Friday, September 17, 2004

To Film or Not To Film? 

Tonight’s meeting of the Governors at St Gile’s School covered a wide variety of topics. Once again Kate Griffiths – the Headteacher provided us all with a comprehensive written report. The amount of work that goes into this document must be immense but it certainly leaves the Governors with few questions. However at the end of the meeting the thorny question of whether pictures of children should be published either by the school or outside organisations was raised once again. Kate had certainly done her home work at presented us with three different letters that could be sent to parents asking for their permission. Each of these letters introduced a different level of permissions or opt-outs. This is really a difficult subject, made even worse by the fact the school appears to want to tie in the banning of parents taking videos during a school play or assembly. While I realise that such behaviour can be a distraction to the children or other adults, I do think it is a pity parents will not be able to record their children’s achievements in this way. Unfortunately Kate does not want to ban the taking of still pictures which I think rather defeats the object. Luckily we did not need to make a decision tonight, as we decided to ask one of the specialist advisors from the LEA to come and talk to us all in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Cut Price Speed "Guns" 

Tonight I attended a meeting of the Community Speed Watch Group in Great Bridgeford. The meeting was in the dining room of the home of Maggie Smith. Although representatives from Gnosall. And Haughton were also there Maggie has been a guiding light in the anti-speed campaign in her Village.

As a County Councillor I really pleased to be involved in this initiative, which is the brain child of Staffordshire Police and is co-ordinated by Steve Wilson from Stone Police Station. The scheme involves the police training and co-ordinating a group of local civilian volunteers who will use a speed gun, or as they are now known in this political correct word – a speed device, to monitor traffic speed in their own village. My role as County Councillor is to provide the money to buy the speed guns. The good bit of news I got tonight was that the guns only cost £125 each. Each County Councillor has £10000 to spend on community projects so I promised I’d recommend a grant of £500 to this project which will not only buy two guns but also the safety clothes and the warning signs needed for each project site in my area. Unfortunately Great Bridgeford and Maggie Smith are not in my County Division so I can’t help fund their equipment, but at least I can put some pressure on their County Councillor who hopefully will stump up the cash!

Early Start For Road Safety 

It was an early start this morning as I’d arranged to meet a resident of Great Bridgeford at 8.00am to look at road safety issues in that Village. Having met at his home in a quite cul-de-sac we walked through the Village to the paper shop. We looked at speeding traffic, the narrowness of the pavements, the lack of a crossing, the dangers of parked British Rail vehicles, and the need to sweep gravel from some of the footpaths. All in all it was a interesting visit and I certainly had a long list of complaints by the time we had finished an hour and a half later. I’ll be taking up all these problems, but high on my list is the need to get the speed limit reduced from 40 down to 30. By all accounts the community have been campaigning for this for some time without success. Perhaps being a County Councillor will give me more chance of getting the change made. It’s clear that if something isn’t done soon a nasty accident will happen and lives could be lost!

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