Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Dog Fouling in Ulverston

This issue again!

I hope people can strike the right balance. My view is that:

1. We should talk to all those we suspect of dog fouling even if that risks us making ourselves unpopular - this really helps.

2. If we don't like it, we should quietly and without fuss pick it up ourselves even though it has nothing to do with us.

3. Ford Park should be very careful about its policy as I suspect that over 95% of dogs using the park are very responsible and they have a great influence not only on other dog owners, but on the behaviour of other people such as young people who might be tempted to vandalise property as has happened in the past. Far from demonising dog owners they need to be encouraged to be members of Ford Park Community Association with a special low cost membership - Can we move to a wider community involvement rather that polarisation of one section against another.

4. This issue is one where added regulation is ineffective - what is needed is that all of us try to improve the situation by our personal behaviour towards the problem and to the people that cause the problem.

Can we look to the Town Council adopting a policy that promotes the above concepts?


Words from the 38 degrees campaign that I agree with and have responded to with a donation.

I certainly think that changes need to occur but I don't trust Cameron's route.

 *                *                *                *                *                *

I've just made a donation to buy billboard ads all over London telling David Cameron he's making a big mistake with our NHS.

See what the ads will look like here:

David Cameron knows that his plans for the NHS are a disaster, but he thinks it would be simply too embarrassing to abandon the plans now. If we show him the NHS is an election issue, we can change his mind.

With billboard ads all over London, we can warn potential Conservative voters that most doctors and nurses oppose the plans, ahead of the crucial Mayor of London elections.

Could you chip in too by making a secure donation here?

*         *         *         *         *         *         * 
Now only 48 hours later this campaign has already raised £280,000 from 20,000 people, £80,000 more than anticipated ( and still rising!).

Being part of this movement feels very empowering.

One's small contribution really counts.

Not only will 200 bill boards go up all over London this Monday morning but bill boards in major cities across the country will also have ads.

Shall we do a little dance and wave a frying pan over our heads?

What will the Lib Dems make of this at their up and coming conference?

Being part of the 38 degrees movement is good as it is a-political. One is not supporting a party but a concept.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Someone striking out on his own

Since making this video, I am discussing the possibility of Matt painting my house.

There will thus be more to report here in the future.

* * * * * * *

The date is now Thursday 15th March.

Matt, the window cleaner, and I seem to have a misunderstanding.

"I don't ascribe to this particular brand of fascism"

A remark, I don't understand in this context.

Until this is resolved I am suspending dealings with him and have removed the video from public view.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Something for everyone - Dalton Leisure Centre

The people of Dalton have, for a long time, been working together to achieve facillites for their town.

At this location they funded the building of the swimming pool - one of the best in the area - it has two old advantage and two new ones.

First - the pool is warm

Second - Dawn runs a great Café with good food and drink

Third - the pool now has a great spash zone.

Lastly - they have a fantastic playground outside that caters for all ages.

The only down side that I'm aware of is that the water is chlorinated resulting in sore eyes if pee gets into the water - Ulverston is better though a bit colder and more suited for those who take their swimming seriously.

Here's a quick view of the new playground:

Friday, 24 February 2012

Why can't we sell our water to the South?

Seems a sensible way of raising money doesn't it?

Perhaps we should dam the bay after all.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

By far the most important thing in life.

For me - this is to like myself.

This has been my goal throughout my life and it's been a struggle.

It takes some working at and is for me a very precious thing.

It guides what are for me a lot of actions that I see as totally selfish:

To do things that I'm at peace with myself about.

Yes I'm a doer and need things to be involved in.

Fortunately I now have such a range of activities with so many different people that when one area of my life goes pear shaped and I feel rotten then another goes well.

Of course the affection others show me is very important.

Little things, like being bought my favourite drink, out of the blue - a malt whisky - to round off an evening of chess - create highlights.

The completion of a larger project with so much help and involvement like the making and mounting of over 120 ceramic fish at Church Walk School is another milestone. Like the Candlelit Walk we did together, everyone who got involved appeared to enjoy the experience - which included a lot of hard repetitive work like rolling the clay - but the result made it all worthwhile.

Bring on the next project - so that I can keep liking myself - this could be planting Sweet Peas at Mill Dam Park or possibly involvement in the Ulverston Scrap Store project at the Old Library or then again it could be making music with others in the town as I get better at playing my clarinet. There are some great people in the town to work with.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Our Health service - a friend's view - just received


No organisation as big as the nhs will ever be perfect and it will need constant revision, reorganisation, rethinking, but at least we have this wonderful provision, free to all at the point of need. The privatisation risks within this bill are all too clear to many of us.

