Special General Meeting Called for Stoke-on-Trent City Council UNISON members

There are reports coming from inside Stoke-on-Trent City Council that UNISON have called their members to 2 Special General Meetings on Thursday to discuss terms and conditions that they feel are under threat.

The leaflet being handed out to UNISON members states that

  • Essential Car Users Allowance
  • Reduced Mileage Allowance to .45p per mile
  • Charge for car parking
  • Removal of subsistence allowance
  • Removal / Rationalise shift / weekend/ unsocial allowances

are all under threat.

So if you are lucky enough to escape the on-going threat of redundancy then the City Council want to reduce your Terms & Conditions of the staff.

All this on the day that it was reported that the number of officers earning £50,000 or more at Stoke-on-Trent City Council had increased by 24 in 2010/11.

Oh So Quiet

Tony and I have had a bucket full of e-mails & calls from people over the past month asking what is going on with the site. Everything from, have you given up, to have you been warned off has been said to us.

Just to put your collective minds at rest, no we haven’t given up, sold out or been warned off by anyone. People have tried to say to us that life would be easier if we did X or Y, but Tony and I make the decisions as to what goes on to Pits n Pots. As you are aware, we made a decision before the elections in May, that we were going to focus solely on the politics of the city which cut down the amount of content that appears each day.

We fully expected that the new Council would come out of the gates on May 9th after being sworn in to office with all guns blazing, fired up and ready to do business.

We were wrong.

After the full council meeting in March, the Purdah period started and no meetings were held until the Annual Council Meeting on 26 May. Annual Council is different to Full Council as no real business is transacted, the out-going Lord Mayor hands over to the new Lord Mayor. There is then the election of the Council Leader, the results of the election are reported and various other administrative tasks, you can read the agenda here basically the meeting is just setting the council up for the following 4 years. There is time for urgent or non contentious business to be transacted but really the Annual Council is mutual back-slapping for the elected members.

Tony and I expected that after this we would be back on to the schedule of monthly Full Council meetings.

We were wrong.

There was no meeting in June, this time last year, there had been an Annual Council meeting a Full Council meeting and they were 2 days away from their second Full Council meeting. The first Full Council Meeting this year takes place in July then september. It seems that the council have very quietly slipped back to the 6 weekly meeting cycle as written in the Constitution.

This with a reduction in Overview & Scrutiny committees and allegations of meetings be held behind closed doors as reported by Potteye recently it looks like the Labour Party majority in the Civic Centre are going back to the old ways of running this city. I seriously hope we are really not heading back to the days of pre meeting meetings behind closed doors to agree what is going to be voted through democratically at the public meetings.

I hope we are wrong.

Staffordshire Police To Hold First On-line Meeting

Police in Stoke-on-Trent will be holding a police and community meeting with a difference next week. On Wednesday 27 October between 7.00 pm and 8.00 pm Chief Superintendent Bernie O’Reilly will be on line to chat to local internet users about crime and community safety in Stoke-on-Trent.

Pits n Pots have partnered with Staffordshire Police to help host and run the on-line meeting next week.

We are working closely with our existing on-line community who have the expertise to hold this sort of meeting. We hope that it’s successful and lots of people get involved. We have seen in recent months more and more of our communities using the internet and social media sites Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis to talk about local issues, and over 500 people now follow @policingstoke on twitter.

We work closely with a number of the “Ëœhyperlocal’ web sites to tackle community issues and we hope users of these sites get involved.

This will be an interesting experience, we hold dozens of meetings with our community each week but I know people can’t always get along to meet us but still want to be involved. This is very much a trail to see if our community finds it a good way of discussing what matters to them with the police.

I want to hear about the issues that matter to our communities and I want to have a discussion about how we are doing in tackling those issues and reducing crime.

We are extremely pleased to be working with Staffordshire Police on this project. In the current climate of Government cuts, all organisations need to look at different ways of working, involving, engaging and communicating with their users. Staffordshire Police and especially the Stoke-on-Trent Division are very much at the forefront when it comes to using tools such as FaceBook and Twitter as further ways of communicating with residents.

Using the available social media tools and our experience in this field, we hope we will allow people who may not normally be able to attend Police meetings due to work or time commitments to be able to interact and get involved.

Anyone wanting to get involved either to ask questions or just to view should just come back to http://www.pitsnpots.co.uk from 6.30 pm on Wednesday 27 October to join the live event. The event will be displayed on the front page.

If you are not able to get to a computer to get online but use twitter on your phone, you can ask questions or comment by using tag #askthecommander and we will do our best include them during the meeting.

You are invited to e-mail questions in before the online meeting to stoke.police@me.com the questions sent to this address will then be addressed during the meeting.

An archive of the meeting will be available shortly after the event so it can be viewed online on demand.