Monthly Archives: October 2016

School children at the Love Bradford World Record Attempt

Chief Executive’s blog – October 2016

Our chief executive Kersten England has been writing a regular blog for staff. We thought you might like to read it too, so here is Kersten’s October blog.

This month’s blog takes a closer look at the workings of a Full Council meeting, celebrates some inspiring successes and shares a few things on the agenda for the coming weeks.

Full Council meeting, 18 October

Last week’s Full Council, on Tuesday, 18 October, was hectic! There was a huge breadth of topics covered and thoughtful debates about much of our work and what matters to people in the district.

There were petitions from residents about speeding cars in busy neighbourhoods, the proposed closure of a library and the introduction of parking charges at the St Ives estate. Councillors asked executive members questions about mental health services, parent governorship, care services, flooding, alternate week bin collections, and high speed rail services – to name but a few of the topics covered.

Motions were debated about unaccompanied asylum seeking children, smoking cessation, safer driving, proposed changes to parliamentary constituency boundaries and education priorities.

Bradford Council plan front pageCouncil also approved its priorities for the next four years, as described in the Bradford Council Plan. This is a must read! This plan will be the starting point for individual staff work plans, service delivery plans and crucially for development of our budget proposals for the next four years. The plan will direct our work.

The final item of the night saw Council approve the implementation of the changes to senior management. An elected member panel will be set up to appoint to the posts of Strategic Director – Corporate Services and Strategic Director – Place. Officer panels will be set up to appoint to the Assistant Director (AD) posts. I want to reiterate my appreciation for the sustained commitment and professionalism of staff who are directly affected by the changes we are making.

There’s been some great news since my last blog

Bingley Music Live scooped an award at the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots Awards for outstanding established music festival. Congratulations team BML!

On Thursday, 15 September thousands of people, young and old, from across all the communities and organisations of the district stood in the sweltering late summer sun – and smashed the world record for the longest continuous chain of people making a heart shaped hand gesture (picture above). We are world record holders and that’s official!

The inspiration of participants on our future leaders programme, and billed as #LoveBradford, it was moving to hear the whole crowd chanting ‘we love Bradford’. For the thousand young people who took part and received a world record medal I hope it will become an ‘I was there’ moment. Our future leaders did a cracking job and learnt a huge amount about project management. Result!

The next day Bradford trended once more on social media – this time in support of our bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North. Each Friday the government department of culture media and sport (DCMS) threw the spotlight on one of the bidders to host the exhibition. The range and diversity of voices from within and outside Bradford speaking of their love of and support of Bradford was fantastic and humbling. We know we topped the popular poll! Of course we now know that Newcastle-Gateshead will be the host for the main events of the exhibition. We wish them well. We will take the energy, creativity and confidence of our bid and people’s support for it to deliver a great programme of events in Bradford in 2018.

We have just heard the fantastic news that in April 2017 Bradford will be one of the key hosts for the Tour de Yorkshire. It’s very exciting to know that we will be either a start or finish city for this prestigious three-day cycle race. The full route will be announced in December. After the warm welcome our district gave to the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014, and the superb backdrop our Cow and Calf Rocks provided for the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire, 2017 looks set to be another vintage year for cycling in the Bradford District. I can’t wait! Continue reading Chief Executive’s blog – October 2016

Canvassers are visiting some homes to check registered voter details

We have currently got canvassers knocking on doors across the district to confirm the details of people on the electoral register. Our canvassers are out until 7 November working during the daytime, in the evening and at weekends until 8pm.

If you get a visit from one of our canvassers, to confirm the details of who is living in the property, they may ask for your date of birth and National Insurance number. This is the only information they need. This is to confirm your identity and ensure that your details are correct on the electoral register.

You will receive a visit from one of our canvassers if you have not responded to one of the following forms sent in the post:

  • Household enquiry form
  • Invitation to register form

If you have not responded to the forms you received, legally, we have to visit your address to confirm voter details. If you have responded to the forms you received, you should not receive a visit from one of our canvassers.

If you still have the form, but haven’t responded to it yet, please respond to it as soon as possible and we may not need to visit your property. It is quicker and cheaper for you to respond online or by phone rather than us visiting your home.

