Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Town Hall Meeting - A Fiasco

The meeting turned out to be, after all the disinformation and subterfuge of council and press, a bit of a damp squib. No decisions were to be made this night, - the meeting seemed at times like the company of wolves if only the wolves were smug, satisfied, pompous, fatuous, conceited, condescending, rude and incompetent and that was just Mr Mayor.

Scoring and settling old scars, points of order, and obscufated historical deviations seemed to be the order of the night. About 12 representatives of the people viewed the proceedings, while the- for the most part, largely silent- board of councillors bored their barely invited public.

Mr Mayor abused his position of chair by introducing the recent Town Hall petition in a derisory manner, to the smirks of well fed councillors, but was later forced to apologise. It was pointed out that three times ther number of people had signed the petition than had voted for the newly elected Tory Councillor (who remained silent for the whole of the evening).

It was agreed, eventually, that consultation would take place between ESBC and Uttoxeter Council on the future of the Town Hall. Indications from the Tory side left the impression that their mind was set on selling off the grand old edifice.

The story isn't over yet!

Town Hall Debate Tonight

There is a special meeting of the Town Council tonight Tues Aug 31st at 7PM to discuss to future of the Town Hall.
The Councillors have three options - to sell the building, to have a developer take over the building on the provison that it retains usage for the community, or the status quo.

Come along and make your voice heard, we'll post an update here tomorrow.

7PM Town Hall Uttoxeter

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Uttoxeter Chosen as Beacon Town

Uttoxeter has received the status of a Beacon T own as part of its plans to boost transportation in the town. The award is part of the Government's Rural White Paper, to recognise the crucial role that market towns play in rural life. It tasked the Countryside Agency with developing and promoting a market towns health-check, to identify good practice and identify and support a national beacon town network as part of an overall approach to revitalising market towns in partnership with the regional development agencies. Beacon towns will influence policy at regional, national and EU levels and encourage others follow their lead.

Cattle Market Contracts Exchanged

East Staffordshire Borough Council has finally exchanged contracts with Bagshaws.
Redevelopment is likely to start by November 2005. The council is holding discussions with potential developers for a mixed project of homes and businesses. Let us hope that the Welbeck Land fiasco is not repeated and that the citizens of the town have full consultation on any development.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Shane Meadows New Film!

Uttoxeter's famous film director Shane Meadows will premiere his new film, Dead Man's Shoes at the Edinburgh Film Festival on 20th August. it stars the brilliant local hero Paddy Considine, who was stunning in Jim Sheridan's in "In America". Its quite a change from Shane's criticially acclaimed previous films 24/7, A Room for Romeo Brass and Once upon a time in the Midlands. It's a nihilistic revenge movie............a Kill Bill for Uttoxeter?
It opens across the UK on 1 October.
Find out more at http://www.warpfilms.com/

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Masterplan wins award - townspeople amazed!

The Uttoxeter Masterplan has won an award for being one of the best in the Midlands.
The Masterplan scooped the first ever Midlands Market Towns Award.
A masterplan which includes rising bollards (not a misprint), new signs and paint for the railway station, more road signs and spruced up shop fronts has won-what did the runner up plans ask for?
More when we get it.

Public Meeting - Uttoxeter the people speak

Sept 2nd at 7.30 in the Town Hall
There will an opportunitiy to voice your opinions and hear others speak about the future of Utooxeter. it's a chance for you to have your say and contribute. To tell politicians and uttoxeter Plus what you think should be happening in Uttoxeter.
Come along meet local groups and contribute to the evening. Come along at 7.30 on the 2nd Sept.

If you'd like to help organise the event and get involved then call Dave Parkes on 01889 569865

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Town Hall Campaign Gathers Momentum

The Campaign to save the town Hall in Uttoxeter has gathered almost 1,000 signatures.
The petition, organised by former town councillor Peter Edginton, has been gathering momentum since volunteers collected signatures from shoppers and residents in the town centre on Saturday, July 31, and earlier on Saturday, July 17.
The Civic Society have proposed an alternative solution for the future of the site members suggest the recently formed Uttoxeter Heritage Trust purchases the town hall for a token nominal fee.
Mr Edginton said the petition would remain open to signatures until the end of August. "Stalls will once again be set up in the High Street outside the town hall on Saturday and on Wednesday, August 18. "Anyone who would like to sign a petition should come along and see us then." A petition is also available for signing in the Uttoxeter Advertiser office in Market Place, Uttoxeter.
Citizens do your duty!

