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

She’s Lost Control

This song has been in my head a lot since last Thursday. I can’t think why. (Sorry any Joy Division purists, but I think that this version is better ).

Well, whodathunk? What a result. Against all the odds, Mr Corbyn pulled it out of the bag. I think that most of us in the local party were not expecting such a good result. So well done, Jezza.

Now before anybody kindly points out that we didn’t win, yes, it’s true, we lost. But not as much as Mrs May and the Tories. Oh Lordy – it’s one of the greatest political cock-ups in modern history. The words “shooting”, “yourself” and “foot” spring strangely to mind. Imagine just giving away your clear majority in the House of Commons. The election was called to wipe out the Labour Party but it has strengthened us up good and proper.  Thanks, Theresa. Good work.

By the way, apologies – sorry for the blog slacking – as you can imagine I have spent a lot of time campaigning over the last few weeks. Anyway, here are the selected highlights of the last 2 weeks (I won’t bore you with every single meeting,):

Adult Social Care has been added to the remit of the Health Scrutiny Committee that I chair, so a couple of weeks ago, I met with a senior council officer responsible for adult social care to talk me through the services that are available to the people of Blackpool. Like health, it is a very complex web of provision of different services on offer (such as home care for the elderly, residential care and various strands of mental health provision) but the overview was very useful and I look forward to getting my teeth into scrutinising the service in September.

Myself and Cllr Cain attended a Police and Communities Acting Together (PACT) at Ibbison Court. We were somewhat concerned to learn that crime was generally up compared to this time last year. Apparently this could be due to a change in how things are reported (hmmmm…..) and that a lot of police resource has been diverted to the fracking demonstrations on Preston New Road. I’ll let you know how things have progressed the next time that I see the crime figures for Bloomfield and fingers crossed, this might just be a blip.

By the way, please click the link below, for how to contact your local beat bobby and PCSO’s:

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Myself and Cllr Cain also had meeting with officers regarding the use of mobile CCTV camera’s in the ward. We had assumed that the 8 camera’s that were bought for the Bloomfield ward were gathering dust on a shelf in Layton depot. However, this is not the case and they are regularly used to monitor the ward for criminal behaviour such as fly tipping – so be warned – Big Brother might be watching you!

Last night, I attended a briefing along with fellow Blackpool councillors and officers and our counterparts from Fylde and Wyre authorities on the Lancashire and South Cumbria Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are five-year plans showing how health and social care organisations in local areas will work together to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View – which outlines new ways of delivering health and social care and achieving financial balance by 2020.

Anyway, this will have a massive impact on ALL of us living in Blackpool over the coming years, so please do click the link below for more info;

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Tonight, I met with the council’s member training officer as I have recently been added to the member training panel. As you can imagine, councillors need lots of training on many issues as we can find ourselves having to deal with many situations out there in the community. Without the proper training we will make mistakes and miss opportunities to do the right thing. Training may include topics such as dementia training, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking to name but three. The member training panel is there to identify what the training requirements are for councillors and how that is delivered. I’ll be able to do a more detailed post on this after the panel meets for the first time.

So, then. The Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP. The Northern Irish political party that Theresa May is having to use to prop her up her ever so strong and ever so stable government. They have some very questionable and downright morally wrong policies including that they are anti gay marriage. It’s 2017, for God’s sake! What is their problem? Really? If two people love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together as a married couple, who the bloody hell are bloody politicians to say that they can’t? Get over it! Sorry – was on the edge of a rant there but this leads nicely onto…

Blackpool Labour at Blackpool Pride

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A very damp Labour Group in St John’s Square @ Pride

What a fab day! I’ve done a few of these now and they are always a great day out and it really is a pleasure to show support for the local LGBT community.

However, this year was a little different – we were actually being cheered on the street! People were actually shouting things like “Yay, here comes the Labour Party”. The reception that we got on the parade was honestly unbelievable so thank you anybody that cheered us on. As per the above, we are more than ready for round two with Mrs May (although a break from campaigning for a few months would be nice!).

In the last couple of weeks, as well as the old chestnuts of antisocial behaviour and flytipping, I have dealt with constituent enquiries on disability assessments, designated use of residential premises (from B&B’s) and parking schemes.

Anyway, that’s me for now (as I have an episode of The Handmaids Tale to catch up on), so drop by soon,

Take care, Jim