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Sneak Peek of future Kidsgrove Railway Station Improvements

The Department of Transport has confirmed that long-awaited plans for improvements to Kidsgrove Railway Station are set to go ahead on schedule.  Local residents have been campaigning for years to secure improvements, including a new pedestrian bridge and lift, in order to improve transport networks in the town.  Construction could now begin as early as April next year.  This decision also means that third party funding for a new car park and transport interchange will likely remain secure.

Ruth Smeeth MP, who has been working with the campaign and who recently met with the Transport Minister to lobby him on the issue, has welcomed the news.

Ruth said : “It’s absolutely brilliant news that these works finally have the all clear.  Kidsgrove station is a vital transport hub for the community and these improvements will be a big boost.  I had a productive meeting with the Transport Minister where we discussed the potential benefits of these renovations.  I’m delighted that he has recognised the value that this investment will bring.  This is the culmination of many years of hard work from so many local residents, Councillors and community organisations who have been advocating for these works for a long, long time.”

Councillor Kyle Robinson said: “When we launched our ‘bridge to equality’ petition in September 2013, we had everything crossed and hoped that the Government would listen.  After a lot of lobbying from our MP and members of the community, we are finally moving forward.  Almost £4 Million will be invested into this scheme and Kidsgrove will have a modern transport hub fit for the 21st Century.”

Kyle added: “While this is all very positive news I was disappointed to learn that the Department of Transport announced Kidsgrove will lose its direct service to London.  This will mean that passengers travelling to London from Kidsgrove will need to change over at Stoke or Stafford stations.  However, Kidsgrove will gain a new direct service to Birmingham New Street which opens our area up to jobs in that region.  It is important that all our local representatives continue to lobby the Department for Transport for the best possible deal for the people of Kidsgrove.”

Thank you to East Midlands Trains and Network Rail for allowing us to share this video with the public.

Recycle your Christmas tree for free

christmas_tree_recycling_scheme_butt_lane_and_talke

Why not take advantage and recycle your Christmas tree locally and for free?

If you reside in Butt Lane, Talke and Talke Pits, you will be able to recycle your (real) Christmas tree this year.  Butt Lane and Talke Locality Action Partnership is teaming up with Newcastle Borough Council’s Environment team to offer this service free of charge.  The dedicated Christmas tree collection will take place on Saturday 7th January, between 8am – 10am on Freeport Shopping Centre car park.  The staff at the shopping centre will be coning off an area of the car park immediately to the right of the main entrance.

The garden waste collections don’t operate during winter and many residents struggle to dispose of their Christmas trees.  Please be aware that only real trees will be accepted and not artificial trees.  The council will not be able to accept any other type of waste during the collection.

Kyle says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to dispose of their Christmas tree, free of charge in their local area.  As chairman of the Butt Lane and Talke Locality Action partnership I am pleased we have been able to find the funds for this one off initiative that will help people to recycle their tree just after the Christmas period.  I urge local residents to do their best to take advantage of this scheme.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.”

Labour Group wins Citizens Advice Service Reprieve

cablogo-11The Staffordshire Labour Group’s call in of the Conservative Cabinet decision to cut funding to Staffordshire CABs by £439,000 has resulted in a rethink. Cabinet member Councillor Alan White agreed at yesterday’s Corporate Review Committee to reconsider his decision.

The proposed cuts in funding would have resulted in many smaller bureaux closing and a much reduced service in other bureaux which provide free, confidential and quality marked advice on a wide range of issues including debt, benefits and consumer information.

Leading the call in on behalf of the Labour Group, Councillor Shree Peaple said:

“The CABs provide real value for money. In the first six months of the year, for an investment of less than 59 pence per resident per year the financial return was £14.7 million, on average £17 per resident. That is in addition to helping residents deal with over £11 million worth of debt. That benefits not only local families but also local shops and businesses.  I am delighted that we have won a reprieve for Staffordshire CABs but they are not out of the woods yet as there are still hard decisions to be made”

Kyle Robinson , Labour County Council Candidate for Talke and Red Street said:

“The CAB offers expert advice to help people tackle their debt problems.  Many residents, young and old in Butt Lane, Talke Pits and Chesterton Red Street access CAB services in a time of need.  People are really struggling to make ends meet and to take away this vital service would be another blow for the local community.  People assume that only people on benefits use CAB services, but this is simply not true.  A large proportion of people who use the service are in work.  I am also aware that many disabled people turn to the CAB for support, especially when seeking work.  The County Council must think again and ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community get the support they need and deserve.  You never know when you might need to access this service yourself.”

Councillor Sue Woodward, Leader of the Labour Group said,

“With the petition in favour of saving our CABs already running at over 11,500, this reflects the real value Staffordshire residents put on these services. We must now find a fairer and more positive solution. I am pleased that our call in was so successful.”

Please sign the petition if you haven’t already: https://www.change.org/p/staffordshire-county-council-help-protect-local-citizens-advice-services-across-staffordshire