Staffordshire County Councillors received £2500 as part of the People Helping People fund in 2019/2020 to award to community projects in their Divisions. I like to keep people up to date about the fantastic projects I have supported this year and so I have provided a list below. The fund is now closed and I hope the County Council intends to keep this fund going so that more brilliant projects can be supported in 2020/21.
Go Kidsgrove – Making Christmas Fun:
Making Christmas Fun’ will use shared Christmas craft activities to bring families together in a stress-free environment. We will run workshops in the libraries and pop-up shop to enable families to work together to make Christmas lanterns and decorate tree baubles. The lanterns will be used in the ‘DIY light parade’ on the day of the Switch-on event, which also brings families together in a fun activity. The baubles will be used to decorate the tree in the centre of town, creating a shared ownership of Christmas in Kidsgrove. We also wish to purchase a good quality pop-up gazebo so we can take the workshops to other locations, without the need for finding suitable premises.
Ian Atherton – Butt Lane Youth Club
A weekly youth club for 9 to 14 year olds to encourage young people’s personal and social development by getting involved in positive activities and having fun. The youth club will help to tackle anti-social behaviour and will be based at Butt Lane Baptist Church.
Crown Bank Allotment Association – Access For All:
The object of improving access (Access For All) to the Allotment gardens is to allow the surrounding community to be able to access the Allotment gardens safely, and in return we be able to open the site up to the local schools and care homes in Talke Pits/Kidsgrove district.
Kidsgrove Sports Centre Community Group – Kidsgrove Sports Centre Sports 4 all:
To provide Sports Opportunities to our local and surrounding communities. Kidsgrove Sports Centre was closed to the public in June 2017. Since the time of closure, the community has campaigned tirelessly for its re-opening. This grant would help to provide much needed equipment for the centre that was sadly removed from site and would again allow users the opportunity to reach their full potential, promote sport and fitness and encourage lifestyle changes.
Red Street Community Centre – Community Project:
Red Street Community Centre is used by the whole community and facilities are enjoyed by all. We have various groups that use the centre including karate, Parkinson’s group, slimming world, drama group , dog training and also Kidsgrove Care Solutions. Some of these groups mainly Kidsgrove Care Solutions and Parkinson’s group have special needs clientele and because of this they require specialised equipment that needs to be stored. We are looking to acquire some sheds that will allow groups to store this equipment in and release much needed space in main hall where equipment is kept now.
Total awarded to community projects – £2479.00
The future of Talke Library is looking more positive as a community organisation sets up base there.
Local voluntary and community sector support and development organisation, Support Staffordshire, now has a base locally at Talke Library. As local manager, Jill Norman, explains: “We have been looking for a base in Newcastle and Kidsgrove for a while and have decided to try using Talke Library which gives us a great place to access all parts of Newcastle Borough and also allows us to support the community library and its volunteers. We are keen to take the opportunity to encourage more community use of the library and its resources. It’s a great facility and has a lovely meeting room as well as flexible space in the main library.”
Talke County Councillor Kyle Robinson said: “Since I was elected to Staffordshire County Council I have held meetings with senior officers, pressured the Leader of the County Council and fought hard to ensure Talke Library has a future. I have also raised my concerns about cuts to Library opening times, but hopefully this situation will improve as the ‘Support Staffordshire’ team begin to work more closely with the community. I am hoping that a firmer arrangement can be sealed in the New Year and I will continue to be part of any negotiations to secure a positive future for this vital community facility. I shall look forward to working with Jill and her team.”
Support Staffordshire has already held one of its quarterly voluntary sector forum meetings and also a training session at Talke Library. Lots of different activities already take place at the library, including monthly Monday evening talks organised by The Friends of Talke Library and a craft group which meets every Monday afternoon. However, there are opportunities for other activities and Support Staffordshire is keen to attract people who would like to run new activities, or to volunteer to support existing activities, at Talke Library.
The base at Talke Library gives Support Staffordshire a chance to offer face-to-face advice and support to individuals who may be interested in volunteering through its Volunteer Centre services, and to those running a voluntary or community group who may need help on governance, funding, finding volunteers, or any other aspect of running an effective group. Staff will be available during the normal library opening hours of 1pm to 5pm on Mondays and 2pm to 5pm on Wednesdays (Talke Library is also open on Fridays 2pm to 5pm, run by Staffordshire County Council staff and volunteers).
You can just drop in to see us, although it is best to ring in advance to book at appointment to be sure. To book please ring 01538 381356 or, for volunteering advice email firstname.lastname@example.org and for organisation advice email Natalie.email@example.com
A petition of 1379 names against cuts in bus subsidies was presented to Staffordshire County Council by Councillor Charlotte Atkins on behalf of the Staffordshire Labour Group on Thursday October 12th.
Councillor Charlotte Atkins (Leek South Division) said,
“I am presenting this petition on behalf of all those who will be devastated by these cuts in bus subsidies – the most disadvantaged: the old, the young, the sick, the disabled and those on low incomes.
“Buses are a lifeline in a rural county like Staffordshire – providing access to employment, education, healthcare, shopping and leisure opportunities. These are all vital to the quality of people’s lives.
“Without these buses, we will be adding to the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation. That will add to the mental health problems which are already high within Staffordshire and have huge consequences for rural communities.
“These swingeing cuts – a 70% reduction to the bus subsidies’ budget – are being proposed without any alternatives being planned. Why isn’t the County Council exploring innovative solutions to address the transport needs of our most vulnerable citizens – working with taxi services, health organisations, supermarkets, leisure outlets, and communities to develop sustainable alternatives? This must be done in advance of the axe falling.
“For once, we need not just to consider the bottom line but the needs of our most vulnerable residents – whose voice is rarely heard. We need to focus on the human and social outcomes of these ill thought out plans.”
Talke and Red Street County Councillor, Kyle Robinson said,
“Many people in our local community will feel trapped if more bus routes are axed. I will continue to raise concerns of those residents who are worried about the future of their local bus services. Many residents in my division who use public transport are worried that they may not be able to reach Royal Stoke Hospital without having to use taxis or walk miles. Perhaps it is time for the Government to consider renationalising bus companies before the whole system fails.”
Chesterton Borough Councillor and campaigner, Cllr Allison Gardner said,
“We have been campaigning and collecting signatures for our petition over the summer. These cuts have already resulted in bus companies removing routes altogether. Audley have lost their Saturday bus service to Newcastle and the number 17 Hanley bus has been cut. Cuts to public transport means isolation of people who cannot afford cars or are unable to drive. This means our elderly, disabled, young and poor residents will be adversely affected – the very people we need to be supporting the most. They, and whole communities, will become increasingly isolated and their access to work, training, health services and shops will be reduced. In turn this will have a detrimental effect on our local economy as well as the health, well being and opportunities of our residents. This is a further example of the appalling cuts forced on local government by the Conservative government and it is time we all spoke up, whatever our political persuasion, and said enough!”