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I am an East Riding of Yorkshire and Bridlington Town Councillor elected to represent Bridlington South Ward. The views and posts on this site are my personal views and are not those of East Riding of Yorkshire Council or Bridlington Town Council. If you become a member of this Blog I will expect you to adhere to posting comments that are not offensive or illegal.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Getting Old in the UK

Following the death of a much loved 91 year old Great Uncle yesterday I decided to look at what it means to be "Old" in the UK. A starting point was the Age UK website. I recently became an Age Uk Pride of Place Advocate
With the following Press Release:


East Riding Councillor Shelagh Finlay has signed up with national older people’s charity Age UK as a Pride of Place advocate for Bridlington South Ward.

Age UK’s Pride of Place campaign is encouraging councillors to improve neighbourhoods for people in later life. Many older people are prevented from getting out and about in their area due to barriers such as a lack of public transport, uneven pavements, access to public toilets or places to sit down. Councillors are well placed to help resolve these issues and enable older people to continue playing a fulfilling role in their community.

Councillor Finlay said: ‘I’m delighted to have this opportunity to work with local older people in Bridlington South Ward and hopefully be able to bring about some improvements to the neighbourhoods in the area.
John Perkins, Interim Chief Officer for Age UK East Riding said: ‘It’s vital that we invest in our neighbourhoods to ensure older people can go on being active and contribute to our communities for as long as possible – after all we now have more over 60s than under 18s. We are really pleased that Councillor Shelagh Finlay has joined us as a Pride of Place advocate. She will be working with us and with older people locally to improve the neighbourhoods in this area. Together, we can make a real difference.’

For more information about the Pride of Place campaign go to www.ageuk.org.uk/prideofplace

The article posted on the website replicated below does show the mentality of our aged - too proud to claim what they are entitled to. Why do we as a society make it so difficult for people living in poverty to access money that they are entitled to - because we don't want to pay out. Many of the very aged will have fought in conflicts as did my Great Uncle who was proud to have done so. This pride however does mean that they choose to either eat or heat. Age Uk has a number of initiatives in Bridlington as well as groups like Friends of the Elderly and Pager who also do great work in the community. We will all be old one day and I hope that when my time comes I won't be too frail, alone or too proud to applyfor a benefit like below (but then again it may not be available when my times comes).

Source : Press Association Published on 24 February 2012 12:30 PM
Many retired workers are losing out because they are not aware of their benefit entitlements, new figures suggest.
The Department for Work and Pensions revealed that up to £2.8 billion in pension credit went unclaimed in 2009-2010.
According to the figures, 1.6 million people failed to claim their full entitlement of pension credit during the year.
Pension credit is used to top-up weekly income during retirement.
Other figures included in the report show that around 3.2 million people also missed out on £2.4 billion in council tax benefit over the same period.
Age UK is calling for the introduction of a Government scheme to help people become more aware of their pension credit entitlement and avoid a repeat of this staggering loss in future.
'It is very disappointing that there has been no progress in older people not claiming the benefits they are owed,' said Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK.
'There are still 1.8 million people in later life living in poverty and claiming pension credit can make a huge difference to someone's income and quality of life.
'The Government needs to start an awareness programme and move more towards a system where the DWP pay entitlements rather than an individual having to work their way through the benefits maze.'
Copyright Press Association 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

Community Surgeries

This morning I spent two hours in West Hill Community Centre:

The value of Community Surgeries is the bringing together of a range of service providers to be on hand to answer what ever questions may be asked. Today we had police, the Housing Officer, the Antisocial Behaviour Officer and of course me as an elected ward councillor. Complaints about litter, amenities and rogue traders were some of the issues we tackled this morning. Community Centres like this are a vital hub of the community and serve a valuable link between the residents and those that serve them. Never a waste of time but a pleasure.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Gasworx Skatepark Event

The Safe Communities Team held a Bike Safety and Coding Event at the Skate Park, with the Connexions bus, todayThursday 23 February between 12.30pm and 2.30pm. It was great to see the facility well used during half term. Had an opportunity to talk to the young people there in my role as a Bridlington Town Councillor, Despite the negative publicity the facility has had it remains a favourite place for our young people to go, ride and chill safely with friends.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Our NHS is NOT for Sale

Cllr Pat O’Neil, Leader of the Labour Group put forward the following Motion today at the full East Riding of Yorkshire Council meeting in Beverley.

That this Council: -

· recognises that the Health Reform bill in its current form is unacceptable, and that there should now be a 'plan B' as an alternative to the bill which would make the NHS safe in the first instance and then take it forward in the longer term.

· will put aside Party differences and work on the reform of objectives we all share such as clinical involvement in commissioning and the funding of social care.

· writes to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley and our local MPs informing them of this Motion and asking them to oppose the Government’s proposals.

In supporting the Motion Cllr Keith Moore said, “That the Health and Social Care Bill was David Cameron’s Poll Tax”.

Cllr Paul Hogan said, “This at a time when the Commonwealth Fund in 2010 rated the NHS as one of, if not the best, Health Care Systems in the world in terms of efficiency, effective care and cost-related problems, better than Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA”

Cllr Newlove, in supporting this Motion wanted to know “where the Liberal Democrat’s stood on the Bill”.

Cllr Mally Boatman added that “many professional bodies were against this Bill”.

Cllr Shelagh Finlay also strongly supported the Motion.

22 February 2012

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

How Safe is the NHS?

Questions will be asked tomorrow in Full Council about what provisions will be in place when the NHS goes into crisis. The Labour Group is not sleep walking into the potential problems ahead. we are highlighting them Will the rest of the Councillors admit there is a problem and stand up and be counted?


