City Council Are Investing In Sunshine

Lord Mayor Denver Tolley unveiled 198 brand new solar panels atop the Civic Centre in Stoke on Tuesday and described the installation as a “fantastic achievement for Stoke-on-Trent”.

The panels stretch across the south facing side of the roof and will generate an estimated 30,000kw/h in energy ““ enough to power 150 computers for eight hours every working day.

The Civic Centre, on Glebe Street, used £147,000 of electricity in 2009/10. The solar panels are estimated to reduce the bill by £3,000.

The panels are expected to last 25 years, and cover their installation costs within 14 years.

Alongside the electricity saving, the panels will benefit from £9,400 in government tariffs for producing zero carbon electricity, generating a total £12,400 per annum.

It’s as good as having money in the bank. The investment is a good investment.

We know in the long run it will pay the city back. If you keep looking backwards and not forwards, you’re not going to modernise. You’re not going to advance enough. Well, here we are advancing in front of everyone.

The 198 panels are still a long way off making the Civic Centre zero-carbon. 700 people are employed at the Civic Centre and with lighting, equipment and other machines to power, many more solar panels would be required to make the Civic Centre entirely green.

However, the panels will reduce the building’s carbon footprint by 400 tonnes in their lifetime, according to the Council.

In Stoke-on-Trent you have to lead by example, and that is what the City Council is doing… They’ve fought very hard to get this investment to where it is.

Lord Mayor Denv Chairs His Last Full City Council Meeting

Lord Mayor Cllr Denver Tolley chaired his last full meeting of the City Council yesterday [Thursday].

Cllr Tolley is also retiring as a councillor at the end of this current term.

As Lord Mayor, Denver has had a really interesting year. He got to oversee a large number of the Centenary Celebrations of the Federation of the Six Towns events. He has always had an open door policy welcoming many children’s groups and community groups into the Mayor’s Parlour.

Throughout his mayoral year he has been supported by his lovely Lady Mayoress, wife Lynne. Together they proved a formidable and hardworking partnership.

He also witnessed his beloved Labour Party winning the majority of seats in the chamber at the last local elections and the formation of the historical 4 party coalition.

Denver will also be the last Lord Mayor chosen out of a chamber of 60. From May there will be just 44 councillors.

Denver gave Pits n Pots an audio interview whilst he hosted councillors from all sides for pre-meeting drinks and a celebratory slice of cake in the Lord mayors Parlour ahead of the full council meeting.

Listen Below.

Chart-topping Chipmunk To Headline Centenary Finale

Chart-topping rapper Chipmunk is to return to Stoke-on-Trent this month as the headline act in the delayed 2010 Centenary Finale celebrations.

The event was postponed back in December when the whole country was hit by severe snow storms and is now taking place on Saturday March 26 in Hanley Park.

Chipmunk was a show-stealing star of the free 2010Live pop concert, which was also held in the park in June last year, and the London-born rapper and songwriter will be a real draw for music lovers throughout the city.

Up and coming band Diagram of the Heart and rising star Katy B complete the live music line-up, which has been brought to the city thanks to Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s event partners, Signal 1.

Along with the three acts, a huge pyrotechnic display will be on show, provided by world-famous firm ‘Walk The Plank.’ The Manchester-based company has been established for 20 years and boasts a fantastic back catalogue, which includes producing the opening of Liverpool Capital of Culture 2008, the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, fireworks for the Heineken Rugby Cup Final at Twickenham and the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks for Sir Paul McCartney.

The company has a long history of working with local authorities to deliver one-off, spectacular shows unique to the city they are working in.

“Walk the Plank are really pleased to still be able to work with the team at Stoke-on-Trent City Council to create this unique and spectacular event despite the snowy chaos of last year. Stoke deserves a magnificent show to properly mark the end of their centenary year and we hope our use of fire sculptures, fireworks and pyro effects with a specially commissioned soundtrack will create wonderful memories for all the local participants and the audience from the six towns.”

The finale event will bring a conclusion to the city’s programme of events to commemorate 100 years of the federation of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent.

“It was a real shame when we had to postpone because of the snow in December. But organisers have worked tirelessly again to make sure the event can now go ahead on March 26, and what a fantastic line-up there is going to be.

“The acts are all tremendous and the pyrotechnic display will be the best this city has ever seen. It promises to be a real family event, and a great way to end the centenary celebrations. And it is free for everyone to enjoy!”

The Finale event will be the second time that Signal 1 and the city council have worked together to deliver a brand new high quality event for Stoke-on-Trent.

“We worked with the city council and other partners back in June when we had 2010Live and we are delighted to work on the Finale. It will be a great occasion and I am really glad it is going to happen after the terrible disappointment of having to postpone back in December.”

The event begins at 6pm and finishes at 8:30pm. The event is totally free to view and several thousand people are expected to attend. Throughout the past twelve months a number of events have taken place to celebrate the 100-year anniversary.

Thousands of people visited the city for the 2010Live concert, the Tour Series, Tour of Britain, the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition, a visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and the arrival of the Archbishop of York for a faith event at the Kings Hall.

“It has been fantastic to see so many high profile events taking place in Stoke-on-Trent. It is important that we celebrate all this city has to offer and to show the rest of the country and further afield as well that we can put on really good events and give our residents top class entertainment and events to enjoy.

“We are able to show that this city is as good as any other when it comes to events of this kind”.

Sporting Hall of Fame Inducts Latest Members

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (Councillor Denver Tolley and Mrs Lynne Tolley) will induct the latest members of the City of Stoke-on-Trent’s Sporting Hall of Fame at a special Civic Reception on Wednesday 2nd March 2011 at 11.15 a.m.

The Hall of Fame has been established to celebrate the sporting achievements of people whose names are synonymous with sport both nationally and internationally. It provides the City with the opportunity to reflect on the contribution of the sportsmen and sportswomen who have contributed to the legacy of sport and to act as an inspiration to the next generation of sporting stars.

It is with great pleasure that in 2011 the City of Stoke-on-Trent would like to formally recognise the outstanding sporting achievements of Gordon Banks OBE and Roy Sproson.

To mark this occasion an event is being held in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in the Civic Centre. Representatives of Roy Sproson’s family and Gordon Banks and his family will be present to receive the City’s award.

Lord Mayor To Help Promote Fight Against Polio

Stoke-on-Trent’s Lord Mayor Councillor Denver Tolley will help celebrate the Stoke Rotary Club’s 84th birthday next week by helping to promote a vital international campaign.

On Sunday 20 February the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress will join with their counterparts from Stafford, the Governor of Rotary District 1210 Glyn Johnson and Presidents of 12 Rotary Clubs across the city to visit the “Blooming Crocus”.

The “Blooming Crocus” is a field of 24,000 purple crocuses planted last year at Trentham Gardens to help promote the Rotary Clubs’ “End Polio Now” worldwide campaign.

The purple crocus denotes children in developing countries who have been vaccinated against polio, who dip their finger in purple paint so doctors know they have been immunised.

The “End Polio Now” campaign is backed by former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who has donated over £300m to the project

“I’m proud to be able to support such a worthwhile campaign. Eradicating Polio is a huge task across the world and I’m glad to be able to do something, however small, to help that cause.

“The “Blooming Crocus” field is a powerful symbol of the fight against Polio and in years to come it will serve as a constant reminder of the work that has been done to cure this disease.”

In 1985 when Rotary decided on the goal to eradicate Polio worldwide there 1,000 new cases of Polio reported every day. In 2010 there were less than 1,000 cases reported in total.

“We are now very close to reaching our goal.

“So far two billion children have been immunised and with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation every £1 donated will help save more than 5 lives. With more help we will put an end to this awful disease.”

Show The Lord Mayor Your Label For Fairtrade

The Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent will show off his label as he hosts an event to kick off the 2011 Fairtrade Fortnight.

The Lord Mayor, councillor Denver Tolley, patron of the City’s Fairtrade group, will welcome guests to an evening of short, informative films combined with opportunities to make comments and ask questions. The event takes place on Monday February 14, 2011. A young person’s choir will also perform a selection of songs.

The Fairtrade Fortnight theme this year is Show Off Your Label. The aim is to explain to people just how important Fairtrade is for the producers. A particular emphasis will be on the importance of Fairtrade for cotton farmers in West Africa where 40% of the world’s cotton is grown.

“This event allows us to show the city council’s support for an issue that affects so many people. I want to see as many people as possible support this worthwhile cause and show off their label not just now, but also continued into the future.”
“Fairtrade Fortnight is a way of gaining publicity for what we all know is a major global issue. People in some to the poorest areas across the world rely on the little money they make just to make ends meet so it is only right that we pay them a fair amount for their hard work and hopefully help to improve their standard of life.”

Fairtrade Fortnight starts nationwide on Monday February 28 and lasts until Sunday March 13, 2011.

To reserve a seat for the evening contact the Lord Mayor’s secretary on 01782 232625. The evening starts at 7pm, in the Forum Theatre of The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, with light Fairtrade refreshments.

Competition winner has their wheels in motion during university festival

The winner of a cycling competition run in partnership with Staffordshire University will be presented with their prize next Thursday (16) by the Lord Mayor.

The winner, Aoife Healy, 27, who was selected at random after entering her name into a prize draw, will receive a £300 bike voucher. The competition formed part of the cycle festival at the university started on Monday October 25 and finished on Friday December 3, 2010. The festival gave local residents, students and staff, based at the Stoke campus, the chance to take part in a range of cycle related activities.

Cycle themed activities included a pedal powered scalextric, BMX and mountain bike stunt shows, an indoor roller racing bike event and an opportunity to try out a range of weird and wonderful bicycles.

Local people were also given the opportunity to pick up skills at an array of cyclist training sessions as well as being able to drop off their bike at free maintenance clinics.

A total of 36 Staffordshire University students and staff took up the four week bike challenge and managed to clock up a total of 1,158.5 miles, burn approximately 34,754 calories and helped to reduce the cities carbon footprint by a whopping 231.70kg.

The aim of the festival and the four week challenge was to encourage people to change their behaviour towards cycling and promote it as a fun, viable and cheap mode of transport.

