EyeSpy Oh how the mighty are fallen!

Eye Spy Eye of HorusDavid Conway was not the only one with a big smile on his face Friday morning as Labour awoke to the short sharp judgement of the residents of Springfields and Trent Vale. Whilst it might not stop the move, the backlash against the move to the CBD was apparent, which raised the spirits of many council officers on Friday morning. Parking in Stoke may not be perfect, but the thought of a daily game of ‘musical parking spaces’ followed by a forced tutorial on how you should cycle to work rather than moan about paying £25 a year to spend 20 minutes looking for a parking spot before abandoning hope and parking in Tesco, is a step too far for some.

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City Independents take Springfields and Trent Vale from Labour

In a shock result which rendered the previously vociferous Labour Twitterati silent last night, City Independent candidate Jackie Barnes won the Springfields and Trent Vale by-election.

The seat formerly held by Sarah Hill until her resignation from the cabinet & the city council was thought to be a safe Labour seat. Continue reading

Eye Spy OmniCorp

Well we are in to the final week of campaigning for the much sought after seat of Springfields and Trent Vale, all the main parties have been up here pounding the streets over the past few days. Everything but the kitchen sink & PCC Candidate Joy Garner has been thrown at S&TV by Labour, even Council Leader ‘part time’ Pervez has been leafletting. Continue reading

500 Words From Harold Gregory Conservative Candidate Springfields & Trent Vale

My name is Harold Gregory, I live in Riverside Road, Trent Vale, and am married with 3 children, one attending St Joseph’s and one at St Teresa’s. I spent 20 years in the Army, serving in the first Gulf War and also in Northern Ireland, as well as many other postings around the world. Continue reading

Conservatives Select Harold Gregory For Springfields & Trent Vale Byelection

Stoke-on-Trent Conservatives have today confirmed that their candidate in the forthcoming Springfields and Trent Vale byelection will be local father of 3 and former soldier Harold Gregory.

Harold, who lives in the ward, now works for Network Rail however spent many years in the Army, stationed all around the world. In his spare time, he volunteers as an instructor with local Army cadets, using his skills to help young people. Continue reading

Eye Spy the By-election

So the by-election has finally been called for the vacancy for Office of Councillor for the Springfields and Trent Vale ward, it’s only taken since 27 April. So now the ballot boxes are being broken out and just in the nick of time… frustrated residents in Springfields & Trent Vale are already starting to petition the council over local issues, having begun to feel the effects of no local representation for the last few months.

Despite having more councillors than they know what to do with, Labour have not fallen over themselves to ensure residents have felt looked after, which is perhaps why there are rumblings that this by-election may see upwards of 8 candidates all vying to fix the numerous potholes and clear the litter on the yellow brick road from Trent Vale to Stoke. Hardly a ringing endorsement of previous incumbents…

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Why pennies do matter

The best way to start a blog is often with a cliche. Look after the pennies, we are told, however contrast this to the claim often thrown at those in opposition – you’re missing the big picture. Can you do both? Of course – anyone who decides to forgo their small indulgences in favour of saving for a house, a car, a holiday is doing just that. So why the brickbats when a councillor suggests a bit of care with small budgets?

One of the first blogs I ever wrote focused on my confusion as a new councillor at the amount of letters I get from in response to emails I’ve sent. Why can’t you email me back? I appreciate that some things have to be sent as a letter – but the ultimate snub surely to cost effectiveness is to say that one letter to one person won’t break the budget, as I have been told recently by one organisation in response to a Freedom of Information request I made. Continue reading

Politician reveals how he was brought under the party’s influence

People join political parties for a variety of reasons, usually because of political views or sometimes because family and friends are members.

However former councillor Ross Irving joined Stoke-on-Trent’s Conservative Party because the beer was better.

He had also been a member in Newcastle to help out in the 1966 General Election, before moving to Stoke. He then decided to stand for council. Continue reading

In minority but making a difference

Jack BreretonYoung people are often seen as disengaged in politics. However Jack Brereton is different. Rochelle Owusu-Antwi speaks to one of the only two Conservative councillors on the city council, and he is the youngest at just 20 years old

Stoke-on-Trent’s youngest ever councillor Jack Brereton is encouraging more young people across the city to get involved in politics.

The 20-year-old politician believes the council should be a diverse mix of younger and older generations working together to form a more representative and democratic body. Some of the 44 councillors Jack works alongside are three times his age. Continue reading

Anthony Bamford and corporate dependency

I met one of the Bamfords, it might have been Anthony, in the mid 1980s. I was being interviewed for the position of Magistrate. The interview took place at Fenton Court. Mr Bamford was interested in my political activity especially whether I had demonstrated. Asking someone on the left during the middle of the Miners Strike if they had taken part in a demo was like asking whether a duck had taken to water. I had no problem with it and was perfectly open about my political affiliations and actions.

We move forward a quarter of a century and Sir Anthony Bamford’s political affiliations and actions are under scrutiny. His response seems to be far less open than mine all those years ago in Fenton. It seems that he has been funding the Tory Party and that over time he been providing leading Tories with all sorts of perks. Continue reading