St James Residents' Association

For The Residents And Workers Of St James

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Friday, 7 October 2011

Down Your Way, for Mon 10th October

The Doddridge Centre has applied to the NatWest bank’s Community Force award scheme for funding of £6,000 but the bank will not just be giving it away they need people to vote for the centre. If you have ever needed Doddridge Centre, they hope they can call on your support now.  They need your vote to win £6,000 so that they can offer a Community Force Resource, providing free meeting rooms and support to small, new, and unfunded groups.  If they win, the project will be funded by Nat West Community Force.   In the current financial climate this type of project will be essential to groups at risk because of funding cuts. To vote for us:
Go to the Nat West web page or copy this link; http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/4905, view our profile, tick the box next to “Accept terms and conditions” (if you do!), register by entering your email address and a password, Nat West will send you a verification email, VOTE !!!!  Please tell people about this, because if the bid is successful it will help a lot of people in the community. So get voting!

Council tenants in St. James area are wondering why they are being treated as second class citizens and are extremely frustrated at the Borough Council’s inability to keep a housing officer for the area for no more than a couple of months. For over two years now since the Housing Officer Mistry left the post, and was only part time any way, housing officers have come and gone like passengers on the number 9 bus! The result is a very poor service to council tenants, their housing problems are not being dealt with in an efficient manner. A back log of reported problems have not been dealt with because there is no continuity between officers. On the six monthly walkabout of the estates, which residents and Association officers join the housing officer to highlight issues that are affecting council properties, problems that have been identified over two years ago have still not been looked at, because one housing officer reports it after the inspection then leaves the job, the new housing officer then has no knowledge of it. It is a disgraceful situation that is leading to apathy and a breakdown of our society, because people percieve that the present leadership at the council do not care one bit about council tenants. SJRA Chair, John Connolly has written a strongly worded letter of complaint to the Council about the situation. No sooner than it is announced to local tenants of the arrival of a new officer, then its time to say goodbye and hello to a new one!

·         The consultation on the future of our library service closed on 30th Sept, a report was produced, dated 30/09/11 barely enough time one would think to collate effectively all the information sent in, particularly as many comments were sent late on Friday the 30th. That report has now been sent to the County Council Cabinet, with recommendation for approval. The Cabinet meeting takes place on Tuesday 11th October. If you want to comment and lobby the Cabinet members then you will have to travel to Silverstone to do so!! Yes, such an important subject will be discussed, not in the Council chamber in the County town, but at Silverstone race circuit!!!
·         It makes one suspicious as to the purpose and validity of the consultation when only 1555 people took part and answered loaded questions, then the report is produced in record time to be ratified by the County Council cabinet barely two weeks later. Further, to find any information about the consultation results you have to go to the Cabinet meeting agenda webpage, it is buried where no one would obviously find it. There is no link from the homepage of the Council website, for example. This will be pushed through far from the gaze of the enquiring public. So much for accessibility and democracy.
·         The report is flawed and nothing really has changed since the start of the year, library closures are still on the table, if communities do not donate enough money and time to run their own libraries, and St. James is no exception. Your library needs you more than ever, use it or lose it!

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St James End before 1965

St James End before 1965

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