Tuesday, 17 September 2019

"Make mine a Spicy Poodle Surprise..."

Eww... I heard the other day that the eating of dogs and cats appears to be now effectively permitted in the UK, by order of the Ministry of Justice.

I thought it might be 'fake news' and on investigation I find it's a little more complex than that, though not by much. Civil servants have blocked the good intentions of the Environment Minister who had wanted a ban. But effectively, it seems that Poodle Pie is now legal on the menu — just as long as Fluffy is slaughtered on the premises and the meat isn't transported in a vehicle.

When the Climate Police come to take away your Fluffy and Tiddles, make sure to prod your pies and pasties with extra care a few weeks later.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Stoke fined

A bit of Stoke town has had a makeover, and it's looking rather fine. The city has also just landed £2 million from the government, for similar heritage shopfront restoration. Apparently it'll mostly be spent round Spode in Stoke.

Before and after:

Now, if only they can do something about the traffic...

Thursday, 12 September 2019


So the badger cull comes to Staffordshire and Cheshire, and parts of Shropshire, in a big way. Looks like about 2,200 minimum are to be taken out of Staffordshire, in addition to small zones in Staffordshire which were apparently culled for the first time in 2018. Farmers' Weekly talks of two new 'zones' in Staffordshire (The Sentinel says "three"), but farmers didn't get the Derbyshire zone they wanted. Without being able to find the actual maps (apparently secret) I'd vaguely guess around 900 in North Staffordshire, if we even have one of Staffordshire's new zones?

Oh well... it'll make for some happy hedgehogs next spring, at least, when they wake from hibernation to find the badgers gone.

Graph: Natural England, 2019.

Thursday, 18 July 2019


This looks useful. A new British app that makes it easy to... 1) report fly-tipping and dumping, and 2) get the best quote for removal, from a proper licensed Waste Carrier.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Summer Fayre at Stoke Minster

Summer Fayre at Stoke Minster. Saturday 6th July 2019, from 11am to 2pm.

With prizes, tombola, gifts and refreshments. Featuring Penkhull Village Brass.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Channelling naffness

The Conservatives' YouTube channel. Visually, the 'first impression' is not coming across at all well. Why does everyone have to be pictured with the mouth open? It looks vaguely like some dodgy mash-up of a conspiracy-theory / double-glazing pressure-sales channel. Who do the PR gurus think this visual style 'tests well' with?

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Local Election results at last

It's taken a long while but we finally have the done-and-dusted result from the recent local council elections in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Conservatives more than doubled their councillors in Stoke-on-Trent on the night, and now have 15 members on the council. Having concluded talks with the City Independent group councillors, it's being reported that the Conservatives will continue to work with Independents to run the city. Abi Brown (Conservative) will be the council leader for the city.

There was quite a lot of variation in turn-out for the local elections, by the look of it, from pathetically quiet in Hanley Park to what could well have been surges and queues in Baddeley.

Elsewhere, the Conservatives lost Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to 'no overall control', but it's pleasing to see that the questionable Labour candidate there lost having had a mere 77 votes. There's nothing in the news yet about who, if anyone, will be in control of a Staffordshire Moorlands coalition. I guess they're still negotiating.

The Conservatives also won the single seat that was up for grabs in a by-election over in Newcastle-under-Lyme (Maer and Whitmore Ward).

So it's on to the MEPs, next.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

EU elections for North Staffordshire - who's standing?

Ok, with the Council election out the way it's now time to take a look at who Stoke and North Staffordshire gets to vote for on 23rd of May. According to the Returning Officers' official list, the parties standing EU MEP candidates for the West Midlands are, A-Z:

   Change UK — The Independent Group.
   Conservative and Unionist Party.
   Green Party.
   Labour Party.
   Liberal Democrats.
   The Brexit Party.
   UK Independence Party (UKIP).

The Brexit Party is Nigel Farage's new party, and he aims to ensure we get the Brexit we voted for.

Change UK is also an unfamiliar party name, but it seems they're the pro-EU hard-liners who recently broke with the Labour Party.

The rest of the parties you'll already be wearily familiar with.

Unlike normal elections, we don't vote for an individual candidate but rather for a Party. Each Party puts up a slate of candidates for each large region (West Midlands, North West etc). After that it all gets a bit hazy and the final results seem to involve lots of maths and proportional representation juggling — which I have no inclination to delve into. Apparently it takes forever to calculate, and the results can come a week later. But it does mean that our votes matters a bit more, more than if you're stuck in a UK Parliamentary seat with an overwhelming majority.