Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meetings, meetings everywhere

Last week was madness, have you ever had one of those weeks when all you do is sit in meetings?

On Monday I went to work - which was busy busy busy followed by Labour Group Executive Board.

On Tuesday I was at Venture Housing Board in Kenny from 10am until 4pm - Chairs meeting, Board meeting and then interviewing prospective new board members

On Tuesday night I went to Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee, where I became angry and then despondent at the refusal of the chair to allow us to carry out indepth reviews through scrutiny panels, we should be exemplars. I was totally out of sorts when we finished.

On Wednesday morning I went back to Venture, after some points I had raised the previous day, to help them organise their Equality Impact Assessments in a way that would work for me as Board champion for Equality and Diversity and for other board members; ten of us sat round the table, it was hard work but I think we got somewhere with it in the end.

Then I had an hour with Contact Creator, before I went back to Venture who host our monthly Partership meetings for all the agencies in L6 - Putting neighbourhoods first. I was uplifted, at last, by a really positive meeting, achieving things and putting our residents priorities at the heart of our work. I cannot praise this group enough. And we got a chippy dinner - my first chips this year

I had City and North Neighbourhood Partnership Working Group for Physical Regeneration (not a title for the faint hearted) at 3pm, we had a good presentation on BSF, and a good chat about our priorities. Sadly even with a two hour meeting some stuff did not get to the top of the agenda so we will have to hold things over until the District Committee or next NPWG. I enjoyed the update on Stop the Rot and Buildings at Risk. We have to say goodbye to Mike Eccles, he is being replaced by his manager, Nigel Lee at future meetings, but will keep a quiet eye on our progress. He has been great and we thanked him quite profusely.

Then at 5pm, like a glutton for punishment I had my other select committee - Corporate Services - to talk about the LibDem budget, I left the questioning to our Deputy Leader and Finance guru, Paul Brant, in the main part, but did raise a question about whether and what capital assets the council might hold outside of the bounds of the authority, ie outside of Liverpool. I look forward to hearing the answer. Who knows what we might learn.

On Thursday I was back in Kenny, at the Community Safety Task Group which this month we held at Edge Hill Youth club for a change. The police service, fire service, Liverpool ASB team, Crime Direct (Chamber of Commerce), Community Wardens, Youth Service, HEAT Domestic Violence and local residents, and councillors talk about crime and anti-social behaviour and diversionary activities. All good stuff, lots of intelligence about crime and ASB being passed to and fro

There is a big anti-burglary, home safe event tomorrow/today at the Police club - targetting vulnerable and older people and helping them stay safe - they are expecting about 200 people, I said I would go in my lunch hour to join in for a while. There might even be a bowl of soup in it for me.

Then on Thursday night it was the Fairfield Neighbourhood Assembly where tempers were raised very high over the proposed demolition of properties on Prescot Road and Drive. It was a tough meeting, we also got into a lot of detail about snaggings on the CML estate and the ongoing works on the GEARS and FARA areas with frontage improvements. I was totally wiped out when I came outside.

I went to work on Friday, the highpoint was publishing one of my monthly newsletters in a new way where I can see who has opened it and how many times, what a scary proposition, you can kid yourself that 100% read something you create until a system like that is set up. I look forward to work today/tomorrow to see what the stats show.

Then we had surgery on Friday night, then the Kensington Remembers event all day and night on Saturday - after leafletting in Old Swan - and then Liam and I went out door-knocking on Sunday afternoon.

Today I spent the morning online sorting out our HLF bid for the cemetery on Deane Road, then I had lunch with my mate Elaine, then the cemetery committee at 2pm, then Labour Exec Board at 4.30pm and Labour Group at 6pm and was home at 8pm to write 60 emails of case work and policy revision.

I do feel like I need a rest, but there is no time for that, back to work tomorrow!

A councillor's work is never done - now don't get me wrong, I love it, and I love making a difference, but some weeks are hard and if you are not achieving what you want to achieve, or people are being obstinate or obdurate or just downright difficult, you can sometimes be left wondering if it is all worth it.

I will feel better tomorrow - after work, and after my steering committee, I am going to the pictures with Colin to see Slumdog Millionaire, now that should see me right!

1 comment:

scouseboy said...

To think it was only four short weeks ago you were on holiday in the Algarve. That must seem like a lifetime ago!! Keep up the hard work.