Wednesday 29 November 2017

Another fine mess...

The "fine the homeless £1,000" idea has been another hugely damaging national news story for the city of Stoke-on-Trent. I'd say we now need an investigation into exactly where and who this idea came from, how it was allowed to be tabled and then taken up as a serious proposal, and why no-one seemed to realise that it would inevitably backfire — with maximum negative publicity for the city. Then the timelines on all that should be made public.

Friday 24 November 2017

More 'fake news' from down south

"Bentilee – one of the largest estates in Europe – in Longport is overwhelmingly white working class, while Burslem, one of the original Pottery towns north of Hanley, is overwhelmingly Bangladeshi and Pakistani"

It's from the burblings of yet another idiot journalist from down south. Sussex, this time. He can be found pontificating about our city in the press today.

He's of course laughably and totally wrong: Bentilee is nowhere near Longport, let alone in it. And the two Burslem wards were overwhelmingly white at the 2011 Census — Burslem Central 83.5% and Burslem Park 90.3%.

Will these fly-by 'three hour visit' journalists ever get it right about Stoke?

Wednesday 15 November 2017

More "£1 houses" in Stoke

More £1 houses in Stoke...

"The Reviving Communities scheme is taking applicants until 12th January 2018, involves empty homes in the Portland Street area [between Hanley and Burslem]."

Thursday 9 November 2017

Land Cover Atlas of the United Kingdom: Stoke

There's a new Land Cover Atlas of the United Kingdom which goes into great detail for the whole UK.

Interesting to see how much green space the UK has, in terms of the fevered debate currently going on about "paving the countyside with houses". Although looking at Stoke it seems the map becomes somewhat imprecise in urban areas.

For instance Hartshill Park, Hanley Cemetery and the Trent & Mersey canal corridor are all erroneously deemed to be red or deep red splotches of mere "Urban Fabric". The map also appears to have missed the green wooded half of Festival Park, though it has picked up the "pasture" bits. Presumably because that's the bit that Stoke Council has GIS data for, as their men have to mow it (and the adjacent Grange and Rogerson's Meadow) occasionally, while the other bit is privately and generously maintained at the expense of St. Modwen.

Monday 6 November 2017

800 years of walking

A nice lengthy time-perspective, from a prominent group of countryside walkers in the UK...

"Eight hundred years ago a Charter was sealed establishing the right to access England’s forests, previously the reserve of kings. Now, campaigning charity the Ramblers wants outdoor enthusiasts to help it shape the future of access, looking to the next eight centuries."

Sadly, the press-release has something of an 'anti-aristocracy' tone, and the Web link for action then leads one to a survey that's hosted on the website — associated with the UK's tainted 'infiltrated and taken over by animal-rights activists' organisation the RSPCA. I hope this doesn't indicate that the Ramblers may be going the same way as the RSPCA and the National Trust, in terms of being infiltrated by animal-rights nutters and similar lefties (see recent issues of Country Life magazine, and reports in The Times, for the gory details on the latter two organisations).

Still, like those who once lived in Soviet Russia, I think many people are increasingly able to 'bat away' the crude leftist slant n' cant that weaponises too many narratives these days, and can instead see through to the deeper story or to more worthy long-term aims. So... here's the link to the Ramblers' survey. I imagine that litter and dogs are going to be high on the list of concerns, but there are also longer-term considerations such as the re-wilding of the countryside and coastlines.