I also see, on the news today, that a body representing GPs has been excluded from current Downing Street discussions. A dissident voice .... yes, well ...

I know that all my friends don't share my political views, but I believe that equality in health care goes way beyond political leanings so I'm hoping you'll sign this government petition to trigger a parliamentary debate on the bill. Indeed, if the words Big Society have any meaning then our nhs would have to be a corner-stone!

Send the link to your friends!

It needs 100,000 signatures and there are currently 60,000.  It's doable if we care to do it.


Even though the 100,000 target has been reached , it seems to me that achieving an even higher target makes the point even more forcibly.

Let's aim for 200,000 - we're not far off now.

For me the NHS is not a thing that should be primarily run by cash considerations.

A far better approach is to change the way the present administrators fulfil their responsibilities.

We got a good system that has been allowed to deteriorate - it needs correcting not demolishing.

Some parts of the NHS are working well. Let's spread good practice and assert ourselves to make sure it all works better rather than use a top down approach of change from the top.

It's time to flex our muscles . . . .

By signing petitions, writing letters, speaking to those who misbehave. 

Isn't time that we all shouldered our responsiblities rather than ask someone like Cameron to do it for us?


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

This joke appeals to me

  Four friends, who hadn't seen each other in 30 years, reunited at a party

After several drinks, one of the men had to use the rest room.

Those who remained talked about their kids.

The first guy said, 'My son is my pride and joy.He started working at a successful company at the bottom of the barrel.
He studied Economics and Business Administration and soon began to climb the corporate ladder and now he's the president of the company. He became so rich that he gave his best friend a top of the line Mercedes for his birthday.'

The second guy said, 'Darn, that's terrific! My son is also my prideand joy. He started working for a big airline, then went to flight school to become a pilot. Eventually he became a partner in the company, where he owns the majority of its assets He's so rich that he gave his best friend a brand new jet for his birthday.'

The third man said: 'Well, that's terrific! My son studied in the best universities and became an engineer. Then he started his own construction company and is now a multimillionaire.. He also gave away something very nice and expensive to his best friend for his birthday: A 30,000 square foot mansion.'

The three friends congratulated each other just as the fourth returned from the restroom and asked: 'What are all the congratulations for?'

One of the three said: 'We were talking about the pride we feel for the successes of our sons. .What about your son?'

The fourth man replied: 'My son is gay and makes a living dancing as a stripper at a nightclub.'

The three friends said: 'What a shame.... what a disappointment.'

The fourth man replied: 'No, I'm not ashamed. He's my son and I love him. And he hasn't done too bad either. His birthday was two weeks ago, and he received a beautiful 30,000 square foot mansion, a brand new jet and a top of the line Mercedes from his three boyfriends.'

Tenants with poor property -the role of SLDC officers

I made contact with these officers by phone asking for the environment officer to do with housing.

 Jane Latham  then dealt with my enquiries .

They admitted their coverage  on their web site of their role in ensuring good quality rented accommodation, could be greatly improved.

The email to contact them is housingrenewal@southlakeland.gov.uk and is to be found here on their web site.

Their procedure is:

If requested by you, they will visit any property to determine whether in their opinion there is a problem caused by the condition of the building.

If there is , they will contact the landlord informally to get them to put things right.

If dampness, for instance is caused by the tenant, they will take no further action.

For instance if a lot of clothes are dried in a room without adequate ventilation leading to damp problems then this is the responsibility of the tenant. If on the other hand it is caused by the state of the building they will attempt to get the landlord to do this.

If the landlord agrees informally to put things right - fine. If not they will serve a formal notice for the landlord to do the work necessary.

If then the landlord still does not put things right they will step in and pay for the work themselves and recover their costs from the landlord afterwards.

I asked how much contact they had had in the last year, with the public from their area, which covers that of SLDC ie including Ulverston and Kendal. They said that they had about 25 to 30 requests which resulted in only one notice being served to a landlord. In this case the recommended work was done.

On this basis you would expect there to be no problem in this area.

So over to you.

If you need further confidential help come back to me.

If you are getting no satisfaction I am willing to come in and video the problem and put it on Youtube.

I can do this entirely anonymously so that no one need know which property I am referring to and your identity would be protected.

My next step could be to approach the police to see at what stage they would get involved.

