CONSERVATIVES: CLEARING UP THE MESS WHILE LABOUR PUT THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND

 

Tameside Conservatives are out and about in the borough delivering their latest leaflet, showing the ridiculous stand taken by Labour – to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the mess they left after 13 years of mismanagement and waste in Government. 

RUTH SHARES ROYAL WEDDING JOY!

HYDE WERNETH COUNCILLOR’S THIRD BABY DUE ON ROYAL WEDDING DAY

ROYAL BABY JOY – RUTH WELSH WITH HUSBAND JOHN AND CHILDREN DAISY AND WILLIAM

Prince William and Kate Middleton may not be the only ones celebrating on the 29th April 2011. Whilst the second-in-line to the throne will be marrying his university sweetheart on that date, Hyde Werneth’s Conservative councillor, Ruth Welsh, could be giving birth.

Hyde’s Leading Lady of the Year is due to give birth on the same day as the Royal couple’s wedding. She is now considering Catherine as a middle name, should she have a girl.

And Ruth already has a prince William of her own – four-year-old son William.

Ruth, who also has a three-year-old daughter called Daisy, said, “I think it’s fabulous I’m due on the same day. My husband John and I are really looking forward to the day and now most of the world will be too!

“I hope baby arrives in the early hours of the 29th, so that I can watch the wedding on television.

“I am a great supporter of the Royal Family, they are the very fabric of our society and heritage, and I wish Prince William and Kate Middleton all the happiness in the world.”

COLIN GRANTHAM IS LAID TO REST

COLIN GRANTHAM OBE. 1930-2010.

Tributes poured in this week as Colin Grantham, the former Conservative Leader of Tameside Council, was laid to rest.

Mr. Grantham died a week last Sunday (19th September), aged 80 years.

His funeral service took place yesterday, at Holy Trinity Church, Gee Cross. Mourners packed the church and they included family, friends, and political and business colleagues such as the Mayor of Tameside.

Following the service Mr. Grantham was laid to rest in Holy Trinity’s graveyard.

In the days prior to his funeral, tributes poured in for Mr. Grantham, who was a giant in local politics for over five decades.

Mr. Grantham’s son, James, said, “He was prepared to stand up and be counted. He understood everybody had their own opinion but he would fight for what was right and the people he was acting for. He was generous, and he had a great desire to serve the local community and gave the very best. He would always do whatever he could for whoever asked him.”

His warm comments were echoed by Mr. Grantham’s former political colleagues and opponents.

The current leader of Tameside Conservatives, Cllr. John Bell, said, “Colin was integral in setting up the borough of Tameside, and then in 1976, as the Council Leader, he went to the High Court to successfully fight for grammar schools to remain, instead of being changed into comprehensives. These were exciting times and he was a large part of it. He will be sadly missed by all within the local Conservatives.”

Mr. Grantham’s former Stalybridge South ward colleague, Cllr. Doreen Dickinson, also paid tribute to her ‘mentor’. She said, “I knew Colin for over 20 years and he was certainly my mentor when I came into politics. He was a man full of principles and integrity. He was also an absolute gentleman and had a great sense of humour. I loved him dearly and looked up to him. He was a great friend and I will deeply miss him.”

And Cllr. Kieran Quinn, the current Leader of Tameside Council, said, “I’m sure I echo the sentiments of all my colleagues across the political divide when I pay tribute to Colin’s years of dedicated service. Although we came from opposite ends of the political spectrum, like me I knew he had Tameside’s interests at heart in everything he did.”

Mr. Grantham’s influence and work touched many people and tributes were paid by people on the internet.

One wrote, “This is a sad, sad time for local politics. Colin was a political giant. He was a man of integrity and principles with bags full of humour and generosity… He assisted thousands of residents, going out of his way to ensure they got the best council service possible. And let’s not forget the hundreds of Tameside students who received a grammar school education thanks to Colin’s hard fought battle to stop them becoming comprehensives in 1976… A true gentleman, Colin will be greatly missed.

Another wrote, “Colin was a fantastic councillor and an effective leader of Tameside Conservatives. A strong and consistent advocate of selective education – his contribution to Tameside was immense.”

Mr. Grantham’s death was summed by one blogger, who simply wrote, “A great man. God bless Colin.”

