Central Forest Park Sit-In Protest Resolved

Campaigner Philippa Brown has negotiated an agreement
with Stoke-on-Trent City Council officials, ending her almost two week long occupation of the Central Forest Park snack bar.

The campaign began when the community group of volunteers
Fusion, who maintained the snack bar in Central Forest Park were informed by the council that from June 30th a private company would be running the snack bar instead.

Miss Brown took direct action in changing the locks and has
been sitting-in at the snack bar for 13 days.

Today, the sit-in at Central Forest Park snack-bar has
been resolved after 13 days of negotiations with high level Council officials.

Following Miss Brown’s petition (highlighting shortfalls in service provision and questioning the tendering criteria) being presented to full council, local councillor and cabinet member for economic regeneration Councillor Mark Meredith helped Miss Brown negotiate with council officials.

As a result, the petition will now go forward to the City Renewal Overview and Scrutiny committee where the issues will be discussed in greater depth.

Cllr Mark Meredith will also establish a paper for the cabinet to discuss the tendering criteria going forward to enable greater community benefit.

A Friends of Forest Park Group will be established where City Council staff and community groups, including C.A.P.S. (Community and Parks Society) of which
Philippa is a member will be invited to work together and agree plans of action on park related issues.

The first meeting will take place on Wednesday 13th July,
6:30pm at St Mathews Church Hall, Barthomely Rd, Birches Head.

“I am finally satisfied that the community’s voice is being listened to and that an appropriate system will now be introduced to meet our needs.

“I will say that I’m disappointed that I had to take such action in order to achieve this solution, but after campaigning and being ignored by the Council, I am heartened that the words “listen and change”are now an integral part of the Council’s agenda and would like to thank Mark Meredith for instigating this communication”

“As chairman of CAPS which engages and supports volunteers, I am inspired by the fact that Mark has facilitated a new
era of engagement, encompassing all aspects of a park environment and that the campaign has proved that the community can play a valid role in enhancing the quality of services.”
“I’m pleased that the issues have been resolved without incurring legal costs. The volunteers have set a precedent that the City Council will be embracing. Now we can move forward together combining the energies and skills of the community with the resources available to the City Council. The views and ideas of park-users are an essential contribution to operational and strategic decisions especially in these times of Government cut-backs.”

500 Words From Paul Breeze

EXPERIENCE. INTEGRITY. DEDICATION.

INDEPENDENT. ACCESSIBLE.

ONLY CANDIDATE WHO LIVES IN, KNOWS, CARES ABOUT, HAS STAKE IN, AND PROVEN COMMITMENT TO THE AREA.

Since 1995, 15 years voluntary co-founder, driving force and continuing chairman of Hanley One Residents Association.

2003-2007, fully independent “Ëœno party’ city councillor (proud Deputy Elected Mayor, 2003-2005, to Mayor Mike Wolfe).

Terms as local High School, Junior School governor, also Hope Children’s Centre & Hope Centre board member.

2008, leader, city-wide “ËœPeople’s Choice’ campaign to champion and protect Stoke-on-Trent residents’ democratic rights to choose our own city council leader.

Establishing other local residents associations.

Working with Police & Council to obtain Alcohol Restriction Zone, CCTV & ASBOs, Job Centre & Central Forest Park.

Significant input bringing Central Forest Park improvements skatepark, children’s playground, lake.

Northwood Alleygating & Resurfacing of rear alleyways.

Instigating allotments improvements.

Introduction of local recycling facilities.

Introduction of local large items refuse collections.

Traffic calming and bus lane enforcement.

Puffin crossings adjacent to Grove Junior School.

Organiser Northwood Park Centenary 1907-2007 & return to Northwood Park of the ancient Roman Goddess statue “ËœTemperantia’.

Introduction of local Sports Court facilities.

Working with & supporting Citizens Advice Bureau to provide much needed help & advice for residents across our deprived area.

Working with residents, council and various agencies to draw up a neighbourhood delivery plan.

I am 58 years of age; have lived in the Northwood/Birches Head/Hanley area for almost forty years, the last thirty of which in the same multi-racial, multi-cultural terraced street. I have been a dedicated single parent to three sons since they were 4 years, 2 years, and four months old, respectively. Each attended our local schools: Broom Nursery, Northwood Infants, Grove Juniors, Birches Head High, then Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College; all have graduated through university.

I continue to believe that love, reasonable discipline, personal responsibility, social behaviour, education and citizenship should all begin in the home and be reinforced and supported by schools, police, council and local communities.

My values and integrity have remained constant throughout all my adult life:
AGAINST all political and religious EXTREMISM.
AGAINST all criminal and anti-social behaviour.
FOR a culture of mutual respect, tolerance and harmony.
FOR individual, family, community and wider social responsibility.
FOR promoting opportunity and education for all.
HELPING everyone regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, disability or background.

