Reporting Back: Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Last week was the first Overview & Scrutiny meeting of the new Council year which saw a series of presentations by representatives from the different Council departments. These outlined each department’s work programme and priorities for the coming year. 

Councillor Michael Powell reports on some of the key priorities for each area are below:

Strategy and transformation:
– Developing a ‘corporate core’- bringing support services and staff together to build up capacity and improve efficiency- Quarterly budget monitoring report updates to be sent to Councillors as well as end of year reports- Lead officers to be put in charge of each work stream (e.g. Finance, Governance, ICT and Digital, HR)Children and young people:
– Increasing number of foster carers inside the borough and reducing reliance on external carers- Enhanced support for care leavers- Working to further reduce permanent exclusion numbers- Enhanced early support strategy to support new LAC (Looked After Children)- Implement early intervention schemes in schools needing support

Operations:
– Continuing to work towards a more productive and reliable waste service operation- Implementing a ‘preventative maintenance’ approach to highways (i.e. developing a programme for all roads to be addressed after a set period to prevent deterioration of highways)- Introducing a plastic strategy to minimise use of single-use plastics across the borough- Improving the customer interface to make reporting problems involving highways even easier and more efficient for residents

Business growth and infrastructure:
– Beginning work on regeneration scheme in Radcliffe- Implementing £10 million investment in Prestwich village centre (following consultation process with residents in the Summer)- Continuing to develop land and property portfolio- Moving forwards with GM spatial framework and focusing on scope for development on brownfield sites- Working towards potential regeneration of Bury Interchange (supported by T4GM)

The papers for the meeting are here. Any questions please just ask! 

Reporting Back: Planning Committee

On the 21 May was the monthly meeting of Bury Planning Control Committee. This is the meeting made up of the 11 Councillors who represent 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 Tegoloreports:

Prior to the Committee meeting, a site visit took place in respect of planning application 63785at Elton High School to assessed the creation of new artificial grass pitch together with associated floodlighting, boundary treatment and equipment storage.

The following applications received approval without any major concern:

North Manor App No. 63038, 60039
We discussed a change of use of an existing barn into a yoga and leisure use (App No. 63038) and a listed building consent for the same change of use (App No. 63039).

Bury West – Elton App No. 63834
We discussed the proposal for the erection of two semi-detached houses at the north of Green Street, Bury.

The following applications received approval but we raised some concerns:

Ramsbottom and Tottington – Ramsbottom App No. 63617
We discussed a proposed development to the west of Manchester Road, in Ramsbottom, for the erection of 35 no. dwellings.

A residential development on the site had already received outline planning consent in November 2016 (for up to 50 dwellings). Therefore, the Planning Committee could only consider matters in relation to the layout, scale, appearance and landscaping of the proposed development.

However, the site was designated as a Site of Biological Interest as it supported relatively species-rich grassland. The proposed site plan and landscaping plan confirmed that an area of 3,300 square metres of species rich grassland would be located on the east side of the site.

We analysed the merits and I raised the following points:

  • Increasing the area designated for Special Biological Interest (SBI) and putting an investigative so that part of the land on the west side of the site, which was indicated in the landscaping plan as private land, could be also open land designated for SBI
  • Including electric vehicle charging points
  • Clarifying the affordability criteria for the dwellings

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

Choosing the Next Lib Dem Leader

This summer, Liberal Democrat members will be electing a new Party leader. There are two candidates:

Find out more about Jo Swinson MP

Find out more about Ed Davey MP

Every member gets an equal say in choosing who they want to lead our party. 

To get your vote, all you need to do is join the Liberal Democrats by midnight on Friday 7th June. Membership starts at as little as £1 per month. A great time to encourage friends and family to join!

North West hustings for the new Leader take place on 14 June 2019, 7pm in Manchester. We’re hoping to arrange a ‘Bury’ team at the hustings so please get in touch if you are interested in going.