I could also go to the various rental agencies to find out their policy regarding damp properties and landlords with poor property.

I don't plan to do any further work unless tenants contact me and are willing to do something for themselves.

This issue could feature in the coming elections in May to determine the prospective candidate's attitude if in fact we can establish that there is a problem.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Tenants with poor property - continued -again

Something you can do for yourselves : -

Find out what your rights are and what support you can expect.

For a start there is free legal advice available from Poole Townsend in Barrow, Ulverston and possibly elsewhere.

In Ulverston at their offices opposite the post office, every Thursday between 9:30 and 11:30 am.

In Barrow at 69-75 Duke St (Near Cavendish Street) every Wednesday between 4:30 and 6:30 pm

Sunday, 5 February 2012

A trip to the big city

I wake up at 4 am - we're off to London - squandering gehooligins - 

But we're not - that's in nearly four hours time.    Go    back    to    sleeeep   -    -  

but we're off to London -  open sesame -

Go      back     to     sleep     -

Give up

Get up; do a little dance - shake those limbs ;  re l a x - that's better - have a snoozy tea;   tinkle on the silent piano keys - let the cat out - look at the moon .

It's 5:30 go back to bed relaxed - - - - s    l    e    e    p

It's 7:00   -    says the push on my shoulder - ugh  enhuh.

Can I go back to sleep ?

It's 7:10 -  I'll prop my head up and slowly opem one eyes at a time -

"When do we have to leave? "

"Well, I'm leaving at 7:25"

"I'll be ready!"

Right - gently does it - I'll have to wake up - s l o w l y .

7: 15 Better get going - Scaramba -

ACTION - Get the porridge going - it takes 7 minutes - Get dressed- find I've put my boots on with only my longjohns on - fuckbugger - boots off, jeans on , boots on, shirt, sweater. Grab the porridge - no time to eat now - think creatively - stuff into a sealed plastic box with tea spoon - too long find a shorter one - done. Grab shoulder bag,  find wallet with ticket - Where are my keys? - Don't need them - rely on my waker.

Downstairs and out - two minutes late.

Start walking  slowly; longsuffering Christine catches up. We're off.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Tenants with poor property - continued

When you became a tenant you will have signed an agreement between you and your landlord. Here is an extract from the one you may have both signed - this bit concerns what the landlord has agreed to: 

The tricky bit is what exactly this means. My first step would be to go to a solicitor like Townsend on County Square to find out, and then ask them how to proceed. They offer free consultations on certain days.

Those of you that know the ins and outs of this problem could offer advice here. There are one or two councillors that might help and going to our MP, John Woodcock  would also help.

I've just talked to a friend of mine and there seems to be a major problem with some landlords. See below for more.

Assured shorthold tenancy agreement
under part 1 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended under part 3 of the Housing Act 1996

D We (The landlords) agree to do the following:
1 Keep the property insured against fire and other usual comprehensive risks as long as insurance cover is
available on reasonable terms.
2 Let you have free access to the steps, entrance hall, stairs and all shared areas, if this applies.
3 Be responsible for servicing and maintaining any gas heating system and making sure that all gas
appliances in the property are checked each year by an engineer registered with Gas Safe, in line with the
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
4 Be responsible for making sure that any furniture we provide keeps to the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)
(Safety) Regulations.
5 Give you back any part of the rent that you have paid for any period that the property could not be lived in
because of fire or any other damage that we are insured for.
6 Keep the structure and outside of the property in good repair.
7 Keep the gas, water, electricity, space-heating and water-heating installations in good repair and proper
working order.
8 Refund any rent you have paid which relates to a rental period which starts after the tenancy ends.
E If we need to serve any notice on you, including any notice which the law tells us we must give, we will
deliver it by hand or send it to you by first-class post to the property address. This means that notices are
served on you once they are put through your letter box, even if you do not receive them because you
have moved. If you give us another address to send notices to, any notice served at that address
will be valid, if it is posted by first-class post or left at that address.
If you need to serve any notice on us, you must deliver it by hand or send it by post to the following

Possible further action : 

I plan to go to see the companies in town who let properties  on behalf of landlords and find out their attitude to landlords that have unfit houses. I can then publish the result of these talks here. We can then learn which agencies make sure their landlords behave themselves and advise people to only use these agencies.

Any other ideas - preferably ones that work?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Piano - My latest

I hope this will encourage others to start/continue on this very rewarding journey.