Abbie’s blog: Discovering a love of writing

I first became interested in writing when I was five or six years old. I would write fragments of sentences that probably didn’t really make sense in my little notebook and I truly treasured every word because it was something that was mine, the power to write what I wanted was with me and something no one else could take it away.

Sunday Comment: I didn’t predict a riot

But it was obvious to Margaret Thatcher when she took over the Conservative Party in 1975 that in order to push through difficult reforms you needed to have the police with you and in numbers. Instead we in Essex have 383 less officers. Officers having to reapply for their own jobs and the worst of the cuts yet to come. Thurrock Council alone has to make £13 million in savings and no matter what you say, somewhere along the line there needs to be an impact.

Myles’ Blog: Euthanasia and assisted suicide

The debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide, where it exists at all, is led by, or influenced by, the sensationalist media who want to sell papers or get viewers or listeners rather than having a well thought out, rational debate between all the different interest groups, both for and against. There are, however, many good and rational arguments on the subject and now is the time to listen, in a calm and reasonable manner, to all these arguments with open minds and compassionate hearts, with a view of the larger picture of the potential benefits for society of legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Myles’ Blog: SEPT unacceptable for mental health provision

SEPT are a mental health provider who seem to be more efficient at Public Relations than they are providing a good service to the service users of Thurrock. A well-oiled PR machine, SEPT publish a magazine called One In Four News that is really nothing more than a SEPT love-in and seems predominently concerned with the newly aquired areas of Bedfordshire and Luton rather than the South Essex area for which it is primarily responsible. If you read their magazine, you would believe that SEPT has no problems but that is a false impression. If you look more closely at the provision in Thurrock, you will find an alarming inconsistency of care.

Abby’s Blog: Learning the hard way…

AS we enter the summer months, the majority succumb to the golden glow of heat and its kaleidoscopic hues, but for many young people, those blissful summer months are replaced with the constant recoil of exams. I would immediately challenge a person who claims exams are leisurely and undemanding. Even those most academically gifted cannot affirm such a absurd statement. This is why I found myself utterly indignant, as well as ireful, when I came across an article stating that Watchdog are claiming exams are “too easy”, alleging that there is a perception exam standards “aren’t what they used to be.”

Mr Perrin’s Blog: Who really won the election?

A considerable number of people turned out to vote for candidates other than Labour/Conservative and are entitled to have their vote taken seriously and not ignored by councillors as if they did not matter. When the number of people who, for whatever reason, did not vote is also taken into account then perhaps Councillors would be wise to ask themselves why they and their Party are not as popular as they supposed. Labour Councillors should take heed of the words Ed Milliband with regard to how the Labour Party is perceived not just by the public but by its own membership.

Joyce’s Blog: La Manche and La Familie

I have several things I would like to write about this month. My life has been pretty full lately, with looking after my grandson whilst my daughter is at work; the busiest time on my allotment and my elderly mother. My mum had a fall one evening about 8.30 pm and wedged between an armchair and coffee table, was unable to move.

Grant’s Blog: Politicans. Keep it local

“It is often the case that in the backwaters of northern Engerland, (known as Scotland) the great political debates rumble on without any real concern and a positive lack of credulity and passion, not at least on the part of the politicians. With local elections forthcoming in the south, a complete vote for Scotland’s new government and the AV referendum in full flow UK wide much has been made of the politicians’ new and informed grasp of the peoples mood, an incisive and in depth understanding of what makes them tick. Whilst trying not to laugh or ridicule, outwith some permitted giggling, they have still failed to grasp some fundamentals…

Do they know where their ward is? asks Stanford community leader

Maybe Mr Stuart St.Clair-Haslam is unsure which ward he is representing as I believe there is a Planning Issue involving barristers in the Homesteads Ward.

I was prepared to overlook this ploy to solicit votes from those concerned about Greenbelt development, as I am also concerned about the Greenbelt. However when I read the leaflet rushed out by Shane Hebb for the Conservatives I decided I had to speak up as the leaflet is totally inaccurate.

