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Thursday, 29 May 2008

Post Office Closures? This Government ain't bovvered

What do we have to do to get the Government to listen?
Despite a massive protest march, over 1000 petition signatures, a full report which I submitted to Post Office Ltd, and literally hundreds of detailed consultation submissions from local residents, the Government is going ahead with its closure of Wellington Hill West Post Office, Northville Road in Filton, Middleton Road in Lawrence Weston and dozens of post offices across the city. The effect that this will have on local residents cannot be calculated.

During my campaign to save our local post offices I have spoken to so many people for whom their local post office is literally a life-line: The elderly who simply have no way of performing daily tasks without their local post office; the disabled who will not be able to make the difficult journey to their next nearest post office - and one war hero who told me how he had sacrificed everything for his country in the second world war and couldn't understand why the Government was stripping away his local amenities in his old age.
If those in charge of the consultation had actually talked to ordinary people and listened to how they would be effected, perhaps they would have reached a different decision. But as it is, it is hard to believe that the so-called 'consultation process' was little more than a PR exercise, and an excuse to go ahead with the closures regardless. The Government seems to be saying, like Catherine Tate's Lauren, 'Am I bovvered?'. No wonder people have lost faith in politics, and lost faith when the Government says it is going to 'listen'. What is particularly amazing is that our local Labour MP voted in favour of the closures in Parliament.
It is unlikely, however hard we exercise our democratic rights, that we are going to be able to reverse these disastrous decisions to close our post offices. But I for one will be looking more closely at the consultation process, and if there is any way we can challenge the decision on the basis that the consultation was flawed, you can be guaranteed we will do it. If you feel that you have evidence that the consultation process was flawed, please get in touch: or telephone: 0117 9736811
I would like to thank, once again, all those residents who campaigned so hard to keep our post offices open. It is testament to a failing regime that nobody seemed to listen. But that doesn't mean we will stop shouting.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Bristol 10K for Jessie May...

It was only 10k, but after disastrously little training it felt like a marathon.

Many thanks to everyone who sponsored me for my 10k for The Jessie May Trust - I have so far managed to raise just over £500 to help support families of children with terminal illnesses.

I don't want to get all schmulchy, but reading about the work The Jessie May Trust does is pretty sobering. It makes you realise how much most of us take our families for granted. (As a child, I certainly did. My mum used to trek about taking me swimming training at Easton leisure centre at ungodly hours in the morning and I used to thank her by being in a foul temper through most of my teenage years) But seeing the work that The Jessie May Trust does with families who may not have that much longer together makes you think again.

The race may be over, but the fundraising certainly isn't! You can still sponsor me clicking HERE If you think you ever might have taken your family for granted - give some support to families who simply can't afford to take a single day together for granted.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

carbo-loading for the connoisseur

It's two days before the dreaded Bristol 10k, for which I have, through a combination of injury and diary-saturation, managed to do next to no training whatsoever. ( NOT recommended.)

The Inn on the Green on Filton Road in Horfield is hosting a massive bank-holiday weekend-long beer festival. I have written elsewhere of how there is nothing wrong with enjoying a good beer, responsibly. So it is without apology that I go to carbo-load before the Big Day at The Inn on the Green, and sample some of their huge array of Britain's finest beers.

And what a selection: I'm afraid I have managed to lose the wonderful menu that we were given as we went into the pub, but I sampled such delights as The Guzzler, a lovely well balanced ale called "The Reverend James" (as I recall), and a very stylish little number brewed from Irish whisky.

In true English style, the gazebo tent blew away, and a live band played songs by 'Madness' as the smell of barbecued burgers and hotdogs wafted through our hair and adhered to our clothes. It's what a bank holiday weekend should be: There was little real drunkenness ( we had one half-pint glass which we had to queue up to get re-filled, and real beer is much harder to drink a lot of, fast than alcopops...) but a lot of friends were made, and a host of local brewers celebrated for their craft.

I am sure I am going to run stormingly come Monday... Thanks, Inn on the Green - keep the beer festival afloat!