Monday, March 26, 2007

Traffic Chaos and Tragedy

The day started with a shocking story. Parking problems near a local primary school have been at boiling point recently, with residents of one narrow estate road fuming at the parents who park opposite drives and even across them sometimes. Residents had contacted police and councillors about the problems, but a small number of inconsiderate parents still persisted in causing a problem. This morning we heard that one elderly resident had collapsed on her drive during the morning school run. We were told that it followed an argument over parking, and later heard that the lady had died. A post mortem will reveal the cause in time, but meanwhile there's a grieving family and a shocked community. Parents at all the schools in the ward keep telling us that they take their children to school by car because it's safer for them, but I wonder if now they'll stop to consider the potential danger to frail and elderly residents of the streets near the schools.

The review of bullying in Stockton came a step nearer to completion when I had a meeting with the Cabinet member and the officers responsible for the strategies. We had a useful discussion of how the proposed software would be used and how it could be set up to take note of the concerns of committee members. I don't think that all of our concerns will be allayed but i hope that things have changed enough from what was said on Friday that we can now put in a robust but helpful report and start to really reduce the threat of bullying to children in our schools and ultimately outside of school.

At long last I had time to go and set up some software on Alan's computer so that we can all hold canvass data and check information. A bit of progress was made on the alternative website for the Mayor's blog while the election prevents it being on SBC website. Anyone wanting to see what's been happening in the past or check on links to the charities can still have a look. It's not as professional as the SBC site was, but we haven't got time for too much fiddling.

Then Alan and I took the opportunity provided by the sunshine to go and do some door to door surveys in Hunters' Green. We met some interesting people and it was good to know that they all received Focus regularly, thanks to our volunteer deliverers. It was also good to see how many of them have children who walk to school at least some days of the week, as it's not the nearest estate to the schools by any means.

The last meeting of the day was cancelled because so many of us couldn't be there for one reason or another, so a windfall time to do a bit of tidying and have a look at the manifesto for the election. A little silver lining to the cloud! Now that I've done the easy bits I need others to do the hard sections and then we can print it.

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