Friday, July 06, 2007

The End of a Long Week

Another week draws to a close, not a very productive one. As it followed what was probably the most upsetting week I've had for years on several fronts, none to be written about here, I'm just hoping that July will be better than June.
I was wrong about the rain stopping - it was a temporary abatement. However, we're much better off than some other parts of the country so mustn't grumble too much. The wettest June on record has varied from miserable to catastrophic, depending on which part of the country one lives in.
3 days of this week were spent in Birmingham, city of the visionary mayor Joseph Chamberlain, and home to the first red-brick university in the country. I attended the LGA conference and found it at times stimulating, boring, annoying and fun. I won't say which parts were which in case someone happens to read this and be upset. I was in the company of the Chief Executive of Stockton Council, the Conservative Leader of the Council and the Labour group leader, but actually saw very little of them as we all attended different sessions and networked with different people.
While there I had the strangest e-mail I've had in a long time from one of the councillors in a neighbouring ward, proposing to put some planters bought for his ward on a grass patch in our ward and inviting our comments "out of courtesy"! When I pointed out that we'd have to consult with the parish council, the businesses which front onto the grass and the local residents he rather testily replied that it was too much hassle! It seemed odd the very next day to listen to his party leader telling the conference how they would listen to what people wanted. We haven't had any further suggestions from residents of our ward so we'll go ahead with final consultations on the things that have been suggested and seem practical and then we'll look further into some of the more difficult improvements that residents want.
Today John and I had a meeting with two young men hoping to stage a music festival in Preston Park. If it comes off it'll be very worthwhile - music for all the family, entertainers such as jugglers and face painters and a bar serving only the over 21s as well as food, a climbing wall and other activities for those not too interested in the music. They're working very hard to overcome all the potential problems of parking, traffic, noise and unruly behaviour as well as trying not to restrict access to the park facilities for those who don't want to be at the festival. I wish them well and suggest that people keep 19th August free in their diaries.

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