Follow Whitehill Online

whitehillonlinefollowontwitter whitehillonlineonfacebook

Kidsgrove Weather

Whitehill Online Poll

Will the recent way NBC has handled the travellers situation impact who you vote for in future council elections?

Yes I will vote for a different party / councillor than our current lot in Kidsgrove - 91.8%
No I will vote for the party / councillor who represent Kidsgrove now. - 8.2%

Kidsgrove News

Whitehill Online on Facebook

whitehill online facebookThe way that the online community communicates is constantly changing and one of the more popular methods that we have found for local discussion and news based around Kidsgrove is Facebook and Twitter.

That is why we have found a way on including our Facebook page on the website, so it is easy to like, share and comment on the issues that matter to you.


Labour Council Members Resign from Party

Kidsgrove Councillors Leave LabourCouncilors Jill Burnett and Paul Waring have both left resigned from the Labour Party in Newcastle under Lyme according to a report on BBC Radio Stoke.

The councilors have resigned as they has not been selected to stand for election again for their seats in the May elections. The station reports that some quite strong comments were made from these members who accused a small number in the Labour Party of only looking after their self interests and not representing the best interests of local residents.

This now means that Labour no longer has a majority on Newcastle Borough Council and also leaves open the possibility that ex Newcastle Borough Council Leader Gareth Snell could stand for election in the local area. This is after he moved wards and failed to get elected, losing both times to UKIP. If this is the case, lets hope that UKIP can once again unseat the man who has given nothing to Kidsgrove and clearly just wants any seat that Labour believe is easy to win.

Only time will now tell who stands in the election, however our suggestion above could very well happen in the logical world of local politics.

Kidsgrove Bonfire 1st of November

Kidsgrove BonfireIt is the time of the year when Kidsgrove Bonfire takes place. This year it is held on the 1st November and takes place at Clough Hall Park in Kidsgrove. The event is a great way to show your support to the local community of Kidsgrove.

The information below is from The Rotary Club of Kidsgrove's website;

Cost per Adult: £5.00p
Cost per O.A.P. £3.00p
Cost per Child: £3.00p (3 years to 15 years)
Cost per Family: £13.00p (2 Adults and 2 Children, extra Children £2)
Children 3 years or under: FREE

Please Pay on the Gate

Gates CLOSED 5.30 pm. (Clough Hall Road & Grove Avenue)
Gates RE-OPEN 6.00 pm. (Clough Hall Road & Grove Avenue)

Bonfire 7.00 pm. Kidsgrove Deputy Town Mayor Sylvia Dymond, & President Mick Salt will light the bonfire

Firework Display 7.45 pm.

Gates CLOSED 10.30 pm.

Warwick's Fun Fair will be open in the park on Thursday, Friday & Saturday

Refreshments & Snacks are available

Due to the many issues involved with Health & Safety Regulations, the Rotary Club of Kidsgrove CAN NOT accept any combustible's for the bonfire.

FYI
Don't forget Clough Hall Park is STRICTLY an alcohol free area.
With Police guidance you may be asked to prove that you haven't any alcohol on your person.
Any person found with alcohol will be asked politely to leave the park and the alcohol will be confiscated.

Kidsgrove Tesco in the Local Community

Kidsgrove Tesco

We have recieved the following from Rich Evans who is an employee at Tesco in Kidsgorve and does work to promote the local community and help out where he can. He has asked that we include the message below.

Hi I know many will already know who I am but im Rich Evans from Tesco Kidsgrove I am the community officer and my main job is to work in my community supporting local organisations etc, for many years I have helped and supported many different projects right from gardening at schools upto supporting local groups and I just want to make you and your great followers of Whitehill Online know that I am here and that if they need support in anyway then please contact myself who will be happy to help/guide them in the right direction. Thanks in advance.


twitter-@evansrich80

facebook-rich stephenson evans

email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

call 01782 585465

Kidsgrove Lads & Dads Football Tournament Cancelled

kidsgrove ladsandadsIt appears that the rumour is sadly true that Kidsgrove Lads and Dads have been forced to cancel their football tournament which was due to be held this weekend. 

This event was initally in doubt following the travellers occupation of Birchenwood fields for the 3rd time in a few short months. This follows the concerns of residents that we reported over the state that Birchenwood had been left in, despite the claims that a clean up operation had been undertaken.

