Canvassing in the streets in The Meadows most affected by drug dealers and users in the last few months.
There is a multi-agency day of action on the forthcoming Wednesday in the neighbourhood.
All following a public meeting with Lilian Greenwood MP and a major uniform initiative – after a series of knifing wounds inflicted by dealers upon dealers.
We had a special leaflet printed, to help seek opinions including a possibility of re-used play equipment for the neighbourhood.
Plans for investment in parks elsewhere in the city might release a 3 sided fence which includes a goal, a basketball hoop and a cricket wicket.
But it needs a kinda 22 yard by 12 yard piece of tarmac, so there is a cost. If we can find the money, we’d like to offer this “half-muga” for the neighbourhood, either to the west of the play area on Arkwright Walk, or to the south.
Crudely, the play-area would continue to serve toddlers and younger children, and the “half-muga” would serve teenagers.
Response on the doors was positive, including from older residents.
Paddy found one home that was still displaying a “vote Labour” poster from last year’s General Election; he spoke to a number of residents about policing matters.
Nicola and I picked up some general case-work.
Of course, I’m against graffiti. But what do you say to “I love my Mum”?
Kids were out and being kids, but parents were nearby and the neighbour whose fence was chalked didn’t mind.
Overwhelming concern whilst canvassing Osier Close and Oxbow Close off Robin Hood Way, is car parking. Whilst this could have been guessed at, this hadn’t come through on casework. Some doubt that permits will make a difference, but their effectiveness is why were having to introduce another phase, most probably in August. Some requests for grass and trees to be taken out for car parking space – priorities for investment remain on pavement and road repairs, but we’re short of money for that anyway.
Knifing didn’t come up, but drug taking in the Oxbow Close underpass did.
That grass in common areas had got long was mentioned, and some thought we’d arranged for it be cut before the canvass! (We hadn’t – but we have been reporting problems on a general level.) Weed spraying has been late too.
Pleasant day in Stoke-on-Trent, supporting Gareth Snell, Labour’s candidate in the Stoke Central by-election.
Met Ruth Smeeth, a Stoke MP, who I knew when we were candidates in neighbouring constituencies in the 2010 General Election.
Some hundreds of members had been meeting voters on the doorsteps over the weekend.
It’s nice to work with new people – from Newcastle, Macclesfield, Congleton & London; former engineers & local gov’t officers, students & even a performance artist.
He likes Joy Division – can’t remember how that came up – so lots of stories exchanged, before drizzle stopped play.
In the morning, I was working with Joan Walley, a former Stoke MP who feels the duty to listen to people on the doorstep and try to solve their problems. She’d picked up on the news that 2 UKIP party oficers had resigned that morning cos of their leader, and their candidate, not treating the Hillsborough disaster with proper respect.
People on the doorstep were getting the idea that something isn’t right about the UKIP candidate – not declaring his proper home address for this by-election, his expense claims as an MEP, his voting record etc.
Finally, had to smile about this …
Isn’t that the neatest graffiti you’ve ever seen? They might even have used a ruler.
Lilian was joined by many including 5 City Councillors to ask about perceptions of the NHS which is struggling cos adult care is being underfunded and poverty is increasing demand on A&E and bed provision.
In recent months we’ve gone –
from a promised £350 million extra a week for the NHS
to NHS staff asking where the promised extra money is
to an autumn statement that doesn’t mention the NHS
to Conservative MPs suggesting we can no longer afford the NHS.
Remember, the NHS is the most affordable way because we avoid having to organise individual insurance for millions of people, and we avoid the cost of paying for the profit demanded by private medical insurance.
Local concerns picked up include appointments at the local GPs, dealing and litter in a specific neighbourhood, and wanting a landowner to get on with a development of a former pub site.
Back to her old neighbourhood, Lilian Greenwood calls on residents of Castle Marina.
A lovely spring evening, the Castle Marina Park grounds were blooming and tidy, and the air was fragrant (Orange Blossom I think).
Met one resident on her way back from work.
A Conservative councillor from Melton District is spotted – Councillor Tejpal Singh Bains is currently undecided on the EU referendum.