Sunday 31 December 2017

"No big mystery"

Local Conservative Abi Brown, summing up 2017: A Year in Politics.

During the Stoke Central by-election, "the lazy journalism of the national press did at least ensure a huge backlash of positivity about the many finer points of the city"

"In 2007 ... I remember talking to Stephen O’Brien, then MP for Eddisbury and given the role of unofficial shadow minister for Stoke-on-Trent, about a ten year plan for the Conservatives in the city. I don’t think either of us envisaged that it would be executed quite so perfectly. No big mystery to our success, beyond hard work and perseverance."

Saturday 30 December 2017

President Trump in Stoke

Ahead of the planned February(?) visit to the UK, the new President Donald Trump Toby Jug has been released. Made in Stoke-on-Trent by a local pottery, of course.

The new President is known to have expressed a wish to visit our Brexit heartlands, so presumbly that means he'll make a visit to the heartland-of-heartlands which is Stoke-on-Trent. The obvious venue of the Stoke City F.C. stadium is probably out of the question for a public event, given the vehement leftist politics of the man who owns it. But I'm guessing that Alton Towers should be a fairly easy large venue to secure, given its rural isolation and existing security.

Thursday 21 December 2017

"Please sir, I want some more..."

A new study has mapped "free school meals", aiming to get a sense of where child poverty is actually happening. Stoke has seen a big improvement since 2002, despite the Great Recession of 2007 onwards...

"Our map of the whole country shows that major urban centres have tended to become less disadvantaged since 2002, as have smaller towns and cities such as Bedford, Grimsby, Stoke-on-Trent and Telford."

In the map, blue is "improved". The deeper the blue colour, the better the improvement. Inner-city Stoke is the deep blue bit in the middle of the map. The rural area to the west of Newcastle-under-Lyme has also improved.

Pink indicates the four remaining hot-spots in our area, those which have declined since 2002. As you can see, locally there are pink areas in: Nantwich (currently has 79 kids claiming); between Rugeley and Cannock (currently has 68 kids claiming); on the south-west edge of Burton-on-Trent (currently 110 kids claiming), and in the Peak part of the Derbyshire Dales (current has 150 kids claiming free school meals).

Saturday 2 December 2017

Taking the pip

Elsewhere in the West Midlands, in Warwick a set of historic 'town gardens' have been saved from the bulldozer, and a wealth of rare apple varieties discovered.