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Friday, May 30, 2003

Over the bank holiday and this week I've tried to take some personal time so have done less council work than normal. But I'll be back into the fray next week.
Things that I have been up to this week include a meeting with the tenant involvement officer of Leeds South Homes to work out how we are going to get a new resident's group set up on the Manor Farm Estate. I'll be posting more details of this as we firm it up.

I also chaired a meeting of the Look South editiorial group to start planning the next issue. We've had some really good feed back from the first issue - on the whole tenants liked it. We've got lots of ideas for the next issue (coming out in early/mid-July).

Tomorrow we have the official opening of Navigation House, the new head office for Leeds South Homes. It should be a fun day as we've laid on free entry to Thwaite Mills with things like face painting for kids.
Apologies for anyone who has tried to email me or access the website over the last few days. My internet host was hacked and it took them sometime to get it back up and running. I'll post a fuller update shortly.

Friday, May 16, 2003

It's been another busy week. Last Saturday I had a very busy advice session in Thorpe where most of the issues raised seemed to revolve around street services. I'm chasing up the six new litterbins which we'd been promised would be put up in April. There is also a need for grass cutting, hedge trimming and a general clean up in the village.

On Monday night we had the second part of the Labour Group AGM. I'm continuing as CIT Chair but have also volunteered to be a Lead Member as well. I'll be working with Adam Ogilvie, a new Executive Board member. We'll be looking at 'Access to Services' which basically means make it easier for people in Leeds to interact with the council.

On Thursday I spent all afternoon in a Development Control (planning) meeting. In the evening I went to the Thorpe residents meeting. We had a lively discussion about a housing issue in the village to do with vulnerable young people who need to be given more support, as they are causing problems for other residents. I was also tackled about the same problems to do with street services and promised to help resolve them. After a vote the group also agreed to have a community clean-up day where councillors will provide a skip and come along to help.


Monday, May 05, 2003

Well, the election is finally over and like to thank everyone in Middleton who voted for me and helped ensure my election for a second term. Overall it was a mixed result for Labour in Leeds, including Brian Walker, the Leader losing his seat to the Lib Dems. But we had a spectactular victory in Bramley, where we won a seat back off the Lib Dems. It just goes to show what you can do when you have a good local councillor (Denise Atkinson), a good candidate (Ted Hanley) and a well fought campaign.

One sour note was how well the far right BNP did, coming second in one ward and receiving over a thousand votes in another. The democratic parties of whatever colour need to rally round to prevent the anti-democratic far right gaining a toehold in Leeds next year when we have all out elections.

Last week most of my council work was focused on case work as a result of people emailing or writing after receiving election leaflets. I need to have a blitz to chase things up with officers and get back to constituents this week. We finally put Look South, the Leeds South Homes newsletter, to bed and it should be hitting tenant's doormats in about a week.

The focus for this week is mainly in the Civic Hall as we have the firstLabour Group AGM to get through. Keith Wakefield will be the new Leader but several people are contesting the posts of Deputy Leader and Chief Whip. I'll report back the result on Wednesday morning.

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