Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Planting out and Citizens Advice Meeting + Badfinger docu

Of course there's plenty of activity on the allotment - having bought some bean/pea supports at the end of last year - when garden centres are reducing and clearing their shelves I have now installed.

Peas supported.

The hot weather means that I'm watering regulalry and trying to keep things in the greenhouse moist- I think I need to provide some shade in there too.

Sweet corn prefers to be in a grid
It might be that I'm only providing food for mice and birds but I've decided to stick with the sweetcorn, the recommendation is that it is planted in a grid - I do think it looks quite nice too.

 I have also planted out half a dozen cabbages and there's more too come too.
A home for my cabbage patch cabbages

Every second  week there's a liquid  feed to the growing vegetables  although I'm not too sure how effective this is - biggest challenge seems to be the melons growing from seed only one that is hanging on now.

Citizens Advice looks to the future

Yesterday I finally made it to a CAB meeting (how does London Transport define short delay- 30 minutes means nothing in their parlance?)
The meting was an education in many ways, first a speaker who explained the nature of Loan Sharks, they
Don't forget it's a Charity
exist of course because there's a need, as they operate under the radar many of the rules do no apply.
A loan shark can appear benevolent at first, friendly and wanting to assist but as there is typically no contract then anything can happen with the loan interest.
People are caught but many get away with it - they are the lenders of last resort and best avoided but if you have an issue then do seek advice, some tips here.

We also learnt of how the Citizens Advice Bureaus are being seen increasingly by councils as a method of delivering services and are required to tender business plans to address the needs of the councils (and hopefully their residents).

This has (of course) a down side, advice is being targeted and outcomes measured but it is important (I think) to keep focus on those who need help, the CAB remains a charity and the vulnerable are more and more marginalised in modern life be it by health issues or digital exclusion.

The CAB also has the challenge that many of those providing services are volunteers and their motivation is either  about satisfaction with their roles and results or about getting experience that will help them with obtaining the skills needed for paid work.

Another development is the 'suggestion' from councils that Voluntary sector charities should work together to deliver services CAB are doing this with Tendis who have expertise in moving people back to work.

If they don't find the 'work' worthwhile be it  enjoyable and sociable or good training they may stop doing it which is bad for 'clients' and the wider community.
Ahead of local elections votes  in London  the CAB is on hold for much of its future funding  but as councils continue freezes on spending there will be challenges. (Those elections are going to be interesting at European and local level giving a reading on the feelings of the UK electorate about one year ahead of the 2015 General Election. )

Interestingly having asked those standing for council elections in my ward about a CAB in Ealing (unlike other London Boroughs we don't have one) the only proper answer I have so far is from the Conservatives who appear to be interested in examining this in the future.


Watched a great TV programme about Badfinger - they were almost the new Beatles but tragedy became their companion
Great songs by them included Without You (later covered by many including Mariah Carey) and my favourite Day after Day (below) the show is here..

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