When I was elected in 2011 the major local issue I wanted to deal with was the derelict former Victoria Ground. It had been a source of pride but had become wasteland.
I had been working hard behind the scenes from day one but everything was moving slowly. Although progress had been made over the first four years there was nothing to show on the ground. The countless site meetings I held with senior officers were all positive and everyone agreed with my three red lines:-
- useable green space;
- safe access to the River Trent and
- proper recognition of the heritage of the site.
Later meetings with the developer seemed positive but I could go on for hours about all the difficulties that have been dealt with along the way.
The scheme is now coming towards its end. As you may have seen the river is being naturalised, playing pitches and a linear park are on their way. There will be more to come on the heritage of the site but so far we have the streets named after the following Stoke City heroes:-
- Frank Soo – the first player of Asian background to play for England;
- Paul Ware – the hard working midfielder who tragically died of a brain tumour aged just 42;
- Bob McGrory – 40 years with the club as both player and manager;
- Freddie Steele – a record 33 league goals in one season;
- John Ritchie – Stoke City’s all time record goal scorer with 261 league and cup goals.
I shall continue to update this site with more news