Back on form and still battling for residents

Randolph ContehConteh wants bigger involvement in local politics

Achieving your goals as a political minority is never an easy task, but as Randolph Conteh proves hard work can go a long way. Luke Powell spoke to the City Independent councillor about how he makes his voice heard

As a City Independent councillor for the last ten years, 52-year-old Randolph ( Randy ) Conteh’s has made a number of significant changes to the Penkhull ward he represents.

His biggest achievements, by his own reckoning, have been the transformation of the local Penkhull parks, where through various public consultation meetings – set up by Councillor Conteh – there has been a huge improvement to the area. Continue reading

Penkhull residents campaign to set up their own council

Penkhull’s campaign to set up its own council is still ongoing as the resident’s committee’s long running work continues.

The Penkhull Residents’ Association (PRA) has campaigned for years to elect a structured council, which they believe would give the village a more appropriate representation. Continue reading

500 Words From Randy Conteh

“When the Boundary Commission first contacted the City Council, regarding the proposed new wards, i was heavily involved in the consultation with many residents and our Community groups/Resident Associations.

I submitted petition letters and suggestions through the Council system and was instrumental in Thistley Hough School and an area known as Penkhull Garden Village being included and also the new name being changed to “Penkhull & Stoke.”

I would like to continue the good work i have been doing locally, for the areas of both Penkhull and Stoke and also the comprehensive committee/partnership work i have been involved in, down at the city council and around the ward.

I believe i now have the experience and quality after 9 years-indeed i have had extensive training-Improvement & Development Agency courses (I & DeA) and Community Leadership sessions-but one thing that does not diminish is the passion i have for my local area and our City!

Many of the Issues in our ward have been resolved personally by myself, over a number of years ““ e.g. the new improvements, paths, bins, seating and play-equipment for older children and youngsters in our 2 Penkhull parks-Richmond Street and Lodge Road.

There are still issues of Anti-social-behaviour, but hopefully the CCTV Cameras, within both parks and Penkhull village, (petitioned for by myself) will help to deter and reduce the ASB.

The new City General hospital development has brought issues of parking, by both visitors and workers; but we have endeavoured to solve a lot of those parking issues, with the successful installation of Resident Parking schemes, in the nearby streets- although more needs to be done around both parking and speeding issues.

The new Thistley Hough School will also bring additional issues to our area -If successful in the election, i will continue to work with the Council and the residents, negotiating compromises, regarding the planning conditions to improve pedestrian, road safety and access issues, in the streets and roads near the new proposed school.

The regeneration of Stoke Town is also a big issue and i am currently an active member of the “Stoke Town (shadow) Regeneration Board” looking at both the continued development of the Spode site and the improvements within stoke town and the surrounding areas.

Successes include the saving of the Merit School, in Penkhull through petitioning and submissions to Scrutiny and additional petitioning and representations to retain the no. 58/58a Bus service (ongoing.)

The ward of Penkhull & Stoke has 680 over-70’s from 3,570 households in 106 streets and i know many of our elders need and deserve these bus services and i will continue to provide additional representation and support.

I genuinely believe i am the ‘Right person for the job’, due to my passion, enthusiasm, dedication and commitment. I don’t have a full-time job, indeed i honestly think that being an effective community and City Councillor is a full-time role in itself!!”

Many thanks,

Randy Conteh

Stoke-on-Trent Passengers Board the Bus to Fight Against Subsidy Cuts

The public of Stoke-on-Trent came out in force yesterday [Thursday] to speak out against the City Council’s decision to cut bus subsidies in a bid to save £313,000 as a part of their crusade to impose cuts totalling £35million over the coming year.

The public gallery as well as one of the committee rooms were packed to the rafters in a public show of solidarity in sending a message to the council that the bus subsidy cut would leave some people stranded at home and unable to access town centres, leisure facilities and supermarkets.

The council’s decision to cut the bus subsidies was voted through as a part of a whole host of austerity measures at last month’s Budget Meeting in a bid to rationalise services in the city as a result of the 8% cut in government funding to the City of Stoke-on-Trent.

Between three bus operators, First, Wardles and D&G, a total of 44 services will be affected.

Community representatives delivered and presented petitions, asking for certain routes to be saved, to the meeting of the City Council from areas such as Chell, Packmoor, Brindley Ford and Penkhull.

The petitioners pleaded with the elected councillors present to save what they consider to be a vital lifeline and the economic benefit to traders their travel bring.
Inside the chamber Community Voice councillors attacked the Labour benches for encouraging the public to campaign against the subsidy cuts while proposing them and then voting them through.

