Councillor Candidates (Goldenhill & Sandyford Ward) “What did they have to say”

Councillor Candidates were invited to the Sandyford and Goldenhill Residents Public Annual General Meeting at Goldenhill Community Centre on Thursday 14th April.

The meeting attracted one hundred and eighteen residents and guests on the night and the following extracts have been taken from their reports. Two of the councillor candidates were unable to attend and S.A.G.E. decided to read out a report from the Lib Dem candidate due to him being away on holiday and for Joy Garner to read out Martin’s report for Labour due to him being unwell and later finding out that he was admitted to hospital.

Dr Matthew Wyman –  Lib Dem

Regarding local issues, I firmly believe that the Lib Dem approach is the right one for Stoke-on-Trent. We believe that decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level, so that people are able to influence the issues that affect their daily lives, rather than decisions being made for them by others. In an era of spending cuts, local people need more influence in deciding which services are indispensable, what the priorities are for their area, and how our community can ensure a clean environment, safe streets, good schools for all our kids, decent health care and economic regeneration to provide all of us with good life chances. We don’t believe that this can be done to people by elected politicians, we believe that communities need to be empowered to take responsibility for building their own futures. The role of a local councillor is to assist this in every possible way.

Martin Garner – Labour

Mrs Garner explained in more detail the reasons for Martin being absent from the meeting and thanked both the Chairman and Secretary of S.A.G.E. for allowing her to talk about Martin’s campaign.

Joy reported that Martin is aged forty-two and lives in Tunstall. Mrs Garner went onto say that Martin has done a lot of community work in the area and has been a governor in local schools as well as working with a number of local residents associations.

Mrs Garner explained, recently Martin has worked at Kidsgrove Job Centre and is familiar with the Sandyford and Goldenhill area. Joy reported that Martin has been delivering questionnaires to local residents and on occasion, some local people can recall knowing some of his family who used to live in the area.

Mrs Garner informed the meeting that if Martin is elected then he would work with S.A.G.E. and others as well as being in a position to work with Joan Walley M.P.

Joy went onto say that Martin is hoping to be well soon and then he will be in a position to come and see the people of Goldenhill and Sandyford.

Mrs Garner concluded by saying that if anyone has any questions for Martin that they could speak to her at the end of the meeting so she could give them to Martin for him to answer.

Councillor Megan Ryan – Independent

Councillor Megan Ryan introduced herself to the residents of Sandyford and Goldenhill and said that she has enjoyed working with everyone in the area.

The councillor reminded residents that the City Council closed Goldenhill Golf Course 06.01.11 (no rent paid). Councillor Ryan went onto say Jack Barker has six months until 16.07.11 to come back and put the golf course right. Megan Ryan added that the City Council would maintain the site in the meantime and there are two golfing organisations interested in taking the land over. The councillor advised residents that there is no talk of putting houses onto the golf course.

Megan Ryan said she has enjoyed working in the area and what a nice bunch of people everyone is.

Councillor Ryan informed residents (after action group confidentiality was wavered at the meeting) that she is working with the Swimming Association to keep Tunstall Pool open.

Craig Pond – England First

Craig Pond asked the residents of Sandyford and Goldenhill to vote for him so he could be their next councillor. Craig went onto say things that happen in the area are important and that is why we need the facts and figures.

Mr Pond said we need to have the big things right in our city first and then it comes down to us the people e.g. jobs “you can’t build a future for workers earning five pound an hour”.

Craig Pond informed the meeting that Pervez, Labour Council Leader decides what cuts are made, residential homes, baths etc.

Mr Pond asked residents, if they were happy with how the City Council was running things.

A resident asked Craig Pond who and what do you stand for. Mr Pond replied by saying the England First Party and was then cut short by someone mentioning comments that he made about gypsies on the “My Tunstall” website.

A gypsy resident said that her son aged fourteen has been hit and threatened by yobs.

Craig Pond reported that he would stand behind anybody who is law abiding. Mr Pond went onto say that he would meet up with the family later to discuss the issue further.

Dave Sutton – Non Aligned

Councillor Dave Sutton introduced himself to the residents of Sandyford and Goldenhill. Dave Sutton informed residents that he was a sitting councillor in another part of the city but he would like to stand in the Goldenhill and Sandyford Ward.

Mr Sutton reminded residents that he stood in the Tunstall Ward for four years as a Labour and Independent Councillor.

Dave Sutton said he is a community councillor and has helped to keep the Goldenhill Community Hall/Centre open to which he is now the Chairman of the committee.

Dave asked residents to vote for him on May 5th “he is a good councillor” and said that his campaign leaflets would be going out on Monday.

Councillor Dave Sutton referred to the “My Tunstall” website and said you can see for yourself what Craig Pond says on it. Strong comments between Dave Sutton and Craig Pond were exchanged at the meeting.

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