Tag Archives: Matt Pointon

NEWS: elections in / book success / accounts (?) / bowls club

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-June 2017
In this post we have news of…:  the recent election results / local history book success / council’s invisible accounts / bowls club open …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a Fun Tennis Tournament. Check out the Events page)

For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

– – –
Results are in

Well, that’s it for elections for a while (hopefully!).
Since last year’s referendum, we in Draycott have had a parish-council bye-election, a county council election, AND a general election. The next lot is due in 2019.

As for the results, Tory candidate Mark Deaville was re-elected as one of our Staffordshire county councillors for the Cheadle & Checkley ward (which includes us) with a whopping 56% of the vote. No-one else was in sight. Sadly, the turn-out was just a measly 28% of the electorate.
Soon after the election, the Conservative administration on the county council confirmed that Mark will resume his post as the county’s Cabinet member for highways. Congratulations to him.

In the general election, it was a similar story with Conservative Bill Cash storming home to be (again) our MP for the Stone constituency. Oddly, the trailing Labour candidate did get a huge increase his votes too – but that is explained by the total collapse of the local UKIP vote.

Weirdly, Mr Cash has just put up a new website – https://billcashforstone.wordpress.com/ – about his work in this constituency, but it is the most amateurish piece of work we’ve seen in a long time. It’s hard to believe he approved it.
Sadly, Mr Cash has turned off the comments function of this website; it would have been nice to be able to put a comment on!

– – –
Email a photo now

Our local library at Blythe Bridge has a photography completion running at the moment – and they are looking for photos of this whole area (including Draycott).
The idea is that the photos should be of a local quiet spot, somewhere where a person can just sit and contemplate the world. It could be your own back-yard, or it could be somewhere where you stop for a moment on your walks.

Draycott churchyard

A place to stop and think: Draycott St Margaret’s churchyard…

It’s easy to take part – just email your photo to the library – and you could be in with a chance of winning a prize!
Click here for the rules etc.

– – –
Successful history book

Congratulations to local boy Matthew Pointon whose book about the history of Draycott-in-the-Moors raised over £700 in profit.
Matthew, who took not a penny himself, asked for the profits to be divided equally among the two historic churches in Draycott – St Margaret’s Parish Church and St Mary’s RC Church at Cresswell.

The parish council, who put up the initial money to see the book published, decided such an achievement needed a special event to celebrate it; and a History Event was held at St Margaret’s on June 3rd.

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During the afternoon, Levison Wood, the chairman of the local history society, led a special history tour of the village, which was very successful; and tea & cakes were served (for free!!).  Alongside that were special displays remembering the long, long history of this village.

– – –
Bowls – a true Summer sport

One of the disadvantages of a lot of summer sports is that they can be cancelled because of rain. However, not so in crown-green bowls!
The sturdy members of the local bowling club in Cresswell pretty much carry on in the rain – unless it’s lashing down.

Sue Stepek, the club’s secretary, says the club is still keen to find new members – from absolute beginners to skilled champions.
Basic membership is £10 for the year, though that means you have to pay £1 each time you use the green. The clubhouse on the site was refurbished last year, so it’s a comfortable experience.
The great thing is that the green is pretty much open all the time; it’s sited at the entrance to the business park in Cresswell, so it is open 16 hours a day!

The club get-together is always on Thursday afternoon, so that is a good time to wander over and introduce yourself if you want to have a go, or get some guidance.

– – –
Invisible accounts

Lastly, you may have seen on the noticeboards that Draycott Council has finally published its end-of-year accounts, and we all have until Friday 21st July to examine them, and, if need be, query them.

Trouble is: how do you get to them, to see them?

Most local councils now put a print-out on their noticeboards, or publish them online.  This what next-door Milwich Council and Dilhorne Council have done. The government is urging every council to do it one of these ways.
Some councils (including next-door Hilderstone Council) even publish the chairman’s annual report online.

But not Draycott Council.  At least, not yet.
In this district, what we have to do is first apply to the council clerk for permission to see them, and then (presumably – but who knows?) we have to trudge round to an address somewhere just to see the papers.
Wouldn’t it just be simpler – and more democratic – to publish them online on the council’s website?

====STOP PRESS:  A week after this article was written, these accounts were published online after all – see Draycott Council Accounts 2016/17. Thank you to the council for responding to residents’ requests).=====

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.           (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment)

NEWS: college meeting / democracy issue / mobile library – gone / box for charity

News-in-brief from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late March 2016
News of…:  Draycott crisis meeting date  / council in breach of transparency / local lad boxes for charity / last few history books / Draycott mobile library axed…
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a ‘Curry & Karaoke Night’… Check out the Events page)

– – –
College crisis meeting

As you may know, upsetting scenes at Draycott Moor College led to a heated meeting of the parish council earlier this month.  Residents demanded some action, and we are now told that there will be a big Q&A session about the issue on Monday 18th April at the Church Hall (from 7.30).  At the meeting will be representatives from the college, and, it’s hoped, from the police; local householders are all welcome to attend.
And if you have anything you want to add into the debate, contact the parish council to ensure your voice is heard.

Draycott Parish councillors though have a strange issue of their own.
As you may have noticed, the minutes of its meetings are no longer appearing on its website – and no one from the council is explaining why.
It is now a legal requirement under the Transparency Code to publish council minutes – because … they are democratic decisions taken in the name of the whole community, so we should know what the council are up to.
It was formally agreed that, as there is an issue with the website (explained or not), that the minutes be published on the village notice-boards instead, but (at the time of writing) this request appears to have been ignored.

