Sunday, 23 November 2008


Well, well, well, what a week that was! In many ways I'm glad to see the back of it!
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.
Our team are committed, the ORACLES agents infiltrate places and people you wouldn't believe!
Contact us with anything you want us to investigate or to get answers to. The email address is at the top of the page.
Remember our slogan..... Your Site, Your City, Your Say!
Oh and by the way......... have a nice Sunday!


Debbie said...


This is part of a Blog I posted a few days ago:

'I have often thought that the Sentinel frequently try to modify readers comment to suit the story they want to put across. Recently a friend of mine was telling me about an issue of racist bullying of a child of one of their friends. The school would not accept it was going on. When an article relevant to this situation was published in the Sentinel she wanted to comment but no matter how she phrased her story the News Nazis deleted it a few minutes after she posted it.

So tonight I was trying to comment about Don Evans, MBEs and temporary amnaesia. No matter how I phrased it the News Nazis removed it. I got a couple of friends using different names to put up other comments about our Don and they were removed.

This proves to me that the story is driven by the Sentinel they have an agenda and they are censoring comment that do not follow that agenda I have emailed the lovely Kathie and am waiting for a response. (5 days later nothing has arrived).

WE have in SOT a newspaper that is as disreputable as some of it's politicians.'

Be very careful especially when making off the record comment. My advice to my staff and governors in the past has been to avoid all comment to this newspaper.

I agree with you whole heartedly about the Sentinel and it's editorial integrity.

nita said...

First, I would like to comment on the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Meeting. I thought the comments made by Mr Crowe, to state that Mr Rowney was a liar, were totally unacceptable. Whether you agree or disagree with Mr Rowney/Serco/LA on the BSF Proposals, these people have a difficult job to do, and am sure they do not enjoy having to close schools. I do not agree that the Academy should be sited on Mitchell, as it is not in a central position, for all the kids to access, bearing in mind, some will have to travel from Longton/Dresden. That is not the issue any more, it is where to site the Park Hall Academy. Should it be Willfield or Gasometer? Willfield is a slightly safer site, however, whichever site is chosen, the kids still have to get across a very busy set of roads, especially the roundabout, where the three junctions meet. The Officers have made it clear that they are fully aware of the safety issues.

Now to the Sentinel article yesterday, re the possible lack of school places for the kids, in the future. Tony was not happy at all, at to what had been printed. He had blamed the Government, as they were not allowing the LA to use figures behond seven years, but the article made it look as if he was blaming Serco/LA. I agree with Debbie, it is best not to say anything, it is safer. Yes, the reporters have jobs to do, but should not misrepresent what a person says. It may make a better story, but is not fair on the person giving the quotes.

As for the idiot that thought it was a good idea to leave a list of names and addresses of BNP members, for me you committed two crimes. On a serious note, you were totally out of order for making names and addresses available for all to see. On a lighter note, I missed the England match, as I spent all that time deleting every link you left, on every article we had done. Grrr! You are not forgiven!!

tim mullen said...

Tony can I make two points:

Firstly, as I'm sure you're aware, many of us in the Labour Party regard dinosaurs such as Terry Crowe as part of the problem and not the solution - the problem all mainstream political parties face (and I'm sure Shaun will agree with me if he reads this) is that it is extremely difficult to recruit active members who want to serve their communities on the City Council - partly because they read the bile and opprobrium that is heaped on them in The Sentinel and by certain people on sites such as this.

The second point I wanted to make also concerns The Sentinel: it's my experience that most individual reporters actually are very committed to doing a thorough job, but the editorial policy of the paper is to refuse to praise the council (irrespective of it's political complection) at all. Kathy once spent a full day interviewing and shadowing a relative of mine who at the time held a senior position in the LEA; what was published was one column focussing on the number of cups of coffee he drunk - she did have the good grace to apologise to him saying that it was an editorial decision. Two political stories concerning The Sentinel are also appropriate - The Sentinel use a pooled reporter at Westminster, who once interviewed Rob Flello's predecessor, George Stevenson; after the interview he asked her if she found it difficult working for so many different editors, and she said the only one she had a problem with was The Sentinel as she had written instructions not to submit anything that portrayed the Labour Party in a positive light as it would never get printed. On another occasion, they printed local MPs voting records and missed George's off - I rang the then political editor to point this out, and was asked who I was talking about, and where was Stoke South constituency, when I mentioned Longton his reply was "never heard of it".

Finally I have been told by a friend that one reporter who has joined The Sentinel recently campaigned for the BNP in another part of the country before moving to Stoke, so that gives you an idea of where their loyalties lie.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I can agree that The Sentinel leans in any political direction, though they do certainly have their 'causes' that they push (right down your throat!). Every Party feels the press is 'against them' and I certainly feel at times they give my own Party less than a fair deal - however, my own dealings with the Sentinel would lead me to suggest that they hail strongly from the lazy school of journalism, leading to indignation when you dare suggest they aren't doing their job properly.
In comparison to other local papers I have experience of dealing with, the Sentinel rate very poorly. What a pity they have no local competitive, as this would really make them up their game and start performing as a local paper should.

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...

Has The Sentinel got anything better to offer than 'Save Our Oatcakes'? That whole story really irritated the hell out of me for a good 6weeks or however long that melo-drama went on for. A bit of competition is needed, perhaps a Pits'n'Pots daily?

As for Terry Crowe, never liked him. In fact I was pretty chuffed when he got knocked off the Council.

no such thing as society said...