Colin Grantham OBE. 1930-2010.

COLIN GRANTHAM DIES AT THE AGE OF 80

ABOVE: COLIN GRANTHAM WITH HIS WIFE OF OVER 50 YEARS, GLADYS

Colin Grantham, the former Conservative Leader of Tameside Council, has died at the age of 80.

Mr. Grantham died in hospital on Sunday after a short illness.

He leaves Gladys, his wife of 54 years, children Ruth and James and two grandchildren.

Mr. Grantham was born and bred in Gee Cross. He was first elected to Hyde Borough Council in 1967 and was the Chairman of the Tameside Steering Committee that oversaw the formation of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council in 1974.

In 1976, he became the Leader of the Council when the Conservatives snatched control from Labour, and led Tameside for three highly successful years, during which time he famously won a High Court battle to stop local grammar schools from being turned into comprehensives.

In 1981 he was awarded an OBE for services to local government.

Mr. Grantham continued to lead the Conservatives as a Hyde Werneth councillor until he resigned in 1988 to concentrate on his business, but he returned a decade later as a ward councillor for Stalybridge South to lead a Conservative revival in the borough.

During this second period as Conservative Leader, Mr. Grantham also held senior posts, including the chairmanship of the Council’s planning committee and being a member of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund management panel.

In 2007 he retired as a councillor, but remained closely involved in local politics as President of the Stalybridge & Hyde Conservative Association, as well as Chairman of the Tameside Conservative committee – a role he relinquished just a few months ago.

In addition to his council duties he was a keen entrepreneur, a business broker by profession he also set up several businesses – including an early venture running a vinegar-bottling factory – and was passionate about Gee Cross and Hyde.

In total, Mr. Grantham was involved in local politics for over 60 years. He was a principled, political giant of great integrity, who helped thousands of residents with their problems. He made a huge impact on all those that knew him and he will be greatly missed.

NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT WELCOMED

ABOVE: DAVID CAMERON WITH WIFE SAMANTHA OUTSIDE NUMBER TEN

Tameside Conservatives have welcomed the formation of a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition Government, led by the new Prime Minister, David Cameron.

 

Rob Adlard, the Stalybridge & Hyde Conservative Parliamentary candidate at the General Election, said, “These are exceptional times and a strong and stable government is needed. We have to put the national interest first.

 

“The Conservative leadership was determined to get a deal done and I think it’s an indication of the character of David Cameron that he has put the national interest above party politics.

He added, “In Tameside, the Labour MPs will have to work with a Government on many issues they campaigned against.”

Further comment was added by Tameside Conservative Leader, Cllr. John Bell, who said, “I really am looking forward to this with some confidence. The main prerogative for the Government now is to take the nation forward with us.

 
“We have got some difficult decisions ahead of us, and we must rally around to get us out of the mess that Labour have left us in.

“My best wishes go to David Cameron, and I hope British people will come along with us when those tough decisions have to be made.”

 

Speaking on the steps of Number Ten, David Cameron said, “Our country has a hung Parliament where no party has an overall majority and we have some deep and pressing problems, a huge deficit, deep social problems and a political system in need of reform.  For those reasons, I aim to form a proper and full coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.  I believe that is the right way to provide this country with the strong, the stable, the good and decent Government that I think we need so badly.

 

“I came in to politics because I love this country.  I think its best days still lie ahead and I believe deeply in public service.  And I think the service our country needs right now is to face up to our really big challenges to confront our problems, to take difficult decisions, to lead people through those difficult decisions so that together we can reach better times ahead.

 

“This is going to be hard and difficult work.  A coalition will throw up all sorts of challenges, but I believe together we can provide that strong and stable Government that our country needs based on those values, rebuilding family, rebuilding community, above all rebuilding responsibility in our country.

 

“Those are the things I care about; those are the things that this Government will now start work on doing.”

 

To read the coalition agreement between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats please click here.

VOTE FOR CHANGE IN TAMESIDE THIS THURSDAY

Rob Adlard, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Stalybridge & Hyde along with Seema Kennedy, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Ashton-under-Lyne set out their vision for Tameside.

To learn more about Rob’s campaign please click here.

To learn more about Seema’s campaign please click here.

SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES & ECONOMY

CONSERVATIVES WILL SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES,  CUT CONGESTION & PROVIDE A SKILLED WORKFORCE TO ATTRACT HIGH-TECH ‘BIG’ BUSINESS TO TAMESIDE.

Whilst the trade of large retail companies has boomed in Tameside in recent years, our town centres are fighting a decline in their fortunes, and there are still not enough opportunities for high-tech, high-calibre careers in Tameside.

As Labour’s recession has shown, Tameside is too reliant on the retail market and low paid jobs to make the borough’s economic future secure. As a result, unemployment has increased by 118 per cent in the last two years, average wages in Tameside are still amongst the lowest in Greater Manchester, and the brain drain from the borough continues.

We believe that our local, independent traders need support in order to bring the shoppers back to our town centres, and help Tameside maintain its unique identity.

We also believe that more must be done to attract big business to Tameside, by taking advantage of our proximity to the M60 and improving our transport infrastructure – so that we can truly create the foundations for long-term economic stability and growth in Tameside. 

“As Labour’s recession has shown, Tameside is too reliant on the retail market and low paid jobs to make the borough’s economic future secure.”

OUR POLICIES

We will:

  • Introduce a managed system of free and low cost parking on council-owned car parks – to attract shoppers back to our beleaguered town centres.
  • Support the expansion of the Metrolink to Ashton – following the hard work of Conservatives on the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority and Association of Greater Manchester Authorities to resurrect the project and get it ‘back on track’.
  • Cut congestion on our roads by:
    • Reviewing our traffic light system and removing traffic lights where they are not required.
    • Reviewing the location of all Tameside’s Gatso and Watchman speed cameras, to ensure that the borough’s cameras are placed in the areas of main priority and are being used for the specific reason they were created, to cut accident rates.
    • Removing unnecessary road obstacles – such as speed humps and road markings – where appropriate, and supported by local residents, to allow traffic to flow freely and reduce the number of congestion bottlenecks.
  • Develop opportunities for business relocation into the borough, and career opportunities for local residents, through established links with our local universities and ‘big business’ and improved education results.

YOUR CHOICE ON 6th MAY:

  • A resurgence for our towns, congestion cut, and job opportunities with the Conservatives; or,
  • Poor wages and the continued decline of our town centres and infrastructure with Labour.

CONSERVATIVES WILL INCREASE SUPPORT TO OUR COMMUNITIES & RESIDENTS

“Youth annoyance is endemic in Tameside – it is one of the biggest problems to blight neighbourhoods – and elderly and vulnerable residents can feel isolated. So why has Labour made cuts to services like youth provision?”

Youth annoyance is endemic in Tameside – it is one of the biggest problems to blight neighbourhoods – and elderly and vulnerable residents can feel isolated.

So why has Labour made cuts to services like youth provision?

We believe far much more can be done to engage our children, to ensure that they are considered a credit to our community, not a concern.

It’s not only young people that Labour has failed.

With no sense of community, our elderly and vulnerable residents can increasingly feel cut off from the neighbourhoods they have lived in for most of their lives.

This needs to change.

OUR POLICIES

We will:

  • Establish a new era of Sure Start community centres involving expert organisations with proven track records, to focus on the needs of families, elderly and vulnerable residents.
  • Offer enhanced financial support to community groups that provide assistance to our young, elderly and vulnerable residents.
  • Provide youth workers for every single ward of Tameside, with a greater use of our schools for youth activities in out-of-school hours, ensuring our young people have somewhere to go and something to do.
  • Develop and maintain play areas across the borough to provide better play provision for our children
  • Protect the borough’s playing fields from developers.
  • Remove unnecessary waste in the Social Services budget – to ensure that help is directed where it’s needed most, faster.

YOUR CHOICE ON 6th MAY:

  • A greater sense of community with the Conservatives; or,
  • Continuing social break-up with Labour.

CONSERVATIVES WILL IMPROVE LABOUR’S BELOW-AVERAGE EDUCATION STANDARDS, RESTORE DISCIPLINE IN OUR SCHOOLS & PROVIDE BETTER VOCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

“In 2009, 54.5 per cent of Tameside’s school leavers left without decent standards in Maths and English, and almost eight per cent (over 220 young people) left with no qualifications in Maths and English whatsoever.”

