Crime Alerts from Safer Stockport Partnership

Rogue Traders

When did it happen: w/c 15/12/14

Where: Cheadle

General Information: Properties are being targeted in and around mainly the Cheadle Area of Stockport by rogue tradesmen claiming to be giving an advance warning to residents of an upcoming roof inspection because of the age of the houses. This is neither a Government nor Council initiative and the advice for home owners is not to allow cold callers to conduct any work on your property. If you are considering having work carried out on your home then you should try and employ a trader who has been recommended to you by a friend.

Distraction Burglary

When did it happen: 9/12/14 approx. 9.30am

Where: Bredbury

General Information: Unknown offender knocks on door claiming to be from the gas board. He gains entry as she lets him in. The offender has a look in the kitchen and boiler room and then leaves address in unknown direction. Nothing stolen

Offender/Vehicle Description: White male, middle aged, wearing orange high-vis jacket.

Rogue Traders

When did it happen: 15/12/14 approx. 2.26pm

Where: Marple

General Information: Victim answers door and sees white transit van on driveway. Male tells victim he has been working on his neighbour’s house and notices he has a problem with the edging on his roof. He tells householder he can fix this for £500 cash. Other male immediately gets out of van puts ladder up and starts working. They proceed to do the same (roof edging) on either side of extension as well. Victim is then aware of 3rd male. Offender tells victim he wants cash so victim drives to Stockport on his own and withdraws £500 cash. When he returns 2 of the males are waiting and 1 takes the cash off him stating they will drop guarantee off soon. 1st male then returns and asks victim who by this time is very confused for a further £650 in a cheque. Victim calls his wife who writes the cheque leaving the person payable blank at the request of the offender, who makes off in the van. Work completed is of a very poor quality and neighbour has had no work done. Victim contacts the bank who stops the cheque.

Offender/Vehicle Description:
1. Male, dark skinned, under 6ft, wearing bright blue/green overalls with matching baseball cap, no obvious accent about 40 with swarthy complexion.
2. White male, tall, slim to medium build, 30s, wearing dark clothing with yellow hood.
3. Similar to male number 2. 30s dark clothing.

PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS INFORMATION:

• When answering the door, always use a door chain, check who is there by looking through a window or door viewer and always ask for identification – IF IN DOUBT KEEP THEM OUT!
• Don’t do business or accept services from a cold caller on the telephone or at the door
• Remind people to lock all doors and windows securely

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The Cheadle & Gatley Lib Dem team – Mark, Graham, Pam, Keith and Iain – would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas

Cheadle & Gatley residents can still contact us over the festive season – it may take us a little longer than usual to get back to you. If you have an emergency and need our help, the best option is to phone or text Iain on 07958 570202.

 

 

Mark Hunter’s Notes from Westminster

Dear Resident,

Thank you as ever for your interest in what I’ve been up to here at home and down in Westminster on behalf of Cheadle constituency.

I was delighted to hear that the Reverend Libby Lane is to become the Church of England’s first female Bishop when she takes up her position as our Bishop in January.  I understand that Mrs Lane has previously lived in Stockport so it will be great to welcome her back.

Less good news that the Secretary of State responsible for planning, Eric Pickles, has decided to ignore the wishes of local residents by not holding a public enquiry into the proposals for a massive housing development at the site of Woodford Aerodrome.

I still believe that the size and scale of the planning proposals are just too large and could permanently damage the unique characteristics of Woodford village.

The unemployment rate in Cheadle constituency continues to fall, now standing at just 1.4% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64.  Every new job makes a massive difference to the lives of both the employee and their families.  One of the reasons unemployment is falling is innovative projects such as that run by B4Box in partnership with Stockport Homes.  The project is training and employing people from disadvantaged groups who have previously been far from the labour market, and I am looking at how we can make more projects like B4Box possible.

Andrew Stunell MP and I joined up for the launch of a new shopping website that gives 100% of its commission to the charity sector that will greatly benefit the excellent St Ann’s Hospice, Heald Green.  Further good news for hospices as the Coalition Government announced more support by refunding them for the VAT costs they incur.  Hospice UK provided an estimate that suggested that the cost of a VAT refund for hospice charities would be £4m.

National Carers’ Rights Day was a chance to urge people that care for ill or disabled loved ones to find out about all the financial and practical support that they are entitled to.  I also wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister calling for social care to be provided free of charge to people who are at the end of their lives, and for greater support to enable the terminally ill to choose where they die.

As many of you are supporters of the Millie’s Trust, you will know that I raised the tragic case and the need for paediatric first aid training for all nursery staff in a parliamentary debate last week.  The debate had been secured by over 100,000 people signing an e-petition on the Government’s website and I was delighted that Millie’s parents and founders of the Millie’s Trust, Dan and Joanne Thompson, were able to be in Westminster.

