Residents’ associations – where are they?

By Nicky Davis With the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation due to run from 27th October to 18th January and no evidence of much action being taken following the 8th September council meeting, I have today (14th October) submitted the following complaint to the council, to try to get something moving! I have made a number of telephone requests to ask for the details of residents’ associations on the council’s web site: http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/community–people-and-living/residents–associations/ which is woefully out of date, to be corrected. This is because I am a firm believer in grass roots democracy, wish to see residents’ associations thrive and believe this would be good for residents, communities and the city. It would help to facilitate this if the list of residents’ associations on the web were accurate! Unfortunately the response I have had to my polite requests has been non-existent. This is why I am now regrettably submitting this complaint to the council. At the full council meeting on 8th September on the council report to the boundary committee, Cllr Joy Garner also pointed out inaccuracies in the list of residents’ associations. She said the boundary committee should have a full and correct list. The Lord Mayor Jean Bowers actioned Chris Harman to do this. This gave me some hope that something would be done, but I have lost that hope now. If the boundary committee have been given a full and correct list, why can’t this list be made available to the rest of us on the council’s web site? If the boundary committee have not been given the correct list, that is even more of a disgrace. With the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/west-midlands/staffordshire/stoke-on-trent-electoral-review due 27th October to 18th January, it is especially important to have a proper list of residents’ associations and what areas they cover. It is my view that when new ward boundaries are decided they should not split residents’ associations. There are potential complexities, especially if neighbourhood zones might be important in deciding ward boundaries. Where I live, the residents’ association crosses the boundary of two neighbourhood zones. In order for a proper consideration of ward boundaries to take place, I would make a further request, that a map is made available on the web site showing the exact areas, to street level, covered by all the residents’ associations. This information exists, for example see the map on: http://www.trenthampeople.co.uk/Map.htm It just needs someone in the council who has this for all associations to put it together. In summary, what I am asking in order for my complaint to be properly addressed is for (a) a full and correct list of residents’ associations and (b) a map showing the exact areas covered by all residents’ associations, to be made available on the council’s web site, prior to 27th October when the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation commences. I thank you in advance for your help.

Residents’ associations – where are they?

By Nicky Davis

With the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation due to run from 27th October to 18th January and no evidence of much action being taken following the 8th September council meeting, I have today (14th October) submitted the following complaint to the council, to try to get something moving!

I have made a number of telephone requests to ask for the details of residents’ associations on the council’s web site:

http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/community–people-and-living/residents–associations/

which is woefully out of date, to be corrected.  This is because I am a firm believer in grass roots democracy, wish to see residents’ associations thrive and believe this would be good for residents, communities and the city.  It would help to facilitate this if the list of residents’ associations on the web were accurate!

Unfortunately the response I have had to my polite requests has been non-existent.  This is why I am now regrettably submitting this complaint to the council.

At the full council meeting on 8th September on the council report to the boundary committee, Cllr Joy Garner also pointed out inaccuracies in the list of residents’ associations.  She said the boundary committee should have a full and correct list.  The Lord Mayor Jean Bowers actioned Chris Harman to do this.  This gave me some hope that something would be done, but I have lost that hope now.  If the boundary committee have been given a full and correct list, why can’t this list be made available to the rest of us on the council’s web site?  If the boundary committee have not been given the correct list, that is even more of a disgrace.

With the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/west-midlands/staffordshire/stoke-on-trent-electoral-review

due 27th October to 18th January, it is especially important to have a proper list of residents’ associations and what areas they cover.  It is my view that when new ward boundaries are decided they should not split residents’ associations.  There are potential complexities, especially if neighbourhood zones might be important in deciding ward boundaries.  Where I live, the residents’ association crosses the boundary of two neighbourhood zones.

In order for a proper consideration of ward boundaries to take place, I would make a further request, that a map is made available on the web site showing the exact areas, to street level, covered by all the residents’ associations.  This information exists, for example see the map on:

http://www.trenthampeople.co.uk/Map.htm

It just needs someone in the council who has this for all associations to put it together.

In summary, what I am asking in order for my complaint to be properly addressed is for
(a) a full and correct list of residents’ associations and
(b) a map showing the exact areas covered by all residents’ associations,
to be made available on the council’s web site, prior to 27th October when the next stage of the boundary committee’s consultation commences.

I thank you in advance for your help.

Interview with Brian Jones

By Mike Rawlins & Tony Walley

After the party political broadcast by the BNP on Wednesday we were put in touch with Brian Jones of Woodfarm Residents Association.  Tony and I went along to interview him about the deployable cameras installed in the area and his work with the Meir (North) Newsmag.  In the audio interview below you can hear the real story of how the deployable cameras came to be installed in Meir and who found the funding for them.

[audio:http://www.pitsnpots.co.uk/audio/0509/brian-jones.mp3]
Brian Jones with one of the deployable cameras

Brian Jones with one of the deployable cameras

After the interview Brian took us for a walk around the estate to show us the cameras and the work that had been facilitated by the Residents Association.  The walk around the estate took twice as long as we had expected because every person we passed on the street had something to say to Brian, or Brian had some information about a football or cricket match that had been arranged.

If it wasn’t details of the sporting events organised by the residents association it was details of coach trips that are being planned to the military tattoo in Birmingham, a trip close to Brians heart as both he and his wife have a strong services background, Brian was in the army and served all around the world while his wife served in the RAF.

Brian went on to tell us that in the past 12 months no fewer than 38 school leavers had joined the services as a way of escaping the current economic climate.  He told us that in general the kids do want to work when they leave school but there are no jobs for them so they go and join up.

As we walked though the play area, Brian told us that the kids have a litter pick every Saturday morning to help keep their bit of the estate clean.

Meir (North) Newsmag.

Brian writes, prints and collates the monthly Newsmag for Meir.  Each month he produces between 3000 & 3500 copies which are then distributed around the estate by volunteers.  The tag line is ‘By The Residents For the Residents’ which sums Brian up, he is ‘just a resident’ who has decided to do something to make the area where he lives a better place.  Being able to write a 12 page magazine each month is no mean feat, to print it and deliver it is something else.

Brian estimates that it costs around £85 each month to produce.  He says he begs and borrows whatever he can to make sure that the magazine is published.