Monday, 31 March 2008

Local election, bonus and banana skins is back.

This post will be updated regularly. Scroll down for daily updates
Post last updated on
Thursday 1st May
The colour of the date entry is the party who are winning.
On quiet days I’ll comment a little more on the priorities in the ward, just to remind our candidates and also I’ll add to my cost saving ideas which will I suspect be very contentious.

1/4/2008

ding ding they're off
Round 2 of the blog based game to brighten up local elections.
Let me remind you of the rules!
Candidates will be marked on the content and presentation of their leaflets. I should add that these views are entirely mine and not aligned to any political party. I will try to be completely neutral.
I propose to give a bonus point for the first leaflet published. Bonus points for the first phone call but a banana skin if it’s some idiot who knows nothing about Newton. The game will move on with commentary by me as the points are awarded or deducted. I need to change the rules a bit this time round to include what I published as my top ten. For every candidate who mentions a top ten feature I’ll give a bonus point if more than one top ten is featured in a single leaflet I’ll give an extra point for each one and a another bonus point. The rules on banana skins stay the same. Just to remind our candidates here are my top ten in reverse order:-
The Top ten
10) Gongs
9) Adult Education & Culture
8) Parks & Green Spaces
7) Older people & Welfare Services
6) Planning & Affordable Housing
5) Education
4) Health Care
3) Litter, Dog Mess & Ground Care
2) Council Tax
1) Commitment
Is that all clear? So let’s play Bonus and Banana Skins and good luck to you all.
We have already had two leaflets one from the Tories and one from the Liberals which I have already commented on and awarded points.
So we start today with :-
Liberals on 1 point
Tories on 3
Labour on 0
This will probably be a more predictable election than last time and I think run at a much slower pace so I will update this post only when something happens which might be a bit like watching paint dry.

2/4/2008 29 days to go
The campaign as got off to a faster start than I expected with the Liberals putting out another leaflet and a hand written note addressed personally to my wife and I asking for our help. The leaflet is not to the standard that Martyn used to put out but a respectable effort and better than last time. They must have been reading the blog because three of their "Priorities For Action" are on my top ten list so I have to award three bonus points plus and extra point for more than one. Not a lot of substance ,although, she admits that things have gone down hill during her watch (“I have seen many changes to the area since I first became a councillor. Unfortunately not all has been for the better”). The back page is extremely disappointing with lots of poor quality pictures and vague captions. One of the pictures relates to the building of a Supermarket but the picture is of a disputed residential development. I hope they know the difference.
The help letter though I think must be a mistake. I have been criticising them recently so I would be surprised if they really want my help. Always glad though to support my community if they are serious they can leave a comment on the blog and I’ll get back to them. My votes up for grabs.
Labour earned themselves a banana skin on Monday with Brown’s dower and smarmy launch of the new policing policies. We here in Newton have most of that already, we can tell him how to do it.
Although it’s early days the guestimometer is giving the Liberals a 280 vote majority with Tories second
Liberals 5
Tories 3
Labour -1

3/4/2008 28 days to go
Labour attacks pensioners again

In another miserly move Sandwell have introduced entry charges to Sandwell Park Farm and car parking charges are to be introduced at this popular venue for older people. Week end charging had always existed but this change of policy is again meanness personified. There is a very cosy coffee shop on this site which will now not be available to many old folks (it will be an expensive cuppa) a visit to the loo will now cost £1, is this the most expensive toilet in Britain? There is another toilet across the field but it is a lottery if it’s open and the facilities are poor. The weekly health walks will also be affected which in turn will have a knock on effect to the health of the walkers.
I do hope our opposition councillors are going to kick up a stink over this. Because of the large Labour majority on the council we can expect this kind of behaviour to continue. Sandwell Labour Group are not Socialists they’re closet Tories. This has to be another banana skin for Labour I’m half a mind to make it two.
Perhaps I should spell out a new policy initiative for them:
STOP ATTACKING PENSIONERS & INTRODUCE PENSIONER FRIENDLY POLICIES
If Sandwell want to save money which is better than alienating the population in this way I can make a load of suggestions.
Money saving tip for today turn of the chandelier in the council house reception. 50 plus bulbs at 60watts and during daylight hours: useless. There you go, more than enough savings here to allow free entry to the park during the week.
I might make these cost saving tips a regular feature of these election posts. I ought to charge for everyone they use. Ummmm Yes it’s definitely two banana skins.

