Skip to main content

Yardley Old Park Clean-up

rubbishcolln
This morning, after a minor false start, I started by collecting rubbish on Old Yardley Park with various local residents who are taking part in an annual clear-up.

To me the big issue really is how we persuade people that parks are not rubbish bins. We are spending a lot of effort on clearing them up, but really we need people not to drop rubbish in the first instance.

I turned up at my advice bureau on time (normally I am about 30 mins early) which meant there was a queue. The numbers of people turning up seems to be gradually increasing. There are also a continuing flow of people that I have not had dealings with before.

My casework team (Angie and Daphne) are finding that things are now running quite smoothly although we still have connectivity problems with the broadband connection that links the office to the casework server.

I have had a few cases recently where people seem to be being means tested for housing and council tax benefits on incorrect figures. This may be because these people had not been to see anyone previously.

According to the DWP website the clawback rate for Housing Benefit is still 65% and Council Tax Benefit 20%. I thought the government was going to try to do things about these, but it does not seem that they have.

My understanding is that there is a plan to introduce flat rate housing payments. There was a pilot scheme that was very expensive. In theory there is merit to this, but the changeover is really very complex, worrying and probably expensive.

At the moment I think I am getting roughly 10 new cases a week via email, 20 cases on Saturday and about 20-40 through the post otherwise. That ignores the lobbying letters and emails which I generally handle differently.

One area on which I have got a few emails (7) is about smoking. Although I don't smoke I am not inclined to prevent people from smoking everywhere that is public. I think that having smoking areas is not unreasonable as long as people don't have to work in them. I do think it is a sensible idea to require areas that are non-smoking to be part of any public operation. The House of Commons and various Hospitals now have places for people to go to smoke. I think that is a reasonable thing to do. We have banned smoking on buses for some time, not that this stops people.

It strikes me that this would make a good subject for a public meeting. I attended two meetings on Thursday one of which was LocalWorks and the other was the District COmmittee (both in South Yardley Library). The LocalWorks public meeting attracted 11 members of the public 5 of whom were from Yardley. There was, however, quite a well-informed debate and Chris Crean ably chaired the meeting as one would expect.

Comments

TonyF said…
John

If you intend to hold a public meeting on smoking, how about a public meeting on drink driving? Invite victims and victims families to put their case for longer sentences. Being a victims relative, I personally think, in this age of binge drinking, this would take priority over smoking.
john said…
The point about Smoking is that legislation is likely to be before the house soon.
Bob Piper said…
Whilst you are looking at rubbish in parks, why not take a look at the dump of a park in my Ward, Lightwoods Park, which is unfortunately managed by your council. Freedom of Information papers show the pathetic outlay by Birmingham City Council in this park, and your lot simply don't care because it is in Sandwell and our people have to suffer it. The fact that your soul partner, Mike Whitby lives only about 250 yards from Lightwoods Park means he must know the dump he is presiding over, and yet none of you seem to care one jot.

Popular posts from this blog

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.


I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Gender Issues comparison of candidates

John Hemming believes that an MP should represent everyone in their constituency.  This should be regardless of their race, religion, gender, abledness, sexual orientation or anything else.  It should be everyone.

When he was an MP he worked on issues relating to men, those relating to women and those relating to non-binary people. Everyone.

For example here is John Hemming on a demonstration outside the courts with the campaign group Women Against Rape (it related to the case of a mother who had her child removed from her because the mother was raped).




Jess Phillips, who campaigns on women's issues, notwithstanding the questions asked about her appointments in her parliamentary office, had the following response when asked for a debate on issues specifically relating to men: