Feeding back to you about the Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) where I raised a question about the ambulance divert trial

I recently attended a Health Overview & Scrutiny meeting on 5th July in which the committee looked at the various winter pressures issues that have been widely reported. In the context of managing capacity I asked a question about the ambulance divert trial currently in place that sees patients in the DY10 and DY11 post code areas of Kidderminster being transferred to the Alex in Redditch.

The draft minutes of the meeting have now been published. I have copied the section about the ambulance divert below to save you having to find them in the PDF yourself: Continue reading Feeding back to you about the Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) where I raised a question about the ambulance divert trial


You’re invited to join the Church Hill Conservatives Residents’ Committee

Local residents in Church Hill who are supporters of the Conservatives are being invited to join a local ‘branch committee’ of the party being set up in the area by newly-elected Councillor Mike Rouse, who recently won his seat by a single vote in May’s local elections. Continue reading You’re invited to join the Church Hill Conservatives Residents’ Committee

A good news update for residents about moss and pavement surface issues in Jersey Close

Earlier this year I got quite a bit of stick from Labour over moss on the pavements around Jersey Close. They seemed to think I was making a legal argument; I wasn’t. It was a moral argument in representation of a resident who slipped on the moss and broke his ankle. More should be done, I argued. Continue reading A good news update for residents about moss and pavement surface issues in Jersey Close

Update for residents following my talk with Tracey Onslow (Deputy PCC) about anti-social behaviour issues in Church Hill

Today I attended Rachel Maclean’s coffee morning tour in Matchborough and was delighted to see residents from Church Hill had made the effort to come over for a chat about issues that are affecting them at the moment.

One of the other reason I was keen to attend this event was to grab some time with Tracey Onslow, the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner. I wanted to talk about the anti-social behaviour issues in Church Hill where we have issues with young people misbehaving in the bus road. I also saw our PCSOs at the coffee morning so was able to have a chat with them about things too.

  • Quick Aside: Bicycles are now banned from Willow Trees Community Centre owing to behaviour and damage.

I have been working closely with local groups such as PACT, Church Hill Big Local and the YMCA.  I’ve also been talking with members of the community who have been brilliant around all of this.

There are a number of things we can look at and Tracey had some good suggestions that I am going to follow-up. I don’t want to go into the specific details just yet as they might not come to anything and I wouldn’t want to raise false hope. I will just say they involve certain pots of money to fund certain things. We might not even be fully eligible to apply, but I’ve got to try to see what’s possible.

  • In the meantime I would urge anyone with concerns about anti-social behaviour in the bus road to please call 101 and log the incident. You can also log certain things online at https://www.westmercia.police.uk/report
  • If you would like to talk to me about the issues you can email me in my capacity as a local Councillor on [email protected] – but remember, as a Councillor I cannot come in and wave a magic wand to solve problems immediately, but I will always be happy to chat and see how I can help you.

Church Hill Coding Clubs Update following Google Bus Visit

The promise of coding club in Church Hill took a step closer when the Google bus rolled into town recently as part of the company’s Digital Garage initiative.  Continue reading Church Hill Coding Clubs Update following Google Bus Visit

Join our MP, Councillors and community groups at the next Redditch Coffee Morning at St. Andrew’s Church

I am delighted to report the next stop on Rachel Maclean’s Coffee Morning Tour will be Church Hill.

Date: Friday 13th July 2018
Time: 10am until 12pm
Location: St Andrew’s Church, off Tanhouse Lane/Upperfield Close, Redditch
Cost & Parking: FREE with limited on-site parking. Bus stop just outside for routes 48, 58, and 150.

More details and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/223092934947745/

Rachel’s Coffee Mornings are a great opportunity to meet your local MP, local Councillors from both the Borough and the County, and a range of community groups and businesses including Age Concern, Barclays, Pensions Advice Service, and more.

Plus, there’s free tea, coffee and cake for all. These cross-party cross-community events are open to all, so come along and enjoy!

See you there!


My Appointments to External Bodies and Committees

There’s exciting elements to politics, and there’s less exciting things that still need to be done as part of the council’s important work. Appointments to committees and external bodies are important and essential to the successful running of any democratic body (like a council). However, unless you are a political anorak it’s hard to find the fun in it all, I accept that, so for now you’ll need to take my word on it.

Committees are where a lot of work gets done; most of them are open to the public to attend and they feed into the bigger picture, sometimes culminating in a vote at Full Council or steering changes to policies and other decisions a council might make. Here’s a list of the committees to which I was appointed to on Monday 21 May 2018.

