New Mosque for Stoke-on-Trent South ““ What’s the Issue?

Yesterday’s Sentinel contained a story about the proposed new Mosque at the top of Chaplin Road in Normacot and surprise surprise it has attracted well over a 100 comments.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the story at all, but the comments left on the website shows that this kind of issue always brings out the extremes in our society.

The mosque in question will be built to replace the existing mosque on the opposite side of the road, yet you would think that this building was just being planted on the Normacot landscape with no prior history.

This mosque, the land on which it will sit, plus additional land/buildings which will be turned into car parking, has been brought and paid for by members of the Normacot community. There is no council/government windfall that is funding this project, just the hard work and endeavours of the Asian community who want a place of worship that is fir for purpose.

The new building will replace an old derelict pottery that was, until it was demolished, an eyesore and blot on the landscape.

This new mosque will be an attractive property that will be landscaped, have arched windows and a domed roof with a minaret. In my opinion it will be a vast improvement on what was there previously.

Reading the comments left on the Sentinel website made me question the mentality of some people.

Here are just a few examples:

” I hope the councillors reject this preposterous idea of building a second mosque in the City!”
”Welcome to Great Britain….NOT”
”well it as not taken long for this to happen as it? when will you lot learn that the labour party is run buy asains so this will get the rubber stamp. should have voted BNP ?? how stupid you are! just wake up
”what a joke, another mosque at a cost of £1.5 million, where do they get the money from? this labour party is a load of bull who will grant permission for mosques but nothing else. we need more work places built or houses for BRITISH people, its not us being racist, its LABOUR”
”William Blake’s imortal song ” Jerusalem ” will have to be written to accommodate these mosques soon i fear :
‘Till we have built ISLAMABAD In England’s green and pleasant land’
”The people of Stoke only have themselves to blame for this. You got what you voted for and boy did you. Everyone of you had the chance to vote BNP in may and you didnt. If you had then you would of had BNP councellors on the council to reject it and most likely of had the plans scrapped. I have no simpathy for you cos you had the chance to have your say in may and you were silent. NO POINT SHOUTING NOW”

And this in a City that has just voted every last politician of a far right persuasion out of the council chamber.

The fact is that the Normacot community want a bigger building than the one that is there at the moment so they want to replace it ““ why is that such an issue.

Just three letters of objection were sent to the council raising the following concerns:

1. The existing mosque already creates nuisance which would be exacerbated by the proposed development.
2. The scheme would create traffic danger.
3. The building would be an eyesore.
4. There is no need for another mosque as there are others around the city

A letter of support was sent by the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South Rob Flello stating that he supports the development of all faith and religious organisations in the area and considers that allowing them to develop new places of worship helps these groups thrive. He considers that the proposal will be a welcome addition to the wider community.

One concern I do have relates to parking. Friday’s can be a bit of a nightmare for motorists in the area and often cars are double parked or parked illegally around the site of the existing mosque.

The main highway issue is parking. The mosque is intended to serve the local community and as there are mosques in other parts of the city, a large proportion of worshipers are expected to bewithin walking distance. There is also a bus service passing the site.

Notwithstanding this, parking remains an issue and it is evident that there is significant demand for on-street parking at the busiest times at the existing mosque. A total of 39 parking spaces is proposed in the current application, the majority of which would be on the northern part of the site. The outline scheme would have provided 53 spaces in an underground car park. Although on a parking space / floorspace ratio, the current provision would be more or less the same as before (because of the smaller size of building now proposed), the overall number of visitors is likely to be the same. If there are not enough spaces to satisfy the demand, congestion could occur as visitors try to enter the car park when full. It is therefore suggested that the applicants use a permit system so that those in most need of a parking space could be allocated one. This could be arranged through a travel plan which is included at condition 4..

In addition to the off-site arrangements it was considered appropriate in relation to the outline application for funding to be provided for the introduction of parking controls in the area should they prove to be necessary. This would be returned after three years if parking problems had not occurred. This was controlled through a S106 agreement. The same arrangement is considered appropriate in this instance. The outline permission was also conditional to traffic calming measures being provided within the vicinity of the mosque and again these should be provided.

The submitted travel plan is generally good including targets and measures to reduce single occupancy car trips to the site. The final details of this will need to be agreed by condition but subject to this, and the provisions referred to above, the development is considered to be acceptable in highway terms and is in accordance with policiesT1A and T18A.

The other issue is the myth about the call to prayer and how it will be heard all over the south of the city. Again the council planning office has built in restrictions to protect residents of any noise pollution.

The applicants have indicated that they would like to operate a call to prayer which would be announced through an internal PA system 5 minutes before the actual prayer meeting takes place. The previous permission was subject to a condition which limited the volume and times that prayer calls could take place and it is suggested that a similar condition be used, should the current application be approved.