However Kidsgrove resident Matthew Banner has spoke to Kidsgrove Lads and Dads and told Whitehill Online; "It is true that this years Tournament has had to be cancelled, however it was made explicitly clear that this was in no way the effect of the Travellers who settled on the playing fields. Instead, there has been a health issue in regards to a water hazard, which is restricting the club from gaining entry to its sport equipment to use for the competition at their training grounds "The Pavilion". Although the Travellers have indeed made an impact, they are not the direct cause for the cancellation of the Tournament."

It is not known the effect this will have on the organisation as they were suggesting that this tournament is vital form of revenue when enables it to operate for the whole season.

Too Little, Too Late

kidsgrove travellersI know that not everyone will agree with what is written here, however I wanted to share my personal thoughts and opinions on the issue of the Kidsgrove travellers now that they have left the site at Birchenwood for the 3rd time. 

Firstly I think that like many I put the blame firmly at the door of Newcastle Borough Council. The first failing in my eyes was allowing the car park to remain unlocked in the evening as part of a cost saving process. This provided the initial invitation for the first visit and well following that first visit, like many Kidsgrove residents, I suspected they would return if no action was taken to prevent access.

No such action was taken, well other than the council changing their policy on gate locking in the evening. There were many people who wanted a height restriction barrier installed on the car park, something that typically does have success in preventing access, however Newcastle Borough Council decided against this option for some reason. If it was cost reasons then this was a strange move given that the cost of the clean up operation is rumoured to be into 5 figures.

Of course this led to the travellers returning for a 2nd time to the site, however access was this time prevented by some plucky local residents who actually blocked the entrance to the car park limiting the occupation of the site to just 4 caravans. Again though it took time and money to evict and clean up the site following their visit and residents lived in hope that surely Newcastle Borough Council would act now to prevent future access? 

Sadly we know the answer. We got to experience the 3rd visit of the travellers and this time they decided that they wanted to occupy Birchenwood football fields after a brief stay on the car park. It does appear that the lock was removed from the gate leading down to the fields from the car park, however access would have still been prevented if the gate post remained in place. If this was firmly set in the ground it would make removal more difficult and could have prevented access still in my eyes, due to the narrow entrance.

Now we can’t blame the council for the bizarre decision of the courts to effectively allow the travellers to remain on the site for 3 weeks, however if they had never had access to the site in the first place, then this whole issue would not have arisen. No one is commenting on the cost of the clean up operation this time, however it would be reasonable to assume it will be the most expensive of all of the occupations so far. It is also potentially going to have a massive effect on Kidsgrove Lads and Dads who are relying on the fund raising from this weekends events to keep the organisation operating financially over the coming season.

So who do we blame? Can we really blame the travellers for taking advantage of a farcical “trespass” law which is a civil and not criminal matter. Successive Governments have been asked to change this law, however all seem reluctant for some reason to make the change. There is in effect nothing stopping anyone parking up on council land and claiming trespass - as soon as you do this the Police are no longer involved and the matter becomes a civil case between the land owner.

I believe we can blame Newcastle Borough Council for the constant failings to prevent access to the site, especially after the first visit by the travellers. The cost of a barrier is nothing compared to the cost of eviction and cleaning up the site after the further 2 visits. The fact the finances are being found for this, mean that any financial excuses simply don’t wash with me. The leader of the council Mike Stubbs is also a Kidsgrove Councillor, surely if anyone can apply pressure and get action it would be the leader of the council? 

Now we learn that Staffordshire County Councillor Margaret Astle is to use £2000 from her community fund to pay for a barrier. Yes, its great to see that a barrier is finally going to be installed at the site and lets hope this prevents further access. However, I can’t help thinking that someone else is going to still lose out as a result of this £2000 being used from her community fund. Surely this money should be given to community projects and groups and not used to prop up the Borough Council when they claim to not have the funds to protect their own land?

If Newcastle Borough Council is so hard up on money then the Labour controlled council needs to better think about how it can increase revenue or reduce costs.

Clearly these are only my own personal thoughts, opinions and observations from the issue and in no way claim to be fact.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind for Council Clean Up?

birchenwood traveller messIt appears that it could be a case of out of sight, out of mind when it comes to the Newcastle Borough Council clean up of Birchenwood in Kidsgrove.

Most people will have noticed that the council has been focusing on the area of Birchenwood that is visible from the car park, however what about the other areas of Birchenwood that were used by the travellers as a toilet and dumping ground? Well judging by the images that we have been sent it appears these are being neglected and left in the same state that the travellers left them in. 

birchenwood traveller messIt's not clear why this is the case and maybe Newcastle Borough Council intend to the clean up these areas at a later day, however is this really good enough given that children and residents are using the area on a daily basis? If you have any images or areas of issue to report, please share any images with ourselves via our Facebook or Twitter pages and we shall also pass this on to Newcastle Borough Council.

Kidsgrove Lads & Dads Football Tournament to go-ahead

kidsgrove ladsandadsKidsgrove Lads and Dads were directly affected by the actions of travellers being parked on football pitches at Birchenwood in Kidsgrove. They had a large football competition that they hold at the start of each season which sees many teams decend on Birchenwood, from 6 different counties all to share their love of football. This event also enables the organisation to raise vital funds to enable it to continue for the whole season.

Kidsgrove Lands and Dads told BBC Radio Stoke yesterday evening that the competition this weekend will go ahead as planned. The council have assured them that they can repair the pitches in time, however surrounding areas where they have been used as a toilet by the travellers could take weeks to clean up. This is something that the council will have to do as the organisation only rents the use of the land off Newcastle Borough Council.

However, Kidsgrove Lads and Dads also said that 30 teams have dropped out of the competition due to the uncertainty regarding this tournament, this is something that will have a financial impact on the organisation. Speaking on BBC Radio Stoke it was suggested that this could leave the organisation short financially for this coming season and are calling on any organisations to speak to them to see what opportunities exist.

Kidsgrove Residents Unite

kidsgrove travellers leavingIt has not been a positive story in the history of Kidsgrove with the travellers setting up camp for the 3rd time on Birchenwood Fields. However, despite all of this last night was one of those times when the Kidsgrove community makes you immensely proud to come from the area. It demonstrated visually to any councillors who dared show their face how much public anger there was against their failings.

The court order to leave Birchenwood fields should have come into action at 7pm on Sunday evening, however this came and went with little sign of movement from the travellers. There were increasing crowds growing, with Kidsgrove residents descending on mass to “see off” the travellers from the site. Mount Road was becoming congested as cars lined both sides of the road and reports suggesting up to 400 people were waiting to see enforcement action taken.

However once again residents feared they were going to be left disappointed and the travellers scoring another “goal” against the Labour controlled Newcastle Borough Council. There was talk that the travellers were not leaving the site and the council would instead have to go back to court in the morning (today) to get an enforcement order.

The mood was very tense and not helped by the Policing, who many complained as being arrogant, abrupt and unhelpful. There were also comments made about how the Police can spend hours (they attended from 4pm onwards) in Kidsgrove, yet went people call them it can take days to respond.

Rumours started to fly around at 8.30pm that they would be leaving the site this evening, which again brought about an increase in the size of the crowd descending on Birchenwood. At 9.30pm there started to be some action with the first of the travellers starting to leave the site, this continued through until around 10.45pm. The reports suggested that some headed towards the A500 at Talke, whilst others were heading up Kidsgrove Bank, it is not known where they have gone now but it has been suggested they must be fairly local.

This morning the site is now clear with a concrete block in place preventing access to the right hand side of the car park. It is not clear yet if Kidsgrove Lad and Dads will be able to hold their football competition next weekend, as clearly the council will now set about clearing and cleaning the site. This cost will be another footed by the tax payer and no doubt the council will be reluctant to share this figure with the public. If the football tournament doesn’t take place, who will make up the suggested £7,000 loss in funds to the organisation?

It is clear residents feel let down by the Labour controlled council, of which the council leader Mike Stubbs is also a Kidsgrove Councillor. The political game is now starting to be played as BBC Radio Stoke was told this morning the soon to be installed barrier has been paid for from a Labour County Councillors fund, however given the mood we detect this could be too little, too late for some of our elected members.

It has been a great shame that it has taken something like this to unite the area and bring back interest in local issues, however let’s now hope that finally the council is starting to learn and the fields at Birchenwood can return to their usual state as a recreational ground.

There are some images from last night on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Kidsgrove Traveller Eviction

kidsgrove travellers eviction7pm was the time that the court order became active for the travellers to leave the Birchenwood site in Kidsgrove. However at 7pm only a few of the travellers had left the site. At the same time a large number of local residents from Kidsgrove and surrounding areas had decended on Birchenwood to see the travellers off the site.

At 8.30pm we have been sent some live photos from the site which shows what is happening, 1 hour and 30mins after the council should have been able to enforce their court order. These images can be seen on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

There is a lot of public upset over the failings of Newcastle Borough Council to properly secure the site from past visits and many residents are planning on giving the Labour controlled council a kicking at the ballot box next year.

 

Fair is Fair for Kidsgrove Residents - Right?

Fly Tipping in KidsgroveGiven that the Kidsgrove travellers are making the national headlines once again today and the statement produced by Newcastle Borough Council and Staffordshire Police yesterday regarding the issue, we would love to hear your thoughts (the tax payer) on the service you get from the Council and Police.

  • When was the last time that your street was visited on a regular basis to be cleaned and litter collected?
  • When was the last time that your area was visited regularly by Police just to "keep an eye out" on what is happening in the local area?
  • Do you get your rubbish collected free of charge if you just leave it outside in black bags?

These are just three questions that we would love to hear your thoughts on. It does appear that our travelling community gets these services provided on tap and free of charge.

Maybe Kidsgrove residents should start to take advantage of this free waste collection service and leave their bags of unwanted rubbish on the Birchenwood Car Park for collection by the local council? Well if its good enough for some, then it should be good enough for everyone surly?

Clearly it should go without saying that no resident should engage in such action as this would be irresponsible and could be deemed to be fly tipping.

NBC to sell Kidsgrove Land to Raise Capital

Newcastle Borough Council Kidsgrove Land SaleKidsgrove residents living close to Maryhill School will be one of the first locally to experience the sale of assets (land) by Newcastle Borough Council. 

The small plot of land on Gloucester Road is proposed to be sold to developers in the current financial year as part of the councils wider asset sale plans, which should enable them to raise £7m in total. Newcastle Borough Council claim that any revenue is needed to be raised to pay for the following projects;

• Replace the fleet of vehicles which collect recycling and waste from all homes in the district at a cost of around £3 million.
• Tackle a multi-million pound backlog of maintenance on council properties.
• Keep community centres open and fit for use by residents and community groups

 The council also claim that by disposing of land they will have reduced maintenance costs, something that will result in longer term savings at the council. There are also two other plots of land in Kidsgrove (Heathcote Street and Kinnersley Street) which are also being offered for sale to developers at this point.

Kidsgrove residents may question if they will see any of the benefits of the funds that may be raised from such land sales? It does appear to many local residents that once again Kidsgrove is becoming the poor relation when looking at how money is spent by Newcastle Borough Council.

Residents in Kidsgrove can comment directly on these proposals to Newcastle Borough Council via this link.

Travellers Return for 3rd Time to Birchenwood Carpark

Kidsgrove Travellers arrive at Maryhill owned LandIt has happened again! Travellers have returned to Birchenwood Car park in Kidsgrove for the 3rd time in a matter of months.

The travellers arrived on Sunday evening at around 7.30pm driving onto the car park and setting up home for what will realistically be the next week at least, give the speed at which Newcastle Borough Council acts over these issues. They will no doubt be served with the 24 hours notice to leave today, which will be ignored and the council will have to spend money applying for a court hearing to get a court order approved. This all costs money, just like the clear up process following their visit which comes direct from the pockets of the tax payer.

It is not being political when we ask questions of our council. Why are the same elected members allowing this to happen time after time, when installing a height restriction barrier could be effective in preventing entry? 

Update 30/07/14

Travellers have now been given until the 10th August to leave the site as a result of one being due to give birth and requiring a fixed address. This meant that the magistrate would grant the order for the 10th August at the earliest. The council are not commenting on how much it is / will cost to clean up the site or what they will do in the future to stop them getting access back onto the site.

It has also angered local residents how Newcastle Borough Council have been very quiet throughout this whole saga, something which should not be forgotten when going to the ballot box. One way to "hit" at the council is to fill in this form on elections requesting the Newcastle Borough Council retain the current 1/3 elections of the council, meaning your councillors can't get elected and then hide away for 4 years until election time.

It has also been suggested by some residents that their should be a mass protest in not paying council tax to Newcastle Borough Council. This is a strategy that could be successful IF done in numbers, however this is one to be organised by the world of social media no doubt.

Update 31/07/14 (Statement from Newcastle Borough Council and Staffordshire Police

Mount Road Vodafone Mobile Phone Mast Planning Application

Vodafone Kidsgrove Mount Road Mast Planning ApplicationMono Consultants have applied for planning permission to increase the height of the Vodafone mobile phone mast on Mount Road, Kidsgrove to 17.5m from the current 14.4m.

This increase in height will actually see a new mast  and 2 smaller cabinet installed at the location, with the existing mast being removed. It is believed that the proposed development will enable site sharing to take place between Vodafone and O2, improving 2G, 3G and will also bring 4G to the area when it is brought to the area.

Assuming this planning application is approved it would be fair to assume that some areas of Kidsgrove which currently suffer from poor or no coverage from these operators could see an increase in the speeds and quality of service that is offered to them. It should be noted that this will only be the first in what will be a number of sites that will have to be upgraded as part of the drive for mobile operators to bring improved coverage and new technologies to the area.

Kidsgrove residents can read the full planning documents via the NBC website.

Whitehill Methodist Community Church Arts & Flower Festival

Whitehill Methodist Church Kidsgrove 1Whitehill Methodist Church is hosting its annual arts and flower festival this weekend. It is open to everyone in the local Kidsgrove community. You can find more information about this event below;

Friday 11 July, 2 to 8 p.m.

Saturday 12 July 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Refreshments Available

Also;

Sunday 13 July Services

10:30 a.m. - Rev Sheila Bishop & 6 p.m. - Judith Dutton and the Singing Group

 

Whitehill Methodist Church Easter Celebrations

Whitehill Methodist Church Kidsgrove EasterWhitehill Methodist Church has a packed programme to mark Easter. The outline of the Easter schedule is listed below;

Special Easter Services
Maundy Thursday—April 17th. “An Impossible God” with Mark Topping. 7.30pm at The Gateway Goldenhill. Tickets £5.

Good Friday—April 18th. Service led by Rev. D Speed. 2pm

Easter Sunday—April 20th. Sunrise Service, Mow Cop Castle 6AM. Communion Service 8am led by Rev. D Speed.
Easter Morning Service 10.30am led by Mr D. Martin Evening Service 6pm led by Mrs D. Leese

The Footsteps Cafe is open every Monday as usual between the hours of 10am - 12pm.

Local and European Elections 2014

election kidsgroveKidsgrove residents will get the chance to vote in the Newcastle Borough and European Elections on Thursday 23rd May. All residents will get a vote in the European elections, however if you live in the Kidsgrove or Butt Lane wards then you will have the chance to vote in the Newcastle Borough Elections.

Locally Labour currently control all the Newcastle Borough Council seats, as well as controlling the council, thus making the responsible for all of the recent decisions made by the Borough Council.

Labour would expect to easily win both seats locally, given the large Labour support, however this year it is tipped that UKIP could have a real impact, if tactical voting takes place. If this was to happen in Kidsgrove then it is possible that a real shock could be delivered to the Labour Party locally.

The turnout is expected to be low, however this is the chance for Kidsgrove residents to either cast a vote in supporting the current decisions the council has made or vote against and ask the politicians to bring about change.

Something quite wonderful is happening in the Whirligig Woods…

Kidsgrove Woods

Abandon all other plans, cancel swimming club, ditch domestic life and run for the woods! Wild Rumpus has teamed up with fresh air adventurers Canopy to create this boutique, theatrical getaway unlike any other.

Throughout the course of the weekend you will become part of an intriguing adventure, witness exclusive performances and engage in a myriad of activities. Leave reality at the forest edge and prepare to expect the unexpected. At Feast of the Farewells anything is possible: shadow puppets come to life amongst the trees and the forest transforms before your very eyes.

There will be den building, epic treasure hunts for the bold hearted and stories that come in all shapes and sizes. The weekend will culminate in a dramatic, all singing, all dancing raucous feast. This unforgettable weekend promises the very best of out-door mayhem, stories and family time so come and run riot with us.

We can hardly wait!

23 -25 of May at the Whirligig Woods near Kidsgrove in Cheshire.

http://feastofthefarewells.moonfruit.com/expedition-details/4583186966

Travellers Return to Birchenwood Carpark

Kidsgrove Travellers arrive at Maryhill owned LandIt has only been a month since Kidsgrove residents were concerned at the arrival of travellers on Birchenwood Car park in Kidgrove, yet now it appears travelers have returned to the same area.

There are reports that as we write this 2 caravans are parked on the carpark, with a blue van parked on the grassland at the far end of the car park. Staffordshire Police are reported to be parked in front of the gate and preventing any further access to the site.

It is unknown what action can be taken now as this carpark is locked in the evening and was used in the morning for football. Time will tell what will be the next developments in this story.

 

Appeal after Fatal Collision

Whitehill OnlinePolice officers are appealing for witnesses after a fatal road traffic collision in Kidsgrove.

The collision happened at around 6.40am today, Thursday 13 March, in Liverpool Road East near the junction with Gloucester Road, Kidsgrove, and involved a HGV and a pedestrian.

The pedestrian, a 49-year-old man from Kidsgrove, suffered serious injuries and sadly died upon arrival at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. Officers are in the process of informing his family and will be offering them support at this difficult time.

The road remained closed between the junction of Congelton Road South and the Red Bull traffic lights until just before 11am while specially trained officers carried out an investigation at the scene.

Witnesses are asked to contact PC Andy Hogan at Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 48 of March 13.

Kidsgrove Station to get Ramp

Kidsgrove Railway StationIt appears from news posted by Kidsgrove resident and member of the Friends of Kidsgrove Station group that a ramp will be installed at the station.

This is something that has been campaigned for strongly amongst the local community with the aim of improving access to the station for disabled users. This will now enable increased access to the station at Kidsgrove and hopefully see an increase in the usage figures at the station, hopefully leading to more services operating from the town.

It is not yet know when this ramp will be installed however it should be noted that this would not have been possible without the hard work of many and the backing of the Kidsgrove community.

If you would be interested in helping out the Friends of Kidsgrove Station Group then please contact Mary Maxfield on 784335 or Sandra Bowyer 510872.

Kidsgrove Pet Shop to Close

Pet Shop in KidsgroveKidsgrove Pet Shop in Market Street is to close after 35 years of trading in the local area. This will not only be a blow to the many pet owners in Kidsgrove but also raises questions about the future of the high street in Kidsgrove, with another long standing business leaving the area. 

It is not clear what will happen to the shop in the future, however it is being reported that they have received an offer they can't refuse for the building. Only time will tell what will happen to this prime central location in Market Street, Kidsgrove.

In a post written on the organisations Facebook page it read; "Hello to our lovely and loyal customers who we have had the privilege to serve. After 35 years we will cease to trade shortly and would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support over the years and for the lovely messages of best wishes that we have received recently.

Our time is being spent increasingly in other ways that we can assist the people in our community and the time has come to wind up the business. Paul Condliffe our wonderful manager over the years is staying in the pet trade and will be able to continue serving you - please feel free to ask him for details. We would also like to thank all our team members over the years we have enjoyed some great times together but all good things must come to an end. There has been a lot of speculation of what will happen to the premises and unfortunately we cannot discuss this at the moment, however we have simply been made an offer that we cannot refuse.

Kidsgrove and Butt Lane Local Election Candidates

Kidsgrove ElectionsKidsgrove and Butt Lane residents have no doubt been waiting with great excitement at the release of the candidates standing for election at the forthcoming Newcastle Borough Council elections.

In both Kidsgrove and Butt Lane Labour will be defending both seats with candidates Terry Turner and Kyle Robinson respectively. The Kidsgrove Labour team must be confident of success again, given that currently the party holds all of the seats from this area on Newcastle Borough Council.

It does appear that the main threat this year will come from UKIP, who could cause some large upsets both locally and nationally attracting the vote of many people who feel let down and fed up by the actions of the main political parties. Whether this will movement will play out in the local area is unknown in what is a very strong Labour voting area.