Former Town Clerk's Dept, I agree that Terry Crowe is one of the Labour dinosaurs. The problem is that when he lost his seat on the council he was replaced by someone even worse: Ted 'elect me first and then I'll tell you which party I'm joining' Owen a.k.a. 'The Poision Dwarf'.

As for The Sentinel, well it almost makes The Sun look intellectual doesn't it. The journalism at times is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Anonymous has hit the nail on the head, that The Sentinel can only get away with what it does because there is no local competition.

Perhaps the only way we can get The Sentinel to change is through a mass boycott?

Gary Elsby said...

Tony are you as bad as a bad Sentinel Journalist?

You invite pitsnpots readers to condemn Terry Crowe (an Alderman) for what?

You then get a few comments agreeing with you because, as a few are claiming, he is a 'dinosaur'(an old chestnut that gives idiots a leg up).

Don't keep me in suspense, please tell mwe why Terry Crowe called Ged Rowney a liar and then I can give you an opinion of whether Rowney is a liar or Crowe is out of order.
Yet again we hear the throw away comment that 'He is part of the problem and not the solution'

For the second time I ask, what is the problem? and who will bring me the 'solution'? (can I guess that he/she is lovely, charming, agreeable,and can say yes even when his/her own school disappears or people get locked up for 42 days without trial with no support from any Labour members?. Sad.

Second. The BNP list has revealed names who are paedophiles and operating within the security services in politically restricted public roles.
I have no doubt that all BNP members are 'decent people' but I am glad this list was published on the net and I'm glad that those in hiding have been exposed. It wasn't me that put it up on this site by the way.The BNP never put my details on their site evn though they print everything else about me!

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...

I'll tell you why I didn't like Terry Crowe. Precisely the reason Tony mentioned him in the first place, full of accusations and no ideas. I spent many hours in a committee room in Town Hall with that man and he was more negative than anyone about anything. "You can't do this, that's a load of rubbish". He's entitled to make those comments, but where was the alternative solution? And now I read that he acted in a fashion that has helped others to pour more criticism on to him and we are supposed to forgive and forget. He has no one to blame but himself. He was a corporate parent, he had his chance and his day. Let those with ideas, like you Gary, come forward and make your case for election. Terry is, sadly, tarred with the brush of the past and, as we all, know none of us wants to go back to that.

Tideswellman said...

Personally I'm glad the list is out. I have had a right good read, and was relieved to see no one I know was on it.

A crime was committed to distribute the list but, let's not forget who it was against.

Sticking up for the BNPs rights is equal to sticking up for the rights of those two kids who killed Jamie Bulger...

In Law it's correct, morally it's well know what it is, and you feel ashamed to mention it.

nita said...

Gary, Tony is unable to answer you on your points, as he is out of the country at the moment. Im sure it was not his intention to invite people to condemn Terry Crowe. If you dont mind I will say what I think.

I cannot comment on Mr Crowe as an ex Labour Councillor, or party member, or whatever labour connections he has.
I do not know Terry Crowe as a person, but what I did note, was that he was very passionate about his school, and the community that it served. The Chair and Scrutiny Committee were good enough to let people make representations, so it was out of order then to stand and accuse an Education Officer of telling lies. In fairness, he did apologise, and take back his comments.

If, as you say, the release of the BNP Members list has helped track down, the people you suggest, then maybe some good did come out of it.

Gary Elsby said...

Terry is losing his school due to a flawed plan supported only by those who have been kicked out of Stoke politics.
Terry is a fighter and he knows that there are not enough places for children and he reckons on at least one new build school is missing from the BSF SERCO plan.

Of course I understand why some (not Tony) want to see Terry fall.

What is Ged Rowney's claim that Terry challenged him on?

Tim Mullen said...

Gary, far be it from me to question your intimate knowledge of Stoke Central politicians, but I've found an interview Fred Hughes conducted with Terry on The Sentinel website, in which it states that the position of Alderman was abolished in 1974, and Terry wasn't elected to the County Council until 1979; I therefore fail to see how he is an Alderman.

As for part of the problem and not the solution: quite frankly I don't give a damn what a person looks like (bearing a distinct resemblance to Shrek myself I can hardly criticise someone's looks!), and, for the record, I, like George Stevenson, opposed any extension of pre-trial detention - be it 28 days or 42 days, so no that isn't what I'm talking about. What I believe the Labour Party, and the City, needs are people who can communicate (most, though not all, of our Elected Members can barely string a sentence together, who have new, fresh ideas, are computer literate, have ideas of how to communicate with their electorate for 52 weeks of the year not just the 14 days before an election, who recognise that the so-called glory days of the past are just that - the past and are never coming back. And if a coherent plan is put together that includes closing some Secondary Schools, then yes it should be supported - the problem at the moment is that the Serco plan has more holes in it than the proverbial Swiss cheese.

margaret said...

Is that an apology, Tim?

catweazle said...

Tim, what do you mean, part of the problem? what problem is this?

Tim Mullen said...

Margaret, I'm not sure what you mean! Which bit am I supposed to have apologised for?

Catweazle, by part of the problem I mean a City Council, that yes I freely admit and acknowledge has been dominated by the Labour Party, that has not moved with the times, recognised that people's expectations of a City Councillor have changed, that things cannot be run as they were 10, 15 or 20 years ago. I believe that if this City is to achieve its potential - and see of the cretins of the BNP - that all mainstream political parties have to accept new ideas, new ways of implementing policy, and, yes, new systems of Governance. I do not believe that people like Terry Crowe are either willing or able to do that.

nicky said...