Planning officers conclude their report with the recommendation that the proposal be approved.

That will not deter the dissenters of course and those who wish to turn the issue of worship into a political debate.

Rumours are circulating around the south of the city that the BNP have seized this issue and are set for a robust leaflet campaign. Internet forums are hinting that the English Defence League may use this issue to make a return visit to our city.

Finally, if like this contributor:

This protracted debate indicates what is increasingly wrong with this site. The irksome debate of how many dancing pinheads are involved in far right local politics is an unhealthy obsession with the author of the article. Surely it would be to the benefit of everyone that we concentrate on finding solutions to those seemingly intractable problems that drive the disillusionment with main stream politics such as unemployment, poverty, low wages and poor levels of attainment?

you are left wondering why I am sensitive about issues like this and the danger of the far right in the City of Stoke-on-Trent, just read this taken from today’s Stoke England First Website and then ask yourselves where the real danger comes from?

No sooner is the pisspoor excuse for an election over, than that bastard Pervez is at it again.

The plans for a terrorist training camp in Normacot; oops, sorry, that should read plans for a new mosque in Normacot; are back on the table, and that tubby immigrant is driving forward his plans to colonise Stoke-on-Trent with his muzzie brethren by building mosques in every part of the city, making sure that that the vast majority of taxi services are muslim based- an unfair monopoly- that public swimming pools are closed so his mate Mo can rip off even more people with his sky high charges, and now with the re-appearance of that far left bum bandit Meredith, they will flood the city with even more immigrants, like the overspill from Birmingham currently turning the north of the city into a black enclave!

Take a look at the voluntary bodies handed £millions every year by the city council. Look at VAST, and who runs it, look at the Dudson centre and who runs it, listen to their bullshit about what an important service they perform for the city, then do like me and several colleagues did, and take a good close look at their finances.

Perfoming an important service for the city?

Bollocks, the majority of the money that goes through the doors of places like this is taken up in salaries and pension payments!

“ËœUnemployment, poverty, low wages and poor levels of attainment’ make for attitude like this do they? Somehow I think that it is a whole lot more to do with hatred.

I pose the following to the reader:

Does the danger to our city and the people who live here come from the building of a new mosque for the Muslim population of the south of the city?

Or from far right extremists who display a lack of tolerance, respect and attitudes like this?

Stoke BNP Member Claims His Party Is Finished

I recently asked a senior figure in Stoke BNP if he thought his party was finished for good in our city. He looked me straight in the eye and replied: “I think we are Tone yes”.

He went on to explain that his party had self destructed and imploded in the past two years and he laid the blame firmly and squarely at the doorstep of BNP Leader Nick Griffin.

The story did not get better for the far right party as this activist said that the recent election campaign received no party funding what so ever.

I was told that the BNP would never come back from this low point and that all the fight had gone out of the membership. The party insider revealed that they had really struggled to attract any candidate of quality.

It had cost some candidates in the region of £750 to fund and fight the campaign.

”We just could not compete with the Labour Party and they just smashed us!

“They were really organised this time especially in the centre of the city ““ colour leaflets and telephone campaigning, they knocked the doors en masse and they got their voters out on polling day.

“I don’t know where the BNP go from here, there is no enthusiasm, and we haven’t met since election night.

“Activists aren’t to blame that’s for sure, we have seen a drop in members, some activist have gone off to join other nationalist parties. It’s all down to Nick Griffin.”

This dejected BNP member told of his anger at the way Griffin his running the party.

It appears that if you question the BNP leadership you get an black mark against your name and before you know it you are out of the party.

Griffin is holding on the all the available funds and party activists are left high and dry and are having to fund party expenses themselves.

Many BNP members believe that Griffin his hanging onto the purse strings to fund his, and Andrew Brons’s next European Election campaign.

The Stoke BNP member believes that if Griffin is successful in getting re-elected to the European Parliament then, and only then will he relinquish the chairmanship of the party.

”It’s all down to money with Griffin Tone, He has his entourage to pay for and we believe he employs his wife and his daughter out of his European expenses.

“He is doing all right and we are struggling to fight a campaign against the might of the Labour Party machine.

“I just want to serve as I always have, but everything you do is futile without any party funding to help get leaflets delivered.

“I just wonder where all the money has gone, but it’s no good questioning anything either, only the chosen few know the true picture.

“In four years time we will have a general election to fight alongside the local elections. With people getting fed up and moving on you wonder if we will be able to fight either election.

“The morale is at rock bottom in the party. People are asking if there is any point meeting and if there is anything that we as a group can do anyway.

