Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Today I've got another Leeds South Homes meeting to progress the newsletter for tenants. Hopefully, we will approve the final proof and it will started hitting people's doorsteps by the second week in May. I've also got some case work to do from constituents - one from an elderly couple who need a rotten door replacing. Another is a grandmother of a child at a local primary school that keeps losing its football matches by 9-0! They want to know if I can find someone to coach them how to play.

Yesterday I had two people contact me about the delays and problems in receiving the working families tax credit. This is a great boost that Labour has given to working families on low incomes, but like every new innovation it is dogged by teething problems as it is first introduced.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Well, as promised I'm reporting on last week's activities. Because of Easter Monday it was a short week. I had a meeting of the Leeds South Homes (LSH) board where I gave a report on the progress of the newsletter for tenants (I chair the editorial sub-group). On Friday I was at another meeting of LSH, this time to discuss the newsletter in more depth with members of the communications sub-group. In the afternoon I ended up having to re-write much of the copy for the newsletter. It should really be an officer of the LSH who does this but since I have the expertise, and it is so important, then I ended up doing it.

Involving tenants in decisions and keeping them informed is a key priority of the LSH board and that is why we want to make sure the newsletter is as good as possible, despite all of the constraints of time and budget.

I also handled a flood of case work including: residents worried about a planning application on the Greenmoor Turf site at Lofthouse, several people needing housing repairs, a couple of parents with problems regarding the Working Families Tax Credit, street cleaning (in Robin Hood), and finally a resident wanting more info the new Leeds Youth Council.

As the local elections are now imminent I also spent a lot of time delivering leaflets in my ward and also found time to attend a street stall in Rothwell.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

The Local Election Campaign

OK, Great. My test post proves that I've got this working. I'm going to try an personalise the look of the page a bit but don't know if I will have time to do this before the election. Yes, I'm up for election on May 1st, so at the moment I'm extremely busy campaigning in my ward but also going elsewhere in Leeds to help other candidates.

My website is proving to be an even better campaign tool than I thought. So far more than 100 people have downloaded the PDF of my election leaflet. I read in The Guardian today that only 34% of people in the UK don't have internet access, although the figure rises to about 64% amongst lower income groups. During the election people can contact me by post, phone or email. I'll let you know which was the most popular after the election.

Council Work

I'm doing a fair bit of case work at the moment (only some of it because of my higher profile now that the election leaflets are going out). I was at a board meeting of Leeds South Homes last night. The board is gelling really well and I think we should be able to do some great things to improve council housing in south Leeds. I'm spending a lot, and I mean A LOT of time on this work at the moment. I am chair of an editorial group that is trying to get out a tenant newsletter by the middle of May.
Hello, welcome to my personal web log. Here I will try to keep local residents informed about what I am up to as a councillor. Hopefully, I'll up date it weekly but ironically the busier I am as a councillor the less likely I am to be able to up date it.

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