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Whitehill Online Poll

Will the recent way NBC has handled the travellers situation impact who you vote for in future council elections?

Yes I will vote for a different party / councillor than our current lot in Kidsgrove - 91.8%
No I will vote for the party / councillor who represent Kidsgrove now. - 8.2%

Kidsgrove News

Reports of Serious Road Accident on Whitehill Road

whitehill road road accident kidsgroveKidsgrove County Councillor Mary Maxfield has commented to say that she has taken phone calls this evening from residents living on Whitehill Road that an accident took place at 7pm this evening.

It is believed that the collision took place on the narrow part of Whitehill Road, which was between a car and a motor cycle. There are reports that the Police and Ambulance attended the scene. We sincerely hope that no one is seriously injured in this accident, which is the first serious one which we have heard about on Whitehill Road.

No further details on this are currently available.

Kidsgrove Rail Station Gardens Damage

kidsgrove station gardensThe Friends of Kidsgrove Train Station group was formed 3 years ago to regenerate the gardens which were laid out many years ago at Kidsgrove Train Station, however left to decline. The Group consists of 7 senior citizens who spend many hours gardening and planting floral displays and shrubs. In memory of the founder of the garden (deceased last year) a rose garden and shrubs were planted. East Midlands Trains, Kidsgrove Rotary Club, Tesco, SCC, Clough Hall Residents' Association and others have kindly donated funds for the project. Last year they were awarded 3rd prize for community gardens in NBC Britain in Bloom.

However the past few weeks Kidsgrove Rail Station has seen damage caused to the gardens, with the theft of plants and litter left lying around for others to tidy up. This is clearly upsetting for the Friends of Kidsgrove Station group who donate their own time and work hard on this project, whilst also not a good advert for Kidsgrove with the many commuters who will pass through the town on the train network.

It is hoped that such damage will now stop as the flowers have little value to others, yet to Kidsgrove town have a great amount of worth in promoting and making Kidsgrove look appealing.

You can read more on this topic with a post by one of the members of The Friends of Kidsgrove Station in the Forum Boards.

Kidsgrove Councillors on Newcastle Borough Council Cabinet

Newcastle Borough Council cabinet announcedLabour has formally taken control of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council following its victory at the local elections.

At the Annual Council meeting last night, the group unveiled the seven people who will make up the political leadership of the council as members of the Cabinet, which includes two councillors who represent the Kidsgrove area.

They are:-

  • Cllr. Gareth Snell – Leader of the Council and portfolio holder for Communications, Transformation and Partnerships.
  • Cllr. Eddie Boden – Deputy Leader of the Council and portfolio holder for Planning, Regeneration and Town Centres Development.
  • Cllr. Elsie Bates (Culture and Leisure).
  • Cllr. Anne Beech (Environment and Recycling).
  • Cllr. Tony Kearon (Safer Communities).
  • Cllr. Mike Stubbs (Finance and Budget Management)
  • Cllr. John Williams (Stronger and Active Neighbourhoods).

Cllr. David Becket, a Liberal Democrat councillor who represents Halmer End ward, will be the borough’s Mayor for the year ahead. His wife Dr Anne Becket will be Mayoress.

The Deputy Mayor will be Cllr. Eddie Boden.

Mary Maxfields Letter to the Editor Published in Full

letter to editor the sentinelKidsgrove resident Mary Maxfield wrote a letter to the Editor of The Sentinel which was published in the paper last night. The Sentinel has made the choice (as it is able to do so) to omit some of the content of the letter which Mary Maxfield had sent to the paper. As a result we thought that it was only fair to publish the letter in full.

Dear Sir "Sir The Kidsgrove Ward Bi Election held on 10 May 2012 was a very disappointing turnout. It was called because a former Labour Party Councillor was disqualified and imprisoned for assault on his girlfriend. The official turnout, including postal votes, was a dismal and shocking 18% of the Ward electorate. This surpassed the low turnout which was recorded in the 3 May 2012 election.

The Kidsgrove Ward comprises 5282 registered voters of which only 648 actually bothered to turn out and vote on the 10 May. Considering the polling stations were open from 7 am until 10 pm and contained 3 members of staff on average, imagine the cost of this election per voter. This is a shocking figure for the size of Kidsgrove and shows how disappointing for all parties this was.

