My arm got left at the Royal!

Yesterday was the day the plaster came off my arm and now I have to teach it how to work! I’ve been busy with excises trying to convince it that it’s a lazy little git and I’ll get me cat to lick it better and mark it for ownership.

This morning I went for my morning constitutional walk to combine with arm and wrist movements during which I met our neighbour who recently moved in across the road (well, not actually across the road as that’s just a field) and after exchanging pleasantries, it turn out we came from the same area, even worse, the same Borough even to the extent we could have walked across the fields and footpaths if only we had known. This means, of course, the hamlet now has it’s quota of outsiders from down south so anyone else will have to settle for Birstall (where the steam trains are), Syston (where proper trains are) or simply just not come.

This week sees the end of this parliamentary session, the confirmed route of HS2 (if it ever gets built) and a progress report on how USE is going to survive without us propping it up as they expect us to fund their new headquarter building after we leave. That should be an interesting argument once our team spots the reason for the large sum of money they expect post 2019 from us.

It looks like the next parliamentary session could be somewhat troubled as even as I write, questions are being asked about the money that is being sunk into the HS2 project. As most of our railways are currently owned by companies owned by USE governments so why not just cut out the middleman (UK taxpayers) and do a PFI job on the project. Oh dear, that won’t work as there is no money to be made without subsidies (like the rest of the rail network). That’s all right, though, the UK taxpayer can pay anyway without much benefit and profits go to prop up USE – which is where we came in, isn’t it?

Yesterday was interesting.

Yesterday took us down south for a funeral and owing to the traffic behaving almost exactly as it was supposed to, we actually got there on time and able to have a quick chat to friends, family and neighbours before the long journey back up through the M1 roadworks. This new ‘smarter motorway’ had better live up to it’s name after all the years of effort. It started simply as a new M1/M6 junction and due to take 18 months, but seems to have snowballed over the years (not months, but blinking years!!).

The local (Birstall Parish) Council seems to have got their knickers in a twist when a reporter actually knew the law and started filming a public council meeting, much to their concern. I did wonder why local councillors don’t have their addresses on the council information or website. When I went to visit with view of being co-opted, I noticed how ‘closed’ they are up here compared with where I used to be a councillor and did wonder what they had to hide. I used to get people knocking on the door or telephoning me for help, but here everything seems to have to go through the council offices. Funny lot!

I see today, the USE chief negotiator seem to think we are prepared to leave without anything changing. Keeping the European Justice system, paying them to keep afloat and, horror of horrors, not telling them anything. Perhaps they forget we simply want out and if they wish to keep selling us stuff (they sell more to us, than we buy from them!), then maybe the idea should be to let us know on what terms they want to trade with us rather than the other way round. Just think how many of the asylum seekers by pass the unsafe European countries to ask for asylum in the first safe country they can reach – that’s the UK. I just hope that our so called negotiators remember that and ignore all the tales of woo and threats from those who cannot see beyond the end of their noses!

We’ve been away and I’m looking for support

Here we are at Just Dogs Live at the Peterborough show ground competing with our three and a half (one isn’t old enough) dogs. The sun is shining, and we are surrounded by around 750+ caravans and at least twice that number of dogs.

I just knew you would want to know that! Anyway, it’s annual event, so if you have an interest in dogs or looking for doggie things that are difficult to find, then it’s worth a visit if only to some of the display items, visit the breed show or simply find out about getting involved in training your dog or taking up agility (or fly-ball!).

However, that is not what this piece is about. Regular readers are aware that I take an interest in politics (both local and national). Those readers in Greengate, Hallam Fields or Wanlip may be aware that I stood in the recent Borough Council by- election. I also offered to fill one of the vacancies on the Birstall Parish Council, but apparently they decided I was too political (aka a bit of a stirrer) for the only local council that actually believes that politics can be kept out of local government. Slightly naïve!! I’m one of the few Independents who have actually got elected to both Town & Borough Councils at the same time and had good working relationships with members of the three main parties mainly because each party has good and bad ideas, so without having to follow the ‘party whip’ (yes it does happen on the quiet), I could do what I thought best for those I represented. If you want to get an idea, then visit some of my archive material and see how I got involved over the years.

The Town Council I was a member of, has less councillors and more electors than Birstall Parish Council and they realised that they actually had more powers than they thought, there were no uncontested seats (unlike Birstall), indeed, each one hard fought over by at least 3 political groups! Anyway,the next scheduled local election is only two years away in 2019, so as I’m the new boy and no point in asking again about the vacancy in the Greengage ward of the Birstall Parish Council, I’d better start thinking about it now.

I’m looking for support either helping with a few bob, or physical support like leafleting, making suggestions on what really needs doing – I already have Improved pubic transport such as access to hospitals, Abbey Lane or just Beaumont Lea. Even a map of Hallam Fields as the estate is entered would be useful as I spotted several delivery vans struggling when I was leafleting in May. If I noticed it, must be a problem!