Labour has failed a generation of children and teachers in Tameside, providing no more than average standards in education. 

We support the current school building programme, but bricks and mortar do not guarantee improved standards, and year-on-year Tameside’s educations standards exceed nothing more than what the rest of the country considers average.

In 2009, 54.5 per cent of Tameside’s school leavers left without decent standards in Maths and English, and almost eight per cent (over 220 young people) left with no qualifications in Maths and English whatsoever.

For a child, after 11 years of schooling, not to possess decent standards of literacy and numeracy is an utter disgrace on the part of the local authority.

A solid education provides children with the basis for a rewarding and fulfilling life.

It is no coincidence that Tameside has low education standards, whilst also suffering from high instances of under age drinking, endemic youth annoyance, low average wages and high levels of crime. This link must be broken with the end of Labour’s generation of failure and shame.

OUR POLICIES

We will:

  • Raise standards by putting Maths and English at the heart of every child’s education, aiming to ensure children can read and write by the time they are six years old, and following that commitment through their school years.
  • Ensure every child achieves their potential – whether they are academically or vocationally talented – through a system of streaming.
  • Emphatically support teachers and schools in their efforts to restore discipline in classrooms. No longer will disruptive pupils rule the classrooms.
  • Introduce more vocational courses, and greater partnership work with local businesses – ensuring our children are better qualified to enter their working years.
  • Provide better links with the wealth of university expertise on our doorstep in Manchester, by creating formal educational links with Manchester’s universities and ‘big’ business – providing an inspirational focus for our children’s future aspirations.

YOUR CHOICE ON 6th MAY:

  • Raised standards, better discipline and more opportunities with the Conservatives; or,
  • Average standards, indiscipline and a failing education system with Labour.

CONSERVATIVES WILL REPAIR THE ROADS & IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT

“…complaints about the bin service and litter make up approximately 43 per cent of complaints to Tameside Council.”

Tameside’s Labour-controlled council has built up a £40million backlog of road repairs – a backlog that has been exacerbated by the heavy snow we experienced over the winter months. As a result our road network is falling apart.

Furthermore, Tameside Labour’s environmental record is rubbish – a failing bin service, endemic fly-tipping, reduced recycling facilities, and an environmental policy that does not appear to go beyond hanging baskets.

Whilst residents have slowly accepted the fortnightly, bin collection service – as a means of increasing recycling rates – its application has been erratic and unpopular. In some instances brown bins have been left unemptied because Tameside Council works on the assumption that up to 30 per cent of brown bins will not need emptying at the same time. So when demand is high, as it was last autumn, the service is unable to cope.

As a result, complaints about the bin service and litter make up approximately 43 per cent of complaints to Tameside Council. Everybody wants higher recycling rates, but people should also expect a refuse collection service that is reliable and effective for the Council Tax they pay.

Furthermore, not enough is done to keep our town centres and streets clean. We will ensure that the cleanliness of our streets is improved.

OUR POLICIES

We will:

  • Implement a road and footpath repair programme to tackle the £40 million backlog of road repairs built up under Labour in Tameside.
  • Improve the reliability of the bin service, with better supervision of the bin collection.
  • Reassess the managed bin service for flats and terraced properties, and establish improved, alternative arrangements where required.
  • Reduce fly-tipping in the borough by abolishing the £23 charge for the removal of bulky household waste.
  • Provide more recycling facilities and protect them from abuse with CCTV camera coverage.
  • Protect the green belt against developers, and improve the appearance of our borough with a proper system of street cleaning.

YOUR CHOICE ON 6th MAY:

  • An efficient bin service and better care for our environment with the Conservatives; or,
  • An unreliable bin service, more fly-tipping and less green space with Labour.

CONSERVATIVES WILL PUT MORE POLICE ON TAMESIDE’S STREETS & CUT CRIME

“Tameside is now a national hot-spot for burglaries and under-age drinking, and has some of the worst crime figures in the country.”

Despite the millions of pounds spent each year by Labour, crime and levels of anti-social behaviour are unacceptably high in Tameside. 

Tameside is now a national hot-spot for burglaries and under-age drinking, and has some of the worst crime figures in the country.

Last year, official crime figures revealed that burglaries in Tameside had increased by a staggering 41 per cent, and the borough was ranked the 12th worst area in the country for burglaries.