“This city has four years of Labour to contend with and I’m not sure if the BNP has enough to scrutinise from outside the chamber”.

BNP Leader Nick Griffin claimed nearly £300,000 for his first year as a MEP. This has led to accusations about him jumping aboard the gravy train that he and his party were so outspoken about.

He is yet to answer just how much of his income he has donated to the British National Party.

It has been a spectacular fall from grace both in this city and nationally for the BNP.

At the height of their popularity in 2008 they had 55 councillors nationwide and 9 in here in Stoke-on-Trent.

Now in 2011 they have just 12 councillors across the country and here in this city they have been wiped out of the chamber.

The far right party defended 12 council seats across the country but held on to just 2.

With things as bad as the senior Stoke BNP member paints it, you really do wonder if this is the end for the BNP.

Nationalist parties seem to have been rejected unilaterally by the electorate locally and across the country.

In 2010 the England First Party fielded candidates against the BNP in Stoke. In 2011 they had an agreement not to stand against each other. Out of 16 far right candidates fighting the City Council elections, none were successful.

Of 74,321 votes cast in the Stoke-on-Trent local elections, just 3,690 went to “Ëœnationalist’ candidates.

Politics is often like music and fashion trends, something is fashionable and popular only to fade away and then without warning it is back again. The same could be said about the politics of the far right.

Opponents of the far right, organisations like Searchlight, Unite Against Fascism, Hope Not Hate and NorSCARF will not drop their guard.

They know better than most that just because the BNP, England First Party, EDL and the English Democrats have been forced into being dormant, it does not mean that they have gone away altogether.

The problem for far right parties and in particular the BNP, is when their own supporters believe that they are finished it is very difficult for their party leaders to convince them otherwise.

England First Party Stoke Encourage Violence Against Labour

In an astonishing rant of an article on the England First Party Stoke website, nationalists are being advised to use violence against Labour Party supporters and activists.

The article opens with a picture of Labour Group Leader Mohammed Pervez which contains the caption “ËœAdolph Pervez, preparing to wreck what’s left of this city’.

The article then goes on to attack Pervez over the recent council cuts.

It claims:

“Burslem library is almost certain to be one of the first victims of voting in a foreigner to run this city council, a man with no connection, no affection, for this city, or its natives”.

The EFP author thought to be recent election candidate for Goldenhill & Sandyford Craig Pond then hits out at voter apathy and the choice they made on 5th May:

“This refusal of the people of Stoke-on-Trent to invest just a little of their time in voting, is going to bring a barrelful of grief to to(sic) those of us that did bother, but I suppose if you can’t be bothered to vote, you won’t be bothered by the adverse affects of your decision.

Stoke-on-Trent cannot survive another 4 years of the criminal rule of these Labour cheats, people who have wasted £millions, have manipulated contracts to line their own pockets, who have by-passed the regulations to hand contracts out to specific(sic) individuals and companies, who have at every turn done what’s best for themselves, not for the people of this city, but the people have just sat by and let this happen, so they have no-one to blame but themselves for the upcoming carnage”.

The EFP author then goes into an astonishing attack upon the Labour Party, it supporters and activists. The article also goes on to claim that labour broke the electoral rules:

“I think the time has come for those of us prepared to put in an effort to save this city, to re-evaluate the way we do things. Labour lie, cheat, and steal, but it is us nationalists that are labelled the bad guys, it is Labour that break the electoral rules, but it is us that are castigated”.

With no explanation or apparent proof written, published or attached, the article then claims that opponents of the EFP have acted violently and with aggression and intimidation.

The article then encourages nationalists to show violence aggression and intimidation on a bigger scale:

”There’s no point going into a fight with your dukes up, if your opponent has a baseball bat, so sometimes it is necessary to adopt your opponents tactics in order to defeat that opponent. I think it is long past time that the far left scum of this city got more than a taste of its own medicine, that there is no point us nationalists sticking to the rules when our opponents cheat at every possibility, and that we should meet their aggression(sic) and violence and intimidation with exactly the same, only bigger, better, harder.

This is the way to win back this city, don’t sit and take the unacceptable behaviour of a handful of socialist fascists, people that are prepared to force their opinions onto an apathetic public, to lie and deceive in order to get the Labour party elected, time for the gloves to come off, let’s see have brave this scum really is when confronted with its own tactics”.

This article is the latest in a long line of hate filled and intolerant articles to appear of the EFP website.

Pits n Pots contacted the EFP press department to ask if the article was in accordance with party policy and to ask whether the national party wanted the opportunity to distance itself from the articles claims or content.

We got the following response:

I can’t see anything wrong in what Mr Pond has written, I may have written it differently myself – but thats me, and Mr Pond was there on the night and I was not.

