"Another very busy month with two by-elections in Newington held, one successfully fought, one missed by only 14 votes. Now we have four seats to win in Northwood, two for the district and two for the town.
It is vital we win these back from UKIP so the residents of Northwood have proper representation again. The by-elections are on August 18th, hardly the best time but campaigning has started well and will continue until polling stations close at 10pm on the 18th.
If you can help even if only for an hour or so, please let me know. We have already been very busy canvassing and delivering leaflets but more help is always welcome especially as Election Day is in the middle of the school holidays.
On July 9th I chaired an excellent meeting on the WASPI theme for those women whose state pensions are not being awarded until they are at least 66 years of age. We had four excellent speakers and many points raised from the floor. Thanks to Cllr Karen Constantine for organising.
In my role as Labour Group Leader I meet regularly with the chief executive and Cllr Wells, UKIP Leader, to discuss developments and issues. I also attend other meetings with Heads of Service and Directors who have responsibility for community services, asset management and so on.
At the full council meeting I led on the WASPI motion that was supported by all bar one councillor who abstained. The anti-racism motion wasn't debated and this created much anger amongst the public in the gallery and the seven councillors who did vote to debate. Both these motions were well-covered in the media and online.
We may be few in number at TDC but do punch above our weight.
I continue to be busy with ward matters and issues including some from other wards in my role as a charity trustee.
Litter and fly-tipping continue to be a major source of frustration and three of us did engage in a litter pick of one alleyway that yielded eight bags of rubbish. More clean-ups are planned but it shouldn't be necessary if:
a) people use the litter bins or took their rubbish home
b) TDC actually sent road sweepers to areas outside the town centres.
c) I,allegedly, have a 'dedicated street-sweeper' but no-one has seen anyone who might fit that description for years.
d) I got quite excited when I spotted a scarab major ( a mechanical road sweeper) but it was only a demo model on trial.
Housing continues to occupy much of my time with little success for those seeking a home for themselves and their families.
One couple did get rehoused in Copperfields in Newington, a brand-new development for those who need assisted living. This couple had been trying to move for five years. Others are less successful but one couple stuck in one of the Cliftonville hotels finally got into a flat, not where or what they wanted but at least they can cook and do laundry and live a more normal family life after months in one room.
Always happy to answer questions on my role and why we do what we do. Despite what some on the doorsteps might say when we canvass, it isn't for the money but to help those who need an advocate to argue for them."