Furthermore, the borough has the fifth highest rate of under-age drinking in the North West, and not a weekend goes by without local neighbourhoods being ruined by gangs of drunken, feral youths rampaging unchecked.

An official government report states that crime in Tameside, “…remains too high. Crime is higher than similar areas,” and, “…Crimes which affect public confidence such as burglary remain too high.”

Residents have had enough of Labour’s inept failure to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

OUR POLICIES

We will:

  • Put extra full-time regular police officers on the streets of Tameside via a borough police partnership agreement with the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester.
  • Pay Special Constables – fully trained, fully equipped volunteer police officers – to work at peak periods in crime hotspots, thereby supporting full-time officers and providing extra police presence on the streets.
  • Enhance street lighting, and alley-gating, and provide more mobile CCTV units to be used in conjunction with the police.
  • Establish a Tameside police cadet service, in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police, to give young people an opportunity to gain knowledge of a possible future career, as well as gain valuable vocational skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
  • With the assistance of Conservatives at national level, lobby Government to review the 24-hour drinking laws.

YOUR CHOICE ON 6th MAY:

  • Less crime and more police with the Conservatives; or,
  • High crime and less police with Labour.

“SIX STEPS TO CHANGE” LEAFLET NOW BEING DELIVERED TO RESIDENTS

Tameside Conservatives’ “Six Steps to Change” leaflet is now being delivered to households across Tameside, as part of their 2010 local election campaign.

The leaflet complements Tameside Conservatives’ manifesto which was launched last week.

To view the leaflet please click on the image above.

To read Tameside Conservatives’ manifesto please click here.

To find out more about Tameside Conservative’s local election campaign please click here.

“SIX STEPS TO CHANGE”: THE TAMESIDE CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO 2010

 

The Tameside Conservatives have launched their ambitious local election manifesto for 2010, and are promising to end Labour failure in six key areas.

The Conservatives are pledging to:

1) Stop the year-on-year rise of Council Tax by ridding it of Labour’s waste and freezing it;

2) Tackle crime and anti-social behaviour by putting more more police on the beat in the borough;

3) Tackle Tameside Council’s £40m pothole backlog by repairing the roads, as well improving the environment by tackling fly-tipping and making the bin service more reliable;

4) Support our children by improving Tameside’s below-average education standards;

5) Increase support for our communities by giving greater support to Sure Start, opening new community centres, and developing better youth facilities; and,

6) Support local businesses by providing free and low cost parking in our town centres and ridding our roads of congestion.

These pledges are receiving widespread praise from local residents, who are fed up with Labour’s arrogance, waste and failure.

TO READ TAMESIDE CONSERVATIVES’ LOCAL ELECTION MANIFESTO FOR 2010 PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE.

TAMESIDE CONSERVATIVES LAUNCH ELECTION CAMPAIGN

 

Tameside Conservatives this week launched their election campaign with a pledge card to local residents.

The Conservatives are promising SIX STEPS TO CHANGE in Tameside after 31 years of Labour mismanagement and failure in the borough.

 Their ambitious programme includes pledges to:

1) Stop the year-on-year rise of Council Tax by ridding it of Labour’s waste and freezing it;

2) Tackle crime and anti-social behaviour by putting more more police on the beat in the borough;

3) Tackle Tameside Council’s £40m pothole backlog by repairing the roads, as well improving the environment by tackling fly-tipping and making the bin service more reliable;

4) Support our children by improving Tameside’s below-average education standards;

5) Increase support for our communities by giving greater support to Sure Start, opening new community centres, and developing better youth facilities; and,

6) Support local businesses by providing free and low cost parking in our town centres and ridding our roads of congestion.

Already, door-to-door conversations with local residents are showing that they have had enough of Labour’s waste, arrogance and failure and are backing the Conservatives in their election campaign.

TO READ TAMESIDE CONSERVATIVES’ PLEDGE CARD PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE.

ROB ADLARD SELECTED AS STALYBRIDGE & HYDE CANDIDATE FOR FORTHCOMING GENERAL ELECTION

ABOVE: ROB (centre) WITH SOME OF HIS SUPPORTERS

Rob Adlard, the Chairman of Longdendale Conservatives has been selected as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Stalybridge & Hyde, against the incumbent Labour MP, James Purnell.