A full list of local candidates is listed below; 

Kidsgrove Ward

Becky Carter     TUSAC

Bernie Frost     UKIP

James Ikin      Lib Dem

Graham Lovell      Conservative

Terry Turner     Labour

 

Butt Lane Ward

Matthew Banner   Conservative

Lynda Griffiths   Lib Dem

Kyle Robinson   Labour

Gareth Thomas     Green Party

Alexander Wright     UKIP

 

Sadly if you are not living in either the Kidsgrove or Butt Lane wards then you will not have a local election for Newcastle Borough Council this time, however you will still have a vote for the European Elections.

Travellers arrive on Birchenwood Car Park

Travellers on Birchenwood Car ParkTravellers have moved on to the car park of Birchenwood Sports Pavilion in Kidsgrove. There were reports last night (Monday 3rd) that travellers began arriving on the site at around 8.30pm and taking up residence on the council owned car park.

The car park does have a gate, however it appears that Newcastle Borough Council have not been locking this for the past few months, something that has clearly become an open invitation for such action to take place. It would be interesting to know why the council stopped closing the gate at dusk, something that will now cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds in legal action and clear up costs after the travellers have been served with a notice to leave the site.

At the current time it is not clear what action the council is taking and clearly a court order will now need to be served to remove the travellers from the site. This could mean that they remain on the site over the weekend, clearly causing a real conflict when the Kidsgrove Lads and Dads Sunday league footballers wish to use the car park. This could make parking on Mount Road even more of and issue and something that hopefully Staffordshire Police will take steps to ensure does not endanger the safety of the public.

Update 11:00: We are now informed that Newcastle Borough Council have served the first notice with the travellers and have applied for a court order.

Update 13:00: The notice served give the travellers 24 hours to leave the site, if this is not the case then a court order will be applied for which could take up to 2 weeks. It is also suggested that Kidsgrove Sunday League football could be possibly postponed this week as a result.

Newcastle Borough Council informs that the reason the gate has not been closed is due to service changes and cost savings. It was also suggested that this would enable better access to facilities at all times of the day.

You can comment on this article below or via our forum boards.

Kidsgrove Bus Routes under Consultation

First Bus KidsgroveKidsgrove residents living in Mow Cop, Harriseahead and Newchapel have the chance to take part in a consultation by First Bus regarding proposed changes to bus services in the local area.

The 99A route which currently serves the areas of Mow Cop, Harriseahead and Newchapel is one of the routes that is currently being consulted on. First Bus are proposing to adjust this route so that it will run to Hanley, rather than Newcastle. This is based on the claim that usage numbers are low on the route and more people will benefit from having a bus that accesses Hanley, rather than Newcastle.

There will also be changes to other bus routes in Kidsgrove, with some services running to access North Staffs Hospital directly. This would appear to be a welcome change that many appear to support.

Any changes could happen as soon as June, so Kidsgrove residents are advised to have their say on these proposals via the survey on the First Bus website.

Kidsgrove Youth Service Closure Threat

kidsgrove youth servicesDo Kidsgrove resident really care about the proposed closure to Youth Services in the Kidsgrove area by Staffordshire County Council?

We ask that question given the news that only 40 people across all of Staffordshire went to a protest in Stafford yesterday, which it would be fair to assume would also comprise of a fair number of political members. Previous to this The Sentinel covered the story with a photo of the Youth Centre at Clough Hall in Kidsgrove, however this image was made up again mainly of political members and not the young people whom the service is designed for.

Does the current protesting just go to prove the argument that Staffordshire County Council is making regarding the fact that these services are simply not used or wanted in the current form by the young people of the area? If this is the case though, what provision is going to be put forward to replace these services and ensure they cater for the needs of today's youth? 

There will be many people concerned that simply removing the provision is a backwards step that could lead to increased issues with anti-social behaviour. However, there will also be plenty of arguments that simply spending money on something that is outdated and not wanted by its users is a waste of tax payers money. 

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this issue and any suggestions on what the council should by doing with the service.

Travellers Return to Kidsgrove

Kidsgrove Travellers arrive at Maryhill owned LandIt has only been a month since Kidsgrove residents were concerned at the arrival of travelers on Birchenwood Car park in Kidgrove, yet now it appears travelers have returned to the area in a different location.

