When I told my dad I was standing in the by-election he warned me I would be working a 40 hour day and I laughed!
Today I spent even more time on the phone but this time speaking to some of the people I want to reach rather than just organisational matters and business.
I was asked to ring an Asian woman who is really upset about the idea of City of Leeds closing.
She is a single parent with 5 children; 2 are already at City of Leeds and a 3rd is due to go in September. She is so worried about how she will afford bus fares of around £30/week, how she will get to meetings with teachers with no car and young children, and how her children will have to go away from the local area and their friends as their classes are split up.
She said she was really relieved to speak to someone who is trying to do something and who can represent her views at the public meeting on the 10th February at City of Leeds.
I think I was just as relieved to hear from someone coming to me fresh from the from the community asking me to do exactly what I plan to do - Stand up for City!
I had a bit of a walk over to see some friends in the Holborns down by Charring Cross and was noticing struck by how many cars are parked up around the area during the day. It's no wonder that residents are complaining about not being able to park. They often blame students but, although there are far more students with cars these days than there used to be, I think it is often people working in the city centre who would rather pay the bus fare from further out than pay for parking in the centre. I know that's a real problem in Little London but I'm beginning to realise how far out of the city it affects people. I'm not sure why we don't have the park and ride facilities on the outskirts like in York; I think that has to be something to look at if I win this election.
John Lawrence invited me to the presentation of the Royal Park bid on the 12th February.
The proposals look great and, even though I would like to see the building as a primary school for our community again, I can't help but be excited at the thought of what the Royal Park Community Consortium is planning to give us. The proposals are really imaginative and should go a long way to welcoming all the various people of the area together - community cohesion is supposed to be one of the central responsibilities of the council so I hope they can see the potential in this bid and decide to back it.