Friday, 8 December 2017

Please don't empty grit bins to clear your drive

I have just been and delivered a bag of rock salt to Beckbury Drive as the grit bin had been emptied this morning getting a delivery van up the road and a resident clearing their drive.

It should go without saying that the grit in grit bins is for the road, not for private drives but every time we get a cold spell there's always one nice clear drive near the bin and the road is untreated. The parish council spent quite a lot of money last year having the grit bins filled as Telford & Wrekin Council decided they were no longer going to pay for it to save money. It's your money we're spending so please don't empty the grit bins for your drives.

Unfortunately, I didn't realise there were two grit bins on Beckbury Drive so thanks to local resident Helen who is going up the road to fetch the bag of rock salt and put it in the right bin!

Finally, to preempt the inevitable question: no, I don't have any more rock salt for other bins. The parish council's environmental team don't work on Friday's during the winter months to make up for the long hours they work in the summer so there is no way of getting the salt out of storage or to the bins. This bag was liberated from the parish council office which has been closed early so staff can get home safely. If you would like to comment on the borough council's decision not to fill our grit bins any more then borough councillors' contact details can be found on the Telford & Wrekin Council website. 🙂

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Forge Roundabout and Hollinswood Interchange road closures

Telford & Wrekin Council are planning road closures on Forge Roundabout and Hollinswood Interchange to allow road marking works on Rampart Way and the two islands.

Forge Roundabout (M54 J5)

Forge Roundabout will be closed to traffic, except traffic leaving the M54, between 8pm and 6am on Monday the 6th and Tuesday the 7th of November. Traffic wishing to access the M54 at Junction 5 will be diverted to Junction 4. Traffic will still be able to exit from the M54 on to Forge Roundabout, however all traffic leaving the M54 will be diverted along Rampart Way towards Hollinswood Interchange. Marked in red on the map below.

Hollinswood Interchange

Hollinswood Interchange will be closed to traffic between 8pm and 6am on Wednesday the 8th, Thursday the 9th and Friday the 10th of November. Access to Telford Central railway station will be available via Priorslee Roundabout, the A5 and the bus lane into Euston Way. All traffic will be permitted to use the bus lane into Euston Way during this overnight period. Traffic leaving the railway station area will exit via Euston Way onto Hollinswood Interchange, however all traffic will then be diverted along the A5 to Priorslee Roundabout. Marked in blue on the map below.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tonight's policy and resources committee meeting

Tonight's meeting of the parish council's Policy & Resources Committee was an odd one. It seemed to veer off topic every few minutes which made it a long night!

Some parents came with a couple of young children to talk about the park at Beckbury Drive in public open session. Telford & Wrekin Council said they were going to close the park unless the parish council took it on and they were keen to prevent that happening. The stars of public open session were the children who made it very clear how much they valued the park, the freedom it gives them and how well used it is by children from all over the parish. They were very well spoken and not at all nervous.

We of course agreed to take over the park to make sure it stays open and some parents have agreed to help maintain it. The borough council is going to pay the parish council for three years of running costs. This makes me slightly suspicious about the borough council's motives if they can afford to continue paying the running costs for three years but I am naturally cynical about such things.

I made my concerns known about the amount of things the parish council are taking over from the borough council. We took over responsibility for Brindleyford park because the borough council was going to close it. We took over the Sambrook Centre because the borough council was going to knock it down. We took over the library because the borough council was going to close it and we took over Brookside Central because the borough council was going to close that less than two years after spending millions practically rebuilding it. Now we're taking over Beckbury Drive park because the borough council is going to close it. If the borough council decides to drastically cut the grant the parish council gets - or worse, stop it altogether as many other local authorities have done - then the parish council will have to cut services whilst the borough council can pretend it was nothing to do with them.

A draft policy on Trans Inclusion was tabled for consideration. I'm not sure anyone else had read it before the meeting but I did and I took some expert advice from the UKIP LGBT* group. The draft policy was written for schools (it still had references to school uniforms in it) and can be summed up as "we won't break the law". The parish council already has an equality & diversity policy which specifically mentions transgender and says we won't break the law. I suggested that the policy was unnecessary and added no value as it just repeated what our equality & diversity policy says and this was unanimously agreed. It also claimed that the Equalities Act requires gender neutral toilets to be made available in any public service but this is not true.

We agreed to replace the doors inside the Sambrook Centre with disabled-friendly doors that can be opened with the push of a button. I have asked that a hearing loop is installed in the main part of the building if there is enough money left in the budget. The Little Theatre in Donnington has a fantastic loop that covers the whole auditorium, the lobby and the stage and it would be nice to have a similar facility for users of the Sambrook Centre.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Theresa May has betrayed us over Brexit

Theresa May has finally put hopes of a clean break from the EU to bed, confirming what we have known all along: the Conservatives are not going to deliver the Brexit we voted for.

The Prime Minister has committed to keeping the UK in the EU for at least two years after we are supposed to leave in 2019. She has agreed to pay £18bn a year into the EU budget, to continue allowing unlimited number of EU immigrants to live and work here, agreed to adopt every EU directive and regulation and accepted the continued jurisdiction of the EU courts. At the same time, we will lose all our MEPs (not that they were ever successful in limiting the damage the EU causes to the UK) and the handful of vetoes we still retained.

This is a complete betrayal by a weak and treacherous Prime Minister who campaigned to keep us in the EU during the referendum.

The EU has already started excluding the UK from meetings and blocking companies and institutions from applying for funding (quite possibly illegally) well in advance of our now indefinitely-postponed independence day in 2019. Over the next four years we will be paying for little more than the privilege of subsidising access to UK markets for companies in the EU. Once all EU funding for the UK stops in 2019 we will be paying the EU £1 for every £12 worth of goods we export to EU countries. That's an 8% tariff on EU exports paid by us, the taxpayer so that companies in the EU to export £60bn more to us than we do to them without having to pay for access to our markets.

We voted to leave the EU and we should leave, not stay half in and half out. And when we do leave we should take our £14bn share of EU assets that we paid for and the £9bn we put into the EU Investment Bank, we don't owe them a penny.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Castlefields Way road closure

Work is starting today on reconstructing Castlefields Way in Aqueduct between the roundabout and Southall Road.

The work is expected to last 3 weeks and the diversion is via the Eastern Primary and round Brookside Avenue so expect an increase in traffic for a while.

The council found problems with the material under the road after I harassed them into sorting out the dip in the road at the traffic lights by Willow Bank a couple of years ago. There is a concrete slab under that section of the road which is obviously very heavy and prone to sinking over time. The rest of the road is prone to cracking caused by slippage of the substructure.

Serious assault in Blakemore

A man was seriously assaulted outside his home in Blakemore on Saturday night and is in the Queen Elizabeth hospital.

The man sustained serious head injuries and was taken to the Birmingham hospital in a critical condition. There are unsubstantiated rumours that he was stabbed during the incident but this is not the case.

Clearly this is going to be a pretty traumatic time for his family and friends living nearby but despite this there have been reports of people turning up to the house to see what they can see now that the police have left the scene. Please don't do this.

A suspect is in custody but the police would still like to hear from you if you have any information. You can contact them on 03003333000 or 101 and quote reference 736s of August 5th. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800555111 anonymously.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Man arrested on suspicion of attempted child abduction in Brookside

A 31 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of an attempted child abduction in Brookside yesterday.

The man reportedly tried to get two young boys to follow him from the shops but police say they were unharmed and no attempt was made to touch them. The suspect has been interviewed and released on bail pending further investigations.

If you have concerns about the safety of a child you can report your concerns on the Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding website.