Apedale’s New Visitor Centre

You may have been wondering what the strange new building is that has been under construction for most of this year.  Well, it is the Apedale Energy Station.

 This new Visitor Centre/Energy Station has been built to the highest standards of insulation to achieve the lowest possible running costs.  Two small wind turbines (that are now up and running as you will have seen) will provide all of the electricity needed by the building, including the power to heat it, using a ground source heat pump.  A ground source heat pump is rather like a refrigerator running backwards, it extracts heat from the surrounding ground and delivers it to the building.  The hot water requirement will be met by roof-mounted solar panels.

The distinctive kite-shaped roof is a reminder of the annual kite festival.  This is made of recycled aluminium, while sustainable-grown timber makes up the frame of the building.  Everything about it reflects the County Council’s wish to provide the best possible visitor centre of the the local community, reflecting the contribution that local people made in the past to keeping Staffordshire supplied with energy.

 As well as being a visitor centre for the park the building will be the home to the Ranger Service and the Newcastle Countryside Project.  The building is due to open in the spring when you will be very welcome to call and look round, and I am sure any questions you may have can be answered.

County Councillor Dylis Cornes

Parish Council to maintain Minnie Pit memorial area

andrew-david-011.JPGAt the last meeting of Audley Rural Parish Council (18/11/10), Parish Councillor Trevor Sproston asked if the PC would now ensure that the grass cutting of this area be added to the PC’s grass cutting programme. This was agreed. The trees will also be looked after.

A concerned Halmer End resident contacted Andrew Wemyss to see if he could get something done to tidy this site. Andrew got the grass cut (within 1 day!),and Trevor ensured this will continue. Your Councillors working together-getting results.

Cllr Andrew Wemyss/Parish Cllr Trevor Sproston

Telephone Box, Scot Hay – update

After contacting BT several times asking for the traditional red telephone box in Scot Hay (one of the few remaining in the borough) to be repainted, BT has finally written back stating that this will be done. Hooray!

A lovely item of British history is finally getting looked after by it’s owner. We campaigned,and won, to keep the box in situ, now it’s nice to see it back in all it’s glory.

Thank you BT.

Andrew Wemyss

REFLECTIONS ON THE STAFFORDSHIRE OATCAKE

At the foot of Heathcote Road in Miles Green is one of the remaining Staffordshire Oatcake Bakers. The Staffordshire Oatcake is reputed to have been brought back to the UK by soldiers returning from India attempting to reproduce the Chapatti. It resembles a soft pancake and is made from oatmeal following closely guarded secret recipes. It was popular with miners and potters, eaten hot at breakfast and cold as part of the midday snapping. It is usually contains a savory filling, cheese and/or bacon are popular. A close relative, also found in Oatcake shops, is the Pikelet, thicker and filled with currents. 

The Staffordshire Oatcake is mainly confined to North Staffordshire plus a few outlets in Cheshire, Derbyshire and North Wales where the potter traditionally went on holiday. Rumor has it that there is an outlet somewhere in South West Wales, but I have no confirmation.

Betley residents need not travel to Miles Green to appreciate this local delicacy as the Betley Village Shop takes delivery of Oatcakes and Pikelets from Miles Green on a Friday.

BETLEY POST UPDATE

The Royal Mail management at Warrington have not responded to my letter of 31st October.

Whilst the situation has improved we are not there yet. The residents of Betley, Balterley and Wrinehill deserve an apology and an explanation.

I have therefore escalated the issue to Mark Higson, Managing Director of Royal Mail Letters in London. 

REFLECTIONS ON REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

Representing a ward with two centres I alternate my attendance at local remembrance services. This year it was the turn of the Methodist Chapel at Halmer End and then to the Cenotaph at Alsagers Bank. We remembered 47 who fell in the great war, but there was a far more poignant memory at that chapel. It contains the memorial to the 155 who died at the Minnie Pit in January 1918 whilst mining coal for the war effort. Three times as many died at Minnie as died in the war. It is difficult to comprehend the effect that would have had on the community.

DRIVING NEWCASTLE FORWARD

The partnership between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives is continuing for a further year. Liberal Democrat Cabinet Members are in the driving seat for many of this councils improved services including:

           Street Cleaning and Recycling  

           Potfolio Holder Cllr David Becket

           New Cemetery, New Leisure Centre           

           Portfolio Holder Cllr Wenslie Naylon

           Improved Planning and Housing Services         

           Portfolio Holder and Deputy Leader of the Council Cllr Dr Robin Studd

We have already improved efficiency and cut costs whilst enhancing services. We will continue to provide the most effective front line services possible in the current climate.