Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Stirchley Upper/Lord Silkin/Lakeside Academy demolition

Stirchley Upper first opened in 1976, was renamed the Lord Silkin School, was renamed again to Lakeside Academy and has undergone yet another name change to Telford Park School to go with its new building. The demolition crews are making short work of razing the old building!

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Happy Holidays

Happy Kwanzaa to all our African friends living and worshiping in Brookside and Stirchley and a belated Happy Christmas, Zeusday, Saturnalia, Yuletide, Winter Solstice, Hogswatch, ChriFSMas and Hanukkah.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Two Brookside residents locked up for drug money laundering

A total of 59 members of a drug gang - some living in Brookside - have been convicted of money laundering and supplying class A drugs.

It's great that some of the drug dealers in our area have been taken off the streets but between the 59, they got just 200 years in prison. That's an average of just 3 years and 4 months each for putting dangerous drugs on our streets and ruining people's lives. But some of the sentences were for 8 or 10 years which means most of the people involved in this drug ring will have escaped prison altogether. Is it any wonder drugs are rife in Brookside if you can expect a slap on the wrist for being part of the supply chain?

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Pensioners' Christmas Party

I have declined my annual invitation to the parish council's pensioners' Christmas party as I have done the previous four years I have been a councillor.

The Christmas party is for pensioners, not councillors in their 30s. I'm not in the habit of turning down free meals but in this instance I'm much happier having that money being spent on pensioners than me!

The last I heard, this year's party is fully booked but you can contact the parish council to be put on the reserve list and ask for an invitation to next year's party.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Police appeal for information on serious assault of Stirchley councillor and sister

Police are appealing for information about an assault on Cllr Luke Roberts and his sister outside Pussycats nightclub in Wellington on Saturday night.

Luke was left in a coma after the attack but we are told that he has now come out of it and is in intensive care. Hopefully he'll be back on his feet (and skateboard) soon. He's done a lot of good work with young people in Stirchley and Brookside, trying to keep them on the straight and narrow.

If you have any information please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or West Mercia Police on 101, quoting reference 32S of October 18th.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Ghanaian entrepreneur Rashida Nasamu's speech at UKIP's national conference

An interesting speech from Ghanaian entrepreneur and broadcaster, Rashida Nasamu, given at UKIP's national conference on how the EU is causing poverty in Africa through exploitative trade deals.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Labour councillors plan to merge Telford into Greater Birmingham again

The local Labour Party have been telling us for years that the Tories want to merge Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Councils and have Telford run from Shirehall. Despite the Tories denying it, Labour have repeatedly slated them for it.

Today we learn that Labour politicians have been planning to merge Telford with Birmingham and the Black Country again, just 6 years after the Conservatives took control of Telford & Wrekin back from Birmingham following a campaign that I started all those years ago.

If it wasn't for UKIP's Cllr Thomas Hoof submitting a question for tomorrow's borough council meeting they would still be negotiating the sale of the borough in secret.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Public meeting on distraction burglaries at Brookside Central on 29th September

Following another distraction burglary in the Burford bungalows recently, I contacted West Mercia Police and asked them to provide some education to residents to combat confidence tricksters.

The police have arranged a meeting at Brookside Central on the 29th at 6pm to talk to residents about home security and in particular keeping themselves safe from distraction burglaries.

I have also contacted Wrekin Housing Trust about physical security measures at the bungalows.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Storm footage in Broseley

We went to Broseley tonight to visit my parents. The storm hit just as we pulled up at the top of the high street to get food!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Brookside's first car boot sale

There are still some spaces available on Brookside's first car boot sale!

Friday, 24 July 2015

Open day at St James' Church tomorrow

The oldest building in Telford right on our doorstep and open to the public tomorrow.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Busy, busy week!

It's been a busy week this week with Big Local and council business.

On Monday we held a Brookside Big Local drop-in session at Brookside Central for residents. The idea of these drop-in sessions is to give people an opportunity to come and find out more about Big Local or get advice on pretty much any local issue in an informal setting. We didn't advertise it very well so for the next one we'll be doing a leaflet drop in advance.

