HOPELESS LABOUR COLLAPSE

Stalybridge Labour sunk to a new low at the Stalybridge Carnival last Sunday, when their gazebo collapsed. Continue reading

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STALYHILL SCHOOL CROSSING CAMPAIGN GATHERS PACE

GIVE US OUR LOLLIPOP LADY BACK! CLLRS DAVID BUCKLEY AND BASIL BEELEY (back row, sixth and fifth from right) WITH PARENTS AND CHILDREN CAMPAIGNING TO GET THEIR CROSSING PATROL RETURNED

The campaign to have a school crossing patrol reinstated for Stalyhill Junior and Infant Schools is gathering pace.

Over 270 parents and friends of the school have so far signed the petition urging Tameside Council to reinstate the patrol at the junction of Mottram Old Road and Hereford Way, which was withdrawn before Christmas when the schools’ lollipop lady left the role.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 Tameside Council having a budget of approximately £300,000-per-year to fund road safety initiatives, and national criteria stating that the schools are entitled to a crossing patrol in order to safeguard children’s safety.

Campaigners argue that the lack of a school crossing patrol is endangering children’s safety, goes against the council’s very own safer walking to schools initiatives, and is causing increased congestion on Hereford Way. In addition, they are upset that Tameside Council still has money to waste on non-essential items such as Britain in Bloom and the Tameside Citizen council newspaper, and that there are other crossing patrols located at permanent pedestrian crossings across Tameside. The nearest pedestrian crossing to the Stalyhill schools is over a mile away.

Since the crossing patrol was withdrawn, the Junior school has seen increased instances of lateness caused by parents dropping their children off closer to the school, which has resulted in increased congestion. There has also been a minor car accident caused by the high volume of traffic.

Stalybridge Conservatives have been working with campaigners, collecting signatures for the petition and lobbying the council to change its mind.

Stalybridge South Conservative councillor, David Buckley, said, “What comes first, children’s lives or cuts? These people are not paid the earth, this crossing covers two schools and it is one cutback that shouldn’t happen.”

Sign the petition!

An online petition has been set up to run concurrent with the paper petition, and members of the public wanting to sign it can do so by clicking here.

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JOHN BELL MEETS WITH DAVID CAMERON AT No. 10

JOHN BELL (centre) WITH FELLOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERS

Tameside Conservative Leader, Cllr. John Bell, recently met with Prime Minister David Cameron at a reception hosted at 10 Downing Street, and discussed the Government’s proposals to give more power to councillors and local residents in Tameside.

The Government’s Localism Bill will lay the foundations for the Big Society by radically transforming the relationships between central government, local government, communities and individuals. It aims to strengthen local democracy by handing new powers down to councils, establishing powerful new rights for local people, overhauling the planning system, as well as making housing decisions fairer and supporting local businesses.

Commenting, Cllr. Bell said, “It was an honour to visit Downing Street and to meet with the Prime Minister to discuss the positive changes the Government are making to the way local councils are run. By putting an end to the hoarding of power within central government and the top-down control of communities, they will allow local people the freedom to run their lives and neighbourhoods in their own way.”

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.

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.”

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.”

HYDE FIRE STATION OPEN DAY

JOHN BELL BEHIND THE WHEEL AT HYDE FIRE STATION

Tameside Conservative Leader and Hyde Werneth councillor, John Bell, recently attended an open day at Hyde Fire Station, in his role as Vice Chairman of the Greater Manchester Fire Authority.

The open day gave local residents the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the station and the fire service, including a chance to sit in the station’s fire engines and meet members of the fire team – including the rescue dog! Also on hand were members of the local police team to discuss the work they do in the community.

John said, “The open day was a thoroughly enjoyable day and was very well attended. I would like to thank the fire team, and their counterparts in the police, for organising this event and the fabulous work they are doing for the residents of Hyde.”

CLIVE ENJOYS TWINNING TRIP TO ARMENTIÈRES

PUBLIC ASSISTANCE NEEDED TO HELP 55 YEAR STALYBRIDGE TWINNING LINK LIVE ON

ABOVE: CLIVE PATRICK (left) & MAYOR BERNARD HAESEBROECK OF ARMENTIÈRES IN FRONT OF THE TWINNING CHARTER SIGNED IN 1955

Cllr. Clive Patrick, the Conservative councillor for Stalybridge North, recently took part in a twinning visit to Armentières, France.

The three-man visit was arranged by the Stalybridge Voluntary Twinning Association and their counterparts in Armentières. The trip coincided with a similar one by delegates from Armentieres’ German twin town, Osterode am Harz.

Stalybridge has been twinned with Armentières since 1955 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005.

