Labour News for Little Chell

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Formula Grant Funding to Stoke on Trent from Labour Government 2010-11 £127million

Specfic Grants 2010-11 £43.1million

Total £170.1million

Formula Grant Funding to Stoke on Trent fromTory/LibDem Government 2011-12 £130million

Specfic Grants + NHS support Grant 2011-12 £34.6million

Total £164.6million

Difference between last year and now £5.5M

Only when 2010 formula grant is adjusted do you get £21.6million, which is still not £36million is it, please advise where and how you come about £36million



an “Alternative to Cuts”

More evidence comes to light that the £35M was a myth dreamt up by some Council spin doctors. In a recent partially answered FOI request it looks like the Council over budgeted for wages in the £11m committed funding they tagged onto £24M reduction in grants.

the Council budgeted for £5m on wage increase due to pay award

The City Council’s largest area of expenditure is staffing, the overall pressure in this area totaled circa £5million. This figure included the anticipated nationally negotiated pay awards of £250 for thoseemployees earning less than £21,000, contractual increments and increases to employer superannuation contributions and also employer national insurance changes.

but it appears the pay award is only for civil servants,

the pay award (originally budgeted at 1% was reduced to only allowing for £250 for those earning under £21,000, which was stated in Budget 2010 by the Government for public sector workers. This has since changed again to 0% increase for all employees after the budget was set in February 2011 as it has since been confirmed that this only applies to civil servants

but no figure is given on actually cost now, or what the remainer of the £5M will now be used for.

Also the £1M cut from budget as part of the £11m committed funding for “Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme” turns out was placed in the wrong budget, as this can actually be funded through the Dedicated Schools Grant.

So while Stoke Labour Councillors are down in London fighting for an “Alternative to Cuts” if they had just asked a few Questions of the Lib Dem Cllr Kieran Clarke they would have found an ALTERNATIVE in Stoke to the CUTS Stoke Labour Councillors agreed.

Being in coalition with Tories and Libdems is no excuse for not asking simple questions, will Labour Councillors now put pressure on the other coalition members to use this funding as an “Alternative to Cuts” and save services they have not yet closed Tunstall Pool and Bus Services spring to mind?

Another Waste Report Ignored?

Is another waste report going to go unheeded in 2009 “Ancer Spa” where appointed in October 2009 to prepare a stratergy for the provision of an In-Vessel composting facility in North Staffordshire. The report was published in November 2009 including Excelsior Works in its short list, in March 2010 the Final report was published with Excelsior Works as the preferred site.

The following is an indicative programme to demonstrate the timescale involved in a project of this nature on the preferred site:


(i). Council Approval to Feasibility Study Brief & Cost  – April 2010.

(ii). Appoint Project Team and Technical Consultants  – May 2010

(iii). Feasibility Study Report      – August 2010 (iv). Community Consultation      – Sept 2010

(v). Outline Planning Application     – Nov 2010.

(vi) Developer/Contractor Procurement     – March 2011

(vi) Phase 1 Reserved Matters Planning Application   – July 2011

(vii) Phase 1 Development Completion    – Sept 2012

So where are the Council along this time line?

November 2009
Ancer Spa interim report  provided long and short lists of potential sites for an IVC
10 February 2010
Cabinet award the “Provision of a composting service for green garden waste, food waste and cardboard” contract to Vital Earth with a 3 year break clause.

April 2010
contract with Vital Earth begins

29 July 2010 Cabinet
Cabinet reports that “at present a project is ongoing to look at the development of Excelsior Works in North Shelton with the potential to contain an Anaerobic Digestion facility and other waste related uses in a centralised location”
7 December 2010 Improving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee

The overview and scrutiny committe to include in there budget that:

Greenhouse 2000 – Relocating the activity to Excelsior works – releasing the Festival Park site Co-located shared service depot.

To relocate the restructured waste services department to Excelsior works.

11 March 2011
A FOI request finds that “The Excelsior works site could be used for many other things too and the Council is now looking at what the best use for that site could be. In-vessel composting will be considered alongside other uses and adecision made in 2012 about which one to go forward with, and the budget proposals from Improving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee did not make it into the Budget that was agreed by the Council on 24th February 2011
Looks like the Council have gone way back to April 2010 with no progress and time running out to be able to use 3 year clause and will be stuck in Contract for another 7 years.


Why was the Cabinets Budget heading toward an mutli function waste site at Excelsior in December only to changes it mind by Februaries budget what happened to change thier minds? ideas in comment box below please


Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir,

Over the last few months our City Councillors, Our elected representatives, have been condemning the national governments reduction in the amount of funding they give the City, to go towards funding the services the City provides.

They have said that due to this reduction they have been forced to close many of our loved services such as Swimming Pools in Shelton and Tunstall and the City Farm/Finney Gardens/Bucknall Zoo.

What they have failed to shout so loudly about is that ur elected representatives are also adding £7M to a Contingency fund (for some future use)  as well as upping the amount they put into a reserved pot (for a rainy day) from £0.5M a year to £1.5M a year.

Why would they do such a thing when communities are fighting to set up trusts to run these services, could they not spare a bit of that £10M to help?

Or are our elected representatives really just trying to make the national Tories and Libdems look bad by blaming them for closing our services? You could see how Labour Cllrs would see this tactic as a benefit to them, but what of our, local Tory and Libdems have they just agreed so they can keep their cabinet seats? To be honest I don’t know why they would close these services and at the same time put £10M into the Bank.

I’ve contacted all councillors asking  why they agreed to stash £10M a way? But you guessed it not one of them replied. But as their all now out asking for Your VOTE maybe they will tell YOU, it’s worth a try Ask them, isn’t it?

Ian Norris

City Farm

The Last Weekend

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