It’s today! I am standing for election today as a UKIP candidate for the Brookside ward of Telford & Wrekin Borough Council, having been elected unopposed onto the parish council as only 8 people contested the 8 vacancies.
It should be an interesting one this. There are two seats on the borough council up for grabs and five candidates – me, two Labour and two Tories.
The two Labour candidates are the chair of the parish council and a former borough councillor who found himself co-opted onto the parish council when he lost his seat. They’re actually nice people considering they’re Labour!
The two Tories are one of the current borough councillors and an failed former Tory candidate from 8 years ago. The sitting borough councillor has been invisible for the last 4 years and hasn’t been seen at the parish council offices once since being elected 4 years ago. They put out a leaflet at the last minute full of lies, claiming credit for the work of the local residents’ group – ironically delivering these leaflets claiming one of the candidates to be “a very active member” (came to 2 meetings and then disappeared off the face of the earth again) while myself and the rest of the residents’ group were clearing up rubbish on our monthly litter pick!
The Tories are fighting a losing battle to keep control of the borough council after unseating Labour who have controlled it since the day it was created but haven’t been putting in all that much effort. Labour are pulling out all the stops and will probably win control of the council back again which is worrying. Locally, I don’t want to try and call it. The feedback I’ve had has all been positive so I’m expecting at least double figures on my own merit! I’m hoping the protest vote comes to me as well – disaffected Tories won’t cast a protest vote for Labour and vice versa so I’m the only alternative. It really is too close to call here so I won’t try!
Last September I posted some pictures of the police and fire brigade attending a fire in some low rise flats in the next street to me.
It turns out that it was started deliberately by some drunken chav who decided to set fire to her ex-boyfriend’s baseball cap and throw it on a mattress. She was given a 32 month prison sentence on Tuesday for starting the fire.
I was out walking the dog last night and there were 6 police cars a few doors down from my house. An hour later there was just one car left that I could see and a driveway was cordoned off with police tape. Turns out a man and his daughter were found dead last night.
The police aren’t naming them and say the deaths are “unexplained” but they said there was a fire that had gone out by itself in the kitchen and the Daily Fail are reporting the names as Tony Lineton and his daughter Kayleigh. Apparently he worked at Fruit of the Loom.
They didn’t really socialise with other people in the street – the daughter never came out and played with the other kids – but we’ve seen them quite a few times, him carrying his daughter on his shoulders round the back of our house. Came as a shock the first time we were sat at the table eating and this girl’s head and shoulders floated along the top of our 7ft fence!
Real shame this, she was very young and apparently only on a contact visit with her dad and was due back yesterday.
Well, not quite but there was a fire a short time ago in a block of flats in the next street to me.
Seven police cars, two fire engines, a paramedic car and two ambulances – the most exciting thing to happen to Brookside since … a fortnight ago when serial arsonists were lighting fires around South Telford every day and the fire brigade was patrolling the estate every night.
Here are some pictures …
No restrictions on using the pictures for personal use, for non-personal use please ask.
I’ve not long got back from stewarding a community event in Brookside, Telford called “Health & Harmony”.
I’m still none the wiser at where “Harmony” comes into it but the “Health” bit was covered off by the free fruit smoothies that were given out, the healthy eating advice and the demonstrations by Telford Thai Boxing club.
The event was organised by Brookside Improvement Group, which I’m a member of. As the officially recognised residents group for, it’s important to get feedback from as many residents as possible and this event was used as an opportunity to get some feedback from residents. There were some excellent suggestions such as a community garden and improving playgrounds. One of the best suggestions was simply putting a cigarette bin outside the shopping arcade so smokers have no excuse for dropping their cigarette butts on the floor outside – it’s cheap and has an immediate benefit.
Of particular benefit, I think, was getting feedback from the locals that congregate outside the shopping arcade drinking. They don’t look particularly nice and they discourage some people from using the shops but what most people don’t realise is that they clean up around the shops and see off the younger drinkers that cause trouble. Most of these people don’t have jobs and want something to do with their time – just like the local kids. They want organised activities, something to do during the day other than sitting around drinking.
Most people were critical of the estate and for the same reasons – it looks old and tired, there’s too much rubbish around – the same criticisms you’ll hear about any 40 year old housing estate. But most people also had something positive to say – the sense of community where they live, the greenery and one woman who had moved away for 15 years before coming back said “it felt like coming home”.
One of the main attractions was the Brookside’s Got Talent competition. Two of my kids (the youngest two) did a dance they learnt at Telford Academy of Performing Arts and came in second place. There was almost no talent contest after the person who promised to provide a karaoke machine let us down but luckily a local DJ stepped in at the last minute and gave a couple of hours of his time for the event.
Special thanks is also due to Tesco in Madeley and the Co-Op in Stirchley, both of which provided the ingredients for the smoothies and to the supermarket in Brookside that donated bottled water, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, squash and other essential supplies to the event.