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.

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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):

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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:

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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.

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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:

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The Fun Day in full swing

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Emma Louise Jackson and the Revoelution Choir

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The local Scouts put on some excellent activities

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Bling & Brenda

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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).

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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):

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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”:

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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.

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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):

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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

Walking the streets…

Hello all,

I trust that you are all well and I am pleased that you could stop by again.

Rightyho, here is a quick run down of some of my activity over the last few days:

Last week, myself and Cllr Cain (along with some officers) spent a morning trudging around the alley ways around St Heliers and Saville Road. We have had repeated reports of parking issues around here so we had a first hand inspection of the area.

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One of the alleys in question

As well as issues with cars parking where they should not be doing so, we identified around 10 fly tips in these alleys. I am talking full 3 piece suites, beds and other large items. It was like DFS. I know that I always bang on about this but that’s a really cruddy way to treat your neighbours and there is no need for it.

Myself and Cllr Cain have also had a walk around the old Foxhall area after some calls from constituents regarding parking in the area. As such, we will be writing out to people living in the area to get their opinions on the matter.foxhall

Shannon Street on our walk around

Staying in the old Foxhall area, I was pleased to meet with a few hoteliers in York Street last week. The purpose of my visit was to speak to one of them regarding the current holiday zone consultation (I hope that I have been able to relieve their fears on this) but whilst I was there I was able to take away a few enquiries regarding the condition of some of the properties along here. Officers will be considering these issues in due course.

I have also chaired the newly renamed Adults Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee (catchy name!). This meeting focused on mental health issues in the town and I was delighted that representatives from mental health charities and youth groups were able to attend and contribute. It was a really busy, packed agenda and I wish I could have dedicated much more time to each issue, but I was particularly impressed by the first hand stories of mental health provision from some younger attendees. Whilst facts and figures in reports give you an overview of an issue, when you get first hand accounts of service provision, it gives a much better understanding of the situation on the ground to the scrutiny committee. Link below to the agenda.

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I also attended another governors meeting at Woodlands school. This was my first meeting as a governor where (wearing my scrutineers hat) I have been able to challenge information in reports and ask pertinent questions of the head teacher. The purpose of these meetings is to drive the strategic vision of the school, hold the head to account for educational performance and oversea the finances of the school. I hope that I did OK!

Next week: some of you may be aware that the council are honouring the The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment with the freedom of the town. This is happening at a special council meeting on Wednesday 19 July next week (2pm). After the actual meeting, the regiment will be parading through the town centre, so if you are about, do come and wave them on – info below:

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And finally, it’s Bloomfield News time again. Myself and Cllr Cain will be plodding the streets of the ward over the next week or so to deliver our news letter that includes an thank you to you all from Gordon Marsden MP for your continued support during the general election. My feet are sore already and we haven’t started yet!

Anyway, for any of you that prefer your info electronically, please find a PDF of the leaflet below:

Bloomfield Summer 2017

Anyway, that’s all from me for the time being.

As ever, take care, Jim

Got Lucky

It’s just a very short blog today folks as I was amazingly fortunate to be at Glastonbury until Monday (see more below – but if you ever get the chance to see the New York Brass Band (playing in the video), you should defo go see them – they’re absolutely brill – they REALLY get a crowd going).

Anyway, after not getting anywhere enough catch up sleep on Monday night, I attended a full day training session run by the council on school governance (as I am a new governor at Woodlands School). It was a very interesting (if a little yawny on my part) session and really covered a lot of ground. School governance is a complex, strategic role and involves significantly more than just “having tea with the head”. Blackpool has around 40 vacancies for school governors at the moment – why not consider it? It looks to be a very interesting and rewarding role. Click the link below for more info:

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Last night, there was full council. There were no real big agenda items last night but for any of you with an interest in such things, please find a link to the livestream of the meeting below:

Myself and Cllr Cain have had one of our regular catch up meetings tonight at the Town Hall. Our discussion included planning permissions for shops, ASB issues on Lytham Road, the holiday zone consultation, permit parking in Foxhall and Gordon Marsden’s Green Cleaner Champions Award. With regards to the latter, click the link below – if you know anybody that may qualify for the award in Bloomfield then drop them a line:

