The sky was a funny old colour today

Hello all

Blimey – that red sun today was a bit weird, wasn’t it? Very post-apocalyptic and Blade Runnery (I went to see the Blade Runner sequel last week – it was OK but not as good as some people are saying. It’s also nearly 3 hours long – a nightmare for fidgetters like me.). Apparently, the red sun was caused by sand from the Sahara Desert being blown over by Storm Ophelia. Anyhoo…

Forgive the 3 weekish break since my last blog – I’ve had a few things going on in my life that have been quite time consuming for a couple of weeks including having to do a few evenings prep for a promotion board at work but normal service should now be resumed.

I’ve been keeping busy councillor-wise though – I won’t cover every single thing that I have been up to but here are the selected highlights over the last 3 weeks:

Myself and Cllr Cain attended a very interesting meeting with council officers on selective and additional licensing in the central area that includes much of Central Drive. Amongst other aims, the scheme seeks to help address high levels of anti-social behaviour associated with poor quality private rented accommodation. Click the link below for more info – it really is worth a look – especially if anti-social behaviour is an issue for you:

cdnt

I then chaired the Adults Social Care and Health Scrutiny committee where the big agenda items were The Health & Social Care Integration report from Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group and a report from the Vic that included information of it’s financial performance last year. Meeting info including the minutes from the meeting available via the link below:

heal

l also attended a full days training course in Manchester run by Salford Uni on suicide prevention. I attended this course due to my role chairing the committee mentioned above – here are some stats relating to suicide in Blackpool that may or may not surprise you:

  • Blackpool has the second highest rate of suicide of any upper tier local authority in England, for all persons, during the period 2013-2015 (Figure 1).
  • Blackpool has a significantly higher rate per 100,000 population (16.6 – 95% CI 12.6, 21.4) than England (10.2 – 95% CI 10.0, 10.3) as a whole2.
  • There were 59 deaths from suicide and undetermined injury in the 3 year period 2013-15.
  • 81% (48) were male, 19% (11) female.

The course was excellent and gave a real insight into the reasons why people take their lives. If you are concerned about anybody or indeed if you are having suicidal thoughts yourself, there is help out there. Please, please seek help. Click below – the website will signpost you to the help that you need:

sui

I have also attended the following meetings (that don’t really need much by way of write up):

  • Bloomfield PACT meeting @ Ibbison Court with Cllr Cain
  • Woodlands School Resource Committee (as governor)
  • Public Protection Sub-Committee
  • Bloomfield Surgery @ Bloomfield East Residents Assn
  • Catch up meeting with Cllr Cain
  • Blackpool Housing Company Limited (more on this in the next blog)

And I also squeezed in a short walk about in Foxhall yesterday. And speaking of the Foxhall area, residents of the area will soon be being contacted by the council with regards to a consultation on parking in the area. You should all be receiving letters in the next few weeks asking for your opinions.

Anyway, that’s all for now and do drop by soon.

Take care, Jim

The C Word. Too early?

Hello all (music picked for no other reason than it’s awesome – another very, very good live band).

I’ve had a pretty busy week this week with a nice mix of dealing with queries from constituents in the ward/other ward matters and with council wide matters.

Anyhoo, here is a quick run down of some of the highlights…

Monday – Myself, Cllr Cain & Cllr Fred Jackson had a meeting at the town hall to start planning the Revoe Christmas tree switch on event. Sorry! I know that it’s only September but these things take planning!

Anyway, the date for your diaries – Monday 27 November. It will in a slightly different format this year but more info to follow later.

rev2

On Tuesday, I was called out to a resident on Shaw Road to look at a fly tipping issue. However, whilst I was there, I recorded 4 separate fly tips. Officers will be dealing with these in the very near future. However, you don’t need to wait until you see a councillor to get a fly tip shifted – the council have an excellent online reporting service that is you fastest way of getting the rubbish shifted – you can also provide any details that you have of who dumped it too! See below:

fly

Wednesday night was full council. The big discussion items that were covered were the council’s purchase of the airport, the possible new lease of life for the prospect of a greater Lancashire Combined Authority and a motion that drew cross party support foe the setting up of an independent body to look at football governance. Please see the Gazette item below on the football governance motion:

gaz

I had two meetings in the latter half of the week – the first was at a couple of locations around Foxhall and Lytham Road to look at the installation of alleygates with Cllr Cain and an officer. One of the areas that we looked at was horrendous and had been used by street drinkers (see photo below), drug users and other undesirables as a meeting/drinking/god knows what point. Anyway, the alleygates will soon be excluding them from the area.

