I’ve now been one of your councillors for a year and thought I’d write an update for you on what I do and also wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2016.
Since being elected by residents last December and again in May I have been working hard to learn how to best represent and help you. It has been a steep learning curve and the nature of the role means that the majority of learning is done ‘on the job’, although I have completed a variety of training courses this year in many different areas to help me to help you.
The issues raised with me have been many and varied – Bedroom Tax, Evictions, Fly Tipping, Parking, Planning Objections, Disability Rights, Housing Issues, Homelessness and Anti Social Behaviour are amongst the main things I have dealt with.
Anti Social Behaviour remains a major issue to some residents, in particular the motorbikes that are being ridden around the Kingsway ward by people with no safety helmets and as in this previous post, I am still asking people to report this behaviour. There was some success with the police’s Operation Granite but there is still a problem.
Back in July I reported that I was taking part in a public consultation with a view to gating off the path ways at the top of Stewards Avenue, due to the residents suffering years of anti social behaviour from the paths. The public consultation came back in favour of gating and I’m happy to report that using Area Forum funding, the paths were gated off in November. I’ve spoken to a number of residents since and they are pleased that they have the gates and have experienced improvement in their quality of life since they were fitted. There have been issues with vandalism of the gates but through work with the police, a CCTV camera has been installed, which I hope will further deter anti social behaviour.
There has been good news for the ward with the opening of The Frank Myler Pavilion and Sports Ground, the activities on offer there are growing all the time and it’s lovely to go past and see the children making use of the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA).
Other good news is that Kingsway Ward, along with other wards in Halton currently has a small pot of money each year to be spent locally in the ward. Community groups can apply for small amounts of funding if their project is for the improvement and benefit of their ward and/or ward residents. This year Kingsway funds have been allocated to things like alley gating to improve the security of residents, Community Skip Scheme, outdoor furniture for the Fellowship Centre, extra litter bins, helping a local dance troupe, community sports equipment for the new Frank Myler Sports & Recreation Ground, extra trees and Breakfast with Santa at Kingsway Learning Centre.
In the last few months I have worked on the Kingsway Together Participatory Budget from the Cheshire PCC, you can read news of it here. Kingsway Ward residents, including children still have time to vote for their favourite projects to receive funding, you can do so here, voting closes on Wednesday 30th December and the funding will be announced in the evening of Friday 8th January. Looking at the projects it looks like there will certainly be more plants, flowers and fitness classes in Kingsway in 2016, with local schools looking to get their pupils involved in improving the area, whilst working towards various awards. After the funding is announced, I’d like to keep Kingsway Together going as a community initiative, to enable more discussion and participation, with the hope of raising the community spirit that I have witnessed this year even further.
I did a post about the horrendous cuts the Tories are inflicting on Halton a couple of months back, you can find it here and I am sad to report that things have not improved at all on that front and it remains for me, the most difficult aspect of what I do. However, despite what the Tories are inflicting on our community, I have witnessed many acts of people pulling together as a community and how much people are willing to help each other.
I have really enjoyed meeting so many of you this year and in the main getting results for you or if I’ve been unable to explaining why. Before I was elected, I promised that I would always do my best and that promise is at the heart of everything that I do.
In the New Year, I’d like to meet more of you, listen to your views and ideas about the area and obviously help with any issues that you want to raise. So as always, please get in touch.