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Lib Dems: Honouring Turing ‘a painful reminder’

Today, Liberal Democrats have celebrated the announcement that computer pioneer and code-breaker Alan Turing will feature on the new design of the Bank of England’s £50 note.

It was the campaign by the Liberal Democrats, led by John Leech, the former MP forManchester Withington, which eventually led to Alan Turing’s posthumous pardon. During the campaign, Leech submitted several bills to Parliament. After his campaign proved successful, Leech turned to secure pardons for the 75,000+ other men and women convicted of the same outdated crime in what is now nicknamed the Alan Turing Law.

Following the announcement, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

“Alan Turing made an immeasurable contribution to our country. 

“Not only is he the father of modern computing, but the work that was done at Bletchley Park in cracking the German Enigma Machine saved countless lives in bringing the war to an end.

“He was for an important period of time also a resident in my Twickenham constituency when he worked at the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington.

“Today’s announcement is monumental in recognising the invaluable work he did. It is also an important reminder of a part of our history where prejudice and blatant bigotry were enshrined in law.

“In honouring him today, we must also remember that bigotry and discrimination leads to a terrible waste of talent for society as a whole.”

Welcoming today’s news, Turing pardon architect John Leech said:

“It is almost impossible to put into words the difference that Alan Turing made to society, but perhaps the most poignant example is that his work is estimated to have shortened the war by four years and saved up to 21 million lives.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Turing will be the face of the new £50 note and I hope it will go some way to acknowledging his unprecedented contribution to society and science.

“But more importantly I hope it will serve as a stark and rightfully painful reminder of what we lost in Turing, and what we risk when we allow that kind of hateful ideology to win.”


Liberal Democrat Councillors secure more ambitious Climate Change target

Bury’s team of Liberal Democrat councillors have been successful in getting Bury Council to sign up to a ambitious target of 2030 to be a carbon neutral Council and borough, as our part in tackling the climate emergency.

The agreement came as a Liberal Democrat Group amendment to a Labour Group motion on climate change, which had proposed a more modest target of 2038. The Liberal Democrat proposal was accepted and is now the policy of Bury Council.

Liberal Democrat Council Group Leader Tim Pickstone said:

“2038 is not ambitious enough. This is an emergency because we have not done anything about it.

In 1979 this might have been a worry. In 2019 it is an emergency. In 2030 it is game over because this is when scientists tell us that climate change is irreversible damage. It is ridiculous to think that people not even born yet have to wait to be adults before we can achieve this.

What do you do in an emergency? Greta Thunberg tells us that we need to act like our house is on fire. What you don’t do in an emergency is set up a Working Gropu! We are making decisions every day that affect our climate and we need to change policies immediately.

You can see Councillor Pickstone making the proposals here.

Lib Dems produce bill to stop Government’s publicity stunt approach to plastics

Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael has presented his Plastic Pollution Bill in Parliament.

The Bill, supported by Friends of the Earth and the Women’s Institute, aims to phase-out all non-essential single use plastics by 2025 and obliges the Government to produce a strategy that will end plastic pollution by 2042.

Ahead of presenting his Bill, Alistair Carmichael said:
“The Conservative Government have grabbed the headlines with their bans on plastic straws and coffee stirrers, but we need a government that produces more than a series of publicity stunts.

“The plastic in “The Great Garbage Patch”, a floating pile of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean three times the size of France, was found to be 46% from discarded fishing nets.  Governments need to do more to tackle this.
“This Bill sets meaningful targets in law, and creates an advisory committee, like the climate change committee. This, in turn, will lead to meaningful action to tackle plastic pollution, and set an example around the world. Michael Gove’s single-use gimmicks must be consigned to the political recycling bin.”