Help Choose the next Lib Dem Leader

This summer, Liberal Democrat members will be electing a new Party leader. There are two candidates:

Find out more about Jo Swinson MP

Find out more about Ed Davey MP

Every member gets an equal say in choosing who they want to lead our party. To get your vote, all you need to do is join the Liberal Democrats by midnight on Friday 7th June. Membership starts at as little as £1 per month.

Join the thousands of people who’ve already joined us this year and shape the direction of our party and our country.

North West hustings for the new Leader take place on 14 June 2019, 7pm in Manchester.

European Elections – Thank you!

Well done to the North West’s two new Liberal Democrat members of the European Parliament – Chris Davies and Jane Brophy.

Chris, who lives in Oldham, was MEP for the North West until 2014. Jane, who lives in Timperley, is a local Liberal Democrat councillor on Trafford Council. They join the largest ever team of Liberal Democrats MEPs – 16 across Great Britain.

The North West Region has 8 MEPs, which are allocated proportionately depending the votes for each Party. Results for the North West region were:

Brexit Party 31.2% – 3 MEPs

Labour 21.91 – 2 MEPs

Liberal Democrats 17.2% – 2 MEPs

Green Party 12.4% – 1 MEP

Conservative 7.6%

UKIP – 3.6%

Change UK – 2.7%

Bury’s votes are counted separately before being added towards the North West total. Bury’s votes were:

Brexit Party 31.3%

Labour 21.2%

Liberal Democrats 16.2%

Green Party 11.3%

Conservative 9.6%

UKIP 3.5%

Change UK 3.2%

European Parliament Elections 23 May 2019

Voting takes place on Thursday, 23 May 2019 to elect members of the European Parliament.

Polling stations are open as normal – 7am – 10pm – you don’t need your polling card to vote.

If you have a postal vote, which you have not yet returned. You can fill it in as normal and take the sealed envelope down to your local polling station on Thursday (or in fact any polling station in Bury).

In the North West we will be electing eight members of the European Parliament – these are shared out proportionately between different parties depending on their level of support.

Liberal Democrats believe that the importance of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union has never been clearer. The national humiliation of Theresa May’s Brexit puts so much at risk – the NHS, our public services, jobs across the country, peace in Northern Ireland, the unity of the UK and our global reputation as a country that is confident and outward-facing. It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Find out more and read our European Manifesto here.

Other Councillors not spending money allocated to them

Investigations by Bury’s Liberal Democrat councillors has revealed that Labour and Conservative councillors have not allocated around half of the money allocated to them for their local communities.

Only two areas – the Liberal Democrat councillors in Holyrood Ward and also the councillors in Tottington – have allocated the total of £4,500 allocated under the Elected Member Discretionary Budgets during that period.

The scheme was set up in December 2017 for councillors to support local projects and initiatives within their ward and wider township at their discretion.

More information was provided in an investigation by the Bury Times, reveal that only £41,801.96 was spent by councillors in their communities out of a possible £76,500.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Tim Pickstone said: “We welcomed the decision to provide councillors with small delegated budgets to spend on priorities in their own wards. Liberal Democrat councillors in Holyrood ward have had no difficulty making sure all of that money has gone to the right place supporting a whole variety of community groups and initiatives.”

“There are so many good causes that need our support so I am amazed that only two of the 17 wards in Bury have spent the money that has been allocated to them.”

Councillors in Radcliffe West spent the least money at £312 out of a possible £4,5000 while Besses and St Mary’s wards spent around £700 each.

Here is how Liberal Democrat Councillors spent the budget in Holyrood Ward.

