Where’s the real people Becky ?

Becky Blake meets local residents or should i say the brother of former Labour Councillor Clive Cheetham.

 Looks like Becky is following in the footsteps of other Labour candidates of only meeting known supporters and Labour Party members (then claiming in the local press she is out and about meeting REAL people.)

Becky Blake is best known in Redditch for wasting  £644,000 on the doomed Redditch AIR Festival

He may be a resident but she didn’t say he was the brother of a former Labour Councillor who still stands as a  Labour candidate in elections in Winyates

Becky meets members of Batchley Support Group again a Labour Party member and former Labour Councillor.

THE Redditch Labour Party has selected its Parliamentary Candidate to fight the next General Election.

Rebecca Blake, current councillor for Greenlands Ward, was selected by local party members.

Ms Blake was the only local candidate, coming ahead of outsiders from Birmingham and London.

She said: “I am very grateful to my local party for having chosen me to represent Labour as their Parliamentary Candidate and I would like to say thank you to them.

“They know I am serious about doing all I can to help people make the most of their lives.

“Having grown up in Redditch, going to local schools, working here and representing local people I have a good idea of what I would like to achieve for my home town.”

Becky Blake worked for Jacqui Smith until she lost her seat at the last General Election and is best known for wasting  £644,000 on the doomed Redditch AIR Festival.

I am determined to stand up for everyday people,so they can get the best out of their lives.  Born in 1979, I grew up through the 80’s, in a council house, I know life can be a struggle. I believe we need a supportive state because society is not built on a level playing field.   I bring my life experiences and my Labour values to finding solutions to inequality and injustice.

Rebecca Blake is Parliamentary Candidate for the Labour Party for 2015 general election

profileRebecca said her  Pledges to Redditch are
  • The Economy – Fight for a strong economy, so that our town & local people can prosper.
  • The Alex –Protect existing services, campaign for new vital services, prioritize high quality care on every ward.
  • Redditch Schools & NEW College – Work with partners for improved education for children, young people & adults.  NEW College needs investment not cuts, in order to become an academic & vocational centre of excellence in the Midlands.
  • Jobs – Encourage Hi-tech Industries into Redditch.  I want local people trained to take on highly skilled work.
  • Housing – Support more good quality affordable housing for local people, delivered locally such as by Co-op Homes.
  • But if she hadn’t spent £644,000 on the air festival the money could have been spent on things Redditch needs instead it was wasted on a pop concert with z list acts.

Will friends like these damage her future prospects in politics? It reads like a rogues gallery of the Redditch Labour party.

They have all served as elected Councillors in Redditch and have one thing in common,They have all been damaged by sleaze or have been disgraced.

In some cases both, it’s not the best CV for becoming MP for Redditch.

FORMER Labour Council Leader David Cartwright defended the £644,000 cost of the AIR Festival saying at full council Meeting “that it was in Labour’s manifesto – they made a promise and stuck to it”.

He even suggested this was not public money as it came from reserve balances. It was disingenuous of him to say this.

I am absolutely amazed at his continued arrogance and lack of concern for the wider implications of his party’s actions being felt in the town with all the proposed budget cuts.

Now we all will be counting the cost of the AIR Festival and a Labour-run administration for many years to come when it affects the council services we take for granted.

The cuts we now may have to accept as inevitable may not have been necessary had the Labour group kept their eye on the bigger picture instead of delivering an event which has put Redditch on the map for totally the wrong reason – cuts to vital services.

How unfortunate the AIR Festival may now be only remembered for sounding the death knell of services instead of re-energising the town.

Counting the cost of festival

A TORY councillor claims the former leader of Redditch Council “pooh-poohed” all warnings before the AIR Festival – which led to a £644,000 bill.

Councillor Mike Braley said David Cartwright was warned about capacity, resources available, timing and organisation needed for such an event.

After dismal ticket sales, the Labour group decided to give away free tickets to the two-day music festival.

Mr Braley said: “My colleagues warned Mr Cartwright about what needed to be considered before embarking on this ambitious project but he simply pooh-poohed them.

“This debt will exist for years to come.”

He added: “This was a scandalous waste of public money.  Phil Mould is a level-headed man and I hope he’ll help his colleagues see the light when it comes to a possible 2006 festival.”

But Mr Cartwright said: “We said we’d bring a huge festival to Redditch and we delivered.

“Up until the last-minute, we were told what the costs would be. The figures were very different to the large figures we ended up with. We as politicians did all we could.”

Facebook messages from Labour Party members

How dare I write about Rebecca Blake? But she is standing for public office so should expect a bit of Public Scrutiny.

The National papers will be far worse than me on her

Your attitude towards Rebecca Blake and the Labour parties disapproval stinks. Quite frankly you don’t understand what it costs to organise a concert on even the smallest of scales, so when you’ve become an event organiser, please do feel free to contact me and tell me how it goes for you sunshine? Rebecca Blake goes out of her way to talk to people about their problems and I know she was at the council very late one evening meeting people who had problems. She talks to local businesses and comes up with new ideas for the area. Now then Mr. Conservative… Mrs. Lumley shows up for a photo opportunity and then leaves, she has no moral life and is a shame to be an MP of Redditch. Goodbye.