al11

The condition that street drinkers had left an alley area in Foxhall

I then had a meeting over at Revoelution with Cllr Cain and Andy from Revoelution. The upshot of this meeting is that whilst Revoelution is a community lead group, we will be playing a more hands on role over the coming months and we will be attending the meetings where possible to provide our input. I’ll do a proper update on this after the next meeting.

This brings me to the weekend. As per my last blog, I went to see one of my all time favorite bands, Sparks, on Friday in Manchester. I must say that for two gents aged 68 and 72, they put on a very energetic show. I really would recommend them (you’ll recognise quite a few of their songs when you hear them).

20170922_201343_HDR

The amazing Sparks on stage at Manchester this weekend

Today – I’ve spent from around 1pm until around 6ish prepping for a Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny meeting that I will be chairing on Wednesday. The big items on the agenda are the annual report from Healthwatch, New Models of Care from the local Clinical Commissioning Group and a report from the Vic on various issues (but it’s finances are of immediate issue). Click below for the agenda but please be aware that ANYONE is welcome to attend these meetings, so if you are interested, it’s at the Town Hall this Wednesday at 6pm.

heal

Right – that gives me about 2 hours to have a relax before needing to get my stuff ready for work tomorrow.

So until next time, take care, Jim

Green Champions and other shenanigans

Hello all

First off, music picked for no other reason that I love this song from the new Sparks album, I’ve been playing it to death and I’m going to see them this weekend. They’ve been going for 49 years! I’ve seen them before and they’re amazing so I can’t wait for the weekend.

Sooo…forgive the 2 week absence – I’ve had the lurgy for most of it and I’ve spent all my time not in work or doing councillor stuff sat on the couch drinking lemsip and spam watching the Office US with Lizzie feeling very sorry for myself.

Anyhoo, here are a few of my activities over the last 2 weeks or so (I did soldier through to do these 🙂 ):

Myself and Cllr Cain attended a PACT meeting at St Peter’s Church on Lytham Road – it was good to see and few new faces at this meeting with a slightly higher turn out than usual. Amongst several discussion points, the issue of the burnt out laundry on Ball Street was discussed including the issue of children climbing in the debris. Our officers will deal with this in due course.

I was very please to attend Gordon Mardsen’s Greener Blackpool awards last week. I nominated the New Revoe Residents Assn Gardening Club for the Green Community Group Award. The hard work that these people put into the Revoe neighbourhood never ceases to amaze me, and for those of you that don’t know about them, they grow veg in raised beds literally just metres from Central Drive that is then used to feed local old folks in their Memory Lane Cafe at Ibbison Court each Tuesday lunch time. They didn’t win but they did get a runners up certificate. I’m very proud of them.

greench.jpg

Some members of the gardening club at the awards

I also attended a full day training course on Safeguarding Children. This was a very interesting, if sometimes upsetting course – some of the case studies that we discussed included some truly harrowing stories of neglect and abuse of children. The course highlighted what to look for in terms of signs of abuse and neglect in kids. Blackpool Council have an excellent website that covers some of the features of the course – click the link below for more info (especially if you have concerns about a child):

bpoolsafe

Last week I attended 2 evening meetings – Public Protection and Audit. There’s nothing much to report from either of these meetings but for any eager beavers, info on both of them can be found by clicking the link below:

meet

Also last week, myself and Cllr Cain had one of our surgeries at Bloomfield East. I came away with whole raft of enquiries from this meeting including issues such as dangerous parking at school gates, illegal bonfires, parking in alleys and the build up of rubbish in gardens. All issues and have logged and reported to officers who will be dealing with them shortly.

On Friday I attended a half day training course for the governors at Woodlands School. It was an interesting half day that looked at the role of the governing board. We were given the task of creating the “vision” for the school – a few lines that describe the school aims and ethos. This was not an easy task as everybody had their own ideas but we able to agree certain themes and these will be used as the basis for the “vision”.

