It appears from news posted by Kidsgrove resident and member of the Friends of Kidsgrove Station group that a ramp will be installed at the station.
This is something that has been campaigned for strongly amongst the local community with the aim of improving access to the station for disabled users. This will now enable increased access to the station at Kidsgrove and hopefully see an increase in the usage figures at the station, hopefully leading to more services operating from the town.
It is not yet know when this ramp will be installed however it should be noted that this would not have been possible without the hard work of many and the backing of the Kidsgrove community.
If you would be interested in helping out the Friends of Kidsgrove Station Group then please contact Mary Maxfield on 784335 or Sandra Bowyer 510872.
Kidsgrove and Butt Lane residents have no doubt been waiting with great excitement at the release of the candidates standing for election at the forthcoming Newcastle Borough Council elections.
In both Kidsgrove and Butt Lane Labour will be defending both seats with candidates Terry Turner and Kyle Robinson respectively. The Kidsgrove Labour team must be confident of success again, given that currently the party holds all of the seats from this area on Newcastle Borough Council.
It does appear that the main threat this year will come from UKIP, who could cause some large upsets both locally and nationally attracting the vote of many people who feel let down and fed up by the actions of the main political parties. Whether this will movement will play out in the local area is unknown in what is a very strong Labour voting area.
A full list of local candidates is listed below;
Becky Carter TUSAC
Bernie Frost UKIP
James Ikin Lib Dem
Graham Lovell Conservative
Terry Turner Labour
Butt Lane Ward
Matthew Banner Conservative
Lynda Griffiths Lib Dem
Kyle Robinson Labour
Gareth Thomas Green Party
Alexander Wright UKIP
Sadly if you are not living in either the Kidsgrove or Butt Lane wards then you will not have a local election for Newcastle Borough Council this time, however you will still have a vote for the European Elections.
It has only been a month since Kidsgrove residents were concerned at the arrival of travelers on Birchenwood Car park in Kidgrove, yet now it appears travelers have returned to the area in a different location.
The travelers have this time descended on land of Gloucester Road which is owned by the University of Chester Academy Kidsgrove. This is the school which was formally known as Maryhill to many in the local area. As it is the land owners responsibility to evict the travelers from the site, it appears this could take longer than the process at Birchenwood which was owned by Newcastle Borough Council.
There will clearly be a cost to obtain a court order forcing them to leave, as well as the cost of clearing up any mess that is left behind. These costs will most probably have to come out of the academy budget, thus potentially taking away vital resources from the main focus of education.
Kidsgrove residents living in Mow Cop, Harriseahead and Newchapel have the chance to take part in a consultation by First Bus regarding proposed changes to bus services in the local area.
The 99A route which currently serves the areas of Mow Cop, Harriseahead and Newchapel is one of the routes that is currently being consulted on. First Bus are proposing to adjust this route so that it will run to Hanley, rather than Newcastle. This is based on the claim that usage numbers are low on the route and more people will benefit from having a bus that accesses Hanley, rather than Newcastle.
There will also be changes to other bus routes in Kidsgrove, with some services running to access North Staffs Hospital directly. This would appear to be a welcome change that many appear to support.
Any changes could happen as soon as June, so Kidsgrove residents are advised to have their say on these proposals via the survey on the First Bus website.
Kidsgrove residents will soon receive the mail shots arriving on doormats from the political parties campaigning to win your vote. This year as well as being the European Elections it is also Kidsgrove and Butt Lane ward elections.
However with it starting to be election season we thought we should take a look back at the last lot of Kidsgrove Town Council elections and how many councillors who were elected, still remain in post?
Kidsgrove Town Council is the local council which actually has a very limited powers as a council, with all members elected being unpaid for their contribution to the council. Kidsgrove Town Council does however have a budget and gets a proportion of council tax from local residents, so they have every right to be held accountable, just like Kidsgrove residents would of Newcastle Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
The last elections for Kidsgrove Town Council took place in 2011. The results then saw the following elected to the council;
Butt Lane Ward
What is interesting is to compare how many of them are still a councillor today. After all it has been hard not to notice some advert being placed asking if people if they want to apply to be co-opted on to Kidsgrove Town Council over the past council period.
We have highlighted in RED all of those councillors who stood for election and have since left the council (according to the information published on Kidsgrove Town Council website), to be replaced by unelected councilors.
The information above suggests that 9 Councillors have left Kidsgrove council since being elected. This actually works out that 38%, or more than ⅓ of Kidsgrove Town Council is currently made up of unelected councillors. This does raise questions about how democratic the whole process is? Kidsgrove residents could ask for an election when a member leaves, however it is estimated this could cost £5000 per election which if this had been the case here would have cost Kidsgrove residents £45,000.
So the real question is when casting your vote is how many of the names standing will still be your local Kidsgrove Town Councillor at the next election?