Friday, April 03, 2009

And just to prove I was out there hustling for the ward, here is some more stuff I did in March

GEARS environmental improvements - I had a walkabout with the project manager and the chair of GEARS residents to look at some of the environmental improvement work in their neighbourhood, being funded by Kensington Regeneration through a controversial contract with Acorn. Each house agreed to some or all or none of the following works, new walls, new railings, new gates, new paintwork, new tiling to the step and front and all were also given a block paved "door mat" just outside their gate. Unfortunately some of the work has not been carried out properly and we are having to ask the contractor to do it again. No doubt there will be more on this.

Kensington Regeneration Board meeting last week was very difficult, I had spent three hours reading the paperwork before the meeting, particularly the final year's delivery plan - 2009/2010. Last year I "called in" the delivery plan when it came to LCC Exec Board because ward councillors had not been properly consulted on it, and there was uproar because the call-in time scale might threaten some of the projects, so I was forced to withdraw my call-in. (A "call in" is essentially a temporary halt to any proceedings concerning an item so that you have time to read it, ask any questions and clarify any understandings and issues before it recommences through the system.) This year I thought I would be better prepared and so I scrutinised the report in advance of the meeting (despite it only coming 24 hours before the meeting meaning I was up until after midnight) and came forward with about 40 questions. I figured this would be too many to ask at the meeting itself, from past experience, so I emailed them the night before to the Chair of the Board and the Chief Exec and my colleagues on the accountable body. I also had noticed some factual errors within the report that needed changing before it was published. I indicated that I had a lot of questions I wanted to ask about the content of the report, asking for further information about the success of certain projects for instance. I also said that I had noted some errors and that I could not support the publication of the report until they had been corrected. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing where I was treated as though I was a trouble-causer rather than someone trying to fulfill her scrutiny role, we did eventually agree that I would work with the report's author to correct the factual mistakes and I have spoken to her now about those half a dozen items. I am still waiting to hear about the other questions I posed....

I left the Kensington Regeneration Board meeting to go to a Getting to Know You event organised by the Community Safety Task Force, to encourage the black community, particularly the Africans for this first meeting, to meet the Police and the Fire Service and try to dispel some of the myths and mystiques about each other. It went very well I thought, and I enjoyed the African food! Actually I had three lots of African food last week, cassava bread, minced cassava, friend chicken, rice yum yum


Steve "sellign Ice Rinks for only a £1" Faragher said...

Are Kenny Regen still claimimg responsibility the rise in the price of houses in K&F upto 2007 too?

By the same token they must also put the drop in the price of home down to themslves too?
No I didnt think so either but you've got say it havent you?

By the way the sky is quite blue today, is that going in the delivery too, a big thank you to God and meterology not necessarily Lyn, norma, et al. Having a blue sky in K&F was my idea anyway

scouseboy said...

Please carry on "trouble causing" to the council officers and their friends, the Fib Dems!!