Saturday, 21 March 2009

Whats new?

Been a very busy few weeks with all sorts going on. Saturday 28th February; Worked on the Charles Burrell Garden & Sculpture project, took the group of children involved to Didlington Nursery to purchase some plants and then we all planted them into the garden which is coming along well. Monday 2nd March; Met with Elspeth Barnes, from the Matthew Project which seeks to tackle drug and alcohol issues in Thetford. In the evening it was our first session of the new Abbey Table Tennis Club for 16 - 24 year olds, went well for a first session. Tuesday 3rd; Youth club from 4pm - 6pm then had to leave before the second session really got going as I attended the Moving Thetford Forward meeting in the Carnegie Rooms, mixed views on this! I will post my whole letter as part of the consultation seperately. Wednesday 4th; Met with Sadie and Abi to talk about 'Transitions' a possible new Keystone project looking at supporting people during the recesssion and addressing life problems, a much needed project! Then around mid-day, I was interviewed by BBC Politics on Migrant Workers in Thetford and how this affects the local community, I was rather nervous! In the evening I met with Dennis and Colin to progress with the Thetford Labour Party Spring Newsletter Thursday 5th; In the morning I met with Tim Lovejoy to progress with Barnham Cross Community Worker and then in the evening it was the monthly Thetford Labour Party meeting. Bit of a special one tonight, selections for Norfolk County Council candidates!! Will blog seperately about that. Friday 6th; Met again with Tim, and Elsie Coleman the Barnham residents group Treasurer to review the groups finances and plan ahead. At 2.15pm it was the monthly ANCHOR meeting which went well. Spent the evening with Dave H looking at my Go Further website and sorting out the bloody wireless internet which has been a pain to get set-up, sorted it in the end!! Saturday 7th; Another gardening session at Staniforth Road Monday 9th; Annual leave from work, hurrahhh!!! Just as well, was feeling awful, so did not get to make the Abbey Residents meeting at 6pm or the Croxton Road meeting at 7.30pm Tuesday 10th; Felt awful still, spent most of the day in bed, dragged myself to the Barnham Action Group meeting for 6.30pm, lots of residents present tonight which was very encouraging. After this, at 8.30pm, had another Labour Party meeting, finished about 10pm, no wonder I'm feeling exhausted!! Thursday 12th; Tour of Pine Close shops as part of STAG, will post seperately on this as well! what a total an utter disgrace this whole matter is. Monthly Safer Thetford Action Group meeting at 10am and then after this, the Fireworks committee met at 12pm. Due to lack of funds forthcoming, it was agreed to postpone the fireworks event until 2010. To be fair, not a great deal of effort went into a 2009 date and raising funds, but all round, a 2010 is best so I did not fight this. Friday 13th; Annual leave again, rested!! Monday 16th; Barnham Cross Regeneration group meeting at 10am, was interesting, and then a Thetford Community Association meeting at 6pm with Paul Dives and Dean Roberts progressing with the risk assessments for the new football coaching project, all very exciting. Tuesday 17th; Had a trip for my business to London, took 24 to see Oliver and Joseph. Went very well. Few issues with the coach so will be meeting the coach company seperately, but encouraging trip with good feedback. Got home at 12.30am! Wednesday 18th; Had the morning booked off for a lay-in, then went in around lunch-time and progressed with some work. Town Council planning committee in the evening, Moving Thetford Forward on the agenda, got the impression only a handful of us actually wanted to spend any time talking bout the plans for Thetford... not sure why, I would have thought it was a fairly important matter. Thursday 19th; Progressed with Barnham Cross work at Fulmerston, attended Thursday night bingo at the Abbey PM. Saturday 21st; Had a SW Norfolk Labour Party meeting at 11am at the Sports and Social Club, then went out as a group delivering the Thetford Party Spring Newsletter, managed to cover most of Cloverfields Estate today so good going, lots more areas to get done.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Democracy.... Breckland style!

Breckland councillor storms out in free speech row 12 March 2009 15:58 An angry councillor stormed out of a meeting at Breckland Council this morning branding the authority a “disgrace to democracy”. While members of the full cabinet were approving minutes of previous meetings Keith Gilbert wanted to reignite a debate about contracting out planning and building control services which had been discussed at the cabinet meeting on February 24. He felt there had not been enough consultation on the subject and that it had not been open. But chairman John Labouchere told him that if he had “nothing new or pertinent” to say then there was not enough time to go over the subject again considering they had already given it a two hour debate at cabinet. William Nunn added: “Most of the points you are raising were raised at cabinet and we would not look to raise them again here.” Mr Gilbert walked out of the chamber saying that Mr Labouchere had refused him free speech. “I want it noted that the council has refused a debate and is therefore a disgrace to democracy,” he said. After the meeting Mr Gilbert told the EDP that it was his job as an opposition member to offer constructive criticism but he felt that anyone with negative comments was being gagged. “I have spoken to several members who are very much against this idea of giving a private company a say in planning issues which is a core service that Breckland Council should provide. “The way the council is working makes my position worthless and I feel like full council meetings are now just a self-congratulatory rubber stamp. I just could not stay in that meeting after being told I could not say what I wanted to say.”