Whip it

Hello you lot

I’ve been a busy bee over the last few days, so here is what I have been up to:

Last week I attended a training session run by North West Labour for group whips. Whips are used in central and local government to keep politicians of the same party singing from the same hymn sheet and I perform this function for Blackpool Labour. It was a very interesting session lead by Cllr Alan Dean from Liverpool City Council and I have taken away some ideas that I hope to help implement here.

I also attended a special budget council meeting last week. I am sure that I speak for all the elected Labour members when I say that none of us wanted to vote for another 18 million pounds worth of council cuts, but the Tory government have literally left us no option. Labour politicians want to spend money on public services, not slash them. Did you know that since the Tories got in in 2010, Blackpool has cumulatively lost over 450 million pounds worth of spending from its public services? That’s a jaw dropping amount of money drained from the local economy, courtesy of Mr Cameron and Mrs May – cheers guys, you’re all heart.

Earlier this week, I had a  very worthwhile meeting with the head mistress at Blackpool Gateway Academy. It really is a smashing school and just walking around the place you get a real sense that the kids are really enjoying their schooling. So hats off to all the teaching staff there. It was very interesting to hear about some of the problems that the school is facing including the issues with language that are faced by children from many nationalities being taught there. Click below to visit their website:

blackpool_gateway_ac_3

Blackpool Gateway Academy

In my role as chair of Blackpool’s Health Scrutiny Committee, I met with the head of Healthwatch Lancashire this week, who have recently taken over certain health monitoring functions from Healthwatch Blackpool. Healthwatch basically do consumer testing on health care providers, so they go out and audit their service. They perform a really useful role in health care in driving up quality of provision by producing reports and recommendations. I used a report from Healthwatch Blackpool extensively on a recent Health Scrutiny meeting looking at the Harbour Hospital in Marton. Anyway, it was nice to meet the new head and I look forward to working with her. Link below:

hw

Also last week I attended a further dementia training session. This is incredibly worthwhile training given the number of people who are forecast to suffer with some form of dementia. By 2025 the number of people suffering from dementia is expected to rise to over one million and by 2050 it is projected to exceed 2 million. That’s mind numbing numbers of sufferers – money needs to be spent on this NOW but you can all see what state the NHS and social care sector is in at the moment under the Tories. It really is a scary thought what provision will be in place for people suffering from this awful illness if we can’t get rid of a frankly uncaring Tory government.

On Wednesday, Cllr Cain and I turned up to St Peter’s Church for our monthly PACT meeting with the police and community. Unfortunately, nobody that actually had a key to the church turned up, so after standing outside for 20 mins, we had to abandon that meeting. Nevermind – we do have a surgery at East Bloomfield Residents Assn on Wednesday at 6pm if you needed to see us but couldn’t.

I then attended an Audit Committee on Thursday night. There’s not really much to say about this meeting unless you’re really interested in audit but please find a link to the agenda and minutes of the meeting below:

audit

Adrian Street bins: After a minor geological age, they’re installed! Thank heavens for that – I was nearly buying the constituent enquiry a birthday card. Anyway, fingers crossed that they should help with the problem of rubbish on this street.

adrian

The long awaited bins on Adrian Street

And finally, this week I have dealt with constituent enquiries including a clean up of Henry Street, noise issues from a local pub and road sweeping around Lytham Road.

Right, that’s me done. Time for a glass of vino me thinks, so until next time, take care.

Jim

PS – if you’re looking for something a little different to do in town tomorrow night, then this will be good (they’re usually a REALLY good laugh – give it a try!):

speak

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