Here is the full spend / underspend for each ward:

Bury East AvailableSpendEMDB allocated per ward
Moorside 2105.002395.004500
Redvales Ward 1300.003200.004500
East Ward 2966.761533.244500
6371.767128.24
Bury West AvailableSpendEMDB allocated per ward
Elton Ward 871.703628.304500
Church Ward 234921514500
3220.705779.30
RTNMavailableSpendEMDB allocated per ward 
Ramsbottom 267218284500 
 North Manor291.204208.804500 
 Tottington045004500 
2963.206036.80 
 
Radcliffe availablespendEMDB allocated per ward 
North1719.482780.524500  
West4188312 4500 
East1226.533273.474500  
 71346365.99 
     
Whitefield & UnsworthavailablespendEMDB allocated per ward 
Pilkington Park28701630 4500 
Besses3772.19727.81 4500 
Unsworth3100 14004500 
 9742.193757.81 
 PrestwichavailablespendEMDB allocated per ward 
St Marys 38116894500 
Sedgley 1454.803045.204500 
Holyrood 0.38 4499.624500 
  5266.188233.82 

Thank you for your Support

A huge thank you from the Liberal Democrat team here in Bury for your support in the local elections.

The Liberal Democrats had our best result in Bury for almost a decade:

– holding Holyrood Ward, with an increased majority (986 votes over Labour) electing our new Councillor Cristina Tegolo

– gaining St Mary’s Ward, by 942 votes over Labour, electing our youngest ever Councillor, Michael Powell.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Tim Pickstone said:
“This is the first time in a decade that the Liberal Democrats have won so many seats in Bury. Not only that but we also got significantly more votes than Labour across the three Prestwich seats.

Local people are sending a clear message that Labour’s policies around building on our green belt land, and their failure to tackle congestion and air pollution need to change”.

Full results here.

Government must be more ambitious than a 2050 Greenhouse Gas target

Responding to the expected announcement that the Climate Change Committee has recommended 2050 as the date the UK becomes a net-zero greenhouse gas emitter:

Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP said:

“This report tells us the very minimum we need to do to cut our greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero, but this Tory Government must be more ambitious. We have a responsibility as a country in the face of a climate emergency facing the entire world.

“We saw only last week that some in the cabinet are refusing to say they accept the scientific consensus on climate change which is incredibly alarming. Liberal Democrats demand better. Climate change is scientific fact, not an opinion to be debate – that time has passed.

“That’s why Liberal Democrats are calling on a net-zero target of 2045. This will focus minds and make the United Kingdom a world leader in cutting emissions, while also taking responsibility for the damage our country has caused over the last century.”

Former Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said:

“Climate change should be at the heart of Government – as Liberal Democrats successfully worked for during the Coalition.

“Climate action by Liberal Democrat ministers saw a huge expansion in renewable power, the setting up of the Green Investment Bank and Britain leading key international climate negotiations at the EU and UN, winning new more ambitious targets. 

“In contrast, the Tory record by themselves since 2015 has been appalling: scrapping our zero carbon homes law, dramatically slowing down green energy investment, privatising of the Green Investment Bank and refocusing of energy policy away from renewables on to fracking and nuclear.

“Liberal Democrats would declare a climate crisis and introduce a radical new programme to decarbonise capitalism, forcing investments to consider climate risk, shifting them into clean, green technologies.”

(Graph from Carbon Brief)

Reminder: Consultation on Changes to Fire Service

Residents are being asked for our views on significant changes to the way the Fire Service runs. The public consultation on the GMFRS Programme for Change Outline Business will run until May 31.

You can give your views on the plan at www.gmconsult.org.

The public are being consulted with on two specific areas, these are:

  • Proposal to merge six fire stations into three new ones (in Bolton, Manchester and Stockport).
  • Proposal to remove the ‘second fire engine’ from 8 Fire Stations. (None of which are in Bury, or the Broughton Fire station which serves Prestwich.)

Like all fire services, Greater Manchester is continuing to have make savings because of financial pressures. These proposals will ensure that the service is on the right financial footing to be able to continue to serve the people of Greater Manchester.

The recommended option would reduce the fire service as follows

NOW
41 Fire Stations
56 Fire Engines
1246 Firefighter posts

IN THREE YEARS
– 38 Fire Stations
– 47 Fire Engines
– 1052 Firefighter posts

To find out more about the proposals and read the full Outline Business Case, click here. The press release announcing the proposals can be found here

Please do also let us know what you think about these changes so we can represent you best at a Greater Manchester level.