Archive for April, 2012


Police are continuing to investigate an incident in Redditch following the death of a man taken to hospital with serious burns.

Emergency services attended after receiving reports shortly after 9.20am yesterday (Thursday, 19 April) that a man was on fire on the traffic island at the junction of Woodrow Drive and Studley Road. The man, who was in his 40s and lived locally, was taken to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital with serious burns but later died as a result of his injuries.

The Worcestershire Coroner has been informed and an inquest will be held in due course.

Police are still investigating the circumstances but not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident. Officers would like to thank those witnesses who have already come forward to help their inquiries.

Concern For Missing Redditch Pensioner

Missing – Redditch pensioner Robert AllenPolice have serious concerns for the welfare of a Redditch pensioner whose car was found in Worcester after he went missing from home on Easter Sunday (8 April).

Robert Allen, aged 80, was last seen by his daughter at about noon that day at his home in Ash Tree Road. Arrangements were made to collect him from there yesterday afternoon (Monday) but when there was no trace of him or his car, police were contacted.

Police have established that Mr Allen’s black Kia Picanto was driven into Worcester between 4am and 5am yesterday and during the afternoon it was found by officers in Grandstand Road with the keys still in the ignition. Dog handlers and the force helicopter have been involved in searches of that area, including the river banks, and these are continuing.

Mr Allen is white, around 5ft 6inches in height and of medium build with thinning, grey hair and a moustache. He normally wears glasses and is believed to have been wearing a fawn coloured jacket.

PC Gemma Pawlik of West Mercia Police said: “Mr Allen has been depressed of late but he has not gone missing before so this is out of character. We are obviously very concerned for his welfare, as is his family, and we would appeal to anyone who has seen him or knows anything at all that could help us to get in touch without delay.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Pawlik on 0300 333 3000, quoting incident reference 256-N-090412.

licensee in John Smith’s boycott vow over ‘misleading’ horse-racing promotion

A Worcestershire licensee has said he will never stock John Smith’s in his pub again after claiming he was “misled” and “deceived” over a horse-racing promotion.

Kevin Gallon, of the Kings Arms, in Redditch, has reported the Heineken-owned brand John Smith’s to trading standards in Worcestershire after he was told he could order only a maximum of five tickets for a race meeting at Stratford-upon-Avon.

The promo from the brewer allows licensees to purchase the tickets on a buy-one-get-one-free promotion just for stocking the ale. John Smith’s website stated that “there is NO LIMIT to the number of free tickets you can claim so make the most of this fantastic racing offer”. However, the Punch licensee was told by Stratford Racecourse that he could order only five tickets (10 in total) as part of the deal.

While Gallon has now received the 26 tickets he wanted for his customers, he had to make three separate orders through different postcodes, which cost him an extra £26 in postage and packaging.

“The advert was misleading and deceitful. I have got the tickets under duress,” said Gallon. “I shall never use them [John Smith’s] again or go to Stratford Races.”

Worcestershire trading standards department confirmed it was looking into the matter. A spokesperson said: “We are aware of a complaint and it is under investigation.”

Responding to the complaint, a spokesman for John Smith’s said: “The two-for-one ticket promotion has been running for three years without any issues. More than 13,000 licensees and pub customers took advantage of the offer in 2011 and we will take up the complaint with Stratford Racecourse.”

John Smith’s has now amended its website accordingly.

In another twist sleaze is making an unwelcome return to Redditch Labour Party

BY SIMON PRESTON

“The essence of your fraud offending is the abuse of the power and privilege which you enjoyed as a respected local government leader.”

The Former Labour leader of Redditch Borough Council convicted charity fraudster Dave Cartwright signs the nomination papers for the current Labour leader Bill Hartnett  to stand for election in May.

But it says a lot for the morals of the labour party in Redditch when a convicted fraudster can be allowed to sign nomination papers for the group leader.

I hope the people of Redditch won’t allow labour to take the votes of residents for granted in this way and don’t just give them a bloody nose but they boot out every labour coucillor seeking re-election.

The highest standards should be expected by any party or candidate asking for your vote.

The labour party might be happy having a convicted fraudster that stole from a homeless charity around the election campaign but the people shouldn’t.

Bill Hartnett who lives in Bromsgrove dosen’t deserve to be a councillor. How can people have faith in him when he shows such serious error of judgement himself?

