Apologies for the lack of posting - I have had a few Internet problems which I have now managed to sort out.
On Wednesday I returned to football training with the now-Under 11 Meridian girls team. The team from last year have been split due to their ages but the Under 10s and 11s still train as one unit so it was good to see everyone after my month's break. I am not sure if it was me, or the bag of sweets I took that made them appear pleased to see me too!! After training I headed around to Cllr Gulvin's house for an update on the issues in Princes Park - her and Matt are doing a great job working hard for the local community and by all accounts had a busy summer as reported on their website.
On Thursday I sat in the public meeting at Chatham South School, hosted by the Council, regarding the proposed merger of Chatham South and Medway Community College into a new Academy. Many parents have already raised their concerns with me, which in turn I have spoken to the Council about, but it was clear from the public meeting and despite the supportive comments of Chatham South's excellent Headmaster that they remain deeply unhappy with the proposal. The Council is going through a full and open consultation process which is due to complete by the end of the year. Details of future public meetings can be found HERE.
Yesterday 18 people turned out to help canvass Luton and Wayfield, a previously strong Labour ward in the constituency. Between us we managed to knock on around 2000 doors and the reception was fantastic. Whilst the Labour Party continues to fight amongst themselves it is ignoring the fact that people are fed up with high taxes, the rising cost of living and falling house prices. I spoke to one gentleman at length about the difficulties his small business faces, another about his concerns on immigration, and a lady about problems of anti-social behaviour and crime - she had just had her pot plants nicked from her front garden (why would anyone do that?). After a morning of hard work we all went to the pub for lunch where the landlady was telling me how difficult they are finding it at the moment. The extra 4p on a pint meant that people are not buying as much but she said it was the smoking ban that was "killing" them. Whilst standing at the bar another chap started to tell me about how he'd been forced to spend his hard earned savings to convert the downstairs of his home for his disabled son because he could no longer carry him upstairs. He hasn't received any financial help and felt "diddled" because he sees so much abuse of the welfare system by others less in need - you only have to open the newspapers to see where he is coming from.
This morning I was back in my tracksuit and off to our home pitch for a friendly, after our first game of the season was cancelled due to Ebbsfleet not being able to field a team. It was the under 10s v under 11s and it finished 3-3. One of the managers thought it would be fun to decide the match on a penalty shoot out, which the under 11s duly won! Both sets of girls played brilliantly, although we all came away thinking there is still a lot to work on when we return to training at Holcombe on Wednesday. Now off to the in-laws for dinner...