We all want to see Kidsgrove Sports Centre (KSC) stay open.
But let sum up what I've seen and heard during this mess.
SOCIAL MEDIA BLAME GAME
I found out about the closure, via screenshots (sent to me, because some of our Councillors have blocked me).
Where local Labour activists went straight into the 'blame game' against Tory run SCC (Staffordshire County Council). Who have offered the building to Labour run Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council (NuLBC) for free.
The public meeting was brilliantly attended, (standing room only).
Straight away the chair of the meeting (Labour Councillor Lionel Burch) said 'this isn't a political meeting.
Thus enabling our local Councillors to sit quietly at the back (I've never seen or know anybody who has seen Labour Councillors sit anywhere, other than the front. They love the attention)
Lionel Burch then admitted that 'he'd voted for the closure and had a change of heart'.
I suggest, if he'd changed his mind - he neither voted with his 'head or his heart', for his/our community!
He wouldn't say, if our other Councillors voted the same...
The first member (who had obviously done a lot of homework on the situation) of the public.
Swiftly got kicked out, for trying to tie down Mr Burch's stand point.
The second person (also had done some homework) questioned Mr Burch and his responses didn't go down too well with the audience.
He kept saying he's 'only recently found out about the closures'.
Even thou -
he's on the Councils KSC group. He said 'he's only just gone on it'. But didn't name who was on it before him. I thought he looked like a sacrificial lamb.
The third person to speak from the audience, was former Labour Councillor Reg Bailey.
who intimated (in the direction) of our Labour Councillors, that they knew more than they were letting on.
People showed their annoyance and became very vocal and frustrated at our local Councillors.
Only near they end, did another Labour Councillor decide to speak.
Labour Councillor Laura Dillon 'literally' swaggered through the hall (to the sound of the audience making wooooo noises).
And then instead of suggesting ways to help or to respond to some of the questions made. Went straight to attacking Ben Adams (who's a Tory SCC councillor and stood in the General Election) for the County Councils decision to close it.
Bearing mind - Leisure is a Borough Council responsibility..
Ben Adams then tried to respond .
but was completely shouted down (by those who'd remained silent all night), so you couldn't hear what he had to say.
Those of us (who take the time to go to political meetings) know this is how 'the left' and in particular the Labour Party now operate.
Give Ben Adams his due, at least he'd bothered to turn up and face the crowd.
Our elected Labour MP Ruth Smeeth (who before the election said 'she'd do everything she can) didn't even bother to attend!!
After the meeting, I spoke to someone (Non political, I forgot his name) from the SCC, who 'swore to me on his children' that NuLBC have known about the situation since 2012.
Immediately after the Public meeting Local Labour activists, took to Social media outlets. To carry on the 'blame game' and complain about a 'witch hunt' - at a meeting 'their' Councillor called (lol seriously!).
I put it to you- they didn't expect the public to be so angry with them!
PROTEST AT KIDSGROVE COUNCIL MEETING
well attended again.
Before the Kidsgrove Council 'officially sat', the group (formed to try and keep KSC open) gave speeches and asked 'if our Council of they'd done all they could to keep it open?'
They didn't say they had or hadn't!
They took turns at praising the community for trying to do something about it. Same people they they called 'witch hunters' and took the opportunity to complain about people not being happy (with our Councillors) on Social media.
Then Council meeting started.
1. They decided to discuss of the closure first.
I found it strange, that it was 60th item on the agenda.
I thought it would have been more of a priority that that!
3. Our Councillors then decided - to send letters to the various Councils involved, to try and keep it open. Surely they should of done this already!
3. Then one of Councillors asked the public (you shouldn't be addressing the public at official meetings, he was pulled up for it) 'if they wanted one of our Councillors to be on the group to keep it open?'
Every person I spoke too, on leaving this meeting said 'they thought our Councillors should have done more than they have'.
DAMAGE LIMITATION cont :-
Local Social media removing posts and comments box with negative comments toward our Councillors and MP.
In the late nineties (whilst a member of the Labour Party) I told the 'then' leader of the local Labour Party John Taylor and other Councillors.
That it was 'about time they started to putting the interests of Kidsgrove first and brought some investment into the area.
After all, this area keeps returning Labour Councillors by the bucket load, that keeps their Party in control of the Council'.
I think the debacle we have now, shows that fell on deaf ears!
The very same people I also pestered (as a Management Committee member) to build a Youth Centre on the donated land of the Community Centre.
Anybody with an interest in politics knows- the further you are from the epi-centres of the financial controls (ie Borough and County Councils) the less you see of those funds.
I think it's about time the area started a Kidsgrove Independent movement.
If the area was to vote for Independent Councillors.
Those Councillors could be needed to form a Council. Thus enabling them to force investment into 'our' community.
Please share this post, so anybody interested in standing as an Independent for our community, could help me to get this movement started.
If we keep voting the same. Don't be surprised when you get the same-
If Kidsgrove Sports Centre were to close, all we'll be left with is - The Blame Game
Thanks for reading Ray.
Putting Kidsgrove First