More shocking is the number of postal votes which contributed to the result. There were 562 registered postal voters and 298 (53%) returned the postal ballot paper. This makes up 32% of the vote on 10 May.It would be interesting to learn the voting methods used in the different areas of Kidsgrove (there are 4 polling areas). It does not matter how we look at these figures. The cold hard facts show that only 13.72% of the Kidsgrove electorate could be bothered to go out and vote which highlights how little faith many have in the local political system.

The losing Parties were very disappointed with their results obviously but alas National politics played a great part in deciding this election and last week's. I have always felt that a candidate ought to be elected on their reputation, aspirations, qualities and in particular how they would serve and speak up for the community as a whole rather than on the Party they represent.

Labour have now taken control of Newcastle Borough Council. The previous Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition will be a hard act to follow and the Labour Party will have to work extremely hard to surpass their achievements. I wish them luck!!"

Mary Maxfield Kidsgrove

Free Grow Your Own Food Course at Clough Hall Park

wild steps grow your own food clough hall parkStaffordshire Wildlife Trust’s Wild Steps Project, which is funded by North Staffs NHS, is offering free places on its evening course on ‘Growing your Own food’ at Clough Hall Park Pavillion on Tuesday 26 th June. The evening event, starting at 6pm for two and a half hours, will introduce participants to selecting vegetables, planting, potting and will give people an introduction to a cheap and healthy way of providing their own food. There will also be a demonstration of some healthy home grown food options. This course is ideal for beginners and established growers.

Organiser Shaun Rimmer said: "This great free opportunity is linked to the Wild Steps project which is about people learning how to improve their own well being by taking positive steps to improve their health and growing your own food not only keeps you active but you also get the reward and satisfaction of eating the healthy food you have grown yourself. I would book a place early as last year’s course held in Knutton was very popular"

If you would like to book a place on the free course please contact Shaun Rimmer, Community and Health Development Officer on 07772080254 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

True Cost and Winner of Kidsgrove by Election

Kidsgrove election resultAs the ballot boxes are put away for another year in Kidsgrove and Newcastle-under-Lyme we can now look back on an election season which has actually delivered some very telling and decisive decisions locally in Kidsgrove.

The main talking point is sadly not who has won the Kidsgrove election or Kidsgrove By Election, but the appallingly low turnout which blighted all the elections in the Kidsgrove area.

The latest election to take place this week was the Kidsgrove By Election, which was forced upon Newcastle Borough Council following the conviction of Kyle-Noel Taylor. This election recorded a turnout in the Kidsgrove Ward of a shocking 18%, despite this being an election in which all 4 candidates and parties spent a great deal of time trying to get Kidsgrove residents out to vote. When we delve further into this 18% we actually learn that 32% of the votes cast where from postal votes, which means that only 7.28% of the Kidsgrove electorate actually turned out and voted on the day.

It has been reported on this site and others locally in the past that a By Election cost to the taxpayer is around £2500. If this figure is to be correct, this actually means that the cost of each vote in the Kidsgrove By Election was £2.67, which compares to just 47p if every electorate in Kidsgrove was to cast their democratic right to vote. This makes each vote 568% more expensive than it is originally calculated to be on paper. Of course this £2500 is a fairly conservative figure as researching this topic suggests that the true cost of a by election like the one in Kidsgrove could be costing as much as £4000, which makes those figures not even worth thinking about.

So of the result we have learnt that the winning party in the Kidsgrove by Election was apathy. It managed to poll a massive 82% of the vote. So what does this mean? Is the vote like this because people are happy on the whole with what is happening? After all, some observers suggest that voters only go out and vote when they want change. Or, maybe voters just feel let down with the whole political system at the moment and have little or no faith in anyone or party in the political system.

It doesn’t get much better if you look back at all of the elections in the Kidsgrove area for the previous week. The turnout in wards was appalling once again with the majority of wards seeing less than 25% of voters bothering to cast their vote. This once again ensures that apathy is overwhelming winner. So before the winners get too carried away with their success, they should stop and reflect on the real figures. What are they going to do to try and connect with those voters who currently feel that Kidsgrove elections have nothing to offer them?

