Archive for December 20, 2011


Dear Mayor and Chairman of Leominster Town Council,
Compliments of the season!
I am writing to tender my resignation from Leominster Town Council with immediate effect.
I am doing this because it is Christmas and at this time of the year I like to give out presents
(even to certain little boys who have been very very naughty: I guess I’m just a big-hearted softy
1old Santa!)
As the whole of Leominster knows, since May 5th’s election to the Town Council there has been
one little bunny who has not been happy at all, hasn’t there?
Yes, the Lady Mayoress, who on that day did not receive the glass slipper from the prince but
instead had her posterior royally booted by the ungrateful people of the town, coming bottom
of the poll. So distraught has the Mayoress been at no longer being part of the select group of
busybodies who think their inane witterings have any effect on anything, that, as everyone
knows, she has taken to turning up at council meetings to fire off v-signs at complete strangers.
So I have asked myself “what would baby Jesus have done?”
And I believe that baby Jesus, if he were a sitting independent town councillor for Leominster
North Ward, would step aside so that the the Lady Mayoress finally CAN go to the ball!
So hurry – there is still time before Chrimbo to do what the town council usually does when a
cllr steps down: briefly advertise the vacancy on a postage stamp notice on a window no-one
ever looks at, then, whilst no-one is aware a vacancy actually exists, quietly ‘co-opt’ the
Mayoress back onto the council. Then you can once more be skipping home from the General
Purposes and Amenities Sub-Committee together, joyously exclaiming “What larks, Eddie, what
For heaven’s sake don’t change the habit of a century and hold an open, free, democratic
election!! Far too much risk of the people giving certain nether regions another comprehensive
Also I am reliably informed that if you give townsfolk a vote, a candidate will stand for the “Give
Jim Miller A Blue Plaque” Party. And I’m not having that on my ex-house: being a Hoops fan I
rather detest the colour blue.
Toodle-pip, Mayor old son, toodle-pip!
Jim Miller


A petition calling on Bromsgrove Councillor Peter Whittaker to resign has been rejected by Bromsgrove District Council.

The petition was submitted on the Councils website in the form of an E-petition.

But the Councils solicitor rejected it for legal reasons in an email the Councils solicitor said

I am writing to respond to the two suggestions you have put forward to be set up as e-petitions through the Council’s Petitions Scheme.
Can I start by explaining that the purpose of petitions under the scheme is to enable residents to raise local issues that are causing concern to their communities.  For example Council plans to change how a service is delivered or a problem that has arisen in a specific locality.  It was not intended that the petition scheme be used as a means to generate public views about specific named individuals or to seek endorsement of a particular proposed course of action that affects an individual personally.
Turning then to your two requests, I  am sorry to say that we are going to have to reject theses as e-petition proposals because they both relate to personal matters affecting named individuals, one of which is wholly outside the control of the Council ( Councillor Whittaker) and the other which relates to an employment issue.
We will be notifying you separately of this decision through the e-petition website but we thought it would be helpful for us to explain to you the reasons for the decision.
Yours sincerely
Sarah Sellers
Sarah Sellers
Senior Solicitor
Bromsgrove District Council
The Council House
Burcot Lane
B60 1AA

Councillor Whittaker has faced mounting pressure to resign after his arrest on November 20th after being involved in a three car smash in Feckenham.

A second E-petition calling on the joint Chief Executive of Bromsgrove and Redditch Councils Kevin Dicks too take a 20% pay cut was also rejected by the Councils Solicitor.

Dear Mr Preston,


Thank you for your email of 31 October providing a link to an article that you wrote concerning confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  I very much regret the delay in responding.


You ask what plans the Government has of using money from the proceeds of crime for the benefit of the community.  Your interesting article suggests that the Proceeds of Crime Act has been designed simply to raise revenue.


Under the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme, 50% of recovered moneys is returned to the frontline agencies involved in asset recovery.  As illustrated in your article, this is distributed between the investigation, prosecution and enforcement agencies.  It has the entirely right purpose of encouraging further work in this area, which is a good criminal justice outcome.  A recent Judicial Review against the scheme on the basis that it unfairly influenced law enforcement agencies’ actions was wholly rejected.


The agencies can also use returned money to contribute to crime reduction, and this can include contributing to victims, support groups and community projects.  Investigation and prosecution bodies involved in particular offences should consider the best use of allocations returned from successful asset recovery in those cases.


Further, in terms of funding local community projects, the Home Office announced a Community Action against Crime: Innovation Fund in which £5m in 2011-12 and a further £5m has been set aside for 2012-13.  The funding is available to encourage greater community activism and to enable communities to develop innovative approaches to tackling local crime issues that matter to them. Details are available here:



Yours sincerely,

West Midlands Police Launch Festive Safety Campaign

Are people so stupid they need this advice if they do they shouldn’t be out anyway

WEST Midlands Police are launching a campaign this weekend, reminding people to take care on nights out and get home safely over the festive period.