Bill Hartnett pictured above

Why would you re-elect a councillor that is bringing the spotlight on Redditch for all the wrong reasons

Some of these people have been councillors on and off since 1983 so have had the chance to get things done so what makes you think they will do anything for you now.

They think they have a god given right to be a councillor and think a monkey with a labour badge on will win.

Dave Cartwright was  branded a “common con man, confidence trickster  and something of a fantasist” at Worcester Crown Court. The 55-year-old  ex-leader of Redditch Borough Council, who had previously pleaded guilty to a  catalogue of theft and deception charges, was jailed for three years.

Dave Cartwright pictured above

The essence of your fraud offending is the abuse of the power and privilege which you enjoyed as a respected local government leader.
People have a choice of voting for the cause of the problems or voting for one of the Independent or Green Party candidates.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3775729/Jacqui-Smiths-husband-ran-firm-with-crook.html

http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2009/02/28/former-redditch-council-leader-david-cartwright-jailed-for-three-years-97319-23030772/

The Green Party has a candidate in every ward in Redditch and Independent candidates are standing in Chrch Hill, Lodge Park, and Winyates wards.

Your vote is vital so use it.

A full list of candidates standing in elections for Redditch Borough Council can be found below

http://redditch.whub.org.uk/cms/pdf/Statement%20of%20Persons%20Nominated%20-%20ALL%20Wards%2004.04.12.pdf

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/6318790/MPs-expenses-rebellion-over-Lady-Smith-on-the-streets-of-Redditch.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/6319265/MPs-expenses-campaign-launched-to-deny-Jacqui-Smith-peerage.html

Redditch Borough Council elections will see two married couples stand against each other

A husband and wife have announced they will standing against each other in the same election.

Orion and Pam Moon have confirmed they will be standing as independent candidates  in the Lodge Park ward, Although only one seat will be available both will be hoping they win it.

The Church Hill ward will also be contested by  husband and wife Richard and Isabel Armstrong also Independent candidates although two seats are up for grabs here.

Another must read if your thinking of voting labour is my article about Rebecca Blake the Labour Party candidate for Parliament.

https://simonpreston31.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/redditch-parliamentary-candidate-becky-blake-meets-local-residents-or-the-brother-of-former-labour-councillor-clive-cheetham

The media may use this article for news items without requesting my Permission and i have provided a link for contact details of the council candidates to help you . http://redditch.whub.org.uk/cms/pdf/Statement%20of%20Persons%20Nominated%20-%20ALL%20Wards%2004.04.12.pdf

West Midlands Police Man named as Cedric Brown

ONE of the country’s most wanted men has been arrested by West Midlands Police in a vehicle carjacked from a young mum – and found with her two toddlers still strapped in the back seats.

Police flooded the Slade Road area of Erdington just before 11am yesterday (April 3) following reports of a burglary in progress.

Minutes later three men were spotted running from a suspect getaway car – details of which had been circulated over police airwaves – and chased by officers along Somerset Road.

In an attempt to escape, it’s understood one dragged a female driver out of a Ford Focus and sped away with her one-year-old son and daughter, aged two, secured in their child seats.

However, the man was cornered by police about a mile away and arrested following a violent struggle.

The 44-year-old is currently being interviewed by detectives on suspicion of burglary and robbery.

And he’ll also be questioned about a nasty break-in that occurred in Bristol two years ago – a case which appeared on BBC’s Crimewatch – in which a husband and wife were tied up and slashed with a knife.

West Midlands Police Sergeant Nicholas Barnes, said: “Several police vehicles were in pursuit and the man abandoned the Ford Focus in South Grove where he was arrested by officers who then spotted the toddlers.

“Thankfully, neither of them was hurt and we quickly reunited them with their mum who naturally was extremely relieved.

“Officers responded to calls of the burglary within minutes…the suspects simply didn’t have enough time to get away from the location before they were swamped by police.”

Two other men – a 19-year-old from Perry Common and an 18-year-old from Bromford – were also arrested hiding in an alleyway and are being quizzed over the Slade Road burglary.

Former Worcestershire County Council leader George Lord has been jailed for four years for a series of sexual assaults.


The 79-year old was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court this morning (Tuesday April 3rd).
It was reported last month after reporting restrictions were lifted how Lord had pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault on a girl in the 1970s when he was a lay minister of a church in Droitwich and performed a number of sexual acts on the teenager.
He had already been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old in the council chamber at Worcestershire County Council in 2010.
Lord was told he will spend at least half of his four year sentence in jail.

