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.
“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.
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
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.
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.
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:
Enabling parents to be there for their children by tackling in-work poverty & providing the support parents and their children need.
Safe and healthy alternatives to gangs: providing a positive safety net for those whose parents can’t provide the support their children need.
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.
Inclusive education: fewer excluded pupils, adaptable education that addresses every pupil’s needs, including teaching the realities of criminal gangs.
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.”
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.
The current public consultation phase on Greater Manchester’s proposals for Clean Air Zone’s closes on 30 June 2019.
The proposals are for daily charges in Greater Manchester for lorries, buses, taxes and vans that do not meet strict emissions regulations – these would be £100 per day for lorries and buses, and £7.50 per day for taxis and vans.
Before proposals are taken further, members of the public are being asked for our views. Take part in the consultation here.
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.
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!
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.
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
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:
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.