The CYP committee would have been interesting to attend (I couldn't as I was working). Past experience indicates that Michael Coleman is considerate and respectful towards members of the community (unlike Roger Ibbs who is inconsiderate and sometimes downright rude) and allows all points to be aired. I agree with you Tony that he should be applauded for allowing people to voice their concerns. Obviously I wasn't there so can not say too much and it sounds from what you say that Terry Crowe did not express himself very well. But in my view I would at least give him credit for trying to stand up for his school. He maybe could've chosen a different way to put that across from the one you described. I too would like to know what point he disagreed with Ged Rowney on. I would like to see a reference to this restriction to 7 year planning, especially when PfS say planning should be for 10 years. Besides I don't see why it shouldn't be longer, after all we know how many young children we actually have. Plus I heard so many are being born that women are having to be sent outside SOT to give birth!

Congratulations Tony on your quick reaction to the BNP list. I think there is a certain amount of BNP bashing goes on here, but that is because a generally confrontational approach is allowed and free expression is for the most part encouraged. That is why we are also accused of being apologists for the BNP. We allow their contributions (where is Craig these days) along with everyone elses. That is fair.

margaret said...

Tim, forgive me for not being politically astute but we have had a council that hasn't had Terry Crowe in in for years! In fact, your lot have been running an agenda that nobody cares for or wants! In fact, if you put up any more of those idiot candidates who want to railroad policies through that not even your own party agrees with, let alone the whole city, then we will continue to vote in the BNP. We don't vote BNP because of Terry crowe, far from it, we vote BNP because Labour is not listening. And you, Tim, are not listening.

Tim Mullen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Mullen said...

Sorry, I've deleted my original post, as I noticed a number of spelling mistakes, and also that I had not been as clear as I would have liked.

Margaret, the Labour Party on Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been losing seats going back to Terry Crowe's first defeat to Ted Owen; he's since been re-elected and defeated again.

It is a mistake to believe that the Party's unpopularity on the City Council is a recent phenomenon.

The Labour Party is listening; it is listening to the majority of elderly residents who don't want to be placed in inferior residential care, but want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. It is listening to those people who want a crackdown on anti-social behaviour by taking out ASBOs, ABCs, alleygating, and other measures available to it. It has invested in a massive Primary School building programme, that has resulted in increased levels of literacy and numeracy (and especially science) amongst our youngest children. These are but a few examples.

It also listening when people say they want increased investment in the City - one problem we have faced is that organisations such as RENEW (which are independent of the City Council) are big on talk and lacking in action - but even they, as reported in The Sentinel last night, have listened to the people of Meir and have amended their plans so that they now appear acceptable to those residents who are going to be affected (I will declare an interest here as an employee of Rob Flello MP, who has convened countless meetings between RENEW and the residents to ensure that their concerns were heard by RENEW).

But, as with all Governments - be they National or Local - you can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. There will always be policies that are wrong (BSF) or unpopular. The problem has been that too many Councillors, of all Parties, have not taken these criticisms on board and have thought they know best.

Labour are changing, and we will continue to do what we believe is best for ALL the people of Stoke, not just a vocal minority. If people prefer to vote for a Party that denies that the Holocaust ever happened, that would forcibly sterilise people like me because they don't believe I should be allowed to father a child, that would pay for people whose skin colour they do not like to leave the country, and who have no policies of their own to make this City better, then that is their prerogative.

I only point out to you that all over the country where the BNP put candidates up for a second or third time their vote is collapsing; it is only in Stoke that people refuse to see them for what they are. As ever, Stoke is behind the times, but, as ever, Stoke will catch up and the BNP will be rolled back under the grubbly little rock from which they came.

If you are to have any credibility in your criticism of my Party and myself though, you must outline what policies you would introduce, how you would pay for them, what services you would cut to pay for your policies, and how you would ensure that your policies comply with the law of the land. I look forward to hearing your manifesto!

Ian Norris said...

Tim: I agree with you we need NEW ways thinking/working. But how likely is this for Labour Branches to put forward new candidates then that whole branch too would need to change.

And sadly if a new Cllr with new ways does get on to the Council, unless they are strong they are soon indoctrinated into “HOW THINGS” are done by the old brigade “SENIOR CLLRS”

Tim Mullen said...

Ian, you are partly correct, but I disagree that Labour Branches are unlikely to put such candidates forward; one of the main problems that the Party (and I believe every credible Party) faces is a shortage of people willing to put themselves forward for election. Longton North have demonstrated with Mark Davis and Tom Reynolds that when those people are available, they will be selected. One or two other Branches have put people forward, but they have not been successful in getting elected, but I am sure they will keep trying.

This is one of the reasons for the re-organisation of the Party structure that had The Oracle (so badly misinformed) so worked up last week.

My challenge to people on here is don't sit and whinge, but actually join the Party that you believe most closely represents your views, and be active and put yourself forward for election - put simply, put your money where your mouth is!

BNP Nazi Boy said...

Tim Mullen, well written piece. It's obvious why people in Stoke don't see the BNP for what they really are like they are elsewhere. City wide chip on shoulder and TSB mentality (if you want to know what TSB stands for ask someone in S Staffs or Nottingham/ Derby areas).

margaret said...

Tim, do you take us for mugs?
This site is well informed and we know that Labour is not listening at all. Your election policies for May 2008 were rejected by the electorate. Do you suggest we are a bit thick and can't read?

You say this site is misinformed and that your party restructuring is a good thing. Claptrap.

What you have done is trun your Local Government Committee into 'The City Party',which was Terry Crowe's pride and joy which gave this City 60 Labour Councillors.You have also made it smaller and less accountable to your party members and you have no intention of altering the schools agenda or getting out of bed with Roger Ibbs.
We totally reject the Labour Party in coalition with Conservatives and we totally reject your coalition and we will continue to vote BNP until you listen.