In response to the debate Childcare Minister, Sam Gyimah, promised a national review into nursery school provision of paediatric first aid.  I will be working with the Thompsons to ensure that they and all their supporters can engage with the review to ensure that the case for universal paediatric first aid training in nursery schools is made as forcefully as possible.

All three major parties had a commitment in their 2010 manifestos to spend 0.7% of GDP on international development.  I was pleased to support new legislation that will enshrine this commitment into law, ensuring that the terrific contribution the people of the UK makes to the world’s poorest continues whoever is in Government after the General Election.

The headline from the Autumn Statement was the realisation of a Lib Dem policy on stamp duty.  People buying homes worth less than £935,000 will now pay less stamp duty than they did before, meaning that a buyer in Stockport will pay on average £607 less when purchasing a new home.

As a long term supporter of our local pubs, I was pleased to support a change to the Small Business Bill that will allow pub tenants tied to a large pub company to opt for a rental only arrangement, allowing them to buy beer on the open market.  The amendment that was secured gives publicans a fairer deal and help to keep more pubs open.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People released a new report campaigning for greater emotional support for everyone who is diagnosed with sight loss.  I am backing their calls for great assistance to be provided to those that are going blind, shockingly only 30% of eye departments currently have access to a qualified sight loss advisor.

On World Aids Day I joined STOPAIDS, a network of 80 UK agencies that have united to secure an effective global response to the AIDS epidemic, to lend my voice to their campaign to eradicate the disease by 2030.  Thanks to UK investment the number of people dying from aids is plummeting, but we cannot be complacent.

NSPCC are currently campaigning to make it a crime for an adult to send a sexual message to a child, and I was pleased to meet with them to find our more.  The incidence of online child abuse is very sadly rising so we must ensure the law changes to meet this threat and keep our young people safe online.

The UK has one of the world’s highest Meningitis B rates in the world and it tragically kills more of the country’s under 5s than any other infectious diseases.  Thankfully a new vaccine has passed all safety tests and been permitted a license, there is now a delay due to price negotiations between the drug company and the NHS.  I believe strongly that it is now high time we brought in the vaccine.

Terrible Christmas jumpers were the order of the hour when Save the Children came to Parliament for their Christmas Jumper Day campaign.  A great fundraiser as people in workplaces across the county raised money while raising some questionable knitwear –making the world better with a sweater!

And finally, Erin Jones of Moorfield Primary School, Hazel Grove, was the winner of my Christmas card design competition.  I was pleased to go and meet Erin in person to give her some special Christmas prizes, and her colourful design was made into 40,000 Christmas cards, one of which I hope made it through your letterbox!

All that remains for me to do is to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas, and best wishes for a great 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hunter MP

Businesses to benefit from My Stockport account

Over 500 Stockport businesses have registered for their secure online ‘My Stockport Account’ and now the Council is urging more businesses to take advantage of the benefits this online service has to offer.

Delivered by Stockport Council, My Stockport Account allows business owners to view and manage their business rates account 24 hours, 7 days a week; with customers accessing greater benefits once online.

These benefits include:

A guaranteed faster response from the Council. Information or enquiries submitted via My Stockport Account are prioritised by the Business Rates team.
Businesses can securely view and manage your Business Rates accounts online, at a time that suits them.
Businesses can view, print and quickly make changes and updates to their accounts free of charge.
Automatic Electronic billing. A faster, more convenient and economical way to view bills. Emails are sent out when new bills are ready, including reminders and a facility to download, print and share.

Councillor Sue Derbyshire, Leader of the Council, said: “With businesses choosing to access bills electronically for things like utilities, mobile phones and banking, there was a demand for a service that My Stockport Account now fulfils. There are thousands of business rate payers in Stockport so I hope that more businesses will sign up and benefit from the advantages this improved online service has to offer.”

“Simply take two minutes to register at www.stockport.gov.uk/myaccount and you’ll be set for a New Year with less paperwork, faster transactions with the Council and quicker response times – all saving you time and money.”

What a difference a decade makes – the local news in 2004

Clearing out my loft this week I came across a copy of the Stockport Times East from 29th July 2004 – just over a decade ago. It makes interesting reading!