Located 60 miles from Calais, 10 miles from Lille and under one mile from the Belgian border, Armentières is a lively and thriving town with Flemish-style architecture, beautiful floral decoration, a large outdoor leisure park with water sports, children’s activities and a nature reserve, busy markets and a cultural centre offering a wide range of exhibitions and entertainment.

The importance of Stalybridge’s twinned status with Armentières cannot be overstated. The towns are bonded by two famous First World War songs – “It’s a long way to Tipperary” which was written by Jack Judge in Stalybridge, and “Mademoiselle from Armentières”. Over the years, many different school, youth and community groups from Stalybridge have exchanged visits with similar groups from Armentières and many friendships have been formed.

Cllr. Patrick said, “Although it was a pity that the Stalybridge contingent was not bigger I felt that at least one elected representative had to go on this important visit. I therefore decided to travel at my own expense, to meet our friends across the Channel.”

He added, “The German delegation numbered seven and very soon all three delegations were talking and laughing, with the help of some translation, as if we had been best of friends for years.”

Cllr. Patrick also stressed the importance of the twinning link and the need for more local people to get involved.

He said, “This vital friendship is in danger of foundering, not so much because of a lack of money, but more from the lack of help and support. It is run by a small group of dedicated private people, with the District Assembly being very generous to the Association and its activities which includes work with Stalybridge Celtic Juniors. However, if residents want to see our schoolchildren and organisations being able to continue to experience the richness of exchanges to Armentières then I urge them to come and join this overworked team.”

If you would like to help The Stalybridge Voluntary Twinning Association please contact Cllr. Clive Patrick or contact the chairman of the twinning association at svta@firenet.uk.net

ROB THANKS RESIDENTS FOR THEIR SUPPORT

ROB ADLARD WILL CONTINUE CAMPAIGNING FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS

The Conservatives narrowly failed to snatch Longdendale from Labour in yesterday’s by-election.

After the votes had been counted, just 192 crosses separated the two parties from a total electorate numbering approximately 8,500.

Whilst disappointed with the result there is no doubt that residents are increasingly turning to the Conservatives in what was previously a safe Labour seat.

Rob Adlard and the rest of the Conservative team would like to thank residents for their support and congratulate Janet Cooper on her victory.

The Conservatives will continue to hold the local Labour councillors to account.

Longdendale by-election results:

  • Rob Adlard, Conservative – 1,083
  • Janet Cooper, Labour – 1,275
  • Anthony David Jones, BNP – 80
  • Kevin Minsell, UKIP – 67
  • Melanie Roberts, Green Party – 99

If you would like to get involved in the work of Longdendale Conservatives please click here.

VOTE FOR ROB ADLARD – TODAY!

The polls are now open for today’s by-election in Longdendale ward.

Conservative hopes rest with Rob Adlard, who has mounted a strong campaign and led demands for a rethink on the proposed ‘bonkers’ Tesco development for Hattersley. As Rob puts it, if the Tesco store is built it will be, “…the largest Tesco development in the region, built in the middle of the biggest traffic jam in the region.”

Early indications show that the result will be tight. Every vote truly counts today.

So, if you are a Longdendale resident please make the most of your vote – vote Rob Adlard.

For more information about Rob’s campaign please visit: www.longdendaleconservatives.com.

To read Rob’s latest leaflet please click on the images above.

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.

TAMESIDE PUBLIC SECTOR CHIEFS EARN MORE THAN PM

ABOVE: DAVID CAMERON EARNS LESS THAN THE CHIEF EXECUTIVES OF TAMESIDE COUNCIL AND TAMESIDE HOSPITAL

Tameside’s top two public sector bosses are paid more than the Prime Minister, new figures reveal.

The chief executives of Tameside Council and Tameside Hospital, earn £157,000 and £147,000 per year respectively. In addition, Tameside’s council chief reportedly receives an additional annual car allowance of approximately £9,420.

By comparison, David Cameron earns £142,500-a-year, after voluntarily cutting his salary by five per cent when he became PM.

Research by BBC’s Panorama programme also shows that around 9,000 public sector workers take home more pay than the PM and the most top earners are in the NHS.

Cllr. John Bell, the Tameside Conservative Leader, branded the figures ‘obscene’, and called on public sector chiefs to follow David Cameron’s example and voluntarily cut their own salaries.

“I think it’s nothing short of scandalous. I wouldn’t know what to do with so much cash,” he said.

“To the public the whole thing is obscene, it’s a gravy train. I particularly think it’s absolutely disgraceful that the hospital’s chief executive earns so much given the hospital’s much-publicised failings. After what the hospital has gone through she is very lucky to be earning the wage she does rather than claiming £60-a-week for Job Seekers’ Allowance.”

