Changes to Leek market approved

Dear Sir, — I don’t know about you, but I really do not know when driving whether I prefer windy rainstorms, snow or fog. Returning on the motorway from Stafford one evening with really dense fog in front of me and a 20-tonne truck on either side, I decided that fog is my least favourite. Thankfully I made it home in one piece. I am sure you will follow the good advice to drive in accordance with road and weather conditions; far better to take it slow and arrive back safely.
It has been an interesting week of meetings. The county Winter Event was held at Stafford University’ Beaconsfield Theatre, when the topics discussed included adult care and childcare. 
These two matters are of the greatest importance, and the highest expenses from our budget. The main effort is given to providing care in their own homes for the elderly, and reuniting children in care back into their families wherever that is possible. 
Other items included finance and thus provisional budgets for the next five years, safety provisions included. Other general financial items were gone into in greater detail with explanations given where required. From my own point of view I felt pleased with most of the forecasts.
On Wednesday evening last week three motions were put forward at a Staffordshire Moorlands District Council meeting. The first concerned the covered trestle market in Leek, the motion being to leave it as a trestle market or, as the leadership recommended, build permanent stalls along both sides and a row down the middle. Sadly the discussion became political, but finally it was decided to go along with the leadership’s recommendation and have permanent stalls. 
Although I do love, when time permits, to wander around market stalls and have spent many happy hours doing just that in Leek, I can’t help feeling that the way the retail trade is at the moment, there may be some difficulty in filling all the proposed stalls, but we will wait and see and hopefully I will be proved wrong. 
The other two motions, which were dealt with quickly, both passed unanimously. One concerned single-use plastics; we are waiting to see what progress can be made in that direction. The other was for the abolition of Chinese lanterns.
I get many reports of problems on our highways, which I always immediately pass on for attention and action as soon as possible. However, I now request that in future members of the public wishing to report highways issues should please do so directly at staffordshire.gov.uk, searching for “report fault”. I am advised that this ensures that highways have a correct trail for future reference if any information is required on your report.
The selection of the county council Conservative candidates took place on Friday last week, with four candidates for Biddulph: Keith Flunder, Joe Porter, Oliver McGuinness and me. By the time you read this you will no doubt be aware of the successful candidates, whose campaigning will begin for the seats nearer the time of the elections in May next year.
I leave you with the wish that you all have a very good week. Wrap up warm if this cold weather persists and, as always, look out for anyone vulnerable you think may need some help. Many folk do not like to venture out in bad weather, so it is nice to keep a check on our neighbours, even with a friendly wave or cheerful word. I just realised I have not mentioned once this winter the Casserole Club. Worth a thought, sharing a hot meal with someone? — Yours faithfully,

(COUN) IAN LAWSON
01782 522614.
Mobile: 07553 293 343.
ian.lawson@staffordshire.gov.uk