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Staffordshire County Council's highways gritting teams will be adapting their anti freeze operations from tonight to keep the road network on the move - despite the national shortage of salt supplies.
The decision has been made to grit A and B roads only in order to save on valuable salt reserves.
Dedicated teams will continue to brave the weather to spread salt by hand in 'critical' places including around hospitals and GP surgeries and in town centres.
The move comes after many weeks in which Staffordshire has bucked
the trend amongst highways authorities and carried on gritting 43% of
the network. This service is much higher than the national figure, even
in normal times.
County Councillor Mike Maryon, Cabinet member for Highways, said: "The gritting teams have been working extremely hard to keep Staffordshire on the move despite the national salt shortage.
The BBC has conducted some research under the FOI act to obtain the costs which councils are paying for salt from their suppliers which is used to grit the roads. The findings of this report made interesting reading as a UK but also raises more worrying questions if you are a resident in Staffordshire.
The BBC established that there were 3 major suppliers to all the UK councils based in different parts of the UK. We in Staffordshire naturally have a contract with South Cheshire based the Salt Union. Despite this local based supplier Staffordshire County Council is spending one of the largest amounts of tax payers money on salt in the whole of the UK.
It appears that Bath Pool park in Kidsgrove is going though what can only be described as a bit of a revival. After years of neglect the once famed park (for all the wrong reasons) in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire has seen a vast amount of money spent on improving the area.
There is a new park for children to play on, football / basket ball courts, tarmac footpath, street lighting, litter bins and the new popular addition which seems to have many residents talking is the provision of fitness machines.
Bath Pool is certainly a place that I would recommend visiting, however if it is as popular as the day I visited then expect to be waiting a while for a car parking space on the site.
We can exclusively inform you that the Plough Inn on Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove is to re-open later on this year. Some residents will have noticed the work which has been taking place there, however this is in preperation for the re-opening.
Mary Maxfield has informed Whitehill Online that the new owners will be Mandy and Ian Maxfield with the pub being a free house and family focused.
We will keep you informed on developments on this exciting piece of news for Kidsgrove.
On a sader note we are lead to believe that Brennans Pub will soon be turned into housing as planning permission has been granted for this work to take place. This will at least improve the visual look of the area, even if it sadly will mean the loss of one local pub forever.
It is being reported in this evenings Sentinel that Newcastle Borough Council are considering closing many of the public toilets which operate across the area. This would clearly have implications for the toilets which are found in the local area. We have 2 toilets in Kidsgrove town centre as well as one in Butt Lane which all could be involved in these cuts.
Newcastle Borough Council leader Simon Tagg has singled out Kidsgrove in his comments to the Sentinel saying "In Kidsgrove you can have two public toilets within a few hundred yards of each other.", something that I think it is fair to assume means that Kidsgorve can expect to see at least one of its public toilets closing. I think it would be interesting to see the usage figures for all the toilets in the borough before the council makes any decision, however this will be unlikely as the council has already budgeted for the cuts.
The proposal suggests that alternative venues within public buildings could be used, so in Kidsgrove town centre it is fair to assume the Library and the soon to open 1 Stop Shop will the chosen venue should you need to use a public toilet.
Town, Borough and County Councillor has told Whitehill Online that the current plan is to close the toilet in Liverpool Road and then refurbish the toilets in Hethcoate Street. The Liverpool Road toilets will be replaced when the new One Stop Shop opens in the Kidsgrove Town Hall, providing better facilities all round.
You can read the full article published in the Sentinel here http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/news/Plug-pulled-public-loos/article-1217255-detail/article.html
You can read Mary Maxfield's full comments on this story on our forum boards .