Councillor’s Diary – Week commencing 24th October 2016

Monday 24th October

  • Progressed a couple of pieces of Casework
    on the lift at Dane Road, it's still not working and I've reported it
    and the cycleway at the bottom of Moss Road – schedule for a visit by the sweeper this week
  • A colleague relayed the circumstances of one of their constituents. It's absolutely appalling, how can we force on vulnerable people such a burden to find a solution or make up the shortfall?


    She receives 42 hours of care using personal assistants under the direct payment scheme
    The hourly payments take in to account the hours and days when care is provided:
    Week day- £7.20
    Week evening-£8.97
    Weekend day £10.25
    Weekend evening £13.24

    From the 8th of December a flat rate of £8 is being enforced by the council. She has been advised to get legal advice and that she has to give notice to her carers a period of eight weeks.

    At the same time a Tory councillor tweets that he wants the taxpayer to fund a new Royal Yacht for Her Majesty!

  • I pay a visit to Architectural Students temporarily stationed for the day in Stretford Arndale consulting for a project as part of their studies. Absolutely delightful and provocative. After the disappointing bias towards private cars contained in Trafford's own masterplan, it'll be great to see what these young students come up with.
  • Gorse Hill Labour branch meeting in the evening. Great to get together, not an ideal main topic – nominations for Constituency Labour Party positions.
    The Labour party has been through a difficult period and it's now time to build a competitive party that can take on the Tories. Key to this is getting a party that works to our strengths and it's in Labour's DNA that we're a party that begins with our presence in communities. We've over a 170 members in Gorse Hill and we're ambitious for more. We can only do that if members and supporters feel their being listened to; and are being included, and are part of the decision making.
    The feedback to the meeting over the next few days was really positive. There's a huge amount of energy and ambition.

Tuesday 25th October

  • No meetings planned, so after the positive response to the previous week's diary, I think it's time to sort out the blog. It's become messy and it doesn't render well on a mobile phone. It also goes wrong every time wordpress or bootstrap upgrade their frameworks. If none of this is comprehensible, essentially it's like a car held together with sellotape and pins. Redoing the page takes me all day and into the early morning. It doesn't actually look that different on the screen but sticking with the car analogy, it's got a whole new chassis and gearbox underneath. I go to bed fighting the lines of code still in my head. I think I'm entering the Matrix.
  • I do progress with the problems at the Moss Road Spar crossing (posted earlier this year). There's agreement to remove the parking space markings. But that isn't going totally solve the problem. I've called on Traffic Management to urgently commission a secondary set of railings similar to those installed at Chester Road.

    Chester Road Railings
    The Chester Road Crossing with railings behind the pavement
    spar crossing
    The Spar crossing that allows vehicles to reverse onto the highway via the dropped kerb of the crossing

Wednesday 26th October

  • Went to the Lostock Park planting day. Really impressive from them – less so from me, they'd already finished planting before I got there. Managed to help a little with packing the gazebos. Had chance to discuss with Maureen a few issues.
    Particularly the subway at Humphrey Park Station.
  • Meeting with Jill Colbert and others over the Orchards school. Not much I can report. At least I feel we've been brought up to date with how the plans have or haven't been progressing.
  • Visited the alleyway behind the takeaways on Chester Road. There's an issue with the commercial waste bins there. I want to work with the takeaways to improve this. I'll be visiting again over the weekend.
  • It's derby day……..

  • Match is a damp squib. Didn't feel like either side really wanted to win.

Thursday 27th October

  • Disappointed that a replacement bin promised the previous week for a constituent still hasn't been delivered. I chase up.
  • 1200 emails sent out with the agenda for next weeks AGM. Always prompts a lot of replies and this one is no exception.
  • Very quiet couple of hours in my voluntary session at Lostock Library. It's half term and we look shut with the carpark gate locked, so there's only a couple of customers.
  • Annoyingly I learn that Station Road is subject to yet another planning application. This will be the third time the owner has tried to get the small piece of scrub land right up against the railway embankment built upon. Will have to look into this one and probably lodge an objection.

Friday 28th October

  • Receive an alarming email from a constituent hospitalised outside the borough. She and her consultants want her discharged home; Trafford are struggling to procure a care package for her. So she's forced to bedblock and she's desperate to get home. It's appalling and it just shows the extent to which these ideologically driven cuts from the Tories are affecting peoples' lives. I get assurances from council that her care package will be prioritised and brief our lead councillor to pursue next week.
  • Drive to Bolton. I get lost. I always do in Bolton. Motorway is gridlocked on the way back (last day of half term + Trafford Centre)
  • Friday night shots of whiskey (only two, not driving, I'm allowed)

Saturday 29th October

  • A bit of a day off, watch the West Brom v City match in a pub. Last time I went to the Hawthorns it was city beaten 4-0. Still can't believe we sold Peter Barnes and Gary Owen.

    It was still nice to see City win today though

Sunday 30th October

  • Hate the hour going back. The day seems darker right from getting up. Long been a supporter of 'Lighter Later' the campaign run by 10:10 and supported by Rospa and Brake campaign groups for safety. There's a Green argument too. We're wasting millions on lighting up homes instead of using all the hours of daylight, the day provides. It's a total nonsense that we put the hours back in winter for farmers.
  • Emails go mad in the afternoon. Planning for the AGM is a busy time. I've had over 80 emails to answer since 2 o'clock.
  • So bit of a stressed day all round with one thing or another. I was hoping to go over to the fireworks at Barton Airport where Pinked Floyd were playing as background but all these emails.






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