Cllr Mick Salih [Community Voice] said that Labour had attempted to deceive the public over the cuts to bus routes. He said it was vital the all councillors told the truth out on the streets and that the only councillors that had a clear conscious over the subsidy cuts were his group and the other councillors who voted against the budget.

Coalition councillors told the meeting that council officers were working with the bus companies and alongside ward councillors and communities, resolutions had been found to most of the contentious bus services.

One member of the public shouted out his dissent from the public gallery and said that he was disgusted by the councils treatment of members of the public that had turned out to view the proceedings. We recorded an audio interview with him and he wished to be known as “ËœBus Driver’

Listen below.

We also recorded audio’s with Cllr Mick Salih [Community Voice], Cllr Brian Ward [CIG] who is also the cabinet member with responsibility and with the Council Leader Mohammed Pervez [Labour].

Cllr Pervez also gave his thought on the past year and what he thought that the council had achieved.

Soul Night for the Fire Fighters Charity

A Soul Night is being held in at the Kings Hall in Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday October 30th to raise funds for The Fire Fighters Charity.

A selection of both nationally recognised and local Northern Soul DJs will be playing sets on the night, including Nick Marshall, OZ, Johnny Beggs and Phil Ankers.
DJ Wilf and Johnny F will also be playing Sweet Soul sounds, in the Windsor Room. There will also be a raffle on the night with a selection of prizes up for grabs. Tickets for the event are £7 and the night will kick off from 8pm until late.

“The Fire Fighters Charity is a fantastic organisation that supports fire and rescue service personnel and their families during their time of need. It costs over £9 million each year to run the charity, so I’d encourage people to come along, not only for a great night out, but also to support a worthwhile cause.”

The event will also raise funds for the Lodge Road Park play equipment appeal, which will go towards the purchase of play equipment, for younger children at the park located in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent.

For more information or to book tickets, contact Cllr Randy Conteh on 01782 256 869 or 07929 223201.

To book a free Home Fire Risk Check contact: 0800 0241 999. For all other non emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills. In an emergency dial 999.

Lodge Road Park Official Opening To Take Place

The official opening of Lodge Road Park, Penkhull, at the bottom of St Christopher’s Ave, will take place on Saturday 4 September 2010 from 11:00am – 3pm.

The event will be an all-day occasion and will combine a free fun-day with Community Consultation and will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Councillor Denver Tolley, midday.

Refreshments will be available and the activities provided will all be free and include:-

* Supervised games and activities from the Street Games team and Youth Services
* Bouncy Castle, Bungee Run and an 80ft Inflatable obstacle course
* Circus skills
* Face Painting
* Exhibition of Birds of Prey
* Stalls and Tombola
Bollywood & Street-Dance workshops
Live music and dance acts throughout the day
5-a-side football


“The city council has worked closely with residents in the area to find out what they wanted from the park which has included some play equipment and new pathways, but we will be accessing additional funding for play equipment for younger children. The official opening is a way of celebrating the work that has been done so far.

“It’s also important we give people the opportunity to tell us and our partners what they feel is important about the local area, talk to us about how we should use our resources, and how we should support community projects.”

The event is being organised by the city council and will be an opportunity to:-

Meet and greet council staff working in the ward, as well as local partners, including Police, Fire Service, Health and Resident Association/Community Group representatives.
Discuss local issues, priorities, concerns about city council and partner services.

Suggestions for potential allocation of ward budget resources, to support community and environmental projects.
Talk to the ward councillors on any personal issues or concerns.

Stoke-on-Trent Lad Becomes British Boys 400m Freestyle Swimming Champion

Stoke-on-Trent’s future Olympic hopeful 14 year old Jack Smith, has tonight captured the British Title for 14 year olds in the 400m Freestyle event in Sheffield.

Jack who was swimming for the Plymouth Leander club took gold in a time of 4:06.96, beating Ireland’s Kyle Stolk into 2nd and Bedfordshire’s Caleb Hughes into 3rd.

Jack is the son of Martin Smith who was Editor of the famous Oatcake Fanzine.

Proud dad Martin now contributes to the Why Delilah site for the Sentinel Website.

Young Jack Smith’s performance in the pool is benefiting enormously from being a member of the specialist swimming school at Plymouth College.

Jack has enjoyed some fantastic performances at the ASA National Age Group Championships in Sheffield including setting a best time in the 200m freestyle and winning four individual and three relay golds.

Today’s performance however is the pinnacle of his achievements this week.