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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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

Labour announce Joy Garner as their candidate for Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Staffordshire Police CrestJust coming in, Joy Garner has been announced as the Labour candidate for the role of Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner in the elections in November.

Joy  was up against former police authority chairman Michael Poulter in the vote and currently sites on Staffordshire Police Authority & Staffordshire Joint Police and Crime Panel. Continue reading

City council to tackle alcohol related violence

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is to examine the causes of alcohol related violence in the city with a special Task and Finish group.
 
The city council’s Improving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee this week decided to set up the group following their meeting on Tuesday 22 December. Prompted by work done by Staffordshire Police, the Safer City Partnership and the city council itself, the committee decided they could look further into what could be done on the city council’s part.
 
Committee member Councillor Joy Garner will chair the group, which will begin its work in January. Among the issues it will seek to address and report back on will include:
 
    • Violence caused in town centres
    • Violence in hospitals and medical centres towards staff and patients
    • Violence towards police officers and publicans
    • Damage to property
    • Links with domestic violence

 
The group will also seek to encourage pubs and off licences to sell alcohol even more responsibly and to increase the level of public awareness of alcohol related violence.
 
Councillor Garner said:
 
“The Task and Finish group will take a closer look at what the city council can do to help organisations like the police and domestic violence groups address the problems of violence caused by alcohol.
 
“It’s essential we do our part in making this city safer. There are many aspects of this problem that people never see, from abuse of hospital staff to violence towards husbands, wives, and children.
 
“We’re also going to look into more technical subjects such as the possibility replacing glasses in pubs with poly-carbonate glasses and plastic bottles. There are hundreds of things we can explore and we’ll be putting lots of time in to try and provide some answers to this problem.”
 
The Task and Finish group will begin its work early in the New Year and report back to the Improving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
 

Democracy4Stoke ““ The Revenge

Is the Labour Party taking its final retribution on those campaigners that led to the overwhelming public victory of getting rid of the Elected Mayor. This weekend the City Labour Party in Stoke, which is chaired by Sarah Hill, former assistant director of Adult social Care in Stoke, with the West Midlands Regional Labour Party in control, interviewed applicants for Labour candidates for the local elections in 2010. The Labour Party locally has prioritised and targeted 6 seats in the city for extra resources and campaining: Abbey Green Bentilee and Townsend Burslem South Tunstall Fenton Longton North Sources from the event which lasted for 2 days, have revealed as little as 17 Labour members applied for the 20 seats to be contested. More telling is that 6 of those were rejected. Who you ask? Joy Garner or Joan Bell, who left the Labour Group? No. 5 of the 6 were active campaigners to get rid of the Elected Mayor: Gary Elsby Terry Crowe (former councillor) Barry Stockley (former council leader and current PA to Mark Fisher MP) Mick Williams (D4S organiser and former councillor) Denver Tolley (current councillor and Deputy Lord Mayor) Majid Khan This comes on top of the loss over the last couple of years of others who actively campaigned to get rid of the Elected Mayor and are still currently councillors: Cllr Dave Conway Cllr Alan Joynson Cllr Pauline Joynson Cllr Mick Salih Cllr Peter Kent Baguley For the first time in decades, there is real possibility that Labour will not be able to contest all 20 seats. Down to 14 councillors and only 11 candidates – is this the end? This witch hunt is brought about by those that want to blame everybody but themselves for the mess the local Labour Party and more importantly, the City is in. They cannot see that they completely disconnected with the people: that the whole experimental disaster of the Elected Mayor is directly responsible for this monumental downfall. Lets take Cllr Denver Tolley. Some may not agree with his politics, but this man has dedicated and given years of his life to the Labour Party and the City. He is also currently the Deputy Lord Mayor and supposed to be the Lord Mayor next year, but now ruthlessly tossed aside by the New Labour machine. As the casualties pile up, as BNP grows in strength, and as they arrogantly manipulate local party structures and members to suit their own ends – will they ever see that the people of this City are not all blind to these games. It would not even surprise me if Mark Meredith, or his other failed Elected Mayor cliché colleague, Mervin Smith, have the brass neck to put their name forward? We wait with baited breathe as the City Party selects its candidates on the 27/ 28 November 2009, with a “policy” conference to follow on 5 December 2009

Residents’ associations – where are they?

