Thursday, 20 December 2007

Minns Spins in Bins

Glad to see the officers and the GMB are trying to come to a sensible agreement over the dispute over rubbish collection in Hull on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

But it's not been helped by our childish Lib Dem leader using the press to bully refuse workers into worse pay and conditions.

A £250 bonus payment for working a day over Christmas might seem a lot but their pay and conditions have been radically restructured over the years.

But it's as nothing to the thousands of pounds of council tax given to a London PR company that helped to get Minns and his grossly exaggerated flood damage figures on the media 24/7 ('There's been £350m DAMAGE! £200M!..ok, er,..£51m') which caused insurance premiums to double in some parts of the city.

Then his claim that binmen in Hull were amongst the best paid in the country on a starting salary of £22,374 was exposed as a lie when Labour's Daren Hale proved it was actually £14,800.

And don't take my word for it on bullying - even his former colleagues are revealing the truth.

In a six-page e-mail sent to all councillors at the Guildhall, Councillor Joyce Korczak Fields claimed she was "bullied, threatened and blackmailed" by the Lib Dems.

I remember on local election night chatting to a pal when Minns bounded over and excitedly said: "Shall we take a sweepstake on who's going to be the first of my lot to defect?"

So there you go.

They steal free school meals from your kids

They kick public sector workers at Xmas

and they even have contempt for their own

People have woken up to you Carl.

And they're getting organised.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Santa and the Real Power Rangers

Had the pleasure of popping over to the Alderman Kneeshaw recreation park today on Bilton Grange for what seemed to be the official start of Christmas in East Hull.

Santa had set up his grotto in the Pavillion for the weekend and more than 50 excited children with their parents came to deliver their wish list and pick up a free prezzie.

His little helpers were the Urban Park Rangers, given money by the Hull Flood Fund to promote the facilties at Alderman Kneeshaw to the public, especially young people.

I remember running at the racetrack back in the 80s with Hull Spartans. Unfortunately over the years the changing rooms were burnt down and the area became run down.

Now thanks to the rangers and volunteers, it's starting to spring back to life. They hold arts and crafts lessons and other activities in the Pavillion and it's increasingly becoming a popular resource on the estate. And of course, they managed to get St Nick to pop in.

Another reason why the rangers wanted to keep Santa local was the cost for local parents and kids to go into town to visit his commercial big store grottos.

But what really moved me is that to ensure that every child walked away with a free gift, the rangers shelled out more than £200 from their own pockets to make up for the shortfall. Seeing the smile on the bains faces, it's easy to see why it was a price worth paying.

Sometimes the true meaning of Christmas gets forgotten amidst a deafening blair of ads for this year's must have toy.

But I'm glad to say the Christmas spirit is alive and well on Bilton Grange.