Talking on the doorstep and from my own personal experience, local councillors vary from tryers to ignorers. I would like to be charitable and suggest the problem may be with the council organisation rather than individual officers (believe me, councillor relationships with officers can make a real difference on how or when problems get resolved), so we have less than two years to start making a difference! Don’t just sit and moan, help me as I had a record of getting things done/moving and it seems a shame to waste all that experience. I did/do have an interest in the disabled and access problems (I was on the Access committee) so maybe I can help if you are hitting a brick wall.

Meanwhile, the outside world continues apace with Thames Water being blamed for low water pressure and flow (we know all about that don’t we?) over the tower fire and a promise that longer ladders will now be routinely be sent out on tower block fires – just in case! Andy Murray managed to get through the third round at Wimbledon and ‘Brexit’ is still being discussed and problems being found.

Talking about which, I support the UKIP principles and still wonder how politicians got side tracked into having to dot the I’s and crossing the t’s rather than simply saying (as I and most people I know wanted), that we actually leave in May 2018 (2 years on from the referendum) and then you are on your own. In between times, maybe you may be interested in discussing our future relationship.

I know it would have been expected a lot, but it would have produced a large degree of certainly as everyone would know what the situation would be for the next two years whilst working towards putting together a cunning plan to help hold USE together! I’ m almost old enough to remember life before1970 and Europe was abroad (also things like currency restrictions!), but strangely, we managed quiet well then – and the previous few hundred years – so why all the threatens of doom and gloom from those who don’t remember? They keep coming out with these ‘ concerns’ which proved incorrect in 2016, so what has changed?

Better go before I really get carried away!

Moles and USE (what a combination!)

Talking to one of my neighbours this morning, it seems our cat has been teaching their cat that mice are not just for catching and bringing home as a present, they are also edible! He can lead anything astray, that boy.

Now all I have to do is convince him that moles are much harder pray and he needs to keep an ear to the ground and watch for movement on the lawn as the soil is pushed through the turf, then dig away. Our resident moles are currently teaching their offspring that to survive, they will have to leave home and tunnel away to find their own worms and grubs.

So we are currently getting a couple of large mounds with one or two much smaller ones nearby. The dogs don’t seem to want to show much interest at the moment!

There must be a way of catching them easily as whilst I was an apprentice, used mole skin to wipe the lead solder off the underground cable joints and make a nice waterproof joint – apparently it’s the best stuff for the job although, these days it seems they have all gone all plastic with compound and a plastic cover rather than the cast iron enclosure. Such is progress I suppose but I never did get on that well with the somewhat ‘flimsy’ plastic compared with nice solid cast iron. That’s why they have to leave the hole open to allow all to settle when jointing electric cables is case you wondered (not that you would).

Did you see the EU president have a go at the EU council at lunchtime? Talk about USE slowly losing the plot. We have Italy complaining that they are having to accept all these ‘poor’ refugees that the charities are bringing to their shores, but no-one actually seems to be addressing the basic problem of who is funding the ‘boat people’. A UN report suggests that more than half are economic migrants rather than refugees fleeing for their lives. They all want to come to Europe so they can go to the UK yet refugees are only allowed to seek asylum in the first safe country they arrive at. Yet no-one (UN – I have you in mind) seems to want to make this happen or perhaps most of northern Europe is unsafe.

Returning to the USE President complaint, they have also suddenly noticed that after we leave, there will be a big hole in the USE finances (which is why they want us to give them the money we could give them over the next few years if we didn’t actually leave). Why don’t the ‘remainers’ realise we are simply a cash cow for the united Europe project because whichever way you look at it, we are and always have been. Once we joined the ‘common market’ it didn’t take them long to work out we hold Europe together and go to their rescue when one starts to squabble with one or more of the others. I hope they realise this after we leave as at least then they may come to their senses before we have to step in once again!

It’s not only jobs for the boys in government!!

Following the resignation of the Council leader and his deputy, news came that the CE of the management company had thrown in the towel.

More revelations include a safety consultant suggesting to the council that the change in cladding material might be best served by not informing the Fire officer and the saga continues as apparently the technical director of the company who makes the insulation panels is on the government advisory that makes recommendation regarding the Building Regulations.

The real problem is this has been going on for years as I just remembered in the 1970s I used to carry out work for our local council and was asked to price for installing fire alarms in all the council community centres. All went well, until I said I would check my proposals with the local fire safety officer. I never did any more work for them again. After I was elected (to the same council) some 15 or 20 years later, the same council officer (now in management) acknowledged that he remembered me. It seems they did their best to make sure I wasn’t involved in any in-house works decisions – until they were going to do work at the local town council offices (I was also a member of that council) and the look on the ‘council surveyor’ when he realised I was involved, was a picture! Needless to say, no corners were cut, but I didn’t let on I knew – just a councillor doing his job!

Todays good news is that my paster cast should be removed on the 18th July and providing my arm doesn’t drop off, then a week or two later I should be able to use both hands to mow the lawn, wash up or even shower (having to bath at the moment) or even (dare I say) drive. That really depends on on me doing my exercises and getting the arm working safely.

Other events that may happen at Wanlip Tower include, our utility room may make progress and the ongoing water difficulties will be looked into (again). But with both my hands useable, you never know what might happen.