New Years Honours include_•Professor Dawn Brooker, who has dedicated more than 35 years of her life to improving care for people with dementia, has been awarded an MBE for services to supporting those with dementia through research, education and policy advocacy. Her work has advanced professional practice and she is now one of the UK’s leading experts.•Simon York, director of the Fraud Investigation Service, who was named CBE - a Commander of the Order of the British Empire - for his work fighting against serious fraud.•Freda Davies, awarded the British Empire Medal for services to her community. The 83 year-old has been involved in supporting Hallow Church and many charities for the last 50 years.•Dr Ann Marie Fitchett, lately policy and legislation principal, Defence Maritime Regulator, made OBE for services to Defence.•Caragh Merrick, trustee and chair of finance committee, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), made OBE for services to Higher Education.•Richard John Campbell, made MBE for services to the community in the West Midlands.•Dr Richard Harling, director of health and care, Staffordshire County Council, made MBE for services to Public Health and Adult Social Care, particularly during the Covid-19 Response.•Julia Elizabeth Micklewright, founder and chair, ASPIE, awarded BEM for services to people with Asperger’s Syndrome.Our congratulations to them all.Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal cleared the Commons with a huge 448-vote majority. Those listed as having “no vote recorded” include_Diane Abbott,Conservatives Owen Paterson & John Redwood, Independent Jeremy Corbyn.Those who voted against_DUP, SNP, Labour (Bell Ribeiro-Addy), Lib Dem, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Green Party, Alliance, Independent.Improved linksWest Midlands Railway has revealed its new and improved trains which will serve Worcestershire commuters on the Snow Hill line, with facilities like free WiFi, USB seat power sockets, refreshed seating covers, and new carpets. Carpets .. on the Kidderminster line .. you’re joking !During the past year, the company's Class 172 fleet has been going through an 'extensive upgrade programme' which has introduced a number of new features to the trains. "It’s out with the old and in with the upgraded Class 172 fleet.Green field sitesAs legislation regarding local planning issues comes for parliamentary debate (White Paper), neighbours in Kinver are fighting a development of 40 houses - with a prospective further 144 on adjacent fields. This in a village which has already exceeded their requirement to provide additional housing.One possibly ‘cunning plan’ by the company involved is labelling as ‘affordable’ smaller versions of the type of house they want to build - but at very little difference in retail price. Baldrick would be proud._________________________________________________________________________________
GrahamBallinger,leaderofWyreForestDistrictCouncil,isecstatic..aboutthe£20,500,000grantawardedtoKidderminstertore-generate 3 sites within the town centre. “This is fantastic news for Kidderminster and a great fill-up for the town after a particularly tough year.Thecouncilwillnowbeabletomoveforwardthreetransformationalprojectstosupportthere-generationofthetown-with construction and job opportunities, new commercial and housing provision.Towncentresarechangingrapidlyandthisawardshowsthequalityofourbidandthecompellingneedforinvestmentin Kidderminster’s future.”It is believed to be the largest award of its type to a District Council - and is the fifth largest award of 72 applications.The funding will allow for•the conversion of the former Magistrates Courts into a digital and enterprise hub (with an initial 37,500 s.f. of multi-functional space•development of Crown House site & •development of Bromsgrove Street site - in total some 100 living properties & food and drink premises.CllrOborski(Re-generation)wasgenerouswithpraiseforthecouncil’sofficersfortheirworkonthisissue,andforMPMarkGarnier’s involvement._______________________________________
Plans for Stourport revealedA Planning Application has now been lodged by the council which would mean a Stourport site is kept as a car park for the next seven years (almost as bad as breaking a mirror).This Bridge Street site was previously to be three-storey accommodation to house homeless people but the proposal was rejected by after some 1,300 objections against the scheme were recorded, including opposition from Stourport Town Council.This setback has cost the district council (ie ‘us’ .. the tax payers) almost £200,000. This at a time when finances can ill-afford it - and when homeless people remain .. well, .. homeless.The council bought the land from Lloyds Garages (2010) and have been operating it as a temporary public car park for the past 4 years after buildings on the site were demolished.“The retention of temporary car parking will ensure that the town centre site remains an active use and will help to support local businesses in the town.”The cautionary words are these .. “Be careful what you wish for .. you might get it.”
R. I. P.THE DEATH WAS ANNOUNCED OFPETER GRANTHAM (95)A LIFE-LING MEMBER OF THE LIBERAL AND LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PARTIESAND DISTRICT COUNCILLOR FOR GREENHILL WARD“A man whose Liberalism was an absolute part of who he was”
R. I. P.THE DEATH WAS ANNOUNCED OFBRIAN BINLEY (78)FORMER WYRE FOREST CONSERVATIVE AGENT IN THE 70’sAND LATER LABOUR M.P. FOR NORTHAMPTON (SOUTH)“A clever man but, more importantly, a nice man”
Wednesday, January 20: WFDC council leaderGraham Ballinger announced he has decided to "terminate" the appointment of Liberal Democrat councillor Fran Oborski as deputy leader and cabinet member for economic regeneration, planning and capital investments, consequently Cllr. Oborski is no longer deputy leader of Wyre Forest District Council following 'disagreements' with the progressive alliance.Councillor Fran Oborski MBE says there was previously a "dispute" about a post she put on Facebook about the change in allocation to a proposed traveller site of land at the former Burlish Golf Course. She has also spoken about her disagreement over the council budget, including the "harmful" proposal to remove the £1,000 per councillor Community Leadership Fund.Councillor Oborski said: "In a way I am glad that councillor Ballinger has acted as he has; he has really only brought forward by a very few weeks a split that was bound to happen. You've got to be able in politics to live with yourself. I have to be able to say I've voted with my conscience. It may be that in the next few years the Wyre Forest Community Lottery will indeed expand so as to make the Leadership Fund redundant but that time has not yet come.”___________________________________________________
Bewdley Flood Defences Breached !!
Water from the Severn poured through flood barriers in Bewdley, Worcestershire, this morning.StormChristophbroughtamonth'sworthofraininlessthan48hoursandthetown'sflooddefenceswerebreached leavingthetownreelingfromthedevastatingdeluge,astheMetOfficenowwarnsthatsomeareascouldseeuptofour inches of snow fall today. Beales Corner in Bewdley, Worcestershire, had river water from the Severn pouring through the barriers during the early hours of Saturday morning (23rd Jan.).Hereford and Worcester water rescue teams saved a man and his two dogs, Poppy and Eddie, from the flood waters.The river level is expected to peak at 5.53m, just shy of the record set in November 2000 at 5.56m.'WerecognisetheimpactthatStormChristophandthesubsequentfloodinghashad,andwillcontinuetohave,onresidents,businessesand localcommunitiesacrossthecounty.Therecentrainfallthatwe'veseen,hasledtosomeareasofthecountybeingfloodedinamatterof weeks.I'dliketotakethisopportunitytothankourfront-linestaffandtheemergencyservicesteamswhoareworkingtirelesslytokeepthe residentsofWorcestershireassafeaspossible.Thishasbeenmadeevenmoredifficultgiventhechallengingandrapidlydevelopingsituation in addition to dealing with an emergency during a pandemic and in national lockdown.' Councillor Simon Geraghty, of Worcestershire County Council.__________________________________________________________________