Monday, September 18, 2006

Certificate of Personnel Practice

I have just received my certificate in the post. I am now an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, so there!

I am of course quite chuffed.

When I went off to college, in September last year, I was nervous really, I could not remember how long it was since I last wrote an essay or submitted a project, probably nearly 20 years. But I needn't have worried, they were a great group of people in my class (at Liverpool Community College) and we supported each other through every step.

Although the course ended in June, five of us have stayed friends and are continuing to support each other through finding new jobs, writing CVs, moving house, beginning new relationships, the dramas of football and all sort of other things.

Even at the grand old age of 41 I can recommend studying, you make new friends and you enhance your cv and your promotion prospects and best of all you feel good about yourself.

But if I were you I would try to avoid standing as a candidate and running a full campaign for a key council election during the same period, I was practically on my knees at times!

A smug woman signing off.....

Thursday, September 14, 2006

2007 - Liverpool's 800th birthday

As the only Labour Council member of the Heritage Scrutiny Panel, I have been examining the City's proposals for the celebration of its 800th birthday next year.

There are some great ideas coming forward but there are always room for more

So if you have thoughts about how we might celebrate and champion the city together then do please get in touch and I will feed those ideas through

Anti-social behaviour in Fairfield

I am enjoying working with the police, neighbourhood wardens and local Community 7 (local housing association) Officers in reducing the incidence of anti-social behaviour in Liverpool 7.

We all work so well together, meeting regularly to go over individual cases and agree action we can each take as part of a greater whole.

I am really impressed by their dedication and their understanding of the pain and misery caused to local people who have to put up with selfish, thoughtless, disruptive behaviour. They all take it extremely seriously.

I only wish the same service was available to their neighbours in Liverpool 6 who have to jump through so many more hoops to achieve the same results.

Something else for me to work on...

Kensington and Fairfield Neighbourhood Committee, September 2006

I suppose part of me is glad really that few residents turned up on Monday night.

The hysterical, inaccurate rantings by the two LibDem councillors that I am forced to serve with were disturbing and the fewer people that heard them, the better.

For instance two NHS professionals from Liverpool Primary Care Trusts turned up to talk to us about a debate into health services provided in local clinics, dentists etc (NOT hospitals)

Councillor Marbrow gave us a long rant about hospitals which was totally irrelevant and embarassed all those of us there by slagging off the GP who addressed us just because he came from Garston and somehow that did not entitle him to talk to us about Liverpool services. Go figure

Councillor Doran gave us a raft of rants, the most worrying of all was that Councillors are not responsible for and can do nothing about
1. speeding cars
2. anti-social behaviour
3. tenants of private landlords

I did point out all the options available to the Council for addressing traffic calming and traffic management through speed bumps, lighting, road design etc
I talked about the terrific work of the anti-social behaviour units based within the council
and I spoke at some length about my campaign to introduce the selective licensing of private landlords into K&F through new legislation introduced in the Labour Government's Housing Act. Sadly both chose this time to barrack and speak loudly to each other, rather than listen, nothing new there then!

There were excruciating moments when the representative of 2020 tried to explain plans for the development of Edge Lane - you didnt have to care for the scheme to give the man some room to at least explain without being subjected to personal attacks.

When we started to talk about the vitally important subject of tackling prostitution in Sheil Road, the pair subjected the police and the people who work with prostitutes to tackle their drug problems and try to rehabilitate them, to dreadful loud and systematic abuse. The police and the support workers were visibly angered by the sloppy, rude and ill-informed contributions of the two LibDem councillors

How do they expect to work with the police, with officers (staff) of the council, with agencies designed to solve societies problems, if they cannot even manage a bit of common civility in their dealings? If I was a local police officer for instance, I would not rush to work with people who addressed me publicly with such contempt.

There is a golden rule within the code of conduct for Councillors that says you should never publicly criticise officers because they are not free to respond. It is an offence which could be reported to the powers that be, the Standards Board, nationally.

These two trample all over that code, Cllr Doran at one point told officers they "would be toast" if they did not do things his way, not exactly professional is it?

How can these people expect to represent 10000 people if they alienate all those they should be working with for a common good?

They should resign, but dont hold your breath

Clare Short

I always admired Clare Short and for years I treasured a photo of the two of us together in a rose garden behind York City Labour Party office.

I did not lose faith with her when she opposed the Iraq war, or when she resigned.

But when she began her very personal attacks on the elected leader of the Party I was extremely unsettled.

Today's announcement, if it is true, that she has asked people not to vote Labour in the next election (even given that she does not know who the next leader and Prime Minister will be) is a step far too far.

I have spent years sadly expelling members who have stood against the party in local elections or advocated voting for another party. It is not something you do with any ease or happiness, but it is something you know is the right thing to do, for the Party, if for no other reason than that is the constitution we as members have signed up to and which I am pledged to support.

How can I be faithful to those actions and to our Party constitution and not condemn her now? The Labour Party is an organisation that you volunteer to join with a set of rules you agree to abide by. No-one is bigger than the Party and if you really dont agree with it you should resign. Tear your card up, send it back in an envelope with a rude note if you like, but dont expect to trash the whole system and still be welcomed.