Sunday, 1 December 2013

Help to feed a family this Christmas

I've been a supporter of Telford Food Bank for a few months now, occasionally popping in to help during volunteer hour, collecting food at work, promoting the food bank and of course buying food for the food bank myself (I was actually the first councillor in Telford & Wrekin to make a referral to the food bank).

Since April this year, Telford Food Bank has fed over 3,500 people and that includes 1,100 children. That's roughly 1 in 43 people in the borough and 3% of school-age children who would have gone hungry if it wasn't for the generosity of people and businesses in Telford and the hard work of Jake Bennett and his volunteers.

On Friday I picked up a crate of food from the Red Cross office at Central Park on Friday, went to the supermarket with money donated by my colleagues at Capgemini to buy items from Jake's shopping list and then collected a few more boxes of food from different Capgemini offices before heading for the food bank in Madeley with one of my sons for volunteer hour. Then I was back out again on Saturday morning with my daughter to man collection trolleys at Tesco in Wellington while Jake freshened himself up after a night sleeping rough to raise money for the homelessness charity, Shelter. It was a manic few hours of my weekend but nothing compared to the many hours a day, every day of the week that some volunteers put in.

There is a misconception that people getting food parcels are on the take, that they're getting free food because they spend all their money on fags and booze. Of course there are people like that but the referral form is lengthy and any more than two food parcels comes with a mandatory appointment at the Citizens Advice Bureau to get to the bottom of their problems rather than just tide them over for a few weeks. Most people that go to the food bank do so because they've lost their jobs, their benefits have been stopped for some reason or because their debts have got out of control. They're people in genuine need who have to choose between paying for a roof over their heads or putting food on the table.

This Christmas there are children in Telford who will go without presents because their parents can't afford to feed them, let alone buy them toys. Some of them will go hungry too. Most of us wouldn't notice a few extra tins of beans or vegetables on our shopping bill each week but it would make a huge difference to Telford Food Bank and the hundreds of people it supports every week to have those tins donated.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Name calling, heckling and Punch and Judy politics

I was convinced by a post on the Telford Live website to go along in person Thursday night's Telford & Wrekin Council meeting at TCAT and I would encourage anyone who wants to know why the council is so poorly run and why such ridiculous decisions are being made to go along and see for themselves how their councillors behave.

Cllr White explaining how ATOS have
murdered 10,000 people
There is very little substance for the first half of the meeting which is just going through the motions, listening to some rather dry reports from cabinet members that have clearly been prepared by officers and would mean nothing to anybody who isn't already heavily involved in the subject. Where it gets interesting (for want of a better word) is the second half which is councillors' questions and motions.

The councillors' questions consist of Labour councillors asking their leader if he is aware of this and that and then finding that in fact, yes, he does know about it and by happy coincidence has a short speech already prepared about it. This is then followed by a brief declaration of love and respect for the great leader who is doing "a great job". Conservative councillors follow with a couple of questions which seem to be almost word for word what we in UKIP have been saying about things that are going on (you're welcome guys, we're happy to lead the opposition from the outside until the next election) which the leader dismisses as political statements.  Labour councillors - Cllrs Richard Overton and Shaun Davies in particular - heckle the Conservatives throughout and Cllr Burrell argues with the speaker about what he can and can't do before throwing his teddy out of his pram.

The criticism of the leader of the opposition making political statements leads straight into councillors' motions which are political statements on national issues which the council has no power over and are frankly a waste of time. Last night it was calling on the council to call on the government to recognise veterans of British nuclear weapons testing and to sack ATOS who have, so Labour councillors insisted last night, killed 10,000 people by making them work or telling them that their benefits are being reviewed.

The "debate" on the ATOS motion consisted of Labour councillors slagging off the government, complaining that ATOS is French and makes a profit and accusing them of corporate manslaughter (which is quite possibly libellous) whilst the Tories largely agreed that ATOS were crap but didn't agree that they'd killed 10,000 people. In the end they all supported the motion which might have had something to do with it being a recorded vote but ultimately it was nothing more than an opportunity for Labour to grandstand on national politics.

