Saturday, June 16, 2007

Another wet and miserably cold June day brought complaints that the combined sewer in Seymour Crescent was overflowing yet again. Residents and councillors have complained in the past to Northumbrian Water, but to no avail. It's going to be expensive to put in new sewage systems, but the number of times sewage spills out is getting beyond a joke. John, Alan and I are going to have a concerted effort to get the Borough Council engineers, Care for your area team and the Environment Agency to put pressure on the Water Company. People shouldn't have to put up with sewage spilling out onto the grass verge near their houses.
After that I went into Stockton for a Personal Development Plan interview. This is a new initiative on the part of the council to help Councillors develop the skills needed for an increasingly complex job. Unfortunately an element of apparent coercion crept into the wording of the programme with training described as "mandatory" when actually there's no sanction that can be applied if councillors opt out of the system. Some of us have been very upset at the use of that word and protested vigorously, but the actual idea of offering training that addresses a person's requirements is a good one.
Yesterday evening was a festive occasion, despite the poor weather. We had a party to thank the army of deliverers who get Focus out to over 4500 homes in the ward year in, year out. Several of them managed to come and enjoy drinks, nibbles and good conversation with us. We also managed to say Thank You to Mike Cherrett who retired as a councillor this year and a huge congratulations to John now in his 21st year as a Councillor for the ward.

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