Very understandable Mr. Preston, Labour have changed very much over the years and some Labour councillors even agree that we are no longer socialists and I do agree with them but the New Labour Redditch Council do have some amazing plans to benefit the whole town. Unfortunately on your mistake is I am not a Labour member. I am just an open-minded young person studying at Trinity but I work with Rebecca and she has helped me so much with my charity concert work and helped make it the success it was. I understand a radio could it for much cheaper but it’s that whole public community feel with the AiR concert. Jacqui Smith wasn’t the problem, it was her husband sir. You are of course entitled to your opinion. Please don’t take me as a representative of Labour. But it would be interesting if Labour could  arrange meet you on a professional level where there will be no arguing or torment on both sides?

This person above claims to be from trinity college make your own mind up.

I don’t think you have read a newspaper or  watched the news for a number of years. If you had you wouldn’t try to arrange a meeting between myself and the Labour Party.

But if they do want a meeting  I’m quite happy but it won’t stop me writing my articles on them.

Finding a photo of Rebecca Blake with a local  resident is like trying to find Big foot or the Loch Ness Monster.

So i have used ones available.

Another Councillor is Mark Shurmer who until Jacqui Smith lost her seat worked as her case worker along With Rebecca Blake.

Councillor Shurmer  now works for Jack Dromey, Labour MP,Who Received a Slap On Wrists From Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for”serious” failure to declare his work for the Unite union and £57,867 in payments.

The MP has apologised in parliament and has updated registers to show he received £30,000 after leaving his position as Deputy General Secretary of Unite to become a member of parliament and a further £27,867 payment.

It’s the second  time Mark has worked for an MP that has apologised in the House of Commons for breaching  Standards And Privileges Rules.

Redditch Labour Budget Proposal

I agree with most of Labours budget proposals, but i think it’s a bit  hypocritical of them to moan about £88,000 on consultants fees when they wasted £644,000 in just one year on a pop concert with z list acts.

Our Budget was about supporting as many people in Redditch as possible during these tough times.

  • When young people’s services are being cut by 55%,
  • When pensioners on fixed incomes feel the rise in fuel bills & VAT.
  • When disabled people are living in worse poverty than able-bodied people and having to now pay for parking at the Alex.

Pensioners, young people & disabled people are being hit hard by the Conservatives both locally and nationally.

This is why Labours Budget included bringing back free-swimming for the under 16s and the over 60s, to  make sure local people could enjoy the new Abbey Stadium & Kingsley Sports Centre, while benefiting from regular exercise, regardless of having less money in their pocket.

When the Tories at Borough & County Council decided to no longer fund bus travel for pre 9.30 for pensioners and disabled people, your Labour Councillors listened to the difficulties this caused these two groups. Pensioners reported problems getting to doctors and hospital appointments and disabled people had a number of issues trying to get to college or work.

Labour Councillors know the difference that getting out and about on the bus can make to people’s lives and have found funds to return free bus travel for pre – 9.30 for pensioners and disabled people.

When youth unemployment is over 1 million, your Labour Councillors want Redditch Borough Council to do more to help employ young people.

We have looked at services we contract out and can afford to create a job for an apprentice and which would save £22,000. This is just the start of how the Council can train local unemployed young people and give them a trade.  How we can afford this:

  • Withdraw the £88,600 for consultants that the Tories have budgeted for. In each of the next 3 years.
  • The Labour Party wasted £644,00 on an Air Festival in just one year when they controlled the council.

  • We would scrap the pay and display which cost the Conservative Council £2000 a year to collect the car parking fees!
  • We would not spend £17,000 a year to produce the Council magazine Redditch Matters. ( it cost £19,000 last year).

Our Budget balanced over 3 years and was checked and verified by the Redditch Borough Council Treasurer and spent less money than the Tories Budget.  The Labour Budget ensured Council Tax would not rise and Labour Councillors therefore voted to keep Council Tax at the same level as last year.  Unfortunately the Tories accused Labour of writing the budget on the back of a fag packet.

It’s a tragedy that the Tories do not understand they could make life easier for our young, old and disabled people if they supported our Budget to scrap wasting money on consultants and magazines.

Bill Hartnett

Leader of Labour Group of Redditch Council but lives in Bromsgrove.

Open Letter to Karen Lumley – Older People in Redditch from Becky Blake

But how can older people be telling her they are angry when the changes haven’t even come in to effect yet ?

Since the Budget nearly a month ago Redditch pensioners, who have worked hard all of their lives have been telling me that they are angry the Conservative Party are taxing them more while taxing millionaires less.

The so called ‘Granny Tax’ will see 4.4 million pensioners worse off, over 5000 of them in Redditch. How can it be fair for pensioners who are paying income tax to lose out on average £83 a year and up to £323, while 14,000 people earning over £1 million receive a tax cut?

Since the details of the budget have become clear, we now find our older people will be hit again by the cut to the Savings Credit Payment followed by it being scrapped altogether in 2016. This penalises pensioners who have modest incomes and have made provision for their retirement.

On Thursday last week you had a second chance to stand by Redditch pensioners who have worked hard all of their lives and vote against the government on the ‘Granny Tax’. Did you vote to support our older people in Redditch or vote to support the Conservative attack on pensioners?

Yours sincerely, Rebecca

Rebecca Blake: Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate