City Council Begin £250m Work Into New Academies

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is continuing to invest in secondary and further education despite the difficult financial atmosphere.

The Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy in Blurton will remain open to staff and students as construction work begins this month.

The project is scheduled to be completed in two phases: the new school will be opened January 2013 and the demolition of the old buildings followed by extensive landscaping in August 2013.

Detailed plans of construction can be found on the Stoke-on-Trent City Council website here

In a council press release, Councillor Ruth Rosenau, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The project is the biggest improvement to education facilities in decades and the start of work on the Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy is a major step forward.”

Councillor Debra Gratton, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “It is one of five purpose built academies being created across the city as part of multi-million pound transformational works to education sites.

“It is an exciting time as the work to transform the city’s education facilities comes to fruition.”

The work doesn’t stop at the Sir Stanley Matthews Academy…

Every secondary and special school in the city will benefit from a total £250m investment, according to the Council website.

More information about the Building Schools for the Future project can be found here.

City Council discuss local business future over breakfast

Hundreds of business people and community representatives
from across Stoke-on-Trent have been invited to a meeting this morning to give
their feedback on the new vision for the city – the Mandate for Change.

The breakfast meeting was held at the Civic Centre from
8am on Wednesday 13 July.

To tackle the problem of worklessness in the city, the
Mandate for Change vision is based on four strategic aims:

  1. Make Stoke-on-Trent the place to bring business
  2. Support and develop existing business
  3. Work with people to promote independence and healthy lives
  4. Make Stoke-on-Trent a great city to live in.

These aims come with a pledge to ‘develop an effective
and confident council’.

Deputy Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Paul
Shotton commented, “The Mandate for Change is not just about the city council,
it is about the future success of our city.

“We know the council cannot make Stoke-on-Trent
a ‘great working city’ on its own. We need the support and help from
businesses, partners and residents to make Stoke-on-Trent
the place to bring business.

“We need to promote and market the city to say on the
national and international stage that Stoke-on-Trent is open for business! This
is the beginning of a very exciting journey for the city – one I hope everyone
will get involved in.”

John van de Laarschot Chief Executive of Stoke-on-Trent
City Council added, “Of course we need to change how the council delivers it
services, and we are in the middle of that process by introducing new ways of
working, but this is much much bigger than the council.

“Everything else will come in time if we sort the problem
of the severe lack of jobs in the city. By being financially independent people
will lead healthier and more independent lives and that in turn will generate a
great city to live in.”

For more information visit www.stoke.gov.uk/mandate

Central Forest Park Sit-In Protest Resolved

(news from Cllr Mark Meredith,
written by StokeElected)

Campaigner Philippa Brown has negotiated an agreement
with Stoke-on-Trent City Council officials, ending her almost two week long
occupation of the Central Forest Park snack bar.

The campaign began when the community group of volunteers
Fusion, who maintained the snack bar in Central Forest Park were informed
by the council that from July 2nd, a private company would be running the
snack bar instead.

Miss Brown took direct action in changing the locks and has
been sitting-in at the snack bar for 13 days.

Today, the sit-in at Central Forest Park snack-bar has
been resolved after 13 days of negotiations with high level Council officials.

Following Miss Brown’s petition (highlighting shortfalls in service provision
and questioning the tendering criteria) being presented to full council, local
councillor and cabinet member for economic regeneration Councillor Mark
Meredith helped Miss Brown negotiate with council officials.

As a result, the petition will now go forward to the City Renewal
Overview and Scrutiny committee where the issues will be discussed in
greater depth.

Cllr Mark Meredith will also establish a paper for the cabinet to discuss the
tendering criteria going forward to enable greater community benefit.

A Friends of Forest Park Group will be established where City Council staff and
community groups, including C.A.P.S. (Community and Parks Society) of which
Philippa is a member will be invited to work together and agree plans of action
on park related issues.

The first meeting will take place on Wednesday 13th July,
6:30pm at St Mathews Church Hall, Barthomely Rd, Birches Head.

Miss Brown said: “I am finally satisfied that the community’s voice is
being listened to and that an appropriate system will now be introduced to meet
our needs.

“I will say that I’m disappointed that I had to take such action in
order to achieve this solution, but after campaigning and being ignored by the
Council, I am heartened that the words “listen and change”are now an
integral part of the Council’s agenda and would like to thank Mark Meredith for
instigating this communication”

Lee Martin, a member of volunteer group Fusion, who ran the snack-bar
successfully for 18months said “As chairman of CAPS which engages and
supports volunteers, I am inspired by the fact that Mark has facilitated a new
era of engagement, encompassing all aspects of a park environment and that the
campaign has proved that the community can play a valid role in enhancing the
quality of services.”

Councillor Mark Mredith told StokeElected: “I’m pleased that the issues
have been resolved without incurring legal costs. The volunteers have set a
precedent that the City Council will be embracing. Now we can move forward
together combining the energies and skills of the community with the resources
available to the City Council. The views and ideas of park-users are an
essential contribution to operational and strategic decisions especially in
these times of Government cut-backs.”

