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Photograph of Councillor Mohammad Shabbir

Annual Report May 2013 - May 2014

Name of Councillor: Mohammad Shabbir

Ward: Heaton

Party: Bradford Independent Group

Date Elected: 2012

Next Election date: 2016

Allowances: 2014 - 2015

Basic: £13,108

Special Responsibility: None

Other Council related Remuneration: None

Positions held (May 2013 - May 2014):
Bradford West Area Committee
CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
REGENERATION AND ECONOMY OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

Other meetings/bodies which I regularly attend:
In the last year I have attended the following meetings:

Neighbourhood Forums in Frizinghall, Heaton and Haworth Road.
I have also attended and participated in other meetings relevant to the different areas of the ward.
Meetings at Frizinghall Community Centre, meetings with residents and concerned individuals around the children's centre proposals in which I supported a petition and also on the issue during debate.
Meetings in regards to AWM where I was instrumentally involved in getting the debate to the Scrutiny Committee.
Meetings in regards to Ashwell Farm and the development being proposed at the site.

Over the year I have been present in other meetings relevant to my ward including meeting with ward officers from West Area, meetings around children's centres and youth service proposals as well as meetings related to planning developments in the Heaton area.

I have attended NPT meetings.

A number of area panel meetings as alternate member.

Full Council meetings.

Attended all but two Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

Attend as alternate member the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee.

Attended the special meeting into the Hamza Khan report to ensure proper scrutiny.

Attended meetings in relation to Frizinghall Community Centre.

My priorities for the past year (May 2013 - May 2014) were:
My priorities for the past year have been to continue advocate on issues around Heaton ward across a range of issues these are described below with relevant press clippings etc.

What I have achieved in the past year (May 2013 - May 2014):
As last year I have kept a detailed day-to-day diary of my work including home visits, Council meetings, public events, party meetings etc. The table below is a record of this

Table 1

1. Community visits/events/ appearances and meetings 53
2. Council meetings of various types 47
3. Home visits 103
4. Party/group meetings 40
5. Media/newspaper/blogs 46
6. Admin cases 43

The table above highlights the six main areas of activity in being a councillor. Although 2013-14 has been difficult due to the issues related to the Respect Party and our subsequent resignation I have nevertheless been very active in the case work and have continued with high volumes of case work and or support to individual members in the community. There has been a drop in the community events and visits.

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10616266.Five_Respect_councillors_resign_in_suspension_dispute/

Undertaking direct contact remains my preferred approach and rather doing surgeries I have made my number and contact details widely available so that people can contact when necessary. I believe this is makes me more accessible although a number of people it seems still prefer the old surgery style of contact with councillors therefore I may do some direct surgery style meetings this coming year.

In terms of issues that I have directly contributed to these include the following:

Progress on getting Associated Waste Management issues brought to the Scrutiny Committee and the Environment Agency to develop and move forward. This is still ongoing. Furthermore I also raised the issue of wider smells and odours in the district including Thornton Village and the City Centre highlighting my concern that these have a negative impact on quality of life and commerce in the district. I called for a wider plan of action.

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10517286.Residents_report_the_return_of_The_Stink/

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10690834.Council_aims_for_sweet_smell_of_success/

Proposed and championed the idea concept of the Bazaar and associated plans around the markets strategy.

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/11408906.Bradford__39_s_Asian_Bazaar_proves_to_be_major_success/

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/archive/2014/06/02/11249359.Bradford_s_new_market_bazaar_gets_ready_to_open_its_doors/

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10651348.Future_of_city_centre_markets_debated/

Attend and am an active participant in Economy and Regeneration as well as the Overview and Corporate Scrutiny Committee. I say this because I've seen councillors attend a whole year without saying anything within the meetings.

Brought the issue, along with my colleagues in the group, around BME representation in the Council management structures.

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10651348.Future_of_city_centre_markets_debated/

Been involved in and spoke on the Youth Services cuts debate within Full Council and advocated for Youth provision more broadly.

