Happy 70th to Barbara!
I haven't heard back from the Dept of Education regarding the issue in my last blog yet and still have to listen to the MoneyBox programme on Child Trust Funds. Will post afterwards on where I'd got to on that. A sample of things over the past few days include:
Meeting with Therapeutic Media regarding how we can engage more interest and meaningful feedback on the Parish Plan. Love those two - it's possible you can see the sparks flying from our brains when we meet! Dan Shirley came up with a great idea based on TinyHomes - temporary, self-build, skill sharing solution to affordable housing.
Friday spent at very interesting S Glos training day on Localism. Between that and the LibDem group meeting on the Monday, it's very clear that although astute planning by the S Glos Finance Director some while back has meant we've not yet experienced the swingeing cuts other authorities have, there are difficult times ahead. On top of these, a further £30m has to be taken from the budget over 2015-2018. Given last week's comments from the outgoing CEO of OffGen, it's clearer than ever that it's a no-brainer to use community energy to generate an income to help shield the most vulnerable from the impacts of reduced services and increasing energy prices. Three meetings today and tomorrow on figuring out the what, how's when's and most of all who's of all that. Thank goodness for Tim Willmott and Tony Kerr.
Spent Sunday afternoon in Eastleigh where did my Winnie-the-Pooh/political groupie impression with helium filled LibDem balloons behind Mike Thornton (liked him) and Ed Davey. Not entirely convinced of the efficacy of the exercise but it was very entertaining and enabled a brief chat with Ed about community energy, GLD Conference and Tim Yeo's decarbonatisation target amendment to the Energy Bill.
Earnt £20 gardening. Feeling touchy after hopes raised by a funding link which suggested a grant for social enterprises may be possible but turns out it couldn't be spent on fripperies like people's time, childcare etc. The cumulative effect of the financial opportunity costs on the family due to my involvement in community issues and politics for the past few years is becoming very obvious now - and this is just the edge of the water. But who can complain when we live here and are all healthy? Chatted to a 19 year old girl on Friday who told me she's just had a miscarriage that morning after a week sleeping rough with her boyfriend. S Glos had managed to find her a bed for a couple of nights.
Managed to sneak out for rare tea with the "girls" yesterday afternoon. Janes C & B as always on the ball, commenting on the impact of the increasing emphasis on Maths & English GCSEs on our children. Let alone the opportunities open to homeless 19 years who look like they're 14.
Between them, our children have 8 birthday party invitations in the next fortnight. Gary & I have one. How did that happen??