Gareth Snell MP

Labour and Co-operative MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central

News from Stoke on Trent Central

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On Friday I held the latest of my informal constituency meetings at All Saints Church in Joiners Square. These meetings give local residents the opportunity to come and have a cup of coffee and talk about the local or national issues that matter to them. On this occasion residents raised anti-social behaviour, heritage funding bids and Brexit.

It was great to be joined by local PCSO Lucy Slater and thank you to all those residents who took the time to come and see me. Finally, thank you to Katie and all those at All Saints Church for hosting us.

Gareth holds coffee morning in Joiners Square

On Friday I held the latest of my informal constituency meetings at All Saints Church in Joiners Square. These meetings give local residents the opportunity to come and have a...

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There’s only one word to describe my feelings on the news that Stoke-on-Trent won’t be the UK city of Culture in 2021. Gutted.

It’s been an incredible journey and despite the disappointing result, I am incredibly proud of all that has been done to promote our wonderful city to the rest of the UK.

I’d like to thank the bidding team for all their hard work in putting together a very compelling case for Stoke-on-Trent. I’d like to pay particular tribute to Paul Williams, who has championed Stoke-on-Trent as a potential city of culture for many years. I would like to thank the Sentinel for their unwavering support of the campaign, BBC Stoke, Signal and all other media outlets who have championed our bid day in and day out.

But most importantly, I would like to thank the people of Stoke-on-Trent. They’ve put up posters, voted in online polls, and updated their Facebook and Twitter to lobby the judges, given brilliant TV and radio interviews to show to the rest of the country what an incredible city we live in. A city rich in history, diversity and ingenuity.

So whilst we are all disappointed with the result. Let’s make a promise to continue to work together, to show the same level of excitement and pride in our city and to ensure that Stoke-on-Trent remains in the headlines as a city on the up, proud of its past and excited for its future.

Gareth thanks people of Stoke after City of Culture announcements

There’s only one word to describe my feelings on the news that Stoke-on-Trent won’t be the UK city of Culture in 2021. Gutted. It’s been an incredible journey and despite...

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting some of the small business owners in Stoke-on-Trent as part of Small Business Saturday, which aims to celebrate and support our local and independent companies.

Thank you to all at Alias Quiff & Combs Beauty Boutique, Little Dessert Shop Stoke Hanley, Mart's Craft Beer and BottleCraft for taking the time to show me around your businesses and discussing the challenges and rewards of running a small business in North Staffordshire.

Gareth meets small business owners on Small Business Saturday

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting some of the small business owners in Stoke-on-Trent as part of Small Business Saturday, which aims to celebrate and support our local...

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On Sunday I popped along to the brilliant Stokie Christmas market, which was held at Hanley Fire Station. It was a lovely day with lots of Christmas treats available all for a good cause.

The day raised an incredible £3839 for the Fire Fighters Charity and UHNM Wards 202/201 which are the Leukaemia Wards.

I would like to pay tribute to Kelvin Chell, Neil Cheshire and Mark Hammersley for all their hard work in organising and local residents for supporting what was a brilliant event.

Gareth visits local Christmas Market

On Sunday I popped along to the brilliant Stokie Christmas market, which was held at Hanley Fire Station. It was a lovely day with lots of Christmas treats available all...

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On the 23rd of November Stoke-on-Trent MP’s met with Cllr Abi Brown, representatives from SHAPE and SASCAL to discuss a proactive and co-operative way forward in dealing with the recently accrued debt in the Higher Needs Block without removing funding from the schools block funding.

A consensus was reached that the best way forward was for the City Council not to request a top-slice of 3% from the schools block but look to carry forward a deficit in the higher needs block which, in turn, would be serviced from the future savings made by re-engineering the higher needs provision in the city in conjunction with schools, colleges and providers.

To help facilitate this, the three City MPs agreed to write to the Secretary of State endorsing this plan and requesting a little additional time for the City Council to be able to make an initial pitch to DfE on the 30th November but have flexibility to submit more detailed information after the 30th November.

Despite this and without the support of local Head Teachers, the council has now reneged on this agreement and pushed forward with a request to top slice 0.5% of the DSG, meaning around £790,000 will be taken out of the hands of Head Teachers and local schools.

Schools will now be forced to make difficult financial decisions that will impact on staffing numbers. I’m saddened that this agreement has been broken and shocked and angry that the Council will now be taking money out of local classrooms to cover up its budgetary mistakes. Our children deserve better.

Gareth opposes school cuts in Stoke

On the 23rd of November Stoke-on-Trent MP’s met with Cllr Abi Brown, representatives from SHAPE and SASCAL to discuss a proactive and co-operative way forward in dealing with the recently...

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Today is World Aids Day; a time for us to come together and show our support to those living with HIV in the UK and around the world.

