Immigration, Mosques & Reptilian Miliband – BNP Manifesto 2011

The BNP Roadshow hit Stoke-on-Trent today [Sunday] to launch their local election manifesto.

In a very low key affair, National Media Spokesman Simon Darby, National Organiser Adam Walker and Stoke BNP Leader Michael Coleman addressed a small number of party activists, security and local councillors in Bennett Precinct in Longton town Centre. Continue reading

BNP Roadshow hits Stoke again

The BNP will be rolling back into town again on Sunday with the launch of their English Manifesto. This time, Longton hosts the launch. It will be interesting to see if support for the BNP is as diminished as it was in last May’s elections, or whether they have done enough to regroup and revive this time around.

I have never been a fan of the BNP. Being of mixed race myself, I have always been suspicious of their motives. Being accosted by National Front Skinheads as a boy will certainly make you suspicious, if not angry and fearful. However, since working on PnP I have tried to put my personal prejudices aside and report on what I see, as opposed to what I might be feeling due to external influence.

Having met the BNP senior leadership last year, I’d at least had the opportunity to talk and interact with them in a normal way, without having my judgement swayed by what I’d read in the papers.

I really don’t know what the BNP would do to people like me, if they were to ever gain power in a general election. They say that there would be no forced repatriation. They do however say, that ethnic minorities would be offered money to leave the country. Both Nick Griffin and Simon Darby were at pains to point out that this was an old Labour Policy. No one from Labour ever came round to my house asking me to leave and waving a one way ticket to Barbados though.

I ‘ve heard from multiple sources that Stoke BNP has some good councillors. I have also heard that they have got some or had some pretty useless ones too. The results last may showed that the BNP were losing popularity within the city. However, The recession has really begun to bite now, and I’m sure the BNP will be really looking to capitalise on that fact.

Some of the noises the BNP have been making abut Mosques worry me. If an immigrant comes to this country legally, and he/she is a Muslim, then I have no issue with them whatsoever in letting them use their money to purchase buildings to be used as Mosques. So long as there is adequate parking and facilities and that all the proper planning procedures have been followed. Like many though I do have reservations about the addition of Domes and Minarets being added. I’m a Derbyshire lad and grew up in an area where the planning laws were very strict. Driving around Stoke-on-Trent I’m regularly surprised with some of the building alterations that have been allowed. I personally think that Domes and Minarets would change the character of the town. I’ve seen them in Birmingham, and very pretty they are too but im my mind they look out of place because this is Britain. It should be noted though that Britain has many Sikh temples, with Domes and I haven’t heard the BNP moaning about those, the opposite in-fact, regularly claiming Sikhs as allies.

Of course Britain is changing all the time and always has been so perhaps I’m behind step in my thinking? I would challenge any unusual building project though not just ones pertaining to religious buildings.

There will be many who say that they are shocked by my article, and some will say I’m even defending the BNP. I say that they are a political party, a legal party. If we want to be fair, and to live in a fair society then we must allow them to speak. If we don’t like what they say then we all have the option of not voting for them.

That’s why I’m writing this blog, and it’s the same reason I wrote the blog post “The day I met the BNP” . Because I don’t approve of the constant lampooning the mainstream press give the BNP. Last May, the mainstream press pushed past PNP to get at the BNP, yet not a one of the broadsheets or tabloids wrote anything worthy of reading when it came to the policy. That’s just pathetic. If the owners of the papers want to work against the BNP then the fairest way would be to write independent articles that detail policy and lay out their argument against it allowing the public to make up their mind.

Nick Griffin told us that the Press had been involved in smear campaign against the BNP, I’d read that before and didn’t believe it really. Until I read the papers the next day. PitsnPots were the only media outlet that told it as it was. the papers just made daft jokes about the bloke dressed as St George.

When I met with Councillor Steven Batkin last year, regarding the Nazi Salute Photo, he was a pleasant and polite man, we treated each other with dignity. Some of his rhetoric was, in my opinion, incorrect and distasteful, but I allowed him to speak and he allowed me to publish.

Politics has become muddied by spin in the last decade. We need to hear all voices and clearly. Let the people decide what they think of the BNP. Regardless of whether the British National Party are cast aside, or increase their seats, I think politics in Britain will be improved for the greater transparency. One could be forgiven for thinking that the larger parties don’t want any more transparency for the BNP, because it will, sooner or later be demanded of them also.

Waste Management & Blue Bin Purchase Issue Referred To Police

BNP Group Leader and Chair of the Audit Committee Michael Coleman has today confirmed that he will refer the issues raised in the Internal Audit into waste management to the Police.

The Audit committee yesterday agreed to accpet the Internal Audit Report and to note the letter of support from the District Auditor for the Audit findings.

