He has formed a Cabinet Style Alliance, the idea being that all political parties work together. If all parties are speaking as one, then do we see it as the Coalition working as one big party, and then we have the BNP standing on their
own. Has this confused us at the elections. Is this why the BNP have gained the ground they have? Have people voted for the BNP, as there has been no other alternative? Have the parties lost their individual voices?
He has formed an Executive Members Board, consisting of Councillors, Irving, Clarke, Garner, Knapper, Lyth, Bowers, Bell, Gratton, Ibbs and Pervez. All these Councillors have specific Portfolio Holder responsibilites. Any recommendation from any Scrutiny Committee will be passed to the EMB, for them to review and pass. Now my concern is, that even if the EMB decide that a decision is wrong, they do not have the power to say no, this cannot go ahead. This is because the final decision rests in the hands of The Mayor. Is this really a democratic system?
Now lets have a look at what the Mayor says his priorities are:-
To tackle crime and anti social behaviour. Well, I can only speak for the area where I live, and that is the Meir Hay/Weston Park estate. There was a period of time where you did not feel safe to walk the streets, or pop to the local shops. Large gangs, were having confrontations all over the place. In fairness, this has been addressed excellently, by the Local Police, Councillors, and with a big input from Rob Flello. So I give a thumbs up on this one. What has it been like across the City though? Mr Meredith wanted to engage the public on schemes such as Stoke Won't Stand For It. Can anyone give me more details on this scheme?
Developing budget proposals in line with inflation.
Improving the quality of education through the controversial BSF Programme. The majority of us, would not argue that the education for all pupils across the City has to improve. Some of the decisions that have been made, have been very unpopular, and that is an understatement. Councillors such as Roger Ibbs, who has served his community very well, for as many years as I can remember, has now become extremely unpolular with his voters. This could be said for a few other Councillors too. Are we being too harsh on these people? Should we criticize them if they are only standing by what they believe will be in the best interests of our children?
Continuing investment in housing, and improving service.
Delivering the Housing Market Renewal Programme.
To engage the public in politics, through his Green Papers, on issues such as climate change, housing and sport.
Improve Adult and Social care, focusing on elderly mental health, and rehabilitation.
Continue the regeneration of Stoke on Trent, to achieve the milestones set out by the Elected Mayor, in the North Staffs Regeneration Partnership Delivery Plan. Well, some areas are already taking on a transformation. You only have to look at the new homes being built around the Joiner's Square area, and just up the bank from the canal. It is a vast improvement, and we cannot disagree that some areas are desperate for a makeover. We have the prospect of Hanley Bus Station being redeveloped. These are all positives, so we should give credit for this.
To improve transport.
To improve new ways of working with the community and voluntary sector.
My question is, has Mr Meredith really done such a bad job? What do you think?