Margaret & her family.

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100th birthday but no card from HM.

Yesterday Sue and Keith were at Callowbrook Day Centre to join in the celebrations for the centenary of a wonderful women named Margaret. The centre put on a lovely party for her with entertainment by our local Elvis impersonator Father Nick from St. Christopher's.
The highlight was a visit and presentation by Cllr. Mike Sharpe in his role as Deputy Lord Mayor. He brought along a bouquet and a specially minted coin for Margaret.
Mike is a longstanding Labour Councillor but is one of the good guys, ferocious in his politics but straight as a die.
One disappointment was that Margaret did not receive a letter from HM. The Queen. The reason given was that Margaret is a citizen of Southern Island. Of course when Margaret was born she was a British subject. Sue and Mike are gathering details to pass on to Cllr Mike Wilkes the Lord Mayor to see if this decision can be reversed. Cross party co-operation in a good cause.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Mike & Gaynor Whitby on stage

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Cllr Peter Douglas-Osborn & Cllr Deidre Alden

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Ken, Sue & Barbara Wood.

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60th Anniversary of the Indian Republic

Last night we were invited to a dance recital at the ICC to mark the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Indian Republic.
The Indian High Commissioner was in attendance with a wide ranging audience and we were entertained by a terrific exhibition of traditional and contemporary Indian dance.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Constituency Committee

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 9th February at Kings Norton Community Leisure Centre commencing at 7pm.


Sue has again been kept busy with meetings of the Adoption Panel and a Licensing Sub-Committee. As we have said in the past this involves a tremendous amount of reading plus training on new legislation. They are very heavy workloads and involve meetings every week for Licensing and full day meetings of the Adoption Panels.

Council Day

Tuesday saw us all at the Council House for Full Council.
First up was Keith asking a question about the criteria for the installation of grit bins. These are not just placed willy-nilly. There is a criteria for their installation. Since the heavy snowfalls recently the Highways Dept has received requests for hundreds of them, some for ourselves. The majority of these are for places where there has never been one before but then we haven't had snow that heavy for many years. Every request is sent to the local Engineers, a site visit carried out and a bin installed only if it meets the criteria. We were asked for one on Oaklands Way but the problem there is sheet ice due to water coming off a grassed area. A bin would be pointless as the water would wash away the salt but it has now been agreed that a land-drain will be installed to prevent the water seepage. It was also pointed out the the Labour administration under Cllr Stewart Stracey, the "Butcher of Broad Street", withdrew hundreds of bins in 2001 as a cost-cutting measure. This administration restored them in 2004.
John Lines then reported on Housing. This has been a success story for the partnership as anyone on Frankley can see just by looking around. Thanks to the Labour administration's neglect Council Houses were a real mess with windows falling out, doors hanging off and repairs backlogged. They even spent £12million trying to get rid of Council Tenants, some of it to Big Ron Atkinson. He appeared in a video advising tenants to vote for stock transfer. Of course as he lived in a big house in Barnt Green it didn't go down too well. Ken made a speech at this point as he is the Lead Member for the Conservatives on the Housing Scrutiny Committee as well as being the Northfield Constituency Chairman. This involves working closely with Constituency officers on the budget etc.
Keith then seconded an amendment to a Labour motion criticising  the Council, and by association Council employees, over sickness rates and for issuing a Section 188 Notice to the Trade Unions in the Adults and Communities Dept. This is a formal notice required by law to inform the unions and employees that the jobs covered by the notice, about 1300, are being reviewed. This has caused great scaremongering from Labour and the Unions that 1300 jobs are to be cut. As usual this is premature as the process is only at the start and no decisions will be taken until the review is completed. Sir Albert Bore moved the motion which was high in criticism but low, or non-existent, on solutions. Typical Labour opportunism. The amendment was successful and the Labour motion defeated. All in all a good meeting for the partnership and another weak display from Labour.

Saturday, 6 February 2010


How did this man get selected to stand as an MP?

Monday, 1 February 2010

Burns Supper at The Toby-Rubery

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Burns night

Last week was again busy with a full round of meetings, advice centres and of course leafleting. This week we have been out in Weoley and Kings Norton. with their In Touches. Despite the cold weather we still get a good turnout and the socialising afterwards is also good. This week we used the Northfield Conservative Club and the Cock Inn. As usual we got a great reception in both.
On Tuesday night we held a Burns Supper at The Toby-Rubery. This was another great occasion with a full house, excellent food courtesy of Rob and some dodgy poetry from Ken, Roger King and Keith.
We managed to raise several hundred pounds for Keely's fighting fund which is very welcome but the highlight of the night had to be The Haggis with a delicious whisky & mushroom sauce and an Address by Stewart Leask.. Rob really excelled himself and we have already booked for next year. The Toby has come on leaps & bounds since Rob & Damien took it over, they even have a Facebook page. Good luck to them!

Keely & George

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Gearing up for the election

Last Saturday Keith, Sue and Keely were off to Bedfordshire to discuss the forthcoming general election Campaign. This included speeches from Eric Pickles, William Hague, George Osborne and David Cameron. In between there were workshops covering the different aspects of electioneering. It was good to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones although with nearly 2000 people attending and all the organisation that goes with it it was a busy day.
We have a photo of Keely with George.