Councillors observe silence for Holocaust Memorial Day

Stockport councillors across all parties observed a minute’s silence for Holocaust Memorial Day at the start of the Full Council meeting on 22nd January.

Holocaust Memorial Day falls on 27th January and the theme for 2015 is “Keeping the memory alive”. It is marked each year on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, with 2015 marking the 70th anniversary.

You can find out more about Holocaust Memorial Day here.

Stockport funding news 2015

Funding news for community,  charity and sports groups.

Dead and dangerous trees being replaced across Cheadle and Gatley

The Council’s arboriculture team are currently working to identify and remove dead or dangerous trees across Cheadle and Gatley. In the last few days two dead trees on Belmont Road and three on Springfield Road have been felled.

In all cases, the aim is to replant with a new tree in the next planting season (winter 2015/16). The new trees are all suitable for highway planting – they won’t get too big or tear up the pavements in five or ten years time.

The Council are hoping to get the data more digitised over the next twelve months to allow access for all to this data.

A number of different species are used on the highway including two flowering cherry species plus ornamental pears and Flowering Thorns. So one way or another we will get some blossom in the roads.

A number of mature trees were recently felled on Norwood Road as part of work to repair the pavements. The idea was always to end up with more trees than at the start, though of course the new trees will not be so large. The new tree pits should be dug, and trees planted, in the next few weeks.

Mark Hunter campaigns for Metrolink to Cheadle and Gatley

Cheadle’s Lib Dem MP Mark Hunter has thrown his weight behind a campaign for a new Metrolink line for Cheadle and Gatley.

The proposed line would be an orbital route running from Reddish through the Heatons into Stockport and then out through Edgeley, Cheadle Heath, Cheadle, Gatley and Baguley. It would give residents in Cheadle and Gatley local tram stops.

Proposals for new Metrolink lines

Proposals for new Metrolink lines

Using tram-train technology that allows trams to run on existing heavy rail lines, the route would run along the Stockport-Altrincham-Chester line for much of the distance – reducing the cost by minimising the amount of new track that has to be laid.

Graham Greenhalgh, Lib Dem Council candidate for Cheadle and Gatley, said “It’s fifty years since the people of Cheadle last had their own railway station and the need is greater than ever. With our roads getting busier, a high-quality tram link to Stockport, Manchester and Manchester Airport will make a big difference to local residents.”

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter said “These proposals, backed by Stockport Council and TfGM, are a major step forward and there’s now a real opportunity to have trams running on the new line in a decade or less. We have a solid economic case, but there is still a lot of work to do. We have to show that this has strong community support and a good business case if we’re going to get the funding to get this on the ground.”

The proposals come in a rail study for Stockport, published jointly by Stockport Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). The study was initiated last year by Cllr Iain Roberts and, in addition to a new orbital tram route from Reddish through Cheadle and Gatley to Manchester Airport, also proposes introducing a tram service on the Marple-Manchester line, extending the East Didsbury Metrolink line into Stockport and through to Hazel Grove, improving our stations (especially Stockport Station) and dealing with the challenges HS2 will bring.

“Stockport is setting out its priorities for train and tram.” Iain said. “We now have a set of coherent proposals that stack up economically and will have massive benefits not just for our area but right across south Manchester. The next step is to develop each of these proposals in more detail, consulting fully, to make this happen.”

Gatley community stands together opposing far-right racists

A former BNP activist, currently a student at MMU, has taken to Twitter to proudly announce how he targeted Gatley, and in particular local councillor Iain Roberts, with literature promoting race hate, attacking both Jews and Muslims in our community.

Far-right racists have been illegally fly-posting in parts of Gatley with “Multiculturalism is Genocide” stickers – promoting their incoherent views. Following up residents’ complaints, Iain raised this with Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd.

“I’m proud to live in a strong community where people from different backgrounds and religions get along and work together for the good of all. The main political parties stand as one against far-right extremists trying to sow their poisonous, wrong-headed messages and I am very grateful for the support I received from people on the Gatley Facebook group.” Iain said.