I have also been appointed to a couple of ‘external bodies’ – these are committees and groups the council takes an interest in because what they do has an impact on Redditch people and businesses.

The GBSLEP scrutiny committee is responsible for reviewing and scrutinising decisions made by the GBSLEP Supervisory Board. A lot of money is spent by the LEPs, so scrutiny of how this money is spent is important.

The Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee is a committee of Worcestershire County Council that is made up of members drawn from places like Redditch Borough Council. It’s our job as a committee to scrutinise decisions made by the local Trust Board. This role is particularly important to me as it will give me an opportunity to bang the drum for the Alex and our local NHS services here in Redditch, something I am very passionate about.

What is Rachel’s Coffee Morning Tour, what does it have to do with Church Hill, and why bother?

Rachel Maclean is your MP and tries to be as visible and accessible as possible, and as part of this she has implemented a ‘Coffee Morning Tour‘.

Rachel’s Coffee Morning Tour is basically a bit like a roving roadshow that makes its way around Redditch. It’s not just coffee and cake with Rachel (though that’s definitely what you should do), it’s about seeing a full range of democratic and community people/groups/organisations. For example:

  • Local Borough Councillors
  • County Councillors
  • The Member of Parliament
  • Age Concern
  • Barclays Bank
  • Pensions Advice Service
  • Worcestershire Police & Crime Commissioner

As a Borough Councillor I represent Church Hill, but I also represent the whole of Redditch Borough Council, so you are welcome to come along and talk to any Councillor about anything that concerns you about Redditch. If you bring up something very specific about your area we may have to put you in touch with your local Councillor for your area.

The beauty of the Coffee Morning Tour is having all of these services under one roof. If you need to be referred to a Councillor there will be one in the room ready to see you immediately. No going away and having to repeat your issue yet again.

The first event at the Oasis Christian Centre was a great success – and the cake was splendid. The second event is at Christ Church in Matchborough and looks to be an even bigger event. Well worth coming along – and a great chance for you to meet me so we can have a chat about anything that’s bothering you.

  • Date: Friday 15 June 2018
  • Time: 10am until 12pm
  • Location: Christ Church, Ryton Close, Redditch

Just come along, enjoy tea/coffee and cake and just have a chat. No pressure.

Sunday Politics package about Redditch (13 May 2018)

I know you will be gutted to have spent your day in the sunshine and not glued to the Sunday Politics Midlands, so here’s a copy of their Redditch package for you by their talented journalist James Pearson.

James asked me about the 1 vote win and why I thought people were turning to the Conservatives in towns like Redditch. He then got the views of Paul Swansborough (outgoing UKIP candidate) and Bill Hartnett (outgoing Leader of the Council and Leader of Redditch Labour Group).

If we look across all these towns there is a common theme that all of them were strong Leave areas in the EU referendum, but a closer look at places like Redditch, Nuneaton, Tamworth and others shows something deeper too.

Why are Conservatives winning in Redditch?

In these areas local residents are telling the Conservatives they are fed up of being “owned” by Labour and the Labour Party feeling a sense of entitlement over the towns they have dominated for so long. People are fed up of being taken for granted. I found that in Church Hill where nearly 400 additional voters came to the Conservatives over previous elections. People were telling me on the doorsteps that Labour used to be very good for them, but have lost their way.

Sunday Politics Video

If you can’t see the video embedded below try the direct link or this iPlayer link.

I’m grateful to all the voters who placed their trust in me and the Conservative team. I’m already working hard and progress so far is promising. Thank you also to James Pearson at the Sunday Politics for a fair and balanced piece of journalism.

Letter to Editor regarding Voter Turnout

I’ve sent the following letter to the Redditch Standard, which may appear on Friday 11 May 2018. I try to post a full copy of letters here as the papers need to cut things down to squeeze letters in.

Dear Editor,

As I am the living proof that every vote matters after I won the Church Hill ward by a majority of 1, I feel it’s my duty now to remind everyone to make sure they register to vote and then actually go out and exercise their vote when the time comes.

Although I welcome the slightly increased turnout in Church Hill where 1.4% more voters cast their ballot the overall turnout at 31.1% is still way too low.

However, to all those who did vote I offer my humblest thanks, especially to the 333 additional Conservative voters who delivered a 14.7% swing from Labour in Church Hill.

Finally, I pay tribute to outgoing Councillor Nina Wood-Ford who fought with honour and dignity throughout.

Mike Rouse
Conservative Councillor for Church Hill