Blog Archives

Unity Way: “Not another Off-license”


Current proposals for a new Convenience store to be challeneged by local residents.

Residents of Unity Way in Talke are campaigning to oppose a new off license application submitted to Newcastle Borough Council. The convenience store proposed to take up the empty unit would be allowed to sell alcohol between 7.00am to 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday, 7.30am to 11.30pm Thursday to Saturday and 8.00am to 11.00pm on a Sunday.

It is believed that granting a license would provide a further source of alcohol within an area already so heavily populated with licensed premises that crime, disorder and public nuisance have already reached problem levels for the local police. Staffordshire Police have only recently had to dedicate more officers to the area due to a spike in crime.

The unit sits on an access only road and it is believed another convenience store in this area would be totally detrimental to the aims and objectives of the local community. There is currently an ongoing campaign to reduce traffic and the speed of traffic in this area. Staffordshire County Council Highways and the Police are well aware of this problem and continue to work with residents to find a solution. The amount of traffic generated by a convenience store could cause further problems for the road.

As the Butt Lane Councillor, I am concerned regarding the highways issues raised. There are also serious concerns that young people in the Kidsgrove and Butt Lane area are more easily getting access to alcohol. I feel that by making alcohol more readily available in this particular area, people will face a range of issues. Not to forget the fact this site is already an anti-social behaviour hotspot.

I have asked the committee deciding on this application to look at the Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions report presented to Newcastle Borough Council in October 2013. Year on year, the number of cases of Alcohol related admissions have doubled in some cases in the Borough. This includes Toxic effects, mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol and alcoholic related liver disease. I believe the increase in access to alcohol through supermarkets and off-licenses has had a serious impact on communities. Whilst I do not want to be a kill joy, I do feel as a community we need to do more to raise awareness regarding the effects alcohol consumption can have on ones health.

We currently have a huge provision of local shops, co-operative stores and a new supermarket to be built on the old Linley Trading Estate. Do we really need anymore?

If you wish to have your say on the proposals, please follow the link below:

Unity Way ‘Rat Run’ Alarming


Cllr Kyle Robinson is backing residents in their bid to stop drivers using Unity Way as a ‘rat run’.

Residents of Unity Way are calling for action to be taken by Staffordshire Highways regarding their access only road. Drivers have continually used Unity Way as a cut through from the A34, Newcastle Road to avoid Talke traffic lights and shorten the journey. This is having a detrimental impact on local residents and the speed of the traffic has increased to alarming levels in the last few years. The use of the road has also increased following a massive increase in housing developments off Congleton Road.

Local resident, Kelly D said: “My partner and I have seen the traffic on this road increase tenfold in the last few years. It is becoming a very dangerous road and is used as a rat run by some idiots. I have a small boy and I am worried it is only a matter of time before a child is killed on this road. Hollins Grange at the top of Unity way houses a lot of elderly and disabled people and it is just impossible for them to cross the road sometimes. We would like Staffordshire Highways to do something about this situation as a matter of urgency and the Police need to do more.”

Butt Lane Labour Councillors are now carrying out a survey to try and find a solution. In a letter to the residents of Unity Way, I wrote:

“Dear Residents of Unity Way, Covert Gardens and Fox Gardens

I am writing to you as your local Councillor to address your concerns with traffic and highways issues. We would all agree that Unity Way is still being used as a cut through by traffic coming off the A34. This is having a detrimental impact on local residents and pedestrians. The speed of the vehicles cutting through is alarming.

There is not going to be a quick fix to our problem but we must push for a solution. I can recall the meeting we had with Highways Officer, David Greatbatch and PCSO, Colin Stepney well over 12 months ago. Unfortunately I have not received any further information as to whether the County Council carried out a survey of the road or not. I don’t think the Police presence on this road is all that could be desired due to cutbacks. During the meeting, residents argued many different points of view and debated what the best course of action would be. We never reached a consensus and because of this, the County Council Highways Department will continue to side step our problems.

I would like to carry out a survey to find out what the majority of residents would like the Councillors to push for. As I am sure you can appreciate, it is difficult to please everyone, but we will try our best. Please understand that this survey is not commissioned by Highways and is purely for my own investigatory purposes. The outcome of this survey doesn’t necessarily mean we can implement our findings, but it will give us a much clearer aim.
I appreciate residents have waited many years for action and I am not one to give up.”


Map view of Unity Way.

Labour Councillors will now wait for residents to respond to the survey and the results will be published in a future article on this website. As the speed of the traffic needs addressing in the short term I have arranged for every property to also receive a 30MPH bin sticker. The Wheelie bin stickers initiative are used as part of a general awareness raising exercise to highlight to drivers that they are entering and travelling within a 20, 30 or 40 MPH residential area. The stickers are used along arterial residential routes where there have been a high number of casualties or where there is a perceived community concern regarding the speed of vehicles travelling through the area. It doesn’t solve our problems, but it helps and the initiative is hailed as a success in some areas.

If you are reading this article and you have used Unity Way as a cut through, please remember it is an offence. The ‘except for access’ signs are clearly marked and the Police will be doing more to fine people in the coming months. I wouldn’t want people using my street as a cut through and I suspect you wouldn’t either.

Thank you