Out of interest it was Labour who was the political party victors in Kidsgrove taking all the seats on offer and ensuring that they now hold all 12 seats which the Kidsgrove area has at Newcastle Borough Council. This does mean that no longer can Labour be the party who moans about what they “would do” and needs to demonstrate to Kidsgrove “what they are doing”.

I’m sure like many Kidsgrove we shall watch in hope that Labour can reduce that voting apathy figure, when the next elections come about.

Kidsgrove By Election 32% Decided by Postal Voting

kidsgrove election postal voteKidsgrove residents will have read already about the poor turnout at the Kidsgrove By Election, yesterday. The official turnout at the Kidsgorve By Election was a dismal and shocking 18% of the Kidsgrove ward electorate. This surpassed the low turnout which was recorded in last weeks Kidsgrove election.

The Kidsgrove ward comprises of 5282 registered voters, of which only 648 voters actually bothered to turn out and vote on the day. Considering the polling stations were open from 7am until 10pm and contained 3 members of staff on average, image the cost of this election per vote. This is a shocking figure for a town the size of Kidsgrove and shows how disappointing for all parties yesterday was.

More shocking is the number of postal votes which contributed to the Kidsgrove By Election result. There were 562 people registered in the Kidsgrove ward  and 298 people actually returned these. This makes up 32% of the vote from yesterday. Sadly it can not be broken down into voting patterns, however it would be interesting to learn how the different areas of Kidsgrove and voting methods had voted.

It does not matter how we look at these figures. The cold hard facts show that only 7.28% of the Kidsgrove population could be bothered to go out and vote, which highlights how little faith many have in the local political system. 

Labour Claims Appalling Low Turnout By-Election Victory

Labour Win Kidsgrove By ElectionLabour have won the Kidsgrove By Election and thus claimed the 12 and final seat on offer from the Kidsgrove area for Newcastle Borough Council. This now makes Kidsgrove a strong Labour area with voters choosing to elect Terry Turner in this latest Kidsgrove election.

It is technically a Labour gain from independent, however as Kyle Noel-Taylor was elected as a Labour councillor it could also be easily viewed as Labour retaining the seat which they initially won. This seat will now increase the Labour majority at Newcastle Borough Council which is why the parties were fighting so hard for this seat.

Despite the result this was a poor day for Kidsgrove politics and hardly provides a ringing endorsement for any political party. The turnout in the Kidsgrove election was appalling with only 18%* of the Kidsgrove electorate bothering to vote. This clearly shows the total lack of faith and interest that Kidsgrove residents have in any party.

The total results for the Kidsgrove By Election are shown below.







Lib Dem








Total Votes


*Estimated calculation based on last Weeks Electoral role

Kidsgrove By Election Polls Close as Opinion Poll Suggests Close Labour Victory

kidgrove by election opinion poll resultKidsgrove By Election Polls have now closed and the voted for the Kidsgrove seat at Newcastle Borough Council are set to be counted tomorrow morning. It appears that the turnout in this Kidsgrove By Election could be really low, which makes predicting the end result more difficult, regardless of the statistical analysis which can be used.

All local parties have taken this Kidsgrove By Election seriously with Labour knocking on doors to encourage votes and the Conservative making telephone calls this morning to try and encourage Kidsgrove residents to get out and vote. Lib Dem Phil Crank made a positive statement thanking Kidsgrove residents for their support last night, regardless of the result tomorrow. The TUSC have also go on with delivering a campaign in Kidsgrove.

After reviewing the results of our opinion poll and combining these with some cleaver statistical analysis of the results from last week, we can now make a prediction of the Kidsgrove By Election. Our results would suggest a Labour victory, however by a much smaller margin than the election last week.kidgrove by election opinion poll result

We are also expecting a total turn out of around 400 voters in the Kidsgrove area, which is exceptionally low, if correct.

A full break down of our predicted results for the Kidsgrove By Election are shown.





Lib Dem





Kidsgrove By Election Closes in on the Finish

Kidsgrove By Election Nears FinishKidsgrove By Election fever is well under way, with only a few hours to go until the polling stations close at 10PM.

It appears from speaking to Kidsgrove residents that all of the parties are taking this election seriously and are aware of the consequences this has on the makeup of Newcastle Borough Council. We have had reports from two residents of having a personal visit from Labour Candidate Terry Turner to ensure their vote, whereas others have reported being telephoned by the Conservative party.