There will also be an action plans to oversee the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.

“The matter has been fully investigated by the council’s internal audit team, and the district auditor has confirmed that he will not take further action. The recommendations in both audit reports have been endorsed by the council’s Audit Committee, which has also asked for an action plan to be prepared to ensure the recommendations are fully implemented. Any matters referred to the police will be matters for them.”

Cllr Coleman has commended the report and stated that in his opinion the purchase of the blue bins at £1.63million needed further investigation.

Listen to the Audio Interview with Cllr Coleman below.

Cllr Coleman’s decision to report the matter to the police has come as a suprise to members of the Audit Committee

Cllr Mick Salih [Community Voice] has said that Cllr Coleman’s actions are more to do with headline grabbing ahead of the local elections.

He has questioned whether it was appropiate for the Chair of the Audit Committee to refer the matter to the police when the committee accepted the findings of the Internal audit and the implementation of its recommendations.

Cllr Sailh said that he hoped that he would make the complaint to the Police as an individual as opposed to as chair of the Audit Committee as his views were not shared by the other members.

Dave Moss – Shooting From The Lip.

Petition On The “Smelly” Wagon Problem

The other day posted through our letterbox at home was a petition form from Rob Flello MP and Ruth Rosenau asking us to sign and send back about the “smelly” wagon problem asking that all wagons are refrigerated that carries waste meat going down the A520.

I remember in answer to one of Warrens earlier posts about this I said that the real problem here could not be dealt with locally but needed to be dealt with at a national level and needed to be taken up by our MP. This petition should get cross party support from our local councillors as this is a real problem in this area. I live close enough to the A520 to smell them passing by in the summer luckily not close enough to stop going out in the garden unless the wind is in the wrong direction, I believe this petition could make a difference and have signed it because it is being dealt with at the correct level of politics national.

I am now going to look at why I wouldn’t support an earlier petition on the same subject, Councillor Michael Coleman recently produced another petition on the same subject delivering 9000 leaflets from Meir to Cheddleton asking the council to do something about the problem my main question is why and even if it is presented at council it should be thrown out anyway let me explain why.

Firstly there is nothing Stoke City Council can legitimately do about it in the first place. The Lorries are licensed by a national body; the plant is not within the planning constraints of the city so what can the council do. Also how many of the signatories are from within the limits of the city council, leaflets were delivered outside the city boundaries so how many of the statutory number of signatures were from within the city boundaries.

This in my mind was just a political act by the BNP not a real attempt to solve the problem which is why I wouldn’t support it. Also the petition was asking for a driver to be sacked for what is really a driving offence so something for his employers to deal with.

The BNP as a political party would have known that this could not be dealt with at local level and known that this was a national problem, as a local politician Mr Coleman would also have known this. Although I will give the previous petition its due it has likely caused the second petition.

Update
I have closed and removed the comments on this post because they are now getting defamatory and potentially libelous. I seem to remember we had this situation last time this matter was discussed.

The company in question run a fleet of their own vehicles they also have carcasses delivered in by other contractors, either by means of sub contract or by companies & livestock farmers who make their own arrangements to have carcasses delivered.

It is a sweeping generalisation to say that every time you find some blood or a dead animal on the road between Stoke & Cheddleton it is the fault of the company which owns the rendering plant. While there is a very good chance that the vehicle that dropped part of its load on to the highway was going to this rendering plant it is not guaranteed, (there is at least one more in or around Leek)nor can it be guaranteed that it was a vehicle owned or contracted to them.

The only way that the two can be linked is by a chain of evidence such as the vehicle registration number date & time being reported to the police & environmental health people, who should then trace the vehicle and will be able to work out if it is owned by or sub contracted to the company in question or is just delivering to them.

Mike

Tony Walley – On My Stoke-on-Trent Soapbox

I trust this article finds you fit, well and full of festive cheer.

This New Year needs to see a new start in Stoke-on-Trent.

I was out of action for a while pre Christmas, due to a back injury which prevented me from spending my usual amount of time at my PC. During that down time, I found myself ponderings the goings on at Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

I think that it is fair to say that the end of year report on our public servants down at the civic is the classic “Ëœmust do better’.

The two stories that rocked the 6 towns just before the festive break [was it a case of the best time to air our dirty laundry?] were the audit finding on the Icelandic bank fiasco and the release of the report, forced by a Pits n Pots investigation into waste management and recycling.

Both issues raised serious concerns about the way our City is being administered and has called the integrity of a number of officers into question.

It was nice to see other media outlets pick the recycling issue up and run with it when they showed little or no interest in it previously. Mind you we did hand it to them on a plate following the extensive hours burning the midnight oil researching an issue that literally cost our city millions of pounds.