“The argument I hear is if you want the best, you’ve got to pay for it, but it’s just gone off the scale. We simply cannot continue to pay wages on this scale without some performance related element to them. And it would not be a bad thing if public sector chiefs followed the PM’s example and voluntarily cut their own wages.”

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.

ROB ADLARD SELECTED AS CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE FOR LONGDENDALE BY-ELECTION

Rob Adlard has been selected as the Conservative candidate for the forthcoming Longdendale by-election to be held on Thursday 30th September 2010, which was called following the untimely death of Labour councillor, Roy Oldham.

Rob is the Chairman of Longdendale Conservatives and lives in Broadbottom with his girlfriend Claire. He runs his own retail business and is also a professional musician with the Halle Orchestra.

Rob was Stalybridge & Hyde’s Conservative candidate at this year’s General Election, slashing the Labour majority from 8,500 to just 2,744 with an 8.5 per cent swing, which now makes Stalybridge & Hyde one of the most marginal constituencies in the country.

Rob said, “I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for Longdendale. As a local resident I am immensely proud of the area, and along with the rest of the Longdendale Conservative team I have been working hard over the past few years to bring Labour to account and make Longdendale a better place to live.”

Former Longdendale Conservative candidate, Peter Hayes, is working as Rob’s political agent on this occasion. In May, Peter reduced Labour’s formidable majority in Longdendale to just 272 votes, almost ending over 30 years of Labour domination in the ward in the process.

Longdendale is now Tameside’s most marginal ward and every vote will count on the 30th September.

To find out more about Rob’s campaign please visit the Longdendale Conservatives’ website at: www.longdendaleconservatives.com.

If you are a Longdendale resident and want more detail on how to vote please visit: www.tameside.gov.uk/elections.

ROB ADLARD UNDERTAKES LONGDENDALE TESCO SURVEY

Rob Adlard and Longdendale Conservatives are surveying local residents for their opinions about the proposed new Tesco store opposite McDonald’s at the Eastern Terminal Roundabout, Hattersley.

Rob (left) said, “Investment in our area is long overdue, and who could argue with new jobs in Hattersley? However, many fear that Labour’s failure to provide a solution to the traffic problems will be compounded by this plan.

“The traffic report compiled for Tesco has alarmed some. It suggested that new traffic lights at the entrance on Ashworth Lane would cause severe delays, and that would be ‘helpful’ in stopping Ashworth Lane being a ‘cut-through’ for people driving to Broadbottom and into the Peak.

“For locals who know these roads, it’s very easy to imagine how tailbacks from the new entrance, so close to the lights already in place on Stockport Rd, will connect up with tailbacks on the M67 roundabout causing an even worse problem than exists today. Any plan shouldn’t accept punishing locals for simply driving home.”

He added, “We’ve often argued that Labour’s local domination means that residents don’t get to hear the full story. We think this another example where Labour Councillors have taken their ‘party’ view on the issue, and are doing everything they can to discourage discussion. Contrast Labour’s silence on this issue with their mail-shots to every home whenever they have something they want to shout about, or they simply want your vote.

Rob concluded, “I hope that Tesco can find a way to invest a little more and find a better solution. Let’s start the debate.”

To read Longdendale Conservatives’ survey leaflet please click the following link: longdendale matters.tesco

CLIVE LOCKS OUT THE BOY RACERS!

ABOVE: CLLR. CLIVE PATRICK AIMS TO LOCK OUT THE BOY RACERS FROM BUCKTON VALE

A new gate, funded from the ward monies of Cllr. Clive Patrick, is set to lock out boy racers from a Carrbrook car park.

The £750 gate has been erected to the entrance of Buckton Vale Clough car park, following years of anti-social behaviour by young car drivers.

The car park had become a nightly venue for boy racers pulling handbrake turns and ‘doughnuts’, playing loud music and drug taking.

However, thanks to the perseverance and generosity of Cllr. Patrick, the anti-social behaviour has now ground to a halt, with the gate locking out the motoring yobs.

The five barred wooden gate will be locked every night, but a narrow open section will allow walkers access to footpaths into the countryside.

Cllr. Patrick said, “I am so pleased that at last, after years of problems and a recent rise in anti-social behaviour, peace and security will be returned to Carrbrook Village.

“Loud music, drink and drug taking in the car park have long been the scourge of residents. Now, the gate will be opened first thing in the morning and closed after lights outs at the Buckton Vale Institute, and I would like to thank the residents who have very kindly volunteered to take on the task of opening and closing the gate.”