Butt Lane Post Office on Congleton Road is set to be updated to offer a new modern service that is convenient for it’s customers. As part of this programme of investment and modernisation some services will change, but the Post Office will be open for longer hours. If the changes go ahead the Butt Lane branch will be open Mon-Wed 9:00 – 18:30, Thu 09:00 – 17:30, Fri 09:00 – 18:30 & Sat 09:00 – 13:00 (Current opening times are : Mon – Fri 09:00 – 17:30 & Sat 09:00 – 12:30).
Customers will still have most of the products and services they’re used to, but some some services will no longer be available at this branch. Some Insurance services will no longer be available in branch due to Insurance becoming more widely available over the phone or online. Payment by cheque will also go now that the banks have agreed not to issue cheque guarantee cards. The Butt Lane branch may close for up to seven days during August/September 2015 while a refurbishment of the building takes place.
Cllr Kyle Robinson said: “I welcome the news that our local Post Office will get a complete overhaul to make it more accessible to local people. The Post Office is very well used in Butt Lane as the Pharmacy also helps to increase it’s footfall. I think it’s great that these businesses work alongside each other to offer an exceptional service in our community. The only concerns I have raised with Post Office Limited is the ending of payments by cheque. There is still a generation that prefer to pay by cheque and I have raised this with the area manager. Unfortunately, the banks have stopped issuing cheque guarantee cards so this makes it difficult for companies to accept a payment by cheque for fear of it bouncing should there be insufficient funds in a customers account.”
Taylor Wimpey has applied to reduce its affordable housing contribution from 25% to just 16% on its Mitchell Gardens development in Butt Lane. The developer has claimed that it’s controversial development of over 170 homes would not be financially viable if the company had to build the recommended quota of affordable homes. Residents have been left reeling after discovering the new plans submitted by Taylor Wimpey to Newcastle Borough Councils Planning Department two weeks ago.
Cllr Kyle Robinson said: “Taylor Wimpey have made a mockery of the residents in this town. Recent figures suggested that Taylor Wimpey’s order books for new homes is up 12 per cent from the same time last year to £1.9bn. This will equate to millions in profit for the company. How dare this company move into our Town, take up our green space and then plead poverty to wriggle out of its obligations to the people. The real victims of this scandal are the young families trying to get on the property ladder, but have no way of putting down a deposit on the majority of these luxury homes. There is a local and national affordable housing crisis and yet again the Government is letting developers walk all over communities. I strongly believe this latest move is a form of social cleansing in the making. If local land is to be developed for housing then local people should be given the opportunity to buy these homes at affordable rates. I have asked Newcastle Borough Council to implement an independent review of Taylor Wimpey’s claims that the development is not viable with 25% affordable properties included.”
Newly elected Butt Lane Councillor, Sylvia Dymond said: “There have been concerns for years that Taylor Wimpey would try and pull the wool over the eyes of local residents. We now see their true colours. The people of Butt Lane have been forced to sacrifice a huge amount of green space used by local people for many recreational activities. One of the criteria for approval of planning permission was that 25% of the development was affordable housing. We have accepted that housing is needed in the Borough and around the country, but this whole saga is a slap in the face for those locals looking to buy an affordable home on Mitchell Gardens. I don’t know how much more of this we can take as a community.”
You can object to the Taylor Wimpey proposals by using the reference 15/00441/DOAHR and visiting: http://publicaccess.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk/online-applications/
Have you heard about the Kidsgrove Community Garden Scheme? Are you struggling to maintain your garden? Do you need help with cutting your lawns? If the answer is yes then you may benefit from a new scheme for the elderly and disable people of Kidsgrove, providing low cost, basic gardening. All the work is carried out by volunteers and does not aim to compete with established gardening businesses.
To qualify you need to live in one of the five wards of Kidsgrove, own or privately rent your property and have no on to do your gardening for you.
Many elderly people are targeted by bogus callers due to the overgrown state of their gardens. The aim of the scheme is to try and deter bogus callers and to encourage independent living.
Organiser and Father Hudson representative, Matt Ford said:
“This scheme will ensure that the elderly and disabled in the community can get access to a gardening scheme at very little cost. All our volunteers are vetted before they can start to work at any property. We are trying to ensure that people can recognise our Community Garden Scheme and feel safe enough to accept our help. We are a not for profit organisation just trying to do our bit for Kidsgrove. We would like to thank Rich Evans and Kidsgrove Tesco for donating lawn mowers to our cause.”
The scheme has received wide public support and the backing of local Councillors. Butt Lane Councillor, Kyle Robinson said:
“I completely support Matthew Ford and the Father Hudson society for putting together a well needed service. Government cuts have led to the loss of the local handyman service that many elderly and vulnerable people relied on. I also think it’s great that the service isn’t just for people on benefits as far too often this cancels people out. The need is out there and I regularly come across residents needing all kinds of support in their home. I have now set up a system with Matt so that I can refer people in my ward to access the service efficiently. This scheme will be a huge success and I was pleased to support it from the start. It shows what can be achieved when communities pull together.”
If you would like more information or help with your garden please contact Matthew Ford, Father Hudson’s Society Development Officer on: 07587034299.