The only motion on local issues was from the Conservatives who wanted the council to welcome the u-turn on council tax from the Labour administration who have put up council tax for the last 2 years while the government have been offering cash not to increase it and are now freezing it until the next election even though the millions on offer for freezing council tax is no longer available. There followed about half an hour of what newspapers might call "spirited debate" while both sides called each other childish names and claimed the credit for everything short of world peace. An amusing comment came from one Labour councillor whose name I don't recall who said that "everybody knows you can't do anything in 4 years" which didn't stop her colleagues listing all their achievements in the last 2 years since the election.

I came away from last night's meeting with even more of a determination to clean up this council. It's not just the poor decisions and waste, it's the unprofessional and juvenile behaviour of the councillors who are spending millions of pounds of our money and making decisions that affect the lives and livelihoods of over 160,000 people. Last night we heard about "3% Mark" Pritchard, Ed "Wallace" Miliband and "Burglar Bill" McClements. Name calling, making stupid noises and interrupting people when they're speaking are things I'd associate with a classroom full of dysfunctional teenagers rather than professional politicians in a council meeting.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Holmer Lake School want your ideas for Telfordopoly!

Holmer Lake Primary School's question of the week from Mr Oswin is:
If a Telford version of Monopoly was created, what would be on the board (and why) and what would it replace on the traditional board?

This is a great question and hopefully it'll get people thinking about where they live. It's a shame we couldn't get a Telford version of Monopoly made because we'd get sued by Hasbro who own the rights to the game. The school would love to get some more ideas so why not leave them your ideas on their blog?

Here's my thoughts on a Telford version of Monopoly ...

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Brookside Big Bang 2013

The Brookside Big Bang fireworks last night were amazing and once again put Brookside on the map.

We were the only place in Telford to have a public firework display last night and people came from as far as Shrewsbury to watch them.  This was easily the second biggest firework display in Telford.

The firework display wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the volunteers stewarding the event and providing the catering so well done to all those people who gave up their time to help.  I was there with my high vis helping to steward.

The big clean-up followed the Big Bang this morning with a BIG litter pick around the field.  We picked up six sacks of rubbish on and around the field.  We'd probably have got more if we'd had the time but as there was only myself and two of my children and another resident and her son we were a bit limited on what we could physically pick up and carry in an hour.

The only thing that marred the event for me was several people walking through the crowds - which must have been a couple of hundred people - smoking weed.  If people want to smoke it in their own homes then as far as I'm concerned that's their own business (banning drugs clearly doesn't work as this shows) but walking through groups of children smoking it is wrong.






Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Street cleansing requested outside Windmill School

While contractors are working on the CCTV at the park by Windmill School, they are creating an awful mess on the pavement outside the school gates by driving their construction vehicles half on the pavement and half on the grass.  The footpath outside one of the school entrances is covered in mud and kids are playing where the grass has been churned up by the tracks on the digger.

I have reported this to Telford & Wrekin Council and they should be getting on the case today.


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Let's show the world that Brookside is open for business!

Business stalls, advice and food from around the world.  An event that aims to show Brookside in a whole new light!

Please make sure everyone you know in and around Brookside knows of this … whether they own a local business, have an idea for one, want to meet local trades people or are looking for advice in skill development and job seeking this is where they need to be.

To book a FREE stall message:  info@brooksidebiglocal.co.uk

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Shropshire Star: Call to help buy empty Telford church

An empty Telford church which is for sale could be saved as a public asset if residents rally together to find the £120,000 needed to buy it, it was claimed today.

Community organiser Leigh Ricketts, right, trainee community organiser Kathryn MacDonald and local resident Bill Kirby, launching the appeal to keep All Saints Church, Stirchely, as a community resource

All Saints Church in Stirchley, Telford, is currently on the open market. But Leigh Ricketts, who works with Locality, a body which supports and advises community groups, said it was hoped local people could buy the building and run it themselves.

He said: “The area has a high level of deprivation and what they haven’t got in Stirchley is a community building.

“It’s up for £120,000. I know that seems like a lot of money but it’s the size of a supermarket.

“It’s 3,000 square feet. We want people to think about the potential it could hold as a social enterprise, a community venue, a small business, anything.

“The other people looking at buying it are restaurants, takeaways or the land will be bulldozed.

Mr Ricketts added: “No-one is going to buy the building for the people of the community. I want them to see that once it’s gone it’s gone.”

