Talke Library adjoining Springhead Primary school could face closure under Tory controlled Staffordshire County Council plans to slash local services and facilities. The relatively new facility is well used and is also home to the Friends of Talke Library. Educational events and activities are held on a regular basis at the library and the building would be sorely missed.
Councillor David Allport said: “Libraries are not just a place to sit and read. They are community hubs offering a wide range of activities for people of all ages. Some people still don’t own a computer so their only access to the internet is their local library. These cuts to our services are cold and calculating and part of a Tory ideology to shut down public services and offset any responsibility for the community. We must fight back and stand up for the village.”
You can have your say on Library provision in your area by taking part in the public consultation. Follow the link for more information:
Run down pub, the Skylark in Talke Pits could soon be reopened as a family venue. Simon Richards of G3 Leisure who also lives in the area, held a public meeting on Friday 7th February to discuss his proposals with the local community.
Mr Richards explained at the meeting that his company was looking to spend a significant sum on the site to bring it up to a better standard and attract more families. A Skylark revival page on Facebook now has over 350 followers with numbers growing by the day.
Mr Richards said: “Having been in the trade for many years, we have seen many things. The most upsetting is to see estate pubs close. Sometimes it’s not even the fault of the pub or lack of community support. Many times it’s the greed of the breweries that force a pub into closure. As with all business, every party involved has to make a living, but some forget this.
“The Skylark has been the heart of Talke Pits for as long as some can remember and during that time the pub has had its ups and downs. As a local company we saw the closure of the pub, but due to financial interests we were unable to purchase the site. Living in Talke Pits, we have seen the rapid decline in the pub and its grounds. After much thought and research, we decided to really see if the community had lost heart in this once fantastic pub. So we launched the skylark revival page. After receiving phenomenal support from the local community, we decided to look into costs required to reopen the pub, bringing it back as the heart of the village. I realised that the local community was lacking in a good wholesome family orientated food pub that offers great value for money. We are also looking at installing a children’s play area and to provide entertainment.
“Given the amount of capital needed for the project, we wondered if our purchase would be a wise bet and decided to let the villagers and the local community have a say in this project. We have also offered shares in our company to allow us to borrow less and minimise risk of failure. Locals that buy shares will be buying a security in the pub and its land, in addition receive a dividend payment on their investment and receive a discount card. This will give investors the chance to save the amount they invested over their visits to the pub.
“With community support, we can purchase, fully refurbish both internal and external areas of the site, and re-open as a great family pub with entertainment, which the community has shown it wants. This move will not only secure the future of the Skylark, but will improve the overall look of the entrance to our village. Our project will increase the kerb appeal of the site, improve its security and above all secure its future.”
Talke Pits Councillor, David Allport attended the public meeting: “I have a big concern with the amount of Anti-Social behaviour around the site at the moment. This is something we expect with boarded up buildings but I do think the Police need to do more. It was pleasing to see someone so passionate about the pub revival and if G3 Leisure take on the site, I want to see it cleaned up as a matter of urgency”.
Kyle says: “From a Town Council point of view, if the Skylark revival is a success, I am keen to work with the owners to put on more community events for Talke Pits. This area seems to be left out far too often and that must change. I am also looking into a community asset register to protect the rest of our pubs in the community”.
If you are interested in the project, you can check out the Skylark Revival Facebook Page and company website: www.g3leisure.com
Councillors in Talke are calling for immediate repairs to be made to roads in Talke. Oak Tree Lane/Pitt Lane in Talke Pits has fallen into a state of disrepair and requires urgent works. Surrounding roads were addressed and resurfaced last year thanks to action taken by the County Councillor for Talke and Red Street, John Taylor. Unfortunately the County Council did not repair the entrance to Oak Tree Lane. The potholes have been present for well over 18 months and are now extremely dangerous.
Labour Councillor David Allport said: “A small pothole has now become a crater because Staffordshire County Council has failed to take action. The pothole issue in Pitt Lane and Oak Tree Lane has been reported several times before, but we are yet to see any remedial works. Cllr Stubbs and I want to see some swift action. This road is busy as people use it to access Freeport Shopping Centre and the Arbour Farm. Drivers have to swerve to avoid causing damage to their vehicles. We have now reported this issue again and hope to have a response very soon.”
A spokesperson for Freeport Shopping Centre said: “We have received complaints from customers and delivery vehicles experiencing problems on the approach to this site. We are surrounded by businesses requiring access with large vehicles, for example The Range, B&Q and Ash Road Markings to name but a few. We have also negotiated a bus service to the centre via First Bus Group and hope to increase and introduce further services and routes later this year.
“Last year we invested in roundabout sponsorships with the Borough Council and worked with Street Scene for landscaping works to bring awareness and improve the site. Both have been extremely helpful and it’s great to work in partnership.”
Labour Councillors have launched the local pothole patrol initiative and invite you to contact them with any complaints.
Staffordshire County Councillor, John Taylor: 01782 786227
Newcastle Borough Councillor, David Allport: 07870650248
Newcastle Borough Councillor, Mike Stubbs: 07500 091504