Kidsgrove is currently being blasted by an artic blizzard which is currently causing havoc on the areas roads and forced many schools in the area to close their doors to students.
The main roads in Kidsgrove were gritted heavily last night by Staffordshire County Council, however the volume of the snow and the drifting nature is meaning that some roads are experiencing snow build up, which is delaying the flow of traffic.
Particular cause for concern appears to be Pennyfields Road, Newchapel Road and Kidsgrove Bank, however as we type this more traffic issues in the Kidsgrove area are probably appearing.
If you have any weather related news/story to share with us or any images from a snowy Kidsgrove, please share them with us.
With fibre broadband on the horizon for Kidsgrove residents we thought we would gauge the mood amongst Kidsgrove residents when it comes to deciding if you are going to make the upgrade to fibre broadband?
When fibre does arrive in Kidsgrove residents will have the choice of opting for this new service. This will require a BT Open Reach engineer to visit your home to install the initial equipment that is required. Kidsgrove residents should be able to have a choice of internet provider, however by far the most popular fibre provider appears to be BT with their infinity product.
Typically fibre based broadband costs more than the standard ADSL+ internet which many Kidsgrove residents will currently use, however given that broadband speeds in some areas of Kidsgrove are very slow, it could be well worth the investment.
So this week in our poll we are asking you if you are planning to upgrade to fibre based broadband?
Kidsgrove Sports Centre, which is run by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, is offering taster climbing wall sessions for people aged between 14 and 25 from next week for a limited period.
The hour-long sessions start on Monday 11 March and will take place from 4.30pm - 5.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 5-6pm on Fridays. Please note this does not include Good Friday or Easter Monday.
It is hoped that those who find that they have a hidden talent for this particular skill will go on to take up formal climbing courses run at the centre.
Places on the free taster sessions are limited so booking is essential.
Kidsgrove residents are being asked to attend a meeting if they are interested in being part of a U3A project for the Kidsgrove area. The initial meeting will be held at St Thomas' Church Hall on March 5th at 2.30pm. It is hoped that enough interest will be shown in this project to get this idea up and running.
U3A stands for the University of the Third Age, which is a self-help organisation for people no longer in full time employment providing educational, creative and leisure opportunities in a friendly environment. It consists of local U3As all over the UK, which are charities in their own right and are run entirely by volunteers. Local U3As are learning cooperatives which draw upon the knowledge, experience and skills of their own members to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership.
The teachers learn and the learners teach. Between them U3As offer the chance to study over 300 different subjects in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, crafts, photography and walking. A typical U3A has about 250 members but could be as small as 12 and as large as 2000. The U3A approach to learning is - learning for pleasure.
There is no accreditation or validation and there are no assessments or qualifications to be gained.
The borough council’s share of Council Tax bills is to be frozen following a decision by councillors.
An average Band D property will continue to pay the borough council £176.93 from April this year despite the financial pressures facing the council. This is the equivalent of around 48 pence a day for the many services the borough provides for residents.
Car parking charges and a range of other fees and charges for the year ahead have also been frozen by the council.
At the budget setting meeting, councillors were told that the council is on target to achieve the £2.1 million savings required in the current financial year.
This means final bills for an average Band D property for 2013/14 will be made up of:-
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council £176.93
Staffordshire County Council £1,027.25
Staffordshire Fire Authority £67.64
Staffordshire Police Authority £177.61
Kidsgrove is edging closer to the installation of super vast broadband with the installation in many parts of the town of the fibre cabinets. These are the new 2nd green boxes that are tending to appear close to the location of the existing BT telephone cabinets.
This will be a welcome addition for many Kidsgrove residents who in some areas have reported slow broadband speeds, something that will change if they buy into the fibre packages offered by BT or alternative provider.
We would estimate that the whole of Kidsgorve will be “live” with fibre broadband at some point in May, if the time frames that other areas have experienced are something to go by. It could be a much longer waiting period though for any Kidsgrove residents who actually want to get fibre installed.
The HS2 extension which has been announced this morning will bypass Kidsgrove and Stoke, yet provide a South bound station at Crewe. This will mean with current connection times that residents of Kidsgrove will have a HS2 connection at Crewe just 10 mins journey time from Kidsgrove.
The map of the proposed route will also take this line away from Kidsgrove which will ensure that there will be minimal environment damage to the local area. The route which is very much in the proposed stage will be constructed and in operation by 2032. This will enable residents of the local area a connection with London in under an hour.