As the party season gets into full swing, police are urging those who will be celebrating to drink responsibly and take extra care getting home. For many, a taxi is the only way of getting home at the end of the night, especially for those who have been drinking alcohol.

The campaign is being launched on Christmas Eve in Birmingham City Centre, where officers will be out in force and handing out postcards outside bars and nightclubs containing tips on how to stay safe.

Police will seek to engage with people enjoying a night on the tiles, reminding them to drink sensibly, to think about their own personal safety and plan their journey home.

Officers will also be targeting night time economy hot spots to engage with taxi drivers, ensuring they are complying with the conditions of their private hire licence and offering advice on their own personal safety.

In a bid to create longer lasting effects reaching beyond the Christmas period, as part of this campaign police will be working closely with licensees and door staff. It is hoped this approach will help them to identify those who are most vulnerable and raise awareness about the dangers of drinking excessively.

Officers will also be using social media to send out regular safety messages via the force’s Twitter account over the next couple of weeks.

Detective Sergeant Tony Parkes from Public Protection, said: “We want people who are heading out to parties and nights out over the next couple of weeks to enjoy themselves, but also to remain safe.

“A good way to stay safe is by looking out for your friends and sharing a journey home together at the end of the night.

“There will be many people needing a taxi to get home in and I urge them to take on board this personal safety advice.

“To help push these key safety messages, we will be using a number of tactics such as handing out postcards outside pubs and nightclubs, identifying vulnerable young people asking people to think about how they are going to get home.”

There are some very simple steps you can take to stay safe on nights out this summer;

• Order a taxi and make sure it’s licensed
• Always sit in the back seat of a taxi
• Share a taxi with a friend or someone you know
• Don’t leave any of your friends behind
• Never leave your drinks unattended

Woman impaled on spike after falling on ice

A Scottish woman had a lucky escape when she slipped on ice and was impaled between her chin and throat by a five-inch metal railing.

Youth worker Kirsty Scott, 23, is now recovering from emergency surgery after the accident took place at 9am on Monday near her home in Perth.

A trauma team was forced to free her from the railings using a hacksaw and she was rushed to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, with the spike still lodged in her neck.

Fortunately, the spike missed her arteries and bones and she is expected to make a full recovery following the 30-minute horrific ordeal.

Neighbours spoke of their horror to the ‘The Courier’ after witnessing Miss Scott impaled on the railings: “It was just before 9am and I heard a lot of commotion. “I went out and the woman was on her knees on the step — I initially thought she was just leaning over to speak to someone down below but realised how serious it was.
“Her boyfriend was there, and another woman, and they appeared to be helping so I just went in and called the ambulance.

“I didn’t think there was much else I could do because I’m not great with blood,” said neighbour Graeme Johnson.

Another neighbour said that she was screaming and couldn’t move herself.

A spokesman from Tayside Fire and Rescue Service described the operation to free stricken Miss Scott as ”delicate” but successful.

A team of Council trouble shooters will be employed to help waste the £1Million funding

The following article was taken from the Redditch Standard Website.

ALMOST £1million has been made available to help disadvantaged families across Worcestershire and give children a better start in life.

Up to 70 families could benefit from the £900,000 the Government has made available from the Improving Futures Fund, while Worcestershire County Council has invested another £100,000.

Vestia Community Trust, working with the county council and The Worcestershire Partnership, will use the money to deliver a three year programme aimed at targeting families with multiple needs and ensuring children aged between five and ten-years-old are given the best chance possible to fulfil their potential.

Peter Mackenzie-Shaw, the council’s funding and resources manager, said: “The news could have been very different and we are delighted our hard work and persistence has eventually paid off. The result is a substantial amount of cash which will benefit a great number of families in the county.”

The news comes as the Government unveiled radical plans to transform the lives of troubled families.

It is estimated 900 families across Worcestershire and 805 across Warwickshire could benefit from the much-trumpeted move which will see ‘Trouble-Shooters’ appointed by local councils to oversee the right action is being taken in their area, families are getting help when needed, sanctions are put in place when necessary and results are being delivered.

The success of the scheme will by measured by the number of children returned to school, a reduction in criminal and anti-social behaviour, the number of parents back in work and a reduction in the amount of money taxpayers and councils spend on dealing with problem families, which nationally is estimated at £9billion per year.

Councils will now be asked to identify specific families which could benefit from support and will be given a share of a £450million to help them introduce the changes.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This immense task will take new ways of thinking, committed local action, flexibility and perseverance. But I know too that it’s a task we can’t shirk. People in troubled families aren’t worthless or pre-programmed to fail. I won’t allow them to be written off.”

Rather than the Council hand the cash to Community groups already doing this work they plan to waste thousands of pounds employing trouble shooters.

A REDDITCH resident is hoping she can  reunite a 3ft snowman ornament with its owner after it was left near her home in Edgmond Close, Winyates West, on Wednesday night (December 14).

It is thought thieves who were in the area trying to steal Christmas lights and decorations left it behind after being disturbed by local residents.

The Redditch Standard Newspaper is also appealing for the owner to come forward.