I have at least two votes.
I had a lovely day in Coventry meeting local people and chatting about the election. Many knew there was an election but did not know where to access information about the candidates. I told them about the 'chosemypcc' website and asked them to let others know so that they could make an informed choice.
The Salvation Army came along and provided the music whilst we both handed leaflets.
This is John the Doughnut man who provided coffee and you have guessed it - 'Donuts' Yum Yum
John was very happy to display my leaflets, chatting about the election and local policing.
He thought my idea for a mobile office would be a hit and offered the pitch next to him. Might need to talk to the City Council about that.
After a very foggy evening of campaigning in Yardley I was offered tea and biscuits by two lovely hosts Ann and Pat. Like many residents they have very little information about the election or role of PCC. They wanted details not headlines and how was I going to influence policing in their area. A few cups of tea and many biscuits later I had satisfied them of my intentions and they were happy to give me the 'thumbs up'. I have will have at least 2 votes on 15th November, let's make it 200,000 plus and get your friends and family to vote as well.
Hi all, well it is official. I am now formally a candidate for the PCC election. I obtained 100 signatures for nomination and provided a deposit of £5,000 so I am on the way to voting day on 15th November.
All I need from you is some help to pass out campaign material. Have a look at the hustings list on the first page of my website and come along to the events.
Have a look at all the candidates and decide who can do the best job for you.
Many thanks to all the people who supported me with their signatures.
TTFN Cath V4C
A trip to Coventry saw me engaged with U3A (Current Affairs Group) – ‘The Third Age Trust is the national representative body for the Universities of Third Age (U3As) in the UK. U3As are self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning not for qualifications, but for fun’.
An hour and a half later, I was worn out. Over 40 knowledgeable and inquisitive people debated and questioned the election process and role of PCC. They were frankly astounded that so little information was available for such an important and influential position.
They were concerned that the reduction in police resources would negatively impact on Coventry with staff being drawn back to Birmingham. They were aware of the reduction of police dogs and the realignment of the police helicopters to the National Air Unit. In summary they were worried that policing Birmingham would become a priority and Coventry would have fewer resources.
I provided some reassurance that as PCC I review the resourcing levels across the West Midlands and explain the model used to assess resourcing v demand.
They thought that the PCC would be based in Birmingham so they were surprised when I said I would have travel to different areas so I became a familiar figure across the West Midlands.
My thanks to Bob Rouse and the Current Affairs Group for a testing debating and the cup of coffee.
I visited the Pat Benson Boxing Academy, Unit 2, 50 Adderley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4ED.
I wanted to find out how the Academy worked with young people and connected with the local community. Over 300 children have been touched by their 'tough love' approach and it seems to work with many returning week after week and every summer.
One of their stars is Claire, a local mum who piled on the weight after child birth, so she plucked up the courage and visited the gym. After lots of aching muscles, great determination and encouragement from the trainers she lost 8 stone. Fantastic, you rock Claire, well done.
The principal coach is Pat Benson (Junior) who is expanding the community connections so Claire is now providing a Ladies Only coaching class for Muslim ladies at their own venue.
The gym has training session for all groups the young, elderly and ladies.
Pat has encouraged local schools to bring along classes of children to experience the gym discipline. The teachers were very surprised to see even the most ill disciplined children accepting the rules of the gym and doing press ups and sit ups on direction.
So it is very disappointing to find out that funding has been drastically cut. This is an example of the type of community venture that should be supported to provide alternative activities in the community.