Last night Kidsgrove was once again hit with heavy snowfall. The snowfall was heavy and prolonged, lasting well into the early hours of the morning. This snow fall had been predicted by the Met Office with an amber weather warning in place which covered the Kidsgrove area.
The snow which began falling around 5pm took its time to leave its mark on Kidsgrove, however by 9pm it was clear this was the heaviest snowfall that Kidsgrove has experienced for a number of years. Staffordshire County Council were fighting a losing battle constantly gritting and ploughing the snow from the local roads, a job which continued all night and still as this is being published.
The outstanding work of Staffordshire County Council does mean that residents are able to drive on the local roads this morning, all be it limited in places. Market Street in Kidsgrove and Heathcote Street have both been reduced to a single file ploughed track this morning. These roads will hopefully clear further as more traffic takes to the roads this morning.
First Bus in Staffordshire has still suspended all bus services. The number 7 route which serves Kidsgrove was one of the first to be suspended last night following the snowfall. There were numerous reports of traffic accidents taking place last night as some of the freezing rain made the roads even more dangerous and impassable. Many reports suggest that Kidsgrove Bank and Pennyfields Road became impassable at times.
The good news is that the temperature should rise today and start the snow melt process. Heavy rain is forecast for later tonight which could cause floods for some areas.
Kidsgrove Town Council has disqualified Margaret Astle from being a member of Kidsgrove Town Council.
Margaret Astle was formally disqualified from Kidsgrove Town Council this week as a result of not attending for the past 6 months. It is not known the reasons why Margaret Astle has not attended Kidsgrove Town Council meetings for the last 6 months, however it appears to have caused some confusion amongst residents that such an active member of the Kidsgrove political scene has not been attending Kidsgrove Town Council meetings.
Kidsgrove Town Council will now advertise the vacant position on Kidsgrove Town Council. The council could choose to co-opt someone onto Kidsgrove Town Council or if 10 Kidsgrove residents wish they can request that a bi-election is called.
We have been privileged to have been emailed a collection of images taken of Mow Cop Castle and surrounds in the snowfall. They once again go to highlight the beauty of the Kidsgrove attraction in winter.
Mow Cop Castle is a stunning local landmark which can actually be seen from 5 different counties on a clear day. Mow Cop Castle is an exceptionally popular local attraction both in the summer and winter months. Looking at the images we have been sent it is clear to see why Mow Cop proves such a popular attraction in the winter.
The recent snowfall in Kidsgrove may cause havoc and disruption to our busy lives, however some of the images of the recent snowfall just highlight how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful area.
You can view the images by clicking the "More" link below.
We have been privileged to have been emailed a collection of images taken of Bathpool Park in the snowfall. They once again go to highlight the beauty of the Kidsgrove attraction in winter.
It is impressive to see Bathpool Park looking so tidy and smart these days. It is just rewards for all of the hard work which the Friends of Bathpool Park group have put in to get improvements made to the park. It is now an exceptionally popular local attraction and looking at the stunning images below, it is clear to see why this is the case.
The recent snowfall in Kidsgrove may cause havoc and disruption to our busy lives, however some of the images of the recent snowfall just highlight how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful area.
You can view the images by clicking the "More" link below.
Kidsgrove Aldi has applied to Newcastle Borough Council for increased opening hours for the Kidsgrove store. The application would see the Kidsgrove store be able to open until 11pm.
The Kidsgrove store has recently appeared to grow in popularity with shoppers. Many Kidsgrove residents have been complaining about the lack of car parking spaces on the Kidsgrove store's site during the Christmas period and the problem of getting out from the car park when wanting to turn right and join traffic waiting on Liverpool Road traffic lights.
Kidsgrove already has Tesco which opens 24 hours and a new Co-Op store in Alsager which is proving exceptionally popular at the moment. Combine this with plans by Sainsbury's to open a new supermarket in Alsager, which will give local residents ample shopping provision.
Kidsgrove Town Council last week voted to freeze their proportion of the council tax which Kidsgrove residents will pay for the coming year.
Kidsgrove Town Council is only responsible for a handful of services which Kidsgrove residents experience with Newcastle Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council being the main service providers. The final council tax bill which Kidsgrove residents will face will be a combined bill for all services, including Staffordshire Police and Fire Service. If all of the above choose not to ask for an increase, then the overall council tax bill for Kidsgrove residents will remain the same as this year.
