Saturday, December 19, 2009

Delivering Liberal Democrat Focus Leaflets

I thought today I'd make a start on my batch of Focus leaflets with a spare couple of hours.

Oh my word it was cold. The car temparature monitor said 0 degrees. Mmm chilly.

The batch I did was part of the Sherwood Rise area of Nottingham which I've not really been to in detail before. Having travelled around a few new areas I have noticed how fantastic and interesting some of the old houses in Nottingham are. And how big some of them are when they were probably in there original format of only one house instead of flats.

It would be nice to have seen some of these areas in their original spendour but unfortunately time takes its toll and some of these properties must require significant cash to maintain.

There were even more substantial properties on another cul de sac that don't appear on Google street view which could look wonderful again but needed significant investment to bring them back to their former glory.

Hopefully I'll carry on seeing these marvels around a few of the other areas I'm due to travel.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Lunch with Work.

Today we went to Zizzi's on King Street in Nottingham at 12 midday. Possible an unusual time for a Christmas Dinner but definitely worth thinking about.

The menu on offer was the restaurant's usual menu instead of, what I feel, is the standard conveyor belt Xmas dinner that places seem to offer. I haven't found one of these in previous years to my satisfaction. A little bit rushed and generally sub-standard considering the cost.

The meal was very nice without a hint of the rush to get you out for the next sitting I think you would probably find at an evening shindig.

I hoping that next year we may consider this time again.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bit of community work.

I noticed that the bushes from the local school were getting out of hand at a certain section and growing to block the pavement. So I grabbed how of my mum's clippers, pulled her garden waste recycling bin and got to work. Fifteen minutes later the bin was full, the path was clear and I was chuffed.

Having been told by the Head Teacher how much this sort of work costs them to have done it does give me a little bit of self satisfaction to know that I have saved her this amount of money to be spent of something a little more worthwhile.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Goose Fair 2009

Me and the children had annual trip to Goose Fair yesterday. We managed to park about 1/2 mile away which is always a good thing as the area does tend to get snarled up with traffic.

A pleasant walk there and a good walk around with the boys going on a couple of rides later. The dark arrived about an hour after arrival. This is the best time to see Goose Fair lights in all their glory and the masses of people out enjoying themselves.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lib Dems Public Sector Pay Freeze and £1 million Home Tax

A Personal View

As a Public Sector worker I listened with interest at the suggestion of a pay freeze as part of the whole package to enable to the countries finances to be brought back under control.

I have always worked in the Health Service and have never had a year when I didn't receive a cost of living increase. Given the state of the finances of Britain and what non-public sector workers are having to sacrifice to maintain their jobs and keep their companies going I don't think some sacrifice on the part of the public sector would go a miss.

There are also people losing their employment left, right and centre and during this recession I have never felt at risk, although I know this doesn't apply to all PS workers. Hopefully a freeze would secure the employment of more of these workers without the need for further job cuts.

Having said this, if there could be a re-balance between the tax the rich pay and the poor and the minimum tax threshold could be lifted to £10000 this would benefit all workers and would give a large section of society that needs it a significant boost in income.

I am more for hitting the exclusively rich that put significant effort in to avoiding paying their liabilities by exploiting loopholes in tax law that their highly paid Accountants find for them.

How the £1 million home tax rule would be administered eludes me but given that people living in areas of the south have not put themselves in this situation but have been put here by the ridiculous property market we would have to be careful not to penalise the wrong sections of our community. I'm sure the detailed explanation will clarify this system.

I don't think the Unions really ought to go overboard regarding a freeze if the Liberal Democrats can deliver on the threshold increase the amount of the members that would benefit I'm sure would be substantial.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Liberal Democrats Conference September 2009

Really enjoying the twitter feeds and upto date news stories being sent from the Liberal Democrats conference this year.

Trend on Twitter : #LDConf

Lib Dems Leader : @Nick_Clegg

Nottingham Lib Dem Councillor : @alexfoster

Conference Twitter Feed : @LibDemConf

Lib Dem Voice : @libdemvoice

Conference Facebook Page :

The above references are always good for information.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Why is life full of these irritating little things. At least I can say
that done of them are off my list for a while. At least of them when
done can give you a sense of accomplishment.

It also meant that I could read an interesting Lib Dem paper in peace
and to the end. Ready for the next one. At least I'm a little more
educated now.

Long weekend at least. Wondering what to check off tomorrow. I think I
might at least have lay in.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nottingham City Council Democracy

Nottingham City Council have a section on "Council and Democracy" on their website like most councils. It gives you the opportunity to submit a question to be answered publicly in a Full Council meeting as long as the question doesn't fall in to certain criteria.

This is how it is meant to work anyway.