And finally, some good news – have you seen the lights that have been installed on the trees next to Ibbison Court on Central Drive? They look great and add a bit of sparkle to the area. Myself, Cllr Cain and Revoelution have been trying to get these installed for months, so it’s nice to see them finally in place.

trees

The lights on the trees at Ibbison Court

Anyways, until next time folks, take care. Jim

The Fun Day & other bits and bob…

Greetings all

I hope that you are enjoying the last few hours of your bank holiday weekend.

We are just coming to the end of the council recess period where there are far fewer meetings to attend – they all start again next week in earnest.

However, I have been keeping busy over the last week or so – here is some of what I have been up to:

Myself and Cllr Cain spent some hours driving around the ward hand delivering our summer leaflet to some of the harder to find properties in Bloomfield. There are quite a lot of flats around Foxhall Village and Lytham Road that are easily missed by colleagues delivering our leaflet. I then finished the Central Drive section earlier this week.

I did attend one formal council meeting – Public Protection. The main body of work that the committee undertakes is to look at the suitability of taxi drivers when they apply for licenses or when we have reason for concern about their fitness to drive once they have a license. These matters are of course confidential and I can’t say what we looked at.

The weekend before last we have the Revoe Residents Fun Day. What an incredible success the day was. The weather stayed clear, we had 168 kids attend and they seemed to have a ball. The new mayor, Cllr Ian Coleman did a sterling job of opening the fair and our MP, Gordon Marsden also attended. There are too many people to thank individually for the day, but you know who you are, so thank you!

The best thing about the day was the faces on the kids – they really, really enjoyed themselves and were really well behaved. So until we do it all again next year, here are a few pics from the day:

rev5

The Fun Day in full swing

rev6

Emma Louise Jackson and the Revoelution Choir

rev4

The local Scouts put on some excellent activities

rev2

Bling & Brenda

fun

Myself, Gordon Marsden MP and Cllr Cain

I spent an evening last week looking at issues around the rear allies of Tyldesley Road. I have reported several matters to officers to look at including recurring rubbish/tipping issues, the apparent poor quality of some of the accommodation and the unauthorised use of the alley. Officers will be dealing with this in the near future.

This weekend, it was my very great pleasure to open a garden party fund raiser for the Swallows Charity. This is a local charity that offers support to all those affected by head, neck and throat cancer (click the link below for their Facebook page).

swal

The charity does great work in the town offering a 24 support line as well as holding regular patient and carer meetings. Very impressively, they have just been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service – how good is that? They also have a shop on Waterloo Road, so if you’re down that neck of the woods, do pop in. Anyway, the turn out was great and I hope that they raised a load of money.

swallows

Yours truly opening the event

Over the last week or so, I have dealt with enquiries regarding anti social behaviour, blocked road drains, licensing issues, boy racers and an issue with an unauthorised camp on a car park.

And finally… did you know that the Labour Party in Blackpool have a women’s forum? They have monthly meetings and have just started canvassing the town to see what issues particularly affect women in Blackpool. I am told that the first canvas session was extremely useful and that more sessions are planned soon.

If you’re interested in this, you will of course need to be a Labour Party member (CLICK HERE TO JOIN – come on, you know you want to), then click the link below for more info:

wo

Anyway, right that’s me done, so until next time, take care.

Jim

PS if you haven’t seen that last episode of this season’s Game of Thrones yet – it’s awesome!

Fun Day

Hello all

It’s just a super short blog this week – I don’t have too much to report back on as I have not long got back from a holiday in Romania. I won’t bore you with details my hols other than to say that Romania is amazing – proper stunning and pretty cheap. Recommended – but be careful for bears.

Anyhoo, since getting back at the weekend, here is what I have been up to:

I had a quick catch up meeting with Cllr Cain on Monday to go through the matters arising in the ward whilst I was away.

I then attended a Bloomfield PACT meeting with Cllr Cain – this was a very well attended meeting and it was good to see some new faces in the hall. If you do live in the Bloomfield ward, these meetings are a great way to meet your local councillors, council officers and local beat bobbies (who give regular crime statistics updates for the area). Whilst the crime figures for the ward are always a concern, it was good to see that crimes such as anti social behaviour have gone down compared to this time last year.