This site is very well informed and we have got it right and the likes of Tom Reynolds and Mark Davis have got it wrong. For their party and the people of this City.
Give us another election and we'll see who's right or wrong.

Ian Norris said...

margaret: relax, all Tim said was stand by what you believe. If all out Elections become reality. every group are going to need to field as many candidates as possible. but at moment their is shortage of quality new thinkers.

If you believe BNP is fuure then stand for them? or if as a some of you on here believe City Independent Cllrs free from a party whip are future then stand for them?

For some reason Tim last few post makie a lot of sense or it could be the Flu I've got.

The Original Anonymous said...

Margaret, you say "WE will continue to vote BNP", speak for yourself.

If we were all voting for the BNP out of protest wouldn't they have the majority of councillors not 9 out of 60, what about the other 51 councillors or don't they count to you.

Like Tim stated, if you want to vote for a whites-only party and don't care about the consequences the many decent Black and Asian people will face, then carry on voting for the BNP but DON'T try to use the universal WE in your adoration of them!

margaret said...

I'm not a racist and I don't care for white superiority, but I am well educated in National and local politics. i normally vote Labour and have done so for 45 years but I refuse to vote for Tim Mullin's party of Meredith and co.
The local Labour Party have been disregarded in favour of a policy not wanted by the majority.

I ask Tim Mullin why he disregards his own party membership and why Mark Davis does similar?

I'll vote Labour again when Roger Ibbs is expelled from the Labour Party and Parents are listened to.

The Original Anonymous said...

Margaret, you claim not to care for white superiority but repeatedly echo support for a white supremacist party.

What about the many descent and hard working Black and Asian people of this City who will be the first to feel the consequences of your sustained support of the BNP and their racist policies but I don't suppose you care about them, as long as you issue your "protest" no one else matters!

I must thank you though for taking on board my critic of your use of the universal WE in YOUR support of the City's Whites-only party!

Tim Mullen said...

BNP Nazi Boy - thanks for the comments!

Margaret, I take no-one as mugs. And while I respect Mark Meredith as a person, I am as far removed from New Labour as it's possible to be, and I've made it clear that I don't support the BSF programme, although I do support FROM DIRECT PERSONAL EXPERIENCE policies such as care home closures, so please don't judge me when you don't know me. You claim to be "well educated" in National and local politics - can you tell me then the answer to one simple question: if you're not a white supremacist (as you claim) why are you supporting a white supremacist party? Why not vote for one of the other mainstream Party's, or the City Independent Group?

And if the likes of Mark Davis and Tom Reynolds are so awful, perhaps you could explain why they both GAINED their seats from the BNP?

Ian - I hope your flu gets better soon, and that we can keep on agreeing at least on some things!

margaret said...

Tim, why do you keep patronising me? I am not a mug.

You respect the Mayor ,'as a person' but you dislike new Labour.

The Mayor is running a new Labour agenda that Stoke Labour does not want. I believe the vote was 80% AGAINST and the 20% were Councillors (on the Mayor's payroll vote).SURPRIS SURPRISE!

Tim please don't be foolish like your fellow foolish foolish Labour members. We vote BNP to hurt you not to promote Nazis.
You lose seats by the day because you do things that Labour voters don't want to be associated with.

I gather that there are only 16 Labour Councillors left now. When will the penny drop and when will you get the message?

Tideswellman said...


Its obvious why tim is "patronising" you. you keep makink bizarrely moronic statements. eg

"We vote BNP to hurt you not to promote NAZIS"

Can't you realise that by voting BNP you normalise it. You send a message to other people that it might be OK to vote for a party that wont let non whites join.

there are other parties to vote for or even independants. Voting for the BNP legitimizes them. If you don't agree with racists, DON'T VOTE for them.

Tim Mullen said...

Margaret, I've tried to treat you as having a degree of intelligence, but your last post shows I was wrong.

I can like somebody as a person, but disagree with them politically - if you can't recognise that then you are a typically moronic BNP knuckledragger.

As for the rest of your comments, tideswellian has answered them as well as I can, and as such this conversation is at an end.

If you want to continue to make yourself look like an idiot - which you are doing an extremely good job of - go right ahead, but I have better, and more important things to do than to waste my time on morons like you.

You, and not the City Council, are the perfect example of why the City faces the problems it does. Enjoy your life under the rock with the other BNP boneheads.

BNP vote = Nazi; no escape no matter how hard you try and wriggle like a worm on the end of a hook.

The Original Anonymous said...

Margaret, I see your back to your usual tricks again, using the universal WE in YOUR support for the City's Whites-Only party.

Please speak for yourself, what of the other 51 NON-BNP councillors!

Tim Mullen said...

Margaret your "we" seem very thin on the ground in Stoke South; no BNP councillors in Longton North anymore, and beaten by the Conservatives in Weston and Meir North in May. Where are you all, or is it just a very small rock you're living underneath?

margaret said...

Tim, there you go again, patronising me and typically you don't or refuse to answer my valid point.
I aren't particularly concerned whether you like or dislike the Mayor. You specifically wrote(and I quote) 'respect' the Mayor.

What part of New or old Labour do you belong to who respects someone in power who totally disregards his own party and disregards parents of schools and Dimensions users? I gather the budget is £12M short!

So come on Tim, stop abusing me and answer the question. You are losing Labour councillors faster than you can put them up.
I vote BNP to hurt you and I hurt well because I am successful.

