I am thrilled to be re-elected as Borough Councillor for St James Ward and would like to extend my sincere thanks to those of you that supported and voted for me.
It has only been 10 months since I was elected last year at the by-election. Since then I have been working very closely with local residents campaigning for fairer residents parking, street cleanliness, housing issues and much more. I have 100% attendance at full council. I have been busy attending meetings with local groups and residents associations and talking to local people on the doorstep.
St James is a wonderful place to live. I pledge to be a listening Councillor. You deserve someone strong, who will challenge, get your voice heard and who will fight local campaigns with you. I want people to feel confident they can approach me to discuss issues that matter to them where they live. I want what is best for the residents of St James, and I will work hard to ensure the environment we live in is clean, tidy and safe.
I will campaign with local people for:-
- Streets that are clean and free from fly tipping
- An improved environment
- An end to anti-social behaviour
- A limit to homes in multiple occupation
Check out Rufia's blog
If you need help
My Advice Surgery will be held every third Saturday of the month at St James Library,
starting 20th June from 10.30-12pm (excluding August and December).
Contact me if you would like to participate in my quarterly Litter picks and Walkabouts.
Latest News From rufia
Scoop the Poop
Cllr Rufia Ashraf (labour, St James) is launching a dog fouling campaign - Scoop the Poop, on 15th March at Victoria Park 11-3pm. She started it after local residents complained. Dog owners not picking up after their dogs has become a town-wide issue that needs to be tackled.
The campaign is to help raise awareness and educate people about why it's important to pick up after their dog and understand the effects it can have on our environment.
On the15th March local dog businesses will offer advice and support. Northampton Partnership Homes and the Borough’s environmental wardens will also be at hand to offer advice. Young people from St James Primary will be there to launch the campaign at midday.
Cllr Ashraf says.
“This campaign is really important to the town. I'd like to see zero-tolerance, and irresponsible dog owners become responsible owners and to understand their actions. We all want to see clean streets and parks and we can only achieve this if owners take responsibility. Enforcement is key to catching people in the act. If caught dog owners can be fined up £1000. With new enforcement officers in place we look forward to seeing them on our streets.
The campaign is being supported by local stakeholders and is also being backed by Cabinet member for the Environment Cllr Hallam”.
For further information contact Cllr. Ashraf on 07772414316
Scoop the Poop Cllr Rufia Ashraf (labour, St James) is launching a dog fouling campaign - Scoop the Poop, on 15th March at Victoria Park 11-3pm. She started it after local...
Council Tax reduction scheme
Northampton Borough Council is to freeze the Council Tax reduction Scheme for the first time. It is to stay at 35%.
Cllr. Ashraf (Labour, St James), says, “I am glad that the Council has at last recognised that we cannot go on bleeding the poor. The Labour group said last year when the 35 % was introduced that people would find it hard to pay. We have been proved right. The debt has gone up and debt recovery has gone down.
Corby Borough only charges 8% Council Tax. This is what we should be doing. Perhaps freezing the amount people on low incomes pay at 35% is the beginning of common sense. We need our families and our children to survive austerity and come out the other end. We need to support them not fleece them. This is a small step in the right direction”.
Council Tax reduction scheme Northampton Borough Council is to freeze the Council Tax reduction Scheme for the first time. It is to stay at 35%. Cllr. Ashraf (Labour, St James),...
BAME Women’s Democracy Event 12th October 2017
The aim of BAME Women’s Democracy event is to encourage BAME communities to participate in local policy decisions. Democracy is everyone’s right, their contribution can change lives.
Quotes About Democracy. Democracy is a form of government in which people have the say in choosing the government or leader of their choice. In other words, in a democracy, power lies in the hand of people unlike autocracy or dictatorship, where a single person usurps all the power and the rules over the entire nation.
Discussion: Current issues facing BAME women
This is the first time Labour has organised a BAME women’s event for Democracy Week 2017. The purpose of this event is to find a way to reach out to women from BAME communities and get them involved at local level.
