News of: tax rise? / local lad success / Valentines / reviewing the local NHS

News-in-brief of Draycott-In-The-Moors in February 2013

We have news of:  a parish tax rise? / local lad Rob Pointon’s success / Valentines at local hostelries / how to review the local NHS / why turbine was refused / and, a roadside con-trick…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Council tax on the up?

The latest meeting of the Draycott Parish Council concentrated on deciding the council budget for the forthcoming year.

Councillors proposed that the so-called ‘precept’ go up by 3.8%.   In cash terms this means that the households of Draycott could be paying £6,750 for the parish council in 2013/14 – which is up from £6,500 last year. This means it would be an above-inflation increase, as inflation is currently around 2.7%.
Of course, the parish council part of the council tax is minute, especially compared to what the district and county councils and police service will demand!

At the meeting of the council, there was a feeling that extra cash was needed to improve the salary of the parish clerk.

The PC’s proposed rise now goes off to be considered by the  local authority.

– – –
Rob on the canals

Nice to see a local boy doing well… and in this instance we are talking about Rob Pointon, the painter.
Rob, who was raised in Draycott, and is now based in Burslem, is well-known to many of us and has drawn and painted many local scenes.  He’s the brother of the writer, Matt Pointon.

He’s an amazingly prolific painter, and in fact we seem to see his work all over the place all the time. Just last week, we saw some of his paintings in the Millard & Lancaster Gallery in Shrewsbury, where they sell for around £1000 each.

Rob Pointon painting

A painting by Rob Pointon, as seen in a gallery window in Shrewsbury

Rob specialises in ‘live’ painting, so to speak, standing in the open-air painting away furiously depicting what he sees in front of him, whether it’s town-centre scenes or landscapes.
Well, now he’s taken that idea a stretch further by undertaking  a year long project in which he’s been  touring the canal network on a narrowboat –  painting on location – and now the project is almost finished.

A touring exhibition of the 80 paintings he will have completed (called ‘The Year of The Boat’) will get under way in April, with an opening in Manchester.
For more information see Rob’s website:

Didn’t he do well?!!

– – –
Choose your Valentine now

You won’t need telling that it’s Valentines Day this coming Thursday.  If you haven’t bought your cards yet, time’s running out…

It’s also running out if you want to book that ‘special meal’ at one of our local restaurants.  The Draycott Arms are only running their Valentine’s menu on the day itself, so book ahead.  (Incidentally, if you really feel like going mad, you can buy a bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne there for £55… but… a glass of the house-white is just £3. Phew.)

The Izaak Walton is also going all out to make it a special time for lovers, and the Izaak’s Richard Graves tells us the music mix – which is one of the best things about the Izaak – will be ‘appropriately smooth’. And so will the Valentines dessert – which is a chocolate mousse over a chocolate sauce!
However, Richard says he’ll keep the Valentines feeling going into the weekend, retaining the menu for the Friday and Saturday as well.

Richard Graves

Richard Graves – the man (and chef) in charge at the Izaak

Richard also told us that he once cooked for the Queen when he was a chef in London. If he’s not too busy, he might tell you the story himself, and even show you the photo.

– – –
Roadside scam

Neighbourhood Watch is reporting a very strange confidence trick which has already taken in a number of unsuspecting people.

Motorists are being warned of fraudsters who park in lay-bys off main commuter roads and flag down passing cars. They say their own vehicle has broken down and then ask for money (in exchange for jewellery or gold) to enable them to get help.  The jewellery is fake of course.

Recently, the con-men have been working in Blythe Bridge, Leek, and Wolseley Bridge – so, in our backyard. If you see anything, contact Staffordshire Police on 101.

– – –
Turbine refused

You may remember our article about a proposed wind turbine in this area, in the southern part of Draycott parish to be exact.  It was turned down by the planners.
Annoyingly, the Planning Applications pages on the council website don’t always say why a proposal is refused, but it seems in this instance, it wasn’t because of objections. The planners simply weren’t convinced that enough research into the ecology of the spot had been carried out by the farmer who was asking permission.
So, it may yet come back to the table.

– – –
Get your view of the NHS heard

The shocking news about Stafford Hospital and the poor treatment of patients there sent a chill down everybody’s spine I suspect.  But nothing would have really come to light unless a group of determined users of the hospital insisted on standing up to criticise the services. They were pushed back many times, but wouldn’t be silenced.

Now, we’re told, the NHS is going to be more open to criticism, and even down here at our level, we can ‘review’ services more easily.

For instance, many of us use the Pilpel & Ptrs surgeries in Tean and Blythe Bridge, and now you can go online and put down your feelings on the service there.
On the Pilpel & Ptrs NHS Choice pages, there are already some fairly uncomplimentary reviews (!), so if you’ve had good service there, why not go on and write down your thoughts to blanace things up.
Or.. maybe you agree with the criticisms?

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