I will vote Labour again, when the Mayor is gone and Labour Councilors listen to the vote that sacks them.It's up to you, I'm easy and I've all the time in the world.
I'm not a racist and my daughter is black, I just want to punish your views that's all. Nothing personal.

Rod Gardener said...

Margaret, you claim your daughter is "black", well you musn't care for her very much if you vote for a Whites-Only fetish club, who want to "encourage" ALL non-whites to leave Britain.

If your claim is true, it will be people like your daughter who will be "punished"!

nita said...

Exactly Rod. Why would a person want to vote for a party whose priority is the white people, yet has a black daughter. That doesn't seem right to me.

Tim Mullen said...

Margaret I respect Mark because I believe that he has genuinely tried to do his best for the City, and that there is considerable evidence to illustrate that we are, at last, moving in the right direction as a City.

I have made my views on BSF clear on numerous occasions; if you are too stupid to understand them, that's your problem not mine.

As for Labour losing seats on the City Council, you are falling into the same trap as all BNP morons in thinking that this is only happening in Stoke. It has been a national trend for the last three or four years, but one which recent by-elections indicate is coming to an end, and the BNP vote is collapsing across the country.

And as Rod Gardener indicated, you must really hate your daughter if you want her kicked out of the country! If it is true that your daughter is black, and you vote BNP, you have just confirmed my impression that you are plain stupid and incapable of rational debate.

nita said...

Tim. I agree with you. Mr Meredith has genuinely done his best to make positive changes to the City. Some decisions have, however, been too controversial, and probably the main reason why people voted against the Mayoral System.

As for BSF, the Government has allocated a sum of money, but to gain this funding some schools have had to be sacrificed. Right or wrong, everyone has their own opinion on this. They should however, think about changing the name of the project 'Building Schools for the Future', as they clearly are not. They have not allowed Serco/LA to use projected pupil numbers after 7 years. So, when we don't have enough places, and we need to extend the newly built schools, hope they will have plenty money in the pot.

Tony said...

Sorry to gatecrash your argument with Margaret Tim but, I would love you to share with me the "considerable evidence" of this cities movement forward under the "mayorship" of Mark Meredith. This man is the sole reason for my resignation from the party I have supported for many years. His constant ignorance of the people of this city is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons that the BNP prosper in our city. His legacy long after he has gone will be a) the shafting of our elderly. b)the creation of a system of governance (EMB) that has deprived the city of the individual party voice. c) turning a blind eye and cocking a deaf 'un to the wishes of the educations stakeholders and our three MP's (labour)over the schools re-organisation. His actions could spell the end of Labour (dwindling) majority in our city. So, please Tim share this "evidence" with me and our fellow contributors. Pass me the smelling salts.... I thing the ORACLE has fainted after reading your last post Tim!

margaret said...

Tim, when you suggest that the Mayor has 'genuinely tried to do his best for the City' are you in the same breath suggesting that the likes of Terry Crowe are doing their damndest to do the opposite?!

Just think, all those wasters in TAG or in Bentilee/berryhill, just loafing around wanting the worst possible outcome for the City.

Crap argument, Tim!

The Mayor is just another so-called yes man who has a few Councillors in the yes bag (payroll vote) and backed up by at least one (YOUR)MP and running on the West Midlands regional Office agenda who in turn deliver London's agenda.

Basically, local opinion in Stoke can go fuck itself.

This is why we vote BNP, not because we want jews gassed.We want to hurt you and we have and do.

Your head is full of shit, Tim. Come back to Stoke. You are the problem and not part of any solution.

nita said...

Warning, this debate may get very interesting, as believe it or not, this is something that me and Tony do actually disagree on, ha ha!!

Let's be honest, Labour was losing votes, way before Mr Meredith came into power.

Ok, he has made some controversial decisions, but I still think he has done some good for the City, and it is now moving in the right direction. The main problem is, we seem to live in a city where people dont want it to change, and are maybe a little too set in their ways. There is negativity to every new project that is announced. Well, some parts of the City are run down, and are an eyesore, so if we can improve them, I for one welcome that change.

BSF. Do we need to improve education, Yes. The majority welcome the new buildings. However, I do still have concerns. Are the schools being built in the right place? Is there limited availability of schools in the South? Is it right, to remove the schools from their communities? Will there be enough places for the kids, when some of the schools start to close, as parental choice becomes limited? Will we need to build more or extend the new buildings in the future? At the end of the day, difficult decisions have to be made, some will agree that they are right, some will not.

nita said...

Margaret. I agree with you. Some of the BSF decisions are not good for the kids at all. Trentham High, the top performing non faith school, should not be closing. Berryhill/Mitchell should have one school to serve the communities. Longton/Edensor should have one school to serve their communities. Blurton should have a school.

This is what we would, ideally like. Unfortunately, we have a set amount of money, to split across the city. Unfortunately, the south of the city seems to be affected the most by these decisions. It must mean that pupils numbers in the south are falling more than in the north, or maybe not?

It is wrong of the Government to allocate a set amount of money, and then instruct each Local Authority to remove schools, just so that they can bring in their Academies. Then when the public complains, they say, we don't make the decisions, its down to your LA. Well, where do the plans go to be signed off? Mr Knight?

margaret said...

