Wednesday, 29 December 2010

England Retains Ashes -2010

Graeme Swann leads the sprinkler dance 

England won the Ashes in Australia - Congratulations from Barnhill, London

Picture courtesy of The Guardian

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Our Team's Activities and Updates

  1. Vodafone application to install 13.8 metre high pole with 3 antennas and one ground based equipment cabinet to pavement opposite junction of The Avenue and West Hill - matter referred to the authorities and positive response so far noticed. Vodafone has now lodged an appeal against the rejection decision. Awaiting now the final decision.
  2. Barn Hill fly-tipping, lack of parking for Chalk hill Community Centre visitors, abandoned shopping trolleys, broken and displaced kerbs, grass-cutting - discussed with Neighbourhood Watch, and things are improving. Representation was successful - necessary steps taken by the authorities to tackle the problems. However, continuous vigilance is necessary by all.
  3. Beverley Hill - ASBO reports, as well as the main cause, removal of sitting bench. Matter is under consideration. Bench removed and camera installed - no further problems brought to our attention.
  4. Anti-social behaviour - details withheld. Things are improving in the area. No new problems reported. Police are also very cooperative.
  5. Litter bins in parks all over Barn hill and Chalk hill with easy access to foxes and crows - park authorities are working on it how to stop the overturning of bins by the wild animals. Environment  and park authorities are doing their best, and things are improving.
  6. Barbecue area is, after use, normally left untidy and unclean - bylaws need to be enforced, and the park authorities are working with residents. Park authorities have taken steps, and things have improved in the area, but still more work needs to be done.
  7. Ark Academy traffic problems, possibility of children congregating at various locations, and possibility of using existing cameras to control parking, etc. - matter raised with appropriate authorities, and consideration will be given to the traffic problems. Transport authorities are attempting to improve traffic in the area.
  8. Kids who are excluded from mainstream school - details withheld, Working with local police on how to help such kids. No progress to report. However, temporary swimming pool has helped a lot to reduce the kids gathering aimlessly.
  9. Instances have been witnessed and photographed by local residents of a number of a professional dog walkers walking packs of dogs (in excess of 10). Also leaving behind dog excrement all over park land - Authorities are taking appropriate measures to stop it. Park authorities have taken this seriously, and are enforcing rules and regulations.
  10. Bins problem, Hill View Close/Lawns Courts - Matter resolved for the time being.
  11. Chalk hill Primary School need to offer swimming lessons for the school/local community with separate sessions for religious groups, nursery children with parents, teenagers, etc. The swimming pool is functioning, and is very  popular in the area.
  12. Bulk Charges - Labour position: There should be no question in anyone mind that the Labour administration is irrevocably committed to abolishing the charges. However the details of how to do so are part of a wider review on street cleaning, and therefore the practicalities of how to restore the free collection of bulky items will take some time to work out. Bulk Charges have now been abolished.
  13. Fast moving traffic on West hill. Electronic sign to reduce speed is functioning.
  14. Problem with groups of dogs in Barn Hill parks - rules will soon be introduced to limit, and hopefully end, this problem.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Barnhill Ward - Quarterly Briefing

Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) & Wardens
  • The wardens received 7 calls. 6 calls resulted in the wardens being called out and 1 resulted in a patrol of the area.
  • The majority of calls related to loitering or neighbourhood disputes and were from either John Perrin Place or Barnhill Road.
  • As result increased wardens patrols carried out  at Kings Drive to reassure residents.
Major Works
35 Properties externally refurbished.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Public sector cuts hit unemployment figures

Unemployment in the UK has edged over 2.5m as the impact of Government cuts since the election starts to sink in. It's going to get worse as the implications of the local authority cutbacks takes effect and this begs the question: where is this private sector-led recovery going to come from if the consumers haven't got any money?

There are a few important figures to consider. 33,000 jobs were cut within weeks of the Government coming to power. That's before any budget announcements or formal spending reviews. One in six employees in the UK is employed by the public sector, which is a total of 6m.

That's a lot of people feeling very insecure about their jobs right now. Let's assume things get a little better and fewer jobs are cut than feared - the lack of confidence is still going to hit people's spending plans.

  By Courtesy of AOL

Radical NHS reforms to go ahead - Really ?

Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, announced today that the government will push ahead with radical plans to shake up the NHS – the biggest shift in power and accountability in its 62-year history – despite opposition from almost every part of the health service.
Among those raising the alarm in the 6,000 responses to the white paper – about the size and scale of the planned reforms – were the Royal College of GPs, trade unions, and the respected health think tank the King's Fund.
The British Medical Association described the timetable for the reforms as "foolish" and warned that patient care could suffer as a result. Lansley said critics' claims were unfounded.
"We are going to have tight financial control, we are going to continuously improve the quality of service that we give to patients and we are also creating space for this new devolved decision-making coming from the bottom up," he told the BBC.
At the heart of the change is the shift of £80bn of taxpayers' money into the hands of England's 35,000 family doctors who operate as essentially private businesses. Lansley admitted that he had conducted no surveys of GPs before launching the white paper – despite outright opposition from four in 10 doctors.
The health secretary said the government will produce a parliamentary bill next month to abolish the 152 primary care trusts, which at present buy treatments on behalf of patients, by 2013. Also going are the 10 strategic health authorities, which Lansley says are a tier of bureaucracy. Instead GPs will be forced to band together into "consortia" to purchase hospital care and manage budgets to pay for it.

by Courtesy of Guardian

100,000 jobs to be cut over Christmas

The coalition’s cuts will force local authorities, police forces and other public bodies to cut 100,000 posts by early next year, it was claimed.
Councils must have their austerity budgets in place by March 31 but are required to give 90 days’ notice of job cuts, meaning posts to be cut in April must be announced before New Year’s Day.
Instead of "Happy New Year" many will now face "Ruined New Year"

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Unemployment rises unexpectedly

UK unemployment has risen back over the 2.5 million mark, fanning fears that Britain is suffering a "jobless recovery".
The number of people out of work in Britain rose by 35,000 in the three months to October, pushing the unemployment total up to 2,502,000. This raised the UK's unemployment rate to 7.9%, from 7.8% in the previous quarter, the highest rate in six months.
City economists had expected a 15,000 drop in the number of people out of work, which would have lowered the unemployment rate to 7.7%.
The rise was mainly due to a drop in public sector employment, where 33,000 jobs were lost over the period. Regionally, the north-east saw the biggest fall in public sector jobs, followed by the south-west and east of England

with courtesy of Guardian

Student Loans Company took £15m in overpayments

The Student Loans Company took more than £15m in overpayments last year from graduates who had already paid back all the money they borrowed.
More than 57,000 former students are waiting for a refund for the year to March 2010, according to Which?.
The consumer watchdog obtained the figures through freedom of information after receiving complaints from people who noticed money was still being taken from their pay despite their loans being fully repaid

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Travel grant for poorest pupils may be scrapped

The government is considering abolishing a £20m grant that has helped the poorest pupils afford the cost of travelling to school, it emerged today.
Michael Gove, the education secretary, appearing before the Commons education select committee, also admitted there will not be a real-terms rise in school budgets, as he had previously claimed. The travel grant is given to pupils in primary and secondary schools and sixth-form colleges who cannot afford their daily bus fare or train journey. These pupils go to schools and colleges some distance from their homes for reasons of religious faith or to study particular subjects.
The grant will stop in its current form next summer, but the government is looking into how the funds can continue as part of its review into school transport.
A spokesman from the Department for Education said: "We are looking at what we can do and are determined that no child will lose out."

Police forces face funding cut of 15% in real terms, claims Commons analysis

Police officers

Police forces in England and Wales face a funding cut of more than 15% over the next two years in real terms – more than expected – according to a House of Commons analysis of Home Office grant figures published today.
The analysis, commissioned by the shadow home secretary, Ed Balls, reflects an updated estimate for inflation in November. It shows that the 43 police forces in England and Wales face front-loaded cuts of 7.1% in real terms funding next year and 8.5% in the year of the Olympics.
The Commons library analysis contrasts with a Home Office statement today that police forces in England and Wales face a cut (in cash terms) of 5.1% in 2011/12 and 6.7% in 2012/13.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Tuition fees rise is 'act of vandalism'

Ed Miliband 
Ed Miliband today accuses the coalition government of "cultural vandalism" over university tuition fees.

Before a week of student protests and a crucial Commons vote on Thursday.

In a full frontal attack on the coalition's proposals to lift the cap on fees to £9,000 a year he also argues that the plan will set back the cause of social mobility by a generation by entrenching "privilege and inequality" and discouraging students from lower and middle-income families from going to university at all.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Tuition fees and Messy Business - Extra ......£9000..Extra.............£9000

Increase in tuition fees
Vince Cable came under renewed criticism today for apparently changing his mind over whether he would vote for a rise in tuition fees or not.
Vince Cable came under renewed criticism today over the government's proposed hike in university tuition fees after making apparently contradictory statements on his stance on the issue.
The business secretary, who is responsible for getting the fees legislation through parliament, said in an interview published yesterday that he would vote in favour of lifting the cap on annual tuition fees in England to up to £9,000, but later again indicated he could abstain on the controversial policy.
In an interview published in the Richmond and Twickenham Times, Cable said he had "no doubt" that he should vote in favour of the fees rise, in an apparent reversal of his comments last week that he might abstain in next Thursday's vote. "Obviously I have a duty as a minister to vote for my own policy – and that is what will happen," Cable told the paper.

with Courtesy of Guardian