Thursday, January 15, 2009


Government announcement good news for Derrington, Seighford, Hyde Lea, and Burton Manor

Today’s news that the Government are proposing to invest £6Billion in expanding the use of hard shoulder running to easy congestion on busy motorways will be welcomed by residents of Derrington, Seighford, Hyde Lea, and Burton Manor. For sometime now these householders have lived under the threat that one option being considered to alleviate any congestion on the M6 as it passed their homes was to widen the road to four lanes in both directions. Such a move would devastate the environment and increase noise. However today’s announcement has effectively kicked this plan into touch.

As I suggested last year a more workable, and in my opinion, more acceptable plan would be to use the hard shoulder at times of heavy congestion as an extra lane – a technique already successfully used on the M42 to the south of Birmingham. And today this is just what Geoff Hoon – the Secretary of State for transport announced.

However the M6 battle is not yet won, as I still feel much more could be done to reduce the noise and environmental pollution from the existing road. Sound barriers are desperately needed to protect Derrington and Seighford, while improvements to the existing sound prevention measures must be carried out to ensure better protection for Hyde Lea and Burton Manor.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


How long does Christmas last in the wonderful world of Tory Town?

Just how long can Christmas last?

Well if it’s left to the Tory run Borough Council it appears it can drag on into the middle of January. You only have to walk through the Market Square or down the main street to see what I mean – the town Christmas tree, the nativity crib, and most of the overhead Christmas lights are still up!

I’m not sure if this is yet another sign the Conservatives have run out of money and can’t afford to take the decorations down yet, or whether it is another plan to save money and they intend to leave them up until next year! Then again it could be just a marketing ploy to get more people to visit the town, as Stafford will be the only place in the UK to have an Easter tree and Easter lights!


Appalling treatment for Blue Badge visitor

I know the Council is short of cash, but trying to charge a disable motorist £70 because she placed her blue disabled parking badge upside down is beyond a joke.

A couple of days before Christmas I got a telephone call from a local lady who was extremely worried she had got a parking ticket while shopping in Sainsbury’s. It appeared she had placed her blue parking badge in the widow so the details could not be seen. She had struggled across the car-park and found the warden to show him the pass was valid. However he told her that because he had already issued the ticket the computerised system would not let him take revoke it and she would have to appeal.

I took the case up on her behalf and after two e-mails and a letter, in which I had to send copies of both sides of her parking badge, the parking fine was scrapped.

I certainly learned three very important lessons from this incident. Firstly the Council’s system of issuing parking tickets is so inflexible that even putting a disabled parking badge upside down would generate a fine. Secondly the Council seem determined to make visitors to the town feel unwelcome, and thirdly the Council’s car-parking fines collection service is run from Stoke-on-Trent and that all communication must be by e-mail or letter. No wonder the Conservatives are worried that the income from car-parks is well below the expected level if this is how motorists are treated! But in the other hand, making it difficult to appeal against a parking ticket might just be a ploy to ensure that they do not loose any more money than they have too!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Failing cats-eyes - something must be done!

The dangers of the A518 are well known to everyone in the area. Over the last year the number of accidents on the road has grown steadily. However despite this the County Council seem reluctant to do anything to improve the situation. Now another problem has arisen – more and more cats-eyes are failing. This means many stretches have little or no centre line markers. As the bad weather took a real hold last week the problem was really noticeable. Frost and fog made driving on the road even more dangerous, but the poor visibility really highlighted the lack of cats-eyes. Even I found myself wandering across the white line as I drove between Haughton and Gnosall despite the fact I use the road daily and thought I knew it like the back of my hand!

I've already raised the issue with the County Council and have asked them to take immediate action to replace the faulty reflectors, but I’m not holding my breath. My real worry is that unless they do take action now a really nasty accident could occur especially as the weather-forecasters are predicting a really bad winter!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Another wonderful display of Christmas lights

Everyone who decorated their homes in Haughton with Christmas lights should be really proud of their efforts as once again the Village was the talk of the area. I've lost count of how many people stopped to tell me how much they had enjoyed the display and that for many a visit to Haughton was now a Christmas tradition. You can always tell just how popular the lights are by the crowds of people that can be seen wandering around the Village on the run-up to Christmas. However as twelfth-night is now just days away the crowds have gone and the Village has an empty almost lonely feel, especially as the nights are now cold and foggy.

Having said all that for me two questions still remain to be answered.

Firstly it will be interesting to know just how much was raised for charity by the houses who always organise collections, and whether the pervious years totals will be exceeded even given the current poor economic climate?

Secondly why were there no lights outside the shops? I’m not blaming the tenants as I believe in previous years these lights were put-up by the owners of the building. But I do hope by next year someone has made arrangements so there is not such a black hole in the centre of the wonderful village display!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]