Thursday, July 24, 2008

First Week of the Holidays

There will probably be some light blogging because the school holidays started last Friday. That evening we went to the Brooke School Carnival and enjoyed some good weather and dancing through the village.

We were lucky enough on Saturday to have Baroness (Gillian) Shephard speaking at a Norwich Conservatives Garden Party; we managed to dodge the rain and had some superb strawberries and scones. There was a large crowd and Gillian made it very clear that Gordon Brown had gone from the "great clunking fist" to a "great girls blouse" in just a year. She was in fiesty form and left the membership in great spirits for the upcoming elections.

On Monday I joined a group of campaigners at the Planning Committee site visit of the new City College Development. It was fascinating to see how the plans would look on the ground (thanks to some yellow paint) and also think about the height and density of the buildings. I still have grave concerns over the suitability of the eco-building given that it is in a conservation area and don't feel it will blend into the community very well. The brillantly organised CRC campaign group will no doubt keep local people informed in a way that others have not.

I then went on to meet some residents regarding the parking situation on Dereham Road and had organised some council officers to meet them. There are so many different factors at play - not least who owns the highway that many of the ideas people have for dealing this situation aren't possible. Most importantly we all agreed on the need to ensure safety and will be working hard to achieve this.

Tuesday night was Full Council night at City Hall, where we debated a Green motion on renewable energy, but the set piece event of the night was the administration's review of the boundary commission's report on unitary. I think that Steve Morphew actually managed to hit the right tone in his words, but LibDem Leader Brian Watkins seemed to go into full Churchill mode urging everybody to unite around the City. It was a bizarre piece of work and in the fullness of time Brian may regret his words.

Yesterday and today were family days; yesterday spent in Bury St Edmunds and today on the North Norfolk coast.

We are currently in the process of delivering a major city wide survey and I have a breakfast meeting to discuss our campaign tomorrow. Apologies if blogging is light in the days and weeks to come...

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