If anybody in your house needs to register to vote, the quickest and easiest way to do so is on the GOV.UK website.

The video below has more information about why our canvassers are visiting homes and why it is important for you to respond accurately.

Back to school: new hopes, new fears

Is your child going to a new school next year?

The deadline for applying for a place for your child at secondary school is Monday, 31 October 2016 which is fast approaching!

If your child was born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013, you will need to apply for a Primary School from Monday, 14 November 2016 up to the closing date of Sunday, 15 January 2017 for the school year that starts in September 2017.

Read this blog to find out how to apply and read one parent’s experience of their child starting school.

Fiona Binns, from the Council’s Education Communications Team and Editor of Bradford Parents on the Go Blog, talks about her experience of children starting school and how life-changing moving from primary to secondary school can be!  Her eldest son, Joshua is eight and has started his journey in Year 4 this term and her youngest son, Finley is five and moves into Year 1.

Starting primary school is one of the most exciting milestones in a child’s young life; but on the other hand it can also be an anxious time too.

In the summer before Finley started Reception I’d be hearing the same question on a daily basis “Mummy, when do I start big school?”

Preparation and organisation is key and I recall highlighting many paragraphs in the school’s prospectus and making endless lists of what we needed in order to be ready for Day One.

In reality I was more anxious than Finley was!

Maybe it’s the fact that we, as mummies, or daddies or carers, have done everything in our power to protect our babies since they were born.  Like when they fall over we are there to pick them up, give them a cuddle and try to make them feel better, we have always done everything for them and then the time comes for that role to be given to teachers and teaching assistants.

As a family we prepared both our boys for ‘big school’ by talking to them about the start of school, making new friends and entering the world of education and learning about something wonderful every single day.  We made a big deal about buying their  school uniforms, new shoes and deciding whether or not they would be staying for school dinners or taking a packed lunch.

I need not have worried; Finley embraced his first year at school as a ‘Roaring Rocket’ (the name of his class!).  His class teacher and teaching assistants at school played a very important part in this and I know Finley will always remember his first year at “big school”.

me-and-the-boys-2016-2
Me and the boys

Transition time

The transition from primary school to secondary school is one of those life events that most people can recall in some way or other. In the main, it’s a fairly manageable period and one that parents often get more emotional about than their children. Continue reading Back to school: new hopes, new fears

Bradford City Runs 2016

Bradford City Runs on Sunday, 30 October is Bradford’s annual festival of running with a unique choice of three distances: 5K, 10K and Half Marathon along with a special Kids’ Mile Run, all races are held on closed, traffic-free roads in and around City Park and the city centre.

With a new and improved route for 2016, the races now take in parts of Little Germany and the Broadway Shopping Centre, as well as the University of Bradford, Bradford College, City Hall and City Park.

Bradford City Runs 2016 adult course map

Bradford City Runs will once again raise money for the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, based at the University of Bradford. The unit was set up after the tragic Bradford City fire disaster 31 years ago and continues to explore ground-breaking treatment techniques for burns sufferers. In 2015, Bradford City Runs raised £6,000 for the unit and we are aiming to top that in 2016! Download a printable PSBRU sponsorship form to start getting sponsors.

Hundreds of people including many children and young people have already signed up to take part in this year’s Bradford City Runs, which is designed to welcome everyone from the Bradford district and beyond, no matter how fit or how fast!

We welcome runners of all levels, including those in fancy dress, to walk, run, support and celebrate a great community event. A fun filled family day with entertainment and prizes:

  • College and University route
  • Prizes in all main categories
  • Medals for all Kids Race finishers
  • Medals & T-Shirts for Adult Race finishers
  • Accurately measured course
  • Chip timing for all races
  • Expert marshalling
  • Children’s Play Zone & Spectator area

Those who have put their names down so far include the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Alun Griffiths (who was the very first runner to sign up this year!), the former Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Joanne Dodds, the Chief Executive of Bradford Council, Kersten England and former Bradford City player and co-founder of the charity One In A Million, Wayne Jacobs. Continue reading Bradford City Runs 2016