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:

healthscr

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

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