Friday, 16 May 2008
A 2-0 defeat, another insipid performance and the season was over. Well, the season was pretty much over after our brilliant Carling Cup win in February. That was evident in the season highlights compilation they showed on the big screen - didn't include anything after February. The players and the fans have pretty much just been waiting for next season to start since them, it seems.
So it has been a disappointing season, despite the cup win, finishing 11th after two consecutive years in a very encouraging 5th. Now all we have for the summer to keep us busy is transfer news and the delight of shelling out an extra £66 for next year's season ticket, up to £865.
Been a busy week again, a few meetings but last night was the Charlatans gig and they were brilliant as always. This weekend have a couple of birthday parties to fit in - one of them being my niece's 3rd birthday.
Saturday, 10 May 2008
Yes, it's 10 years now since Lynne Featherstone, along with colleagues Julia Glenn and June Anderson, was elected to represent Muswell Hill ward on Haringey Council - the first 3 Lib Dems. Of course, in 2002 we won a bunch more wards (including my own of Fortis Green) and now in 2008 have 26 councillors in Haringey and Lynne is our MP in Hornsey & Wood Green.
Lynne will be at the party - a buffet lunch on Saturday May 24th from 12.30 to 3pm at St Andrews Centre on Alexandra Park Road - and I think June and Julia will both be able to make it too. Our former leader Ross Laird is coming down from Scotland and my former ward colleague Stephen Gilbert is coming over from Cornwall - plus there will be many more people who have played a key role in getting Haringey Lib Dems into the strong position we are in today.
Tickets are £12.50 in advance (email me for details or call Cllr Susan Oatway on 07794 218596) or £15.00 on the door, raising funds to help contribute to more local success as we continue to campaign to take control of the Council in 2010.
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Robert Gorrie was elected in Hornsey on a massive swing in 2006, taking the previously safe seat from Labour. He has been Lib Dem Finance Spokesperson, masterminding the Lib Dem alternative budget and has repeatedly challenged the Labour Council's waste and mismanagement. Robert's business experience makes him well equipped for the task of leading the Lib Dem group. Most recently he spent five years as one of the directors that built the Ocado online grocery delivery retailer from scratch to a business with a turnover equivalent to Haringey Council's annual budget. He remains on the board and still advises the award winning company on staff consulting and communication.
Robert Gorrie has Liberal Democrat politics in his blood. His father, Donald Gorrie has been a Lib Dem MP, MSP and was a local councillor for 35 years. Robert follows this tradition as a campaigning councillor. He has fought locally for residents' rights to be involved in the development of the Hornsey Depot site, challenged the lack of community facilities in the Campsbourne Estate and pushed for long-term solutions to issues of anti-social behaviour and economic disadvantage faced by many residents.
Unfortunately, after nearly six years on Overview & Scrutiny, I wasn't re-elected last night. Although I did get the second highest number of 1st preference votes, I was one vote short of being elected outright and after other preferences were allocated I didn't finish in the top three. What we do have now though is two councillors who haven't been on Overview & Scrutiny before to bring a fresh, new perspective to our scrutiny team of three - which is great.
Cllr Robert Gorrie
Cllr Richard Wilson
Cllr Laura Edge
Cllr David Beacham
Cllr Monica Whyte
Cllr Matt Davies
Cllr Karen Alexander (Lead), Cllr Ron Aitken, Cllr David Winskill
Cllr Gail Engert
Crouch End Assembly Chair
Cllr Lyn Weber
Cllr Robert Gorrie
Children, Schools and Families Spokesperson
Cllr Gail Engert
Community Involvement Spokesperson
Cllr John Oakes
Enterprise and Regeneration Spokesperson
Cllr Rachel Allison
Environment (green issues) Spokesperson
Cllr Ed Butcher
Environment (traffic, rubbish, street cleaning) Spokesperson
Cllr Martin Newton
Adult Social Services Spokesperson
Cllr Richard Wilson
Cllr Carolyn Baker
Culture, Leisure and Lifelong Learning Spokesperson
Cllr David Winskill
Monday, 5 May 2008
After the good results of the local elections, which mostly came through on Thursday night, the GLA results on Friday were not good for us. While our vote held up very well and indeed increased, we were screwed by the turnout increase. Although I had thought that the interest in the Ken-Boris Punch & Judy Show would increase turnout and could leave Brian Paddick struggling to make a big impact, I had hoped that some of those extra voters would choose to vote Lib Dem for the constituency and list votes - but seems not to have been the case. So we have lost Geoff Pope from the GLA, who was a hard-working and effective representative.
But let's not dwell on that. Have just had a great weekend in Cornwall, visiting my old Fortis Green ward colleague Stephen Gilbert - now Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for his home constituency of St.Austell & Newquay.
One of the new places I went to have a look at was the China Clay Country Park in his constituency. I haven't picked the most picturesque photo to stick up, it shows the working pit you get a good view across when you get to the top of the trail in the Park. But it's a good attraction, with a nice mix of activities for everyone: museum and old china clay works for everyone; interactive stuff and playground for the kids; nice paths to wander around and good viewpoints for the adults.
Although I didn't see Steve's Mum (and County Councillor) this time, as she was away, I did see her photo in the China Clay Country Park Museum. She used to work in the china clay industry locally, as did Steve when he was younger too - in fact, Steve has a long family history connected to china clay and to St.Austell & Newquay in general. The term 'local candidate' is often over used, but candidates don't get much more local than Steve!
Anyway, had brilliant weather for the weekend and enjoyed catching up with Steve, including going to some of his favourite places around his home area, like Polkerris Beach and Fowey, where he went to school. Also paid a return trip to the Eden Project - as you can see from the bottom photo, which unfortunately doesn't show how sunny and nice it was.
Friday, 2 May 2008
The fun thing about local elections is that there are always good and bad results for each party if you dig down. We have taken control of some councils like St.Alban's and Kingston-upon-Hull, but lost others - although in councils we have controlled for some time we seem generally to have done well. We've gained council seats across the country, but with some areas bringing much happier news than others.
Anyway, to prove my point about good and bad news for everyone - and because I like to be contrary - as the main story seems to be the Tory revival (and an admittedly high vote share), I though I'd just do a quick scan and pick out some places where they have rather less to smile about:
The Tories used to control Colchester (where Bob Russell is the inimitable Lib Dem MP) but lost 5 seats yesterday (4 to us and 1 to Labour). In Coventry, Labour took the one seat off the Tories they needed to deprive them of overall control.
In Eastleigh, despite already having 37 of the 44 seats (and having controlled the Council since 1994), the Lib Dems gained yet another seat from the Conservatives. Good news for Chris Huhne MP, not so for Tory hopes there.
In Derby, the Lib Dems gained 5 seats (including from the Conservatives) to push them into third place and become the largest party. The Conservatives lost 2 seats to Labour in Ipswich, making Labour the largest party again instead of them. They lost both their seats on Oxford Council, wiping them out there.
There's plenty more that could be picked out, with lots of results still to come as well. They lost seats to us on councils they control, like Southend and Straford-upon-Avon, and remain unrepresented in key places like Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester (save, in the latter, a defector).
Of course, a big test for Cameron and Brown will be who wins the London Mayoral contest, counting today. Whatever happens here in London and despite what I have written above, it clearly has been a decent set of results for the Conservatives and a disaster for Labour. Ours have seem so far to be holding up well against a threatened Tory steamroller and there has been some good progress, with inevitable setbacks too.
Of course, it *could* all change as more results come in today. Right, off to work.