Saturday, April 12, 2008

A wet and dry, hot and cold Saturday

What a day

This morning at 10am I was leafletting in Fairfield and we had not one but three separate hail storms. Thanks heavens for my "John Lennon" cap which stopped me from getting stung. It was awful but the trusty team pushed on and we got the whole patch done.

At 11.30am Wendy and I joined staff from the RSLs and residents on a litter-pick off Shiel Road as part of our "Putting Neighbourhoods First" Sparkles Day. The rubbish was all soggy and much harder to pick up, but the skips were all getting used and we made some good progress. I suspect some people thought we were doing community service in our yellow day-glow tabards. We also identified a location which is obviously being used by prostitutes and their clients which we reported to the community police who caught up with us as we "picked" our way round. We went back to Venture Housing on Boaler Street at 1pm for lunch, with the sun shining, to find out how colleagues had done with the great hanging-basket give-away.

They had managed at least 100, making the baskets up for residents or helping them to plant up their own. It was very popular and we are going to do it again, only bigger, in May or June, probably May around Neighbours Day, with summer plants that will last until October.

We had a look at the new clean machine the Clean Team have purchased with support from C7, Riverside, Venture, Hornby, the council and Kenny Regen. It was having its inaugural day out, cleaning pavements and roads in the Molyneux area as part of the event. It is going to be a very useful addition to our cleaning arsenal.

The best news really is that all those areas we cleaned up on the last Sparkles Day have more or less stayed clean - like the land at the bottom of St Michael's Grove.

I went back to the office to do some work on Tim's next leaflet and then did a few home visits to people who had asked for copies of our manifesto and also to report back on a few issues. It was bitterly cold again, the sunny and warm spell lasted only as long as we were picking litter, and now, as Liam would say, "It is black over Bill's Mother's" so anything could happen.

That is the British weather for you - why can't we have elections in July instead?


Julie said...

why do you and your team have to clean up the area?
Don't we pay the council for this?
It isn't right that we have to rely on people like yourself and volunteers!
You seem to be a very hard worker and I think what you do is great, but YOU should not be doing it, the street cleaners should be doing their jobs and cleaning areas such as this.

Louise Baldock said...

Hi Julie

I think you make an interesting point really.

Of course the council (or the people they pay huge sums of money to, through contracts) should keep the streets clean. But unfortunately they don't do much of a job in Kensington or Fairfield.

Only yesterday I went on a walkabout with the local neighbourhood office and with a resident who came to our Neighbourhood Committee on Monday night to complain about the dirty streets.

And she was right of course, the streets are not being swept properly, particularly the pavements where they meet the fronts of shops.

When Labour is elected to power in Liverpool we will be scrutinising this contract VERY THOROUGHLY but in the meantime it is clear to me that the middle-class areas are kept beautifully clean and tidy (one Labour member who lives in a posh area tells me that the park gardeners in his area cut the lawns with nail scissors and the street-sweepers "lick road clean wit' tongues") but the inner-city and northern wards are left to fend for themselves.

Wendy, Liam and I are very happy to join in with community activity to keep our streets clean - especially now that we can see that it really is working, the areas we have personally deep-cleansed have stayed clean after three months.

We do agree that the council should ensure that the tax-payers get a good deal - and that is not happening at the moment - but even with a better service we will always want to do our personal bit for our residents in our area.

Julie said...

A good answer and I REALLY REALLY hope that Enterprise and Glendales contracts are looked at very closely.
Paul Brant made complaint about a year ago about Enterprise but sadly the contracted work is still poor.
It would seem from your Labour friend that Southerners of Liverpool STILL get all the services they require and often services they don't need.
Go anywhere else in the City, where normal people live and all we see is squalor, awful housing conditions, no decent parks any more, nowhere for kids to play safely etc etc.
Without giving too much away, I am a Labour supporter who often goes out leafletting and spreading the word.
Even if Labour don't manage it this year round, we will kick the Lib Dems were it hurts.
One major concern is now how do we get out of the financial mess the idiot lib dems have put this City in?
My other hope for Liverpool is that Liverpool Direct contract is scrutinised even closer than Enterprise and Glendales.
Give the contracts to honest people I say.
Keep up the good work Louise.
Here is to a cleaner Liverpool in all areas.