WE WANT OUR LOLLIPOP LADY BACK!

Stalybridge Conservatives are backing a campaign by Stalyhill Junior and Infant Schools to have their school crossing patrol reinstated.

The patrol was withdrawn before Christmas, when the schools’ lollipop lady left the role. Parents were informed that she would not be replaced due to ‘government cuts’, despite national criteria stating that the schools are entitled to a crossing patrol in order to safeguard children’s safety, and Tameside Council still having money to waste on non-essential items such as Britain in Bloom and the Tameside Citizen council newspaper.

The campaign was launched this morning with a team, that included Stalybridge councillors David Buckley, Basil Beeley and Doreen Dickinson, collecting signatures in the pouring rain for a petition that has been organised calling for the reinstatement of the crossing patrol.

An online petition has also been set up, and members of the public wanting to sign the petition can do so by clicking here.

TAMESIDE COUNCIL TO PRIVATISE SERVICES?

COUNCIL DISMISSES OUT-SOURCING PLAN AS A ‘RUMOUR’

CLLR DOREEN DICKINSON DEMANDED DETAILS OF PRIVATISATION PLANS

Tameside Council could be planning to privatise its facilities management service – if recent rumours are to be believed. The proposal could see the maintenance of the council’s buildings handed over to a private company.

The matter was raised by Cllr. Doreen Dickinson, at Tuesday’s meeting of Full Council. However, the plan was dismissed by the Labour leadership as nothing more than a ‘rumour’.

Nonetheless, the issue came as a surprise to some Labour councillors, who are vehemently opposed to any notion of privatising council services.

Details of the council’s plans for facilities management are being awaited.

IMPROVING ROADS IN STALYBRIDGE

CLLR. DAVID BUCKLEY AT THE JUNCTION OF MOTTRAM ROAD AND COMPTON STREET

Proposals are being considered to improve safety at the junction of Compton Street and Mottram Road, Stalybridge

The scheme would see the removal of a parking space outside the former post office, so that vehicles pulling out of Compton Street would have a better view of traffic travelling up Mottram Road.

At the moment, motorists have to pull out beyond the junction to view oncoming traffic if there is a vehicle parked outside the former post office.

Stalybridge Conservative councillor, David Buckley, said, “It’s an excellent proposal to make this junction safer, and I hope residents will support it.”

Conservative lobbying has also resulted in the recent resurfacing of Mottram Road between Mottram Old Road and Woodend Lane, and the reduction in the speed limit along Matley Lane to 30mph.

Furthermore, discussions about improving road safety at the Woodend Lane/Mottram Road junction are continuing, and proposals are being considered for a footpath along Mottram Old Road between Mottram Road and Hereford Way, subject to consultation.

Cllr. Buckley’s colleague, Cllr. Doreen Dickinson said, “We are pleased with the improvements and support improvements that will make our roads safer for children. We are continuing our lobbying for improved safety at the junction of Woodend Lane/Mottram Road.”

CONSERVATIVE LOBBYING RESULTS IN OPENING OF NEW YOUTH CLUB

BASIL BEELEY, DAVID BUCKLEY & DOREEN DICKINSON AT THE OPENING OF THE NEW COPLEY YOUTH CLUB

Stalybridge South’s three Conservative councillors have welcomed the opening of a brand new youth club at Copley recreation centre.

The youth club opened last Friday,  following continuous lobbying by the councillors to improve youth services in the area.

The club will serve the whole of the ward, from Millbrook to Mottram Rise; including Brushes, Copley, and the Stayley Hall area.

It follows Conservative efforts across the whole of the ward to improve facilities for young people and reduce anti-social behaviour.

Speaking following the opening of the centre, Conservative councillor, David Buckley, said, “This is a marvellous facility and one that I hope will be put to good use in the forthcoming years. It provides a base from which our youngsters can find positive outlets for their talents and enthusiasm.

“At the same time, we hope that incidents of youth annoyance will be reduced. The majority of the time our youngsters are doing nothing more than standing on a street corner in a gang, but all too often residents feel intimidated by their presence, and on occasions anti-social behaviour occurs through boredom.

