All together now

It would be hard to start a blog this week without saying just how upsetting I found the attack on the gig in Manchester on Monday. I happened to check online news as I was going to bed that night just as the first reports of the blast were being reported.

The news played on my mind for hours and I had a very poor nights sleep. Then when I got up the next morning to read the updated news of the confirmed casualties, it was just horrible. Horrible.

I am sure that you have read this numerous times of the last 2 days, but my heart really does go out to those affected by this vile attack and they are very much in my thoughts.

I must say though that the response to this outrage by the people of Manchester has been truly GLORIOUS – a massive coming together of people of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds to stick fingers up to the pathetic losers who do this sort of thing and say “You will not win.” Manchester, you are beautiful.

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Crowds at the Manchester vigil yesterday coming together in solidarity

Which brings me onto something else…much to my surprise, I found myself and Donald Trump saying much the same thing yesterday.

I had been chatting with my 18 year old lad about what would happen if instead of calling attacks like the one on Monday “terrorist attacks”, everybody and especially the media, called them “complete, sad, pathetic tosser attacks”. Part of the power of the terrorist lies in the word terrorist itself – take that away from them and they lose part of their perceived power. Image the front pages of the press with “Complete sad, pathetic, tosser attack” and the line “The complete sad, pathetic, tosser, Joe Bloggs, was a student living in…”, etc. I can’t help but think that there would be far fewer pathetic failures of humanity prepared to blow themselves up if they knew that this was how they were going to be referred to afterwards.

Now, I realise that this will never happen (as I’m not insane (* I think)) but in the little world inside my head, this would work.

Anyway, about an hour after chatting with my lad, he linked me a news report where Trump had made the following statement regarding the attack:

“I won’t call them monsters. Because they would like that term, they would think that’s a great name; I will call them from now on losers because that’s what they are, they’re losers. And we’ll have more of them but they’re losers – just remember that.”

Hmmm….I’m not sure how I feel about having the same mindset as Donald Trump on something – it makes me question my rationale but I am sticking with it.

So, what I have been up to over the last few days?

Well, delivering general election letters from your MP Gordon Marsden. Lots of them. Flipping loads and loads of them. It took me the best part of Thursday and Friday evenings and then Lizzie had to drive me around on Saturday afternoon to finish them!

As per my last post, Gordon has a campaign office at 293 Church Street – if you can help with anything, be it folding letters, delivering leaflets, or for the bolder of you, door knocking, then please do drop in and the staff there will be delighted if you can help. Canvassing was suspended for 3 days due to the Manchester attack, but I understand it will resume from Friday.

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The campaign shop on Church Street

I also attended my first formal meeting at Woodlands School as a governor. This being my first meeting, there was a reasonable amount of stuff that went over my head, but I am sure that I will pick stuff up as I go along. I have been given the role of governor responsible for safeguarding. This is a hugely important role as I will be scrutinising safeguarding procedures at the school to make sure that all the kids are properly protected. I intend to take the role very seriously – quite a lot of training will be involved.

This evening, I attended a Public Protection meeting – the bulk of the meeting was to consider applications for taxi drivers licenses – this is obviously of a confidential nature, so I will just park this here.

I have also dealt with constituent enquiries on issues including fly tipping (no surprises), dog fouling, aggressive dogs, vandalism of lamp posts and nuisance tenants.

Actually, my travels around the ward delivering election material has allowed me to report several fly tips myself on and around Central Drive and Lytham Road – these have already been cleared.

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Tipped armchair on Central Drive

Right, it’s late and I need to be up at 6am to cycle into work, so it’s nighty night.

Until next time, take care, Jim

The Labour Party Manifesto – something for everyday people

‘ evening all!

I just thought that I would crank a quick blog out before my tea, so here goes. Right over the last few days, I have…

Last week, myself and Cllr Cain ran one of our surgeries in Bloomfield East. We were pleased that a few people came to speak to us and we took enquiries away on nuisance parking, nuisance bins in the street and an enquiry from residents of Yorkshire Street regarding permit parking in that part of Foxhall. All of the enquiries have been logged and officers are looking at them – we should be able to revert back to you soon. Incidentally, you can next catch up with us at the next PACT meeting at Ibbison Court (off Central Drive) 6pm 5 June.

I also attended my first meeting at Woodlands School as a governor last week. This was only a first informal strategy meeting (the formal meeting is this week) but my fellow governors struck me as a dedicated bunch who were passionate about getting the best outcomes for the kids at the school. I look forward to getting my teeth into some of the work streams there.