The former church on Grange Avenue includes a central congregational hall with number of large function rooms, small offices, administration rooms, a kitchen and canteen area and car parking.

It has planning permission for non-residential institutions, including clinics, creches, day centres and museums.

Mr Ricketts added: “If we can get enough people interested we can form a residents’ group and help them to find funding through sources like the National Lottery.”

He is hoping to create a working group to investigate ways of finding the funding needed to save the church and look at possible uses for the building.

Anyone interested should call Mr Ricketts on 07860 781098.

Cllr Jill Seymour tops MEP list for 2014

UKIP Telford & Wrekin are very pleased to announce that Cllr Jill Seymour has been voted to the number 1 spot on the West Midlands regional list for next year’s EU elections by the membership.

At the last EU elections UKIP had two MEPs elected and this time around the experts think UKIP will win outright which means we could have three or more MEPs in the West Midlands euroregion in 2014.

The way EU elections are run is quite alien to us here in England (as with most things that emanate from Brussels).  While we are used to voting for people in our own elections, we vote for a party in EU elections and the party provides a list of people who will become MEPs at that election.  EU elections are held under proportional representation so the percentage of the vote received is equal (roughly) to the percentage of seats the party wins.  In the West Midlands euroregion there are seven seats available and UKIP hopes to win three or four of those.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Community Litter Pick #4

I took part in the BIG community litter pick in Brookside again yesterday morning and the turnout was better than ever.

The first two weeks we had just a handful of people turn up - the usual suspects - but this last two weeks the level of support has been amazing and new litter pickers have had to be purchased to meet demand.

Next week is the last of the five weeks that were originally planned but given the success of the litter picks we've had so far they will no doubt be continued, although perhaps not on a weekly basis.


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Jane Smith's 25th anniversary at Stirchley & Brookside

I had the pleasure of celebrating our parish clerk's 25 years of service to Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council at the Sambrook Centre yesterday.

One thing I didn't realise was that Jane was the very first clerk to the parish council, taking the job when the parish council was first created.  This explains how she knows everything that's ever happened in Brookside and Stirchley!

The parish clerk is the most important person at a parish council.  Councillors come and go but clerks generally stick around and they know how everything works and who everyone is.  They run the council, they make sure things happen and make sure things are done the right way.  They advise councillors and tell them when they're doing something wrong.

Jane has done a fantastic job for the last 25 years and I'm sure she'll continue to do a fantastic job in the future.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Teenager robbed at knife-point in Brookside

Two men attempted to rob a teenager at knife-point in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The 19 year old victim was stopped by two men - one black and around 5'9" and the other white and just over 6ft - who asked him for a lighter. When he said that he didn't have a lighter, one of the men pulled a knife on him and told him to empty his pockets. The victim ran away unharmed.

The attack took part on Brookside Avenue between Bishopdale and Blakemore at 3:30am on Saturday.

If you have information on this attack you can contact the police on 03000 333 3000 or tell Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The incident number is 110S070913.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Litter pick tomorrow

The first of five weeks of BIG litter picks is tomorrow.

Anyone who wants to take part should meet at Brookside Community Centre at 10am where hi-vis vests, bags and litter pickers will be provided.

Children are welcome but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Busy week reporting issues

I've been out leafleting all over Brookside this last week or so which means I've been busy reporting lots of issues to the council.

By far the biggest report I put in was Burtondale - I reported the whole street for fly tipping and a street cleansing crew should be going out to clear it up soon.  Burtondale looked like an abandoned street with all the fly tipping and litter, it must have been neglected for months.

I've reported the green bins that have been left out on Beaconsfield for about 3 months now.  The recycling people won't empty them because they've got soil and black bags in but they apparently haven't reported back to say they need something doing about them.  The grass cutters have mowed around them several times rather than moving them or reporting back that something needs doing about them.  This is why UKIP Telford & Wrekin will review the outsourcing arrangements the council has because we don't think taxpayers are getting value for money.

I've also reported abusive graffiti on a sign in Blakemore, an abandoned gas bottle by Brereton garages and the zigzags outside Windmill School that still haven't been repainted since the road was resurfaced even though I asked for them to be done two months ago as a priority.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Food Bank collection point at Stirchley

Thanks to our hard working parish clerk, we now have a Food Bank collection point in the parish council offices.


