Kidsgrove Town Council has announced it will not increase council tax for the next financial year after setting out its budget for 2014/15. The Labour controlled council once again voted to freeze the precept to try and offset the cost of living crisis. Councillors recognise that the people of Kidsgrove are being squeezed due to central government cuts and hikes in energy costs. The budget passed unanimously.
It was also agreed during the budget setting process that Christmas lights in Kidsgrove Town Centre are a shambles and virtually non-existent. Therefore £2000 has been set aside and the council will be looking for match funding from the Kidsgrove Town Team, Kidsgrove Rotary Club and other partners/organisations in the locality. The Kidsgrove Town Team, also known as Go Kidsgrove is currently in the process of looking at town centre decorations and events.
Newchapel Councillor and town team board member, Elsie Bates said: “It’s about time we do something about the Christmas lights in Kidsgrove because over the years they have just disappeared. I agree that times are tough but we must do our best to bring the feel good factor back to Kidsgrove and give people something to look forward to.”
The Town Council has also made the decision to invest £25,000 in security fencing for the allotments off Lamb Street. The site has been targeted by vandals and thieves over a long period of time and it was agreed something urgent needed to be done to improve security and remedy the problems. Members of the allotments committee made very clear that they were extremely pleased with the decision to secure the site.
Kyle say’s: “I am delighted that for a fifth year running we have made the decision to freeze the precept to leave hard earned money in peoples pockets. We have a fantastic town already and this is a budget full of positivity and town improvements – as well as a realistic eye for the future. The council achieved this freeze by acting responsibly with public money and saving in the good times. Although the town council’s share of annual tax bills is small, any saving is significant.”
The new tax year begins on April 1st. It is believed Newcastle Borough Council will also pass a Council tax freeze at its full council meeting in February.
The Kidsgrove Town Team would like the community to take part in a survey to improve local Canals. The Kidsgrove waterfront project will hopefully see improvements to moorings, footpaths, lighting and facilities. The Town Team is also looking to tap into our local heritage to promote Kidsgrove and the Canal area.
Business Development Officer, Trudi Barnard said: “The Kidsgrove Town Team thinks that the canal is an important asset for the town and wants to see if it can be used as a focus for improving facilities and attracting visitors. A number of project ideas have been proposed – some can be done quite quickly, some will take longer, some will only happen if we can get grant funding and some will be in the hands of other organisations.”
“We would like to know what YOU think about the proposals. What aspects should we concentrate on? Which projects would have the most impact on making you use the canal and towpaths more. So whether you are a resident, narrow boater, dog walker, local business, interested in local heritage or simply want to make your views known, please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire.”
Print off the paper version if you prefer: Paper version of equestionnaire Jan 14
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.