Friday, 8 April 2011

Is Canvassing Dangerous ?

Fantastically interesting day yesterday. Met lots of residents and all for the price of one bike crash.

Douglas Alexander and the Pakistani Community Centre

I met with Douglas Alexander MP and members of the Pakistani Community Centre at lunchtime. It was interesting to hear his take on Libya, the Afgan conflict and issues of racism. I was asked to make a short speech and asked him how we deal with the attitude of papers like the Daily Express who seem intent on stirring up intolerance in our communities.


We have been out most nights knocking on residents' door for the last few months. It was very nice to be door knocking when it wasn't raining, snowing or dark. The residents were very concerned about many issues, however the main issue was still Maiden Erlegh. I was happy to complete the picture for residents, however they seemed very concerned about Conservative Councillor Wazir's role in supporting WBC's proposals. It was on the way to canvassing that I fell off my bike, so had to do the canvass feeling slightly wobbly.

University and Redlands NAG

Topped the evening off with the University and Redlands NAG public meeting. The Council, Police, University and Students' Union all presented what they have been doing to react to residents' concerns about the area. The police presentation was striking, crime is down in the area, however burglary is an issue. Burglary has become an issue because of the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation which seem to be less well secured. The Police is working with the University and Landlords to make sure that  the Landlords fulfil their obligations to protect their tenants. There was a good mix of residents and officials, unfortunately the Park Councillor who is up for election, Conservative Cllr Wazir Hussain, appeared not to have it in his diary so wasn't there. Shame really...........