Monday saw a visit to the civic office, for the Children & Young People Service Overview and Scrutiny Committee. They were discussing the siting of the Parkhall Academy. Michael Coleman (BNP) was in the chair and he allowed representatives from interested parties to voice their concern. I think he should be applauded for this.
The Chair of Mitchell High School, spoke in support of her school, and asked if their was any way that Mitchell & Berryhill High Schools could be merged, and a new building be put on the current Mitchell Site, to serve the areas of Parkhall, Weston Park, Sanford Hill, Bentilee, Berryhill & Bucknall. She also had concerns over the lack of pavements on Dividy Road near the Gasometer.
Terry Crowe, long time Labour activist and Chair of Governors of Berryhill, (he was supported at the meeting by Barry Stockley), was an absolute disgrace! I'm all for emotion, but he went way too far, and was an embarrassment to the high school he supposed to represent. He pleaded for his school to be merged and rebuilt on Mitchell. When Ged Rowney was talking about the siting, and other issues, Mr Crowe decided that he would call out that Mr Rowney was a liar! He repeated this when he addressed the committee. Roger Ibbs (Tory) tore a strip off the Chair, for allowing Mr Crowe to insult an officer of the council, without being forced to withdraw the accusation. Mr Crowe eventually did withdraw the insult but, his outbursts made his arguments seem futile. Mr Ibbs was angry with the Chair for allowing representations to the committee, on the decision to close Mitchell & Berryhill, when the decision was already made, and the BSF plans approved by the Government Minister for Schools Jim Knight. Mr Ibbs reminded the committee that the only issue that should be considered was the siting of the new Academy.
I have no doubt that whether you like or loathe him he is a very skilled politician at a local level, and his knowledge of procedure is far superior to anyone I have seen him lock horns with. He's a bit like the flu jab, you don't want it at the time, but it can save you a lot of suffering in the future!
There is no doubt in my mind that if Terry Crowe is representative of the standard of Labour councillors, then Labour should embark on a recruitment drive to get some much needed new blood in, FAST! If they don't they could sink in the doldrums for a very long period of time!
Joy Garner, Mike Barnes and Mark Davis, if this is Labours finest, you've got a hell of a job on, good luck to you!
While we're on the Schools issue, I've decided that I'm not going to speak to the Sentinel ever again! They can all kiss my lily white arse (sorry for giving you that particular image!) A reporter rang me mid week to ask me what I thought about the government not allowing the Local Authority to factor in the rise in birth rate, that is predicted in ten years time. The LA are only allowed to reflect the birth rates for seven years, when submitting their plans. So, I say to the reporter that the government are wrong to prevent the LA reflecting the known rise in birth rate, which could well mean that the plans should allow for another school, and could impact on parental choice when the time comes for selecting which school parents would want to send their children to.
What is printed in the Sentinel? An article which is written in a way that suggests that I am having a pop at our Local Authority & Serco when I am most certainly.. NOT!
How can I? If the government won't allow this birth rate rise to be factored in, how can it be anyone else's fault? Don't get me wrong, I love to have my say but I refuse to blame councillors and officers for something that is not of their making! The Sentinel will get short thrift the next time they ring me I can assure you!
Wednesday proved to be a turning point in the life of pitsnpots. I blogged an article about the size of the BNP membership. My angle on this was to highlight the difference in size of all the political parties. I listed the membership numbers, of as many parties as I could find accurate figures for. Before I published the article, I tried several times to find the BNP membership list on the net. I made my mind up, that if I could find the list, I would not publish the article. I could not come up with the list whichever link I followed. So I published.
When I left the office there was two comments on the article. I called in somewhere on my way home, had dinner switched the footie on, turned my laptop on. There was 52 comments posted on the article, and I said to Nita "bloody hell, this has created some interest!" I clicked on the comments and was mortified to find that some brave person had decided to publish on our site some names and addresses and contact details of some of the local BNP membership list. We deleted them as quickly as we could, and I decided to contact the Police, because I was concerned that there had been a breach of privacy. The Police were great and 20 minutes after I called them, a Police Sergeant from Hanley contacted me to inform me that someone had reported the matter to them. After they carried out their enquiries, they completely exonerated pitsnpots, they said there was nothing wrong with the article and there was no wrong doing. They said they would contact google and see if they could trace the IP address of the perpetrator. From what I'm told they don't have much chance.
I have no issue with anyone who wants to be a member of the BNP, that is their choice. We have some driven, motivated and passionate BNP supporters who contribute to this blog, and whilst I don't agree with their politics, I passionately believe they should be free to follow their party and their politics. They like all the other parties committed supporters, good decent people and to see them vilified is nothing short of disgraceful!
I will pick their beliefs apart, and I expect them to come back with a solid defence and hard debate, that is what we are about!
We have been accused of being a BNP bashing site, we have been accused of being apologists for the BNP, both completely wrong!
This blog was set up for interested parties to debate their politics, and the wrongs and the rights of what's happening in our city. We have had over 3000 comments posted to our site, and we are working hard to promote this blog to get more people to contribute to it. We are extending the blogging team, so that there are more varied topics to discuss. We are currently working on a new, better more user friendly site. Do we do this for political gain? No! Do we do this for reward? No! Do we do this to promote, celebrate or endorse any establishment or individual? No! Truth is we do this because we care for our city and we want to be an information service to all the people regardless of who they are and what politics they support.
Our vision good people, is to help get the answers needed to any questions that anyone might require. We want to be a FREE and INDEPENDENT service for the whole of Stoke on Trent! We are not, and never will be, owned by anyone and we will answer to no one! That's what pitsnpots is all about so please spread the word.
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Oh and by the way......... have a nice Sunday!