News from the Liberal Democrat group on Council – by Cllr Marion Reddish

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021- 2026.Budget Savings. ONE COUNCIL. Tory Cabinet have now endorsed this strategy, introducing yet more budget savings. The Full Council will approve or not the budget on 24th Feb. My concern is we are cutting services so much, can we continue to be efficient.

Kidsgrove Town Deal investment plan has now been submitted to the government in a bid for £25m to improve health and wellbeing, and regenerate the town centre. Kidsgrove welcomes this and I am very pleased to endorse it. A video showcasing the schemes can be viewed at hhps://youthtu.be/Kfw635lijlo (Liberal Democrats have a long history of being involved in the interests of Kidsgrove).

The Council have secured two short term contracts for temporary accommodation with Open door  to support the homeless during this cold period. More work needs to be done to address the needs and problems across the Borough with regard to rough sleepers.  Some we assume to be homeless in fact do have accommodation or have been offered accommodation but for reasons of their own decline to use it.

Jubilee 2. Morgan Sindell are now resolving the ongoing building defects at  J2 with regard to the leaking roof and leaks in the sauna and swimming pool area. The Council are not responsible for the bill.

Proposed Resident Funeral service. The Council have approved a residents funeral service which will include more affordable options for both cremations and burials. We recognise the potential hardship some families experience at a very stressful time.

North Staffs Local Air Quality Plan . A plan has been submitted to government including the preferred option for delivering compliance with statutory limits on roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations in the affected areas in the shortest time. Basford bank and Barracks road are two areas of particular concern. The Council are requesting a consideration of an exemption for electric and ultra low emission vehicles from the proposed bus gate restriction on Basford bank.

Knutton masterplan has gone out for public consultation.  Joint piece of work between the Council, Aspire and Staffs County Council. The aim is to  outline opportunities for new housing investment and improvements in the quality of community facilities.

Proposed extension to Newcastle crematorium grounds and development of land in the Chatterley close area. A controversial proposal which is out to consultation. We await findings before any final decision is made.

Brampton Museum Redevelopment Project. A contractor has been approved  for the redevelopment  project. Work includes the creation of a new dedicated temporary exhibition space, reconfiguration of rooms to expend the capacity of the archives and the creation of a dedicated research area and improvements to the ground floor galleries to better showcase collections and engage visitors of all ages.

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