Shaping the future of Longton

Revived historic buildings, more public space and new homes are just some of the proposals residents are being asked to have their say on as part of the regeneration of a Stoke-on-Trent town.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is holding a series of consultation events over the next six weeks to help shape the future of Longton. The events, which will give residents the chance to have a first glimpse at proposals, are designed to help shape the town’s masterplan and guide future investment to the area.

On Monday 17 January, proposals will go on display for the first time at the Precinct Shop, between Boots Pharmacy and Iceland in Bennett Precinct, Longton, between 10am and 7pm to give residents the chance to have their say. Options in the proposals include the pedestrianisation of The Strand with the aim of creating new public space and increasing footfall in the shopping areas. To help businesses and residents to evaluate the proposal a six month trial of the pedestrianisation scheme is suggested to start towards the end of March, subject to the successful outcome of both the public consultation and comments from the Highways Agency.

On Monday the proposals for the trial pedestrianisation will be on display alongside the masterplan exhibition at the Precinct Shop between 10am and 7pm for residents to comment. Comments on the pedestrianisation trial can be received up until 28 January.

Other suggestions in the masterplan exhibition include increasing creative businesses, building new homes on former pottery sites and creating a heritage trail promoting historic assets.

The masterplan exhibition will be on display for six weeks at a series of locations until the end of February. The results will be collated to help determine a preferred option for the masterplan and further consultation events will then be held.

“Longton is a historic town with a wealth of heritage buildings. The masterplan is designed to help shape the future of the town centre and it is important people take the time to highlight changes they would like to see. This is the beginning of the process and will be the first time residents have had the chance to express their opinions on what they would like to see in the town.”

It is hoped by holding the consultation on the pedestrianisation trial and the masterplan in parallel it will help present all of the options for the town giving residents the opportunity to review proposals.

“It is important that we look at all options for increasing footfall and improving traffic movements in Longton. It is hoped the pedestrianisation trial will be a way of reviewing how the system would work and whether it is plausible. At the moment the city council is outlining the proposals and asking residents to comment on what they think about the scheme before a possible trial in spring. I would urge as many people as possible to look at the plans and help shape the future of this historic town.”

The masterplan covers an area of 118 hectares and is split in to four areas the Town Centre, Uttoxeter Road and Town End, King Street and South of the A50.

Comments for the trial pedestrianisation scheme need to be submitted before 28 January. However, events for residents to comment on the masterplan proposals will be held at the following locations:

*Monday 17 January 10am-7pm Precinct Shop, Bennett Precinct, Longton

*Tuesday 18 January 1pm-4pm Bentilee Community Centre, Dividy Road, Bentilee

*Thursday 20 January 10am-1pm Methodist Central Hall, The Strand, Longton

*Saturday 22 January 11am-2pm Strand Passage, The Strand, Longton

*Monday 24 January 2pm-4.30pm Blurton Community Centre, Poplar Drive, Blurton

*Thursday 3 February 11am-2pm Fenton Library, Baker Street, Fenton

*Wednesday 9 February 4pm-7pm Meir Library, Sandon Road, Meir

*Monday 14 February 4pm-7pm Longton Library, Lightwood Road, Longton

*Every Monday and Friday between Monday 17 January and Monday 28 February 10am – 1pm at the Precinct Shop, Bennett Precinct, Longton

Stoke-on-Trent Cleaner And Greener

Stoke-on-Trent is set to be a cleaner and greener city by this time next week. Stoke-on-Trent City Council is organising the biggest citywide clean up operation in its history next Thursday & Friday (22 & 23 April) for the city’s Cleaning and Greening Days.

Over 500 people will be taking to the streets of Stoke-on-Trent over the 2 days to clean up streets, parks, and open spaces. Around 80 locations around the city have been identified and will be targeted.

Over 300 staff from the city’s environmental services team and the Future Jobs Fund will be joined by over 250 community and private sector volunteers from organisations such as Michelin, Seddons, JCB, Amey, Highways Agency, Community payback, Schools, Groundworks, Love Stoke, Staffordshire Fire Authority, P.M.training, Business in the Community, CSV , Youth action, British waterways, YMCA & Local Community groups/Residents Associations. Together, they will be working from 7am until 7pm to clean up the city’s streets, parks, open spaces and town centres.

Chief Executive John van de Laarschot will be visiting one of the clean up sites on the day, and said, ‘This is about making Stoke-on-Trent a place that can stand up and say “Ëœwe have clean and green streets for everyone in the city’ and showing the community we are committed to keeping things that way. It should be the start of a series of events that gives people confidence in the city council to keep the city looking good and making sure we care for our environment. Once Cleaning and Greening Day is done, we want to hear from people who have spotted areas around the city that do need tidying up. We want people getting involved, telling us where their hotspots are and what needs to be done.

We want people to feel part of this and take real pride in their city by volunteering to help our teams and working with us to address the real problem areas where they are. Residents now need to do their part to make sure Stoke-on-Trent stays clean and green. We need people to stop throwing litter out of cars, stop getting rid of sweet wrappers, cigarette ends and crisp packets when they are walking on a pavement, and stop fly tipping because they think it’s the easy way to get rid of waste. We can’t afford to let this keep happening if we want to clean up our city. The city council can only enforce what we see, it’s up to the people who live and work here to change the culture and take responsibility for their actions when it comes to their environment. Our main aim is to get the city council, all our partners and the community working together to make the city a better place.’

Drivers urged to keep A500 clean

Stoke-on-Trent City Council collected nearly 100 bags of rubbish in just under a week with an overnight programme of cleaning the A500.

Working while the road was closed due to works by the Highways Agency, staff were sometimes limited to only a couple of hours per night to not affect the maintenance, but still collected huge amounts of waste.

Councillor John Daniels, cabinet member for housing, environment and neighbourhood services said:

“To have picked up so much for only a couple of hours per night in just under a week is astonishing,”

“We want to make Stoke-on-Trent a safer, cleaner, greener city, and this wanton littering needs to stop to achieve that.”

“I would ask everyone who travels on the A500 to think twice before opening their window and throwing rubbish out. Not only can you endanger other drivers if it’s something like a drinks bottle or can, but it also causes a bigger environmental problem.”

The city council are also working to recycle some of the grit that was put down on the A500 during the recent cold weather. So far 10 tons have been collected and more collections will be done while overnight works continue. While unsuitable to use again on the city’s roads there are other ways it can be used.

Councillor Daniels added:

“The grit can be used for hardcore on laying paths on allotment patches, levelling paved areas in parks and also for creating a “Ëœnatural barrier’ which can be grassed over on derelict areas. Rather than let it go to waste, we are thinking differently about how we use the grit so we don’t have to spend money on a resource we already have.”