Abbie’s Blog: To see or not to see………

In 1922, the novel Ulysses by James Joyce was banned in the United Kingdom when it was declared obscene and offensive. James Joyce is one of the world’s most influential authors and not only did this censorship prevent us from have a glimpse into the time it was written, it stopped us from learning his writing technique and creative linguistics.

Myles’ Blog: AV or not AV..That’s the Question?

Now, I’m in favour of electoral reform, as I believe that the current system does not reflect the genuine wishes of the electorate. A lot of people do not vote as there seems to be very little trust in any of the candidates put forward by the political parties therefore a minority effectively dictates who gets into power. That said, I think that the Alternative Vote system is not only a worthless compromise to the more radical alternatives, but also further compounds the inadequacies and unrepresentative nature of the current system. To demonstrate, we have to look at the AV system…

Myles’ Blog: “Red or Blue…tell me what’s true….”

As a floating voter, I issue a challenge to the prospective candidates – run your campaigns without all the political point scoring and mud slinging, convince me that you deserve to have my vote, that you are prepared to put aside the ideological differences with your opponents for the greater good and that, if you are successful in getting into office, you do not let down the people of your ward or of Thurrock.

Myles’ Blog: “Heating leaving me cold”

Move ahead to Wednesday 30th March and a repairman turned up to drain the tank so that it could be repaired or removed. I have to say at this juncture that this gentleman is the only person in this mess that is entirely blameless for being unable to help. The outlet valve was, you see, too hard to unscrew and, with extremely hot water within the tank liable to spurt out in a scorching torrent, would have been unwise to even try to open. Thankfully, that meant we had hot water that night as we had to wait for the water inside to cool enough to try to drain the tank. That evening, I called the council to ensure that the immersion tank would be replaced the next day and I was given assurances by the man on the telephone that it would all be sorted.

Abbie’s Blog: Fashion…..which way to turn?

When it was time for Tina to share her opinions on anorexia, she responded: “I am very biased when it comes to things like this. I think it’s irresponsible and selfish to put your life at risk just to stay thin. The best way to say slim is to eat healthy and exercise, however, I can understand how some models may feel pressured to lose weight, especially in the fashion industry. Luckily this is something I haven’t had to deal with personally and the glamour industry is much more appreciative of curves and womanly features…which I happen to have plenty of!” She laughs.

Basildon Hospital: A Patient’s Experience

“It was patently obvious that, as a patient who did not have a gynaecological problem, I was regarded as a massive inconvenience, (I was told as much by one of the department’s doctors) and that they wanted me out of there. They were prepared to tell me anything in order to expedite that. I asked what I should do if the pain became bad again and was told to “come back to A&E and get admitted by a different discipline”.

Joyce’s Blog: Second Novel: The Strength of a Promise

I received a printed copy of my second novel this week; the sequel to The Strength of a Kiss published last year. The sequel is called The Strength of a Promise and continues the story of a young girl’s first love and the problems she has to face. Her story began when she was 16 years old in The Strength of a Kiss and at the end of The Strength of a Promise she is almost 19. I feel a wonderful sense of achievement; this is something that will be here after I am gone. My next venture is probably going to be shorter, but I have a couple of ideas already.

Peter’s Blog: A Word In Your Ear…………

Councillors do not like being upstaged or embarrassed by members of the public and having it reported. My reason for raising this issue is to make people aware that they can come to Full Council Meetings and participate by asking questions and the more people do so the more Councillors will be held to account and that can only be good for democracy.

Abbie’s Blog: “Double, double, toil and trouble………”

Why is it that those who have everything wish to throw it all away? It is because they have lived the heights of fame and have smeared boundaries or is it just in their personalities. The question I’m asking you is that is fame deluding and a cruel way of life or would this have happened to Britney or Christina. They are human but they set the examples for the rest of the world, including impressionable children, so is being a member of the cult of celebrity a more dangerous job than a miner, a bomb diffuser or a race car driver? Is the glamourised life of a celebrity really physiological torture?

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