Whilst Purnell secured a healthy majority at the last General Election in 2005, the Conservatives took more votes than Labour in the eight wards that make up the Stalybridge & Hyde constituency at the 2008 local elections. 

Unlike Purnell, Rob lives permanently in the constituency with his home in Broadbottom.

To find out more about Rob’s campaign, please visit his website: www.robadlard.com.

‘IS TAMESIDE LABOUR TAKING LESSONS FROM NORTH KOREA?’

 CRITICISM OF LABOUR’S STATE OF THE AREA ADDRESS DEMOCRATIC ABUSE CONTINUES…

Further criticism was heaped upon Tameside’s Labour-controlled council this week, after Labour’s abuse of power at the recent State of the Area Address Debate.

Stalybridge North Conservative councillor, Clive Patrick, questioned whether or not Labour were now taking lesson’s in democracy from North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il.

Cllr. Patrick was one of a number of Conservative who were GAGGED at the recent council debate – where the so-called ‘debate’ was restricted by Labour, to the views of just THREE of Tameside’s FIFTY-SEVEN democratically elected councillors. 

As a result the Conservatives have submitted an official complaint and demanded a thorough investigation into the debacle.

Cllr. Patrick said, “‘Democracy! What democracy?’ The answer to this question might depend on whom you ask, but if you ask me – a Conservative councillor who sat through Tameside Council’s recent “State of the Area Address Debate” – the answer would be, ‘none’.

“Those present in the public gallery and, watching at home via the internet, were treated to a self-congratulatory diatribe by the Labour Leader, at an event that costs council taxpayers £10,000-a-year.

“Nonetheless, the Conservative Group was ready to debate his speech, including points that I wished to raise. However, this so-called debate was curtailed to just TWO speakers from a total of FIFTY-SEVEN councillors.

“The rest of us were refused the right to speak, despite the council’s own constitution clearly stating that we would be ‘…entitled to conduct an open debate on the content of the address.’

“No satisfactory answer was received as to why we were BANNED from speaking, despite the Chairman taking advice from a senior officer.

“I could understand such ‘democratic’ rights being abused if we lived under the shadow of a totalitarian, Stalinist, dictator like that of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, but are we now to believe that Tameside Labour are taking lessons from him?”

“For the benefit of Tameside residents, maybe Council Chairman, Cllr. Jack Davis – the man who wouldn’t allow the debate – would like to answer that question.”

DICTATORS’ STATE?

CONSERVATIVES SUBMIT OFFICIAL COMPLAINT FOLLOWING ‘STATE OF THE AREA’ COUNCIL FARCE

LABOUR’S ACTIONS HAVE GIVEN DEMOCRACY IN TAMESIDE A GOOD KICKING

Tameside Conservatives have submitted an official complaint, and a demand for a full investigation, following Labour’s refusal to allow a full debate at last Tuesday’s so-called State of the Area Address ‘Debate’

The democratic snub was in breach of the Labour-controlled council’s own rules which allow for a debate following the council leader’s annual address.

However, the debate ended in FARCE when it was curtailed to just THREE speakers – Council Leader, Cllr. Roy Oldham; Conservative Leader, Cllr. John Bell; and Mossley Independent Leader, Cllr. Roy Etchells – as Labour sought to block Conservative councillors from speaking by claiming the debate was only for group leaders.

This led to angry scenes in the council chamber, as Conservative councillors demanded the right to be heard.

They brandished their official Tameside Council procedural standing order booklets, which clearly stated that councillors are, “…entitled to conduct an open debate on the content of the address” – a fact reiterated on the meeting’s agenda paper.

However, their demands were brushed aside as Labour councillors obstinately refused to accept the council’s own rules.

Labour’s embarrassment was complete, when the Conservative Leader, Cllr. John Bell, called the controlling group “dictators”, before reading out the relevant rules to an audience watching from both the public gallery and on the internet.

In a further blow to democracy, an edited video version of proceedings has since appeared on Tameside Council’s website without the comments of either Cllrs. Bell or Etchells included.

Commenting on the matter, Cllr. Bell said, “Democracy was suspended in the council chamber as, once again, Labour blocked political debate, in a blatant contradiction to the council’s very own rules, in order to deliver their autocratic style of democracy. 

