Friday, July 17, 2009

I was going to catch up on filing, visiting and helping to deliver leaflets in another ward today but the rain put paid to the latter and numerous phone calls to the former!
By early afternoon some of the issues from last night's Parish Council meeting had been satisfactorily resolved and we could move on to further planning. Meanwhile a resident called with questions around some building works but because the Planning website was misbehaving and the officer concerned wasn't available that's had to wait till Monday to be fully answered. The question of the council tax valuation of properties in Timothy Hackworth court is still vexing a number of the residents there. I hope they manage to sort out the problem. To my layman's eye it does seem as though their valuation is based more on where the building is located than on the facilities in their property. As we've been so short of sheltered accommodation in the ward it's a pity that when some is built (albeit not in the most suitable location) many of the possible purchasers are finding it too expensive to move there comfortably. Meanwhile of course we have lost the affordable sheltered housing of Witham House with no sign of it being replaced in the near future.
The good news of the day came when a colleague pointed out that Fiona Hall, recently re-elected as MEP for the North East, has been elected by her colleagues to lead the UK Liberal Democrat group in Europe. This gives Fiona a much higher profile in Europe and means that the North East's voice will be heard even more strongly. One of her UK Lib Dem colleagues, Sharon Bowles, has become chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee, a very powerful committee in Europe, overseeing the regulation of the financial sector amongst other things.
And now that it's too late to go out delivering or visiting the rain has stopped -the joys of the British summer.

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