Westby Road Hostel

There was a planning application in February to open a hostel in Westby Rd. There was overwhelming local objection to this.

The local Drug and alcohol action team have a long standing commitment not to provide services in Boscombe due to the overwhelming number of services already here. The Council has also committed to not funding services within this area in recognition that we need a balanced community.

There is nothing in the district wide plan to stop the saturation of these services in the ward, which is one of the most deprived in the country. This may take a considerable amount of time to rectify.

BCHA have withdrawn their application but indicate that they would still consider a similar application in the area. Here is the response I received:

'To advise that our partner organisation Bournemouth Vineyard Church have not been able to secure the funding they had anticipated to commit to the project. This is in the main due to the current financial climate. As a result we have today advised the planning team at Bournemouth Borough Council to withdraw our planning application. Our solicitors will be in contact with the vendors agent shortly.

'I would point out that whilst BCHA were aware of local perception about such a scheme, we will continue to pursue any similar opportunities to help the most vulnerable in society rebuild their lives and regain their independence within the local community in which they live.'

I am overwhelmed by residents in boscombe who have issues with rubbish, both in the street and being able to dispose of their own rubbish. I think the current system for disposing of bulky items or items unsuitable for the little bin are unfair and affect our area disproportionately. Our ward has the lowest rate of car ownership and a high turnover - there for are less settled and likely to have items to dispose of. the current charge if you take items to the dump - even if you go every week is £0, but if you dont have a car, or are not able to manhadle large items, the cost is £38 for 3 items. most other area's in the country charge around £6 for the same service, and I think we should too. If you agree, please sign my latest  petition

My daughter was one of the winners from Bethany school today in a competition to design signs warning the public of the fines for dog fauling.

There were five winners and the signs have been produced on metal with the councils wording

The signs will be mounted for all to see in Churchill gardens over the next week

Playground tidy up day

There were big improvements to to the outside area's of St Clements school at the weekend with lots of volunteers coming and helping out with rubbing down, painting and planting in the garden area. The safer neighbourhood team came to help along with parents and children from the school  and with the help from a grant from the Local Improvement Fund which the councillors hold. Thanks go to Miss Walker who arranged everything!
There is a feature on Woman's hour about 'Baby led Weaning" at the moment.. What's that? well, Its about the baby starting solids when they are ready rather than spooning puree into their mouth. The way to "do" baby led weaning it seems is that at 6 months you lay out a range of finger foods for your baby to try in their high chair. 

Though I agree with the concept of Baby led weaning and have watched as my own children have introduced themselves to solids, I did not follow the method promoted in the programme 

Organisations like La Leche League (the breastfeeding organisation) have been saying for 50 years that babies wean at about 6 months. Not that they need to wean or that they should wean no, because it is something the baby does,not the mother! The baby - when he has access to food will start to pick it up and put it in his mouth (isn't that what babies are famous for?) at around 6 months. The main thing to ensure that the baby has access to food. If the mother is the carrying sling using kind she will probably have the baby on her lap whenever she is eating anyway so this whole process is pretty passive for the mother. The only thing to watch is that they don't grab anything they're not meant to have.

Its a shame that the style of baby led weaning that is being promoted is rather prescriptive - and not really very baby led at all, after all  it has to be the mother that decides that its time to buy the sweet potato and sit the baby in the high chair, and when will she do that in the "around 6 months" window? she could be preparing organic avocado's for weeks on end if she starts too early. 

The reason that a baby should lead the weaning process is that we have got used to introducing solids rather earlier than the baby is ready. not long ago it was as young as 4 months where to get the baby to swallow the food they had to have it liquidised so that the babies gagging reflex wasn't stopping them swallowing. Introducing solids at 4 months meant physically introducing food into the babies mouth and has lead to all sorts of allergies, and displaces the food that they are meant to have - mothers milk, the complete food for babies

The promoted way of doing baby led weaning (that the presenter felt that mothers would need "real confidence" to try )  leaves the concept open to criticism by health professionals. The dietitian guest on woman's hour was very concerned about the baby not receiving enough nutrition and saying that this method is not evidence based - she ended up reccomending combining baby led weaning ith spoon feeding - rather missing the point. 

Beach hut competition

Today sees the Launch of a very exciting beach hut design competition. As part of a grant from CABE, called Sea Change, there is the opportunity for artists to come forward with designs for innovative and accessible beach hut designs. The 4 new beach huts will be located near to Boscombe pier, near to coasters restaurant. This is just one of a number of aspects of the funding  for which I am a member of the project board. More updates soon!