500 Words from Jeremy Dillon

Since coming onto the Council, my eyes have been opened to the many challenges facing the city, and I am committed to seeing them through. Stoke-on-Trent needs bold, creative thinkers, and I want to build a City that its citizens can be proud of; where people want to live. Oh, and just to show I’m not bluffing, I moved into a house overlooking Stoke Town (or Stoke-upon-Trent, if you prefer) to be a part of the action.

Marketing this city is at the heart of everything I stand for, and I have been sowing seeds for a City-Wide Business, Creative Arts and Local Government Network that would stimulate growth and help create new jobs. Having Chaired the Mitchell Memorial Youth Arts Centre Committee, I have seen first-hand a project that will act as an exemplar for future generations, and inspire future projects across the City. Spode is at the very heart of regeneration for the area, and I have been part of the consultation for its future development, as well as speaking against the idea of a supermarket on this historical site.

Penkhull is a place I’ve known for a long time. I am involved in local youth work, where every week, we give kids the opportunity to gain positive input, as well as providing table tennis/pool facilities. Some of them attend Thistley Hough, which has had a lot of bad press over the years. When I visited last year to meet students, I was impressed by the Headmaster’s initiative to give £1000 of his budget to them to decide what to with! Such empowerment and trust is to be commended, and as a media and arts college, I want to work with them further. I have also started to work with elderly residents in the area, and am trying to understand their concerns better by engaging in conversation with them.

Travelling to Europe (on my own money), I have been looking at ways to use public space better to generate revenue, as well as a better, more affordable, transport system for the City. I believe that Stoke-on-Trent would benefit from a transport infrastructure which includes a bus service that people can afford and that helps deliver other services, both in terms of tourism and local business. The Oyster Card system in London is one such system I have been looking at.

I want Stoke not only to be a working city, but an attractive city, which can find its way boldly into the 21st Century. For too long, it has grieved the loss of traditional industries, and it’s time to look to alternative methods of revenue. This decision will take courage and perserverance, but I believe WE can make it happen. Setting competitive business rates for the area is a massive priority.

At 30, I am in a great position to inject renewed energy and vision into a City that is in need of change.

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