Saturday, 31 March 2012

Want to be Police Commissioner?

Now, everyone involved in local politics knows that Conservative Nick Rushton, Deputy Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council and Leicestershire County Council wants to be the first Police Commissioner for Leicestershire and he is certainly getting his campaign started early.

Nick, who seldomly uses Twitter sent the following open tweet last night to Simon Cole, Chief Constable of the Leicestershire Force:

In response Simon replied:

So my question is this.

Given that Nick isn't yet even the Conservative candidate (and may well not be) and for that matter at this point anyone could put their name forward for the role of Police Commissioner can anyone get a meeting with the Chief Constable?

Why doesn't everyone who reads this blog contact the Chief Constable for a meeting because they are a 'potential' candidate?

Of course don't do that because it would be a colossal waste of police time and resources. But you get the point...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Let's start being positive about Coalville

If you are reading this you probably know that in addition to writing a blog I also tweet.

When I tweet one of the things I like to do is search for a keyword and one of the keywords I regularly search for is 'Coalville'. I like to know what other people are saying about our town.

Now apart from learning what the weather is like in Coalville, Utah (it's usually cold) one of the things you most often read is our Coalville, or even its people, are rubbish.

Now this gets me mad.

The worst thing is the comments usually come from people who live in Coalville.

Now I would never suggest that Coalville is like Stratford on Avon or some other well heeled hamlet and yes we do need regeneration BUT I am also very proud of our town.

We have a rich vein of history, a wide variety of things to do and some of the warmest and nicest people around.

We are blessed with fantastic countryside just minutes from the town centre. We have a football team which less than a year ago was playing at Wembley. We have a word class industrial museum and we have a wonderful theatre and cinema which has only recently been refurbished.

We have an historic manor house. We have public art and an exemplary community radio station. We have beautifully maintained parks to while away an hour.

We have restaurants, cafes and a range of affordable shops to get a bargain.

If all we can do is run our town down what opinion can we expect non-residents to have of us?

How can we expect major national retail chains to want to move here if all we do is run the place down?

We need to recognise that Coalville and its surrounding villages are great places to live and we need to start talking up our town.

It's not to say we shouldn't strive for a better future for our town but I believe everyone of us needs to be ambassadors for Coalville right here right now.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Do you have a good idea for your community?

Do you volunteer with a community group or charity in your area?

Have you got an idea how you can improve your town or village?

If the answer to the above questions are 'yes' then you need to be aware of a potential source of funding to make your ideas a reality.

The Coalville Community Budget, part of Leicestershire Forums, has £15,000 available for charities, community groups, schools etc. to make a difference in our area.

If you have an idea you can apply for up to £5,000 for your project. Further details are available by clicking here.

The beauty of the Community Forum Budget is that local people get to choose which projects receive funding through a democratic vote made at a 'decision night', so if your idea strikes a chord with other Coalville residents there is a real chance that it will come to fruition.

Why not get involved either by submitting a bid or registering to attend decision night? It could really make a difference to where you live.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Friends of Thringstone Litter Pick

Dave Everitt and I had a pleasant morning yesterday as we turned out for the Friends of Thringstone Litter Pick.

With the fantastic help of the local Air Cadets, Friends of Thringstone managed to collect 38 bags of litter along with a variety of discarded carpets, cushions and televisions.

Dave and I don't just attend meetings on behalf of Thringstone residents. We are committed to supporting the village in practical ways - not just at election time but throughout the 4 year term.

If you ever have a problem which you would like to tell your Councillor about then don't hesitate to contact us.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

NWLDC Tory Motto - If at first you don't succeed set the bar lower?

The Tory administration at North West Leicestershire continue to tell us how well the Council is performing.

One of the ways they do this is by having a performance management system in which they set targets for all of the 'important' areas in which they expect to see improvement.

We all know that demand for housing is a big issue in the district and so a key target for 2011/12 has been a measure of how many long term empty homes are brought back into use.

For this measure the Conservatives set a 'challenging' target of 30 homes.

Sounds so good so far?

Well, let us look a little deeper.

30 homes represents less than 5% of the total number of empty homes in the district. Hardly challenging is it?

But how many in the past year have been brought back into use?

You guessed it - the answer is 0!

It's an epic failure by the Tories.

So you would envisage that if the measure of bringing empty homes into use is so important to be incorporated into the performance management system then the authority would redouble it's effort in the upcoming financial year?

But the answer is no. At the Coalville Community Forum held earlier this evening when I asked the question what next years target would be I was told that provisionally it was being set at just 5 homes!

That's right the challenging target for 2012/13 is set to be less than 1% of empty homes in the district.

It seems to me that the Tory motto should be 'if at first you don't succeed set the bar lower'!

How do we take the ability to manage of this Tory administration seriously?

Friday, 9 March 2012

A little fun for the weekend...

It's been a very long and arduous week, so I thought it would be nice to have something to make us smile on a Friday.

I give you Tim Minchin at the Royal Variety Performance 2011.