Monday, August 18, 2008

Yet another track cycling gold!

Wow! Is there any stopping our boys and girls on the cycling track? Of the 21 medals awarded so far, 9 have come our way. There is every prospect that of the 9 awarded tomorrow that we'll win another 4.

Luckily for everyone else, there are fewer olympic track cycling events than in the world championship. Given the BG team's form in the last world champs, we would have been walking off with even more golds…

It's unlikely that we'll get to see our olympic track cycling champions riding competively in Birmingham, but there is the outside chance that Birmingham will host the 2012 BMX world champs prior to the London Olympics. Go Readey!

Friday, July 25, 2008

No sympathy for Dave

Bycle theft is going down. But its not being helped by careless cyclists who fail to take basic precautions like locking their bike to fixed/unmoveable objects.

So I've no sympathy for Davey Cameron who apparently "locked" his bike to a 60cm bollard. Idiot. And he wants to be Prime Minister?

If that’s his concept of security, then heaven help us!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vote early, vote often, vote for your neighbours

The telegraph brings details of research that tells us all that we already know about voting blocs in the Eurovision songcontest. But also that the UK is "clean", which also means that we're unlikely to ever win again. Quite frankly Terry Wogan could have written this.

Go! team

I've recently splurged on a few CDs from Amazon, and I'm currently listening to the excellent Go! Team. This purchase was inspired by seeing them for about 5mins of Glasto coverage last year. £5 worth spending just for the brilliant "Junior Kickstart" track.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The "big" debate one year on

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the Evening Mail's "big debate" on an elected mayor for Birmingham.
Much has changed in a year. This year I was celebrating valentines day with my other half. But some things haven't changed.

Despite the Evening Mail throwing their mighty organ behind this campaign along with the Birmingham new labour party, there has been little sign of a mayoral revolution with the masses joining the campaign.

The aim has been to find 36k signatures calling for a referendum. But noises I'm hearing have suggested that only about 10k have signed. The higher figure represents 5% of the registered electorate, yet 10k signatures doesn't even break 1.5%.

There has been some complaints that the council is in some way breaking the rules in campaigning against the petition/referendum. The law is fairly clear in that the Council can't spend money campaigning for or against such thing. But the complaints have been about the Council not allowing the campaigners access to the electoral registers to check their mountain of petition forms against.

As has been made clear here before the law gives the campaign no right to these documents at all. They could go to their local library, or register themselves as a political party to gain access, but d'law is d'law.

Likewise they have been complaining that the Council wont check the signatures for them. Again, if they were to submit their bulging petition bags then that check would have to be carried out within a statutory timeframe. No ifs, no buts. But no sight of the petition has been seen. Could it be that someone is embarrased about its size, and that as soon as its submitted for public scrutiny we'll all know how small it is?

Of course there are a couple of weeks left until the petition has been going for a year. But those who signed it 12 months ago will soon find that their signatures have become void, so the petition will soon begin dwindling in size.

The killer for me is that at no time has anyone come up to me at a public meeting, or at our regular surgeries, or while talking with constituents on the doorstep to say: "you know what, Birmingham needs an elected mayor".

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sustrans wins peoples lottery vote

I've just heard that the Sustrans: Connect2 bid to the big lottery fund won the public vote with a whopping 42% of the votes.
Thank you to everyone that voted in support of this bid.
Birmingham will receive funding from this project to provide a cycle route connection from the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal and Pype Hayes park right through to Good Hope hospital and Sutton Park via Plants Brook and Newhall Valley country park. North Birmingham has been behind in major route development because of the differences in geography between the north east of the city, and the rest of the city. Mainly due to the prescence of significant canal routes which form part of the National Route 5 that goes through the heart of the city, but also because the M6/A38(M) forms a very real physical divide.
The irony of our forefathers of the 19th century providing infrastructure that is the equivalent of cycling motorways, yet our motorways of the 20th century inhibit us so much.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Maniacal Road Sweepers

Busy week or so due to a number of deadlines that have been around (including elks, sorry ELQs that I'll get around to writing about v.soon).
Anyway, Saturday night saw Vic and I making our way to the NIA to see the Manic Street Preachers. I've not seen them before, and I've not been to a gig in the NIA, so was intrigued by what the show would be like, and what the NIA was like as a venue.
My first impression was that the shape of the venue is v.odd, ie wide and narrow, rather than square or long and thin. It did mean that we could comfortably stand near the back and still feel close to the action.
The sound in the NIA was fairly ropey, I had earplugs in, but that seemed to help cut out the awful rumbling and high pitched noise. It was really obvious during the acoustic part of the manics set, when the only sound should have been Bradfield's singing and the guitar. Oh no. There was lots of hiss and noise as well.
As to the performance: Bradfield was suffering from a cold or flu, so it was a surprise that he made it through the ~100 minutes of performance. He also had a few issues with some of the higher notes, but we helped out, some less tunelessly than others. He was deeply apologetic and also greatful for the reception.
Having not seen the band before, I was unaware that they had a great banter with the audience between songs with little in-jokes, and quirky introductions to songs. But better that than a monosyballic lead singer.
The other shock of the evening was discovering that 3 other Birmingham councillors were claiming to have a life as well (hello John, Penny and Zoe!). I thought the Manics might have been a bit too left wing for Labour cllrs.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Byrne backs Black Country bid, not Birmingham's

Bit of a haven for headline writers this one.
Birmingham MP, possible mayoral candidate if we ever go down that route..., and minister for the WestMids has come out in favour of the the Black COuntry's bid for the People's lottery, over the Sustrans Connect2 bid that has a direct relevance to Birmingham.
I think that Sustrans have managed to do a great job with their campaign, and with the 3 opposing bids being very geographically distint (with 2 in the Midlands), Sustrans is at a distinct advantage, and is apparently the bookies favourite (although I can't see a betfair market).
Vote early, vote often (online, by txt and by phone).