I should also point out that thanks to a member of Stoke EFP persuading(sic) the local Stoke City “firm” and Stoke EDL to stay away that night, we prevented an “off” with the far-left/UAFF from taking place outside the election hall. Perhaps next time we should let them come along?!

However, if you and/or any other Stoke liberals are concerned about Mr Ponds writings inciting violence, I suggest you call the Police and not me.

Best Regards,

Mark Cotterill, Chairman, EFP.

500 words from Spencer Cartlidge

THE ENGLAND FIRST PARTY – Many people have asked me already, are you a racist?

My answer to that is I say its OK to have the Scottish national party and no one seems to ask them, I don’t think its wrong to represent English people young and old in there own country even though the labour party seem to think it is, the trouble with them is they don’t like the competition because they have had it so sewn up for years, yes cause there is a massive issue with immigration no party dare seem address it, apart from the BNP of who we have had dialogue with about it, and we wont deny meeting the English defence league to see there issues about sharia law being introduced in England and what it brings to our country, without a referendum I hasten to add, these people I have met, EDL,BNP, are according to the labour party are knuckle dragging scumbag idiots, I assure you they from from it, they know their stuff that’s why they are highly growing in numbers, I’m not just saying that, I was very surprised, I feel they are so bemused how extreme Muslims are allowed to burn the poppy on armistice day along with burning the union flag, and they get a 50 pound fine, they seem to feel the powers that be are so afraid of Islam ???

But we have massive issues of more importance such as re-generation or should I say lack of it, we have just to seemed to replacing our history by retail, no sight of any manufacturing structure, well nothing to shout about, I look around stoke our once great city and in massive parts of it is just shear urban decay and no-one stands up and takes any responsibility, we are now one of the worst, poorest cities to live in England.

Derelict housing, empty shops, lack of affordable housing lack of help for small business and no-one over the years and years of our glorious run Stoke-on-Trent Labour council as ever seemed to have the answers, no youth clubs anymore to keep our youngsters out of crime, a transport system that never seems to improve, our pensioners worrying about heating bills, in a perfect world we would love to open the books to the Stoke-on-Trent-public about what really happens to all the money that comes and goes out of what alot of people consider one of the dodgiest town hall in England, will it ever happen, it’ll open alot of eyes if it ever did.

S.Cartlidge
England First Party Candidate – Dresden & Florence Ward

PS. This is the time for the PROTEST VOTE, we don’t claim to be professional politicians, never have, but stroll on, could we really do any worse ?

Stoke-on-Trent England First Candidate Caught In Racist Row

Audio with Dave Sutton Now Online

The England First candidate for Goldenhill & Sandyford Craig Pond has been caught in a racist row on an internet forum.

The hyper-local website My Tunstall has organised an online question and answers session for all the candidates standing in the area, Pond gave his views which included a racist outburst against the travelling community.

Mr Pond’s answer to this question – What are the biggest problems facing this area? ““ was: “The biggest problems facing the area are a continued lack of decent jobs, the complete lack of a centrally funded youth policy, and the giving away of properties to gypsies and anti-social scum”.

Mr Pond’s racist rant continued in his response to readers and online users’ comments in relation to the England First candidate’s answers to the questions set.

Settled gypsies?
That will be that coward that flirted his girlfriend off the quadbike and left her to die in the road?
Or perhaps it has something to do with a lorry being driven into a house?
Or the ridiculous amount of time the police have to spend at Lime Houses?
Or how about the weekly dose of violence and anti-social behaviour?
I’m 47 now, and in all that time I’ve never once heard anyone say, “oh good, here come the gypsies.”,
but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard them say, “oh Christ, here come the gypsies.”
The reputation gypsies have is entirely of their own making, if they don’t like being disliked by most of the community, they should bloody well change their behaviour!

This claim drew an angry response from one of the forum users who responded:

I think you need to look at some facts Mr Pond and not go shouting rubbish before you know them.
You appear to be a devisive and totally unsuitable candidate to be a councillor. Remember you should represent all the people who live in a ward whether or not you like their lifestyle, race and so forth.
I’m afraid that with your quite ludicrous opinion of your self worth and lack of knowledge of the democratic system, you would quite rightly be sidelined by the other political parties and the paid officials, which would do no good for a ward which needs considerable improvement.

There seemed to be genuine astonishment at Pond’s racism, another commenter said:

With sweeping generalisations like that i am sure you will make a valuable councillor
What a great way to alienate voters you must be so proud…

The England First candidate did seem to have a little support from one commenter who pointed out:

That aside, the guy is being up front about his views, which the voters (including you guys) may consider, one way or the other.

