EyeSpy Oh how the mighty are fallen!

David Conway was not the only one with a big smile on his face Friday morning as Labour awoke to the short sharp judgement of the residents of Springfields and Trent Vale. Whilst it might not stop the move, the backlash against the move to the CBD was apparent, which raised the spirits of many council officers on Friday morning. Parking in Stoke may not be perfect, but the thought of a daily game of ‘musical parking spaces’ followed by a forced tutorial on how you should cycle to work rather than moan about paying £25 a year to spend 20 minutes looking for a parking spot before abandoning hope and parking in Tesco, is a step too far for some.

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In minority but making a difference

Jack BreretonYoung people are often seen as disengaged in politics. However Jack Brereton is different. Rochelle Owusu-Antwi speaks to one of the only two Conservative councillors on the city council, and he is the youngest at just 20 years old

Stoke-on-Trent’s youngest ever councillor Jack Brereton is encouraging more young people across the city to get involved in politics.

The 20-year-old politician believes the council should be a diverse mix of younger and older generations working together to form a more representative and democratic body. Some of the 44 councillors Jack works alongside are three times his age. Continue reading

Pervez Elected Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council but only after a Breezy Challenge

Labour Group Leader Mohammed Pervez was elected Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council today [Thursday], but only after a challenge by Unaffiliated Councillor Paul Breeze.

In an unexpected move, Cllr Breeze decided to nominate himself as Council Leader and offered the Labour Group 8 cabinet places.

He also offered the City Independents one place and challenged the council chamber to take the opportunity of making newly elected Conservative councillor 19 year old Jack Brereton the youngest ever cabinet member.

In a passionate address Cllr Breeze reminded the Labour Group that whilst they have a large majority in the council chamber, they were not the choice of the vast majority of the citizens of the City.

He told Labour Leader Mohammed Pervez that it was unacceptable to keep claiming that the state of the city is down to the cuts handed out by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government. He reminded the City Council meeting that the country had had 13 years of a Labour Government until May 2010 and the City of Stoke-on-Trent had had many years of Labour domination.

He predicted that, with the size of the Labour majority, his challenge would be futile but he said that someone had to offer an alternative view for the city.

His challenge was heavily defeated with just one vote for Cllr Breeze and two abstentions [Conservatives].

Cllr Pervez refused to respond to Cllr Breeze’s challenge and instead went on to inform the meeting that he was confident that Labour would be able to achieve all of their objectives having received a clear mandate from the public.

He announced his Labour cabinet and said that he was confident that his team would be able to deliver the services and amenities needed despite the savage Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition Government cuts.

Pervez thanked members of the previous council coalition partners including Brian Ward the former leader of the City Independents and Kieran Clarke the former leader of the Liberal Democrats.

He paid a special tribute to the former Conservative Leader Ross Irving who had served as deputy council leader last year. He said that Ross Irving was a man of integrity who had served the city with distinction over the past 4 decades and was universally respected by all sides of the chamber.

Cllr Pervez warned the chamber that there were hard times ahead with the need to cut around £20million in the next financial year. He reaffirmed his commitment to listen and to engage with the public and to protect the services that were needed most.

Pervez paid tribute to the officers of the council and he informed the meeting that through the work they had carried they had increased efficiency and reduced directorates. A move which he maintains has saved £7.6miilion alone.

He warned the councillors that he would not stand for infighting from his own benches and that he had no time for negative attitudes and councillors from all sides of the chamber who talk the council down.

He said that he wanted to make Stoke-on-Trent the best place to live.

Listen to this exclusive audio interview with Cllr Paul Breeze below who could well prove to be the voice of the Stoke-on-Trent residents over the next four years.