Keeping busy…

Hello

Sorry for the above but I went to see the new Star Trek movie in the Winter Gardens on Sunday, so I couldn’t resist! Please see my last blog post ref. the Star Trek festival.

A short blog today as we have just entered the recess period in the Council so most of the statutory committees, etc, don’t resume until September.

I did sit on a licensing panel at the end of last week. Where there is a contentious situation regarding a council provided license (an alcohol license to a hotel in this instance), a panel of councillors decide if any action should be taken regarding the license.

This was an open an shut case as there were some clear antisocial behaviour issues associated with alcohol sales on the premises so the license was revoked.

As per the title of the blog, I have been keeping busy though. As well as dealing with email and phone call enquiries, I have spent the last few evenings door knocking and speaking to people on the New Foxhall Estate.

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The next phase of the new Foxhall Development taking shape

Some issues regarding noise pollution and dangerous driving have been reported to me by several residents and I have requested that council officers look at these issues with some urgency. I will update anyone affected by this as soon as I hear something back.

And finally, for those with an artistic bent, it’s the Sand, Sea and Spray urban art festival taking place across Blackpool this weekend. International artists will be creating art all across the town – check out the link below:

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Anyway, take care and drop by soon,

Jim

Questions and Answers

Hello all – sorry for the continued blog slacking!

So, the last 2 weeks then…

Well, 2 weeks ago I chaired my first Health Scrutiny Committee Meeting. I have to confess to being a little nervous to begin with but I think that I found my stride after a few minutes.

It was a full and interesting agenda – as well as a taking reports from council officers and cabinet members on public health issues, we also scrutinised reports from the Clinical Commissioning Group, Blackpool Teaching Hopitals (the Vic) on delayed transfers of care and from an auditing body called Healthwatch – full agenda and minutes via the link below:

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I think that as a first meeting the group performed very well – well considered and probing questions were asked of the presenters and as a result we have asked some of them to return to present on specific areas of interest/concern.

I have also met with council officers regarding on going problems with rubbish around Lytham Road – more specifically on Adrian Street and a small alley off Shaw Road. We are trailing the use of dumper bins and small wheelie bins in these areas – they should be installed soon and fingers crossed they will go some way to solve the problems off rubbish blowing around the streets.

I also nipped into the new Star Trek exhibition on the front last week and got a life tick box done – see photo! I have to confess that I am a massive Star Trek geek – I have 3 Star Trek tattoos – I know, sad.  Anyway, there’s lots of interesting stuff to see in there.

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Engage

Ohhhh…by the way, for any other Trekkers, did you know that the Winter Gardens is having a Star Trek movie season starting this month? See link below:

trek film fest

Myself and Cllr Cain had a very busy surgery last week at Bloomfield East Residents Association with many local residents attending. We took away many enquiries from constituents that we are in the process of sorting out – one matter that came up more than once was the proposed one way, residents parking scheme around Lytham Road. Myself, Cllr Cain and Cllr Jackson had a meeting about this on Monday afternoon and decisions have been made – I will be able to give more info on this once the final report is completed.

Also last week, myself and other Blackpool Councillors (Labour and Conservative) visited the House of Commons. The purpose was to observe a Select Committee in operation as this function is similar to the scrutiny committees that we councillors sit on up here.

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11 of your Blackpool Labour Councillors down in that London – and the top of a head of a Conservative Councillor

What a great day – I really enjoyed it and really found it useful to observe MPs question and probe in the committee environment. We also got the chance to view the business of the commons from the public gallery and we got to see Ken Clarke, Alex Salmond and Caroline Lucas in action. As I say, I really enjoyed the experience.

Last weekend, myself and Cllr Cain had another one of our little drive arounds and as ever we came away with casework to sort out. One thing that really did piddle me off was vandalism to the soft flooring in Bancroft park under the small climbing wall. We have just spent a fortune on equipment for this park so I really do hope that this isn’t repeated. Note – we are looking to get CCTV in the park soon.

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Damaged soft flooring Bancroft Park

Also over the last few days, I attended a Scrutiny Network meeting in Manchester to share best practice in health care and public health scrutiny – again this was very useful.

Last night, I sat on the Blackpool Council Standards Committee – this committee looks at the code conduct of councillor’s amongst other things. Nothing to report here as we are all a perfectly behaved bunch (fingers crossed behind back :p ).

And finally – the Labour Party Leadership – what a palaver, eh? I’m not declaring my support for either candidate at the moment but I will try to get to a local hustings to see what both of them have to say for themselves. I really hope that whoever wins can get the party back on course to give those Tory millionaires in government the solid thrashing that they deserve at the next general election.

Until next time folks, take care.

Jim

What difference 2 weeks make!


Well, politics, eh?

I am sure that like myself, you are all a bit confused and bemused by what has gone on since the result of the EU referendum.

Both Labour and Conservative parties seem a bit drama ridden at the mo don’t they? Nevermind, it’ll be Christmas soon.

Anyway, what have I been up to over the last week or so?

OK, just over a week ago, I attended the ceremony to mark the end of Armed Forces week at the cenotaph. It was a very well attended event with hundreds of people coming out the show their support for armed personnel past and present. The spitfire flypast was awesome too.

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The ceremony at the cenotaph

I have also attended several training sessions around chairing skills and scrutiny roles – I have my first Health Scrutiny Committee this Wednesday with myself as the chair.

On Wednesday, we had full council. The stand out item on the agenda this month was the item on extending the tramway up to Blackpool North Station. Completion of these works should roughly coincide with the electrification of the railway line. This means that you will be able to get fast, intercity trains from Blackpool without changing at Preston. Having a tram link from the station is therefore a no brainer. You will be able to jump on a tram at Bispham and then jump an intercity train from the tram stop. How good is that?

Although my personal highlight from the council meeting was the leader of the council explaining to the leader of the opposition that nutrients in milk are absorbed in the digestive system of children and not their teeth ^^. #notagcseinthehouse

I also attending the audit committee last week. This committee isn’t everyones cup of tea as it is quite a figures heavy committee, but I have to confess as to rather enjoying in (yes, I was the class swot).

This weekend, myself and Cllr Cain did one of our ward drive arounds.

Do Currys have a sale on at the mo? We saw and reported the following dumped items: 9 TV’s, 5 fridges, 4 freezers, 3 couchs and 5 beds amongst other dumped stuff.

As well as making the area look a complete mess, dumping things like fridges and freezers are dangerous – kids have been killed when they have fallen over.

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Tipping found in the ward over the weekend

Fly tipping really does P me off. It shows no respect to the area or neighbours and it is so easy to arrange for the council to come and collect bulky items – link below should you ever need it.

bulky

Anway, I’m off to work and then so see my lad who turns 18 today, so laters folks.

Drop by soon, Jim