We discussed how democracy changes lives that are influenced by government.
We all know decisions made nationally can affect local issues therefore, wider community engagement and input is required if they want to be heard. We also said how they can have influence over decisions that can better the lives of many.
We also discussed the representation on the day maybe low because of when the meeting is being held. This is something we can look at.
We agreed we should hold another similar event same time next year and possibly have it around a theme and speakers, visit full council session and attend forum meetings to get an understanding of how local council performs, scrutinise and see how their local councillors represent their constituents.
The Women were set an exercise, to write down their experiences of accessing housing and health in Northampton. They came up with good points and want their contribution to be followed up on.
Council Chamber debate:
We went to the Council Chamber for a debate and split the group in two and selected a Mayor. The debate was around flexibility for working mums to work from 9-2pm
Group 1 – Employees want their employer to give them flexibility and allow them to work 9-2pm to allow them to drop and pick up their children from school.
Group 2 - Employer argued employee accepts the job with the set hours, they cannot offer flexibility because it would affect their productivity and need people to work full time. There were really good arguments for and against.
Time awaited to see specialist
Answer is always pain killer
Not no thorough checks
Medication to expensive
Cost of medication – Vitamin D
Mental health issues
Free and regular health checks
Elderly in could be checked at home and others in other locations
Health service – joined up approach
Translation service for medical appointment – language terminology
GP – not enough time
Long waiting time A&E
Dentist term time appointment
Mental health – not enough service available (poor service)
8am to make GP appointment clash to school runs
Phone line is always engaged
The online system does not work, hard to use
Dentists becoming increasingly privatised
Not enough dentist appointment outside school time
Lots of people coming to Northampton from London , esp due to high cost of living and low quality of living in London
Lot of people from Eastern Europe
Long wait at A&E and operations
- Over crowded
- 2 bedroom tax
- Poor quality – council housing/association
- Need Teenage Housing - 18yrs over
- Living room turned into bedroom
- Inadequate housing
- Homeless – expectations not met
- Facilities available for disabled people
- Keeping families together not separating them
- Rent increasing/council tax
- Benefit cap – universal credit which will affect low income families
- Private rented people also overcrowded and low income
- Not all landlords will accept housing benefit. Not everyone can afford deposit
- Because of capping and bureaucracy of housing benefit, council tax
- Big gap in housing benefit due to delay in filling in paperwork
- Lack of affordable social housing, but lot of private accommodation.
- Need for safe hostels
- Lack of temporary accommodation in npton close to work and school
- New homes needed for more rooms for big family and accommodations for young single people to larger bedroom.
- Rents increasing people moving into Northamptonshire
- Quality of new housing needs to be long lasting not cheap or breakable
- Bedroom tax – against
- Social workers would be better if they help the homeless parent as well as child
- Homeless shelter limited spaces
- Long process – complicated language issues with forms – lack of clear guidance
- Empty properties
- Facilities in certain areas – school/transport
- Unfair housing – benefit fraud
- Condition of housing eg damp etc
- Pensioners – benefits when renting /owners
- BAME housing – specialist support required
- University students – rents high - conditions
The women that attended found the event informative and important. They were pleased they attended. There was much discussion why they have not until now they came along to such event. They would like to see follow up session next year. The ladies are keen to make a contribution and want to learn more about democracy and want to come along to meetings which will be a huge step for them..
- To come along to next full council meeting on Monday 11th December at the Guildhall. Arrive by 6.15pm to get seated
- Attend next Democracy event 2018
- Visit to Parliament and meet with BAME MPs
- Complete questionnaire
Thanked the Women for their contribution.
BAME Women’s Democracy Event 12th October 2017 Guildhall Aim: The aim of BAME Women’s Democracy event is to encourage BAME communities to participate in local policy decisions. Democracy is...
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