Jack Ashley

I was very sorry to hear of the death of Jack Ashley the former MP for Stoke South. He was a doughty fighter for the rights of the disabled and a very good constituency MP. I knew him best during the 1970s and 80s when I was active in the Labour Party in Stoke, for a short period between 1985-6 I was Vice Chairman of Stoke South Constituency Labour Party. His campaign on behalf of people effected by the thalidomide drug in the 70s which would be a fine record in its own right but added to that was his work around domestic violence and the need for a refuge for victims of violence later in the decade.

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Altogether Company Brings Apprentice Style Project To Stoke-on-Trent

The Stoke On Trent Apprentice challenge is a brand new Ward funded summer youth project aimed at young people aged between 13 -19.

The project will see up to and possibly more than 100 youngsters from 6 different council wards – Longton North and South, Meir Park and Sandon, Blurton, Weston and Meir north and Trent Vale working together to start their very own businesses.

Each week they will meet at Fenton Manor to be set a challenge related to their business start-up. Then they will meet in locations within their ward areas to be mentored in the stages of setting up by the company directors at Altogether who have experience of setting up business at a young age.

They will run their business throughout the summer and the winners of each week’s prize will be invited to a prize day each Friday.

I went to Longton High School’s City Learning Centre to meet Ben Dyer from Altogether Company. Watch the video below to hear about this inspiring project.

I also spoke to some of the potential ‘Alan Sugar’s’ who had set up a wide range of companies with ambitions portfolios to entice the potential investors into parting with some advice and some cash. Listen to the Audio below:

Tesco Trent Vale Planning Application Inquiry

A public inquiry is being held at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Civic Centre, Glebe Street Stoke on Tuesday 6 July at 10.00, which will look at plans to build a replacement Tesco supermarket at Newcastle Road in Trent Vale.

Mr P J Major BA(Hons) DipTP MRTPI an inspector instructed by the Secretary of State will attend the inquiry.

A large number of local residents have opposed the redevelopment of the the store, which will see it expand by around 2/3 in size, although in planning documents Tesco Stores say they do not expect the number of visitors to increase by more than a few %. Concerns of the impact a large out of town store will have on the stores in Newcastle is one of the main reasons of objection along with increased traffic congestion on what is already a busy road.

Mark Fisher, the retired Stoke-on-Trent Central MP has written to the council in support of the planning application. In the letter dated 28 April, Mr Fisher wrote:

Please accept this letter, on behalf of my local constituents, as my formal representation to the Inquiry in support of the planning application for the proposed replacement Tesco Store at Trent Vale.

Newly elected councillor Jeremy Dillon, has also written in support of the application as has Gavin Webb.

Details of the planning application and all related documents can be found using the link below.

500 Words From Alan Joynson Stoke & Trent Vale

**Archive Story From 2010 Election**

i am standing in the Stoke/Trent Vale Ward,because i know that i can make a difference for the community in which i live.
Far too often people are put up for election by political groups,not because they care about the community they allegedly represent, but they are used as voting
fodder within the chamber,and the only people who lose out are the Electorate, once again!
I look at Stoke Town Centre in disbelief, and wonder who ? and when? some-one will bring regeneration to the Town that i care so passionately about !
I have been inside the Council for the last four years, knowing that all investment is targeted at Hanley Town, and any developer that would wish to invest in Stoke
is dicouraged from so doing, i want to change this intollerable situation.
St Modwen have sat on the Old Victoria Ground for years, hoping to get the best buck for their investment, they now wish to extend their permission for another
seven years, well that for me is not good enough,Renew should compulsory purchase the land, “after planning permission has expired” and redevelop them selves.
Stoke market is dying on its feet through lack of investment, half the stalls are empty, £78-00 p/w to rent these stalls, far better to encourage buissiness
by halving the rental and having the Market full.
Woolworths, and all the empty shops that front the Town is a disgrace, and only furthers the decline in the Town itself, but the Stoke Town Regeneration is
not doing its job, its no good looking to develop the Spode site alone,”IF IT EVER HAPPENS” for it would take at least seven years,and the lights would have
allready gone out in Stoke!
Stoke is the only Town without a major park, yet they want to shut down the community fitness centre in Booth Street! they must be joking.
London Road is the biggest eysore you`ve ever seen, yet a major gateway, i would encourage Renew to bring investment to that particular area.
Campbell Road has problems with heavy traffic some-thing needs addressing, and i would be looking at the problems with the Highways.
Every area has its ASB problems and i would work with the police as i allready do to address any problems that arise.
I would be here for the people i represent and not for my-self,i will answer your telephone calls, I will answer your letters and E/Mails, unlike some!
I will not promise what i cannot deliver, but i will promise to do my utmost at all times, i will not win every thing, but i will try and keep trying, and i will
not use spin, i will make mistakes, of that i promise, but i will hold my hands up when i do!

