Paddy visits Arkwright Walk

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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.
IMG_8456 bb0759h DRAFT Arkwright Walk leaflet w QWRec half-MUGA
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.

 

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Jack Jones documentary

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Striking image for a documentary on Jack Jones, largely financed with union funds.
A reminder of a union leader whose political values and organisational capability led to him creating Britain’s largest union.
Often on the tele to get the values across and to ensure justice at the workplace was a media issue – kinda missing that in particular these days.
The documentary makes the point that low hours contracts are the casualisation of labour that was fought against for all those years.
Born in a deprived part of Liverpool, his commitment to the cause and for trade unions was “in your bones”, as Dennis Skinner put it.
Opposing fascism and fighting in the Spanish Civil War was celebrated, although his service as a Liverpool City Councillor (he was the youngest councillor) wasn’t.
Taking union organisation in the motor city of Coventry to a new level.
He was very well-known, and highly regarded by the public, and in retirement led the National Pensioners’ Convention.

For sons of 70’s trade unions activists like me, the documentary is not only a rehearsal of good values, but also an immersion in nostalgia as you recognise all the activists and leaders from the past.  Oh and Mike Yarwood.

It is surprising that documentaries like these haven’t already been made, especially by the BBC who had people like Michael Cockerill who could have done something with the life story.  This documentary has too many testifiers from now and not enough film from then.
Maybe something could then have been said about his time as a Councillor.  Maybe some recognition for advances made for pensioners by new Labour before his death in 2009.

Justice for the Windrush Generation

IMG_8246mc1191h Justice for Windrush Generation march
Eighty people marching from Nottingham Midland railway station to the city centre, demanding justice for those members of the Windrush generation who suffered from the “hostile environment”.
An amazing slogan on one t-shirt – “More blacks, more dogs, more Irish”.
Paddy Tipping, PCC, Cllr Merlita Bryan and I joined the march.
(one typo to fix.) Photos available.

Persistent rough sleeping report raised in Parliament

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Lilian Greenwood MP highlights the key points from a Nottingham Trent University report on rough sleeping, a key concern in the city centre.
Earlier, a Nottingham City Council funding bid won £420,416, to provide additional bed spaces, employ dedicated homelessness workers and to sustain the “no second night out policy”.
The debate is available on video.
The debate is available from Hansard.