Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Promoting Neighbourhood Watch at Asda

Cllr. Parker joined our local beat officers at Asda, where they promoted Neighbourhood Watch to residents. In Empress we have set ourselves the task of trying to get 100% coverage in Empress Ward of Neighbourhood Watch (A key ambition of our newest and youngest ward councillor - Gareth Lyon). We are really keen to do this, not just because of the safety benefits, we see neighbourhood watch as building community cohesion too. Looking out for our street. And if we can get every street looking out for each other, we can build a town looking out for each other.

Cllr. Parker and PC Bev Woodhead - stopping and searching an empty trolley heading into Asda

PC Lee Jeffers questioning an applicant for a nobbly knees contest.

We need neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinators for your area - it does not take much time - but is an invaluable community service. Please contact us for details.


Back to University

Just got back from a fantastic week at University (London South Bank) studying for my post graduate certificate in Local Governance. I really have enjoyed the experience and learnt such a lot. Just wished I had had the opportunity to do this course when I was a new councillor instead of the old "has been" I am now. Still, better late than never, as they say.

The course takes us through the theory and practice of local government, covering local democracy and leadership, policy making and regulation, and finally service delivery. I have completed the first module on democracy and leadership, and am now getting into policy and regulation.

Has the paint dried for you yet?

It may sound a little heavy, but as a practitioner of local politics this is all very good stuff, and is demonstrating and showing me that there is much work to be done in order to better engage with local people.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Bikes everywhere

Had a closer look at the OYBike System today when Andy Dawson of the Company came and gave Cllr Parker and I a demo. Note: These bikes are shaft driven, so do not have a chain.

It did look relatively easy to use and free if you use it for just 30 minutes. You book it and release it using your mobile phone. The cost of setting one up is £20,000 per annum for 20 bikes - including 10 docking station. Sponsors please. We easily thought of 10 docking areas: 3 railway stations, 4 shopping centres, Council Offices, and 2 Colleges.
My trial of the OYBike did not go well, I was stopped outside the house, for not checking behind and not making clear hand signals by the local constabulary and pulled over. I did however, remember to put my left foot down instead of my right when stopping. Thankfully, I was not riding on the pavement and avoided a fine (The WPC that stopped me would definately not have given me a caution!!)
What do you think? Should Rushmoor set up a bike network?
Would you rent a bike?
Cost to you the user:
Up to 30 minutes FREE
31 minutes - 1 hour £2
over 1 hr - 2 hrs £4
over 2 hrs - 3 hrs £6
Over 3 hrs - 24hrs £8

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Look out for the Pope

Year 1981

1. Prince Charles got married

2. Liverpool crowned Champions of Europe

3. Pope Died.Year

Year 2005

1. Prince Charles got married (again)

2. Liverpool crowned Champions of Europe (again)

3. Pope Died.

In the future, if Prince Charles decides to re-marry or Liverpool needs another European crown
... please warn the Pope!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Farnborough IQ

Tonight Councillors had a little tour of the Borough, which I personally thought was a bit of a waste of time, however, some of the new councillors probably found it informative. And being the positive soul I am, I did see something beautiful and learn something useful.

1. The Farnborough Airfield Balloon Hanger is beautiful:

2. I learnt the following useful fact: Farnborough Business Park (now called Farnborough IQ) has a bike rental scheme. Now this should be expanded.

Would you use a local bike rental scheme if it was available?

Saturday, 5 July 2008

New Flats in the Town Centre

I went today to the launch of the new flats in Farnborough Town Centre - expensive, but nice. They also have a great model of the new town development which is well worth taking a look at.

Empress Summer BBQ

A great event - well done Social Committee - Empress do things with such class!

Friday, 4 July 2008

New Health Centre taxes the sick

I was delighted and excited to go to the opening of the new Aldershot Health Centre with its wonderful new facilities and air conditioned rooms. The speeches and tour confirmed what we had hoped to see. First class medical facilities for the people of Aldershot.

However, two things disturbed me.

1. There is no minor injuries unit. I for one was hoping this would be the center piece.

2. The first thing that greets you as you enter is not a helpful nurse or even a friendly receptionist - it is an ugly bright yellow automatic parking ticket machine!! (see picture above)

On a lighter note I found two new councillors having to make some difficult decisions at the event .......

...... do we eat the cream eclaire or the chocolate cookie first????

Cove County Improvements Exhibition

This was held in St Christopher's Church and showed the plannned improvements to Cove by the County. Residents expressed their thoughts and we had a chance to discuss some ideas. These included more public art in the area, and reducing the pavement and road surface to the same level in the central area to reduce traffic speed and create more of a village feel.

The picture above catches the moment at the exibition (note members of public on the right) John Trusler (Highway Officer - known by Councillors as the Highwayman) assaulted Empress beat officer Lee Jeffers after he had innocently observed how difficult it was to park in the area. Lucky WPC Bev Woodhead was not there - other wise he would have been in cuffs before you could say "restrictive parking measures".

The Farnborough Society Inaugural AGM

A better start could not have been asked for the new Farnborough Society. David Jennings was elected as Chairman with Phil Bryant as Vice Chairman and Barbara Hurst as Secretary. Six other enthusiastic and committed people were elected to lead working groups that are tasked with specialist areas of responsibility - Planning and Transportation, History, Parks & Amenities, Culture, Business and Communication.

Above is David Jennings (Chairman) and Barbara Hurst (Secretary)
This is a real "less talk - more action" organisation - the presentations from the group leaders was fantastic and really caught a vision of the kind of Farnborough I want to live in. See below Phil Bryant in full swing ....

New members were signed up, and one of them a local professional photographer, Nick Lewis recorded the occasion with a few pictures. As you know I love pictures. See the others at: http://www.nicklewisphotography.co.uk/gallery/farnboroughsocietyagm
I you want to make a difference in Farnborough - join now and go to:

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Delivery in water is better

As one that often finds himself in hot water - I feel just like this at times!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Abandoned Trolley's - I name and shame.

Report all abandoned trolley's to Rushmoor Customer Services on 01252 398 399 they will collect the trolley and the supermarket will be fined £85 per trolley.