Monday, 27 April 2015

Family fun day this Saturday

Free family fun day on the Windmill school field this Saturday with a rounders competition, climbing wall, football, FitSteps, Zumba and more.

Take 5 Café re-opens today

Take 5 Café re-opens this morning after being forced to close its doors for the community centre refurbishment.

The café is a community interest company which is a special type of company that is required to put all its profits back into the local community where it operates so by supporting the café you're helping to put money into good causes in Brookside as well as getting your coffee or breakfast!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Happy St George's Day!

St GeorgeSmile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget, For we are the people of England, that never has spoken yet.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Litter Pick tomorrow morning

If anyone wants to join us, there is a BIG litter pick tomorrow morning at 10am.

We will be meeting by the shops just before 10 o'clock - just look out for the hi-vis jackets.

Litter pickers, hi-vis vests and bags will be provided.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Candidates announced for Brookside

Telford & Wrekin Council have published details of all the valid candidates for the elections next month and they make interesting reading.

In Brookside there are 7 candidates for Telford & Wrekin Council but only four of us actually live in the Brookside ward: myself and Lynda Hogger and the two Labour candidates. One of the Conservative candidates lives in the Nedge ward and the other lives in Trench whilst the only Green candidate is at university in Coventry for the next two years!

For the 7 vacancies for the Brookside ward there are 8 candidates: myself and Lynda Hogger again, 5 Labour candidates (one of which lives in Malinslee) and 1 independent.

All over Telford & Wrekin there are Conservative and Labour candidates being parachuted into wards that are miles away from where they live. I had already been told by Labour and Conservative people that they were struggling for candidates but didn't realise quite how difficult they were finding it.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Officially a candidate for the election

My nomination papers were accepted yesterday and I'm now an official candidate for Brookside ward for both Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council and Telford & Wrekin Council.

Labour have only lost two elections in Brookside - once in 2007 when the Tories took control of the borough council and once in 2013 when my colleague, Cllr Lynda Hogger, beat Labour borough councillor Nathan England in a by-election. Losing the 2007 election here forced the Labour administration to start undoing the three decades of neglect under their watch and we're only now seeing changes with the new shops opening and the refurbished community centre about to be re-opened. This doesn't make up for the last 30 years though. The physical and social generation of our estate has to continue if we're going to tackle antisocial behaviour, poverty and unemployment in our community.

I've worked hard for Brookside and Stirchley over the last few years, not because I think it will look good to voters or because there's a photo opportunity but because I want to change the place I live for the better. I don't crave the limelight, I don't let politics cloud my judgement and I don't stand on other peoples' shoulders. If something needs doing I'll do it and if I can't do it myself I'll find someone who can.

Being a parish councillor for this last 4 years has helped me to help other people. Information flows more freely and things are done with more urgency when you're a councillor and while I firmly believe that everyone should be entitled to that same level of service, at least I have the opportunity to use it to make things happen when it turns out they don't.

I've done a lot as a mere parish councillor but I could do even more as a borough councillor. Hopefully I'll get that opportunity next month!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Campaigning against HS2

I went to Marston in Staffordshire yesterday with Jill Seymour MEP to support the locals there who are campaigning against HS2 ripping their village in two.

UKIP has opposed HS2 from the outset. There is no economic case for spending what is currently estimated to be £42.6bn to build a new high speed rail network (plus £7bn for trains) rather than investing in the existing railways that we have. If there was, the farmer I spoke to yesterday whose farm buildings are being demolished so the railway can pass 200 yards from his house might feel slightly less aggrieved at the prospect of trains hurtling past his living room at 250mph day and night so that people can travel between a few cities - the nearest a 40 minute drive from his farm - a bit quicker.

The EU is, of course, behind HS2 - it's the UK leg of the Trans-European High Speed Rail Network (TEN-R) and a directive orders the British government to fritter away our hard earned cash on this huge white elephant.

We're lucky not to have this monstrosity scything through Shropshire but we're still going to have to pay for it and the bill is currently about £1,500 per family.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The good and the bad side of Brookside

Today I saw the good side and the bad side of Brookside.

I took the kids to the park this morning and it was great. The sun was shining, the other kids on the park were playing nicely, there was nobody smoking weed or drinking special brew, no hoodie wearing teenagers swearing and spitting on the floor. I went for a walk around the outside of the school looking for a fly tip behind the school fence that a resident had mentioned and saw a family playing cricket on the field behind the school.

We went back to the park again this afternoon and the sun was still shining, there were a lot more kids there but they were still playing really nicely. Unfortunately, a parent decided to set all the kids a great example by throwing his empty can on the floor. What a great example to set for his children and an even better advertisement for DP Plastering, the name of the company on the jacket he was wearing. On the way home, we saw an idiot driving a +Just for Pets Ltd van from Briarwood over the pavement and onto the grass next to the car park by Windmill School rather than driving round the corner to the road and parking on the car park. You can see how close he was to some kids playing on the car park.

The caretaker from Windmill School will be clearing up the rubbish chucked over their fence tomorrow and checking the school's CCTV to identify the perpetrator. If anyone has any information about the people responsible for throwing their rubbish into the school grounds then you can contact me in confidence and I will pass the details on.