Yesterday, we attended a meeting at Ibbison Court to plan the Revoe Residents Fun Day on Saturday 19 August 2017 12pm – please see flyer below. We really have got tonnes of stuff on this year (there’s loads more that just what is on the flyer) and it is free. Please do bring the kids along.

ib1

ib2

Myself and Cllr Cain then ran one of our surgeries at Bloomfield East Residents Assn. It was quite a quiet one last night, but we did take away an enquiry from a resident regarding planters and trees on their street. It really is pleasing to see residents taking an interest in how their street looks, so Cllr Cain has taken away their enquiry with a view to sourcing some greenery for the street.

Which brings me onto tonight – if you have had a flyer through your letterbox for the Fun Day in the St Kents/Erdington area of the ward tonight, then that was me!

ererer

Delivering flyers around St Kents/Erdington this evening

Since my return from Romania, I have dealt with enquiries on issues including anti social behaviour in the hotel area of Lytham Road, alley gates and planning enforcement.

And finally….

Are you a bit geeky and at a loose end this weekend? Have a look at this – click the link (I’ll be trying to get there myself):

cc

Anyway, until next time folks, as ever, take care, Jim

Whoops! What’s in a date?

Hello again you lot

I’ve just finished work after what felt like a very long week and the rain is heaving it down on Whitegate Drive at the mo, so I thought that I would crank out a cheeky blog.

First off, I have to confess to being at home to Captain Cockup this week. Myself, Cllr Cain and several friends from the Blackpool Labour Group delivered around 3000 leaflets across the ward this weekend. Myself and Lisette spent about 5 hours around Central Drive on Sunday delivering our batch. However, the eagle eyed among you (you know who you are) spotted that I have placed last years dates for PACT meetings on it by mistake. What a wassock!

Anyway, for clarity, please find the correct dates below:

Ibbison Court, Central Drive:

Monday 7 August 6pm

Monday 2 October 6pm

Monday 4 December 6pm

St Peter’s Church, Lytham Road:

Wednesday 6 September 6pm

Wednesday 1 November 6pm

So then, what else have I been up to?

Myself and Cllr Cain met with the good folks from Bloomfield East Residents Assn for the latest meeting to organise the Revoe Residents Fun Day on Saturday 19 August. This is shaping up nicely and there will be loads to do there for the kids – we have lots more planned than last year (I just hope that we don’t have the same weather). Your local MP, Gordon Marsden and the new mayor, Cllr Ian Coleman have also confirmed attendance, so please do save the date.

Myself and Cllr Cain also held a ward surgery in the week at Bloomfield East Residents Assn. It was “a little quiet” as no one actually turned up but it did give us a chance to catch up on several ward issues. If you do need to see us, don’t be shy – the surgeries are on the second Wednesday of each month at 6pm.

I also sat as a member of the Public Protection sub-committee at the Town Hall last week. The committee approved a report to consider any unmet demand for cabs in the town. The report basically recommended no change to current policy with regards to taxi numbers and all members agreed that this was right. For any eager beavers among you, the report can be accessed by clicking the link below and then clicking “Agenda Reports Pack”:

agenda

l was also pleased to attend a special council meeting on Wednesday that gave the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment the freedom of the borough. This battalion has been around for a looooong time in pre-merged earlier regiments (they fought in the American War of Independence!) and have a long history with the town – many of our lads have joined their ranks.

lancs

Mayor Ian Coleman and Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier PS
Rafferty MBE

This week, I have dealt with several enquiries (some of which I picked up whilst out leafletting) on issues including environmental enforcement issues on poorly maintained properties, licensing issues with hotels and fast food outlets and the holiday zone consultation.

So then you lot, what are you up to over the weekend? There is no need to be bored. Have a look at these events (I’ll be trying to attend both, time permitting – click the links on the graphics for more info):

arts

carni

Rights, that’s me done for the time being. I think that a wee glass of wine may be in order and the next episode of the TV show Fargo – and if you’re not watching it, then you should be – it’s on Channel 4 on demand and it’s blooming awesome.

So until next time, take care all,

Jim