Liberals 5
Tories 3
Labour -3
What a disastrous start for Labour after finishing first last time they have a lot to do. But will the electorate see it that way?

4/4/2008 27 days to go

A quiet day, so it’s Gongs


So far none of our local candidates have raised the issue of awards. I included it specifically in my top ten because it is one area that West Brom does really badly.
The picture was given to me by my friend Val Bowen on the right at the Wednesbury Labour of Love Awards. She was being presented to a well earned award for her work with Neighbourhood Watch. The guy in the picture is a local councillor from Wednesbury. My question is: why our lot don’t do this. I come back to my Pride in Newton Award for the best kept front garden or grassed area. So why not??????????? If you don’t care who does. It is my view that if our area was part of a Britain in Bloom style competition the place would be a much better place to live.
In Great Barr and Newton we have 50 NHW groups. The coordinators all give up their time voluntarily to run their individual schemes and fund the whole thing from their own pockets. NHW is none political but wouldn’t it be nice for once in awhile some recognition of their contribution was made. So come on one of the candidates let’s hear it for NHW and mean it. I’ll give a bonus point for the first one. Now this is pretty sneaky on my part because I know all the candidates and their work in our community so it will be interesting to see how they play this. Ignoring it gets a banana skin.
Liberals 5
Tories 3
Labour -3


5/4/2008 26 Days to go:

And it’s a bonus point for the Tories
Local free paper carried a large picture and good story of local residents fighting the council over a building it is alleged is in the wrong place and too high. Tory candidate was front of picture with the disgruntled residents.
As it’s a quiet day, I thought I might explore some more of the cost saving potential within Sandwell, because if I can spot such an obvious waste of public money with just one short visit to the council house: what else is lurking there?
I propose the council run a suggestion scheme for all direct council tax payers, with a prize worth winning: two years community charge for the winner and one year for each of three runners up. The tax payers would be asked to make suggestions on cost saving initiatives. I know from my time in industry that schemes of this type will only bring a small number of really good suggestions but these will have significant savings attached to them. I estimate over a three year period after implementation a saving of perhaps 2% of the budget for a tiny outlay. I’ve got lots more but I better put my house up for sale before publishing them.

Liberals 5
Tories 4
Labour -3

6/4/2008 25 days to go


Labour entered the fray today with a nice piece of electioneering. An A5 four page leaflet that was sharp, to the point and interesting. Low profile on Labour but high on brand Hosell. This has to be the best leaflet since Martyn Smith’s A3 Election Specials that read like the Express & Star. Who is writing their stuff? It has to be Saatchi & Saatchi or Campbell or perhaps a good local PR firm. Anyway well done Hosells. They must have been reading the blog because they bullet point no less than seven of my top ten, so by my calculations that’s 7 bonus points and an extra point for mentioning more than 1. There are a couple of banana skins though; on the back page they mention our local MP who is the Minister for Blogging and in my opinion not popular in this ward. They also claim to have cleaned up litter and put in place measures to prevent it. WELL IT’S STILL THERE (see picture for proof)so two banana skins. In this leaflet there are two other very relevant issues worth mentioning. Shirley comes across has very committed and I know from the work I have done with them that she is, so another bonus point. None of the other candidates have touched on this commitment aspect yet. The last paragraph though is perhaps the most important and one I would like to know the answer: - “ Your Liberal Democrat Councillors failed to attend the last Town Committee & full Council Meeting which decided your council tax. You should be asking them why?” I would like to know why. Answers on the blog would be appreciated.
It appears the personal letter to us from the Liberals was a scam, every body who voted seems to have got one so I’m going to award a banana skin for that.
I make that
Liberals 4
Tories 3
Labour 4
It might be neck & neck on the blog but with all the other factors the Guestimometer is giving the Lib Dems a 150 vote lead.