This is a welcome move by Kidsgrove Town Council and one that many residents would have no doubt expected.
We here at Whitehill Online would like to wish everyone in Kidsgrove and around the world who reads this site a very Merry Christmas.
It appears that this is a Christmas that we in Kidsgrove will remember as one that has brought us local small scale flooding and hidden pot holes under Gloucester Road bridge. We only hope that the day brings a rest-bite from the wet weather and allows the area to dry out.
We hope you are having a festive fun day where-ever you are located.
We are delighted to present a range of images that have been taken of Kidsgrove during the recent snowfall. We asked via the website and our Facebook and Twitter pages for Kidsgrove residents to share any images that they had taken and we have had a really pleasing response.
Below you can find a collection of images that we have received so far from all over the Kidsgrove area. Some images were taken in Kidsgrove Town Centre and show the quiet streets and snow lying on the roads, whereas others show The Avenue in Kidsgrove and St. Thomas’ church looking beautiful in the snowfall. We were also sent some images from Whitehill showing how the snow brought the main road through the village down to a few single tracks and covering Whitehill Road down to Kidsgrove completely.
If you have any more photos of Kidsgrove that you would be willing to share, please get in touch and we will be happy to publish them. Thanks for this images published so far need to go to; Mike, Robin, Mary and Dave.
Images can be seen by clicking the More link below.
Kidsgrove has stood up fairly well to the recent bad weather that has been affecting the local area. The heavy rainfall has caused havoc in many parts of the county of Staffordshire, with main roads closed because of flooding.
It appears that one road which has flooded this time is The Avenue, in Kidsgrove which has been home to a large flood across the carriageway. The depth of this water has caused little difficulty for traffic to pass thought the water, however some Kidsgrove residents have complained about getting splashed as they walk past this area.
In Harriseahead the weather brought down a telephone line, which closed off the main road for a couple of hours yesterday. Other than that it appears that Kidsgrove has coped fairly well with the adverse weather conditions. Let’s hope Kidsgrove continues this way with the additional rain which is forecast to fall later tonight and tomorrow.
If you know of any flooding or have pictures of flooding in Kidsgrove, please share them with us.
Kidsgrove has been battered by a prolonged period of snowfall, which began last night and has continued throughout today and long into the evening. Many Kidsgrove residents appeared to be prepared for the event, with shopping numbers in Kidsgrove town centre drastically reduced for a Friday.
The snowfall which was the focus of a Met Office amber weather warning has been fairly light for most of the day, however has continued for a prolonged period of time. Staffordshire County Council appears to have done an excellent job on gritting this year, with many more roads than usual gritted in preparation for this snowfall. They have also been gritting no-stop today and on the whole kept most of the roads in Kidsgrove moving.
It appears that most of the issues have related to the lack of stock in local shops, something which Kidsgrove Councillor Mary Maxfield discovered today. Some residents have been panic buying in anticipation of the snowfall, something which has led to some items being unavailable in shops.
Newcastle Borough Council closed the Kidsgrove Contact Centre early at 12.30pm today and swimming lessons at Kidsgrove Sports Centre have been cancelled.
If you have any images of the snowfall in Kidsgrove or have any comments regarding the snowfall in Kidsgrove, please share them with us.
Whitehill Methodist Church has a wide range of services and events taking place this Christmas time in which all Kidsgrove residents are invited to attend.
As the festive period approaches special Christmas services are taking place at Whitehill Methodist Church on; Sunday the 16th of December at 10.30am and 6pm; Sunday the 23rd of Decemember at 10.30am and 6pm; Christmas Eve at 9pm; Christmas Day at 10am; Sunday the 30th at 10.30am and Sunday the 6th of January at 10.30am.
The Footsteps Cafe at Whitehill Methodist Church will be open as usual over the festive period on Monday 17th and 24th of December between 10am and 12pm.
Please feel free to contact Whitehill Methodist Church for any further information regarding any event taking place at the Church.
Kidsgrove is braced for heavy snowfall over the next 24 hours. The Met Office is forecasting that the snowfall could be heavy at times, with an amber weather warning issued for the area.
Staffordshire County Council who is responsible for the gritting of the highways have made the decision to grit 4 out of 5 roads. This is a massive increase and the first time that any administration controlling Staffordshire County Council have done this. It appears this is a move by the council to try and keep the highways moving in the local area.