What do you mean we don't want new things? Of course we want new things it's just that we've been stopped from having new schemes for over 30 years! Cast your eyes over Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Chester.
Don't let clowns fool you into believing that our Lord sent us a Mayor to gat the same as that lot!
We have been deliberately starved of capital for a whole generation as we have been passed to and fro from County to City.
We have actually run our own affairs for a couple of years and we got hammered for it.
In that time we built an International Theatre and Concert Hall and the yes men twats have forever gone on and on saying it is all dinosaur crap and we want to wreck the City.
Truth is Meredith has done fuck all to match any of that and people hate him. Trouble is the same people deliver guilt by association and sack anything Labour.
These yes men twats are carrying on regardless to deliver academies etc and don't give a flying fuck for their own party. Why?
Because they won't be here to pick up the pieces.Where's Mclaughlin going? Tom reynolds? Mark Davis?
I'll tell you! Anyewhere but Stoke!
They don't give a fuck because their regional Office is finding them safeish seats all round the West Midlands.Personally, I'd fuck the lot off anyway.
Please excuse my language as it is a topic that riles me and I don't usually use the words reynolds and davis lightly.

Tim Mullen said...

Margaret, I will say only one thing, as your foul-mouthed rant deserves no serious comment - it just shows you for what you really are - what the Americans refer to as white trash. However, Ian McLaughlan has been selected as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Shropshire North - and if you seriously think that is a safe seat you are even more stupid than I thought (and believe me that is hard!). Labour are a distant third in that seat, and there is about as much chance of you developing a brain as there is of Ian winning that seat. Neither Mark Davis or Tom Reynolds have been selected for a Parliamentary seat. So please try and get your facts right before launching personal attacks on individuals. I've just read your earlier post, and if your statement that the Mayor has the support of my MP proves your ignorance and stupidity beyond question. I would suggest you search this site for the YouTube links of Rob Flello's BSF Westminster Hall debate where he tore the City Council's arguments to shreds. Along with Mark Fisher, Rob Flello drew up alternative plans that would keep Trentham High open - again your ignorance knows no bounds. My comments about Terry Crowe were directed at his time as Councillor, not as Chair of Berry Hill High (although given his performance at the meeting a couple of Monday's ago, he's not exactly setting the world alight in this role), but again, if you actually read what I have written (or were able to understand it without resorting to foul language) you would know that I, like Rob Flello, oppose the current BSF proposals. Is that simple enough even for a cretin like you?

Nita - thank you for a voice of sanity on this subject!

Tony - I would love to discuss these things with you, and as your ex-CLP Secretary I'm sorry that you didn't take the opportunity to talk your disillusionment over with me before you resigned your Party membership. However, as you asked here goes:

I am 1000% supportive of the closure of elderly care homes when suitable alternatives are in place. Having had a relative in a council care-home and a close friend in a private care home, I can assure you that, because of the age of the buildings, the council care homes are not fit for purpose (and I never thought I'd be quoting John Reid!). They don't have the privacy offered by many of the private-sector homes, and if you just look at the cost of renovating places like Marrow House, to do this with all the City homes would be impossible. I would also add that as someone who will probably be in a home one day, I would like to be able to stay in my own home for as long as possible. You ignore the excellent Extra Care developments such as Rowan Court in Meir. I would also suggest you come and talk to the elderly residents of Denham Square in Blurton, who have had bungalows custom-built to their needs, and are able to stay amongst their neighbours and friends, rather than move into residential care. If you oppose that, then we have fundamental differences, but I suggest that history will be on my side of the argument.

Your criticism of the EMB staggers me beyond belief: I assume you believe in democracy? If so is it not better to have the EMB system, which gives ELECTED members the decison-making authority, or would you prefer to return to Mike Wolfe's system of the UN-ELECTED Council Manager taking all the decisions? What was Mark supposed to do - you, and all the people who oppose the EMB, owe us an answer. And to say it's left a legacy for years to come is patently silly: it will be gone in June 2009 - but don't think there will be an overnight change, because whoever is Council Leader - Alby Walker, Alan Rigby, Roger Ibbs, Mike Barnes - will have to govern in coalition with one or more Party's on the Council in order to get 31 votes. This is political reality, you can hate it, you can wish it went away, but it isn't going to for the forseeable future. Suggest an alternative Tony.

As for Mark Meredith leaving a legacy for the future, I would point out to three new SureStart buildings announced this week, completing City-wide coverage, the signing-off of the development of the East-West precinct in Hanley (and I don't give a damn for the Coachmakers Arms - pull the thing down and lets build for the future), more ExtraCare provision for the elderly keeping them in their own homes, completion of the Primary School rebuilding/renovation programme, increasing Primary School standards, co-operation with the Sixth Form College and Staffordshire University to provide improved educational provision post-16 (already more children staying in full-time post-16 education than ever before), the first ASBOs taken out in the City (after Mike Wolfe refused to use them) and the use of other provisions to combat Anti Social Behaviour, investment in our parks, investment in improved street lighting to increase public safety at night, maintaining free admission to museums, work starting on the completion of the final stage of the Hanley Ring Road, maintaining support for the voluntary sector when budgetary pressures demanded this enough to be going on with, or do you want more?

As for Labour losing it's majority your own Ward is evidence that where Labour communicates its message effectively, and where Labour Councillors put in the hard-yards (as the Australians say), people respond and support the Party.

nita said...

Margaret, I think you have now made you points clear, and the people who you don't much care for, and I thought Gordon Ramsey could swear, ha ha!!

Maybe, I was wrong to say people don't want change. I think it is the fact, that they don't believe anything will ever happen, so this is why they are so negative. Promises have been made for years and years, but nothing ever gets done.

Things do seem to be actually moving forward now, and we are actually seeing some areas changing for the better.

To be honest, Mark Davies and Tom Reynolds are Councillors in my ward, and they do a good job. From reading comments on this blog, it has become clear, that there is a difference in opinion, between them, and other Labour Councillors and Party Members, over the BSF proposals.

Tideswellman said...

