Saturday, 18 October 2014

Day 236 - Busy week

It has been a busy week finishing with the Mayor's Charity Ball. None of the East Staffordshire Conservative councillors turned up for the ball. Draw your own conculsions.


Burton Town Hall (twice)


Birmingham for two meetings




St George’s Park, ESREC and a meeting at the Maltsters


Carver Road Community Centre and the Mayor’s Ball



Day 234 - Shaun Campbell

The unveiling of the statue was a triumph for Shaun Campbell whose dream was to commemorate Arthur Wharton with a statue. And here he is in front of the statue with England footballer Jess Clarke. 

Shaun gave a very moving speech which got a standing ovation and not a dry eye in the house.  He said people ask him if he is ever dispirited in his campaign to remember Arthur. "No," he said, "It is an honour and an absolute privilege to be a part of it."

Top man.

Great to see a photo on the front page of the Guardian's sport section yesterday. See the video:

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Day 234 - Unveiling of the Arthur Wharton statue

Off to St George's Park for the unveiling of the statue of Arthur Wharton, the world's first ever black professional footballer in 1886. 

Arthur came to Britain from Ghana to study to be a missionary but he instead git into sport. He set a world record of 10 seconds for a 100 yard sprint in the AAA championship, which remained unbeaten for thirty years. He was also a keen cyclist and cricketer, playing for local teams in Yorkshire and Lancashire.

However he is best remembered for his exploits as a footballer, playing first for Darlington and then for Preston North End, who reached the FA Cup semi finals in 1886/7.

He was denied the chance to play for England because of the colour of his skin.

Most of the time Wharton played in goal and used the tactic of crouching by a goalpost and then  making a save as can be seen in the sculpture.

The Arthur Wharton Foundation commissioned the sculptor Vivien Mallock to create a 1½ life size sculpture of Arthur Wharton.

Great to see Wharton recognised in this way. Also great to see football legends there such as Les Ferdinand, Chris Hughton and Viv Anderson. The statue is 17 feet high and looks fantastic.

Well done to Shaun Campbell for badgering EUFA, FIFA, the FA and other bodies to contribute to his dream which is now a reality. His speech was so moving that he got a standing ovation. There was a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye when he finished.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Day 231 – Addie Road new plans approved

Addie Road is a small road in Horninglow Road running from Calais Road to Mona Road. I have always been amused by the fact that there are no houses in Addie Road, or at least none with an Addie road address.But not for long.

Trent and Dove applied for planning permission to build eight affordable homes on a area in Addie Road which is partly grassed and partly contains 40 old garages, 16 of which are in use.
Last month the committee deferred a decision as they were concerned by the loss of parking spaces. The plans were redrawn by Trent and Dove to allow 16 extra off-street parking areas. So the committee was very busy this afternoon.

My colleague Ken Builth as ward member said that , "Trent and Dove have gone some way to relieve the problem. There was no objection from Staffordshire County Council and it would provide eight affordable housing units."

My colleague Alison Legg was concerned about the pillar box in Addie road. Would it have to move? The answer was yes as it is in the way of the planned exit. Moving the postbox is the responsibility of Royal Mail.

It was also agreed to ask Trent and Dove about cycle storage on the site.

The new plans were passed with one abstention.

It was very difficult for more me to keep quiet for the whole of the meeting as I am not on the committee!

Day 231 – Citroen Garage housing go ahead

51 affordable homes are to be built by Orbit Housing as a result of today’s planning applications committee decision.  The development will be 18 flats and 33 houses.

The houses will be built of the site of the former Citroen garage on Horninglow road. This site is not in Horninglow Ward being just over the ward boundary but it is in the Horninglow and Eton Parish.
There was some concern about over development and noise from the Navigation pub disturbing residents. The committee had to weigh this up against the tidying up of a derelict site and the building of affordable homes.

The application was passed unanimously.

Day 231 - Solar Farm in Marchington gets the nod

Renewable energy company Sun and Soil Limited were granted planning permission this afternoon to install 20,400 solar panels in Marchington. That’s enough to generate 5.1 Megawatts or to power over 1,200 homes.

Last month the committee deferred a decision until they had a look at the site from Marchington Woodlands. After a site visit this morning, the application was passed unanimously.

The company plan to have the farm up and running by next March. As a supporter of renewable energy I am glad that this application was passed overwhelmingly.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Ferry Bridge colour

Paint samples from Burton's Ferry Bridge should soon be in the hands of Staffordshire County Council engineers. This should enable the engineers to find out the secret of the bridge's colours.

Originally when opened in 1889 the bridge was painted green. Then it was painted plum and gardenia (cream) and more recenty it has been the current black and white colour scheme. The paint samples should give extremely accurate information about the former colours of the bridge.

The Ferry Bridge Working Group at its meeting last week heard that this was important for the restoration of the 125 year old structure.

It is great news that such research is taking place and that this information will be available for when the refurbishment starts.