Saturday, 29 November 2008


Well my week started with a trip to Milan. Now I know it's a major European city, but the transport infrastructure is awesome! Off the plane, on a train, on a tram, arrive at hotel - sorted!

Stoke on Tent is a city that has crap public transport. It does not give me any pleasure to say it, but this city needs to start addressing some fundamental issues and transport happens to be one of them. An inadequate bus service and a couple of half decent roads and that's your lot. People should take a trip to Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield if they want a vision of how cities can deliver a transport network, that enables you to leave your car in your drive. We have six towns and if you want to get to say Tunstall from Longton, you have no alternative but to get in your motor, and in doing so clogging up the roads and polluting the air!

Non of the local political parties have put forward any policies for dealing with the cities transport issues. Where are the proposals for delivering a transport network worthy of the regeneration of our city and in particular the transformation of Hanley's east/west precinct?

Come on councillors, MP's and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates use this blog to tell us your plans for turning this city into a rival for other cities of a similar size and wealth!

Talking about councillors, I could not help but be amused by all the fuss, caused by the visit of seven councillors to the Brittania Stadium and Vale Park, where they enjoyed a pint of beer and a few sarnies! They are members of the council's sports ground certification panel, and they have been criticised for accepting match tickets, car parking, food and drinks.

Councillor Randy Conteh has defended the visits, and reassured the public that they did not sit in the executive boxes at the grounds. So what if they did? Who cares? Not me for sure! I say this to the people who have an issue with these councillors carrying out their inspection and then enjoying a bit of corporate hospitality: GET A LIFE, YOU SAD ARSES!!
Randy Conteh is a well respected, hard working councillor and he should not have to justify that there was no wrong doing while carrying out these inspections. He is a season ticket holder at Stoke, so a trip to Vale Park would have been torture for him!

As a councillor, you get plenty of stick and grief for little reward (apart from the EMB!) So if those interested in the footie get the opportunity to watch a game after they have done their duty, what's the problem? I mean it's not like they are accepting a holiday on a luxury yacht in the South of France is it? A bit of common sense is called for.... don't you think?

It was suggested this week that Trenthams favourite son Roger Ibbs is pitsnpot's ORACLE! Instead of being insulted the ORACLE pissed it's pants! Oooh the very thought!

In my opinion, Roger Ibbs is a bit like Turkish Delight... Everyone has had a taste... but no one admits they like it!

Even though, he's as popular as an unidentified lip fungus in Trentham, I think that Roger Ibbs would make an excellent Council Leader, even though his politics follow a different path of mine. He is not afraid to take tough decisions, even though sometimes they are unpopular, and he speaks his mind, and even though he knows sometimes it doesn't do him any favours, he stands up for what he believes. He is a skilled Councillor who knows the system inside out, and maybe that's the approach that we need, as we enter a period of change and regeneration. Maybe a coalition with Roger at the helm, isn't too far away,or too hard to imagine. You will have your own thoughts on that. I can feel the pencil's being sharpened as I speak and keyboards warming up!

To be honest the constant attacks on Roger Ibbs and Serco, and whoever else has a different opinion to the Trentham Action Group is really grating on me now. Don't get me wrong, I do think that it's a mistake to close THS, but do I think that Mr Ibbs and Serco are closing this school to antagonise the community of Trentham? Not on your life!

It's like Rob Flello. Until he stood up in the House Of Commons, and spoke up for the closing schools, and took on Jim Knight, he was accused by many in Trentham as being something of a wet lettuce. In truth, Rob was working hard behind the scenes, to get the Elected Mayor to consider an alternative proposal. This is the way he works, but because he wasn't making a loud noise, and blowing a lot of hot air, the Trentham community took against him., but his commons performance, he is their knight in shining armour!

The BNP and certain Independent Councillors have chosen to play to the crowd, by speaking out against the closure of Trentham High School, and it saddens me that members of the TAG, suddenly see these people, as possible Leaders of our City. Isn't it time now, that Trentham and the rest of the communities facing school closures, finally accept the decision, no matter hard that is, and concentrate on ensuring that the new schools cater for the needs both emotionally and educationally for the young people of our city. These proposals have now been endorsed by Government, and as such, will not be changed, no matter which party or person promises otherwise. Have the TAG got something up their sleeve? It's all gone quiet, hasn't it? What about this so called legal action? It's put up or shut up time I'm afraid!

The TAG have fought a long and vigorous campaign, but surely now is the time to stop all the personal attacks on Councillors and Officers, including Serco, before the insults get to the level displayed by Terry Crowe in the recent Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Mr Crowe has lost all credibility over the schools issue, and this must not happen to the TAG. I still believe that the proposal could be tweaked, so that all communities would feel happier and more content, but after many, many conversations with Councillors and Officers it seems that these proposals will go through unchanged, and hand on heart, I don't think for a minute that these people feel that they are wrong, in what they propose. We may disagree, but surely now is the time to move forward for the benefit of ALL the city.