On Tuesday we had Neighbourhood Services and Planning meetings at the parish council. The planning meeting attracted probably the biggest crowd we've ever had at a council meeting thanks to an application by Wrekin Housing Trust to build three new houses on land next to Tunnel Cottages on Aqueduct Lane next to the Elms playing field. Aqueduct Lane really doesn't need any more traffic or parked cars, especially directly opposite Knightsbridge Crescent where the residents of Tunnel Cottages already leave their cars as they have no off-street parking. The fact that it's immediately adjacent to the Town Park (the field was made part of the town park) is also of concern. You can view the planning application and submit your comments here.

Yesterday I sacrificed my lunch break for an emergency personnel meeting at the parish council.

Finally, tonight and tomorrow I will be helping out back stage at the Place theatre in Oakengates for Telford Academy of Performing Arts' summer show!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Celebrate Brookside tomorrow

Busy week

This week has been a particularly busy one for me and it's not over yet!

On Tuesday we had a mammoth parish council meeting that lasted almost 3 hours. The full council meeting in June is always a long one because of all the financial matters that have to be dealt with but this time we had to decide which of the six candidates who put themselves forward we wanted to co-opt onto the council to fill the vacancy left by Sylvia Horton deciding not to take her seat. The candidates were all excellent but the council decided by a majority vote to co-opt 20 year old Luke Roberts, the organiser of the Youth of Day, Adults of Tomorrow event at Stirchley skate park last weekend.

On Wednesday I had to go to Walsall for a meeting of the UKIP West Midlands Regional Committee which I sit on as Chairman of the UKIP Shropshire County Committee. That was a long but productive two and a half hours mainly discussing our strategy for the promised EU referendum.

Last night I presided over the election of the officers for the UKIP Ludlow branch at their AGM in Church Stretton. Why did they hold it in Church Stretton? I have no idea but I got a nice drive out over Wenlock Edge.

I get a break tonight (apart from having to pop in to work) and then I'll be at the official opening of the community centre tomorrow.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Council contractors caught dumping gravel in Brookside

Earlier this week I was contacted by a resident who had witnessed contractors working for Telford & Wrekin Council dumping the gravel from the pavement they were digging up over the crash barrier opposite Brereton and then trying to cover it up with branches from the trees.

I contacted the council to let them know what had happened and got a fairly prompt response from a council officer who had spoken to the site supervisor who had told him that the workmen had "incorrectly" put it there overnight because their skip was full. I asked him if they had offered an explanation as to why they might have "incorrectly" broken off branches - some of them requiring a significant amount of effort such as jumping on them because it was new growth - to try and cover it up if it was a genuine mistake. I then received a further response to say that he had spoken to them again, the site foreman had been disciplined and they apologised and gave assurances that it wouldn't happen again.

If any mysterious piles of gravel appear around the estate where the pavements are being worked on, please let me know!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Skate park vandalised again

Vandals have thrown paint and oil on the skate park equipment at the Beaconsfield park by Windmill School overnight.

The park has had to be closed for safety reasons and it will cost hundreds of pounds to clean up.

Earlier on Sunday, some young children from Windmill School were seen kicking the drum and keyboard equipment on the young children's part of the park, breaking the keyboard. The identity of those children is known and their parents should be hearing from someone soon.

If you have any information on the vandalism of the skate park you can contact me anonymously, call the parish clerk on 01952 567142 or contact West Mercia Police on 101. Any money spent on cleaning up the skate park is money that's not being spent on community events and grants to local community groups.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Police appealing for witnesses to motorbike crash on the Silkin Way

West Mercia Police are asking for witnesses to a motorbike crash on the Silkin Way in Aqueduct on Sunday.

The 25 year old rider was taken to North Staffordshire Hospital suffering serious injuries and a 13 year old girl riding pillion was taken to the Princess Royal Hospital with a hand injury after the motorbike crashed into a post on the footpath.