7/4/2008 24days to go

It’s a quiet day so I want to return to cost savings or in this case revenue raising. Why in Sandwell are car parking charges only made in West Bromwich? The other five towns are free. Let us introduce the same rigid car parking regime across the whole borough. This question of car parking is quite complex and later I will raise some other more contentious parking anomalies. It’s difficult to estimate the amount of revenue that this one single measure would raise but it’s in the thousands but I guess because of the politic map of the other towns this is never likely to happen.
With my first three cost saving ideas we are looking at potentially many thousands, so why do our councillors dilly dally with what they talk of as efficiency savings lets get on with it.
I don’t want this to appear I’m having a witch hunt with my Council but I do think they should consider the efficiency options before taking the easy route of raising taxes and particularly where they affect vulnerable older residents. You are after all a Socialist administration.
Liberals 4
Tories 3
Labour 4

8/4/2008 23 days to go
Labour back bench MPs are revolting! There's a lot of revolting these days
It’s another banana skin for Labour.
Forgive my slight distortion of the Times headline this morning. The lead story was that back bench Labour MPs are angry with Bruiser Brown over the elimination of 10p tax band and its affects on low paid families. Well Pleeease they have only just decided to complain about it because they can see their seats being lost at the next election and according to BBC news constituents are complaining about it. Over here in Newton we have a lot of families that will be affected and the reality will strike home just before the election. Well done labour for shooting yourselves in the foot. Even the brand Hosell magic is unlikely to be able to overcome this.
Liberals 4
Tories 3
Labour 3
The Guestimometer is now giving me a Liberal lead of 230 votes

9/4/2008 22 days to go


This is getting monotonous. It’s another banana skin for Labour.
Gordon was advertising his webcast Monday so sado that I am, I took the time to watch it. I was not impressed. The technical quality of the webcast was poor the body language stiff and the questions so obviously planted with spin answers that left me feeling exasperated. He seems determined to undermine the efforts of his local candidates. Does he have to wear that same shirt, tie and suit for everything? Tory PPB tonight was excellent, one segment actually mentioned pensioners. I think I’ll award them a bonus point.
Some good news though! Our litter hot spot as been cleared but no preventative measures have been put in place. This is verging on another banana skin for Labour because they have claimed that measures have been put in place.
Liberals 4
Tories 4
Labour 2

10/4/2008 21 days to go
It’s a banana skin for the Liberals and the Tories move into top spot.
Last nights PPB was the worst so far, with Nick Cleggover claiming big reductions in crime in areas that are Liberal controlled. Well he might be right, crime as reduced but it’s because of Labour policies with the introduction of neighbourhood policing that have made the difference. I don’t believe they would put the massive number of police on our streets and I certainly don’t think that on its own this will make people feel safe. The problem is more complex than that. As for our local lot! Well our Lib Dems do less than any of the other candidates in our efforts to fight crime. So it’s definitely a banana skin.
Liberals 3
Tories 4
Labour 2

11/4/2008 20days to go
I hear today that the Greens are putting up their candidate again. Well that’s another 40 votes from the Liberals. Other than that it’s a quiet day so its cost savings.
If I go into work in West Brom it costs me £2 to park all day, unless I scratch around for an on street parking spot which is inconvenient and rarer than rocking horse shit. If I go to our council house I park free after getting the token for the barrier. Can you guess what’s coming next? Got it in one! Introduce car parking charges for councillors and council staff. Off the cuff :- 300 car park spaces £2 per day = £600 * 5 = £3000 per week * 48 = £144000 per year. A similar situation applies at the training and development centre. So perhaps if applied to all sites it’s a much bigger number. Now that’s worth having. I can feel a big reduction in council tax coming. Perhaps you could make the case against this scenario. Why haven’t the Tories come up with this?
Liberals 3
Tories 4
Labour 2
Greens 0


12/4/2008 19 days to go
I’d like to encourage the Greens to take part in this discussion. So Mr. Hawkins when you read this can you contact me. I will not publish your comment if you ask me not to. I think it is important for Newton ward that your party does come clean and not act anonymously in the way that you did last time. My personal view is that you probably helped Labour get elected because they won more or less by the same vote you polled. The make up of our electorate is such that with the right involvement in Newton you could become a major player in local politics. You must have ten local people to get nominated and although your support appears miniscule I believe Newton would respond to a strong local Green candidate and who knows perhaps the first Green Councillor on Sandwell Council. Newton has been a Liberal strong hold for 30 plus years. It is not a naturally labour electorate and with the way Labour are behaving nationally they cannot expect to win. If they do locally it will be on brand Hosell. Liberals are a diminishing force after disappointing performances over the last few years and the Tories well? So the opportunity is there but not in the way you are approaching it. Unknown candidate who does not live in the ward! no chance. Well known, hard working candidate who lives in the ward, a very good chance. So who are you? Tell us about you & your policies but if this is just a cheap publicity gimmick we don’t need you in Newton.
Liberals 3
Tories 4
Labour 2
Greens 0