The travelers have this time descended on land of Gloucester Road which is owned by the University of Chester Academy Kidsgrove. This is the school which was formally known as Maryhill to many in the local area. As it is the land owners responsibility to evict the travelers from the site, it appears this could take longer than the process at Birchenwood which was owned by Newcastle Borough Council.

There will clearly be a cost to obtain a court order forcing them to leave, as well as the cost of clearing up any mess that is left behind. These costs will most probably have to come out of the academy budget, thus potentially taking away vital resources from the main focus of education.

 

Vodafone network upgrades for Kidsgrove today

kidsgrove phone mastKidsgrove residents on Vodafone may have noticed that they are seeing reduced coverage with their mobile phones in Kidsgrove today.

This is a result of Vodafone carrying out network improvements in the Kidsgrove area which could see the performance of both 2G and 3G network coverage reduced between the hours of 8am to 8pm.

It is claimed that once these improvements have been made Vodafone customers will improve from increased performance in Kidsgrove. It is unlikely this work is linked to the site sharing agreement with O2, however there is a suggestion that O2 and Vodafone could bring 4G technology to the area by the end of the year.

Kidsgrove Town Council - Does your Councillor Still Represent You?

kidsgrove town councilKidsgrove residents will soon receive the mail shots arriving on doormats from the political parties campaigning to win your vote. This year as well as being the European Elections it is also Kidsgrove and Butt Lane ward elections.

However with it starting to be election season we thought we should take a look back at the last lot of Kidsgrove Town Council elections and how many councillors who were elected, still remain in post?

Kidsgrove Town Council is the local council which actually has a very limited powers as a council, with all members elected being unpaid for their contribution to the council. Kidsgrove Town Council does however have a budget and gets a proportion of council tax from local residents, so they have every right to be held accountable, just like Kidsgrove residents would of Newcastle Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.

The last elections for Kidsgrove Town Council took place in 2011. The results then saw the following elected to the council;

Butt Lane Ward

Raymond Astle
Silvia Burgess
John Evans
John Holdcroft
Kyle Robinson
John Taylor
 

Kidsgrove Ward

 

Margaret Astle

Reginald Bailey

Leslie Goldspink

Tricia Harrison

Mary Maxfield

Kyle-Noel Taylor

Newchapel Ward

Elsie Bates

Carly Grattage

Victor Jukes

Paul Waring

 

Ravenscliffe Ward 

Gill Burnett

Stephanie Burnett

Geoffrey Locke

David Stringer   

Talke Ward

David Allport

Matthew Banner

David Daniels

Janet Parsons

 

What is interesting is to compare how many of them are still a councillor today. After all it has been hard not to notice some advert being placed asking if people if they want to apply to be co-opted on to Kidsgrove Town Council over the past council period.

We have highlighted in RED all of those councillors who stood for election and have since left the council (according to the information published on Kidsgrove Town Council website), to be replaced by unelected councilors.

The information above suggests that 9 Councillors have left Kidsgrove council since being elected. This actually works out that 38%, or more than ⅓ of Kidsgrove Town Council is currently made up of unelected councillors. This does raise questions about how democratic the whole process is? Kidsgrove residents could ask for an election when a member leaves, however it is estimated this could cost £5000 per election which if this had been the case here would have cost Kidsgrove residents £45,000.

So the real question is when casting your vote is how many of the names standing will still be your local Kidsgrove Town Councillor at the next election?

 

Kidsgrove Day Centre to Close

kidsgrove day centreKidsgrove Day Care Centre is set to close after Staffordshire County Council took this decision as part of their modernisation plans for the service.

Kidsgrove Day Care Service is used by vulnerable adults with complex learning difficulties, however Staffordshire County Council claims that users numbers are falling at the centre as people choose to use services offered by alternative providers.

Staffordshire County Council is to set about a process of reassessing all users of the day care services in Staffordshire with the belief that only 30% of the current users of the service will need access to such provision from the council. This will lead to a saving for Staffordshire County Council, however they have not said how much this will be. What is known is the council currently spends £8.6 million on this area of care from the current budget.

Users of the service in Kidsgrove will now be forced to travel to Leek or Newcastle if they wish to have access to similar services.