Monday, August 09, 2004

Public Monument and Sculpture Association

The Public Monument and Sculpture Association National Recording Project has an excellent entry on the Kiosk/ Conduit/ Johnson Memorial in the Market Place with details of the architect and the status of the 1854 building.
Find it here at http://pmsa.courtauld.ac.uk/pmsa/BM/STesUTxx004.htm and a fine photograph of the Dr Johnson bas relief which was added in 1877 here http://pmsa.courtauld.ac.uk/../../images/nrpBM/BMFA10.jpg
Other recordings of architectural sculptures, carvings and monuments of the town also appear. See the full database here http://pmsa.courtauld.ac.uk/home/dtbfrm.html

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Letter from concerned Uxonian-Uttoxeter blogspot salutes you

Has anyone else noticed the spate of vandalism lately, aimed at our local buildings? In normal circumstances these could be reported to the appropriate authorities, but what does one do when both perpetrators and authorities seem to be in collusion? Perhaps whoever designed the signs which say: 'Welcome to Uttoxeter - an historic market town' should be pointed to the nearest opticians, as any evidence of history is quickly disappearing. The contractors who carry out this demolition and so-called 'restoration work' are not to blame as they are only following orders from architects and planners, who seem to have no concept of aesthetics or the vernacular. Kayjay's old shop (on the corner of High Street and Bradley Street) is a prime example. First of all, the rear of the building was flattened and the site cleared, including a vast number of old bricks, which could have been used for rebuilding both the gable-end and the front, but this was not to be as new bricks were used. These in my opinion now stand out a mile from the original rear elevation. This is not renovation, more like bastardisation, if you'll excuse the expletive. Work is about to start on Peter Pike's old shop in the Market Place and I wonder if this is also going to end up looking like a pig's ear? According to the plans, which I presume have been passed, a complete neo-Georgian front will supplant both the existing monstrosity of the ground floor facade and the present Georgian brickwork above it. As the roof of this building (so I'm told) is medieval and there are still timber-framed sections to the rear and side alleyway, I would have thought that a complete timber-framed front restoration could be achieved (not unlike Sergeant's butcher shop) using Green Oak and either brick or lime-mortar infill panels, thus bringing it back to its former glory, even if this involved incorporating stanchions or RSJs discreetly into the structure. Two great extensions are also planned for the rear, leaving a 30-yard long alleyway, destroying any future plans for a tastefully renovated paved area surrounded by small shops. As regards the Town Hall, I am not totally against a sale, or even some private sponsorship, as long as a stipulation for retention of usage by the community is adhered to. The acoustics of the building at the moment are ideal for choral music only, but unfortunately dire for any type of amplified music due to the height of the interior. One solution could be to put in a new ceiling and upper floor making the upper area ideal for concerts, meetings, banquets and wedding receptions etc and the lower area ideal for amplified music and theatre and art-related events, especially if a new bar and cafe were to be located at the rear of the building together with a new people-friendly entrance. This has happened with civic buildings in other towns and could happen here if only Uxonians would get off their backsides and pester to death the authorities in question. F Hopwood Colne Mount Uttoxeter

Changes in Management at Racecourse

Stanley Clarke the knighted founder of Northern Racing,which includes Uttoxeter Racecourse,has moved over from Executive Chairman to make room for his son Simon. Clarke Snr will become the company's life president from August 9th.

Low turnout in election benefits Tories

The results of the recent election in the Town Ward secured a victory for the Tories but with an appalling turnout, of just over 15% of the electorate. Of 4678 potential voters only 728 exercised their right to vote. Controversially no ballot papers were issued to voters, the usual town hall polling station was relocated to to the St John's Ambulance hall on Carter Street, no reminders appeared through letterboxes and voters just had to turn up on the day. Labour's James Russell lost out to the Tory Hermione Montgomery by 71 votes.

Uttoxeter ( Town Ward)
Hermione Esther Montgomery The Conservative Party Candidate 397 Elected
James Simon Russell The Labour Party Candidate 326

Ballot Papers 728
% Poll 15.56 Electorate 4678