This could be because all the parties will have seen the first ever Kidsgrove opinion poll which is going to predict this is going to be a close run election. A low turnout will make this even tighter, it the results from our poll are to be close to accurate and making allowances for general voting patterns.

The results will be announced of the Kidsgrove By Election tomorrow when they are counted at Newcastle Borough Council. Labour are expected to win this seat given the success that the party had last week in the elections in Kidsgrove and nationally.

Kidsgrove by Election : Phil Crank Thanks Kidsgrove Residents for Support

Phil Crank Kidsgrove by ElectionKidsgrove by Election candidate Phil Crank has made a comment on our forum boards thanking Kidsgrove residents for the support which they have provided throughout the Kidsgrove by Election campaign, regardless of how Kidsgrove residents choose to vote today.

Posting on the Whitehill Online Forum Phil Crank says "I would like to thank my campaign team for the support they have given me, Whatever the result today I am Very proud to be a member of such a fantastic Party, It is just a pity the Electorate did not look at the fantastic job the lib-dems have done locally. When I was out and about around Kidsgrove yesterday i met some very nice people especially at sandpiper court flats who wished me well at the polls. One thing is for sure the lib-dems will soon be back when labour mess it up yet again."

We are sure that Kidsgrove residents will be pleased to hear comments from a prospective candidate who is being positive about the Kidsgrove area. Don't forget that polls are open until 10PM today in the Kidsgrove By Election.

Election Time in Kidsgrove Draws Closer

Local Elections in KidsgroveThe Newcastle Borough Council elections in Kidsgrove and surrounding wards are drawing ever closer. Polling stations open at 7am tomorrow morning and will remain open until 10pm in the evening.

The votes will be counted on Friday with the results expected to be announced on Friday afternoon. It does appear from talking to local people that the turnout at these elections could be exceptionally low. The Labour Party is expecting to do well and to take back control of Newcastle Borough Council, which tends to be fairly common for mid-term elections.

It will be interesting to see how the Socialist Party performs in Kidsgrove a factor which could change the voting patterns of some.

You can read about some of the candidates standing below who provided the information we requested from them.


Kidsgrove Goes to the Polls in Kidsgrove By Election

Kidsgrove By ElectionKidsgrove residents are for the 2nd time in a week being asked to go to the polls and cast their vote in the Kidsgrove By Election. This election is taking place as a result of former Labour Councillor Kyle Noel-Taylor being forced to resign his seat on the council following his conviction.

Last week Labour won all of the seats that were on offer in Kidsgrove and as a result have managed to take control of Newcastle Borough Council by a small majority. It is this small majority which makes the Kidsgrove By Election even more important politically. If another party other than Labour is to win, then this will force Labour to ensure that all councillors attend council meetings and vote on policies set. Some Kidsgrove residents will view this as good for democracy, ensuring that no party can rest on its laurels,

Turnout in the Kidsgrove By Election is expected to be low, however all parties appear to be treating this Kidsgrove By Election more seriously than last weeks elections.

Election 2012: Meet Alan Brookes Newchapel Ward

Alan BrookesAs readers will know, we have asked all election candidates to answer a few simple questions, those who have replied we shall share with you their replies online. Today we can feature Alan Brookes who is standing in the Kidsgrove Ward.

Name: Alan Brookes

Ward: Newchapel

What do you do for a living / what is your background outside of politics?

Retired company director. I am in a local classic car club and supply them for Kidsgrove Carnival.

What are the main local issues impacting on your ward?

Speeding cars. Kidsgrove Delivery Office closure. Open spaces. Fly-tipping. Flooding.

What are you going to do to address these issues?

Increase community speed checks. Campaign for a Kidsgrove mail collection office. Ensure full public consultation on open space sales. Enforce clean-up of unsightly rubbish piles. Work with relevant authorities to control flooding.

Why should residents vote for you to be their Newcastle Borough Councillor?

I am an experienced councillor, having served on Kidsgrove Town Council for four years during the refurbishment of the Victoria Hall. I have lived in the area all my life.

We would like to thank Alan Brookes for taking the time to share this information with local residents.