Let’s focus on the Icelandic issue first shall we. This was all about an unopened email warning the City Council that the creditworthiness of the Icelandic Bank Landsbanki had been downgraded. Note, it did not say the bank was going to collapse so get your money out now.

That email was left unopened which prevented the senior officers from assessing the risk to the city’s investment in light of the new information. I have information that the officer concerned who did not open that email offered to resign. The offer was declined.

The issue was reported to the appropriate Director, the Council Manager was informed, the then Elected Mayor was “Ëœbriefed’.

Why the Elected Mayor chose not to inform other elected representatives only he can say.

The shameful fact is that no other EMB councillor or any other councillor in the chamber was informed. Effectively the issue was covered up and hidden from our elected representatives and therefore out of the public domain.

Let’s not kid ourselves here, it was only down to the fact that the information was to be included in the Audit Letter that we got to heart of it at all.
Now let’s turn to the Recycling issue.

Pits n Pots had been aware of some of the issues relating to the Waste Management and Recycling for a good few months before we had the time to investigate the matter as thoroughly as we would like.

Our suspicions proved to be right. Officers withheld vital information from our elected representatives. The recycling trial was a sham as £1.6million of blue bins had already been ordered.

A report conducted by WRAP was effectively buried and kept out of sight of the prying eyes of those councillors who see it as their duty to scrutinise the decisions made by the executive and highly paid officers.

Our whole point in investigating this issue was to prove that a massive amount of our money has been spent without the involvement and knowledge of those who we elect to serve us.

The Audit report claims that WRAP gave a series of recommendations on how best to collect our waste and maximise our recycling. It did not, it gave a series of options which the council needed to debate.

That debate would have had input from all sides of the chamber and would not just focus on the least cost option which officers opted for.

There were a number of councillors that were unhappy at the quality and lack of substance in the reports put before councillors both on the EMB and within the chamber.

We reminded the Leader of the City Independents that he had called in the decision to go to a trial of the new recycling scheme.

The reports that were submitted to any committee were poor at best and deliberately lightweight at worse.

Those officers made a square peg fit into a round hole and spent a huge sum of our money in the process.

One of those options put forward from WRAP was the exact same model that Newcastle opted for [they had a WRAP report at around the same time]. Newcastle had full member involvement; they showed how mature they are as an authority and selected the best option for their residents. NULBC now realise 52% recycling as opposed to SOTCC’s 42% at best.

Furthermore NULBC did not go out and spend a stupid amount of money on blue bins that if our city council had have been more open about the options, we would not have needed to purchase them [originally they were to be leased, who changed their mind?]

Cllr Joy Garner did not come out of the Audit very well at all.

She was the EMB member at the time and people have said to me that she must have been in on the cover up.

People are thinking that she was working in tandem with officers and deliberately keeping councillors out of the loop.

Well let me tell you what I believe, Cllr Joy Garner, in my humble opinion, was as much as a victim as the rest of the councillors in the chamber.

I spoke to Joy on several occasions when gathering information for our investigation. It was Pits n Pots that informed Joy about the WRAP report that was buried and kept away from elected representatives. She was not aware of this report and as someone who is passionate about green issues and knowledgeable about waste management services she would have been as upset as anyone that she the as the portfolio holder was not given all the facts on which to base her support on.

I am aware that Cllr John Daniels has called on the District Auditor to look into the matter. I also think that he is the Councillor that contacted the Chair of Audit Committee, Cllr Michael Coleman offering more information.

Cllr Coleman was prevented from allowing the councillor to come before his committee on the advice of the council’s legal officer.

In the words of my dear old dad “Ëœit’s time for him to poo or get off the pot’- well it looks as if Cllr Daniels is at last willing to force this issue out into the public domain and in doing so exposing the many issues that were caused by the deliberate withholding of the vital information needed to make the best decision for our city.

I don’t think this issue will go away, in fact I expect more revelations in the near future.

Finally let me say this; It is true that all of this happened on someone elses watch and under a very different system of governance.

I think that Stoke-on-Trent was used as some sort of crazy experiment.

Someone somewhere decided to see what how an authority would operate with an unelected officer at the helm and with the final say over every strategic decision.

This system of governance rode roughshod over our city’s democracy. It made our politics worthless and was massively disrespectful to our city’s residents.

The two issues that this article concentrates on proves that an officer led authority, where the involvement of those who are elected by the public to serve the public role is diminished to a point that they are basically useless, was an epic failure.

Our new Chief Executive Officer John van de Laarschot [yes I am a bit of a fan] says that he is committed to openness and transparency. Our Council Leader Mohammed Pervez says the same.