Kidsgrove residents are being asked not to park on roads if possible to allow maximum space for the snow ploughs to fit though. These are fitted to the gritting lorries in adverse weather conditions and are used to clear snow from the highway. Residents need to remember that grit does not work unless it has traffic traveling up and down on it and snow will always cause some form of disruption to travel.
Kidsgrove residents can get the latest local weather updates and news by following @whitehillonline on Twitter. This is also the place to share any images that you have of the snowfall in Kidsgrove.
The latest edition of Kidsgrove News is now available online to read. Kidsgrove News is the local bi-monthly publication for Kidsgrove and is delivered to every home in the Kidsgrove area.
The December issue of Kidsgrove news features as ever a wide range of local news stories and features. Last month was a record month for the online readership of Kidsgrove News, reinforcing the online popularity of the local publication.
You can view the latest edition of Kidsgrove News along with previous editions of Kidsgrove News by clicking the “Kidsgrove News Journal” link in our Kidsgrove News menu or by simply clicking the link here.
Kidsgrove resident and Councillor Mary Maxfield was pleased to report in the forum section that on the whole crime in the area of Kidsgrove which she is the neighbourhood watch co-ordinator (Whitehill Road and Highfield Avenue) is fairly low. Clearly this does not mean that residents should get complacent in these areas and residents need to constantly ensure that they are acting on the advice of the Police to ensure that they don’t become a victim of crime.
It appears that in the Kidsgrove area van owners should ensure where possible that they remove any tools from them overnight. This is following reports that one Kidsgrove resident had their van broken into and tools stolen from the Everest Road area.
It goes without saying that it is important that Kidsgrove resident’s report all crime to the local Police to ensure that I true picture of what is happening in the local area can be established.
The Kidsgrove Rotary Club have announced their Reindeer Routes for Christmas 2012. This is a popular event which marks the festive occasion and brings in much needed revenue to the Kidsgrove Rotary Club. These funds are spent in the local Kidsgrove community.
Please find the timetable for Santa below.
Kidsgrove is braced to see its first snowfall of the winter later on this evening. The Met Office is forecasting that Kidsgrove could expect to a light snowfall later on this evening, with more coming early tomorrow morning. Combine this with the ice which will form overnight and it all adds to the usual winter bedlam that we have come to expect.
Staffordshire County Council who maintain the highways claims to have got vast reserves of salt this year, which will have mostly been untouched this winter. It will be interesting to see how long such salt reserves can last for if the winter weather lasts for a prolonged length of time?
Kidsgrove residents need to remember that Staffordshire County Council only grits main roads, however the percentage of roads gritted in Staffordshire is much higher than the national average. The map showing the gritting routes in Kidsgrove is shown above.
Kidsgrove Christmas lights will be switched on this Saturday (1st December), marking the festive season in Kidsgrove.
The Christmas lights have been installed in the town now for a number of weeks, however this weekend is the first one in which Kidsgrove starts to mark the occasion. The Kidsgrove Christmas lights will be switched on around 4pm by Santa.
The day will also see a Victorian Christmas Market take place in the morning at Kidsgrove Town Hall. The event will be officially opened by the Kidsgrove mayor Gill Burnett and will hopefully once again be a success. It is hoped that many Kidsgrove residents will attend the event and celebrate the festive period in Kidsgrove.
BBC TV have broadcast the Great British Railway Journeys which has seen Michael Portillo visit Kidsgrove railway station and Mow Cop as part of his TV show following Bradshaw’s Victorian railway guidebook.
Michael Portillo starts off his trip in this edition in Stoke-on-Trent and travels to Kidsgrove on the East Midlands Train Service for an evening visit to Mow Cop Castle. Michael Portillo comments that the guide reports positive comments about Kidsgrove and the impressive views on a clear day from Mow Cop castle. He visits a local pub in Mow Cop and watches the sun set over the Welsh hills.
This programme shows Kidsgrove in a real positive light and can be watched on BBC iplayer by clicking the link here.
The recent bad weather which has been hitting Kidsgrove and much of the Staffordshire area has got many Kidsgrove residents asking about the sweeping of the local highways.
It appears from the discussion that has been taking place in our Forum that Kidsgrove residents should expect to see their roads cleaned 6 times a year, however parked cars make it difficult to complete the task with 100% effectiveness. Staffordshire County Councillor Mary Maxfield also went on to explain that it is Newcastle Borough Council who sweep the highways and not Staffordshire County Council.