Front page of the Stockport Times East from 29th July 2004

Front page of the Stockport Times East from 29th July 2004

  • The main story is “Armed girl gang lay in wait for female victims” – the gang robbed two other girls at knifepoint in Bredbury.
  • Armed robber at travel agency on p2 – gun-wielding robbers burst into Lunn Poly in Hazel Grove
  • An article about the Council and Police launching the “Safer Night project” (featuring Cllr Mark Weldon (LD)) lists the top six nightspots in Stockport as Heaven & Hell nightclub, the Bamboo Club, Bambooza, Brannigans, Kelly’s Nightclub and Stockport College Students Union. How many of those are still with us?
  • Cllr Hazel Lees (LD), then Stockport Council’s environment spokesman launched a campaign against fly-posting
  • Stockport failed in its attempt to get a Virgin train named after the town when all the Class 57 locomotives were named after characters from Thunderbirds.
  • The Stockport Express and Times launched a campaign to save Metrolink after Transport Secretary Alistair Darling scrapped plans for the Metrolink extensions to East Didsbury, Manchester Airport and Rochdale/Oldham. Cllr Sue Derbyshire (LD), Executive member for infrastructure, was first to sign the Stockport Express petition calling for a rethink while Stockport MP Ann Coffey (Lab) defended the decision in the light of rising costs for the project. Without the East Didsbury line, it was noted, there was no chance of a planned extension into Stockport.
  • Stockport Council leader Mark Hunter  (LD) said Stockport would become one of the first boroughs in the country to ban smoking from public buildings, offices, workshops, waiting rooms, receptions and service vehicles. “My personal view is employees and members of the public have a right not to breathe in other peoples’ tobacco smoke in our buildings,” he said.
  • Stockport’s Mayor, Cllr Michael Wilson, collected a cheque for £7,497 as Stockport came third in the Race to Recycle awards for Greater Manchester, collecting “a massive 7,690 tons of paper”. The Mayor noted that Stockport’s recycling rate had almost doubled over the previous year from 13% to 24.9% (in 2014 it’s over 60%).
  • A very young-looking Cllr Dave Goddard (LD) attacked the Labour Government over the axing of the Metrolink extension – and asks when John Prescott is going to make his decision on Stockport’s Ikea.
  • 200 jobs to be created as the new Tesco store being built at Tiviot Way nears completion
  • Cllr Les Jones (Con) attacked the Labour government over regional assemblies, education and NHS bureaucrats.
  • The letters page included presumably an ongoing argument about Cllr Paul Bellis (Con)’s views on Halliday Farm – the ancestral home of the Dodge family, someone opposing the SEMMMs link road, someone else opposing bus lanes, a complainant about the amount of litter by St. Peter’s Chuch and one author who claims “…don’t expect to see any otters. They have moved to a safe house in Wigan under armed police protection because they feel (quite rightly I think) that Stockport Council is trying to kill them.” No idea what that one was about, but the person in question is still a regular letter-writer to the local paper.

Where are they now?

Paul Bellis, Hazel Lees and Mike Wilson are still on the council. Dave Goddard went onto lead Stockport Council and has recently become Lord Goddard of Stockport, in addition to remaining a councillor in Offerton. Les Jones was Mayor a couple of years ago before stepping down from the council. Sue Derbyshire has been leader since 2012. Mark Hunter stepped down from Stockport Council in 2005 when he became MP for Cheadle following the death of Patsy Calton. Ann Coffey remains MP for Stockport. Mark Weldon narrowly lost his seat in 2014 having served as Deputy Leader. As to where any of the armed robbers are – I have no idea.

Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish residents

The Lib Dem team would like to wish all our Jewish residents a very happy Hanukkah.

Hannukah starts on the evening of Tuesday 16th December and ends on the evening of Wednesday 24th December 2014.

* This particular version of the song Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah comes from the album Barenaked for the Holidays by Canadian rock group Barenaked Ladies, and has had a good deal of playtime in the Roberts’ family car around Christmas over the years.

Iain launches Stockport Christmas Safety Campaign

The Safer Stockport Partnership (SSP) has launched its Christmas Safety campaign in a bid to keep residents safe over the festive period.

Iain trying out the driving simulator in Mersey Square - and looking slightly demonic

Iain trying out the driving simulator in Mersey Square – and looking slightly sinister?

The SSP, which includes Stockport Council, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the Fire & Rescue Service, is looking to raise awareness among residents to ensure they have a safe Christmas whilst out and about and in their homes.

The SSP launched this year’s Christmas campaign with an event in the town centre, (outside Merseyway), to coincide with the launch of the national Drink Drive campaign.

The SSP Christmas campaign has a number of key messages which include:

  • ‘12 Top Tips’ on how to have a safe winter
  • Crime reduction information to help protect residents from vehicle crime, cycle theft and burglary
  • Warnings about the risks of drinking alcohol before cooking or driving

The messages will be communicated to people in shopping centres, car parks and colleges throughout December. Information will also be available via the SSP website and social media.

Councillor Iain Roberts Deputy Leader of Stockport Council, said: “We are committed to making Stockport an even safer place for residents and visitors to enjoy over the festive season. The campaign is about informing people to help them stay safe over Christmas and avoid becoming a victim of crime.”

Chief Inspector Leon Jacobs, of GMP and Co-chair of SSP, said: “The scheme is part of a Christmas safety initiative which aims to inform Stockport residents of ways they can protect themselves and their property over the festive season. All too often, what should be a time of happiness is ruined when people become the victims of unscrupulous individuals. Sometimes, a little advice can go a long way to preventing this from happening.”