Well guys time to prove it once and for all.

Let the full facts on the waste management and recycling come out into the public domain. Let Councillor John Daniels have his say in a very public arena [extraordinary council meeting to discuss the audit report?] and lets put this sorry and very expensive saga to bed for once and for all.

I trust the integrity of our CEO and Council Leader. but with all that has gone on under the direction of those who have moved on to wreak havoc in other authorities, a contract agreeing the process and involvement between the officer core and elected members should formulated and signed by both parties.

The relationship between our city’s officers and councillors is at an all time low. Many councillors have told me privately that the no longer trust officers of the council. This is not conducive to a productive and progressive environment which is essential to the improvement of our council over the next few years which will be fraught with financial hardship and difficulties in providing effective services.

It is true that what has gone has gone. But we must implement measures to ensure that there is no return to the “Ëœwe will deal with the politicians IF we have to’ days.

With recent revelations it proves we are nowhere near yet and until we are there will be the leaks, the whispers and the accusations.

You can bet that Pits n Pots will be as active, no even more active in bringing issues out into the public domain.

Someone once said “print and be damned!” and you can bet we will”¦.

Happy New Year!

Cllr Coleman Sets Up Petition Against ‘Foul Smelling Trucks’ Driving Through Meir

Stoke BNP Group Leader Cllr Mike Coleman has set up a petition against what he describes as ‘foul smelling trucks’ driving through parts of Stoke-on-Trent.

Cllr Coleman is a long term critic of the transportation of animal carcasses and by-products to and from a specialist rendering company based in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

The e-petition is designed to get Stoke-on-Trent City Council to take the appropriate action to stop the offending vehicles driving through his ward of Weston and Meir North which have, on occasions, spilled animal remains by the roadside.

The petition calls for:

We the undersigned petition the council to take action to address the problem of the foul smelling wagons traveling along the A520, regularly depositing animal remains by the roadside.

Over the past five years, the problems associated with the transport of animal remains along the A520 have blighted the lives of the residents of Meir, Weston Coyney and other neighbouring communities in and around North Staffordshire. We are now at the point where the community can take no more of this, and want measures to be taken to permanently address these unacceptable infringements upon our lives.

In recent months, we have regularly witnessed animal remains being deposited on the roadside from wagons using the A520 – this is not tolerable within our community. Not only do we, the community, consider this to be disrespectful (the foul smell), but also the obvious threat to public health is a major concern to us and our children

Your support for this petition will help us to build a stronger case for action. We can use this petition to show the strength of support of the community in wanting end to this outrage.

Please forward a link to this page to all of your friends and neighbours, and please note that you do not have to live within the City of Stoke on Trent to show your support ““ all signatures count equally.

If you support this ePetition please follow the link below.

http://www.moderngov.stoke.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=69&RPID=856318

This ePetition runs from 03/08/2010 to 02/11/2010

Kier Under Fire From New Resident Association.

Kier Stoke, the firm employed by Stoke on Trent City Council to carry out repair work on council homes, have come under attack from angry tenants living in the Brookwood Drive area of Meir.

They have now formed a new Residents Association in the hope that it will enable them to deal better regarding problems with Kier.

The first RA meeting at the Meir Community Centre on Monday evening seemed to be dominated by problems involving the work of Kier.

Paul Hulme, new chairman of the RA was angry about the plastering work on the kitchen at his Blatchford Close home. This had been done by Kier after the Kitchen had been fitted by the Decent Homes Team. He explained that they had not done the job right with cracks not plastered over. He said that he had asked the council to send Kier back to complete the job six month ago but had heard nothing since. He was also unhappy with delays when trying to contact the council call centre when reporting housing issues.

Another resident, Christopher Shenton told of the problems he has got with Kier. He as been waiting for years for them to carry out repair work on the concrete supports on the eaves of his roof, which due to it’s state, often leaks.

Brian Jones, Wood Farm RA chairman told the meeting of the problems he had with Kier as he tried to get them to repair a tenants front door which was rotting. The poor lady had to wait three and a half years for repairs to be made.

Ward Councillor, Michael Coleman, was present at the meeting. He told of a case of a front gate that was rotten and needed replacing. After two years a Kier workman had turned up, hammer in hand and nailed a length of skirting board to the bottom of the gate.

Kier Repairs Manager Martin Heath told the meeting that Kier did around 10,000 jobs in the Meir area each year and that all concerns would be looked at and resolved as soon as possible. He responded to Cllr Colemans issue saying that it was wrong for repairs to be carried out in that nature.

Are Kier meeting the need of the council and there tenants? We see a lot of complaints in the local press about them, what do you make of it? Have you got an on-going problem, or one that took ages to be completed?

Over to you….