I had a few thoughts about an issue mentioned in a press release just before the summer holidays that I felt

On submission of a question on the website, which I believe fell in to acceptable criteria, it was directed by the Customer Relations Department to a department they felt was relevant without any explanation of why this was not put forward for Full Council hearing.

May be the Customer Relations department feel that it is their job to keep oiks like me away from out Lord and Master Labour Councillor Portfolio Holders. It might explain why there has been no written questions to full council in the last 14 months and only one oral question in January 2009.

I was a little put out so have emailed Customer Relations and Committee Services for a response and some clarification. Hopefully their future communication and procedures will be more customer friendly.

I wait with baited breath!


I've had an email from Customer Services who realised their mistake and forwarded it forthwith to the Committee Team for reading and investigation.

The question was read out in Full Council on 14th September 2009. There was also an absolute stack of questions about one issue with Licenced properties on Churchfield Lane, Radford

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Arnold Carnival

Off to Arnold Carnival today. From last years review it looks like an extremely popular event. I think I'm going to have to park a bit away and walk in from the looks of it but considering i walk down the longest cul-de-sac in Europe (about 1/2 mile) yesterday delivering leaftlets both sides I think we can cope with it.

Looking forward to the caribean carnival this year but am disappointed with myself that I went and missed the asian Mela in Nottingham City Centre. Oh well may be next year. These are wonderful, colourful and vibrant events that celebrate the uniqueness of these cultures but I can't think of any event that celebrates british culture in large event form and what would be at that event. Have we got such a boring culture and a willingness to just blend in and not drawing to much attention to ourselves like the person who can't dance at a party or are we too afraid that an event like this could slightly cross the line and be misread as overly nationalist.

I'm sure there must be still some forms of britshness that could be put in to a carnival of some sort.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Meadows, Nottingham

On Thursday as part of the Election Campaign I assisted in delivering leaftlets around the Meadows area of Nottingham.

I have never particularly spent a significant amount of the around the estate itself it was a nice day and a lovely walk. The one thing I can say is that you tend to only hear negative stories about the area but on my walk that the people I passed where polite and curteous and generally had a "good day" or "hello" for you. This applied to people of all ages and all creeds. They were a credit to the area.

I must say that the community garden near one of the schools looked fantastic as well.

Although I was a little lost around the inner streets of the estate. I look forward to a repeat walk around at some point in the future.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gurkha Issue

I am so glad that the Lib Dems and Conservatives could come together on this issue and vote this bill down. Hopefully the Government won't have the moral cowardice to ride rough shod over this as they have other things.

It seems the more you give to this country the less you are though of. I am not particularly military specialist or fan but these people have committed themselves to this country we need to commit ourselves to them. We seem to let any other random in to this country to leach off it but the Government are not willing to pay for patriots.

I've found the money needed for these people to stay in our country. (like alot of other people)

Number 1 - Scrap the Nuclear Arms Replacement program. (Loads of money)

Number 2 - Scrap the ID card system (Loads of Money)

Number 3 - Get Jackie Smith's husband to claim the money on her expenses as Porn. She doesn't check them receipts.

None of the bravery medal nonsense. They are all brave if they commit themselves to armed combat.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Robert Shaw School Clean Up.

A lovely day for a clean up today. All the pupils from the year 4 class came out to help out with the litter pick, assisted by local residents, some parents, a member of the Local Area team and the local Lib Dem Councillors.
A great effort by all with about 20 bags of litter and garden rubbish with a large quantity of brambles and broken twigs/branches being put in a skip. The efforts of the children and parents has almost cleared the edge of the school of the litter that has built up over the years. A few interesting items were found including an old childs bike, an angle grinder blade and an old axe.

The efforts of the Residents Association cleared old twigs and branches with a couple of the Association managing to clear a good portion including brambles. I have a few cuts from this but not as painful as the paper cut on my little finger.

The pictures show a portion of the hard work carried out by the volunteers. The subway which provides access to the school was also given a good spruce with a wheel barrow full of leaves and litter collected.

Support in the way of equipment and rubbish bags was organised by Susan Ward-Rice, one of the Neighbourhood Officers for the area and the collected rubbish was taken away by Streetscene.

During this time the Local Councillors Foster and Long put themselves to work collecting litter for the street Robert Shaw is located on and with ferreting around in hedges managed to collect a big bag full of litter.

A big thank you to everyone involved.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Big Spring Clean - Robert Shaw School

As part of Nottinghams Big Spring Clean as few of the Residents Association, Year 4 pupils and a couple of others are getting together tomorrow to give the school a bit of a spruce.

Thankfully it looks as though the weather is going to be nice for us. Hopefully we'll all get the place spic and span.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finally a break in the rain.

