Thursday 31 March 2016

Almost 1/2 of all of Britain's exports go to the EU

Notes from the doorstep

Yup, it is definitely litter

Young dogs, old dogs, noisy dogs, quiet ones.  Quite a number of dogs, and quite a number of dog issues. Dogs that yap, dogs whose owners do not pick up after them. Poo trumps them all, specifically dog poo that is left behind by inconsiderate owners. The solution to all issues is for the owners to think beyond their selfishness.

Litter issues too. Flipping fly-tipping. Car parking, the state of the roads, the referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union - all lively discussions. Health issues too came up.

Litter issues, a regular theme, are also easily solved if only some residents would think before acting.  Like doogie doings, the clean-up is paid for by all of us. In a time of diminishing resources we could do with all residents acting in the best interests of their neighbours. There really is no excuse for dropping litter, fly-tipping, or not picking up after your pooch.

Life seemed pretty good to those residents I spoke to, notwithstanding the aforementioned issues. Hopefully this is a sign of just how good the Joint Administration is for Milton ward. This is a wonderful ward to represent.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Dear Govt: please don't wreck the NHS until after I have had my op

This is post written in an act of pure selfishness. You see, I am having surgery soon and I hope that happens before the Tories utterly wreck the NHS.

Regularly we see news of the cuts. This is affecting public services everywhere. This includes emergency services, this includes the National Health Service.

Nothing matters more than your health, nothing.

Last century's stand out achievement for the United Kingdom was the creation of the National Health Service, above all else. This cradle to grave service  has helped create, save, improve lives. It has soothed, smoothed the transition from life into death, been preventative, and utterly transformed lives.

Our increasingly longer lives owe much to the standard of health care we all expect and receive.

It is often taken for granted. Not so for those in immediate need.

So, Government, whatever your warped view of economics and your odd and selfish views as regards to priorities, please lay off the NHS. We all need it, and this selfish correspondent especially so.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Pause, and act in a measured way

I once was within earshot of a terrorist incident. Just over two decades ago I was lying in my bed in Heaton (Newcastle upon Tyne) when I heard an explosion. This was around midnight. The IRA had attempted to blow up a gas terminal in Gateshead. They failed; the terminal did not explode. I guess I was a mile or two away anyway, but it was still a reminder of how close we can all get.

I am a quarter Belgian, courtesy of a maternal grandfather. Whilst I a  consider myself English I still have an affinity with that small nation. Recent news has made me think of the land of the Walloons and Flemish.  It is just awful what has gone on there, just awful. Innocent lives lost to the whims of psychopaths.

We must not allow such tragedies to allow irrational judgements to be made. Just as all Catholics are not responsible for the ill deeds of the IRA - and I am an atheist of Catholic descent - so it is also true of Muslims.

Those that plan and carry out such atrocities must be brought to justice. But to rush to judgement, to impose draconian measure, to label whole communities as terrorists or terrorist sympathisers is to hand a victory to those who commit these dastardly acts.

We must pause, take stock, and embark on a measured response. We have to do what we can to protect all of us. We also need to retain our civilised approach to each other. This small rock called Earth has to accommodate all sorts of people with all sorts of outlooks on life.

We also need to strive for a fairer and more equal world, one where we peace reigns.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

A bit early, but here it is - intouch with St Laurence Ward - Election Special 2016

This is a more subdued offering from St Laurence ward's Conservatives, although still a limp offering. If nothing else, the abuse of grammatical rules make one wince. Cllr Flewitt boasts about voting against the Joint Administration's budget, meaning that he would have seen more cuts. Still, this correspondent can agree with him on his desire to retain the Cancer Unit in Southend-on-Sea.  would encourage all to sign this petition - Get Southend Hospital's vital cancer scanner up and running

Thursday 17 March 2016

Adieu Leigh Branch

Within weeks of moving into Blenheim Park ward in 2006 I was involved in the running of the local branch of the Labour Party. Leigh Branch LP, which covers four wards in Southend West, was in need of a secretary, and I was eager to undertake that role.

The four wards that Leigh Branch covers are: Belfairs, Blenheim Park, Leigh, and West Leigh.

My decade as secretary came to an end last night. I have moved and no longer live in Southend West constituency, let alone Blenheim Park ward. I held onto my role until the annual general meeting, and this was yesterday.

Charles Willis was re-elected as Chair of the Branch, and Cheryl Nevin takes over my role as Secretary.

I now have no role at Branch level within the Labour Party, unusually. Joining the party in 1996 I have had Branch roles since 1998. Here is a list of those roles.

Vice Chair
Leigh and West Leigh
Vice Chair

I will hold onto my Southend West constituency roles until that body has its AGM (expected in June).

I now live in Victoria ward, in the Rochford and Southend east constituency. At the moment I have no plans to undertake any new roles, but who knows what the future holds.

St Luke's Voice Winter 2018/19 edition