“We hope this club, and the efforts we are making across the whole of the ward, will mean that residents no longer feel intimidated, and that a positive outcome is achieved for all.”

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.

NEW POLICE POD AT ASHTON BUS STATION

ABOVE: CLLR. DOREEN DICKINSON (second left) WITH PCSO BEV WILLIS, DAVE MALLET OF THE GMPTE, CLLR. KEVIN WELSH & PC CHRIS WHARMBY.

A new police ‘pod’, which is aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour and helping passengers feel safer on public transport, has opened at Ashton Bus Station.

The ‘pod’ will be used as a drop-in office and interview room for Police Community Support Officers, Bus Watch Specials, GMPTE’s Patrol & Response Team, Police Officers and Town Centre Patrols, providing a reassuring and highly visible police base on the bus station.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) staff have been working alongside Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council to deliver the initiative.

Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) is responsible for overseeing the provision of public transport in Greater Manchester with GMPTE implementing GMITA’s policies

Cllr Doreen Dickinson, Tameside’s Conservative representative on GMITA, said: “Passenger safety and security is one of our top priorities and we are very happy to be working with Greater Manchester Police and Tameside Council on this initiative.

“While public transport generally, and bus stations in particular, provide safe environments, the new police pod at Ashton will give passengers an added security in the knowledge that police officers are regularly operating from the bus station.

“Not only does this mean that officers will be available to deal with specific incidents but their uniformed presence will also help to discourage anti-social behaviour in the first place.”

GMP Tameside North Neighbourhood Inspector Tony Alogba said: “Public transport is a safe way to travel, but people acting in an anti-social way such as smoking, listening to loud music, swearing and acting in an inconsiderate way can be intimidating, especially for older people and people travelling with children.

“The police pod will provide extra reassurance at the bus station with officers patrolling the area as well as acting as a deterrent to would be offenders.”

FOOTBALL CASH IS JUST CHAMPION!

BRUSHES RANGERS RECEIVE £400 GRANT FROM STALYBRIDGE CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS  

ABOVE: Cllr. David Buckley presents the Conservatives’ donation to Brushes Rangers’ captain, Jack Shaw, watched by Cllrs. Basil Beeley, Doreen Dickinson and Rangers’ chairman, Kevin Etchells (second left).

Brushes Rangers Football Club has scored a £400 donation from Stalybridge South’s Conservative councillors.

Cllrs. David Buckley, Basil Beeley and Doreen Dickinson presented the donation to the club, prior to their recent Stalybridge & Hyde District Cup Final clash.

The donation will assist Rangers at a time when they are looking to set up a youth team to complement the three adult sides they currently run.

Cllr. Buckley said, “It’s an enormous pleasure to present Brushes Rangers with this donation. They are a thriving football club that really plays it part in the community. They deserve as much help as they can get as they try to set up a youth team, and we are only too happy to help.”

Unfortunately, the donation came too late for the Cup Final at Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold ground, where Rangers lost to a much more experienced Dukinfield Town team.

BRUSHES RANGERS WANT YOU!

Brushes Rangers are looking for assistance in setting up a youth team. If you are a young player or a coach and would like to get involved then they would love to hear from you.

For more details please contact Club secretary Kevin Dawson on 07976 016935.

Alternatively, visit their website at: http://www.freewebs.com/brushesrangersfc/.

CAT PARK CLEAR UP IS UNDERWAY

CONSERVATIVE CAMPAIGN FOR PARK RESTORATION IS SUCCESSFUL

ABOVE: CLLR. BASIL BEELEY & THE PRELIMINARY WORK UNDERTAKEN AT THE CAT PARK

Work has begun on the restoration of a small park in Stalybridge, following a successful Conservative campaign to get it cleared up.

The Cat Park, a small triangular park between Stocks Lane, Taylor Street and Groby Street, has been neglected for years and had become overgrown and unsightly.

However, last summer Stalybridge’s Conservative councillors successfully secured District Assembly funding for the park’s restoration and surveyed local residents for their views on the matter.

As a result, work began on transforming the park a few weeks ago, and now Conservatives are looking forward to the park being transformed in time for the summer.

