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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Have your say on what the Robin Cousins Centre will offer

At last - after getting Robin Cousins on-side to lend his weight to the campaign, and a petition to get the centre opened with all speed, can it really be that light is at the end of the tunnel for the Robin Cousins Centre?

I have been working with the purchaser, police-recruitment officer Ian Moore, who will hopefully be running the building for the community, to find out what local residents want to happen in the new Robin Cousins Centre.

The idea is that it will be a facility for local people, so it makes sense that local people decide what they want from it. If you live locally and will use the Robin Cousins Centre when it is re-opened, fill in our on-line survey HERE.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Read my Guardian Blog on Knife Crime


Read my Guardian blog today on Knife Crime HERE

by the time the child is clutching a knife, ready to stab, they have already been drilled to know that if they do something bad, there will be no real consequences, apart from some desperate hand-wringing from society and a few emotional videos to tell them not to do it again.


Boxing for discipline, courage, fitness and success

This poster sums up why amateur boxing is such a great sport.

Tyler 'Tiger' Davies is one of Avonmouth National Smelting Amateur Boxing Club's promising young boxers, and this poster is a bid to gain sponsorship to pay for his equipment and personalised gear.

But I thought it summed up well the driving force behind amateur boxing: Read the small print - 'courage - fitness, respect -discipline, team-work - self control'.

Local sports clubs instilling values like this are worth any number of top-down initiatives. I was struck at their awards ceremony on Friday how the boys really embodied these virtues. One of the awards was for the 'Boxers' boxer' - someone selected by the boys to get a special award. The boys huddled together for no more than 30 seconds, and unanimously , and without argument, selected someone from amongst them to get the prize. That kind of teamwork, humility and respect was an impressive demonstration of the values the Smelting club upholds and instills in its boxers.

The National Smelting Club puts on several shows throughout the year - I'd encourage anyone who reads this to check out their new website and go along to see our local boxers in action.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Work begins on a bigger boxing gym...


Humble beginnings for Avonmouth National Smelting Amateur Boxing Club's new extended gym.

Thanks to the hard work of coach Garry Gave (pictured, with me, delighted about the girders), Roger Eady, the club, and with support from myself, the club has won a bid for over £60k from Sport England to build a much needed extension gym.

You can just about see the present gym in the background. It's that green building that looks like a garden shed. Garry trains over 30 young boxers in there, with numbers swelling all the time.

With any luck, the gym should be open at the end of the year. This blog will attempt to follow the progress from girder to gym... watch this space!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Read my Guardian Blog on saving the NHS


Read my latest Guardian blog on keeping the NHS on-target, but off-targets HERE

But while the ministers devise ever more targets to meet the success rate that they want for their headlines, and to fix their statistics which they can fire out in PMQs, the purpose of the NHS is deviating away from making patients get better, and towards making ministers feel better.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Lions hand-over a roaring evening. (cringe. sorry.)

That's an appalling pun - but I'm afraid it was a roaring evening. Bristol Brunel Lions ( with Bradley Stoke Lions) had their annual hand-over dinner. Lion John Taylor handed over his chairmanship to Lion Bill o'Neill, and I was inducted as a member - and as promised, it didn't hurt a bit.

It's hard to grasp the extent of the Lions Club international and the work it does. Amongst its achievements:



  • Thousands being able to see better by way of our used spectacle collections.
  • Many children having a holiday for the first time.
  • Parents of terminally ill children receiving respite.
  • Hundreds of children learning to read/write via "Schools in a Box" sponsored.
  • Enabling local children to learn with specially adapted computers.
  • Thousands feeling more secure due to their "Message in a Bottle" scheme.
  • Many smiling faces, children and parents, due to our Carol Float.
  • Great social events with shedloads of fun and fellowship.
Bristol Brunel Lions are in their 39th year. They've done huge amounts of work in that time- but you know what they say... life begins at 40. Roar-on.