I asked the clerk to make enquiries about having a collection point at the Sambrook Centre (also home to Stirchley library) at our last parish council meeting and the collection box was delivered a week or so ago.

There is a shopping list on the Telford Crisis Network website giving examples of things you might like to donate to the food bank or if you'd rather donate cash they can increase your donation by 2,000% via match funding from Shropshire Tutor and a warehousing company that will deliver food to the food bank for just 10% of its value.

If you are in need of the services of the food bank yourself then please get in touch (I'm a trusted referrer) and I'll talk you through the referral process.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Missing Elise Buckley found

This missing schoolgirl, Elise Buckley, has been found safe and well in Dawley after going missing a week ago in Birmingham.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Police looking for missing 14 year old girl

Concern Grows Over Fourteen Year Old Girl Missing From Telford

Police today appealed to a 14-year-old girl missing from Telford to get in touch as fears grow for her safety.

Elise Buckley has not been in touch with her family since travelling with a female friend from Telford to Birmingham city centre on Friday.

Her friend later returned to Telford leaving Elise with a young man they had met up with.  She was reported missing yesterday morning prompting a police search.

It’s now believed Elise may have returned to Telford and her family and the police are anxious to establish she is safe and well.

Detective Chief Inspector Jason Wells, said: “We are appealing to Elise to make contact with the police as soon as possible.  We are also urging anyone else who has heard from her, or who knows of her whereabouts, to get in touch with us.

“We are extremely concerned about her.  Elise is only 14 and as such will be vulnerable.  She was last seen in Birmingham on Friday and as time passes, we are becoming increasingly worried.”

He said Elise comes from Wolverhampton but was staying in Telford when she went missing.

“We have been liaising closely with West Midlands Police who are also searching for her.  Information suggesting she may have been in the Brookside area of Telford, possibly with a man, during the early hours of today, is being followed up.

“However, she is known to frequent Wolverhampton and the Birmingham area, as well as Telford”.

Elise is white, 5ft 7ins tall, with very long, straight blonde hair.

DCI Wells added: “It’s very important Elise contacts the police, or indeed, anyone else who can help us find her, as matter of urgency.  We are concerned about her welfare and anxious to establish she is safe.”

Police asking for witnesses to BB gun attack in Sitrchley

West Mercia Police are asking for witnesses to an incident on Stirchley Lane yesterday where a woman cyclist was shot in the arm with a BB gun from a black Vauxhall Corsa.
A woman cyclist was hit on the arm after a ball bearing gun was fired at her from a passing car in Telford.

Police are seeking witnesses to the incident which happened at around 4.50pm yesterday (Sunday) on Stirchley Lane, Stirchley.

She was not seriously hurt sustaining a small swelling and reddening of the skin.

The 21-year-old was cycling with her partner down Stirchley Lane when a black Vauxhall Corsa coming towards them slowed down.  As the car drew level, the front seat passenger fired the ball bearing gun at her.

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: “This was an extremely foolhardy and dangerous act which could have caused serious injury if she had been hit in the face.

“We are appealing for witnesses or anyone who knows the identity of the culprit, to contact Malinsgate police station by calling 101.

“Information can also be given to the anonymous Crimestoppers charity, for which a reward may be paid.”

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Another arson attack at park by Windmill School

In the last few weeks the park outside Windmill School has been vandalised twice and last night the fire brigade were called to put out a fire there.

A local resident summed it up pretty well:
Think... Whilst the firemen are putting an end to what you see as fun someone could be dying in a house fire or car accident, worse still it could be a member of your family or a friend! Get a life, it isn't funny.
In this kind of weather where the grass and trees are very dry, a small fire can easily get out of control and cause a lot of damage, ultimately putting peoples' lives at risk.

In view of the recent spate of vandalism, arson, bullying and antisocial behaviour at the park I would urge parents to ensure that their children are supervised when they are out or at least to do a spot check every now and again to make sure they're where you expect them to be and not causing any mischief.

Advance warning of roadworks on A442

Thanks to our hard working Priority Action Co-ordinator, Keith Whitton, we have some advance warning of the schedule of works on and around the A442 Eastern Primary.

