Friday, November 12, 2004

Sad Affair 

This morning was a rather sad affair. I attended the funeral of Councillor Stan Goodall. I’ve known Stan for quite a few years. He was both a Borough and Stone Town Councillor. Although a Conservative, I had a lot of time for Stan and would always listen to his advice. He was obviously well like as the church was packed, and if the sentiments express by all the people I spoke to are repeated he will certainly be missed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Rarely Seen Police 

This evening I went to Hyde Lea Parish Council. This, I am sorry to say, was \my first visit. The Council only has five members and meets just four times a year, but even so makes a major contribution to the local community. I was a little shocked to see that I was down on the agenda as “guest speaker”! In the end I talked about my experiences of policing developments in the Haughton and Gnosall area. John Eaves – the Council Chairman – is particularly keen to improve the level of police presence in the village. It is evident that Hyde Lea suffers from the same problems as most of the other Villages to the west of Stafford – namely the community police officers are rarely seen. It appears that these officers are being redeployed to Stone and Stafford to help policing there, but this unfortunately leaves villages like Hyde Lea with a limited amount of cover. After a short discussion everyone agreed that the only way to get to the bottom of this problem was to invite the new Divisional Inspector to the next meeting of the Parish Council to question him of his policing priorities and his plans for future staffing deployment.

Monday, November 08, 2004

School Closure Report 

Well the cat is out of the bag now. The County Council have published their plans for the reorganisation of schools in the Stafford area. The general principle was not unexpected. It is clear to everyone that there are more school places than pupils in primary schools in the town. However what will be questioned is how these surplus places are to be removed. It is very early days in the process, but already schools will be rehearsing the arguments as to why they should remain open while others should close. However what everyone must not loose sight of is that at the end of the day it is the quality of education for each child that should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind rather than the fight to keep individual buildings open. One really pleasing point of the whole report was that no mention was made of Ranton School which, because of its small size, I was really worried would be earmarked for closure. For those that were named the fight has just begun!

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