Cllr. Basil Beeley said, “We secured funding for the Cat Park’s restoration last year, and preparation for the work has taken many months.

“I am therefore delighted that work has now begun on the park. For years it was a mess, and it ended up attracting alcohol-drinking youths and dog fouling.

“However, the transformation should make it a focal point for local residents once again, and the timing of the work means it will be ready in time for the summer months.”

CONSERVATIVES DIG DEEP FOR COPLEY COMMUNITY GARDEN

CLLRS. BASIL BEELEY & DOREEN DICKINSON HAND OVER THE £400 DONATION TO COPLEY RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION’S DONNA GREGORY & CHRISTINE GREGORY (far right) 

Stalybridge Conservatives are supporting the creation of a community garden on Copley Estate.

Copley Residents’ Association is creating the garden, which will be located adjacent to Stocks Brook off Demesne Close.

Stalybridge South Conservative councillors, Basil Beeley and Doreen Dickinson, visited the site of the garden this week to discuss the proposals with members of the residents’ association.

They then handed over a £400 donation from the ward monies they share with fellow Conservative ward councillor, David Buckley – who was on holiday at the time, and unable to visit the garden.

The councillors’ donation will help fund the purchase of plants and equipment.

Cllr. Basil Beeley said, “Over the years we have supported the efforts of Copley residents to improve their neighbourhood, and we are very happy to keep assisting them in any way we can.

“The residents’ association is doing a remarkable job, and the establishment of a community garden will be a lovely asset for the area. I am now looking forward to seeing the garden develop and grow, so that residents can enjoy it for years to come.”  

KIDS’ TENNIS COACHING NETS DONATION

STALYBRIDGE CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS AWARD £400 FOR CHILDREN’S TENNIS COACHING

ABOVE: CLLR. BASIL BEELEY (third left) HANDS THE DONATION TO ROY SAXTON OF THE PRIORY TENNIS CLUB, WATCHED BY CLLRS DAVID BUCKLEY (second right) & DOREEN DICKINSON (far right), GORDON WHITBREAD & JOHN CLIFTON. 

Stalybridge South’s Conservative councillors this week reiterated their support for young peoples’ sport with a £400 donation to the Priory Tennis Club.

The donation, from their council ward monies, will be used to fund professional coaching sessions for young people at the Mottram Road club.

The coaching sessions are open to local children of all ages, and have proved very popular.

Cllrs. Basil Beeley, David Buckley and Doreen Dickinson visited the club to speak to members and pass on their donation.

Cllr. Beeley said, “The coaching sessions provided by the Priory Tennis Club are excellent, and provide opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist for local youngsters to try their hand at tennis.

“We are delighted to be supporting the continuation of the sessions, and we will continue to do our utmost to support sporting opportunities for young people in Stalybridge South.”

IT’S PAYBACK TIME FOR DEMESNE WOOD

CLLRS. DOREEN DICKINSON (centre), BASIL BEELEY (second right) & DAVID BUCKLEY (far right) WITH MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY SAFETY TEAM AND NEW CHARTER HOUSING OFFICIALS WATCH THE WORK OF THE YOUNG OFFENDERS 

Stalybridge South’s three Conservative councillors – Basil Beeley, David Buckley and Doreen Dickinson – were recently on-hand to survey the work undertaken by members of the Community Payback team, to clean up the wood off Demesne Drive, Stalybridge.

The team of young offenders spent several days clearing the wood of rubbish and debris, as part of the sentences dished out to them for crimes of a varying nature.

It is hoped that the scheme will both instill a sense of community into the offenders, as well help tidy up areas that would otherwise remain neglected.

NEW YOUTH CLUB SET FOR COPLEY

beel, basil - copley rec

CLLR. BASIL BEELEY NEXT TO THE SITE FOR THE NEW YOUTH & COMMUNITY CENTRE AT COPLEY

Plans are in front of Tameside Council for a new youth and community centre at Copley, following concerted campaigning by Stalybridge South’s three Conservative ward councillors.

The new centre – which is currently subject to planning approval – will be based centrally at Copley Recreation Centre.