13/4/2008 18 days to go

Our local free paper missed our ward completely off their piece on the local elections, so, miffed that I was, I came up with the following little poem which I have sent to the editor to remind her we are here.
For Newton!
Oh dear oh dear what can I say,
the Observer newspaper has lost its way.
“Thirty to fight” the headline you wrote,
with just six seats to get your vote.
But that’s not true as well know,
Newton ward you forgot to show.
Libs, Tories, Labour and Greens as well,
Hawkins, Underhill, Ward and Hosell.
A really close race, are you keeping notes,
Labour won last time by just 35 votes.
On councillors surgeries you failed to tell
We have a new councillor he’s called Hosell
It’s going to be close this electoral fight,
So please can you get it right on the night.
Liberals 3
Tories 4
Labour 2
Greens 0


14/4/2008 16 days to go
It’s a quiet day. I was expecting the banners to go up this week end but nothing showing yet so I guess it has to be cost savings. I’ll perhaps do a summary of my ideas at the end of this campaign when I suspect we will be looking at somewhere in the region of £250000. Today its litter picking! Why not introduce a payment by results scheme instead of paying by the hour pay by the bag and change the routes so that they all had a go at the grot spots. Perhaps add some interest by making the pickers wardens with the ability to fine offenders. Difficult to estimate the savings here but from my experience in industry we would find a substantial saving and cleaner borough. I’m estimating £25K in the first year. Let’s have the debate, cost saving should be an agenda item at every council meeting. If you have a culture of trying to prevent waste you will keep costs and hence council tax down. Remember in any brain storming session 95% of ideas are junk. Many of mine I'm sure will be but do not approach this with a closed mind. Think outside the box.
Liberals 3
Tories 4
Labour 2
Greens 0

15/4/2008 15 days to go
Cost savings again today and this time its councillor’s and council officers expenses. Ask the question is that overnight stay really essential? Do we have to have a seminar in the most expensive venue in Sandwell? Could we use cheaper hotels when overnight stays are necessary and should we be paying a drinks allowance. I know you could argue that we have to offer the best facilities to get the best people but this kind of thinking is only adding to the problem. Sandwell is a poor area, we need to encourage wealth into the borough not waste what we already have. Realistic savings I suppose in the order of £50k per year.
I’ll run the Guestimometer again tomorrow.
Liberals 3
Tories 4
Labour 2
Greens 0

16/4/2008 14 days to go
It’s bonus points and a banana skin for Labour but let’s do the negative first and you guessed it Grumpy Gordon. He was on the tele yesterday in a long interview which I found painful to watch. It was reminiscent of the bundling days of John Major and I could not help but think of the famous “Crisis what crisis” comment that finished the Callahan government. So a banana skin! Our local Labour candidate though has been very busy promoting brand Hosell with a real natty piece of electioneering. A local news from Dave & Shirley leaflet which went out to about I would guess150 homes detailing one of the problems they have fixed and another oldie they are working on. This is absolutely brilliant stuff, tiny mention of Labour no request to vote for them only concentrates on what they have been doing. Well done Hosell! Who is advising them on this campaign? Because it is really excellent stuff. It’s great to see some fresh thinking and a clear strategy emerging. Labour are winning the communications battle here, according to their mini local leaflet they are going to publish an e-news for Newton! Sign me up please. If you would like a copy email them at hoselld@blueyonder.co.uk This has to be two bonus points and I’m going to award banana skins to the Tories & Greens for doing nothing. After several re runs the Guestimometer is giving Labour a tiny lead and I think that if they keep this up they might just scrape home in what will be a phenomenal result.
Liberals 3
Tories 3
Labour 3
Greens -1

