Wednesday, 27 March 2013

UPDATED You will be Ignored

Any resident of Stoke on Trent, who has yet to be convinced on the benefits of borrowing £55m for a new Civic and the partnership with Genr8, you are now OFFICIAL wasting your time writing to the Mohammed Pervez the Leader of the City Council.

Im a reply to a Local Resident our Leader said "Any further requests from you in relation to the Central Business District and the relocation of the Council to Hanley will not be processed and will be filed and not acknowledged."

The City Council openly admit they have done a poor PR job of getting their message across to the people of the City, yet now are REFUSING to enter into any sort of debate with local residents, hows that for re-engaging with the public.

Dear ........

Where a number of requests are received, not necessarily from the same person, and they relate to the same or similar subjects then the Council i
s entitled to refuse these requests under Section 14(2) of the Act as they are regarded as being repeated. Also the Section14(1) permits the Council to refuse requests from a requester where it is considered that the requests are vexatious in intent or where it is apparent that the intent of the requests is to impede the operation of a public authority. Any further requests from you in relation to the Central Business District and the relocation of the Council to Hanley will not be processed and will be filed and not acknowledged.
Best regards
Councillor Mohammed Pervez

In a reply to all councillors Cllr Pervez denies sending the above email

Mr Norris

It is beyond belief that you have deliberately misled all the recipients of this email !

From what I can gather, the email was sent by the Information Rights Team NOT BY MYSELF ! I wasn't even aware of it !

Is it any wonder, therefore, that I don't reply to your emails !

Best Regards,

Councillor Mohammed Pervez,
Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council & Councillor for Moorcroft Ward.
Tel: 01782 232468
The Betrayal of Stoke-on-Trent
Richard Snell

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Planning Meeting on New Civic

Council Planning Meeting Tuesday 19th March 2013
Considering application 54398/FUL
Councillors present - (sat on left side of the chamber)
Paul Shotton,
Terry Follows,
Adrian Knapper,
Shazad Hussain,
Jack Brereton
Andy Platt,
Janine Bridges
Amjid Wazir
Councillor Tom Reynolds chairs the meeting from the Mayors seat.
Hazel Macready Planning Case Officer.
At least 2 other people next to Reynolds, but not sure of their names
Representing GENR8, sat on the right of the chamber-
Mr Michael Clark, RHWL Architect and one other I think is James Sheppard from GVA, but I'm not certain.
All Councillors are asked to declare conflict of interests to determine any question of predetermination.
Councillor Jack Brereton admits to being at the March on Stoke.
Hazel Macready, Planning Case Officer, demonstrates a plan view of the site on the digital projector system, and gives some background information. She gives a quick precis of the application. I believe there is a copy of the notes on the Planning webpage.