Hopefully the police are looking for witnesses so they can decide which charges to bring against the rider for riding his motorbike on a footpath in the dark, presumably without lights or at speed if he failed to notice or avoid the post in the middle of the footpath.

Riding a motorbike on a footway is a criminal offence and if he was riding it with no lights, with excessive speed or carelessly then that's an even more serious criminal offence. People walk on the Silkin Way at all hours of the day and night and riding a motorbike on it is dangerous. If you have and information you can contact the police on 030003333000 (cheaper than 101) quoting reference 720S of May 24th.

One of our local policies at UKIP Telford & Wrekin was to step up patrols of the Silkin Way by the police and park rangers and to introduce lighting along currently unlit lengths.

This is the fate that awaits your motorbike if you're caught riding it on a footway

Fly tipping and "Project Depression"

This morning I was having surgery on my knee (again) and this afternoon I was back on councillor duties!

This afternoon I have reported an overflowing bin next to the leaning bus stop opposite Briarwood, spoken to the company managing 112 Burtondale which is plagued with fly tipping and been briefed on "Project Depression" which is a project to tackle the collapsing roads around the borough.

I don't know when the overflowing bin will be emptied but it should be done within 24 hours.

112 Burtondale is a bit of a tricky one. The company that is managing the property on behalf of the reluctant owner is based in Essex and they say they can't get it cleared up for another couple of weeks. I have left them a message letting them know that it's being fly tipped regularly and the longer they leave it, the more they will have to clear up assuming it doesn't get set on fire in the meantime. I suspect they might find someone to clear it up a bit quicker than the second week in June!

Project Depression is a project to sort out the collapsing roads around the borough, including (but not limited to) Castlefields Way by the traffic lights outside Aqueduct Primary School, Parkway between Aldi and the Court Street traffic lights in Madeley,, Dunmaster Way in Stirchley, Colliers Way outside McDonalds by the Forge Retail Park, the A4169 by the care home at Lightmoor and the road into Kynnersley. The council have a geophys technician investigating the problem sites to find out why the roads are collapsing and which sites are a priority. Those priority sites will be addressed this year once money has been found to pay for it.

In the last few days I've also reported two lots of fly tipping in Beaconsfield, one on Brookside Avenue by the Briarwood/Birchmore underpass and another on Parkway by St Mary's Primary School in Madeley. I've also reported an abandoned shopping trolley on the footpath alongside the A442 by Telford Central train station.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Annual Electors' Meeting and Full Council

Tonight was the Annual Electors' Meeting for Stirchley & Brookside followed by the first meeting of full council since the election.

The parish council has been supporting efforts by a young Stirchley resident by the name of Luke to tidy up the area around Stirchley skate park and to put on a big skateboarding event on 13th June. Apparently the skate park at Stirchley is quite famous amongst skateboarders and is considered to be one of the best in the country. Luke has set up a community group with the help of Community Organiser, +Leigh Ricketts, called Youth of Today, Adults of Tomorrow. You can help him in his bid to secure funding to improve the park by supporting his bid for a share of Aviva's Community Fund.

At the full council meeting I was voted back onto the Neighbourhood Services, Planning, Policy & Resources, Emergency and Personnel committees. One of the points I raised at the meeting was regarding parking outside both primary schools in Brookside. There is persistent illegal parking on the zig zags outside Windmill School and irresponsible parking opposite the school entrance at Holmer Lake. Certainly at Windmill School, taxis are repeat offenders with the same cars parking illegally and dangerously outside the school gates.

100% positive feedback for draft Neighbourhood Plan

The Stirchley & Brookside Neighbourhood Plan Committee, which I'm vice chair of, met last week and reviewed feedback from the Grow your own day held recently at Stirchley.

Feedback from residents was 100% positive with all residents who filled in a questionnaire agreeing with everything the committee has pulled out of the various consultations that have been conducted.

The Neighbourhood Plan is a statutory planning document which means that it has to be considered by law when assessing a planning application. The draft plan identifies areas in the parish that should not be built on as well as identifying areas that should and the mix of housing that should be built. It also identifies services that the parish needs if a new development is brought forward.