By Nicky Davis With the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation due to run from 27th October to 18th January and no evidence of much action being taken following the 8th September council meeting, I have today (14th October) submitted the following complaint to the council, to try to get something moving! I have made a number of telephone requests to ask for the details of residents’ associations on the council’s web site: http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/community–people-and-living/residents–associations/ which is woefully out of date, to be corrected. This is because I am a firm believer in grass roots democracy, wish to see residents’ associations thrive and believe this would be good for residents, communities and the city. It would help to facilitate this if the list of residents’ associations on the web were accurate! Unfortunately the response I have had to my polite requests has been non-existent. This is why I am now regrettably submitting this complaint to the council. At the full council meeting on 8th September on the council report to the boundary committee, Cllr Joy Garner also pointed out inaccuracies in the list of residents’ associations. She said the boundary committee should have a full and correct list. The Lord Mayor Jean Bowers actioned Chris Harman to do this. This gave me some hope that something would be done, but I have lost that hope now. If the boundary committee have been given a full and correct list, why can’t this list be made available to the rest of us on the council’s web site? If the boundary committee have not been given the correct list, that is even more of a disgrace. With the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/west-midlands/staffordshire/stoke-on-trent-electoral-review due 27th October to 18th January, it is especially important to have a proper list of residents’ associations and what areas they cover. It is my view that when new ward boundaries are decided they should not split residents’ associations. There are potential complexities, especially if neighbourhood zones might be important in deciding ward boundaries. Where I live, the residents’ association crosses the boundary of two neighbourhood zones. In order for a proper consideration of ward boundaries to take place, I would make a further request, that a map is made available on the web site showing the exact areas, to street level, covered by all the residents’ associations. This information exists, for example see the map on: http://www.trenthampeople.co.uk/Map.htm It just needs someone in the council who has this for all associations to put it together. In summary, what I am asking in order for my complaint to be properly addressed is for (a) a full and correct list of residents’ associations and (b) a map showing the exact areas covered by all residents’ associations, to be made available on the council’s web site, prior to 27th October when the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation commences. I thank you in advance for your help.

Residents’ associations – where are they?

By Nicky Davis

With the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation due to run from 27th October to 18th January and no evidence of much action being taken following the 8th September council meeting, I have today (14th October) submitted the following complaint to the council, to try to get something moving!

I have made a number of telephone requests to ask for the details of residents’ associations on the council’s web site:

http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/community–people-and-living/residents–associations/

which is woefully out of date, to be corrected.  This is because I am a firm believer in grass roots democracy, wish to see residents’ associations thrive and believe this would be good for residents, communities and the city.  It would help to facilitate this if the list of residents’ associations on the web were accurate!

Unfortunately the response I have had to my polite requests has been non-existent.  This is why I am now regrettably submitting this complaint to the council.

At the full council meeting on 8th September on the council report to the boundary committee, Cllr Joy Garner also pointed out inaccuracies in the list of residents’ associations.  She said the boundary committee should have a full and correct list.  The Lord Mayor Jean Bowers actioned Chris Harman to do this.  This gave me some hope that something would be done, but I have lost that hope now.  If the boundary committee have been given a full and correct list, why can’t this list be made available to the rest of us on the council’s web site?  If the boundary committee have not been given the correct list, that is even more of a disgrace.

With the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/west-midlands/staffordshire/stoke-on-trent-electoral-review

due 27th October to 18th January, it is especially important to have a proper list of residents’ associations and what areas they cover.  It is my view that when new ward boundaries are decided they should not split residents’ associations.  There are potential complexities, especially if neighbourhood zones might be important in deciding ward boundaries.  Where I live, the residents’ association crosses the boundary of two neighbourhood zones.

In order for a proper consideration of ward boundaries to take place, I would make a further request, that a map is made available on the web site showing the exact areas, to street level, covered by all the residents’ associations.  This information exists, for example see the map on:

http://www.trenthampeople.co.uk/Map.htm

It just needs someone in the council who has this for all associations to put it together.

In summary, what I am asking in order for my complaint to be properly addressed is for
(a) a full and correct list of residents’ associations and
(b) a map showing the exact areas covered by all residents’ associations,
to be made available on the council’s web site, prior to 27th October when the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation commences.

I thank you in advance for your help.

Council Breaking News!

We have been getting information from our sources at Civic Centre saying that there are some councillors on the move.

Labour Group

We have been getting reports that Councillor Joy Garner has resigned from her position in the cabinet with immediate effect and rejoined the Labour Party.

We have also been told that there are rumours that Councillor Joan Bell is set to rejoin the party ahead of the Friday deadline set by the Labour Group for members to rejoin or face expulsion.

UPDATE:

We can now confirm that both Cllr Joy Garner has resigned from the cabinet & along with Cllr Joan Bell has rejoined the Labour Group.

Both had until Friday as per the instructions from the Labour Party national executive.

Mike Barnes, Labour Group Leader said: “The Labour Group is pleased that Joan has agreed with the NEC request”

Speaking in today’s Sentinel, Joy Garner said: “I have decided to re-register as a member of the Labour group on Stoke-on-Trent City Council, as instructed by my party.

“It was a difficult decision for me to leave the Labour group, and it has been equally hard to decide to rejoin. However, I believe that, in the long term, it is far better to be a member of a group rather than a single individual who can achieve little.”

Council Leader Ross Irving said: “It’s regrettable that Joy has made this decision, but I feel she was put in a difficult position by her party.

“I understand Joy’s long relationship with the Labour group and her decision to rejoin the party, but I am sad to lose her from the cabinet. Joy was very good at the job she did.”

He added that he would hold talks in the next few days to decide whether to replace Mrs Garner or transfer her duties to another cabinet member.

He said: “There may be an opportunity to do some re-jigging of that portfolio so that we can run with one less member.”

Conservative & Independent Alliance

We have been told that at tonight’s meeting of the Conservative & Independent Alliance group, the 4 independent councillors are going to leave the group and stand on their own. This will have a significant impact on Ross Irving as both leader of the group and the Council.

UPDATE:

The threat of a split has been temporarily removed.

Discussions are thought to be on going and a final decision expected within days.

We will keep you informed.