It has been claimed over the last few days that some of the localised road flooding has been caused by drains being blocked by leaves falling. It also was reported that Stoke-on-Trent council was out sweeping all the main highways in advance of the predicted rainfall. This does appear to have been successful as we have not heard any reports of flooding on the major roads in Stoke-on-Trent.
Kidsgrove does appear to have also survived the recent rainfall, with no major reports of flooding. This is probably as a result of the years of fighting that Councillor Maxfield put in to get trouble spots in Kidsgrove addressed.
The ever present pot holes that have been found under the Gloucester Road bridge in Kidsgrove have finally been filled, however the problem which has brought about these has yet to be addressed.
It appears that following a cyclist having an accident as a result of one of the large pot holes under the Gloucester Road bridge in Kidsgrove, County Councillor Mary Maxfield got Staffordshire County Council to instantly address the initial problem of the pot holes. Both of these holes have now been filled with special tarmac which can be laid under water, however how long this initial repair will last for is anyone’s guess?
It appears that the real problem is the water which is constantly flowing across the road under the Gloucester Road bridge in Kidsgrove. This is has been assessed as being a result of excessive water runoff from some old mine workings. Staffordshire County Council is now investigating what can be done to address the long term problem.
Staffordshire County Council has cautiously welcomed plans from Government to reward councils for creating jobs and growth in their areas.
Under the proposed business rates retention scheme Staffordshire County Council has agreed in principle to pool business rates with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council.
The current system requires councils to collect business rates and send the money to central government, who then use a complex set of calculations to redistribute the money back to councils.
The new proposal, to be formally approved next month, would allow councils to keep more of the business rates they collect. This means that councils who encourage enterprise and growth will get more money from business rates to invest back into local areas.
This extra money would enable the county council to develop more business sites and invest in roads and transport links. It would also help to improve training and education so that local people can benefit from any new jobs on offer.
County council officers are exploring the proposals in detail to make sure that they deliver real benefits for the county, before making a final decision on pooling in December.
Also included in the proposed business rates pool are Stoke-on-Trent City, South Staffordshire and Stafford Borough Councils, as well as the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
There have been quite a few comments made by Kidsgrove residents regarding the state of the newly resurfaced roads in the Kidsgrove area.
Many Kidsgrove roads have benefited from the massive highways investment which Staffordshire County Council has undertaken over the past years. This year it has seen many Kidsgrove roads resurfaced, something that should prolong the life of the highway and ensure that the dreaded pot hole does not have chance to form.
The process that the council use is called Surface Dressing. This process involves spraying the road with some form of adhesive which then will have stone chippings applied to this surface. Once rolled this is meant to form a waterproof, hardwearing surface.
It does appear that on many of the local roads the number of loose road chippings is increasing and not decreasing as time progresses. This appears to have become more of a problem following the first cold patch that we experienced at the beginning of December. Now with the increased rainfall it appears that more chippings are being given up from the surface, leaving parts of the highway completely bare.
This has led to many Kidsgrove residents questioning how effective this whole resurfacing process is. There have been many comments suggesting that Staffordshire County Council should be asking the contractor to revisit the area and rectify what appears to be a common issue. No doubt this issue is being discussed at a council level and we will report any comment the council makes on this.
Following yesterday’s election, the elected Commissioner for the county has been announced as Matthew Ellis. Kidsgrove Labour Party members had appeared confident of a victory for Labour, however it appears that a low turnout in Stoke-on-Trent and a lower than expected margin of victory for Labour in Stoke-on-Trent meant that the Conservatives were always in with a fighting chance.
Matthew will make a declaration of Acceptance of Office on Monday (19 Nov) and will take up office next Thursday (22 Nov). He will oversee policing in Kidsgrove and Staffordshire as a whole
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham said: “I would like to welcome Matthew to the role of Police and Crime commissioner for Staffordshire and look forward to forging a strong relationship as we work to keep the communities of Staffordshire safe and reassured.”
Chief Executive of Staffordshire Police Authority Damon Taylor added: "Today's election result is the culmination of many months of planning to ensure that the right arrangements are in place for the incoming Police & Crime Commissioner. I congratulate Matthew on his victory and now look forward to working alongside them to fully develop this new role to ensure that it contributes effectively towards the greater benefit of policing and community safety, working with the many diverse communities of Staffordshire".