“I’ve had an absolutely amazing time on my bike, I feel like my whole mentality towards exercise and wellbeing has changed such a lot.

“I haven’t cycled or taken part in exercise for years and as a result my weight has gradually crept up so I really needed to do something for health reasons to change my lifestyle. I’ve tried running but with a fair amount of weight to lug, it’s hard to stay motivated and as cycling is non impact, it’s been the perfect way to get back into exercise.”

“I only live five miles away from work, but some days it takes me as long to drive in as it does my colleague who lives in Wolverhampton so I was looking for a healthier, less frustrating journey.”
“Since Stoke-on-Trent became a cycling city we have worked hard to create fun and innovative ways for local people to get involved, and make cycling a real alternative way of travelling around the city.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who has been involved with this festival, no matter how many miles they managed to achieve, as just by getting on their bikes is a positive step to a healthier future. The number of participants that have taken part in this competition shows that we have the infrastructure in place to get people thinking about cycling and in turn get benefit from the healthy living that cycling produces.”

For more detailed information about cycling in Stoke-on-Trent please visit or telephone 01782 238692.

Police Open Day A Great Success

Almost 1000 people went to Longton Police Station open day on Saturday to learn more about policing in Staffordshire.

The event was opened by Lord Mayor Denver Tolley, ACC Jane Sawyers & Rob Flello MP who cut a line of police tape to let the visitors in.

Hundreds of people watched police dog Jerry with handler Steve Billingtonsearch a car for hidden drugs. Jerry has been playing his role in tacklingdrugs for five years and daily attends drugs raids across the north of theCounty as part of Operation Nemesis.

Armed Response Officers were also on had to explain about their vital role in protecting our community. Visitors had the rare opportunity to handle the weapons used by police and to learn how officers deal with life threatening incidents

Today has been about showing the community the sorts of work thats done behind the scenes to keep them safe. Visitors spoke about how they enjoyed learning more about policing in Stoke-on-Trent and many were able to find out about the actual levels of crime across the city.

Visitors had a chance to tour was the cell block, have their “Ëœmugshots’ and fingerprints taken for a souvenir to take away as well as try on various items ofpolice uniform and pose for the camera dressed for duty.

A scenes of crime officer was also on hand to demonstrate how forensic evidence is recovered.

Many of the visitors took time to speak to officers about their role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour issues in the community.

Bentilee Fun Day To Showcase Possible Improvements For Area

The Lord Mayor is to open a family fun day in Bentilee to highlight improvements residents want to see in their area.

The Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Councillor Denver Tolley, will open the Bentilee Valley Festival at 11am on Saturday (25).

The event, which will include a birds of prey display, climbing wall, mini soccer and Rocka units, balloon modeller and obstacle course, will showcase the results of a public consultation into what people wanted to see improved in the area.

The event will give people the chance to view plans for the Bentilee Valley area and have their say on what they think of them.

For more information please contact Rachel Forster on 01782 235528.

Stoke-on-Trent Lord Mayor Denver Tolley Will Launch An Exhibition On Chimney Pots.

Where can you find a hooded square, a Babylonian or a Heaps Cyclone not forgetting a Half Moon Square Buff? A small Quaker, a Tall-Boy Tulip or a Duke of Sutherland?

All these and more are splendidly displayed in the Ceramica new building at the heart of Burslem. They are a small section of the 2,500 chimney pot collection at the Chimney Pot Museum, Longport.

Scores of manufacturers of chimney pots existed throughout the country in the C19th providing a bewildering range of designs and sizes for the millions of chimney stacks atop the millions of new houses which accompanied the rapid industrialisation of Britain.

Designs not only varied to cope with the different draught demands of fireplaces but also as symbols of wealth. “Look at my pots” – they’re big, they’re fancy, they’re telling you I’ve made it!

But even pots of more modest size and design are seldom so plain as to be boring. And always the pots are a vital part of a building’s architectural integrity. Remove the pots and leave a stunted chimney stack and the architectural skyline is humiliated.

The Clean Air Act 1956 marked the beginning of the end for the illustrious role of the chimney pot. How strange, how incomplete a new house looks without chimney stacks and pots. Now there are only two manufacturers of chimney pots in the country. Their skilled work force is able to reproduce any historical pot, whatever the size and design as they often do for heritage organisations.

Redevelopment of whole streets and areas has meant the demise of millions of pots but fortunately local collector Lance Bates, curator of the Chimney Pot Museum and owner of some 2,500 pots, has saved valuable parts of our architectural heritage from the crushing machine.

The Chimney Pot Preservation & Protection Society, a registered charity, is developing the museum so that it not only provided delight and interest for adults but becomes a useful learning centre for school visits.

The Society gives illustrated talks and offers grant support for the re-installation of chimney pots on blanked-off chimney stacks.
For more information:

Chimney Pot Preservation & Protection Society
(reg charity no: 1120862)

National Chimney Pot Museum
43 Station Street, Longport, Stoke-on-Trent. ST6 4NA

Lance Bates: 07946275430

Market Place, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. ST6 3DS

Karen Burgess: 01782 832001