18/4/2008 12 days to go
And the litters back.
So I’m going to award banana skins in varying degrees to all our candidates. This grot spot is not new, various councillors have been “taking action" for years. Well! I’m fed up with it. It’s bad enough having to drive past it a couple of times a day but what ever do the Mums and kids who have to walk past twice a day think. So; I’m going to award a banana skin to Labour, who although they have only had a councillor in our ward for 4 months have promised to put measures in place to fix it. The Liberals I’m awarding two banana skins because they have been in power for years, there are two of them and they have identified this problem years ago. The Tories are getting two banana skins because their leader lives in the ward, they have also known of the problem but seem to think if they ignore it, it will go away. Well, it won’t unless some of the measures I mentioned in my top ten are put in place. Where is the litter bin, the camera, the warden? Consider yourselves reprimanded you are collectively as guilty as the people who drop it.
Liberals 1
Tories 1
Labour 2
Greens -1

19/4/2008 11 days to go
Labour are holding onto the slimmest of leads. Councillor Hosell contacted me last night concerning the litter item yesterday. It would appear they are reading the blog and are as concerned about this as I am (see comments 5&6). I’m going to award a bonus point for this but sadly I have to award a banana skin to. Because of the way the government are performing. Gordon's visit to the states can only be described as farce. I haven’t seen comedy like it since Yes Prime Minister. He has to leave a meeting with the president of USA: to quell a back bench rebellion and now five ministerial bag carriers in revolt at local election time. It’s almost as bad as Prescott with his trousers down. I doubt even the popularity of brand Hosell will be able to overcome much more of this. The Liberals must be enjoying this enormously. They wont have to work to win, Labour nationally are winning it for them.
Liberals 1
Tories 1
Labour 2
Greens -1

20/4/2008 10 days to go
And Labour go on the attack. Posters are appearing on our lamp posts with Labour the first to show and picking the most strategic spots. The poster is good strategic thinking, small on Labour and big on brand Hosell. On the same day they send around a good old fashioned election address with a colour picture of the candidate. This was accompanied by a surgery card with a picture of our new councillor and some really useful phone numbers. Although I don’t agree with a lot of the election address stuff the two leaflets together and the erection of the posters give the impression Labour are in it to win it. It’s such a shame that their leadership is messing up big time. Labour in our ward deserve to win but I think it will be the Liberals who benefit from central government bickering. Labour get another bonus point because they are winning the communications battle here in Newton by a mile. The guesstimometer is giving a Lib Dem win by 90 votes.
Liberals 1
Tories 1
Labour 3
Greens -1

21/4/2008 9 days to go
Sadly I have to award another banana skin to Labour. With the continuing row within the party over the 10p tax band it is difficult to see how this can be resolved before the local elections. Hapless Alistair was vaguely suggesting yesterday that he might do something in his next budget. Does he really think the English electorate are that na├»ve? Memories of the missing 200 quid from pensioners council tax support, of the I’m listening speech from Tony after Browns 75 pence increase for pensioners and many many more acts of meanness will not convince the electorate to trust Labour this time. I was listening to Frank Field MP last night having to remind his fellow MPs what being a socialist was and why they were in politics. Until Gordon is replaced and a new front bench team are in place the electorate will have no confidence in Labour. We here in Newton have a good local Labour candidate who under any other party colours should win. Head and shoulders above the other candidates and being shot in the foot by Brown and Co. If you look at the way the party behaves in Sandwell it is a similar pattern of anti socialist policies aimed at the poorer in our community. Well Gordon & Bill it’s time for a serious re think. I think I would be more comfortable voting labour if the local candidate was campaigning to get Brown replaced. Do I see men in white coats coming to take me away I must be back in cloud cuckoo land again. Quick, get my happy pills.
Liberal 1
Tories 1
Labour 2
Greens -1

The Guesstimometers now ginving the Liberals a 150 majority with the Tories in second place.