Once the draft plan is finished it will be examined by a planning inspector to ensure that it doesn't conflict with national and local development plans before being put to a parish referendum to approve or reject the plan.

If you would like to get involved in the neighbourhood plan then you can either contact me or the Parish Clerk, Gillian Bailey.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Election results

I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for me in the elections and especially to those people who came and talked to me at the polling station on the day.

Myself and Lynda sadly didn't get elected to the borough council but we did get 24% of the vote between us. However, we were both returned to the parish council with the third and fourth highest number of votes which is fantastic.

It was a very strange night at the count with David Wright losing his MP seat to the Tory candidate Lucy Allan and the Tories unseating a lot of the Labour councillors. This really was one of the most unpredictable elections I've seen.

So here were the final results:

Arnold EnglandLabour93121.66%
Jackie LoveridgeLabour86920.21%
Mike WilsonConservative66015.35%
Ishbel LapperConservative63114.68%
Lynda HoggerUKIP59113.75%
Stuart ParrUKIP45310.54%
Jacob LongGreen1643.81%

Arnold EnglandLabour1,06614.65%
Jackie LoveridgeLabour1,05914.56%
Lynda HoggerUKIP1,05114.45%
Stuart ParrUKIP97713.43%
Jim LoveridgeLabour92612.73%
Robert FaganLabour89812.35%
Malcolm RandleLabour76410.5%
Lynn HoldshipIndependent5337.33%

Tuesday, 5 May 2015



On the 14th April 2015 a burglary dwelling was committed in BEMBRIDGE, BROOKSIDE, TELFORD.

Did you notice anything suspicious or do you have any CCTV?

If so, it would be very helpful if you could ring your local Police Station on 101.

Please quote crime reference number: 22GA/24261V/15

If you don't want to give us your name, please consider ringing the Crime Stoppers number instead. You don't have to give your name and you could get a reward.

0800 555 111

Saturday, 2 May 2015

360° photo of the shops and Brookside Central

The security fencing has been taken down from around the shops and community centre and it looks fantastic!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Family fun day this Saturday

Free family fun day on the Windmill school field this Saturday with a rounders competition, climbing wall, football, FitSteps, Zumba and more.

Take 5 Café re-opens today

Take 5 Café re-opens this morning after being forced to close its doors for the community centre refurbishment.

The café is a community interest company which is a special type of company that is required to put all its profits back into the local community where it operates so by supporting the café you're helping to put money into good causes in Brookside as well as getting your coffee or breakfast!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Happy St George's Day!

St GeorgeSmile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget, For we are the people of England, that never has spoken yet.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Litter Pick tomorrow morning

If anyone wants to join us, there is a BIG litter pick tomorrow morning at 10am.

We will be meeting by the shops just before 10 o'clock - just look out for the hi-vis jackets.

Litter pickers, hi-vis vests and bags will be provided.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Candidates announced for Brookside

Telford & Wrekin Council have published details of all the valid candidates for the elections next month and they make interesting reading.

In Brookside there are 7 candidates for Telford & Wrekin Council but only four of us actually live in the Brookside ward: myself and Lynda Hogger and the two Labour candidates. One of the Conservative candidates lives in the Nedge ward and the other lives in Trench whilst the only Green candidate is at university in Coventry for the next two years!

For the 7 vacancies for the Brookside ward there are 8 candidates: myself and Lynda Hogger again, 5 Labour candidates (one of which lives in Malinslee) and 1 independent.

All over Telford & Wrekin there are Conservative and Labour candidates being parachuted into wards that are miles away from where they live. I had already been told by Labour and Conservative people that they were struggling for candidates but didn't realise quite how difficult they were finding it.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Officially a candidate for the election

My nomination papers were accepted yesterday and I'm now an official candidate for Brookside ward for both Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council and Telford & Wrekin Council.