Reporting Back: Health Scrutiny Committee

Last month was the Bury’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Cristina Tegolo reports:

The Committee’s role involves reviewing and scrutinising any matters relating to the provision and operation of health services in the area of the Council, scrutinising organisations external to the Council and holding the Leader / Cabinet Members to account. Bury’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meets in public and includes a public question time at the start of the meeting. Scrutiny committees actively welcome involvement with the public and seek the views of members of the public on services that are being considered. Scrutiny committees also welcome suggestions for subjects to be considered for inclusion in the scrutiny work programme.

Geoff Little, Chief Executive Bury Council provided an update on the Health and Social Care Reforms. Chris O’Gorman, Local Care Organisation Independent Chair, and Julie Gonda, Director of Adult Social Care, provided an update on Bury Local Care Organisation. John Hobday, Consultant in Public Health, provided an overview of key health and well-being data for Bury and Highlited areas for future interventions. Mr Little explained how, despite amount of money being spent, outcomes and health expectancies for Bury people are still not acceptable. In Holyrood life expectancy for 2013 – 2017 for a male was 77.6 years to 79.5 years (inSt. Mary’s it is 79.5 years to 81.4 years)and for females was 82.4 years to 84.1 years (in St. Mary’s is 84.1 years to 85.7 years). Bury “One Commissioning Organisation” wants to have a program of reforms based on the needs of Bury residents, clients and patients. Ultimately and over time the Bury “One Commissioning Organisation” will encompass all strategic commissioning from the Council and CCG and other public services where possible. The main goals are to:

  • Empower Bury people to remain well and make healthy decisions
  • Close the financial gap and improve outcomes 
  • Create a different model based on understanding of families and carers
  • Take control of the system as whole 
  • Improve services in the community for the most vulnerable
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I commented on the importance of education and especially promoting health and wellbeing of children under 5. I also welcomed Bury Council’s plan to empower Bury people to remain well for longer and supporting and caring for people in their homes. However, I pointed out that the Planning department is probably not aware of the objectives of the “One Commissioning Organisations”. I gave as an example the planning meeting that I attended on the previous day, in which a Community Centre at the heart of a residential area, which could be used for exercising classes and health promoting activities, was changed into offices and a block of apartments (in Green Belt and in Conservation Area) had received planning permission even if the 16 apartments were missing the most basic accessibility and inclusive design standards.

More information and the full papers for the meeting are here.

Stop Brexit Event – Saturday 6 July 2019

Please join us to reflect on the most relevant issues pertaining to the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the latest Brexit odds under the final two leadership candidates of the Conservative Party and the strategies that the remain parties should adopt in order to defeat the Brexit Party.

Speakers:
Jane Brophy MEP
Cllr John Leech (Manchester)
Lord Andrew Stunell

Moderator:
Graham Hughes, writer and activist

The event will be held on Saturday 6th July at:
Our Lady of Grace Parish Hall
11 Fairfax Rd
Prestwich
M25 1AS

16:45 Doors
17:00 Welcome (Alcoholic/soft drinks can be purchased at the bar)
17:15 Speakers
18:00 Q&A
18:45 Raffle (Alcoholic/soft drinks can be purchased at the bar)
19:55 Conclusions

Tickets:
Tickets are free but please register for your free admission ticket on Eventbrite
http://tiny.cc/pzle8y

or send us an email:
info@burylibdems.org.uk

We are looking forward to seeing you on the 6th July in Prestwich.

Campaigns Internships (Paid)

The Liberal Democrats in Greater Manchester are currently recruiting for paid Campaigns Internships for the 2019-20 period. 

The internships are based at the offices of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors in Salford Quays, and the work includes campaigning with local Lib Dems including the team here in Prestwich and Bury.

ALDC is now in the sixth year of its internship programme with 100% of last year’s interns going on to find other jobs in the party. 

  • Full-time, Manchester, UK Living Wage (currently £14,942.40 for over 25s). The post is temporary to 30 June 2020.
  • Successful candidates must have sympathy with the aims and values of the Liberal Democrats.
  • The deadline for applications is 9am Friday 12 July.
  • Interviews will take place in our offices on Tuesday 16th July (travel expenses to attend the interview will be paid). Interviews will not take place on any other days. 