Work will take place between Randlay and Stirchley Interchanges from the 29th July to 2nd August and then again from 6th August to 8th August.  There will also be roadworks on the Brockton Loop (aka the trumpet bend) on 1st August.  There is a contingency day built in on 2nd August in case the contractors get behind schedule and another on 9th August.

There is work on Brockton Way (the dual carriageway that goes from the Eastern Primary to the Sutton Hill island by the Texaco garage) between 6th August and 8th August and a bit further up the road there is work on the A442 between Randlay and Hollinswood Interchanges on 13th August.

There will be traffic lights on the Castlefield Roundabout (the mine shaft island) between 29th July and 6th August and on Naird Roundabout (the island with the concrete "needle" by Stafford Park).

There are a few others a bit further away but these are the ones a proverbial stone's throw from Brookside and Stirchley.

Friday, 5 July 2013

New UKIP councillor in Brookside

Two by-election wins for UKIP

UKIP Telford & Wrekin are celebrating two fantastic election results tonight after winning both the Madeley Town Council and Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council by-elections.

Ryan Laing beat the Conservative candidate who stood as an independent, Grant Foxon, by 331 votes to 206 in Woodside. We believe that the 61.4% vote share may be the new record percentage win in a by-election for UKIP anywhere in the country.

Brookside candidate, Lynda Hogger, also beat Labour borough councillor Nathan England by 442 votes to 322. The 57.85% of the vote Lynda secured is a massive achievement in itself without considering she was up against a sitting borough councillor.

UKIP Telford & Wrekin now has 9 councillors representing Brookside, Dawley, Dothill, Ercall Magna, Kynnersley, Hollinswood, Shifnal and Woodside.

Well done to both candidates, their families, friends and for everyone from the branch and surrounding areas who came to help deliver leaflets and put up posters. We couldn't have done it without the hard work that everyone put in.


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Election Tomorrow

Just a reminder that there is a by-election in Brookside tomorrow to replace David Holloway who resigned last month because he's moving out of the area.

UKIP's candidate is Lynda Hogger, a local resident who has been involved in many local charities and community projects.  Her only opponent is the rarely-seen GMB trade union sponsored Labour borough councillor for Stirchley, Nathan England.

The Labour Party operates a whip at the borough council which means they're told how to vote and punished if they don't do as they're told.  We already have three Labour borough councillors on the parish council, we need parish councillors that will represent residents not do what they're told to do by Telford & Wrekin Council.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Telford Food Bank: a real life experience

Earlier this year I was contacted by a newly-arrived resident experiencing some real difficulties settling in to her new home in Brookside with her son.

The pair of them were forced to move from their previous home in quite appalling circumstances which I won't go into and decided to make a new life in Telford.  All was going well until her son was offered a job and the Jobcentre decided to stop his benefits while he was waiting for some background checks to be completed and a start date to come through which left them both with literally a few pounds a week with which to feed themselves.

Being a councillor doesn't remove endless layers of bureaucracy, nor does it count for much with the likes of the Jobcentre with their remote and dispassionate call centres.  I did my best for these people though and they tell me that what I did was a help but it didn't seem like enough at the time. The biggest help of all, though, was something that I can't take the credit for - Telford Food Bank.

The food bank is part of Telford Crisis Network which is run by Ironbridge councillor, Jake Bennett.  He spends hours coordinating food parcel deliveries, collecting donations and taking enquiries from people like me who want to help someone but aren't sure what services are the best to direct them to.  If they haven't started polishing his medal at Buckingham Palace yet then they'd best get a move on because the man is a saint.

I was surprised to find just a few months ago that I was the first councillor in Telford & Wrekin to make a referral to the food bank.  Probably not as surprised as Jake was that the first would be a UKIP councillor as the media likes to portray us all as posh right wing ex-Tories! (For the record, I've never voted Tory in my life and I'm certainly not posh).

I know that the food parcels donated by Telford Food Bank to these particular residents was a huge help and without them they would have both gone hungry.  They didn't have a choice to make between paying bills and eating, they had no money for either.  They weren't frittering away their money on booze, fags and nights out - they simply had no money because of a broken system and intransigent Jobcentre staff who made a mistake and wouldn't put it right.