Stoke BSF financial agreement confirmed

Stoke-on-Trent City Council today announced another major step forward in its Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme when senior members of the council, along with representatives of the council’s two selected design and build contractors, Balfour Beatty and Thomas Vale/Wates, signed the “overarching agreement” which confirms both sides’ financial commitment to the project.
This will enable detailed work on the first two school projects, Haywood Engineering and Trent Vale, to go ahead.
City council leader Councillor Ross Irving paid tribute to the negotiators on both sides. He said:
”I would like to thank all those involved in bringing this agreement to its financial close. This project is challenging in many respects and the level of professionalism shown on both sides to make this happen in such a tight timeframe is commendable.”
Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, Councillor Ian Mitchell, said:
“This agreement means our school teams can get down to some definitive an exciting planning for the design and build aspects of their projects.”
Today’s “financial close” agreement was also welcomed nationally, by Tim Byles, the Chief Executive of Partnerships for Schools(PfS),   the organisation responsible for delivering the national BSF programme, who said:
“I am pleased that Stoke-on-Trent has reached Financial Close as it paves the way for the area’s BSF project.  The scheme is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the life chances of school pupils by providing them with the best possible start.  Stoke-on-Trent’s schools will also become hubs for the local community by providing extended services such as leisure facilities which will benefit people of all ages. 146 BSF schools and over 125,000 pupils are benefiting from BSF investment across the country with 96 local authorities engaged in the programme and I look forward to following Stoke-on-Trent’s project.”
This is the latest in a series of key milestones for the Stoke BSF project. Last week the council announced it had received approval for its Outline Business Case, which effectively confirms the government’s agreement to the council’s city-wide schools re-organisation plan.

Committee Agrees 46 Affordable Homes, and Defers Tesco Expansion

citylogoA scheme to build 46 affordable homes in Meir has been agreed by councillors.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Development Control Committee members at a meeting on Tuesday morning, approved plans to build the homes behind Lyme Road, Meir. The development will provide two bedroom homes for the elderly, three and four bedroom family homes and two bedroom flats. The scheme is near to Rowan Village, an award winning 75-apartment complex which provides round-the-clock support to elderly residents.

Committee members welcomed the plans as a way to help regenerate the area, which would uniquely provide 100 per cent affordable homes. Members said it would help increase the chances of elderly people being able to remain living near to their families and friends. Proposals were voted through four for, one against.

Councillors also deferred plans by supermarket chain Tesco to replace its existing Trent Vale store with one 76 per tescocent larger on the same site. Tesco’s plans would create a store built on stilts with an underground car park. Store floor space would increase from 5,342 square metres to 9,383 square metres, and the existing petrol station would not be replaced.

A report to the meeting recommended the proposals be refused on the grounds that the need for such a store has not been demonstrated, that it would create too much pressure on surrounding highways and would have a poor affect on the built environment.

A decision on the scheme has been deferred for three weeks, until the next committee meeting, to consider additional information submitted by the supermarket.