22/4/2008 8 days to go.
The Liberals "Election Special" arrived through the letter box today. A lavish full colour A3 amateurish leaflet that is the worst piece of electioneering since the Tories “an urgent message form your neighbour” at the bye election. I was disappointed to see the party’s Grandee Sadie Smith associated with this. Almost every article is attacking Labour in a very negative and I felt nasty way. Their lead story implies that Labour had a gate locked at a local school during the bye election and as a result they sneaked in by 35 votes. It is this kind of arrogance that puts people off politics. I know Dave & Shirley Hosell and they are honest hardworking folk who are doing their best for Newton. If David you want to complain I will award yellow card. In the same article she refers to her opponent as a little known Labour candidate. What absolute rubbish: after last time they claimed their new candidate who no one had heard of was a “local champion”. Shirley Hosell is perhaps better known than the Liberal candidate. There is absolutely no substance in this leaflet, it just appears to me and I hope the electorate, to be credit by association.
The worst example is the article referring to “Action for speed limits and safer junk- no it’s not about our rubbish! but the campaign to get traffic lights installed at one of our most dangerous junctions. It is the Neighbourhood Watch Association that has taken the initiative on this and are organising the petition. The Liberals never attend NHW meetings they found out about this initiative at a neighbourhood forum meeting. It was agreed at the NHW meeting that the campaign would be non political. There’s a lot more but I won’t bore you with it. I just hope the electorate are not fooled by this lavish publication. Their leaflets have lost the flair of Martyn’s contributions and I feel they are now a spent force in Sandwell. I have now decided the one party I will not be voting for. We do need someone who can make a difference but it aint the Liberals on this performance. I’m awarding them a banana skin. My postal vote came today, so I suppose I better get around to making up my mind.
Liberals 0
Tories 1
Labour 2
Greens -1
Because of the 10p row the Guesstimometer is giving the Liberals a 90 vote lead.

23/4/2008 7days to go.
Before making up my mind to vote I went to watch the debate at the last meeting for this term of our local council. We have a couple of world class athletes from West Brom who have just completed 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents. This massive feat is big enough but when you consider one of them is blind, it puts in into perspective. These guys were present at the meeting and were awarded medals. The meeting was a good natured affair unlike last time. Typical end of term stuff but interesting. Our two Lib dem councillors were present this time, the first public appearance this year. Our new Labour councillor made his maiden speech, a nervous affair thanking a retiring councillor for her help. Never the less well done. The decision went something like this:- Liberals, disappointing performance over the last 6 years and what I believe to be some dodgy claims in their leaflets, Greens? doesn’t live in the ward, Tories, looking at that lot would I trust them to run Sandwell? No, that leaves the Welsh wizard and his Labour gnomes. Not much of a choice but I know I’m voting for the best person for our ward.
The Tories delivered their leaflet today, a very posh affair, they’ve been reading the blog. I was surprised to see that the NHS is now their No1 priority. Strange that because it was them who almost put it into terminal decline. It was a little late because we postal voters already have our voting papers and mine was completed ready to post before their leaflet arrived. It would not have made any difference if it had arrived earlier. I’ll award them a bonus point though for a good try.
Liberals 0
Tories 2
Labour 2
Greens -1

24/4/2008 6days to go
Is Frank Field MP the last socialist?
I feel for all the Labour candidates up and down the country and in particular ours in Newton. With a humiliating about turn on the 10p tax issue and the climb-down not being done with good grace it’s no wonder there is a massive anti Labour movement at the moment. It’s a case of too little too late to save the day for Labour. Even after the climb down they are still only half promising to do something. Our MP it was alleged was one of the Curry House conspirators who hatched the plot to get rid of Tone I think it’s about time he got his mates together for another curry. Frank Field for PM I say. I was with a group of local older people yesterday and enquired about their voting intentions. That was not a good idea! I got the “I always vote Liberal” factions, the they’re all as bad as one another group, the rest seemed to say in much the same way and I report without the expletives: - Brown is a waste of space, government inflation figures are a con and we won’t ever vote labour again or words to that effect. So it as to be another banana skin for Labour.
Liberals 0
Tories 2
Labour 1
Greens -1
The guesstimometer is giving the Liberals a 230 vote win with labour and Tories neck & neck.