CCTV only leads to a handful of convictions because most criminals disguise or mask their faces when committing anti social behavior.

Better to have more beat bobbies in my opinion. Put them money into having a set in the bus shelter, making them more wind proof, and putting information in them like they have in London. Last time I was down there the bus stop told me how far away the next bus was..AWESOME.

I have been in stoke 14 years now and it seems as run down now as I can remember, even Newcastle is starting to get grotty.

nita said...

Tim Mullen. It wasn't until we started this blog, that I actually took the time to look at some of the positive work that Mr Meredith has done to improve the City. You have kindly started the list, but you could add far more than that. So for those that like to criticise, do go and research, you would be surprised.

Unfortunately the public have taken issue over the school proposals, and if you read my previous comments, I do have concerns about them myself. They do not like what they are being given, and have voted against the Mayoral System.

Onto the EMB. Well, it should really be a good thing, if it means that all the parties work together. Tony does have a point though, has it taken away the individual party voice? Some say, they are the Mayors Yes men/woman. I do not really know enough on this to comment. All I can say is, if these members genuinely feel that everything they pass is a positive move for the City, then fair enough. On the otherhand, I just wonder, if a member on this panel has ever disagreed with a decision put before them? This would be interesting to know.

The closure of the care homes. Well, this is a difficult one. I can see that it is always better for a person to stay in their own home, for as long as they are able. My grandad, aged 94, is a typical example. He would never be forced to move out of his home, to go into a care home. He has carers twice a day, and he is happy as he is. Some people are not so fortunate, and are not fit and well enough to look after themselves. Tim, if the homes are closing, where are these people going? We do need to make sure that those that need the extra care are looked after. By puting care into the private sector, does this not mean a lot of extra cost for many people, some who simply haven't got the money to pay. Like you say there are places such as Rowan Village being built, and it has won an award for its services provided.

Tim Mullen said...

Nita, I think the EMB was only part of the rejection of the Elected Mayoral position; indeed I think part of the problem with the Council is that a great majority of the Councillors past and present have never accepted the position, and have never been prepared to work with whoever was the Mayor.

As for members of the EMB disagreeing with the Elected Mayor, I can't go into specifics on a public blog, but I can assure you that having had Mike Tappin as my Ward Councillor, I can assure you there have been blazing rows behind closed doors!

And as you know, I support Rob Flello (not just because he's my boss) in his alternative BSF proposals.

Tony said...

Thanks for getting back to me. Maybe we should have a chat sometime and I welcome your reasoned and well thought out posts and responses.
Care homes: My good friend Peter Haines (aged 82) has an elderly sister in a private care home and pays a massive amount of money for her care, and he thinks the care that she gets is sub standard and regimental. She was in a Council Care home in Bentilee when she was first released for hospital and Peter thought the care was far superior there and the staff were a credit to their profession. She was in short Tim, CARED for! So, if we shut our Council Care Homes we should make sure the care homes that are available in the private sector are as good if not better for the fees they charge. They should not just be money making enterprises, we are talking about our old folk here Tim. You would not like to see a relative of yours receive poor quality care at the hands of couldn't give a damn staff!
Also, Nita has a 94 year old grandad who has carers who go into him twice a day. Until recently these were employed by the council and they were fantastic. Now the service has been privatised and the staff are nowhere near as thorough and are unreliable.
EMB: You talk of democracy Tim, but the EMB has deprived our city of true democracy! It robbed us of the individual voices of the parties. WE now have the collective voice of the EMB and the extreme voice of the BNP. The EMB is the single biggest factor in the rise of this far right party.
BSF: I think we agree on this.
Rob Flello: Best MP i have ever seen!
Tom and Mark: Fantastic and effective ward councillors who work tirelessly for their electorate.
I left the party for one main reason and that is that i could not agree or accept the direction of that the EM was taking this city and the rise of the BNP (unchallenged by Labour) left my heart heavy. There were a number of councillors and Labour supporters who told me that they did not agree with the Mayor and were concerned about the damage to the electability of the party. I could not accept the gagging order that effectively prevented people from distancing the party from the actions of the mayor and his cabinet. I do not have a personal issue with Mark Meredith but I think his legacy to the party will be that he was the reason Labour lost it's majority on the Council for the first time in the cities history when the next election comes around. Unless things change NOW. Not counting those mentioned in this post, I worry about the caliber of candidates that Labour will put forward in the next elections and as I said in my Sunday Comment I think that Joy, Mark and Mike have got a hell of a job on.
Finally Tim the reason i set this blog up was to promote debate in our city and to re introduce the individual party voice and for them to be HEARD! I hope you continue to enjoy the site and thanks again for your valuable input.

Tim Mullen said...

Thanks Tony; anytime you want a chat feel free.

We will obviously have to agree to disagree on the EMB, because until the position of EM is abolished, I don't see a democratic alternative, particularly given that no one party has a majority in the Council, and the law did not allow us to go to a Cabinet system. I also think the rise of the BNP pre-dates even the position of Elected Mayor.

I agree that with the exception of Rob, the Party was too slow to recognise the threat of the BNP and to campaign against it, and this kind of leads me to my criticisms of people like Alan Jones and Terry Crowe - it seems to me that they still think that somehow all those Labour voters are going to return to the fold as if by magic, which isn't going to happen.

I'm sure I will keep posting on here; and will certainly remain an avid reader.

Ian Norris said...

Nita: think your right neither the EMB or EM has refused a recommendation for Cllrs on Scrutiny commissions, which kida blows Tony arguem theat EMB destroyed democracy, unless Tony you can provide evidence of minute to back your view up.

