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Stuart Parr
UKIP parish councillor, blogger, English nationalist
UKIP parish councillor, blogger, English nationalist

Stuart's posts

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Telford & Wrekin Council have scheduled in a clean up operation and a maintenance programme for the A442 Eastern Primary.

The spring clean will start on 2nd May and run for two weeks. This will involve single lane closures.

Road repairs and maintenance will take place between 3rd and 21st July and will involve overnight road closures.

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I haven't updated this blog for a while but it doesn't mean I haven't been busy!

For the last month I've been trying to get the burnt out wheelie bins cleared from Beaconsfield flats. I have passed on information received to the council for investigation but am yet to hear from the enforcement officer. The land between the flats and the road is - inexplicably - privately owned by someone from another part of Telford who has been instructed to clear the fly tip but hasn't.

I have been attempting to get incorrect signage changed outside Asda at the town centre. There are zebra crossing signs at the crossing point nearest the box road but no zebra crossing. The fact there is no zebra crossing painted on the road is a bit of a giveaway that the signage is wrong but that didn't stop someone walking in front of me deliberately a few weeks ago and then shouting abuse at me because there is a zebra crossing sign!

I have been reporting unauthorised roadside advertising for removal and enforcement (although no enforcement ever seems to take place) for paving companies which have started popping up again. These signs are attached to pallets and propped up against trees where they can be picked up and thrown into the road by kids, drunks or miscellaneous idiots. There are good reasons why roadside advertising is regulated by local authorities and safety is one of them.

I have reported a lot of fly tipping, primarily in Beaconsfield which is one of - if not the - worst places for fly tipping in the borough. As mentioned above I am waiting for the enforcement officer to make contact to talk about how the fly tipping problem can be addressed.

I have raised concerns about the use of the Lloyds between Coalport and Jackfield as a shortcut by large vans and HGVs. The road is narrow and winding, prone to subsidence and all roads leading from it have HGV restrictions so the drivers will be breaking the law if they continue their journey.

I have reported some more incorrect signage, this one at the roadworks around the council offices. A "one way" sign has been erected on Ironmasters Way opposite Boyd Close which is a cul-de-sac and Ironmasters Way is closed. If Ironmasters Way was one way it would be impossible to get to Boyd Close. Reporting this issue was interesting as Boyd Close doesn't appear on any maps and the Highways people sat in the council offices 200yds away didn't know it existed despite it having a council road sign on it!

Just today I have chased up the burnt out wheelie bin problem (again), reported a fly tip by the island, reported offensive graffiti (swastikas) spray painted on a bus stop in Aqueduct and then spent a couple of hours in a Community & Environment Committee meeting at the parish council this evening.

There are some other things that I have been working on that I can't really discuss at the moment but should be able to report on soon.

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I am strongly opposed to Telford & Wrekin Council taking on powers to carry out parking enforcement in the borough instead of the police.

The police do respond to complaints about illegal and inappropriate parking and use a common sense approach where they try to educate the drivers before resorting to prosecuting them. I have seen this first hand outside the Windmill School and by the Telford Park School where the police speak to drivers or leave warning letters explaining what they've done wrong and that they will return at a later date and will fine them if they repeat the offence. This approach seems to work as long as the police follow it up.

The council's proposal is to take that responsibility away from the police and hire private parking enforcement officers to fine people instead. The council would get to keep the money to cover costs as well as any profit. Enforcement officers will end up with targets to ensure they are raising enough money which will guarantee abuses of the powers and poor decision making to meet those targets. The police have a duty to enforce parking problems in Telford & Wrekin and that is what they should do.

I don't trust the council with these powers and have fed that back through their parish and town council consultation exercise (not that I expect it to make the slightest difference because the decision will have already been made).

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This week I ran out of tea bags at work. This is serious stuff. So I called in at Tesco in Madeley on the way to work to buy some more. I would normally buy tea bags from Aldi but they have decided - for reasons that nobody appears to be able to explain - to "regionally discontinue" their own brand decaffeinated tea bags and not stock any alternatives*.

So I went to Tesco, found the tea aisle and was disappointed to find that they were charging more for PG Tips decaf tea bags compared to the caffeinated version. Not just a few pence but a third extra for a box of 40 and more than double for a box of 160.

I ended up buying a different brand that didn't overcharge for decaf but I was annoyed so I called Tesco customer services to try and find out why. They blamed PG Tips for setting the price higher but assured me they would make sure my feedback got to the right people (yeah, right). So I then called PG Tips and spoke to a very helpful man who sympathised entirely with my complaint as his intolerance of caffeine isn't limited to headaches and shakes but to full blown uncontrollable gastric activity. He checked thoroughly and said that they don't set a recommended price for anything they sell to Tesco and that it is entirely down to Tesco to choose how much they charge. So I'm going to write to Tesco now and see what they've got to say for themselves. I suspect they will make sure my feedback goes to the right people and the price of decaf tea won't change.

The above is a little tongue in cheek but it is something that annoys me. Some people choose to forego caffeine for health reasons, some don't get on particularly well with caffeine and others get quite ill if they consume it. I'm a mixture of the first two - I can drink caffeinated drinks in moderation but not all the time so rather than subject my body to something it doesn't like I drink decaf where possible. But choice is limited and it can be more costly which is a little unfair if you have no choice but to drink decaffeinated drinks. It is difficult to find decaffeinated Coke and Pepsi in Telford despite it being something that those companies make in large quantities. You can't even buy it from the local wholesalers and consequently smaller shops are unable to stock it, even if they're willing to as our local shop here in Brookside was when I asked. Decaf tea and coffee is easier to come by but supermarkets often make you pay extra and if you ask for a decaf tea in many places they look at you like you've asked them for some obscure drink that can only be found on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean.

Is it too much to ask that decaf drinks are as freely available and similarly priced to caffeinated versions and that supermarkets don't try and pass the buck when putting a big margin on a product that many people have no choice but to buy?

* Tetley decaf tea bags appeared at Aldi in Madeley after I phoned them up last week to find out why they no longer sold decaf!
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