Applications by email, including a CV and a covering letter/email explaining why you think you would be suitable for the role to: Ed Stephenson, Campaigns and HQ Team Manager, ed.stephenson@aldc.org, by 9am on 12 July.

Reporting Back: Planning Committee

Last week was the monthly meeting of Bury Planning Control Committee. This is the meeting made up of the 11 Councillors who represent the various wards of the borough of Bury. The committee determines planning applications for certain major developments and others where objections have been received. 

Councillor Cristina Tegolo reports: 
Details of all the planning applications mentioned below can be found here

Prior to the Committee meeting, a site visit took place in respect of planning application 63630.

The following applications received approval without major concerns:

Radcliffe – East App No. 63523
We discussed the proposal for a new 3-bedroom detached house in Radcliffe. The building utilises an oddly shaped plot of land, which is bounded by houses and commercial units and is accessible from a back street (App No. 63523). 

Radcliffe – West App No. 64199
We discussed the proposal for the erection of two rows of terraced houses, with 4 dwellings each, on either side of Hutchinson Way, Radcliffe. The site did contain a number of trees, but these were removed prior to the application being validated and processed. The Committee commented on this matter and this issue will be reported to the Forestry Commission. I commented on the development lacking any architectural creativity and that aesthetic should also be considered when granting planning permission to developments that shape our streets and towns.

The following applications received approval but we raised several concerns:

Prestwich – Holyrood App No. 64173
We discussed a proposed change of use for Heaton Park Congregational Church in Bailey Street, Prestwich. The application, which was submitted by Bridge-it Enterprises, proposes to change the ground floor from church/community space (Class D1) to office (Class B1) and converting the multi-purpose space into three offices with a lobby. Bridge-it Enterprises is closely linked to Bridge-it Housing, which works with former offenders and homeless clients, and receive several visitors during the day. 

The residents’ representative expressed concerns about security, traffic and parking issues. The representative of Bridge-it Enterprise stated that the offices would just be used to undertake administrative work by only approximately five staff. Both Cllr Steve Wright and Cllr Tim Pickstone talked about the importance of listening to local residents and of good communication, “if a meeting with the residents had been arranged by Bridge-it Enterprises the matter could have been cleared before escalating to the Planning Committee”. 

I commented on the importance of community centres and that right now our local community has very limited spaces and that we should cherish safe spaces for young people and families to go to that they can engage and congregate. As a result of the concerns raised, the application was amended and a condition was included to reassure the residents that the building will only be used for admin work.

Summerseat – Bury App No. 63630
We discussed the proposal for the erection of a block of 16 apartments, of 4 storeys, by the river Irwell and off Kay Street.

The site, used in a recent past as a car park, is located within Green Belt and in the Brooksbottoms Conservation Area. The residents’ representative and the ward councillor argued that the proposal was detrimental to the local community and raised their concerns regarding the significant impact on the local environment. The representative for the developer focused on the real need for houses in Bury, the constructive relationship that the architects and the Planning Department had to agree the most appropriate mass, location and materials.

I raised some concerns as, in my own opinion, the development is not sympathetic to the “Spinnings” and the “Gatehouse”, two Grade II listed buildings on the opposite side of the river Irwell, and its elevations are not responding to the local context and main views. I was happy that the proposal had included electrical vehicles charging stations but I also noted that the Council should encourage and promote cycling and that the development is missing at ground floor level a secured storage area for bicycles.

However, my real main concern was that the building is not suitable for older people, disabled people and families with young children. The building is 4 storeys high but there isn’t a lift and none of the ground floor apartments provides accessibility features. As a result of my concerns, the application was amended and two conditions were included: (1) The developer should submit an Inclusive Design Statement and (2) a bicycle parking facility should be added.