This comment caused another forum user to pose this interesting question:

that aside, aside from what? so if a person with gypsy heritage is having problem with kier and went to counciller pond he would be in his right to tell them to get stuffed? marks have you read what he put on the other sites, its just bile. hes anngry and bitter

Mr Pond was not to be deterred though and again went on an angry racist rant:

Look, if you people are happy to have the council fill your community with gypsies, then fine, but don’t get trying to tell me that they are a misunderstood, good at heart lot, really. You find one or two like that, but the majority aren’t, and they will cause your community problems.
Some of you sound like Labour zealots, you jump to the defence of the ‘ethnic minorities’, and if it isn’t them, then the council are giving away houses to drug dealers, sex offenders, and God knows what else. Why don’t you grow a pair and tell the truth for a change, that ignoring our sons and daughters in favour of outsiders with a preponderence for criminality is not now, nor will it ever be, good enough.
There are no lies in what I said earlier, gypsies have a rotten reputation that is solely their fault, if they want the attitude of the community to change, they should change their behaviour. If they don’t give a monkeys about the community, why should the community give a monkeys about them?

Pits n Pots have offered every candidate the opportunity of writing an unedited 500 [or so] word article and/or a 7 min audio interview which will start to hit the site over the next week or so.

This includes all the England First candidates. We made contact with Pond to ensure that he and his party were included and through his wife, said that he was not interested.

Over the past few months Pits n Pots have published a number of articles that have highlighted the extreme nature of Pond’s views which have been conveyed through his writing on both the England First and PCF websites.

These have included outrageous claim and slurs against individuals, anti Muslim and Islamaphobic comments as well as anti gay and homophobic insults.

Ponds anti traveller views have come out into the open on previous occasions, when he was a mamber of the BNP he wrote a very anti gypsy article which angered the then BNP Leadership. The article was to eventually lead to Pond being told he was no longer wanted in the BNP fold.

See the attached article below from the Pits n Pots archives.

Not content with insulting the traveller community, Ponds also attacked his fellow candidates on the My Tunstall website.

Here’s the difference Jon, I tell the truth, if you don’t like that, vote for one of the third rate candidates you’ll find yourself left with.
Vote for Dave Sutton, him and his party cheated Eve Maley out of her rightful position as councillor in Northwood and Birches Head, or how about a second term of Megan Ryan? During her last term, you lost your golf course, your swimming pool, your S106 money, Bankeyfields residents still have to play whacky races to get off and on to their estate, and the allocation of houses to undesirables seems to be running at its usual sprint.
Maybe you could go all out for a third rate service and vote for Joy Garners husband! He represnts Labour, the party completely responsible for ripping this city apart, who in 60+ years of control have only managed to oversee the collapse and destruction of what used to be a viable and successful industrial city.
You need to take a cold, hard look at what your community needs, because I’m pretty sure that most would agree with me on some of the inhabitants. You will never have a safe and successful community whilst you refuse to see the problems that are holding you back, and safe and secure must be the target for most people. Violence and intimidation reduce drastically the quality of life enjoyed by the citizens of your community, so change the behaviour of those responsible for such behaviour, or kick them out.
In my questions, I was asked by Matt Burke which members of the community were my priority, and I answered the decent, law abiding ones. Whoever or whatever falls into that category will have my full support, whether gypsy, indigenous, or bloody eskimo.

The public would be hard pressed to believe his last paragraph given the history of his extreme comments on this site and others.

Ponds Claim about Eve Maley drew this response from a very angry ex Lib Dem Councillor Dave Sutton:

Craig,
I spent 4 times down in the Royal Courts of Justice in London over 21 months, at no time was it ever reported or insinuated that I robbed Mrs.Maley of being a councillor. there was 2 extra counts in London which nothing changed in the counts I still won and the Judge in the old Magistrates Court in the Victoria Hall in Hanley gave me the ruling in favour of me being elected still winning by the ONE vote.
It is now past history, now things have moved on and I have served and worked hard for 3 years as a councillor in Northwood and Birches Head and I have served Tunstall well for 4 years in the past 2003 to 2007.
When you see my leaflet in the coming weeks read it and weep and see what I have been doing in Goldenhill and Sandyford.
Its a pity you cannot get your facts right you racists never do, but carry on with your racist overtones people will see through you for the bigot that you are.
David Sutton

Dave also gives his views in the Audio interview below.

It would appear that the communities of Goldenhill & Tunstall are beginning to realise just what an extreme candidate that they have in England First’s Craig Pond.

Tony Walley ““ On My Stoke-on-Trent Soapbox 06/04/2011

Out of the 199 candidates nominated to fight the upcoming local council elections, 139 represent national political parties.