Cllr. Basil Beeley said, “We are delighted that Stalybridge South is set to get a new youth and community centre.

“My Conservative ward colleagues – Cllrs. David Buckley and Doreen Dickinson – and I have fought for several years to get such a centre, in order to assist local young people and reduce anti-social behaviour.

“Our next aim is to get more provision for young people living up Mottram Rise, following the successful football coaching sessions that we funded during the summer.”

DOREEN CONGRATULATES HOME GROWN TALENT!

dickinson, doreen - mottram road allotments

(Photograph courtesy of the Tameside Reporter)

CLLR. DOREEN DICKINSON (third right) WITH SOME OF MOTTRAM ROAD ALLOTMENTS’ PRIZE WINNERS

Stalybridge South Conservative councillor, Doreen Dickinson, was recently guest of honour at Mottram Road Allotments’ open day, where she handed out the annual prizes for the best produce grown, proving once again that the best talent is always home grown!

STALYBRIDGE CONSERVATIVES HELP YOUNG CARERS

bb.dbu.dd.youngcarers

(Photograph courtesy of the Tameside Reporter)

CLLR. DOREEN DICKINSON PRESENTS THE £500 CHEQUE TO JOYCE HOWARTH, CHAIRMAN OF THE FRIENDS OF YOUNG CARERS, WITH CLLRS. DAVID BUCKLEY (left), BASIL BEELEY (right), & YOUNG CARERS (l-r) LEWIS BIRCHALL, LEON MORETOR, MATTHEW DIXON & JOSEPH AINSWORTH

Stalybridge South’s Conservative councillors recently supported the work of young carers.

Cllrs. Basil Beeley, David Buckley and Doreen Dickinson awarded the Friends of Young Carers a £500 grant from their council ward monies.

The Friends of Young Carers is one of Tameside’s newest charities, and was set up to support the borough’s 200 young carers, who are aged from seven to 18-years-old. As part of that support, the charity raises money to help provide funding for the carers to access sport, recreational and leisure activities in order to improve their lifestyle and social welfare.

The Conservatives’ donation will fund a day trip to Alton Towers for 50 of the youngsters. 

CONSERVATIVES AT THE STALYBRIDGE CARNIVAL

stalybridge carnival

THE CONSERVATIVE STALL AT THE STALYBRIDGE CARNIVAL 

The Conservatives were out in force at the Stalybridge Carnival today. Local Tories supported the fabulous annual event by manning a stall and meeting local residents.

WANT TO TO GET INVOLVED? PLEASE CLICK HERE.

CONSERVATIVE VOTE AGAINST 550% ALLOWANCE INCREASE SCRUBBED FROM RECORDS

Caution 

Tameside Council claims the is ‘no evidence’ that allowances vote ever happened!

The integrity of democratic procedure at Tameside Council is being questioned, after a Conservative amendment to shelve a 550 per cent increase in the allowance of the Standards’ Committee Chair was omitted from council records.

The proposal – which was also supported by independent councillors – was moved and seconded at the Full Council meeting in April.

However, despite a vote being taken, and the proposal being defeated by Labour members, officials failed to record the proposed amendment – who later claimed there was ‘no evidence’ that the amendment had been seconded.

The glaring error was exposed when the minutes of the meeting were published prior to Tuesday’s latest meeting of Full Council, where both Conservative and independent councillors argued in vain with Labour members to get the error corrected.

The Conservatives and independents subsequently rejected the minutes of April’s meeting as a correct record in a named vote – an unprecedented event in Tameside’s political history.

Cllr. Doreen Dickinson who had proposed and moved April’s amendment said, “It is wrong that the Chair’s allowance should increase by 550 per cent from £1,115-a-year to £6,137-a-year on the assumption that the committee’s workload ‘could’ increase, particularly when residents are struggling in the recession and some staff are going to have their pay cut as part of the council’s pay and grading review.

“Labour have reduced the amount of business going to Full Council to such a small amount that it beggars belief that an amendment was moved, seconded and voted upon at one of its meetings and not recorded accurately.”

