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Reporting local life since 1854

Thursday, August 4, 2011

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Pensioner dies in fire at home AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a pensioner died in a fire at his home yesterday. Police are currently treating the death of the man, believed to be in his 70s, as unexplained. Forensic teams cordoned off the area in Diamond Ridge, Barlaston, for several hours. See Page 2

COME ON STOKE!

SAFETY CONCERNS: Dr Changez Jadun.

FANS FEEL THE HEAT IN SPLIT: PAGES 12&13

POWER FOR THE PEOPLE

Blueprint aims to cut bills and make city ‘irresistible to investors’

BY ALEX CAMPBELL

alex.campbell@thesentinel.co.uk

AMBITIOUS plans for Stoke-on-Trent to become a self-powered city independent of the national grid were unveiled today. The city burns 600 megawatts of power every year, the equivalent of half a power station’s annual output. But Stoke-on-Trent City Council believes existing power sources and industry may already generate enough surplus power to fuel the whole city. It now needs to provide a way of sharing the power. The authority is working on a blueprint outlining how the city can harness its own power, cutting energy bills for businesses and making the city “irresistible to investors”.

Conceptual plans set out by the council today include: ■ Creating networks of businesses to sell their surplus energy below market value for powering nearby commercial premises and houses; ■ Plunging a giant borehole into Chatterley Whitfield to convert energy from hot water bubbling 1,000 metres (3,280ft) below ground level; ■ Transferring organic waste currently composted to a factory which creates usable gas to power manufacturing businesses; ■ Sharing power between Michelin, Stoke town centre, the council’s Civic Centre and a redeveloped Spode site. Businesses like Michelin in Stoke generate more power than they need, meaning they could create extra income selling power, as well as providing neighbours with cheaper energy.

Heat produced in pipes channelled beneath the streets as part of the new energy networks could even defrost pavements during the winter. The aim is to make Stoke-on-Trent self-sufficient as the national grid depends increasingly on fossil fuels. Jane Forshaw, pictured, the council’s head of environmental services, said the long-term ambition was to make the city entirely self-powered. She added: “We are looking at local fuel solutions that divorce us from the vagaries of fossil fuel prices nationally. “It gives us a unique selling point. Not only will it benefit businesses already here, but it could reach out to new inward investment as we can say to businesses ‘come here because we’re cheaper on energy prices’.” Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for city services, said: “Fossil fuel supplies are running out and there

Doctor’s work worried nurse A NURSE claims she handed over a dossier detailing concerns about the work of a radiologist two years before an official investigation was launched. Wendy Foster asked at a public meeting yesterday why no action was taken against the University Hospital of North Staffordshire’s Dr Changez Jadun. See Page 3

Free parking after blunder is increasing demand in the Far East. It is something we have to look at seriously and urgently. “The technology is there. The next step will be getting funding in place.” The council has also secured funding of more than £435,000 from the EU to create a wood fuel supply which boils down wood chip to generate power. It is working with an energy firm to fit 1,000 solar panels at council houses in Chell Heath, Fegg Hayes and Blurton. The council is one of 17 chosen by National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to move forward with its plans.

MOTORISTS illegally charged to park at leisure centres have claimed just £2,000 of the £18,000 they are owed. Stoke-on-Trent City Council is now offering free parking as a way of apologising for introducing pay-and-display machines at Fenton Manor Sports Complex and Dimensions Leisure Centre a month early. See Page 5

PROPERTY

What do you think of the plans? Email us at letters@thesentinel.co.uk How businesses will benefit: Page 4; Comment: Page 10

Stylish detached home has heart and soul: Inside

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