Taking Action on Rising School Uniform Costs

The Liberal Democrat team on Bury Council have been successful in getting the Council to take action on the rising prices of school uniforms, in a move to help parents who are struggling with the costs. According to research by the Children’s Society, 3 million families in Britain are struggling to pay for school uniform costs.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Mary D’Albert said:
“We very much support the principle of school uniforms, but the rising cost in some schools is causing unnecessary hardship to parents who are struggling to make ends meet. This can be made worse where uniforms can only be bought from single suppliers and the cost of branded PE kit.”

“As a parent, I know what lengths a parent would go to make sure their children did suffer stigma or bullying because they didn’t have the right uniform, but for some people that might mean having to go without basic household expenditure.

Schools could help by having a more sensible approach to school uniform costs.”

The move, which secured all-Party support and is now Council policy, commits the Council to principles on School Uniform pricing which have been set out by the Childrens’ Society nationally around sensible guidlines for schools.

As a result of the Liberal Democrat group proposal, the Councils will now work with schools in Bury to develop a sensible set of Bury guidelines on school uniform costs which schools will be encouraged to adopt and follow.

The full text of the Liberal Democrat group motion is here.

NHS Bury consulting on reducing funding for IVF

NHS Bury are asking patients and the public to share their views on proposals to review Bury’s current policy in relation to commissioning In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) services.

The consultation will run for six weeks from Monday 6th August to Sunday 16th September 2018.

Within the consultation document the CCG describes the reasons why it is considering changing its policy on commissioning IVF services, and seeks feedback from local people, stakeholders and health care professionals on a range of options.

An important part of the survey is to offer the opportunity for people to highlight if they feel the CCG has failed to consider something significant before coming to a decision.

IVF is one of several techniques available to help people with fertility problems have a baby.

NHS Bury CCG is one of only four CCGs in the country that provides IVF fully in line with NICE guidelines, including offering up to three funded cycles.

Bury’s projected spend for IVF in 2018/19 is around £320,000. The majority of CCGs in England offer one funded cycle.

Feedback from the consultation period will help to inform the Governing Body to make a decision on the future provision of IVF in Bury at its meeting on 26th September 2018.  The Governing Body meets in public and will publish the outcome of the consultation on its website, through social media and via the press and media.

How to get involved:

An online survey is available HERE, also available via the CCG website homepage buryccg.nhs.uk and in paper format by calling 0161 253 7636.

Views can be sent to the CCG by letter or e-mail:

  • By letter to: NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group, Communications and Engagement Team (IVF consultation) Townside Primary Care Centre, 1 Knowsley Place, Knowsley Street, Bury, BL9 0SN
  • By e-mail: to buccg.communications@nhs.net

The Liberal Democrat Group on Bury Council has been asked to meet with the CCG to give our views as part of the consultation, so please let us know if there are points you would like us to make (c/o Councillor Tim Pickstone tim@burylibdems.net

GMSF revised timetable – next proposals in October

Greater Manchester’s Council Leaders are set to agree a revised timetable for the publication of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plans. The next set of proposals, a Consultation Draft, will be agreed by the GM Combined Authority at its meeting at the end of October, followed by a 12 week consultation.

Consultation on the next version of the plan was intended to be July 2018, however, it was agreed to delay the consultation until October because of new population projections (SNPP) published on 24 May 2018.

The previous version of the plan proposed around 240,000 new homes across Greater Manchester (equivalent to an extra Bolton and a new Bury added together). It proposed destroying almost 50% of the green belt land in the Prestwich, Whitefield and Unsworth areas including 3,200 new houses on green belt land to the eastern side of Prestwich.


From the original proposals: Part of the “Northern Gateway” site with 3,200 houses to be built south of the M60 on green belt.

The Sub National Population Projections (SNPP) were published on May 24th update the 2014-based projections are predicting a

    slower

growth in population – for Greater Manchester this amounts to 15% reduction by 2036 – around 43,000 people fewer than the 2014 proposals.
– Slower overall growth between 2016-36 – the population is projected of Greater Manchester projected to grow by 240,000 over the 20 years
– All districts are still projected to experience growth but overall growth is significantly down on that in the 2014 estimates.
– Rochdale and Oldham have slightly higher growth
– The largest decline in growth occurs in Wigan with 11,100 (53%) less growth than before. Trafford 8,600 (25%) and Bury 7,400 (44%) also show large reductions in growth.

New ‘Sub National Household projections’ are due to be published in September 2018, it is expected that the 2016 SNHP will be lower than the 2014 projections.

The new timetable is:
– Consultation Draft Approved: October 2018
– Consultation (12 weeks): November 2018 – January 2019 o Draft Plan Approved: July 2019
– Consultation/representations: Aug – Oct 2019
– Submission Plan approved: Dec 2019/Jan 2020
– Examination in Public: Summer 2020
– Final publication (adoption): Winter 2020/21

Liberal Democrats in Greater Manchester remain 100% opposed to building on green belt land. We do need new homes, particularly the affordable homes that people need, but these should be provided on brownfield sites.