Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Bad and the Good

Tuesday brought stories of young people congregating again near Orchard Shops, drinking alcohol and being nuisances to residents and passers by. Alan is taking that up with the police. We had complaints about people trespassing on the school playing field near Allens West, breaking through the hedge and fence, even being dropped off by adults in cars to do so! Mike has taken that up with the school who've been asked in the past to put up a better fence. The residents of the houses nearby are mostly elderly and are understandably unhappy with the situation.
Wednesday was Western Area Partnership Board, when our young members updated everyone on the Fashion Starz project which had been a huge success. 18 girls from the local youth clubs had worked for 7 months on a project, finding out about the history of fashion, photography, catwalk style, dress design and lots of other things. The culmination was a fantastic event on 10th March at Preston Hall which finished with a catwalk show of the clothes they had designed and made. The outfits and photos and the story of the project is on display in the Museum at the moment and everyone should go along and see what they achieved.
We then discussed the possibility of an environmental project to improve the gateways into the Western Area with planting of bulbs or flowers. The meeting took place at the Youth Club so that we could meet some of the members and ask their opinions. Alice led that session and showed that many of the young people would be willing to get involved in such a project. Unfortunately, and very annoyingly, we weren't allowed to put out a press release via Stockton Council about their involvement because it was deemed to be publicising councillors too near the election!!! So the youngest voting members of an Area Partnership Board are deprived of a bit of positive publicity because some councillors are involved as well. What a topsy turvy view of democracy is held in our legal department.

And then in the middle of the day we had the budget - what a swindle. Headline announcements that sound as though everyone's going to be better off, with the small print showing that this is a "tax neutral" budget - in other words increases for some to benefit others. Nothing significant for the environment, so yet again Labour fiddles while the world warms. I despair at times.

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