I have no party political affiliations, no “Ëœsingle issue’ agenda, and no personal axes to grind. I am in continuing contact with all relevant council departments, local community police officers, PCSOs, schools, residents associations and community groups, as well as helping, whenever possible, with many local residents’ personal problems.

If elected, I will work conscientiously, realistically and responsibly with fellow elected councillors, police, local residents, and all agencies to serve our local communities and to strive to make Northwood, Birches Head, Hanley, and our City of Stoke-on-Trent a better place for us all to live. It would be an honour to be elected as a representative to serve our area and city.

New Alcohol Restriction Zone in place

A new Alcohol Restriction Zone in the city has come into force aiming to reduce alcohol related antisocial behaviour.
 
Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire Police approved the application for the zone after consultation with local residents and licensee holders. The new zone started on Saturday (February 6, 2010). There will now be a restriction on alcohol consumption in public places within Northwood; in the area as bordered by Keelings Road, Town Road, Potteries Way, Botteslow Street, Leek Road and Bucknall Road. It will link with the Alcohol Restriction Zones in the city centre and Central Forest Park.
 
Alcohol Restriction Zones provide police with the power to ask people to stop drinking and give up any open or closed containers of alcohol. People who refuse to do so face arrest and a fine of up to £500, if convicted. An Alcohol Restriction Zone does not mean a ban on alcohol, and it will not affect those who drink responsibly.
 
Councillor Terry Follows, cabinet member for community safety, cohesion and communication, said:
 
“Alcohol related antisocial behaviour is a major concern nation wide and these zones allow us to make sure that our city’s streets are safe for people to use.  We are pleased to work with Staffordshire Police to bring these Alcohol Restriction Zones to the city to encourage responsible drinking amongst all our residents.”
 
Inspector Shaun Kerrigan, commander of the City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said:
 
“We welcome the introduction of the Alcohol Restriction Zone. Through partnership working we have gathered evidence to support this initiative. It will enable us to reduce on-street drinking, which has contributed to anti-social behaviour in the community, and will improve the area and make it a safer place for residents and businesses.”
 
The Alcohol Restriction Zone in Northwood becomes the twelfth zone within the city to become operational.

Launch of 2010k race for city

The 2010k, a 10k race through the City of Stoke-on-Trent, will be officially launched next week (Monday).

A major event in the city’s Festival of Sport, the 2010k is one of several mass participation events to celebrate the centenary of the city’s federation status. The race will be open to everyone, and will also feature a 2k fun run.

The route will start and finish in Stoke Town Centre, will travel around the town before moving up through Shelton, the city centre, Central Forest Park before coming back to Stoke.

Monday’s launch will officially announce the route and mark the start of entries being accepted. Among those attending include the city council leader Ross Irving, cabinet member for sport and leisure Derek Capey, former seven time winner of the Potteries Marathon Mark Roberts, and local athlete and Great Britain international Mark Dalkins, who recently finished third in the Lisbon Marathon.

Councillor Irving said: “This is a great way for everyone to get involved with celebrating the city’s federation status. In the past, events like the Potteries Marathon have really brought people together and encouraged a fantastic community spirit.

“It’s something a little different to the rest of the events taking place throughout the year and hopefully it will encourage more people to take up running. We have an aspiration to be a healthy city, and this should drive us on towards that goal.”

Councillor Capey added: “Anyone can take part in the 2010k and it would be fantastic if as many people as possible took part. You don’t need to be a professional runner and if you want to take your family along the fun run is ideal.

“It’s about enjoying the day, feeling that you’ve taken part in something that will go down in the city’s history, and getting fitter and healthier into the bargain.”

The event is being sponsored by Staffordshire University and sports shoe company Brooks Running.

Staffordshire University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Paul Richards said: “We are proud to be sponsoring this event which is helping to boost fitness and wellbeing of the wider community at the same time as celebrating Stoke’s rich cultural heritage.”

“We’re delighted too that the route of the 2010k takes in part of the University Quarter which will play a significant role in raising achievement levels and realising the aspirations of local people as we look forward to the next 100 years.”

MONOPOLY ELECTIONS

I’ve just spotted on the Sentinel website that the Stoke on Trent version of the Monopoly board game will feature Central Forest Park on the cheapest square on the board (Old Kent Road). Apparently, mystery still surrounds which Stoke on Trent location will be on the most expensive square – Mayfair.

This got me thinking, why don’t we here at Pits’n’pots have a bit of a vote on which Stoke on Trent locations we would choose for the cheapest and most expensive squares, if we were the board game manufacturer?

My personal choices are:

Cheapest – Vale Park (sorry Valiants! Obvious reasons – ie, not in Prem)
Most Expensive – Mark Meredith’s office (cos what goes on in there is priceless!)

What do the rest of you think? Reasons should be given!

I know you all love the stuff Tony puts on about Referendums, MP’s, politics etc, but I like a bit of fun every now and again, and think this will highlight in a lighthearted way some of the great sites in Stoke on Trent.

Come on, give it a go….