We must continue to fight the myths and stigma associated with HIV and never let anyone feel they're alone or feel they have nowhere to turn.

Gareth marks World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day; a time for us to come together and show our support to those living with HIV in the UK and around the world. We must...

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One of the most enjoyable elements of being your Member of Parliament is visiting our local schools and meeting children, teachers and parents. As we entered November I asked local schoolchildren to get their thinking hats on and their creative juices flowing to design my Christmas card for this year. The brief was simple, something Christmassy and that celebrates our wonderful city.

I've literally had hundreds of responses and the standard has been incredibly high. Below is just a snapshot of some of the entrants! Wish me luck in picking a winner!

Gareth spoilt for choice with Christmas Card designs

One of the most enjoyable elements of being your Member of Parliament is visiting our local schools and meeting children, teachers and parents. As we entered November I asked local...

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Joint statement from: Ruth Smeeth MP, Gareth Snell MP and Labour Group leader Councillor Mohammed Pervez.

A pay more, get less budget from an exhausted out of touch administration

“Today, any veneer of confidence in the Independent—Tory administration to competently run council services has been shattered. Unfortunately for the residents of Stoke-on-Trent, they are now going to pay for the mistakes of a tired Council leadership which is out of its depth.

The Council has today published its budget proposals, with a foreword from the leader and deputy- leader of the council that states their ‘Strategy is working”. A statement so detached from the reality of the situation, begs the question are they really in touch with the crisis that they are facing or the impact their proposals will have on local residents.

A strategy that will result in a 4% budget busting council tax rise and hit the pockets of residents in Stoke-on-Trent at a time when many have their own wages frozen or cut; that increases parking charges and adds to the list of services the Council is costing out local residents from using such as pest control.

A strategy that when Adult and Social Care services have never been in greater demand, cuts £2.4million from its budget through a system redesign, which will undoubtedly see the quality of services for our most vulnerable worsen.

A strategy, hot on the heels of their plans to fine rough-sleepers £1000, reduce the support on offer for children in care and intention to steal £3million from the classrooms of our local schools to prop up their budget mistakes.

Tragically, for those residents that rely and depend on the services the Council delivers the news today is confirmation not only don’t they have a plan to address these problems, but that they aren’t fully aware of the crisis they are facing or making worse. A crisis made worse by a government committed to defunding local government resulting in today’s announcement by the council and their intention to pick the pockets of local residents.

Over the next couple of days we will work with stakeholders to properly assess some of the worst elements of this budget and do all we can to oppose plans that will have such a detrimental effect on the lives of the residents of Stoke-on-Trent”.

Gareth releases statement on Council Budget

Joint statement from: Ruth Smeeth MP, Gareth Snell MP and Labour Group leader Councillor Mohammed Pervez. A pay more, get less budget from an exhausted out of touch administration “Today,...

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National HIV Testing Week 18th to 25th November

Last week I took a public HIV test in an effort to encourage more local people to test for the virus during National HIV Testing Week. I had a simple finger-prick blood test and my negative result was delivered in under 15 minutes after the test.

New figures released by Public Health England in October 2017 revealed that a decline in new HIV infections but late diagnoses remain high. Organised by Terrence Higgins Trust and Staffordshire Buddies, I met volunteers and staff to discuss the importance of normalising testing and busting stigma.

National HIV Testing Week, which runs from 18th to 25th November, is run by Terrence Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England. The week encourages people to take a painless, simple and quick HIV test, particularly those from the groups most at-risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men and black African communities.

Local HIV testing events are taking place across the city during the week, local staff and volunteers from Staffordshire Buddies will be on hand to explain more about HIV and maintaining good sexual health.

I was delighted to meet with the Terrence Higgins Trust and Staffordshire Buddies in Stoke and raise awareness of the importance of testing for HIV. As I found out today by taking a test – testing is free, fast and simple, and it’s one of the best weapons we have to stop the spread of HIV.

You can find out more about National HIV Testing Week at www.startswithme.org.uk

Gareth supports National HIV Testing Week

National HIV Testing Week 18th to 25th November Last week I took a public HIV test in an effort to encourage more local people to test for the virus during...

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Yesterday I held the latest of my coffee mornings at West End Village, an extra care housing village in Boothen. These coffee mornings are an informal way for local residents to come and meet me and my team and discuss any local or national issues that they might want to discuss. I was grateful to local Councillor Andy Platt for joining me and helping to offer a council perspective to some of the issues raised.

Thanks to all those at West End Village and Staffordshire Housing for all the help with advertising and the logistics of the event and local residents for taking the time to sit down and talk with us.

Gareth holds coffee morning at West End Village

Yesterday I held the latest of my coffee mornings at West End Village, an extra care housing village in Boothen. These coffee mornings are an informal way for local residents...

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