Rim: fully support your view thaty Cllrs have fought EM and never allowed it to do as it could, but your view that Tappin had arguements behind closed doors is irreveleant as you should weel know.

All that matters down at the council are the recommendations that are made and aggredd to at each meeting, anything else voiced at committees or Full Council is just hot air and not worth anything.

I'm awaiting minutes of Community Commissions and cuts to Finney Gardens.

margaret said...

Tim Mullin talks crap.
Everything is mega under Meredith and gives loads of examples of greatness. Unfortubately, he only gives us successful policies of Mike Wolfe.He writes as if Meredith has introduced all new ideas. Crap and lies as they were all introduced under Wolfe.School build is the Governemt's remit and the only contribution Meredith has inputted is the hatred that people now have for all Labour councillors.
Tim Mullins championing of stay at home care is ok just so long as we don't take a look at Meredith's stay at home care.
Truth is that council care workers saty on the bus and not in the home! Don't believe me Tim? They get on the bus in Hanley, get off in Longton (or burslem etc) and jump back on the bus to Hanley. I'm lying Tim? Try me!
Council care workers have cornered the market in NO CARE at all because they are not allowed to. This makes the private sector look good who can do as they like.You are shafting us Tim and we vote BNP to inflict pain on you until you either change or are extinguished from public life. Don't give us any crap that davis and Reyolds are loved by labour voters. You run the flello id system that drags uncaring and unwilling labour voters out. More to do with irritants than devotion.

Your coachmakers arms comment pretty much sums up the shite contribution that your labour lot have for this City.Crap.
last but not least Meredith is responsible for the new by pass in hanley.Bollocks Tim, just bollocks.
We've kicked out as many in one go as we can and all eyes are on Longton as we need to run your lot out and fast from top merdith (gone) to anyone else.

margaret said...

and another thing......Tim still goes on about terry and alan and it's all their fault because of the bnp. So is that what you think Tim, that we vote bnp because of the regent theatre? Are you mad?
I got rid of Ian Mclaughlin because of the regent theatre or alan jones? You alarm me Tim.I vote BNP instead of WANTING to vote labour because of the cultural quarter?
You shut my care home when yor OWN party said NOT to.Your OWN party has a POLICY on care homes and the leader of YOUR OWN party was MERVIN SMITH DEPUTY MAYOR.

Smith ignored his own policy, his own party, his own councillors and was SACKED because we voted BNP.

Smith was a SITTIN councillor in Norton but saw the writing on the wall and bailed out into Bentilee and he lost there also.

Don't get the message Tim?

I have all the time in the world to spell it out easier than that.

Mervin Smith has no connection with Terry crowe or Alan Jones and none at all with the cultural quarter, so explain why Smith went after previously winning post Crowe and Jones?

Care Homes
Ignoring local Labour.

You just don't get it do you Tim.

Tim Mullen said...

Ian, I'm not sure why my comment about arguments behind closed doors is irrelevant, but I'll let that one pass.

Margaret - your post is a rambling hystrionic rant and not worthy of comment, other than to say my name is Mullen and not Mullin or Mullins as you keep calling me, and I run no such system for Rob Flello, and I therefore demand you withdraw that remark.

I can also assure you that Mervin Smith has never been the leader of the Labour Party in Stoke-on-Trent, so again your arguments are worthless as you quite obviously know nothing about what you rant about. Keep voting BNP and I look forward to hearing your grovelling excuses as the Labour Party follows its success in Longton North by removing BNP councillors from across the City. Goodbye moron, for I have better things to do than waste my time answering a deluded racist bigot such as yourself.

Ian Norris said...

Tim : just meant it useless for Cllrs to argue behind closed doors, if they aree unhappy about a policy they need to make that comment as recommendation or a motion in committee or full council.

You said Tappin argued behind closed doors, did he ever make those same arguement in Committee? Last Week Chair n Vice Chair of Community meet officers and saw cuts to be made, and that they would not support Cuts to Finney Gardens, Yet the report STILL said cuts were under review.

Unless Councils say what they want in committee then these cuts will continue.

Tim Mullen said...

Sorry Ian, you misunderstood me; I was replying specifically to the suggestion that the members of the EMB just went along with anything Mark Meredith said. My point was that there was lively debate(!) within the EMB before a policy was agreed upon.

And yes, there were arguments in Committee - specifically with Mike Tappin dating back to Mayor Wolfe's dictatorship when he diverted funds that had previously been earmarked for Blurton to his stupid "street art" in Hanley. It took Mark Meredith and Mike Tappin as Council Leader to get that money back to Blurton, and work on the project finally began this year.

margaret said...

There you go again Tim, never answering a question or point.

Mervin Smith was leader (chairman of your local party) for years.

It was under his chair that a policy of no academies was put in place. It was also under his chair that no care homes would close unless a new one was built in its place.

He couldn't hack it. He worked against it (along with your south mob) and he ran from Norton because they weren't having it. Norton backed the local party,

As Deputy Mayor he had all the back up of Meredith and the west midlands crew, oh and not forgetting the yes man flello.

Mervin Smith was ditched, so was maclaughlan, so was tappin and so was meredith (all opposed the local party).

You just don't get it do you tim.

Flello is on dangerous ground taking on your party.

His demise is being worked on.

Tim Mullen said...

Margaret, Mervin Smith has never been a member of Stoke South Labour Party, and is not currently a member of Stoke South Labour Party, so please cease lying.

I would suggest you try telephoning Combined Healthcare tomorrow morning as they are responsible for providing care for people, such as yourself, who obviously have a serious mental illness.