So, it kind of got me wondering, if we happened to end up with a hung council, who would form the next coalition?

Now opinion is divided as to the chances and plights of the various political parties but I think everyone recognises that Labour are the clear favourites to take an outright majority in the council chamber.

I also think that everyone believes [even the Tories themselves] that the Conservatives could get a bit of a public kicking as the electorate exact revenge for the unprecedented cuts that the whole of the country is facing up to and having to deal with.

Despite fielding 44 candidates, the Liberal Democrats face obliteration from the council chamber. They have just 4 councillors presently here in Stoke-on-Trent. Across the country the electorate are expected to send a very clear message to Mr Clegg that he has got it wrong in joining with the Tories. The Libe Dems have become the political whipping boys following a series of high profile national policy u-turns which some say have angered the public to an extent where they will suffer a huge backlash in the May local elections.

The BNP locally have managed to field just 10 candidates and what is very different to last year is that there seems to be some sort of “Ëœarrangement’ with the England First Party not to field candidates in the same wards which would result in a split in the Nationalists vote. With the 6 England First candidates, far right voters will have an option in 16 of the 37 wards across the city. Of course this is a far cry from the days when the BNP described Stoke-on-Trent as their jewel in the crown but never-the-less the BNP could be another party that suffer at the pens of the electorate. The public feel that there is a genuine alternative to the mainstream parties with a number of credible Independent candidates and groups like Community Voice who actively seek to scrutinise the ruling administration and have become a self styled group of people champions.

It is hard to decipher who is who when analysing the 42 or so Independent candidates. The largest number will be attached to the City Independent Group under the stewardship of leader Brian Ward. They suffered something of a public backlash for joining in the 4 party ruling coalition. They have a reputation out of the mean streets of Stoke has being very hard working community councillors.

But in the event of a hung council just who could work with who?

There has been some suggestion that the Labour Group on the council have over egged the national cuts issue. This has caused unrest among the Conservative element in the chamber. One wonders whether the national Conservative party would allow their Stoke-on-Trent counterparts to take part in another love in with Labour.

An opposition member said to me recently that he thought it was like a scene from “ËœBrokeback Mountain’ to hear the interviews with Pervez and Ross Irving on Pits n Pots.

Well after the election it could be more like “ËœLast Tango in Packmoor’ if Labour don’t get the 23 seats necessary to take overall control of the city council.

I think there will be a few voices of discontent if a coalition between Labour and the Conservatives were proposed.

Any coalition with a far right party will not happen. Both the leader of the Labour Group Pervez and the Leader of the Conservative Group Ross Irving have ruled out working with the BNP in the past and I can’t see that that would change in the future.

The Liberal Democrats are expected to have a poor showing following the election so I don’t expect them to play a significant part unless Labour were short of just a couple of seats.

The prospect of Community Voice playing a part in any future coalition is a fascinating one. Mike Barnes had a very public parting of the ways with the Labour Party. Mick Salih and Peter Kent-Baguley also fell out of favour with the Labour Party and all three have been harsh critics of the coalition and Labour in particular.

Community Voice are tipped to do well in the local elections and could well be the dark horses come May 6th. I would love to be a fly on that particular wall to witness the coalition talks involving Community Voice representatives.

The City Independents will also play a major role in any future coalition and to some degree a coalition agreement with this group would be Labour’s worst case scenario. By the very nature of their group the CIG are made up of Independent thinkers and minds and it is very hard to get them agree to anything which makes a partnership arrangement with a group who operate a whip very difficult indeed.

Even though all this is speculation, we do need to consider what will happen in the event of a hung council.

One thing is for sure, groups like Community Voice, the City Independents, even Independents4U could play a major role in the future shaping of the City of Stoke-on-Trent.

With the exclusion of the far right for moral reasons and the possible exclusion of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on political reasons any coalition arrangements is fraught with danger.

The reason for the boundary changes and reduction in the number of councillors was thought to bring about political stability.

In the event of a hung council, the political gerrymandering and posturing will be no different to what it is now. There will just be less characters involved.

One thing is for sure, the next four years will be very interesting here in planet Stoke.

Stoke-on-Trent Local Election Candidates List Released

199 candidates have come forward to contest the Stoke-on-Trent City Council Elections which will take place on 5th May 2011.

These candidates will seek to represent 37 newly formed wards in a council reduced from 60 to 44 following a review by the Boundary Committee last year.

The City will be split into 31 single member wards, 5 two member wards and 1 three member ward.

The release of the candidates list confirms that whoever is elected, the council chamber will have a very different look to it on May 6th.

The 3 member ward of Baddeley, Milton & Norton has 16 candidates seeking election. 12 from national parties, 1 from Community Voice and 3 Independent candidates.