David Cameron's top ten lies about the NHS http://www.mirror.co.uk/
He said: We’ll ensure waiting times are kept low. Reality: Patients waiting longer than 18-week ­guarantee up by 34%

Monday, 20 February 2012

Crunch NHS Vote

This Wednesday, there's a crunch NHS vote in Parliament. MPs will vote on whether to demand the publication of a secret government report into the risks facing the NHS. That could be another nail in the coffin of Andrew Lansley's plans - so let's pile the pressure on our MPs to vote the right way.Right now, Andrew Lansley is in a tricky position to defend. He wants MPs and Lords to back his plans for the NHS. But he's refusing to let them find out what the risks are. If we work together to put our MPs under pressure, there's a decent chance they'll refuse to do Lansley's dirty work for him.This vote could go either way - send your MP an email asking them to back publishing the secret report - it takes two minutes:https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-risk-reportThe vote will take place on Wednesday afternoon. That means we've got just over 48 hours to convince enough MPs to vote to publish the secret report. The more of us that email our MPs right now, the more likely we are to succeed.38 Degrees members, doctors, nurses and academics have all been warning for ages that Lansley's plans put our health service at risk. We know there's a secret report that could prove that we're right - so let's work together to get this report published before it's too late.Write to your MP and tell them to vote the right way at the risk report debate on Wednesday:https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-risk-report

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Care in Crisis & AgeUK

Sometimes a Campaign just feels right and this is one of those so make a difference and sign. We will all be old one day (some of us are already there!) and will need vital care services.

Care is in crisis. Many of those who need help and support are being badly let down by a faltering system, while others find themselves having to sell their homes in order to pay for support they need.
Take action now
We are calling on the Government to reform the care system to ensure people in later life receive high quality care and support.
We want to collect 100,000 signatures and you can add your name to our petition right now:
Sign our e-petition today
Add a twibbon and support the campaign on Twitter & Facebook
The Government has promised a White Paper on care reform in the Spring. This is a crucial moment to influence the future direction of social care – possibly for a generation.

The Future of our High Streets - Portas Review


Getting together to form a Town Team to access funding that is available to rejuvinate Town Centres that have gone into decline.

The full review and application form can be found on the above site.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bridlington Sports Relief Mile


Why not get involved - you know you can do it! I will be there to help you on your way.

Sport Relief mile at Sewerby

THE cliff-tops of Sewerby will provide the dramatic backdrop for a Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile on Sunday, March 25.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Sport, Play and Arts Service with Bridlington Town Council has organised an event at Sewerby Hall and Gardens to raise money for the charity.
Runners can choose to run one of three different routes, from one mile, three miles and six miles. There will also be additional charity activities, including a penalty shootout competition, archery and a disc golf hole-in-one contest, held between 10am and 3pm.
Running the mile will cost £6 for adults, £3 for children and £15 for families, which goes towards the staging of the event.
To sign up for the event and begin collecting sponsorship, visit www. sportrelief.com and search for the Sewerby page.
Those interested in taking part in the Sewerby Mile are also reminded that Sewerby Hall and Gardens hosts a free, weekly Parkrun community event, which is a great way to get fit for the event and burn off any holiday weight.
For further information about the Sewerby Mile or Parkrun, contact Paul Silvester, community sports coach, on (01482) 392514 or Stuart Claridge, community development coordinator, on (01482) 392534

Friday, 17 February 2012

Coastal Communities Fund

News round-up 16 February 2012
A new fund to help support ailing seaside towns has been launched The £23.7m Coastal Communities Fund has been created to help struggling coastal communities all across the country.
Under this scheme local groups could use the money to start programmes that can deliver skills training, offer apprenticeships to school leavers, create new workspaces or support small-scale transport improvements.
Successful applicants can expect to get a grant of between £50,000 and £2m. Bids from social enterprises, charities, local businesses or local enterprise partnerships are encouraged.
The Fund will be financed by the Government from revenues from the Crown Estate's marine assets. The Fund will be UK-wide, with funding allocated to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Hopefully the Coastal Towns of East Riding will be looking at this new funding opportunity and take advantage to bring the money here.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Broadband for all

As Chair of the recently formed Bridlington & Driffield Community Parnership (replacing LATs/NATs) I am keen to get the message below out to as many residents as possible. Feel free to share the link below and get involved.

The Council has the opportunity to bid for Government funding to secure a better service but needs evidence to show how current broadband is working for both businesses and individuals. A project has been established led by Resource Strategy to develop a Local Broadband Plan, detailing how investment in the broadband infrastructure will benefit the area and where that investment should be prioritised. The plan is expected to seek Cabinet approval late in the summer.To assist the development of the Local Broadband Plan, the Council has developed a dedicated web site to enable residents and the business sector to register their interest in getting a better broadband service. As well as seeking opinion how an improved service will benefit them the site allows current users to carry out a broadband speed test on their own connection and this will identify to the Council where internet 'slow spots' exist across East Riding to focus any investment. The site will be available between February and October 2012 and can be found at http://broadband.eastriding.gov.uk/ Publicity for the new site will be in the next edition of Your East Riding and all Parish Councils are being contacted to include the article in parish news letters from March onwards and with a request that the article be read out at their next Parish meeting. I would like to request that you offer support for this project which has the potential to have a significant impact on the growth of our economy and ensure all residents have the best possible access to internet services. I would be grateful if you would encourage people to visit the site and register their interest to ensure the Local Broadband Plan reflects the broadband provision across the East Riding area as accurately as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact the Broadband Project at mailto:michael.jackson@eastriding.gov, should you have any particular questions