Hazel Macready says there have been no reported bat sightings in the areas so they've decided not to do a Bat Survey.
Site drainage will use attenuation tanks.
She says there will be no car parking provided on CBD area.
Some parking available on Broad Street
Councillor Reynolds states that non of the 25 public objections against the Planning application are relevant.
A consultation with the organization "Places Matter" is mentioned.
Each Councillor has a turn to ask questions.
Councillor Shotton asks about traffic control measures for vehicle access to the site.
Mr Clark, suggests a Full time Traffic Access Management Team allowing access to disabled visitors and deliveries.
Cllr Shotton asks about a crossing on Potteries Way.
Mr Clark mentions the Highways Department and the building of a Super-Crossing.
Cllr Shotton is concerned about the coloured glass casting coloured light into the building.
Mr Clark, reassures him the it won't. Later in the meeting 2 pieces of coloured glass are passed around for the Councillors to inspect.
Councillor Platt is surprised and says he had expected members of the public to be speaking against the application.
He says something like- "I guess that's the nature of protest."
Councillor Platt asks about the practicality of including a District Heating Pump system at a later date.
There was no conclusive answer from Mr Clark.
Cllr Platt asks about achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating which needs a score of 71 or more.
Mr Clark, suggests the Council is getting a lot of technology for their money.
Councillor Follows asks for assurance that the building won't suffer the same problems as the Stafford County Council new build, where tiles have fallen off.
Mr Clark, says he can't be asked to account for another architects mistakes.
Councillor Shazad Hussain asks about the number of disabled parking bays.
Councillor Bridges asks for reassurance that the architects will be supporting the entire project.
Mr Clark, says they expect to provide ongoing "cradle to the grave" support.
She asks the architect how he came up with the design and the choice of colours.
Terracotta was the original colour of the first design, before the Claris Cliffe idea.
One of the Councillors asks about the maintenance of the exterior glass.
Mr Clark, suggests the building will require a weekly window clean.
Councillor Reynolds speaks before asking for final comments.
He says the design had been described as a "Marmite" building. Some people describe it as an icon or a landmark. Others say it sticks out like sore thumb. He says it not to his taste.
Each Councillor is asked for comments before voting.
Only Councillor Bridges admits to liking the design, but she is concerned that it might end up looking like the orange Fine Fare car-park in Newcastle-u-Lyme.
The other Councillors say that the appearance of the building is not to their taste, but that doesn't mean it isn't "iconic."
Councillor Platt asks Councillor Reynolds if legislation allows for "plebiscites."
Councillor Reynolds says that under the Localism Act, the public have no recourse. If they don't like it they can have their say at the next election.
Councillor Follows attempts to say that he doesn't see the need for the headquarters move. He is curtailed by Councillor Reynolds who says "Thank you for the Party Political Broadcast."
Councillor Knapper says he hopes there won't be any listed buildings "accidentally" knocked down while no-one is looking. He says this happened on the Unity House build.
Mr Gray says he doesn't believe that kind of thing could happen these days.
Councillor Knapper thanks GENR8 reps and says it is one of the best presentations they have had.
All voted in favor.
Next meeting of Development management group 2nd April
Chris Nightingale

Friday, 22 March 2013

Speech of Petitioner to Stop all plans to relocate the Civic centre

Poetic justice for wasting cash

How long will this awful-looking new civic centre 'glass house' last before another mistake needs to be rectified?

At last a conclusion has just come to mind,
What to make of that building (the kaleidoscope kind!)
From all over Britain, we'll be looked on with pity,
At the thousands of pounds the council wastes in our city!
When buildings of beauty are shunned, or knocked down,
And out-of-work people just waiver around.
So much money is squandered – to please such a few,
When it could be used, to start business anew.
Re-open a potbank – or encourage people to try,
To work for themselves, and help them aim high.
For when man has a purpose, each day brings him joy,
He'll work hard to improve, and more people employ.
So all that he needs is a helping donation,
To give start to his future, and help to our nation.
So my vision of spending's not on glass of all hues,
But on helping the city to banish its blues!
Employ folk to alter, or 'do up' our towns,
It won't cost as much as the thousands of pounds.
That the 'few' seem to think that it's their place to squander.
And create little places where the redundant may wander.


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Stoke Regeneration on Radio Stoke

BBC Radio Stoke hosted a special on air debate 19th March 2013

Sunday, 10 March 2013

How to ask a public question to council

How to ask a public question to council
Following up on what I said at this meeting about public questions to council, the information is quite well hidden on the council's web site (rather like this comment is on marchonstoke's web site):

Follow the instructions at the above link and fill in the form which can be obtained at the bottom of that page.
It is still very much as clear as mud and can be very confusing at council.
For example where is the 'advice note' referred to on the form? I've no idea. Also, what really baffles people and isn't explained is that your question submitted on the form is NOT the one you ask if you turn up at council. The one you submit is answered in writing ahead of the council meeting, here are some examples:

What happens at the council meeting
You are told when you get your written answer that you may ask a SUPPLEMENTARY question, limited to 50 words. That is the one you ask in person at the council meeting. It's quite likely you will think of a supplementary question because their 'answer' will be poor or a related question occurs to you. You actually get to speak very little, but at least it's a chance and can put them on the spot. For example see mine at time (0:40:08) 
It's also possible it can lead to a meeting or referral to scrutiny.
The half hour mentioned at the March on Stoke meeting is the total time limit on ALL the public's supplementary questions and the leader and cabinet's answers.
What questions to ask
There would be no point lots of people asking the same question (they would be rejected) but people may wish to ask different questions related to moving the civic to Hanley, the CBD, cuts, or anything at all that the council has to do with.
For 'ordinary' full council 5.30pm 4th July, public question forms need to be submitted any time before 12pm 13th June.