25/4/2008 5 days to go
Things are starting to hot up around here. Local freebie newspaper had a good piece “The parties fighting for your vote” with comments from political parties. I guess the party leaders must have been asked for a quote. The Greens banging on about performance certificates for council building and entrance fees to The pUBLIC. Not inspiring stuff and not really local, got to be a banana skin and because they now have two skins and have done nothing locally again, I’m disqualifying them. Labour, typical borough wide stuff with little relevance to our ward. Very disappointing, a banana skin. Liberals great piece all good local stuff, it’s a pity they haven’t been practising what they claim for the last thirty years but they are winning the press battle this weekend. A bonus point here then. Tories in Sandwell were not mentioned so I have to award a banana skin for not participating.
Liberals 1
Tories 1
Labour 0
Greens D

28/4/2008 2days to go
In my entry for 25/4/2008 I referred to the Sandwell Tories not being mentioned in a local newspaper article. I got a call this morning from their candidate who pointed out that they in fact were mentioned. My thanks to Val for pointing out my error. I will of course give you your bonus point back and another for spotting my error and pointing it out to me. Having now read the rest of the article I still think the Liberals won the day locally. So well done Tories, and its 2 bonus points, which according to my sums put you well in front in my little game. The guesstimometer is giving the Liberals a 90 vote lead but looking at the opinion polls this week end Labour might finish a poor third this time in Newton. The Labour candidate also queried my maths. I have had a look at the sums and I can’t see the error but I’m going to give them a bonus point for sheer hard work in the ward. Sorry Shirley but with the Pensions Pirate running things in the way he is you are bound to be at a disadvantage.
Liberals 1
Tories 3
Labour 1

29/4/2008 1 day to go
I was looking over the campaign material published by all the parties. Assuming I have received all the material (I say this because some of the Labour stuff has been very targeted) Labour to date are winning the local campaign with some very innovative stuff. Their leaflets have been sharper and to the point. Pushing brand Hosell above Labour, which locally is exactly what is required. If by chance any of my readers are aware of any other strategically distributed literature I would appreciate them letting me know. I think this idea of Labour’s of telling an area of approx 250 homes what they are doing in their back yard so to speak is excellent stuff. We had our mini leaflet today and what a nice piece of work it is. Takes up the distraction burglary initiative that NHW have been pushing and talks about the problems we have with a grassed area at the top of our road. Well produced leaflet not asking for our votes and not knocking any of the other parties. I think they should after the mauling they had in the Liberal leaflet. Labour seem to be on top of the local stuff, so well done again, to team Hosell and another bonus point.
Liberals 1
Tories 3
Labour 2

30/4/2008 last day of campaigning
Oh dear oh dear have Labour put the skids under the Liberals?
In what can only be described as inspired electioneering the labour team have put out another of their local leaflets. This time the leaflet targeted the area close to the home of our Liberal councillors and points out to the residents, problems concerning an old sub station with litter and drug paraphernalia and literally yards of dangerous footpath. It points out the proximity to the Liberals residence and asks the questions why have they let these problems arise and why are they not doing something about them. I’d also like to know. Well done again team Hosell. Who is writing their copy? With their problems with Grumpy Gordon you have to admire the way they are fighting back. It’s got to be another bonus point. Which according to my maths puts Labour and the Tories neck and neck but I’m giving Labour the advantage because of their far superior campaign. Liberals are not so popular here these days and with the Tories gaining ground the guesstimometer is now showing a small lead for Labour if this is true Labour will squeeze in with an even smaller majority than last time. Any chance of an invite to the count? Anybody?
Liberals 1
Tories 3
Labour 4

1/5/2008 polling day.
Its all over bar the voting. My guesstimometer is still giving Labour the tiniest of wins with the Tories in third place. Good luck to all the candidates today.
Its now time for my much coveted awards for the campaign
Most Amateurish Award goes to Lib Dems for their hand written letter asking for my help.
Biggest bore award goes to Lib Dems for their A3 colour leaflet.
Poshest poster award goes to Labour for their election address.
Worst Poster award also goes to Liberals for their A3 effort which spent to much time slagging off Labour.
Best through the letter box award goes to Labour for their A5 four pager which was extremely well put together.
Biggest turn off award goes to the Tories again for their full colour effort which again spent to much space criticising and not enough on policies.
Most innovative award goes to Labour for their local leaflets targeting around 250 homes.
I make Labour the overall winners of Bonus and Banana skins 2 so well done team Hosell. I just wonder if any of this will make the slightest difference to what is going on in our ward. I will try to monitor the progress of our councillors and report on this blog their successes and failures.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob Just a quick comment on your community awards suggestion,
i do agree and four names spring to mind Queenie Slater/Bill Gun/Ken styler The fourth name i have removed because he has already had an award from the good folk of newton ward, The chair of NW. they elected him.