THE BACKGROUND OF THE CASE

George Lord has admitted three counts of indecent assault which occurred between 1977 and 1979 on a girl aged between 14 and 15.

He had appeared at Birmingham Crown Court for a pre-trial review on the charges but changed his plea to guilty.

Judge Nigel Godsmark adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to assess the risk Lord poses to women.

He was remanded in custody until the next hearing in April.

The former council leader resigned in November 2010 after allegations were made about inappropriate behaviour towards staff.

Det Insp Jon Wallis, of West Mercia Police, said: “While these two cases were separated by many years, in both George Lord has abused a position of authority.”

The force said that in the first case in the 1970s, Lord was a lay minister of a church who groomed a teenage girl for his own gratification.

In 2010, in his capacity as leader of Worcestershire County Council, he took advantage of a young woman in a junior position, the official added.

“We would like to reassure any other victims of similar offences that if they come forward, West Mercia Police will support them and pursue prosecutions wherever possible, regardless of when the offence took place,” Mr Wallis said.

Three Counts Of Indecent Assault

Worcestershire County Council said that when it told Lord of the allegations in November 2010, he resigned “a matter of days after the incident”.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, current leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: “I can reassure you that appropriate behaviour is expected of everyone at the council. No-one is exempt.”

David Elliott, from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “George Lord used his positions of power and trust as a church minister and later as the leader of Worcestershire County Council to sexually abused vulnerable females.

No-one is exempt.”

“The victims should have been able to expect the highest levels of propriety and integrity from him, however, they were instead exploited for his own personal sexual gratification.”

He praised the courage of the woman who had come forward and reported to the police how Lord abused her 35 years ago.

Fall From Grace

It’s a dramatic fall from grace for Dr Lord who was also a Bromsgrove District councillor.

Lord first made headlines after it emerged he was getting over £70k  in allowances for his roles on Bromsgrove and WCC. But little did we know just what would emerge after the publicity he got for his expenses and allowances.

Hidden under the mask was a vile paedophile who groomed a teenage girl for his own gratification. Credit must be given to the brave people who came forward and reported the crimes that ended in his guilty plea Today.

The new Leader of Worcestershire County Council Councillor Adrian Hardman said in 2010 of the allegations made against George Lord

“absolutely at the lower end” of the scale.

He also remarked: “Thirty years ago this never would have seen the light of day”

 Halfords Tour Series

Quick snap from Redditch town centre this afternoon, thanks to Michael, George & Rod from @Cycle_Premier #cycling

Picture supplied by @TourSeries

Map of route can be found here  http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/pdf/Halfords%20Tour%20Series%20Redditch%20-%20Race%20Route%20and%20Temporary%20Road%20Closure%20Details%20(May%2024).pdf

Some of the world’s top cyclists will be heading to Redditch on Thursday, May 24, with a leg of the Halfords Tour Series – Britain’s leading televised town and city centre cycle race series – set to be held in the town.

The Tour Series is being used to launch the Choose How You Move Redditch project – a new three-year programme that will encourage more active modes of travel in the area, which will include walking, cycling, passenger transport, car sharing and reducing the need to travel by promoting tele-working and improving broadband capabilities.

An official public announcement about the Tour Series event, which will see competitors including Olympic Gold Medalist, Ed Clancy, racing from around 7pm, is being made this Monday (April 2).

Highlights of the Redditch round of the Series will be shown on ITV4 to an audience of more than 250,000 viewers, while the race itself will bring media focus on the town from far and wide, presenting the opportunity to showcase the area in the best possible light.

The free event will also bring a significant spectator footfall into Redditch town centre on the afternoon and evening of May 24, bringing benefits and opportunities for businesses.

In order to effectively stage the race it will be necessary to temporarily close roads during the day to safely prepare and stage the race. We will be doing all we can to help minimise any potential disruption for local people and traders.

All those potentially affected are being contacted via letter early next week and officers will be visiting businesses from April 10, 2012 to discuss plans and potential opportunities.

A PDF map of the race route is available to download. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Dursley, Project Manager for the Halfords Tour Series event, on 01905 766876 or via email at edursley@worcestershire.gov.uk.

Finally (and most importantly), we’d like to extend an invite to yourself, family and friends to join us at the event. It would be fantastic to see you out on the route on May 24 to sample the excitement on offer.

Click here for more information on the Choose How You Move Redditch project