This week will see a massive change to PitsnPots. We are moving to a brand new domain, and a completely new look. Sir Findo Gask joined our team, and bought with him the know how to make our blog bigger, better and more professional. We feel that this site can rival any local newspaper, because we let people speak the truth, and put out their opinion, without editing or censorship. Our articles are written by our hands, and never tampered with. That is why you get many different opinions, even me and my lovely wife disagree on certain issues, but that is what makes this site so special. We would like you to tell us, if there is anything that you would particularly like to see on our new site, then this is the time to tell us. We would like you to spread the word, and the gospel of what PitsnPots is trying to achieve, which is a place where you can have your say, and pose questions that you want us to find the answers to. If you want a sneak preview of the new site, then click here

Anyway, that is enough of a rant for this Sunday, I'm off to shop for Xmas decorations as I've just noticed that VH1 have started showing the Xmas videos, which is an excuse for me to crack open a few bottles of "vino collapso", and try and get out of decorating the Xmas tree, which I always seem to get wrong. Why doesn't green go with gold, and what is wrong with black tinsel.

Over to you, as always your comments, thoughts and idea are always appreciated, and if I have offended anybody in the reading of this blog, tough titties!!


the real Roger Ibbs said...

Coffee only I'm afraid no one offered anything else other than sarnies

Paid for my own meat pie

John Smith said...

Roger Ibbs is great because he makes tough decisions that no one likes. Er....nope, that is not a good politician at all. The idea is to persuade people of your case and take them with you and this is why meredith the payroll clerk is deceased.

Rob Flello stood up and shouted at Jim Knight and serco. Er....nope.
Telly talk used to show the rabble in Trentham how he is on their side.Bollocks.
Flello is a Government yes man who adores all things government. He want a bag carrrying job in westminster and was alllowed to break ranks to talk down fellow yes men to shore up the vote.
A political trick borne of no honesty and no credibility.
On the other hand, Fisher and Whalley opppose serco out of respect for the people of the city who disagree almost across the board. Flello has seen everyone around him who backed serco up fall and he is shitting himself.
Stoke-on-Trent only asks for honesty and in return, credibility and respect is returned.
Tough, hard, unpopular decision makers isn't the answer for a City that is not being regenerated fairly or quickly as other cities have been done and we suffer all the consequences as a recession is offered.
Are you sure you aren't a little trusting, Tony? Hoodwinked into believing that new money coming in is all the making of Meredith and Flello? It's not true and Flello and Meredith didn't do it for Manchester etc.
So why all the fighting in Stoke between politicians and people? Because we are being lied to by liars and they get the sack at every turn.

TAG fan said...

Well said John Smith. Bang on.

the joker said...

Supporting someone who is honest and is being seen to do the decent and maybe unpopular thing is one thing,but having no proof of success means blind loyalty and no credibility.Remember that Ibbs is running on a labour manifesto and is currently leading a mongrel party of tories and nonces.
No credibility at all and is scamming it for all it's worth.
of course, he is on the payroll vote.
Shite morals.

Shaun Bennett said...

I actually agree that sometimes politicians have to make tough decisions that may well be right but which will not get wide public support. The problem is when it happens with almost every decision that you make! That surely shows that there is something very wrong with that politicians judgement?

As John Smith has said, a lot of the time politicians need to be able to convince people of their case or accept that their judgement may be wrong. This is something that this particular councillor is not good at doing.

Furthermore, good councillors also care about their wards, listen to their residents views and take them on board. They also have a duty to their party (if they are from a party) to consult with them and listen to their views and take them along with them. They also need to have an air of honesty and decency about them so that even when people disagree with them, they respect them and don't feel that they are being conned or manipulated. In my experience of this particular politician, that has NEVER been high on their agenda and perhaps explains why they are universally disliked now.

As for them leading the council? Well it would be a mistake. No administration could ever survive in the longterm with them at the head. Any local politician worth their salt will realise that and dissassociate themselves from it immediately. It is also very embarrassing when a council and party leader loses their seat.

Lets be quite clear, this particular councillor knows their stuff and knows how the system works probably better than anyone else on the council at the moment. That is of course a good attribute but it does not make them a good councillor in itself. In fact, it just makes them more dangerous if they are not a good councillor, because it allows them to manipulate the system for their own agenda. This they are VERY good at, but again, that is a different thing from being a good councillor.

nita said...

Transport? Don't use the bus too often, but when I do, it turns up on time give or take 5 minutes, and it takes you to where you want to go. Let's be honest, bus drivers do take a lot of abuse. It's not a pleasant journey for us the public either, especially when the chavs get on board. Intimidating is the word I would use. I agree, even with the A50 and A500, roads are still gridlocked in certain areas.