Iain’s work opposing the extremists in Gatley was spotted by the ex-BNP activist who decided to leaflet Iain’s road with anti-semitic and anti-muslim race hate literature, then took to Twitter with a photo of Iain’s house, giving the address and telling his followers how he wouldn’t “shed any tears at a Liberal Democrat councillor being harmed”.

The race-hate literature has been passed onto the Police, who have recorded a hate incident and are continuing to investigate. We would like to thank the Police, who have done everything we could have asked to support the community. This is a particularly sensitive time following the terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists in Paris – an attack which Greater Manchester Muslims said “betrayed our principles, our religion and everything we stand for.”

Many people in our community are feeling vulnerable, making it all the more important for us to stand together as one against all extremism.

Stockport targets zero waste going to landfill

Already one of the best recyclers in the country, Stockport now aims to reduce the waste going to landfill down to zero.

Stockport residents recycle over 60% of our waste – we’re in the top five nationally for recycling and third in the country for composting food and green waste – with all the other top councils being rural districts.

Now we want to reduce our landfill waste down to zero. In addition to the recycling we put in our brown, blue and green bins, waste from the black bin is starting to go to a new incinerator where it’s burnt to generate electricity. That electricity is sold, with Stockport resident getting our share of those profits.

It will always be better to recycle than to put rubbish in the black bin, but using our waste to generate electricity and earn money for the people of Stockport is a lot better than burying it in the ground. Over the last few years Stockport has earned millions of pounds selling our recycling after Lib Dem reforms and we want that to continue.


“We are developing Tatton” say owners as CPO continues

The Lib Dem team at Gatley's Tatton cinema site

The Lib Dem team are working to get development at Gatley’s former Tatton cinema.

Dickens Property Group, owners of the Tatton, have told the Lib Dem team they are bringing forward new plans to develop the site. We don’t currently have details of their proposals, but initial discussions have taken place between the architects working for Dickens and the Council’s planning team.

We are giving the news a cautious welcome. We’ve long said that our objective is to get sensible development on this privately-owned site, either by the current owners or someone else.

However, we have been here before and we’re taking nothing for granted. We’re concerned that this may end up being a tactic to stall the Compulsory Purchase Order and, though Dickens have assured us that is not the case and that this is a genuine development with other companies signed up to the plan, we will see.

Separate to that, the Council will continue to pursue the Compulsory Purchase Order, which we hope will result in the site being bought for its current market value and sold onto a new developer around the end of 2015. That process does take time and there is no certainty of success (the final decision is not made by the Council or the councillors) but we believe it has a good chance of delivering a result if Dickens don’t carry through their development.

At the request of Gatley Village Partnership, Iain invited George Perrin – one of the council officers with responsibility for the CPO process on the Tatton to the GVP meeting on 13th January to answer questions about the Tatton and the CPO and we had a lively discussion.

As we’ve found in the past, it’s very easy for political parties to say “something must be done” and pretend there’s some easy answer to sort it out overnight, but it’s the Lib Dems who not only get things done but stay the course to see them through.


Advice to help you protect your home from burglary

This time of year following Christmas we see an increase in House Burglaries where the offenders may use any of the following methods:
  • Knock on on your door. If they don’t get an answer, they will go around the back of the house and force entry assured that there’s no one is in.
  • Using garden tools- spades etc left in your garden or that of a neighbour, they will force entry by prising doors and windows open.
  • They may simply pick up a rock and smash a window.
  • They may be using vehicles however most of the property being stolen is small and easily carried off eg. jewellery, cash, computer tablets etc so it’s possible the offenders are on foot or bicycles.
  • They will also look around and take keys and steal any vehicles that have been left outside the properties.
  • Opportunists will try door handles in the hope that you’ve left your door unlocked. Please lock your doors even if you leave the house for a short period. Don’t make life easy for thieves.
These incidents can happen in the day or evening. If you see anyone you’re not happy with, if someone knocks on your door with no apparent motive or is suspicious in any way, make a note of their description and call the Police on 101 IMMEDIATELY.
Please make sure that  you lock your garden tools away , don’t provide criminals with the means they need to break in to your house.
Leave lights on in the evening, use timer light switches and review your security. If you’d like a home security survey, give us a call.