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And finally, Glastonbury. I won’t bore you too much but myself and my other half had an absolutely AMAZING week. If you only watch it on the TV, you will get the impression that it’s just a massive pop concert. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not so much a music festival, it’s a being alive festival. There is so much more than just the main stages that you see on telly – there’s loads of insane music about (this year, a Japanese death metal band playing in a bus were VERY good), as well as debates, talks, poetry, circus, comedy (loads of big names – we saw Phil Jupitus) and tons and tons of other stuff. As you can see – I’m a Glastonbury fan and I am convinced that EVERYBODY, no matter what their taste, would enjoy the festival. Really – try it. Register for the next one and go.

Anyway, here are just a few photos:

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Barry Gibb – life tick box ticked (I’m a massive BG’s fan)

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The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show

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Clive Lewis – an absolutely outstanding Labour MP

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Myself & Lisette at the Pyramid Stage

Anyway, until next time folks, take care, Jim

Think and stop before you drop…

Hello all – this one is just a quickie, so here is what I have been up to over the last week or so (music picked for no other reason that the above gig was the best that I’ve ever been to and I am going to see them again later in the week 🙂 ):

Myself, Cllr Cain and the ladies of Revoe Residents Assn held our first planning meeting for the annual fun day last week. It’s on Saturday 19 August 2017 at Ibbison Court – there will be tonnes of stuff on for kids and adults to do, so keep the day. And fingers crossed, we won’t have the biblical weather that we had last year.

Myself and Cllr Cain also ran a ward surgery in the week and it was good to meet some of our constituents.  We had a few people turn up with issues including the hotel holiday zone consultation and overseas banking regulations – obviously the latter issue was not in our power to address but we were able to point the constituents in the right direction in terms of getting some advice.

In advance of a Health Scrutiny meeting looking at mental health issues, I chaired a short meeting in the week attended by representatives from mental health charities, youth work groups, the a commissioning officer from the local clinical commissioning group and an officer from public health at the council. This gave the reps from the charity and youth work group an opportunity to pass on their thoughts regarding what can be done better in mental health work in Blackpool in an informal manner in advance of the scrutiny meeting. I hope that all in attendance found it useful.

It was then my pleasure to be shown around the Mereside youth centre run by Blackpool Boys and Girls Club. This was of particular interest as they do lots of work around young persons mental health and in particular building resilience. Top stuff and thanks for the invite. They have centres in Brunswick and Mereside, so click the link below for more info:

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On Saturday, I was pleased to be invited by Becky at Revoelution to judge a kids poster competition in Revoe Park along with Cllr Cain and Andy Walker from Revoelution. It was a poster to warn people off fly tipping in the ward – any readers of this blog will know that it’s a nightmare issue locally. Anyway, we agreed the winner (see pic below) and this will be made into a poster that will be put up throughout the Revoe area, so well done the winner – I love the “Think and stop before you drop” motto.

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Becky from Revoelution, myself, Cllr Cain and Andy from Revoelution on Saturday

It has just been my very great pleasure to open an Armed Forces Week event at the Memory Lane Cafe at Ibbison Court. The Memory Lane ladies put a huge amount of effort into the event and the room looked great, so well done they. I hope that all in attendance enjoy the day that includes tea dancing and afternoon tea.

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Brenda from the Memory Lane Cafe outside the NAFFI

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The Armed Forces Week event at Memory Lane Cafe

This event obviously ties in with Armed Forces Week. There is a ton of stuff going on in the town to remember those who have served and to thank those currently in service. Click the link below to see what’s on:

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Along with the usual types of enquiries that I deal with, this week I have also dealt with enquiries regarding planning issues, the holiday area consultation and residents parking in old Foxhall. With regards to the latter, myself, Cllr Cain and officers are planning a walk round of the area in the next couple of weeks to look at solutions to the parking issue.

Right, that’s me offski, so take care and drop by soon.

Cheers, Jim