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

Thank you for your comment Anonymous: it raises some interesting points. I agree with the names you list and I can give you a lot more. Until our senior political figures start to recognise the contribution these leaders of our community make we will get nowhere. In other areas they would be OBE MBE and Dame or Sir. So come on all our politicos lets have some lobbying for these folks. This is one area where I feel our MP is letting the side down.

Anonymous said...

you're quite right it was a disgrace they missed our new council bloke and he's doin such a good job. good on ya for tellin em

Anonymous said...

right again Bob it was about time somebody did something about that crossing.

Anonymous said...

Hi bob re your comments about that litter grot spot i go past this discusting site every day and i must agree it has to stop. I would like to request that if any of your blog readers see and can identify the selfish culprits who dump this mess let me know and i will demand that the sandwell enforcement officers take action. I have and will continue to insist that investigations are carried out by our officers to get this sorted. But as you may know it can take a long time to teach animals new tricks, OUR litter teams are doing a thankless job and this spot is cleared frequently so they deserve a vote of thanks. Yours
David Hosell

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

Thank you for your comment Cllr. Hosell. although I agree with you that the litter pickers do a good job it is up to you councillors to get the wardens down here to catch the culprits and fine them. You are the only councillor who has recognised this and commented on my blog so I will award you a bonus point when I next update the post.

lola said...

hi granddad where am i supposed to put comments on ur blog bcuz i havent been able to and i still am not able and i havent recieved any calls from you in a long time so i hope everythin is ok well talk to youhh later

lola

and i thought i would put one on here bcuz this is for politics and i knew u would look at this

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

I'll give you ten out of ten for cheek, but I have called and you are always busy busy busy cheer leadling horse back riding and having fun. In just a few days this post will be over and we will be back to the interesting stuff. I've got a couple of good items.
grd

Anonymous said...

Supprise suprise Labour pull back at the end and you even managed to brown nose them for an invite to the count! lol

"an old sub station with litter and drug paraphernalia and literally yards of dangerous footpath. It points out the proximity to the Liberals residence and asks the questions why have they let these problems arise and why are they not doing something about them. I’d also like to know".

Well what Mr Hosell been doing about it for the months he has been in office? And given that Labour already control the council isn't this just as much their failure, what with those enviroment direct budget cuts and all?

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

Thank you for your comment Anonymous, clearly you have an interest in the area and have taken the time to challenge what I have posted. You are to some extent correct in what you say about the part our Labour controlled council have played in this deterioration. But I believe that David & Shirley were right in raising this issue. Is it 13yrs that Joyce has been our councillor and less than 13 weeks since David was elected? I think that he is getting things done but this will not be a quick fix. As for the brown nosing not sure what you mean because I have not had an invite to the count unless you are now offering one? Commenting anonymously is perfectly all right but it is much better if you have the courage of your convictions and make your position clear. I would like to engage in a meaningful dialogue with you. Good luck today.

Pete (WestBrom Blogger) said...

Sorry I posted anonymously I though I was logged into Blogger, clearly not!

I was only poking you for you rather sycophantic love of Mr Hosell and his Labour lovies!

Personally I think (hope?) your guesstimometer is wrong, but there again Sandwell has always bucked the national trend; there is no doubt though that nationally the rump that remains of Labour in local government will be mauled yet again.

I'm not standing in the elections but thanks for the good luck anyway.

gerry said...

I also think you are brown noseing to labour, don,t worry Bob Pat will tellyou about all the excitement at the count.
all I can say is thank God it is over and we can get back to some interesting blogs
Gerryxi

Bob the Black Country Brummie said...

Well Pete thank you for clarifying that. I’m a bit disappointed because I thought it might be our local Lib Dems who were commenting and I have been trying to have a dialogue with them. The Tories have contacted me by phone and at meetings but the Liberals. Nothing!
And thank you Gerry, Pat will indeed keep me up to date. How about you guys joining my Pensioners Against Brown campaign? After this election whatever happens he has to go.

Pete (WestBrom Blogger) said...

Looks like the wheels did come off you guesstimometer in the end! ;-)