Kidsgrove Aldi to Extend Opening Hours

Kidsgrove Aldi Planning ApplicationAldi has applied to extend its opening hours in Kidsgrove. The Liverpool Road store currently opens from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday however has applied to extend the 8pm until 10pm. This is part of a review which Aldi has conducted nationally into store opening hours.

This is more topical in Kidsgrove as currently Sainsburys have plans on the table in Alsager for a new supermarket which is sure to hit at Kidsgrove Aldi.

Newcastle Borough Council are due to review this application by Aldi, Kidsgrove.

Election 2012: Meet Janet Parsons Talke Ward

Janet parsons libdemAs readers will know, we have asked all election candidates to answer a few simple questions, those who have replied we shall share with you their replies online. Today we can feature Janet Parsons who is standing in the Talke Ward.

Name: Mrs Janet Parsons

Ward: Talke

What do you do for a living / what is your background outside of politics?

Housewife, supporter and fundraiser for DUK children’s division; business woman for over 20yrs before retirement to look after husband after serious illness.

What are the main local issues impacting on your ward?

Development, condition of Chester Road park, traffic, particularly HGVs.

What are you going to do to address these issues?

Chair local group to improve park; lobby Borough Council to carry out improvements building on my success. Camapaign for a ban on heavy goods vehicles in High Street, Talke. Help local residents with planning issues Organise events throughout summer months for toddlers in the park Contribute to Jubilee Celebrations within Talke and Kidsgrove.

Why should residents vote for you to be their Newcastle Borough Councillor?

People should vote for me in the local Election because I am the only candidate that lives in Talke, having done so for over 50yrs! Also, I am an experienced Town Councillor and part of a winning Lib dem team that has transformed Newcastle.

We would like to thank Janet Parsons for taking the time to share this information with local residents.

Kidsgrove By Election : What the Parties Say

Kidsgrove By Election Party MaterialWith the Kidsgrove By Election fast approching this Thursday we thought that we would take a look at what the political parties have placed through the doors of the residents of Kidsgrove. We would like to thank residents of Kidsgrove for providing the leaflets which have been distributed in the Kidsgrove area. No one as yet has seen a Conservative leaflet, which we would be interested to feature if one is knocking about.

So what are the Kidsgrove parties saying in their Kidsgrove By Election material.

Lib Dem

  • Reasons why Labour have failed in the past
  • Information on improving transport links in Kidsgrove
  • Information regarding the improvements obtained for Kidsgrove Swimming Pool and Jubilee 3 plans
  • Plans to save Maryhill Day Care Centre
  • Report regarding Labours previous running of Newcastle Borough Council from the audit commission


  • Reg Bailey thanking people for electing him in the Newcastle Borough Council elections last week.
  • Claims regarding Kidsgrove Sports Centre
  • Article on Housing on the Miners Estate


  • National political focus
  • Information regarding local election candidate
  • Information regarding Kidsgrove Swimming Pool
  • Information regarding EMA
  • Information regarding what they will do if in local council


  • Front page large headline "Council Tax up by 3.4%" They are referring to SOT increase. "How long will it be before we suffer the same increase"?
  • Back page refers to basic state pension increase.
  • "Conservatives invest in Kidsgrove pool".

Election 2012: Meet Lynda Griffiths Kidsgrove Ward

LYNDA griffith kidsgroveAs readers will know, we have asked all election candidates to answer a few simple questions, those who have replied we shall share with you their replies online. Today we can feature Lynda Griffiths who is standing in the Kidsgrove Ward.

Name: Lynda Griffiths

Ward :Kidsgrove

What do you do for a living / what is your background outside of politics?

I am a retired housewife and mother. I am a churchgoer and enjoy books and gardening.

What are the main local issues impacting on your ward?

Empty shops and commercial property in the Town Centre due to the recession. Closure of Kidsgrove Delivery Office. Poor coordination of transport services. Poor access for the disabled at Kidsgrove Rail Station. The proposed closure of Maryhill Day Centre.

What are you going to do to address these issues?

I will try to get government funding to improve the Town Centre. I will campaign for mail to continue to be collected in Kidsgrove. I will lobby for an integrated transport system and disabled access at the Rail Station. I will work with County colleagues to keep the day centre open.

Why should residents vote for you to be their Newcastle Borough Councillor?

I have served Kidgrove as a Town Councillor for many years. In my period of service we refurbished the Victoria Hall and reinstated the Carnival. I belong to a party which has turned Newcastle from a failing council with poor financial management into the most improved council in England.