Yesterday afternoon, I attended annual council. Annual council doesn’t really have much in the way of meaty  decisions/matters that affect the town as its’ main function is to retire the existing mayor, and the new mayor takes over. So after a years solid graft for the town, Kath Rowson has passed the mayoral chain over the Ian Coleman – I am sure that he will do a sterling job (see below):

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This evening, I attended a briefing on Better Start Blackpool. Better Start aims to improve the life chances of babies and very young children by delivering a significant increase in the use of preventative approaches in pregnancy and first three years of life. The Better Start Partnership in Blackpool has been awarded £45 million, led by the NSPCC, the inclusive partnership is made up of the Local Authority, Clinical Commissioning Group, Blackpool Hospital Teaching Trust, Police and the Community. It brings together local families, communities, and agencies from across public, private and voluntary sectors.

Better Start is accessible to residents of the Bloomfield ward – it offers an incredibly wide range of services from early pregnancy up to 3 years old covering everything from health visits, advice on diet/alcohol, a scheme to encourage new fathers to read to their kids – there really is a wide range of services on offer. Take a look at the website below for a lot more info:

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As you might imagine, I have also been doing my bit to get Gordon Marsden elected as your MP over the last week. As well as door knocking, on Monday night I spent some time phone canvassing from the campaign office at 293 Church Street. I have to say that the response on the phones was overwhelmingly positive and I really enjoyed talking to residents.

By the way, if you can spare any time and you want to see Gordon as your MP for the next 5 years (making it 25 years in total!), why don’t you pop into the office on Church Street – it’s just by the old Dan Kerr bridal shop. The campaigners in there will be really chuffed to see new faces so why don’t you nip in? Go on, they won’t bite.

And staying with the general election, have you seen the Labour Manifesto yet?

“Labour’s manifesto offers moderate, commonsense solutions to Britain’s problems – and would unlock the amazing potential of this country.” – Owen Jones. Have a look:

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If you want a quick at a glance look, CLICK HERE. It really is a manifesto that will genuinely improve the lives of those struggling to make ends meet and suffering from massively underfunded public services like the NHS, social care, education and the police. Please do have a look, it’s really good stuff and it would improve the lives of the good people of Blackpool. It’s something for everyday people (see the music video link now? Pfft you took your time! ;p ).

Anyway, that’s me for now, so until next time, take care, Jim.

Good evening, sorry to disturb you, but…

Hello all

I’ve said that so many times over the last few days. As per the title of a blog from a couple of weeks ago, I have been a very busy bee knocking on the doors of the good people of Blackpool South to get Gordon Marsden re-elected as our MP.

(The above music picked for no other reason that I really like the band – awesome live).

So far, I have been out in Bloomfield, Tyldesley, Highfield and Marton – the response has been generally good but this looks like it will be a much closer race than the last election so literally every vote counts. Please do tell all of your friends and family to get out there and vote Labour on June 8th.

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Out campaigning with this motley crew at the weekend

Incidentally, if you, or someone you know isn’t registered to vote, it’s easy-peasy – just click the link below. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about what government does to you.

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I also attended  a PACT meeting at St Peter’s Church in the week along with Cllr Cain (although I turned up 20 mins late after having been sat in the wrong venue!). As ever, these meetings are a great way for us to pick up the concerns of residents – as well as usual issues such as ASB concerns, much of the conversation focused on Neighbourhood Watch schemes. One of our officers has taken away the contact details of watch coordinators with a view to hopefully creating a local ward network of watch groups.

Incidentally, myself and Cllr Cain are holding our next surgery 6pm tomorrow (Wed 10 May) at Bloomfield East Residents Assn on St Heliers Road should you need to speak to us.

I have also had a planning session with the Health Scrutiny Committee officer to re-schedule our work over the coming months. The whole Purdah situation (see my last blog) has really kiboshed the agenda’s for the next few months and we are trying to crowbar many important items into the meeting agendas. Anyway, some of you will be pleased to know that we are dealing with the 2 mental health items on the next meeting – young persons mental health and general mental health referrals.

This evening after work, I had a drive around the ward looking for fly tipping. It actually wasn’t too bad this evening – I only actually found 3 tips – but I cannot get my head around people simply chucking their old rubbish right into the street. It’s beyond me. The council offer a very cheap bulky items collection service so there is absolutely no need to tip. Look at this – I photo’d this tonight – literally on the pavement on a residential street (I have logged it for clearance). Anyway.

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And finally, are you doing anything over the first weekend in July? We have a look at this:

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It’s free and I’ve been to the last couple. I have to confess that I am not really a jazz and blues fan but I have really enjoyed them. Give it a go – there will undoubtedly be something there that you will enjoy.

Anyhoo, until next time, take care, Jim