I'm pleased to say that the lady and her son that benefited from the food bank this year are back on their feet now and want to make their own donation to the food bank to help other people.  There is no doubt that there are a great number of people who take advantage of the social security system and live a life of relative comfort without a care as to who pays their bills but equally there are a great number of people who find themselves in such dire straits that they have to go without food through no fault of their own.  These are the people that need our help and I would urge anyone in a position to do so, to support Telford Food Bank.

If you or someone you know is in a similar situation and needs the support of the food bank then please do get in touch with me.  If you live in the Brookside area and want to make a donation to Telford Food Bank then please let me know and I will be happy to collect what you have and make sure it gets to a food bank collection point.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Proposal for Holmer Lake & Stirchley Park ward

At our parish council meeting on Tuesday we were told of a proposal to remove most of the parts of Brookside ward around Holmer Lake from the Brookside ward and create a single member Holmer Lake ward on the parish council.  This suggestion has come from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

The timing was perfect as it happens because the impending election in Brookside (4th July, don't forget to vote) highlighted to me once again what a nonsense it is for the Brookside ward to cross Brookside Avenue.  The two areas are like chalk and cheese and there is no common sense of identity between Holmer Lake, Stirchley and Brookside.  The idea of a separate ward for Brookside without was already forming in my mind prior to the meeting but the proposed single-member ward covering just Holmer Lake doesn't cut it for me so  I abstained on the vote along with Cllr Watkin who also has reservations about the proposal (although possibly different from mine, we didn't get much time to discuss it).

I have submitted the following counter-proposal to the LGBCE for the creation of three wards in Stirchley & Brookside Parish ...
Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to make an alternative suggestion to that which is proposed for Strichley & Brookside Parish Council.

The current draft proposal is that the area around Holmer Lake should form a single member parish ward of its own with a corresponding decrease in the number of councillors representing Brookside ward by one.

As a current parish councillor for the Brookside ward I understand entirely the need for Holmer Lake to be represented separately to the rest of the Brookside ward.  I make a conscious effort to include the Holmer Lake area and the parts of Stirchley that are within the Brookside ward in everything that I do but the fact that they are so distinct from the Brookside ward both physically and in terms of identity and demographics makes it difficult.  The residents groups and borough council initiatives that are present in Brookside ward concentrate exclusively on the parts of the ward within Brookside Avenue which is a natural (albeit man-made) boundary which is clearly to the detriment of those other parts of the ward.  The needs and priorities of the residents on the inside of Brookside Avenue are so divergent from those on the outside that initiatives and residents groups would find it very difficult to cross that boundary and still be effective and relevant.

In my opinion, the needs of the residents in both Holmer Lake and Stirchley Village would be best served by forming a larger Holmer Lake and Stirchley Park ward incorporating the following:
  • Holmer Lake
  • Tadorna Drive
  • The area around Sandino Road area and Grange Close
  • The streets to the south of Brookside Avenue adjacent to Holmer Lake School (eg. Cygnet Drive, Lake End Drive, etc.)
  • The whole of Stirchley Village and Stirchley Park currently in Brookside and Stirchley wards (eg. Swansmede Way, Grange Farm, etc.) making Grange Avenue, Randlay Avenue and Arundel Close the boundary of the new ward with the Stirchley ward and Brookside Avenue the boundary with the Brookside ward
  • Lambeth Drive, Bournside Drive and Bournbrook Gardens
  • Mount Pleasant Drive (which is currently part of Dawley and Aqueduct Ward)
  • The parts of Bridgnorth Road and Aqueduct Road and adjoining streets on the Brookside side of the Silkin Way
I absolutely agree with the idea of separately representing those parts of the parish that are distinct from the Brookside and Stirchley wards but I doubt that a single member ward will do much to improve their representation and in all likelihood the councillor returned for that ward will not reside in that ward as it has such a small population.  The above would see three reasonably similar sized wards form the parish with boundaries based along more obvious lines with similar demographics.  It would increase the size of the parish by a few hundred electors by including the parts of the Dawley and Aqueduct ward that fit within the more obvious boundary of the parish but needn't result in additional councillors.

The following is a roughly-drawn suggestion of the new boundaries:


If you would like to submit your own views on the proposal to create a Holmer Lake ward you can email reviews@lgbce.org.uk.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Power cut at Community Centre

The building works in the centre have resulted in a loss of power to Brookside Community Centre.