We would like to thank Lynda Griffiths for taking the time to share this information with local residents.

Election 2012: Meet Phil Crank Kidsgrove By Election

Phil CrankIn a Kidsgrove By Election look at the Lib Dem candidate Phil Crank. We would like to thank Phil Crank for sharing this information with us.

Name: Phil Crank

I have lived in Talke all of my life. I am married with children and have worked at Johnson tiles for 30 years. I have served has a school governor for the last 8 years at Clough Hall technology School. Has my son is at university and daughter is at Clough Hall Sixth Form College.I have always had education at heart. I am a former Town Councillor and am now involved in running the Butt Lane Community Centre.

What are the main local issues impacting on your ward?

I do not have an axe to grind as I believe that your local councillor should listen to residents’ issues and do everything in their power to address those issues. Having said that, I support local Libdems in their campaign for an integrated, DDA-compliant transport system, a mail collection service in Kidsgrove and the campaign to keep Maryhill Day Centre open.

What are you going to do to address these issues?

If I was elected I would listen to the residents by way of monthly surgery or visit in person if requested and any issues would be brought to the attention of the relevant authorities.

Election 2012: Meet Dennis Richards Butt Lane Ward

Dennis Richards Butt Lane WardAs readers will know, we have asked all election candidates to answer a few simple questions, those who have replied we shall share with you their replies online. Today we can feature Dennis Richards who is standing in the Butt Lane Ward.

Name: Dennis Richards

Ward : Butt Lane

What do you do for a living / what is your background outside of politics?

I am a hypnotherapist and stress management consultant. My previous background includes working in IT, government finance and education. I have worked in both the public and private sectors gaining skills in financial and management accounting, negotiating, chairing meetings and communication.

What are the main local issues impacting on your ward?

Empty properties and vacant land are a concern. As well as looking unsightly, these properties can give rise to antisocial behaviour and flytipping. There are also some buildings that are unsafe and need to be demolished. Parking is an issue in some areas of the ward and ensuring new developments do not make this worse is important. Traffic congestion around Congleton Road is becoming an increasing problem. There have been issues over the management of Butt Lane Community Centre which are now being resolved. Although crime statistics are down, it is important that we keep them down.

What are you going to do to address these issues?

I will work with the Borough Council empty properties officer to help get these properties let or sold. I will work with local police to reduce antisocial behaviour and also work with partners to improve youth facilities. I will continue to work with Buildings Control officers to protect the public from dangerous buildings. I will work with others at Butt Lane Community Centre to ensure it is managed in an open and efficient way and encourage a range of activities for the whole community.  I will campaign for money to be spent on policing rather than empty buildings and do what I can to assist the move of the Police Station into the Town Hall.

Why should residents vote for you to be their Newcastle Borough Councillor?

Over the last four years I have proven that I am an effective committee chairman and ward councillor at Newcastle Borough Council. I have helped change planning applications which could have had a negative impact on residents' lives and helped to make the Butt Lane Community Centre management more transparent. I have dealt promptly with residents' issues such as parking, footpaths, noise and open spaces. I will campaign for a state-of-the art leisure centre in Kidsgrove and an integrated, disabled-friendly transport hub in Kidsgrove.  I will also work hard to keep a mail collection service in Kidsgrove and seek government funding to improve the shopping facilities in Kidsgrove.   As a member of the Liberal Democrat Group at Newcastle Borough Council I have supported the Council's drive to keep council tax low while delivering quality services, such as the award-winning recycling service and financial controls commended by the Audit Commission. Liberal Democrats were also responsible for ensuring development money went to improving Congleton Road. I also live and shop in Butt Lane, so I am close to the issues that concern its residents.

We would like to thank Dennis Richards for taking the time to share this information with local residents.

Kidsgrove By Election Opinion Poll

Kidsgrove By Election Opinion PollKidsgrove residents have their chance in the first ever Kidsgrove opinion poll, that we know of. Kidsgrove residents are being asked to anonymously express how they intend to vote in the up and coming Kidsgrove By Election.

