We had a great meeting at Pak Supermarket on Friday night with our local councillors, some of our leading social entrepreneurs and the leadership of our regeneration zone. I'm just putting the finishing touchs to my Jobs Plan for 2009 for Hodge Hill, so I was interested about a new scheme designed to provide skills mentoring for people new back to work. The theory is that sometimes you can need help for quite awhile once you're back in business, so to speak.
Liam Byrne MP today expressed disbelief that Cllr John Lines, City Council Cabinet Member for Housing has agreed to two eyesore high rise towers being demolished in his own ward of Bartley Green, whilst £10,000 of taxpayers money is being spent each month to secure towers in Hodge Hill that were due to be demolished earlier this year.
Some of this week's debate about 'whither new Labour' makes me think we're debating short words at a time of huge global changes. But there's no doubt that in the space of a fortnight, what John Prescott called 'the tectonic plates' of politics have moved decisively. New Labour has shown once again that its home ground is the centre ground.
When I started my dot.com business back in 2000, it was like a roller-coaster. Great highs, when you had a sales breakthrough or nailed a new product - and great lows; not least the days when you simply didn't know if you were getting to meet payroll at the end of the month - or having to explain to the wife that there wasn't going to be a salary cheque again. Lots of business people will be going through exactly this feeling right now.
Revelations about my 2006 memo provoked a frenzy of right wing interest in this humble blog and many it seemed were delighted to stumble upon Rubbish TV. They may have helped another small victory in our battle for cleaner streets. The Sunday Telegraph carries coverage of my discovery that a city 'blitz' resulted in just three fines a week.
Today was a pretty good day in Hodge Hill. At Queen's Road police station, I heard about the new work of our brand new police team, which has doubled - that's doubled - police numbers out on the beat in Washwood Heath, and later this afternoon, at Shaw Hill Primary School I got to hear from the school council about how, more than anything else, they want action on crime, reassurance policing and more things for kids to do.
On Friday I met two amazing people. One of the great joys of my job is the work I do to try and build a network of social entreprenuers who are as passionate about local change as I am. I'm always on the look out. On Friday night, I tracked down Jean Preist in Bordesley Green who's worked wonders for her road and others. I've heard about her amazing work, and wanted to meet her, hear her views and say thank you.
Ah well, I guess it had to happen. Someone has kindly furnished the Mail on Sunday with the 2006 notes I gave to my office civil servants to prepare them for the shock of their workaholic new minister and his rather extensive list of faults and foibles. It's been a while since I've read the Mail on Sunday, but I'm guessing that they'll have some well-justified fun at my expense.
The Rt. Hon. Liam Byrne, MP for Hodge Hill, today launched the sponsorship of Alum Rock Football Club by Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust.
The Primary Care Trust will provide £7,500 per year to the local club to enable them to raise the profile of sports and keeping fit in the local community. They will also provide free football coaching sessions for boys and girls in Washwood Heath.
A couple of minutes before 11am, I filed out of the office to stand at the bottom of Downing Street to join the 2 minute silence, along with some of the journalists who report the news from outside No 10. It was a stunning moment. In the crowds on Whitehall - and the coverage in the news I think I detect a stronger and stronger appetite amongst the great law-abiding majority in Britain to stand up for the values - like sacrifice - that we think are important.