The current Council Leader Mohammed Pervez [Labour] is facing opposition from former Conservative & Independent Alliance Leader Roger Ibbs who is now standing as an Independent candidate.

Deputy Leader of the City Council and Leader of the Conservative & Independent Alliance Ross Irving is seeking election to the 2 member Hanford & Trentham ward. There the main opposition is understood to be from former coalition cabinet colleague Terry Follows [CIG] and Peter Hayward [Ind].

Liberal Democrats Group leader and coalition cabinet member Kieran Clarke is again standing in the Birches Head & Central Forest Park ward where he comes head to head with Former elected mayor Mark Meredith. He will also face a stiff challenge from former elected mayor champion and community leader Paul Breeze.

City Independent Leader Brian Ward is standing in the Blurton West & Newstead Ward and will not be facing former colleague Roy Naylor who recently announced he is standing down. The main opposition is thought o be from the Labour candidate Neil Day.

BNP group leader Michael Coleman will have his work cut out to defeat the very popular Labour candidate Ruth Rosenau in the ward of Meir North while former BNP deputy group leader Anthony Simmonds will surely split the far right vote with England First Candidate Nicholas McVeigh which could give a boost to Labour Candidate and current cabinet member Tom Reynolds.

Former BNP group leader Alby Walker who is now representing Community Voice is facing an uphill struggle in the Meir Park Ward to defeat City of Stoke-on-Trent Conservative party Chairman Abi Brown.

Walker’s wife Ellie is taking on former BNP colleague Melanie Baddeley in the Abbey Hulton & Townsend ward. One surprising omission from the candidates listed for this ward is that of former Labour councillor Graham Wallace. A number of sources had indicated that he would stand against the official Labour candidates selected.

Community Voice group spokesperson Mick Salih will stand for election in the huge Baddeley, Norton & Milton ward. He faces stiff opposition from all the mainstream parties.

There is some 53 Independent candidates standing including members of the City Independents, Community Voice, Independents4You and those who have chosen not to put any description on the form.

Whatever the outcome, the city’s electorate have a wide and varied choice of candidates to select from.

These elections will be the last, barring by-elections, for four years.

Pits n Pots will launch our election coverage later today.

This will be the most comprehensive coverage anywhere, given to each and every candidate regardless of political persuasion.

We will offer every candidate an equal opportunity to write an election article for publication [500ish words] and the chance to record an audio interview of around 7 minutes. These will be left on the site for reference.

Beware! – There is Even More to the Right of The BNP in Stoke-on-Trent.

Just when you thought it was safe to assume that the City of Stoke-on-Trent had recovered from the blip of being Nick Griffin’s BNP “ËœJewel In The Crown.

Ladies and gentlemen of all creeds, colours and religions – let me introduce you to the England First Party [EFP], headed up locally by two men considered way to extreme even for the BNP.

Mark Leat was a former BNP Councillor and Craig Pond a former BNP group organiser and they are expected to appear, amongst a few others, on the ballot papers in the local council elections in May. Pond is expected to stand in Goldenhill & Sandyford and Leat in one of the wards in the south of the city.

BNP sources have confirmed that they were kicked out of the BNP for being too extreme in their views and in Ponds case for some of the intolerant bile he spews forth on his tiny PCF blog and on certain other “ËœNationalist’ forums.

To give you some background, the England First Party was formed in 2003 by Mark Cotterill, who had been the founder and chairman of American Friends of the BNP. He had been responsible for pumping funds into the BNP until he decided that their politics no longer matched is own.

The EFP have some very worrying policies, up until last June, one of their main manifesto pledges was “the abolition of all non-European faiths and religions”. This is something that they later retracted but it gives somewhat of a flavour of the kind of people they hope to engage with.

They have a white supremacist ideology which marks a clear difference to the “Ëœmodern BNP’ and they are not afraid or have no desire to use electable language. They say that they want to reclaim the country from what they describe as “Ëœimmigrant invaders’. They also advocate “Ëœrepatriation of all immigrants to their lands of ancestral origin’, but nowhere do they say the matter will be voluntary.

“”¦ their clothes, their food, their culture, their psychology, their biology, their physiology and their history challenges ours at every point of the compass”.

This leaves no uncertainty about the kind of people who support them.

Last year they fielded just 7 candidates across the country in the local council elections, three of them were here in Stoke-on-Trent, the lack of interest was not surprising when you consider the party has as little as 100 members as of the last Electoral Commission figures.

They fielded no candidates in last year’s general elections; instead they encouraged their members and supporters to support any National Front candidates.

They also advocate the nationalisation of most national and public services. They want to ban the association between the Unions and the Labour Party and they want to set up workers co-operatives to protect the interests of workers.