– – –
Goodbye mobile library

The ‘reorganisation’ of the Staffordshire Library Service has meant cuts all round; and the mobile library service to Draycott had its last visit this week.

Mobile library in Draycott

Mobile library in Draycott

The mobile library van used to stop at St Margaret’s Court, where the folk at the sheltered housing there, could order and pick up books.  Not any more.
No one seemed to object very much to the cut though, so maybe it wasn’t much used (?).  Tean and Fulford, which did protest, will however keep their mobile library services.

Talking of St Margaret’s Court, congratulations to its oldest resident!

Draycott Parish Council's Celebration for Betty Hammond 2013

Draycott Parish’s celebration for Betty Hammond’s 100th (thanks to John Clarke for the photo)

The former parish councillor Betty Hammond, who is also Draycott’s oldest resident by far, turned 103 this month.  We’re told that Betty’s birthday parties are far & away the village’s happiest events!

– – –
Fighting for charity

Fancy jumping in the ring to box, even for charity?  No, nor us! – but that is exactly what one lad from Cresswell, Nathan Swinson, is doing this Saturday (April 2nd).
Nathan is taking part in a so-called ‘White Collar Boxing’ event in Hanley.
‘White Collar Boxing’ is amateur, but it’s not exactly just for fun either, because all the participants have had thorough training in a gym.

Nathan will be donating his profits from the night to the Midlands Air Ambulance, a charity for which he and his family have raised thousands of pounds over the last few years.
If you know the Swinsons, they have a few tickets left for sale for anyone who wants to go along.

– – –
Last chance to buy history

Ten years ago, the well-known local resident, Matthew Pointon, wrote his book ‘A History of The Parish of Draycott-en-le-Moors‘.  A hundred copies were published, and it was thought that – as only local people would want to buy – stocks would never run out.
However – guess what… there are now only a handful of copies left for sale!
Unfortunately, there are no plans to reprint the book, so if you don’t get your copy now, you may never get one.
The book costs £10 – just apply to Kate Bradshaw if you want one.
Profits go to the maintenance of our local historic churches.

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.           (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment)

News of: grit pilfering / new face at Arms / saintly book – & more

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

We have news of:  grit pilfering; new face at The Arms; Saint book; Mango Tree on web; – and snowdrops!
(NB – There are also dozens of events in the area. Check out the Events page!)

– – –
Grit troubles

During the recent week of heavy snow, it was great to see neighbours helping each other. Much praise must go to whoever it was who cleared snow off nearly fifty yards of pavement on Cresswell Lane!

Sadly however, there is always a downside; and it appears some people, perhaps even from outside the area, were unlawfully removing grit from the grit-bins.
We have a great deal of respect for the parish councillor who challenged those motorists who were stopping by to help themselves.

The fact is that the grit in these bins is provided solely for use on the immediately surrounding roads and pavements – and is not meant for use on householders’ drive-ways or paths. (If you see what you think may be thieving – for that is what it is -, you’re asked to take the registration number and inform Crimestoppers.)

grit bin

Grit bin in Stuart Avenue – and yes, it is brand-new

In one way, however, we don’t blame some of the people – because they may not have known these rules.
The county council, who provide these bins, were supposed to attaching stickers to them outlining the regulations – but as you can see in the photo, this one in Stuart Avenue has no stickers at all.

– – –
Welcome to Amy

There is a new face at The Draycott Arms. Amy Langridge is settling in nicely as the new manager at pub, and she says she’s enjoying herself!

amy langridge

Amy – now a familiar face at The Arms

Amy’s appointment means that John & Deryn Ford can now step back a little from the day-to-day running of the pub. They have been working flat out since The Arms opened in December; but now that lambing time is here, the couple do have to keep more of an eye on their farm.

– – –
Mango Tree joins the ‘net

Talking of local eateries, the Mango Tree Restaurant on Uttoxeter Road has at last got its website up and running; and it’s colourful, simple and easy-to-use, which is all one wants from a website (we think).

You can even make your reservation online now.  See: www.the-mango-tree.co.uk

– – –
Matt & Saint Bertram

That prolific author, Matt Pointon, has come up with another piece of writing to benefit St Margaret’s Church.

Statue of St Bertram

Statue of St Bertram in Longnor Church

You may remember that Matt, who is a local lad, is the talented author of ‘A History of The Parish of Draycott-en-le-Moors’ (which you can still buy for £10 from the local parish council clerk).
Well, now he’s added to his works with a booklet that gives an imaginative outline to the story of the pre-Norman Staffordshire hermit & holy man, Saint Bertram. Saint Bertram’s tomb can still be seen at Ilam, just twenty or so miles from here.
The booklet costs £2, and is on sale in St Margaret’s Church.

All profits from sales (from both the booklet and the book about the history of the parish) go toward the running costs of the church.

– – –
Green shoots

Finally, we know it’s best not to be fooled too early, but – could Spring be in the air?

JC tells us that the snowdrops are coming into bloom already on the lane through the Newton Farms.  This year, he says, it looks like it is going to be a magnificent show.

If you want to get that Spring feeling, just take the foot-path track off Old Cresswell Lane at Newton Farm, get to the junction at the end of the track, and then go left.  You shouldn’t have to leave the public footpath to enjoy the sight.
Incidentally, JC also tells us that the farm-dog is very friendly, so don’t be afraid to give him a pat!

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