At least one of these Bank Holiday days has turned out to be relatively rain free day, although everything is still damp so no playground for the children unfortunately.

The wife is trying to get profile done for her yearly assessment so a little peace time is required. A little walk was in order to burn off the whole Easter egg that the children have just ate. A whole egg in one go, how they were not ill I'll never know. Glad to see Nestle have removed the plastic packing and replaced with cardboard and reduced the size of the box. I had read this was a plan of theirs. Good on them.

There was a bit of land near a subway that seemed to be a litter trap so a couple of black bags later the years of litter have been significantly reduced as well as a whole carrier bag of can recycling which went in the appropriate bin.

A couple a miles later back to home a few calories burnt off and a bit less muck on the street.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ikea Nottingham on a Saturday Afternoon

We need some of Ikea's storage units for the "Toys R Us" volume of toys that the children have. Ikea have a couple of good storage ideas and since I have removed the old useless fitted wardrobes from their bedroom we now have the space.

The suggestion was put, "Why don't you go this afternoon?"

I thought about this and decided that the volume of traffic on a Saturday afternoon is comparable to the entire D-Day landing force.

I decided to put it off to a late evening one day in the week.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Nottingham Industrial Museum

Being a reasonably damp day we decided to take a little walk to Wollaton Hall Natural History Museum and the attached Nottingham Industrial Museum. Both of these excellent facilities are thankfully inside are free to everyone as the Nottingham Industrial Museum always has been. It has been compiled, repaired and maintained by volunteers all these years.

Nottingham City Council has given these people money to maintain this facility to his point. Now because of a shortfall in the council budget of £20 million pounds they plan on removing this funding. A paltry £44,000 in the grand scheme of things.

Isn't it strange that they can find the unreal amount of money for the Nottingham Contempary Art Gallery from a VAT refund, what a lucky refund that was to get them out of a pickle.

As someone in a letter of response to the article about says, there are plenty of art gallerys in available in Nottingham already but there is only one Industrial Museum and these machines are not something you can switch off and then in 2 years time just switch back off again.

The article from this Evening Post above also quotes Councillor David Trimble regarding the gallery, "It is this sort of thing that put Newcastle/Gateshead on the map". Do we have a case of City envy Mr Trimble. There is also the fact the just a gallery doesn't make a city Mr Trimble.

OH by the way, Newcastle Council is a Liberal Democrat run council, take some tips Mr Trimble and your LABOUR colleagues. I know one thing, I'm envious of the Newcastle citizenry for this fact.

Thanks for choosing an easy, non-fashionable target Labour Councillors.

Monday, April 6, 2009

About time for a change.

Recently, although I am quite comfortable in my life and have actually quite prospered even in this downturn, I have become despondent with the inadequate way we are being governed and the complete disregard for the common person with which this government acts.

From the actions that took us in to the Iraq war after such a significant protest against this course to the complete mismanagement of our economy based on the premise we have got some money lets spend it (during the boom times) instead of what was being preached to us about saving and our own financial responsibility. Normally I wouldn't be against an ID card scheme, one did exist just after World War II for several years, but it is the insidious amount of data they wish to hold about you that fills me with fear and sickness. If this government were to have their way my and my children's DNA profiles as well as all manner of biometric data would be collected with as little thought as someone collect coupons from a supermarket. They can not be trusted to hold this data secure. This is my mind just classifies everyone from BIRTH as a future criminal to be monitored, catalogued, suppressed and feared. How long before we cross further over the line and criminalise more aspects of our lives. It all seems to be creeping in the back door through these times with civil liberties being eroded in the times of so called emergencies but these liberties never being returned once the emergency is over.

We are constantly informed of the threat of terrorism which I am sure our secret services are doing a enormous job to keep us safe. I remember the IRA attacks on the British mainland happening on a regular basis but no DNA database, biometric ID card or such like that would have been available at the time being proposed. A database of every law-abiding individual is not needed. Use the money being wasted on other resources for the correct people to be investigated, infiltrated and imprisoned when they wish us serious harm.

It brings me to the point of this rant, thoughts or feelings whatever it is to say that we need a change in our lives and my conversion half way through my life (hopefully less) to take a deeper interest in the main parties in our politic system and my position of blissful and comfortableness in my old position of doing the same old thing.

I now believe that our 2 parties that are at the head of the game just take it in turns making an absolute mess of country after a certain period in office without the will to change anything that might overly offend their paymasters for fear of reducing their own personal income. They are bought parties doing what they think is best and listening to no one else because we do not matter.

I took an online test recently that asked a series of questions and was surprised to find that i was definitely holding out the wrong political position. This took me to look more in-depth at the Liberal Democrat party, what the stand for and what changes the could make.

