Welcome to the third edition of the Sunday supplement. This is where we take a look back at the week of news from Kidsgrove. This week has been another eventful and busy week in Kidsgrove which saw the area hit by high winds, traffic jams and power cuts.
The week kicked off when we looked at who were the directors behind the Community Interest Company (CIC) tasked with the job of promoting Kidsgrove. The company which comprises at the moment of Kidsgrove councillors and business people has been created so that it is able to take advantage of additional sources of income that the council may not be directly able obtain.
Kidsgrove Councillors and CIC Director informed us that the company address used (Kidsgrove Councillor Paul Waring home address) was used simply to ensure that paperwork didn’t get lost at the company creation stage which could have slowed down the formation of the company. Let’s hope that the CIC has success in promoting Kidsgrove and engaging Kidsgrove businesses, which at the moment sound a little reluctant on the whole to get involved.
Yesterday morning and afternoon (Friday 6th December) some parts of Kidsgrove were hit by a power cut which is reported to have lasted for at least 4 hours in places.
Shops in some of Kidsgrove were severely affected as they were unable to trade because of the requirement for power to operate their till systems. The power cut which we believe was linked to the small sub-station close to Valentine Road meant that half of the shops in Market Street had no power as well as the Aldi supermarket. Stores such as Lloyds and Home Bargains were affected, however we were told that the former had power in one part of the shop, but not the other.
This power cut would have severely affected takings for businesses in Kidsgrove on one of the busiest shopping days of the week. This power cut came just a day after Kidsgrove was gridlocked due to the M6 being closed. This will not have been a good week for local businesses at what is expected to be a busy time of the year.
Kidsgrove mobile phone users on network EE will be able to soon have access to 4G services on their mobile devices. This is after the company announced yesterday that Stoke-on-Trent is the latest part of the country to see 4G starting to be switched on.
Currently only a few selective areas of Stoke-on-Trent have access to 4G services however EE claims that all of the area will be covered before the year is out. This will include Kidsgrove as in the world of mobile communications the post codes for many Kidsgrove and Alsager residents class as being from Stoke-on-Trent.
If Kidsgrove residents wish to take advantage of this new faster mobile internet then they will most probably need a new phone, contract and probably increase the amount they pay their mobile provider each month. EE will most probably be the first provider to bring 4G to Kidsgrove, however 3 have already confirmed that the area will be switched on at some point during 2014. At the current time we have no information on O2 or Vodafone plans for the area.
Kidsgrove yesterday suffered its usual traffic grid lock yesterday when the M6 was closed, as traffic took to the usual diversion routes of the A50 and A34.
Yesterday was particularly bad as the A50 between Red Bull traffic lights and Church Lawton lights was closed off due to a fallen tree. There were reports of it taking over an hour to make the short journey from Alsager to Kidsgrove.
Kidsgrove Town Centre and the A34 at both Butt Lane and Talke were other potential spots to avoid as the sheer volume of traffic just brought the local infrastructure in Kidsgrove to a standstill. This is becoming a common feature of the town when the M6 is closed, mainly due to the fact that some of the roads are on the official diversion route.
It does pose the question if this is the best option for Kidsgrove residents, as many simply report that they are unable to get around the town or don’t even bother to venture out. It would be interesting to know how such an event does impact on the shopping habits of Kidsgrove residents.
Kidsgrove Councillor and Director of Kidsgrove Town Centre Community Interest Company Elliot Ashton has informed us about the Kidsgrove Christmas Challenge. This is the scheme that has been mentioned previously in our articles, however we have able to work out how it all works.
Elliot commented “The Independent Christmas Challenge is a National scheme mainly for children, the idea is to visit 10 of the 24 shops signed up in Kidsgrove and Butt Lane and collect a sticker from each, they then take the competed booklet (which we will be distributing to schools) to the library to collect a prize supplied by Tesco and a certificate and they can enter a free prize draw for a chance to win a boys or girls bike provided by Smithsons or one of two £50 cash prizes provided by ICL.”
It sounds like a scheme that can work if it can get Kidsgrove young residents and parents involved in shopping in Kidsgrove. I think everyone accepts that developing and improving Kidsgrove is going to take time and money.