It is being anticipated that Labour should and will win this seat locally on the back of the national politics at the moment, however the fact that this seat is the one of the disgraced former Labour Councillor Kyle-Noel Taylor could make some voters think twice about voting for the party who endorsed his application as a councillor when he stood for election to Newcastle Borough Council.

The Lib Dems, Conservatives and TUAC are also fielding candidates in this Kidsgrove By Election. This election is becoming more important as a win for any party other than Labour would ensure that Labour would need every single member to attend Newcastle Borough Council to pass motions. Some residents believe this could be good for local politics as it ensures that no party can take local residents of Newcastle for granted.

Please ensure that you cast your voting intention if you live in the Kidsgrove Ward.

Election 2012: Meet Claire Vodrey Kidsgrove Ward

Claire Vodrey picAs readers will know, we have asked all election candidates to answer a few simple questions, those who have replied we shall share with you their replies online. Today we can feature Claire Vodrey who is standing in the Kidsgrove Ward.

Name: Claire Vodrey

Ward: Kidsgrove

What do you do for a living / what is your background outside of politics?

I work in the public sector and have lived in Kidsgrove for 23 years with my family growing up here.

What are the main local issues impacting on your ward?

Like many other parts of our area jobs are being lost and our services are being cut, closed or privatised. Attempts to close Kidsgrove swimming baths and our Police Station have been prevented by local residents fighting back to save them and the fight to maintain Kidsgrove Delivery Office and against the closure of Maryhill Day Centre must continue.

It's estimated that only 30% of planned cuts have so far been carried out. I think its vital that we end this cycle of cuts, cuts and more cuts being carried out by Tory, Lib Dem and Labour controlled councils otherwise there will be little left for us and a desperate future for our kids.

Kidsgrove is a good town with some great amenities which I want to maintain for the future. The whole country and in particular local communities need to be sure that their local services are protected from the draconian cuts which are being imposed to pay for a national debt that is not of our making.

What are you going to do to address these issues?

As a Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate I am committed to:

Kidsgrove Election Time Again - Kidsgrove By Election

Kidsgrove By ElectionKidsgorve residents have yet another election to vote in for Newcastle Borough Council this Thursday. This is the Kidsgrove By Election which was called after the conviction of former Labour Councillor Kyle Noel-Taylor.

Kidsgrove residents are expected to elect the Labour Party back into the seat which will see the Kidsgrove area represented by 12 Labour councillors, making Kidsgrove a strong Labour area once again.

Residents will have the choice of electing the following candidates on what is expected to be a very low turn out:

  • Phil Crank – Lib Dem
  • Linda Harold – Conservative
  • Terry Turner – Labour
  • Claire Vodrey – TUSAC

Kidsgrove Street Lights Not To Be Switched Off Overnight

kidsgrove street lights not to be switched offStaffordshire’s highways chief has pledged not to introduce a blanket night time switch off of street lighting following an in depth review of the operation.

However, the county council will work with any parish council that would like to reduce some of its lighting overnight, as long as the move is supported by the community.

The review also revealed that £8 million could be saved over the next 16 years by installing hi tech dimming equipment in the columns which will bring lighting to the appropriate level for its use.

This proposal was overwhelmingly supported by the People’s Panel that gives the views of residents in the county. Eighty-two per cent of those consulted either agreed or did not oppose proposals to dim street lights from late evening to early morning.

This view reflects the findings of many councils across the UK that have already dimmed their lights and have reported successful trials with no rises in crime or anti-social behaviour as a result.

However, the county council will monitor the situation as the changes are rolled out and will review the dimming proposals if any adverse effects are noted.

The county council has worked closely with its street lighting partner to secure the significant long term savings while maintaining the same level of performance. This unique agreement has gone above and beyond Government guidance when renegotiating PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contracts and is ground breaking in its approach.

The Enterprise, Environment and Scrutiny Committee will discuss the plans on May 1.

County Councillor Maryon said: “We have carried out a detailed review of our entire street lighting operation, exploring the latest in technology, energy conservation and service delivery. After examining the results of this study we have decided not to introduce a blanket night time switch off of street lighting - but we will be working with communities, as part of the localism agenda and giving them the choice of what happens with street lighting in their area.

We're Sorry

Whitehill OnlineRegular readers of Whitehill Online may have noticed that from late Friday evening the site has been offline. This has been a result of the server which hosts Whitehill Online failing. The server had to be completely rebuilt and restored which has taken a lot longer than planned.