Having said that one of their chosen candidates has not worked for years and chooses to spend his time writing extremist views in hate fuelled rants on the EFP Stoke website among others.

The fact that this candidate is seeking election and as such deems himself fit enough to undertake ward work alongside civic duties should be investigated by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Warren Lloyd, who is seeking election to the council as an independent for Meir, has major health issues which may result in him having to undergo a heart transplant. He still manages to work and to contribute to society. The difference is down to personal pride.

If you feel the need to cast your vote outside of the mainstream candidates please look at who you are voting for.

There are a number of independent candidates that are standing that seek to represent their communities and will do so with a willing heart. They have no issue with anyone who lives in their wards regardless of skin colour or religion.

There are also groups like the City Independents and Community Voice that are also outside of the mainstream party structure. No one should have the desire to see the City turn to the extremes of far right politics as an alternative to the main three.

Still not decided? Let me show you some of the views of a confirmed English First Candidate:

At this festive time of the year, I would just like to thank Stoke-on-Trent city council for housing murdering terrorist Muslim scum in this city.
The Potteries Shopping Centre might need modernising, but not by exploding some bloody immigrant with a Semtex waistcoat, and the native people of these parts certainly deserve better than being blown to smithereens whilst out Christmas shopping for their loved ones.
Still, if the Muslims of this city would provide a little more effort in ridding their communities of these extremist morons, instead of sitting back and letting this terrorism blossom, they might get an easier ride from those of us who would like to see them go back to their own continent, where they could beat their wives, shag their own children instead of young white girls, and blow the crap out of each other, rather than us and ours.
The council and the politicians need to understand something though, if ever these cowards manage to blow something up in this city, they’d better run for cover, because the backlash against such behaviour won’t just fall on the Muslims, but also on those that have stuffed our communities full of them.
We simply cannot allow this situation to continue.
Kick this hypocritical, two faced lying scum out of our country, and if the establishment that is there to protect these islands and their native peoples refuse to do so, then matters should be taken into our own hands.
If it comes down to the survival of the indigenous people and their culture, or the backward and neanderthal behaviour of these bloody Muslims, I know where my loyalties lie.
Enough is enough.
It was fantastic to watch so many patriots march against the enforced presence of Islam in what used to be a green and pleasant land, and despite \Tommy Robinsons multiculturalistic claims, there is no place in England for this backward and barbaric religion, or those that wish to practise it.

But just what are these protests achieving?

They are highlighting the fact that numerous governments have ridden roughshod over the democratic rights of the British electorate by forcing these counter culturalists into our communities, but if the EDL don’t have the people within the political system to help enforce the changes needed to stop this Westminster displacement, then nothing will change.

What they absolutely must do if they want to see their country re tuned to them, is to vote for the nationalists that stand in their area, and if none are, then they need to bring them in, or stand themselves, because all the shouting and flag waving in the world won’t see the current crop of Westminster liars and cheats change the system to suit the EDL.

According to Pink News, the majority of people are in favour of same sex marriages. Rubbish and lies. Most people are not in favour of this.
Marriage is a Christian ceremony meant to unite a man and a woman in matrimony before God, and according to the bible, homosexuality is a sin, so how the hell do they figure to let them marry?!

Read this depressingly bad article on how the sexual deviants are being promoted as a new lifestyle choice for our youngsters.
No walk of life, no area of our culture has been left untouched by the poisonous hand of political correctness, even to the point of trying to infect our children with the idea that homosexuality is something to be aimed for.

Our country has no hope of survival if this wicked and reckless behaviour is not stopped.

In other state sponsored rants [by us the taxpayer] all Muslims have been called paedophiles, our council officers have been accused of being corrupt and described as thieves and our current elected councillors have been insulted out of hand.

I ask, is this the calibre of person that we want to elect to represent us?

To promote our City?

To help attract inward investment?

The BNP are in decline lot only locally, but nationally
too. Councillors like Michael Coleman, whether you agree with his politics or not, are respected for being hard working councillors.

It appears that there is a more sinister and extreme element, whose politics are way past the “Ëœfar right’ who are seeking to prosper from the downfall of the BNP.

All we can hope for is that everyone in our City sees right through the charade, deception, lies, intolerance of these charlatans and that we keep our City free from the embarrassment of being tarnished by the nation of having a racist element.

I am not advocating that we all follow a mainstream party, what I am absolutely saying is that there are alternatives, be them in other political groups, or acting as true independents, that are much more worthy of our vote.

The upcoming elections are the most important in modern times, which will see fewer councillors representing us.

Let’s make the most of them.

Let’s get the right people into the chamber, people who will look after our best interests and the interests of the City as a whole.