Unity Way: “Not another Off-license”

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Current proposals for a new Convenience store to be challeneged by local residents.

Residents of Unity Way in Talke are campaigning to oppose a new off license application submitted to Newcastle Borough Council. The convenience store proposed to take up the empty unit would be allowed to sell alcohol between 7.00am to 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday, 7.30am to 11.30pm Thursday to Saturday and 8.00am to 11.00pm on a Sunday.

It is believed that granting a license would provide a further source of alcohol within an area already so heavily populated with licensed premises that crime, disorder and public nuisance have already reached problem levels for the local police. Staffordshire Police have only recently had to dedicate more officers to the area due to a spike in crime.

The unit sits on an access only road and it is believed another convenience store in this area would be totally detrimental to the aims and objectives of the local community. There is currently an ongoing campaign to reduce traffic and the speed of traffic in this area. Staffordshire County Council Highways and the Police are well aware of this problem and continue to work with residents to find a solution. The amount of traffic generated by a convenience store could cause further problems for the road.

As the Butt Lane Councillor, I am concerned regarding the highways issues raised. There are also serious concerns that young people in the Kidsgrove and Butt Lane area are more easily getting access to alcohol. I feel that by making alcohol more readily available in this particular area, people will face a range of issues. Not to forget the fact this site is already an anti-social behaviour hotspot.

I have asked the committee deciding on this application to look at the Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions report presented to Newcastle Borough Council in October 2013. Year on year, the number of cases of Alcohol related admissions have doubled in some cases in the Borough. This includes Toxic effects, mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol and alcoholic related liver disease. I believe the increase in access to alcohol through supermarkets and off-licenses has had a serious impact on communities. Whilst I do not want to be a kill joy, I do feel as a community we need to do more to raise awareness regarding the effects alcohol consumption can have on ones health.

We currently have a huge provision of local shops, co-operative stores and a new supermarket to be built on the old Linley Trading Estate. Do we really need anymore?

If you wish to have your say on the proposals, please follow the link below:

http://tinyurl.com/qhcd66a

Kidsgrove’s Victorian Market Returns

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The Kidsgrove Victorian Market gets busier each year.

This year’s Kidsgrove Victorian Christmas Market is set to be the biggest yet and will take place on Saturday 29th November, 10am-4pm at the Town Hall. With more focus on business stalls and supporting small businesses in the town, we are hoping the wares offered this year will be even more spectacular. The event will include the Kidsgrove Rotary Santa Clause Grotto, Victorian Tea Rooms, traditional and vintage stalls, local hand-made products, Christmas entertainment and professional crafts.

Year on year, the Victorian Market in Kidsgrove has attracted hundreds of people from far and wide. This is an event not to be missed. This event is educational for all of the family and will give you the opportunity to step back in time to imagine Kidsgrove in the Victorian era. Many people dress up for the occasion in authentic period attire to enhance the Victorian ambiance.

The entertainment will include the Kidsgrove Community Choir, The Tamil Dancers of Stoke-on-Trent, local artists performing Christmas carols and more.

To hire a stall there is a £20.00 fee and you must return the booking form in the link below to kidsgrovetc@btconnect.com:

VCM Stalls Application Form 2014 – Traders

I call for Votes at 16

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This week I attended the Labour Party Annual Conference and spoke about engaging local people in democracy and delivering services, and how I have worked with local young people in Kidsgrove to set up a Youth Parliament

I told conference:
“The Tories decimated our Youth Services in Staffordshire despite 16,000 people signing a petition opposing the cuts. Young people are feeling more vulnerable than ever in these difficult times, they rely on these key support services.”

“In the face of these cold and calculating cuts, young people are responding in the most positive and extraordinary ways. Setting up their own Youth Parliament within the Town of Kidsgrove, they are now delivering Youth Services with support of the Labour Town Council. With a budget of £2000 a year, the Youth Parliament has helped clean up their community by installing flower beds, donating benches to the local war memorial, setting up knitting with ‘nanas groups’ and organising youth advice days in the absence of formal Youth Services.”

“Young people are choosing to use their own funds to support everyone, in particular the elderly. Their hard work and direct involvement in the community has helped break down barriers and created a more caring atmosphere that all have benefitted from.”

I talked about how inspiring it is to see young people engaging in locally based work and getting involved where previously they were ignored.

I reinforced to the Conference audience the importance of the Labour Party policy pledge to give votes to sixteen year olds in all elections, telling them that this would help to determine that young people and their concerns won’t be ignored by politicians and the decision makers.

Education on local government and politics needs to improve. Far too often young people are leaving school not knowing a single thing about their right to vote and how to have their say on local and national issues. This needs to change if we want to rid ourselves of apathy that does our communities no favours.

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