City Council to review City Centre night time economy

Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader Mohammed Pervez has asked for a task and finish group to be set up which will tasked with carrying out what is being call a comprehensive review of the city centre’s night-time economy.

The task and finish group will be made up of a number of city councillors who will work with businesses, visitors and licensees. They will collect information on the current night time economy of the city centre and make recommendations for future improvement. Continue reading

500 Words From Matt Wilcox

As many of you will know I was elected last year in the ward of East Valley. During that time much of my work has taken place in the area of Smallthorne and the Norton heights estate which has now been coined “Ford green & Smallthorne” By the boundaries commission, therefore when I had to decide which area to stand in I felt it was a natural decision to stand here.

The past 12 months have been a huge learning experience for me in terms of what being a councillor actually means and during that time ive met some fantastic people and seen some great projects and ideas. Having spent pretty much my entire adult life working in the community through various guises the role of councillor opened my eyes not only about what the impacts of what politics mean in this city but about what support communities need and how we can work together to make this city a better place to live.

Many good foundations have been set in my first elected year and I really do hope that the public demonstrate support for me next week in the local elections as im excited about the prospects of building on these. The interesting thing for me is the fact that with a smaller area and better (or sole) accountability success can really be measured over a 4 year period for example anti social behaviour is down, this area was regenerated, this play facility was built ect ect. Things that sometimes don’t happen unless you have a hard working person (your local councillor) who can string meetings and ideas together with local residents and the wider team (council officers, police etc etc)”¦.

I prefer to focus on the positive ways of working and not the negative. When cuts are forced upon us lets take the bull by the horns and do something about it, not moan or critize but do something! Like ford green hall, I didn’t moan about this potential cut I took the bull by the horns and joined the group that are developing the new business plan for it. Moaning, petitions and going to the press is far more ineffective than actually doing!

I know what the issues and priorities are in this ward, have built up great relationships with residents associations, shop keepers and users of local facilities like the allotments and community centre and have the skills and experiences to really make a difference. Lets make sure we all use our votes carefully on the 5th of may to ensure we get the right candidates elected who can collectively take this city forward in a positive way.

500 Words From Matt Willcox Labour Candidate East Valley

**Archive Story From 2010 Election**

We are asking each and every candidate in the Stoke-on-Trent local election if they would like to write 500 words about themselves their reasons for standing and their campaign. The first candidate to respond is Matt Wilcox standing in East Valley.

My name is Matt Wilcox and this year i will be representing Labour in the local elections in East Valley.

For the past 6 years ive dedicated alot of my life towards making Stoke-On-Trent a better place to live. Ive been involved in community festivals and campaigns against racism, built up a social enterprise working towards better outcomes for our young people helping and supporting hundreds each year who are excluded, disadvantaged or hard to reach and am a trustee of local charity “arch”. In 2007 in recognition of my work i was nominated and then awarded the accolade as Stoke-On-Trent Citizen of the year.

A progression into politics as a councillor i feel is a natural progression and something that i had thought about more and more the older i got. Still only 30 years of age i guess im not your stereotypical candidate but believe that this is potentially one of my big selling points in being elected as a councillor in East Valley. I certainly think ive got the CV and experience of making our communities better places to live and know how to practically address local social problems in ways that work and could be perceived as innovative.

I decided to stand for Labour for many reasons, they were the party most supportive previously of the work against the BNP through the love music hate racism events, i knew many Labour councillors and was from a Labour family. I believe in Labour as a party, i believe that they have done a great job in tackling the recession and are the party to lead us back into economic well being. Some people question this and simply blame Labour for the economic crisis, this i believe is simply not true. The global economic crisis hit britain hard for the most part through no fault of the government, when it did hit interventions were put in place to support recovery. The future jobs fund gaurenteed employment for young adults, interest rate reductions saved us from having our houses repossessed and sustaining funding towards tackling social problems helped those that slipped even further into poverty.

From a local angle i know how to represent people, their views and how to make ideas realities. East Valley needs someone who can make a real difference on local issues and not just be an independant who can talk alot about litter. Im going to give this my best shot and although its only a very short term before the boundaries are changed next year i hope i can contribute enough to show East Valley that i can make things happen.