Take 5 Café will be closed all day and events will be disrupted.

The café will be open again on Thursday, usual hours of 9am-1pm.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Lynda Hogger for Brookside?

Residents should have received their ballot papers by now for the by-election on July 4th to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of David Holloway.


My UKIP colleague, Lynda Hogger, is standing in the by-election.  Lynda lives in Dunmaster way which is in the Stirchley Park part of the Brookside ward.

Lynda moved to Telford with her husband Jim in 2007, living first in Hollinswood and then in Stirchley.

Whilst living in London, Lynda volunteered as a counsellor for battered women, an experience which she describes as “eye opening”.

With the help of Randlay & Hollinswood Parish Council Lynda set up the Coffee and Chat group and organised an “Open for All” Day to get people using Hollinswood neighbourhood centre.

Since moving to Telford Lynda and her husband have been involved in Friends of Telford Town Park, Ironbridge & Severn Gorge Lions, Telford & Wrekin Senior Citizens Forum and fundraised for the PDSA.

Lynda and Jim have fundraised for the Ironbridge & Severn Gorge Lions and were the first “Friends of Lions”.  Having secured lottery funding, they both helped to lay a new footpath and build a new bridge to the island in the lake at Grange Farm View.

Through the Senior Citizens Forum, Lynda coordinated an information gathering exercise and the repair of potholes and damaged footpaths all over the borough.  She was also interviewed for Telford & Wrekin Council’s Leisure and Culture Review.

Labour have put up Nedge borough councillor, Nathan England, as their candidate.  If the name sounds familiar it's because his dad, Arnold, is already a borough and parish councillor for Brookside.  With four couples already on the council, adding Cllr England Jr to Cllr England Sr would leave just 3 councillors on without a relative on the parish council!

From memory, Cllr England Jr who represents the Stirchley ward on the borough council has attended just one parish council meeting and two electors' meetings since I joined the council in 2011.

The Lib Dems apparently had a candidate but didn't realise when the deadline was for submitting nominations despite the vacancy being advertised on the parish council's website, the borough council's website, on this website, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Google+ and on the parish council noticeboard.  The Conservatives don't appear to have been able to find a candidate.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Take 5 Café opens tomorrow


Take 5 Café is being run by Brookside Community Interest Company (CIC), a special type of company that is run along charitable lines and set up by local residents.

Skate park vandalised again

The skate park was vandalised again this week with one of the ramps put out of action.


The parish council is responsible for maintaining the skate park so this is local residents' money that is being wasted on repairing mindless vandalism.  If you have information on who was responsible for the vandalism please contact the parish council.

Kimberley Russell died of natural causes

The coroner has ruled that Kimberley Russell died of natural causes at her house in Blakemore in February.

Police believed that pregnant Kimberley was murdered and arrested Darren Edwards but later released him without charge.  He said he has been forced to leave the area because of the accusation.

John Ellery, the coroner for Shropshire and Telford, recorded a verdict of death by natural causes saying that the most likely cause of death was a bleed on the brain.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Urgent Appeal To Find Missing Wellington Teenager

Missing teenager Georgia Williams West Mercia Police are urgently seeking the public's help to find a missing teenager from Wellington in Shropshire.

Georgia Williams, aged 17, left her home 7.30pm on Sunday 26 May and has not been seen by her family since.  Police and her family are increasingly concerned for her welfare.

Police believe that Georgia may have been travelling with a 22-year-old man from the Wellington area.  He was arrested this morning in Glasgow, on suspicion of kidnap.

Superintendent Nav Malik from West Mercia Police said:  "I am concerned for Georgia's welfare and am asking for the public's help to try and locate her.

"We believe that Georgia may have been travelling with a man since she left her home on Sunday.  A police operation has led to the arrest of a man in Glasgow but we have so far not been able to locate Georgia.

"We are keen to hear from anyone who has seen Georgia since Sunday afternoon,  or has any information about her whereabouts or movements over the past few days.

"I also want to know about the movements of a silver Toyota Hiace 300 GS van, registration number CX06 ASV, which we know the arrested man was driving.  We know that this vehicle travelled from Wellington to Oswestry, Shropshire, before travelling to Rhyll, Chester, Cumbria and then onto Glasgow."