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10786887.Tears_and_frustration_as___89m_cuts_package_debated/

Ensured that as a councillor I subject the Council to effective scrutiny around the death of Hamza Khan. I spoke in various open forums of the Council including the Hamza Khan Review and also submitted questions and motion to Council on this issue. I believe it was and is my duty to ensure the Council does all it can for the well being for our most vulnerable.

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10853525.Hamzah_Khan_tragedy__Children___s_Services_Overview_and_Scrutiny_Committee_says_still_room_for_improvement/

I have supported a number of Asian women around issues of abuse and victimisation and supporting them through legal means to establish issues of paternity and abuse. I'm proud that I supported these causes and now I work with the individuals concerned to highlight issues to the Crown Prosecution Service as well as the agencies involvement to make suggestions as to how to improve the system to avoid manipulation.

I have been supporting parents to raise their concerns in Oasis Academy status.

Supporting residents with the children's centre petition and also speaking on the issue. The Council then developed a forward strategy to make changes to aspects of the plans.

Spoke on the issue of swimming facilities in Full Council and also in a wide debate on sports facilities that are accessible to all residents of Bradford. Also ensured that perspectives of cultural diversity are highlighted and raised within the plans.

I continue to champion, along with other councillors, and support the Westfield and Odeon developments.

Successful footpath installed at bottom of stairs leading from Haworth Grove to Shay Avenue.

Advocated and liaised with Council on highway issues including:

Keighley Road at bottom of Heaton Grove (I raised this in Full Council questions and also with officers and portfolio holder) the situation has improved.
Improvement on a section of footpath on Heaton Road which resulted in water entering a property on a regular basis.
Layside with officer and highways regards traffic calming measures on Duchy Drive areas as well as on Emm Lane opposite the Management Centre entrance.
I advocated and liaised with parents, schools and deputy leader regards the road works on Scotchman Road next to three schools just before the winter break. Without the intervention of myself and deputy leader the concerns of parents and local schools could have been overlooked. This was a good example of cross party working. And credit to the residents for raising the issue and also the deputy leader for engaging in the process.
Many more issues besides.

Another key feature has been that I have undertaken to do more blogs and write about issues of diversity, bringing people together and also about important issues. For example

http://cllrshabbir.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/christmas-greetings.html

http://cllrshabbir.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/reflections-on-jesus-and-mary.html

http://cllrshabbir.blogspot.com/2013/12/hamzah-khan-serious-case-review-speech.html

http://cllrshabbir.blogspot.com/2014/01/mystery-of-thunder-and-lightning.html

http://cllrshabbir.blogspot.com/2014/01/world-war-motions.html

http://cllrshabbir.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/we-need-answers-why-was-paul-flowers.html

My priorities for the coming year (May 2014 - May 2015) will be:
Continue monitoring of AWM and support to local residents.

Continuation of support to residents around Ashwell Farm.

Look at enhanced sports facilities for the residents of Heaton so this means keeping a close eye on the sports facilities and swimming pools strategies.

Monitoring regeneration developments including Odeon, Westfield, markets, Bazaar, City tunnels and other developments.

Working with fellow ward colleagues on Belle Vue School.

Case work.

Continuation of writing.

Charitable work that is focused on Bradford and helping young people in the city to engage in productive volunteer activity. Although this is not linked to my councillor role however it still benefits the residents of Heaton e.g. undertook joint work with Belle Vue School.

Attendance at community events etc.

Undertake a half term tour around the ward speaking to residents etc.

I have attended the following training sessions, seminars, briefings and conferences to develop skills and gain knowledge that will help me serve the people of the district:
Around specific schools
Associated with AWM
Markets visits
Westfield and Odeon briefings
Speaking in Chamber which has been very helpful in advocating issues

Conclusion

In conclusion to my report I believe that once again I have continued to work diligently for the residents of Heaton and have provided links and evidence where it is possible. I remain accessible to residents via various forums. This year will be difficult as I have to make a decision with regards my status politically i.e. do I stay independent or do I merge with another party. If anyone of Heaton residents has views on this I would be glad to hear these.

Off the Cuff


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