The Councillors were doing their jobs, inspecting, so I have no problem if they tickets and a few sarnies.

Now to Trentham's favourite friend Mr Roger Ibbs. He must at some time, been a good Councillor to his ward, as he has been voted in for many many years. If they didn't think he was any good, surely they would have voted him out. Unfortunately, to the people of Trentham, they are annoyed that he has not represented their views over the schools issues. That is what a Councillor is elected to do. I do not think it pleases Mr Ibbs one bit, to see his school close, but with only a set amount of money to spend, we have had to lose schools. However, we do have to think about the whole of the city, and not just one particular area. I personally think too many schools have been lost in the south, and we could certainly have done with one more. For example when the plans are all in place, you will have a school for Trentham/Blurton, then the next one will be Park Hall. A large gap, I would say. Then from Park Hall the next will be Birches Head. Another large gap.

Mr Ibbs as Leader? He will most certainly be on the shortlist. At least he does tell it, as it is, and you would certainly know where you stand. He is prepared to stand by what he believes in, for the benefit of the whole city, even if it makes him a little unpopular. The decision has been made, and we have to get on with it.

terry turbo said...

Tony,you are a bit behind the times, the BNP policy Committee have put a transport plan forward but like the bio-fuel policy is in the committee stages.
This policy is for a pod system to run from the outskirts of Hanley into the town.
As for the existing transport system, it is years behind the times, compared with Liverpool, Manchester,and other cities.
We have the means to provide a first class service, with all the greenways, but we fail to capitalise on them,as these could be used as a means of traffic free transport to different parts of the City.
We also have an underused canal system that runs through the main towns, that could be used.

warren said...

On the subject of public transport, the problem as been with this city for a while now, in fact I can not remember a time when the bus sirvice in The Potteres was notheing more then just ok. An overall of the sistem is much needed, First seem to think of Stoke as a cash cow, forever hikeing up the price and then cutting back on sirvice, and we all know the state of the stations within the area is a disgrace.
As for Tony's idea of Mr. Ibbs being fit to be council leader, with or without a strong coalition would put the fear of god into me and I think meny others round hear, the old buggers a nutcase, each office he gets seems to desend into cauos within a very short time. I point to his time in charge of the regeneration of Meir, that stunt about the reposestion of homes to pull them down, then changing his mind and trying to sell them on, very strange do that. His statement last week about the young lady haveing to much time off school, even though she had cancer made me feel sick, it was so uncareing it was untrue. Just so long as Ibbo keeps pointing the gun at his feet, I'll have no problems at all at pulling the trigger, its fun, the old buggers a sitting duck.

terry turbo said...

Totally agree Warren, about Ibbs handling of the girl with cancer, this shows a lack of good judgement making him unfit to represent the people, quite apart from his handling of the THS affair.
He'll be lucky to get elected anywhere in this City the next time round.
As for Tony's comment that the BNP councillors are "playing to the crowd" in trying to save a well performing school, I wonder what gem he would have come up with if they had not, perhaps "the BNP don't care about anything other than racial issues" maybe?

nita said...

Terry Turbo. Re Tony's comment, the BNP are ".playing to the crowd" Basically, I think it has got to a point where the public have lost trust in some of our Councillors. So, rightly or wrongly, we are wary of anyone who tries to help, or offer advice. Who can we really trust? Sometimes Councillors tell you, what they know you want to hear, but I would much rather have someone who tells it like it is. Roger Ibbs is a typical example. He will at least give you his honest opinion, and give reasons for the decisions being made. I speak as I find, obviously other people may think different.

By the way, the pod system sounds like a good idea.

Anonymous said...

The City wouldn't have had an alternative proposal on education if it hadn't been for Flello.

Walley and Fisher were ready simply to sit at their desks attacking the plans but actually doing nothing constructive.

Flello's alternative proposals were only supposed to cover the South of the City, but when heads in other parts started moaning that their MPs weren't doing something similar it was expanded.

Shouting the odds is easy - we see it all the time on blog sites and in the Sentinel - actually getting out and doing something requires a bit more gumption.

John Smith said...

Mclaughlan had a vote of 'NO CONFIDENCE' delivered to him by his own Labour Party who remain disgusted at serco's plans,
McLaughlan dismissed this criticism of him as a 'distraction'.
McLaughlan lost his seat.
The rest, including the Mayor have gone for the same reason.
Flello is viewed by the wider Labour Party as a prime suspect in serco's blueprint and will be dealt with.
A few people are in the queue beforehand and will be dealt with soon.
Flello is a gonner.He will be challenged or undernmined into defeat.Stoke South has made itself into an irrelevance.