She added, “Just because the seconder wasn’t heard by the officers it doesn’t mean it did not happen. At best, their mistake is careless, and at worst, it could be considered a gerrymandering of the political process.”

Cllr. Dickinson’s amendment was seconded by her Conservative colleague, Cllr. Basil Beeley.

Cllr. Beeley, said, “I was on my feet when I seconded the vote, and this was heard by my Conservative colleagues and the independent councillors present, and a vote ensued. I cannot be held responsible for the failure of the officers not to hear or see my contribution, and I am disappointed that the Labour Group has allowed this mistake to influence their recollection of events.”

Cllr. John Bell, the Conservative Leader, added further comment, “This wasn’t the only mistake that came to light. Another Conservative amendment at the same meeting was also omitted from the original minutes, although this has now been partly corrected.

“The Council’s motto is ‘Industry & Integrity’ but the integrity of Tameside’s democratic process in Tameside is now under intense pressure. At a time when the public are questioning the morals of politicians everywhere I am incensed that the Council has failed in one of its most basic duties – to accurately record the work of Full Council – on an item that is proving to be highly contentious at this moment in time.

“I think Labour’s failure to support Conservative and independent efforts to have this mistake corrected is rotten to the core.”

The report – by the Independent Remuneration Panel – advised the Council to increase the allowances of the Council’s Standards’ Committee members, including increasing the allowance of the Committee’s Chair from £1,115 to £6,137 – an increase of 550 per cent, backdated to May 2008 on the assumption of an increased workload.

In the last municipal year the Committee officially met on three occasions.

FURTHER INFORMATION

INDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL REPORT, FULL COUNCIL 14th APRIL 2009

At the meeting of the Tameside’s Full Council on the 14th April 2009, Cllr. Doreen Dickinson moved an amendment to shelve the report’s recommendations for 12 months, in light of the current economic climate.

Cllr. Dickinson’s amendment was seconded by Cllr. Basil Beeley and received support from Mossley independent councillors, but was defeated.

The Labour vote against the amendment was not unanimous, with some Labour members abstaining.

The full report can be viewed here (Item 11).

 COUNCIL AGENDA, 19th MAY 2009

The original minutes of April’s meeting accompanied the agenda of the meeting of Full Council on the 19th May 2009.

The original minutes contained no mention of two proposed Conservative amendments: 1) Cllr. Dickinson’s proposed amendment re. the Independent Remuneration Panel (Minute 100); and 2) A proposal, moved by Cllr. John Bell and seconded by Cllr. Dickinson, to rescind plans for Community Panels to run parallel with each District Assembly as undemocratic and, instead, to pass on the proposed funding for these panels to the District Assemblies (Minute 97).

Up-to-date minutes of the meeting can be viewed here.

CONSERVATIVE COMPLAINTS

The Conservative Leader of the Opposition, Cllr. Bell, immediately complained about the omissions, and in a letter to him dated the 18th May 2009, the Head of Democratic Services wrote, “…I accept that your amendment [re. Community Panels] was formally moved, seconded and voted upon but this is not recorded in the minutes. I apologise for the oversight and consequently I will amend the minutes and submit a revised set of minutes…”

Nonetheless, the amended minute for the Community Panel still failed to include the proposal to pass on the funding directly to the District Assemblies.

In relation to the Independent Remuneration Panel report, the Head of Democratic Services, wrote, “…we can find no evidence that a motion was formally seconded. Our written records show that whilst the amendment was moved it was not seconded. Consequently I do not propose to amend this minute. It is for Council to determine whether it wishes to accept the minutes as a correct record or make amendments to the minutes submitted…”

NAMED VOTES

A named vote is one in which the vote of each councillor is recorded in the minutes. Items debated at Full Council are usually voted upon by a show of hands, and the vote of each councillor is not usually recorded. However, six or more councillors “…may demand before the vote is taken that the names of those voting be recorded in the Minutes.” (TMBC Procedural Standing Order 24.2.)

The original vote for the Independent Remuneration Panel’s report, in April, was by a show of hands. The Conservative Group demanded a named vote at Tuesday’s meeting to ensure that their opposition to the minutes was properly recorded in the minutes.