Thursday, February 12, 2004

Its been a very good day today, tempered only by a rather disturbing conversation with several of my year group. They declared (very loudly) that cannabis had been made legal, and even if it wasn’t then the police wouldn’t mind you possessing or smoking it. That is quite clearly not true (on any level), but shows the level of confusion that this muddled government thinking has created. I oppose the reclassification of cannabis because of the very signal it sends out to very vulnerable young people. I fear that the government will reap what it sows on this one but the ones who’ll suffer will be our young people.

Whilst out and about in the City today I met an old UEA friend (or foe?!?) who’s visiting Norwich working on a book about how Labour have failed to tackle the vital issue of child poverty in the UK. For a staunch Labour member and activist it is a very brave subject to tackle. She had (surprisingly) nothing but praise for Tory Pensions Spokesman David Willetts – who himself recently visited Norfolk to address a Pensioners Forum – saying that he at least had the intellect and compassion to really further the cause of those trying to eradicate child poverty. On the other hand, she totally slated a Lib Dem MP whom she recently visited. He was totally disinterested, she reported, and had no vision (let alone policies) to actually help. Apparently he bleated on about tuition fees and scrapping the council tax, but completely failed to address the point of the interview. Typical Lib Dem.

Talking of which, my wonderful band of deliverers have been out and about because I received my February edition of “Bowthorpe Matters” today, which I co-Edit. Of particular note this month is the news that there won’t be a new High School in Bowthorpe as previously promised. Our local Labour Councillors deserves some praise for honesty: It just costs too much, she says. So we now have a 9,000+ residents development with no High School. Even children who are born now will need a High School within 11 years! Its nothing but short-termism again, and a complete lack of understanding about how these developments work. No thought has gone into the infrastructure around here.

I received a very interesting letter today from a resident in North Earlham asking us to lobby for the Bus Lane between Cloverhill and Earlham Green Lane to be re-opened in a bid to free up residents on the Cloverhill side of the border and try and prevent Larkman Lane being used as a rat-run. It is certainly something that we are looking seriously into – if you have any comments, e-mail and let us know.

On the way home tonight I got the chance to visit a pathway that a resident had reported that was absolutely caked in mud from the building site on Chapel Break Road. It really is appalling – now wonder local schools are complaining about children coming in covered in mud. Either the building firm or the council need to take a bit of responsibility, but it needs clearing fast.

I am out tonight visiting residents in Ambrose Close talking about problems with traffic and pavements in their area. It’s all go in Bowthorpe!

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