We have had Liberal Democrat councillors in my ward for a number of years and have always been impressed by their attentiveness to local issues that actually matter to people but when it came to a General Election I am guilty, like maybe a lot of people, of being steered to vote for the usual gruesome twosome.

We have the vote to change that, use it and DON'T listen to the nay-sayers that "oh, the Liberal Democrats will never get enough votes."

We need to vote for a party that is instilled with the values of Freedom, Fairness and Trust to change our lives for the better.

Delicious Proof

On Friday I had the unfortunate gift of having the abominable "Loose Women" on the communal television screen at work. These Macbeth-styled witches were giving their unwanted opinions and brewing up uninformed words on the nature of politeness in Britain and the supposed North/South divide that seems to exist in politeness and open friendliness to strangers.

A conservation started in our communal area regarding the attributes of Nottingham in this respect which started off quite positively but the area was frequented by a work (i was going to say colleague but that would denote some form of positive association so I'll say "a person I work near") who has such a negative orientation on life that this conversation degenerated in to her usual sardonic comments about everything about the place she hates.
Boy did she generalise and club everyone in the city in to the same basket. For some reason she mentioned she has fallen down a lot in the past in the city (God only knows why, if he exists) and no one has ever come to her aid. Vehemently denying that this makes everyone rude and unhelpful and pointing out that someone of her age would be perfectly capable of extracting themselves from the floor. My response was that I was positive if a child or a pensioner had fallen over (obviously a child with no one to be seen in attendance) that the good people of Nottingham would come to their aid.
To my utter satisfaction we were in the City Centre this Sunday morning and an incident occurred in the corner of my eye. I turned to see a lady had slipped to the floor (uninjured, thankfully) and no fewer that 4 people at her attendance. Thank you to the good Nottingham people for proving me right.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Random Meeting in a Cemetery

On a unplanned trip recently to take pictures of headstones recently for my family tree research I came across a lady looking at headstones across the cemetery also. At one point I was taking a picture and the lady came near me. The person with her commented on one of the headstones "he could be one of your relations". I happen to hear and said "if he is one of yours I know he is one of mine". After a bit of a conversation and a little bit of information from her a lot of what she said was familiar.

I returned home to find that we did have a connection way back in 1740. People always say it's a small world. How true that is as this situation of meeting a person at random related to our family from so long ago has now happened to me twice.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Litter picking spring clean

I had some time spare again as I have the week off so after the disaster of going to get some new tyres to find our mechanic had our locking nut in his worshop(a quick run around to fetch it) I thought I would do a bit more voluntary community work on our estate.

I don't know whether it was because of the bad weather and the authorities hadn't had chance to go around cleaning properly but boy was there a lot of litter around.
Yes, it is a bug bear of mine and I don't like it but I'm sure I have a few people for company, at least I know of Bill Bryson anyway.

Three bin bags later and a lovely walk on a lovely sunny day the place looks alot cleaner.

I didn't get some funny looks though. It seems that this activity seems out of the ordinary for a normal person and I did get looks that people thought I was a weirdo. I dressed what I thought was relatively smartly for the process I was undertaking. Maybe the looks I was getting was of shock that some people still do care about where they live.

I will probably never know unless I ask them. I may do that next time.

Oh, it only took about an hour today, just think if everyone did their 2 minutes what a lovely clean country we would live in.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Volunteer Work

I decided last week as the relevant powers probably had more pressing maters on their hands that I would do a bit of clearance work on some of the garages on our estate where parts had become a little over grown. This was a couple of hours good hard manual labour which can be a little hard going sometime for an office bloke like me but continue I did.

I was quite proud of the outcome given the limited resources at my disposal. I was a little perturbed as I was doing the work several people passed and whilst not doing the work for any credit about 3 of them comment on whether I was getting paid for doing it. No I wasn't but doing it for the general good. Is it too hard to believe nowadays that some on might do something like this and not look at you in shock and winder if you have lost your faculties.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I had a walk today to sort some things out around my old estate and couldn't believe the proliferation of litter. It amazes me that people live around this. Is it now always someone else's responsibility to pick it up? Should we just whinge about the litter louts that blight our country?

These small pieces of filth in a relatively small amount of numbers can instantly reduce the quality of an area. Do your country, your estate, the environment a favour and either don't drop it in the first place or be a good person and pick some up an throw it in the nearest bin.

I did my bit today (again). One whole carrier bag of cans and plastic bottles straight in the recycling bin at home, ready to be used again in a more useful way instead of sitting there awaiting the other person who responsibility it is to pick it up.

I'll keep on doing my bit. If everyone did there very little bit what a better and cleaner place we would be.

Rant over.