We were unable to inform people about the downtime as we were not aware of the issue arising. We can only apologise for the few days which the site has been down for and hope people appreciate that many hours of unpaid time goes into running this site and keeping it operational.

We are anticipating a few minutes of downtime later in the week, however this will not be noticeable to most users.

Kidsgrove Residents Hit With Gas Road Works

gas main works kidsgroveKidsgrove residents may have noticed when driving around the Kidsgrove area roadworks which have been casused as a result of gas works. It appears that Kidsgrove is the next town on the list to experience the gas works which are bringing about external gas meters to many residents.

Kidsgrove residents have been sent letters advising them about the works and what to expect when they take place, however motorists driving about Kidsgrove are not so lucky. At the moment the works are taking place on William Road in the Whitehill area of Kidsgrove and we believe will also later on take in parts of Whitehill Road.

These improvements are sure to be welcomed to by many residents, however lets just hope that they are completed as quickly as possible without causing too many traffic problems.

If you know of any other areas of Kidsgrove that are likely to be affected by these gas works we would be interested to know.

Kidsgrove Sports Centre Closed

Kidsgrove Sports Centre ClosedKidsgrove Sports Centre has been closed for essential water treatment works.

The maintenance work is required to keep the water pipes, taps and showers clean and to make sure that the water system as a whole continues to operate safely.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to carry out the work while the building is in use as the water supply has to be shut down during the entire procedure.

The cleaning is carried out by specialists in water treatment and the work is expected to take about a week.  

However, although the sports centre indoor facilities will be closed to the public during this period the Astroturf pitches outside the centre will continue to be available.

It is hoped that the centre will re-open to the public on Monday, 14 May.

Kidsgrove Athletic Parking Problems

kidsgrove athletic football clubKidsgrove Athletic fans are being blamed for causing parking problems on Hollinswood Road in Kidsgrove. It appears that on Kidsgrove Athletic match days residents are finding that Kidsgrove football fans are parking on both sides of the road making it really difficult for some of them to get into and out of their own drives. This is clearly something that many people would not be happy to experience. Kidsgrove residents are also concerned about emergency services access to Hollinswood Road on match days.

Clearly this is not a simple issue to resolve. Kidsgrove Athletic Football Club are well established and have been playing for many years. The club can not increase the parking provision at the ground and a successful Kidsgrove Athletic can only be good for the Kidsgrove community. This however has to be balanced with rights of local residents and even if Newcastle Borough Council want to implement parking restrictions in the area, these become totally pointless if they area not enforced.

Have your say on this issue on our Forum Boards. You will need to create a FREE user account to read and post comments made by others.

Labour win Kidsgrove and Newcastle Borough Council

Labour Win Kidsgrove ElectionLabour have taken a clean sweep of the Kidsgrove area in the Newcastle Borough Council elections. In addition Labour have also taken control of Newcastle Borough Council in a very low key and poorly attended local election cycle. Nationally the turn-out was exceptionally poor, only being beaten by that of the Year 2000 when Tony Blair was in control nationally.

Locally Labour have campaigned on many issues relating to Newcastle Borough Council and how they favour Newcastle over Kidsgrove. It will be interesting to see how they manage the council now and clearly ensure that Kidsgrove is favoured over Newcastle, something that many Labour members have complained about. Many Kidsgrove residents will be happy to give the new administration a chance to prove they can deliver on the promises which they have set.

Labour won all of the seats which have been contested locally in the Kidsgrove area.

Kidsgrove Town Council Annual Meeting

kidsgrove town hallKidsgrove Town Council is holding its Annual Town Council Meeting on Thursday 19th April 2012. This meeting takes place from 7PM in Kidsgrove Town Hall. Kidsgrove Town Council will answer any questions which have been put to the Kidsgrove Town Council Clerk Jill Waring, in advance. This could mean that questions regarding the conduct of Mrs Astle and her false claims regarding the Kidsgrove Town Council website may be tackled here.

A report of the activities of the council over the past year is circulated as well as the accounts for the past financial year presented.

Remember that if residents want an election to choose who fills the void of former Labour  Kidsgrove Town Councillor Kyle Noel Taylor then they need to make this request to Newcastle Borough Council before the end of this month.