“Tameside Council is made up of 57 councillors. Even by the dictatorial standards of Labour a ‘debate’ is not defined by the comments of just three councillors without the opportunity for further comment by the remaining 54 councillors.

“Several members of my Group wished to speak on matters relating to issues such as community safety, education, the environment and transport – but were unconstitutionally blocked from doing so.

“Furthermore, the comments Cllr. Etchells and I made have now been deleted from the edited video that now appears on the Tameside Council website. The event costs council taxpayers £10,000-a-year, and they have a right to hear the views of the opposition.

“Consequently, Labour’s actions have left us with no option but to lodge an official complaint, coupled with a demand for a full investigation as to why the democratic process was hijacked by the dictatorial demands of Labour.”

FURTHER INFORMATION:

TAMESIDE COUNCIL’S S.A.A.D. PROCEDURAL STANDING ORDERS

The State of the Area Debate is governed by Tameside Council’s P.S.O. 33, which states:

33. State of the Area Address

33.1. The Civic Mayor shall chair a Civic Meeting of the Council in November/December each year to which the Executive Leader will present a State of the Area Address.

33.2. Members of the Council and the Civic Panel will be entitled to conduct an open debate on the content of the address.

[SOURCE: TMBC P.S.O. 33, http://www.tameside.gov.uk/constitution/part4a/orders#33]

A S.A.A.D. HISTORY

It is not the first time the State of the Area Debate has touted controversy since it’s introduction to the political calendar in 2001.

The event which costs approximately £10,000-a-year, is estimated to have cost Tameside taxpayers over £88,000 since it’s inception. Last year the event cost £10,928.

No comparable event is held by any other local authority in Greater Manchester.

In 2001, the Labour Leader promised that there would be a Conservative mayor in 2003, but went on to renege on his promise. This resulted in the Conservatives boycotting the Debate from 2002 until their return in 2008.

[SOURCE: “…Cllr. Oldham added that should the Civic Mayor be retained the role will be rotated across political parties and there will be a Conservative Mayor for 2003. The role will then be rotated according to the ratios of councillors for each party.” “U-TURN, Now Council WILL hold poll for elected mayor” Tameside Reporter, 13th December 2001, pp.1-2]

RESIDENTS WANT MORE POLICE, NOT MORE LABOUR SPIN

CONSERVATIVES ATTACK LABOUR’S CRIMINAL COMMUNITY SAFETY RECORD

Tameside Conservatives have attacked Labour’s opposition to Conservative proposals to put more police on the streets of Tameside.

Cllr. Richard Ambler – the Conservative’s Community Safety Spokesman, and Ashton Hurst councillor – moved to highlight the difference between Labour policies that undermine the local police team and Conservative proposals which would significantly boost the number of police officers on the streets of Tameside

Cllr. Ambler said, “Labour claims dismissing our proposals are grossly inaccurate.

“Labour opposes more police on the streets of Tameside yet support hikes to Tameside Council’s propaganda budget and excessive spending on street art and statues. This year,  Labour’s Year of Propaganda, this will cost £706,000, and come directly from the money raised via Council Tax – not grant money as claimed by Labour.

CLLR. RICHARD AMBLER: “Residents don’t want hired heavies, they simply want more police, and under a Conservative administration in Tameside that is what they will get.”

“Thanks to Labour’s lack of will and wherewithal there has been no significant decrease in crime, the police are overstretched, and the fear of crime is still the public’s number one concern – despite the council having an annual, multi-million pound, community safety budget.

“We now know that Labour would rather pay a powerless, private security firm to prowl the streets, instead of directing their funding towards the police.

“In comparison, putting more police on the streets of Tameside would be the Conservatives’ number one priority.

“And, it would be based on a Conservative budget that would be free of Labour’s expensive pet projects of spin which continually see Council Tax hiked in Tameside.

“Other local authorities are taking steps to fund extra police, and we know from what is going on elsewhere that a team of 20 extra full-time officers, backed by a team of 100 paid Specials working a 20-hour week at key times in key areas, could be provided for less than £2m-a-year, and would boost our neighbourhood teams so that they could fully tackle the problems communities face.”

“Residents don’t want hired heavies, they simply want more police, and under a Conservative administration in Tameside that is what they will get.”