Councillor Attendance at 92% So Far

Some good news this evening for the elected members of Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Compared to the same period last year, councillor attendance since their election in May is up 16%.

For the almost two-month period between 06 May to 08 July, councillors have attended 92% of their committees and meetings.

In the same period last year, attendance was at 76% on average.

Below are the attendance rates for all councillors expected at meetings in the two time periods.

From this year’s councillors, I understand that Cllr Amjid Wazir is currently suspended from his councillor duties and Cllr Abi Brown has given birth to a daughter since her May election (congratulations!).

Councillor Expected Present Percentage (%)
Councillor
Amjid Wazir
5 2 40
Councillor Abi
Brown
10 5 50
Councillor
Terry Crowe
5 3 60
Councillor
Adrian Knapper
7 5 71
Councillor
Shazad Hussain
7 5 71
Councillor Majid
Khan
11 8 73
Councillor Bagh
Ali
5 4 80
Councillor Joy
Garner
8 7 88
Councillor
Peter Hayward
8 7 88
Councillor Sarah
Hill
9 8 89
Councillor Randolph Conteh 9 8 89
Councillor
Gwen Hassall
9 8 89
Councillor Neil
Day
10 9 90
Councillor
David Conway
10 9 90
Councillor
Muhammad Aumir
11 10 91
Councillor
Duncan Walker
5 5 100
Councillor
Jack Brereton
5 5 100
Councillor
Paul Shotton
7 7 100
Councillor
Martin Garner
7 7 100
Councillor Andy
Lilley
13 13 100
Councillor
Alison Wedgwood
7 7 100
Councillor
Mohammed Pervez
3 3 100
Councillor
Debra Gratton
3 3 100
Councillor
Mark Meredith
6 6 100
Councillor Andy
Platt
7 7 100
Councillor
Glenys Ward
2 2 100
Councillor
Karen Clarke
3 3 100
Councillor
Terence Follows
2 2 100
Councillor Paul
Breeze
3 3 100
Councillor Alan
Dutton
7 7 100
Councillor
Shaun Pender
7 7 100
Councillor Lee
Wanger
5 5 100
Councillor Kath
Banks
7 7 100
Councillor
Gurmeet Singh Kallar
6 6 100
Councillor
Alastair Watson
6 6 100
Councillor
Debbie Wheeldon
4 4 100
Councillor
Janine Bridges
9 9 100
Councillor
Matthew Fry
11 11 100
Councillor
Olwen Hamer
5 5 100
Councillor Tom
Reynolds
6 6 100
Councillor
Ruth Rosenau
6 6 100
Councillor Matt
Wilcox
4 4 100
Councillor Ann
James
9 9 100
Councillor
Sheila Pitt
5 5 100

 

 

 

Councillor Expected Present Percentage (%)
Kassem Al-Khatib 9 8 89
Councillor Bagh
Ali
11 9 82
Zulfiqar Ali 5 1 20
Margaret Barber 6 4 67
Melanie Baddeley 17 15 88
Michael Barnes 11 6 55
Steven Batkin 8 2 25
Barbara Beeston 6 5 83
Mick Bell 13 12 92
Councillor
Janine Bridges
8 4 50
Jean Bowers 8 6 75
Clive Brian 12 11 92
John Burgess 7 5 71
Councillor Abi
Brown
7 6 86
Kieran Clarke 13 12 92
Councillor
Adrian Knapper
11 4 36
Councillor
David Conway
11 6 55
Councillor Majid
Khan
9 5 56
Jean Edwards 10 6 60
Councillor
Debra Gratton
5 3 60
Javid Najmi 15 9 60
Councillor Sarah
Hill
6 4 67
Councillor Terence Follows 10 7 70
Councillor
Olwen Hamer
10 7 70
Mohammad Iqbal 8 6 75
David Marfleet 4 3 75
John Daniels 10 8 80
Mark Davis 7 6 86
Councillor
Randolph Conteh
8 7 88
John Davis 8 7 88
Councillor
Gwen Hassall
8 7 88
Hazel Lyth 8 7 88
Michael Coleman 10 9 90
Councillor Joy
Garner
20 18 90
Mohammed Matloob 10 9 90
Roy Naylor 16 15 94
Rita Dale 5 5 100
Jeremy Dillon 8 8 100
Tony Fradley 11 11 100
Pauline Joynson 5 5 100
Peter Kent-Baguley 8 8 100
Councillor
Mohammed Pervez
4 4 100
Councillor Tom
Reynolds
10 10 100
Councillor
Ruth Rosenau
5 5 100
Councillor
Amjid Wazir
15 8 53
Joanne
Powell-Beckett
12 7 58
Councillor
Paul Shotton
12 7 58
Councillor Matt
Wilcox
5 3 60
Mervin Smith 6 4 67
Gavin Webb 6 4 67
David Sutton 16 11 69
Brian Ward 7 5 71
Mark Wright 8 6 75
Megan Ryan 9 7 78
Alan Rigby 8 7 88
Mick Salih 8 7 88
Denver Tolley 3 3 100
Councillor
Duncan Walker
7 7 100
Ellie Walker 3 3 100