Eye spy with my little eye something beginning with C. Yes C equalling cuts to Policing in Kidsgrove. I have been informed by a reliable source that the town of Kidsgrove has lost another Police Community Support Officer. Whilst the so called consultation on the Police station closure was being put forward over the last few years Kidsgrove Town Council was assured that the closure would result in protecting front line policing. That includes our PCSO’s that we so heavily rely on in our town. PCSO’s play an integral part in policing the community and offer a reassuring presence on our streets. They attend community meetings and give advice on security and are especially supportive of our elderly members of the community. It is very disheartening to hear this is happening when our forces are already stretched over an ever increasing area. I wonder what our Police and Crime Commissioner has to say about this? Well his actions speak louder than words I suppose.
Staffordshire’s new Tory Police Commissioner has shocked tax payers with his plans for a new £700,000 ‘thinking team’. Matthew Ellis pocketed £75,000 after winning last Novembers PCC election. One of his first jobs was to recruit his friend as a part time assistant on £25,000. Mr Ellis is a former Conservative County Councillor with a professed dislike for bureaucracy.
But my friends, it hasn’t deterred him from unveiling plans for a Chief of Staff (£85,000), a Chief of Finance Officer (£79,000), a Head of Policy (up to £73,455), a Head of Commissioning (up to £73,455), A Head of Governance (£46,509) plus five assistants to put the cherry on the cake.
It’s scandalous that Mr Ellis is building such an empire at public expense while stations are closing and officers are losing their jobs. You work it out and add up all those salaries. That money could have easily kept a few more Police stations open and would definitely save a few PCSO’s. So let’s put it into perspective:
For £702,000 Staffordshire Police could recruit 39 Police Community Support Officers.
For £700,000 Staffordshire Police could recruit an extra 28 fully trained Police Constables.
For £702,000 Staffordshire Police could have kept Kidsgrove Police Station open for another 13 years.
In August a Police Inspector told Newcastle Borough Council’s Cleaner greener safer committee:
“We won’t reduce anything that is currently being delivered in and around Kidsgrove and there will remain the provision of an inquiry office. The hours won’t be reduced and there will be no less police officers or staff. Policing is about people and not buildings. It is not about having a fantastic building; it is about maintaining a presence.”
So I will leave you to juggle the figures around and see if you get the same result as me. One thing is for sure, we are having Police reductions through the back door whilst our fat cat PCC spends all our policing budgets on more bueracracy and Ipads. Let me be clear in my arguement. I have alot of respect for the Police in Kidsrove and they do an absolutely fantastic job. Thats why I get more annoyed when I hear how we are losing yet another member of our Policing Team that know our area and people so well.
Councillor Kyle Robinson
The results are in and residents of Woodshutts Street have voted overwhelmingly for their road to be made one way. A whopping 65% said they would be happy for the street to be made one way as soon as possible. Residents also added comments and wrote letters to offer more ideas on how to tackle parking, congestion and speeding.
Another 21% of those surveyed felt Woodshutts Street should be blocked off altogether. Many residents added comments saying it would be better to place concrete bollards at the end of the terraced houses just after the turning into Woodlands Avenue giving plenty of room for vehicle manoeuvre.
9% of residents called for permit parking. Although this was not an option on the survey I felt it needed adding to the results as 3 residents asked for this to be included as a possibility.
Finally 3% which equals to 1 resident asked that I (Councillors) do nothing. Many responded in their comments that doing nothing was absolutely not an option.
I think it would be fair to say I have been rather brave to take on this issue that many of those before me have tended to shy away from to avoid upsetting residents and local business. In my opinion this has to be tackled sooner rather than later because I am concerned there could be fatalities on this stretch of road if we carry on with the way things are. As many residents have pointed out, they have pushed for years for all sorts of different ways to reduce traffic but nothing ever seems to move forward. On a regular basis vehicles are damaged and even written off because of collisions in the terraced part of Woodshutts Street.
I would like to bring your attention to a plan that a resident has provided me with. The gentleman is one of the residents calling for the blocking of Woodshutts Street but at a different point than previously suggested in the survey. His idea does make sense but might not suit everyone. Here is the plan below:
If this option was to be considered 90% of residents would need to agree with little opposition because Staffordshire Highways Authority have to go with a large majority view. Under this plan Cul-De-Sac signs would be erected at the entrance of Woodshutts street from Congleton road.
This will provide access to Woodlands Avenue/Pickwick place and also allow the terraced house dwellers to turn their cars around as this road is wider at this point as you can see on the sketch above.
The traffic entering Woodshutts Street from Cedar Avenue would have two turning places, the bollards halfway up Woodshutts Street and Milstone Avenue. This should suffice for residents in this area.
So what happens next?
I would like to produce the one way proposals and the above plan to residents in another newsletter and a door knocking session. This will take place in the new year, preferably the end of January. Following this there will be a public meeting and I will be hoping residents attend to air their views. As you can imagine this is a very difficult piece of case work for me and other Butt Lane Councillors so we want to reach a solution that suits the majority of residents. I will ensure a Highways officer from Staffordshire County Council attends the meeting and also members of the joint parking committee at Newcastle Borough Council. It would also help to involve Staffordshire Police who might be able to give us some supporting evidence for the proposals above so I shall invite PCSO Colin Stepney.
Councillor Kyle Robinson