Congratulations!

Congratulations to former Councillor Jane James who was chosen tonight as the Conservative candidate for Harborne Ward at the 2015 local elections. An experienced candidate and a very hard worker. Well done!

Harborne's Conservative Team

Harborne’s Conservative Team

 

Labour Belatedly Get The Message

After being inundated by complaints and bad publicity about the filthy state of the city, Labour have finally done a U-turn and axed their cuts to the Street Cleansing budget.

They apparently never realised that charging for green waste and large bulky items would lead to some people dumping these things on the streets (what planet were they on?) – even though the opposition Councillors told them endlessly that flying tipping would be bound to rise once charges were introduced.

They also argued that once people had wheelie bins – the streets would be cleaner because there would be no black bags to rip open. That was hopelessly naive too! Because as these pictures from two different parts of Harborne (which has had wheelie bins for over a year now) show only too clearly – just because people have wheelie bins doesn’t mean some people don’t still dump black bags on the streets (even though we all know it’s not allowed).

It’s about time Labour buckled down and started working out ways to deal with the city as it is, not in the dream world they’d like it to be – where everyone composts and takes their unwanted goods to recycling projects. Of course we all know that is ideal. Of course we know that some people already do it, and that more people can be persuaded to. But Labour need to realise that some people will not – ever – and they must have the resources in place to deal this situation, otherwise the rest of us – the law abiding majority – suffer because the place looks a tip. (Those who dumped it in the first place presumably don’t care if it does.)

So as well as keeping street cleaning at acceptable levels, the Labour Council needs to do more bag searches to catch fly tippers. But they also need to accept that there isn’t going to be any evidence of who left out a dumped bag of green waste, and therefore fining someone is more or less impossible (unless you actually catch them in the act which isn’t very likely) so they also need to scrap their hated garden tax if they want to make our city clean again.

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Meeting The Challenge In Edgbaston!

It was great to meet up with young people from The Challenge UK this morning who joined local residents on the Waterworks Estate for a massive clear up.

Weeds, dead shrubs, litter, rubbish – all was cleaned up and put into a huge pile ready for collection by Edgbaston’s Hit Squad on Monday.

Cllr James Hutchings, Matt Bennett, Amil Khan and I joined the working party all morning – helping to make the Waterworks Estate look clean and tidy once again.

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PCC Election Result

Labour won the Police and Crime Commissioner by election in the West Midland – hardly surprising when you look at the make up of the Councils in the region. However in Edgbaston Ward, the Conservatives won convincingly which was very heartening.

Comiserations to Les Jones who ran a really good campaign.  For my own part, after voting first thing I spent the rest of the day and Friday in Yorkshire. It seemed really strange not to be around on Polling Day!

Vote Today!

Today it’s the Police & Crime Commissioner by-election in the West Midlands.

Vote for Les Jones, the Conservative Candidate. Polls are open from 7.00am to 10.00pm.

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Les Jones In Edgbaston

Great to see the Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner Candidate, Les Jones, and Edgbaston’s Parliamentary Candidate, Dr Luke Evans, with a team out campaigning in Edgbaston Ward last Friday as part of our campaign to keep Edgbaston’s Police Station open. Our police station, at Belgrave Middleway, was ear-marked for closure, probably in 2015,  by the former Labour Police & Crime Commissioner – a decision we want to overturn.

Aug 18th

 

 

Man Bites Dog…

When a dog bites a man, it isn’t news. When a man bites a dog, it is.

Likewise, when a Tory Councillor criticises a Labour Council policy, that’s hardly news, but when a Labour MP does – it is.

So step forward Steve McCabe, Labour MP for Selly Oak, who this week has criticised Labour’ infamous garden tax policy, calling for it to be scrapped.  I haven’t yet heard Edgbaston’s Labour MP joining him, but then she’s in a difficult position.

The Edgbaston Constituency Councillors and candidates are branded as Team Gisela. I’ve said on this blog before that this is all very well, but a team is only as strong as it’s weakest leak. The weakest link to my mind had to be Councillor James McKay who introduced the infamous garden tax, and resolutely stood by it when all around where criticising it  and pointing out the obvious flaws in his policy. (Like the fact that what do you do if a third party dumps garden waste outside your house and the Council refuses to take it away – a problem Steve McCabe has apparently only just thought about, according to the Birmingham Mail story.)

The garden tax and Cllr McKay are inextricably linked. Which rather puts the garden tax at Team Gisela’s door too. So what does Edgbaston’s Labour MP do now her Labour colleague Steve McCabe has decided to speak out? Join him in calling for the garden tax to go? Or defend it to the death as it was introduced by one of her own Edgbaston & Team Gisela’s Labour Councillors? Rather a dilemma! Especially as the cost of re-introducing it is minimal given the scale of Birmingham City Council’s budget, and the ridiculous way it has been introduced – with crews still routinely failing to pick up the garden waste of those people who have paid for the service, and the carrying out of a city wide clean up just before Polling Day (how convenient!) – must be severely eating into any savings made anyway.

The policy is a disaster, Conservative Councillors have been saying so for months. And now a Labour MP has admitted it too.

Dumped green bags in Edgbaston - thanks to Labour's Garden tax disaster

Dumped green bags in Edgbaston – thanks to Labour’s Garden tax disaster