Labour have only lost two elections in Brookside - once in 2007 when the Tories took control of the borough council and once in 2013 when my colleague, Cllr Lynda Hogger, beat Labour borough councillor Nathan England in a by-election. Losing the 2007 election here forced the Labour administration to start undoing the three decades of neglect under their watch and we're only now seeing changes with the new shops opening and the refurbished community centre about to be re-opened. This doesn't make up for the last 30 years though. The physical and social generation of our estate has to continue if we're going to tackle antisocial behaviour, poverty and unemployment in our community.

I've worked hard for Brookside and Stirchley over the last few years, not because I think it will look good to voters or because there's a photo opportunity but because I want to change the place I live for the better. I don't crave the limelight, I don't let politics cloud my judgement and I don't stand on other peoples' shoulders. If something needs doing I'll do it and if I can't do it myself I'll find someone who can.

Being a parish councillor for this last 4 years has helped me to help other people. Information flows more freely and things are done with more urgency when you're a councillor and while I firmly believe that everyone should be entitled to that same level of service, at least I have the opportunity to use it to make things happen when it turns out they don't.

I've done a lot as a mere parish councillor but I could do even more as a borough councillor. Hopefully I'll get that opportunity next month!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Campaigning against HS2

I went to Marston in Staffordshire yesterday with Jill Seymour MEP to support the locals there who are campaigning against HS2 ripping their village in two.

UKIP has opposed HS2 from the outset. There is no economic case for spending what is currently estimated to be £42.6bn to build a new high speed rail network (plus £7bn for trains) rather than investing in the existing railways that we have. If there was, the farmer I spoke to yesterday whose farm buildings are being demolished so the railway can pass 200 yards from his house might feel slightly less aggrieved at the prospect of trains hurtling past his living room at 250mph day and night so that people can travel between a few cities - the nearest a 40 minute drive from his farm - a bit quicker.

The EU is, of course, behind HS2 - it's the UK leg of the Trans-European High Speed Rail Network (TEN-R) and a directive orders the British government to fritter away our hard earned cash on this huge white elephant.

We're lucky not to have this monstrosity scything through Shropshire but we're still going to have to pay for it and the bill is currently about £1,500 per family.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The good and the bad side of Brookside

Today I saw the good side and the bad side of Brookside.

I took the kids to the park this morning and it was great. The sun was shining, the other kids on the park were playing nicely, there was nobody smoking weed or drinking special brew, no hoodie wearing teenagers swearing and spitting on the floor. I went for a walk around the outside of the school looking for a fly tip behind the school fence that a resident had mentioned and saw a family playing cricket on the field behind the school.

We went back to the park again this afternoon and the sun was still shining, there were a lot more kids there but they were still playing really nicely. Unfortunately, a parent decided to set all the kids a great example by throwing his empty can on the floor. What a great example to set for his children and an even better advertisement for DP Plastering, the name of the company on the jacket he was wearing. On the way home, we saw an idiot driving a +Just for Pets Ltd van from Briarwood over the pavement and onto the grass next to the car park by Windmill School rather than driving round the corner to the road and parking on the car park. You can see how close he was to some kids playing on the car park.

The caretaker from Windmill School will be clearing up the rubbish chucked over their fence tomorrow and checking the school's CCTV to identify the perpetrator. If anyone has any information about the people responsible for throwing their rubbish into the school grounds then you can contact me in confidence and I will pass the details on.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Ideas needed for youth council

Before Tuesday's meeting of the Policy Committee myself, Cllr Hogger and Cllr Watkin had a working group on a Stirchley & Brookside Youth Council.

We will be in touch with the local schools to discuss it with them but lots of young people in the parish don't go to Lakeside so we are looking for other ways of engaging young people in the parish to help decide how a youth council will work and make sure that it means something to them.

If anyone has any ideas please leave a comment or if you'd rather do it anonymously you can send me an email.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Brookside resident on Come Dine With Me

Brookside resident Roger Summers is appearing on Channel 4's Come Dine With Me on Tuesday.

The other three contestants are from Donnington, Market Drayton and Stafford and the programme, which was filmed in June last year, will be aired at 4pm.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Bridgwood bus stops now in service, traffic backing up onto Holmer Farm Road

The new bus stops outside Bridgwood have now gone into service and the traffic and safety problems I said it would cause have already started.

