Up until this point I have remained quiet on who I will be supporting to be the next Labour Parliamentary Prospective Candidate for Stoke-on-Trent North. As many people will be aware I am an active member of the Labour Party and I believe in what the party stands for. As a member of the CLP Executive Committee I decided not to put myself forward to be on the Selection Committee because I want to back a candidate from the start. Stoke North’s selection process needs to be professional and transparent. Therefore I can announce I am endorsing Ruth Smeeth to be our PPC.
I have been aware of Ruth for quite some time. She has been known to attend many events and Labour campaign days in Stoke, way before Joan announced her retirement. A lot of us believed Joan would do at least another term. Ruth’s background as a Hope Not Hate co-ordinator and her fight against fascism really does inspire me and others. Her experience in this area can definitely be put into practice to protect the City and Borough from the BNP and extreme elements of UKIP.
Ruth Smeeth has been the perfect campaigner and most definitely inspires people to get out there and speak to people on the doorstep. That is what we are about after all, putting people first and listening. I joined the campaign trail in the Baddely, Milton and Norton by-election to see Ruth working really hard with our candidate. She lit up my day on the doorstep, a real people person and able to relate to working class folk on the doorstep. Ruth has attended numerous campaign days in Kidsgrove and isn’t afraid of hard work.
It was only recently that I was on a training course in Manchester and I met members of the Labour Party from Burton. Ruth was mentioned in the conversations and those people speaking about her didn’t have a bad word to say. They told me how lucky the people of Stoke North would be if Ruth put herself forward.
The day Joan Walley announced her retirement I felt totally devastated. Joan has been one of the most dedicated MP’s I have ever met and she always puts her constituents first. She never gives up the fight against social injustice. Joan is a true friend of mine and I have learnt so much from this respectable lady. After doing a lot of thinking, I had no choice but to endorse Ruth who I believe will follow in Joan’s footsteps and do a really good job. Ruth is young, vibrant and will bring a fresh approach to politics that this country so desperately needs. She is not a candidate being shipped in from London, something I hope we never see happen again.
So good luck to all of the candidates putting themselves forward, but I have my fingers, legs and toes crossed for Ruth.
You can find out more about Ruth and her endorsers at: http://www.ruthsmeeth.org.uk
Canal dredging has finally taken place at the Hardingswood junction to Harecastle Tunnel, North Portal following a local campaign to clean up Kidsgrove Canals. Jon Honeysett MBE, Joan Walley MP, Kidsgrove Town Councillors, local IWA Branch officers, and members of the public who traverse the towpath from Harecastle Tunnel’s North Portal, look forward eagerly to the cleaned-up section, cleared of obstructions, completed by 20th December 2013, enabling work to proceed on brightening up Kidsgrove’s Heritage Waterfront from 2014 onwards.
On Friday 1st November, a meeting took place at Kidsgrove Town Hall with the Canal River Trust, Kidsgrove Town Team and members of the Kidsgrove Community. The meeting was to outline future plans to be displayed in the Town Hall on Saturday 30th November – a new Kidsgrove Waterfront Project is now considered a part of the larger Kidsgrove Transport ‘Hub’ plan being promoted by Staffordshire County Council and East Midlands Trains.
Jon Honeysett said: “the Uplander Wharf has been dredged and the boats are floating beautifully and not sticking as before.
“Beyond the bridge is still to be dredged and so far hundreds of tonnes of muck have been removed – an unbelievable amount.”
The Photographs show the dredging sequence taken on the morning of Thursday 21 November 2013, between the road overbridge into the railway station car park (full!) and Hardingswood junction. By kind permission of the Canal and River Trusts’ contractor, James Dennis, of Land & Water Services Ltd. Photo’s were taken on site of tugs and loaded barges – the dredged mud-spoil is taken by heavy lorry, seen being loaded by Mr Richard Drover, to a spoil-site at Haydock, near the M6 at Runcorn.
The next section to be dredged is up to the Harecastle tunnel entrance, and will hopefully, remove the obstructions currently blocking the navigation.
Sarah Honeysett has kindly shared recent photographs of the canal dredging preparations and beautiful autumn scenes. Please do not reproduce without written permission.