Georgia is described as white, 5ft 3ins tall of slim build and she has red hair.

Superintendent Malik added:  "I'd also like to make a direct appeal to Georgia to get in touch with us.  If you hear these appeals, please contact us.  You are not in any trouble, we simply wish to make sure you are safe and well."

Anyone with information about Georgia's whereabouts can contact West Mercia Police on 0800 056 0944.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Summer Term Course Programme

Central Telford
Summer Term Course Programme
(June - August 2013)

Day
Time
Course

Start date
End date
Monday
Brookside Community Centre
9:30am – 12noon
English and Maths
(Functional Skills)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Monday
Brookside Community Centre
9:30am – 2:30pm
Get that Job in Cleaning or Community Care
(a one week course which will also include qualifications in Health & Safety and Manual Handling)
8 July
12 July
Monday
Hollinswood Pavillion

10am – 2:30pm
Health and Safety in the Workplace
17 June
24 June
Monday
Brookside Community Centre
6pm – 8:30pm
English and Maths
(Functional Skills)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Tuesday
Meeting Point House
9:30am – 11:30am
Internet and Emailing
 (Drop In session)

Ongoing
Ongoing
Tuesday
Meeting Point House
10am – 2pm

Emergency First Aid at Work
4 June
11 June
Tuesday
Meeting Point House
9:30am – 2pm

Emergency First Aid at Work
2 July
9 July
Tuesday
Dawley Social Club
9:30am – 11:30am
Job Junction
(a ‘drop in’ session for jobseekers)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Tuesday
Meeting Point House
10am – 2pm
Food Safety in Catering
18 June
25 June
Tuesday
Meeting Point House
10am – 2pm

Food Safety in Catering
16 July
23 July
Tuesday
Brookside Community Centre
9am – 11:30am
English and Maths
(Functional Skills)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Tuesday
Meeting Point House
12:30pm – 3pm

English and Maths
(Functional Skills)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Wednesday
Brookside Community Centre
9:15am – 12noon
Job Junction
(a ‘drop in’ session for jobseekers)
Every Wednesday
Ongoing
Wednesday
Meeting Point House
1pm – 4pm
Job Junction
(a ‘drop in’ session for jobseekers)
Every Wednesday
Ongoing
Wednesday
Randlay Community Centre
12:30pm – 3pm
English and Maths
(Functional Skills)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Wednesday
Brookside Community Centre
1pm – 3pm
Keeping your Family Safe Online
5 June
x 5 weeks
Wednesday
Randlay Community Centre
7pm – 9pm
Keeping your Family Safe Online
5 June
x 5 weeks
Thursday
British Legion, Dawley
9:30am – 12noon
English and Maths
(Functional Skills)

Ongoing
Ongoing
Thursday
Meeting Point House
9:30am – 2:30pm

Interview Skills
6 June
20 June
Thursday
Meeting Point House
10am – 1pm
Riding the Storm
(Parenting Teenagers)
27 June
18 July
Friday
Dawley Social Club
9:30am – 2pm

Emergency First Aid at Work
14 June
21 June
Friday
Brookside Community Centre
9:30am – 12noon
English and Maths
(Functional Skills)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Friday
Dawley Social Club
9:30am – 2pm

Health and Safety in the Workplace
12 July
19 July
Friday
Meeting Point House
10am – 1pm
Taking Charge of Your Life
(Confidence Building and Assertiveness)
21 June
12 July
Friday
British Legion, Dawley
9:30am – 12noon
English and Maths
(Functional Skills)

Ongoing
Ongoing
Friday
Brookside Community Centre
9:30am – 12noon
English and Maths
(Functional Skills)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Friday
Brookside Community Centre
3:15pm – 4:15pm
Computer ‘Drop in’ (the Computer Suite is open for online job-searching etc)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Dawley Social Club
(day tbc)

tbc
Introduction to Internet and Email
tbc
tbc
Meeting Point House
(day tbc)

tbc
Introduction to Starting Your Own Business
tbc
tbc
Brookside Community Centre
(days and times tbc)
tbc
Computing for Jobseekers
tbc
tbc

For details of how to enrol on to any of the above courses, please contact Adult & Community Learning on 01952 382181 or call/text 07794 999282