This afternoon I saw a bus at the bus stop just off the island coming up the hill and cars were backed up round the island onto Holmer Farm Road and some people were waiting to cross the road with a pushchair. They were adults this time, not school children who regularly walk out in front of cars to cross by the island but there will be hundreds of children crossing the road through that traffic every week.

Last year, myself and the previous parish clerk met with Telford & Wrekin Council to express our concerns about the safety of the children crossing the road by the island and how the bus stops (which were put in without consulting the parish council) are going to make it even more dangerous. The council have done nothing to make the crossing safer and have instead made it more dangerous.

The bus stops were installed - just 250 yards from another bus stop - because 3 residents asked for them. I know that one of the residents in question is disabled and struggles to walk to the nearest bus stop up the road and I have the greatest sympathy for their predicament but we can't put a bus stop at the end of every street that has a disabled resident and certainly not where it causes a serious safety issue for school children.

I will be contacting the cabinet member for highways as a matter of urgency tomorrow but it looks like it's going to take a child being knocked over before the council act to make the crossing safe.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Bridgnorth Road closure for 6 weeks

Telford & Wrekin Council have given advance warning of a road closure on Bridgnorth in Madeley for up to 6 weeks.

The stretch of road affected is from the Tweedale island by the Cuckoo Oak to the traffic lights on the junction of Queen Street and will be closed from 2nd February.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Job opportunity with Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council

Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council are looking to recruit a part time support worker to work with Brookside Big Local for at least three months.

Click here for the job details and application form.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

New year update - burglars, lights, muddy footpaths, awards, Christmas miracles and a new parish clerk

I haven't posted since before Christmas so here's a brief update. I hope you all had a great Christmas and a happy new year.

The lowlifes responsible for a number of pre-Christmas burglaries in Brookside, Stirchley and elsewhere in Telford have been caught. I understand that one of them is from this area.

The broken lights outside the doctor's surgery have finally been fixed. The lights belong to the school and with the school being knocked down this year they were understandably reluctant to spend money replacing the vandalised lights. They eventually relented though and the slope outside the surgery is now lit ...

... unlike the main car park which has been without lighting since Christmas. The Co-op own the car park and the lighting but have been reluctant to get the faulty switch gear replaced for some unknown reason. The parish clerk is harassing them on a daily basis!

The traffic lights at the pedestrian crossing on Holmer Farm Road have been repaired. When I called this week to tell them they hadn't been working since before Christmas they told me that I was the first person to report it!

The mess left on footpaths around Burnside by contractors ironically working on the Pride in your Community project for Telford & Wrekin Council has been reported and should have been cleaned by now. I have chased the council up.

One of the parish council's environmental maintenance officers has been given an Apprentice of the Year award. Sam Smith was the parish council's first environmental apprentice and did such an amazing job that we didn't want to lose her and kept her on as a seasonal worker. This national award shows what a great job she's doing and congratulations also have to go to our environmental maintenance supervisor, Aaron Kitson, who was her mentor throughout her apprenticeship.

The Christmas Smile Project - a project supported by Telford Crisis Network, which provided presents to people in the borough who would otherwise have received nothing this Christmas - handed out 1,800 Christmas gifts, 139 Christmas food hampers and 148 Christmas treat bags to 340 people in 170 families. Many of these families will have been in Brookside and Stirchley. Kate, Jake and the other Christmas Smile volunteers (and, of course, the people who donated presents to them) did an amazing job and they should be proud of themselves.

Finally, our long serving parish clerk, Jane Smith, retired at the end of 2014 having served as the clerk to the parish council since it was created in 1988. Jane knows everything there is to know about Brookside and Stirchley and was an extremely capable and supportive parish clerk. Jane has been a great help to me over the last (almost) 4 years that I've been a councillor and she'll be a tough act to follow but her incredibly hard working deputy, Gillian Bailey, was chosen by the council to replace her and Alison Varney will take on the role of assistant clerk.