More information and the full papers for the meeting are here.

Plan to Tackle Knife Crime

Ahead of his debate on 27 June 2019 in Parliament, Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson in the Lords, has launched a five-point plan to tackle the knife crime epidemic.

His public health approach which he has called on the Conservative Government to enact is outlined below:

  1. Enabling parents to be there for their children by tackling in-work poverty & providing the support parents and their children need.
  2. Safe and healthy alternatives to gangs: providing a positive safety net for those whose parents can’t provide the support their children need.
  3. Healing the damage caused by Adverse Childhood Experiences by addressing the psychological impact with intervention at ‘teachable moments’ and countering the normalisation of violence through compulsory sex and relationship education.
  4. Inclusive education: fewer excluded pupils, adaptable education that addresses every pupil’s needs, including teaching the realities of criminal gangs.
  5. United against knife crime: restoring community policing so police and communities can work on the same side against the knife carriers.

Following the launch of the plan, Brian Paddick said:

“Knife crime claims a new life almost every day but the Conservatives are not taking the crisis seriously. We have witnessed devastating cuts to our police force as well as a piecemeal approach which fails to make any impact.

Knife crime is a public health emergency and therefore demands a public health response. Government departments should be working together to enact the changes we need to get a grip of this rise in violent crime.

The knife crime epidemic needs a cohesive and joined-up approach which is what the Liberal Democrats have put forward. Not only must we address the decimation of community policing, but we must tackle other factors driving knife crime such as in work poverty and school exclusions.

So tomorrow I will call on the Government to enact our plan. By doing so, we can move towards a society where young people are safe on our streets.”

Updated Bee Network Cycle Map

Greater Manchester’s councils have published an update map of the ‘Bee Network’ a proposed network of cycle and pedestrian-friendly routes and areas, as well as announcing a number of new schemes across the city region.

The revised map shows the proposed network of cycle friendly routes, as well as the ‘busy bee’ routes earmarked as major cycle friendly routes in the future.

The new map can be accessed here. A a change from the previous map published last year a section of Bury Old Road and Heywood Road has been included as a ‘Busy Bee’ route as an alternative to coming through Prestwich village.

Also announced yesterday is a new set of infrastructure projects across Greater Manchester to begin to implement this strategy. When the first set of projects were announced Bury failed to have a single scheme included.

In the new proposals there is a cycle friendly scheme proposed around Fishpool, just south of Bury town centre, at a total cost of £3.6 million, which is welcome. Bury remains the ‘poor relation’ with schemes every other Borough included in the scheme getting more money – in Salford and Wigan’s case £30 and £32 million respectively.

A full list of the current proposed schemes is here.

Meet new MEP Jane Brophy

Newly elected MEP for the North West will be speaking at an event in Prestwich on Saturday 6 July 2019 at Our Lady of Grace Church Hall, Fairfax Road Prestwich. 


The event has been organised by Bury Liberal Democrats, but is open to all supporters and friends. Jane will be joined by member of the House of Lords Lord Andrew Stunell, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Manchester Council Councillor John Leech and the writer and presenter Graham Hughes. 


Stop Brexit in Bury 
6 July 2019, Our Lady of Grace Church Hall, Fairfax Road, Prestwich. 4.45-8.00pm

Speakers:
Jane Brophy MEP
Cllr John Leech (Manchester)
Lord Andrew Stunell

Moderator:
Graham Hughes, writer and activist

The event will be held on Saturday 6th July at:
Our Lady of Grace Parish Hall
11 Fairfax Rd
Prestwich
M25 1AS

16:45 Doors
17:00 Welcome (Alcoholic/soft drinks can be purchased at the bar)
17:15 Speakers
18:00 Q&A
18:45 Raffle (Alcoholic/soft drinks can be purchased at the bar)
19:55 Conclusions

Tickets:
Tickets are free but please register for your free admission ticket on Eventbrite
http://tiny.cc/pzle8y