Campaigning on Food Waste

Bury’s team of Liberal Democrat councillors have successfully brought the issue of Food Waste to the attention of Bury Council.

At the last full meeting of Bury Council, Lib Dem Councillors Mary D’Albert and Tim Pickstone brought a motion before Bury Council, which was accepted by all other parties and has now become Council policy.

In Britain today households throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink waste each year, half of which could have been eaten.

Given that there are 4 million people in the UK living in food poverty, and 900 million people going to bed hungry each night worldwide, we believe this needs to change.

As a result of the Lib Dem initiative Bury MBC has agreed to play it’s part in reducing the amount of food waste generated by the Borough.

This will include more information about reducing food waste in the information we provide to residents about waste disposal, including online, paper resources and through the work of the waste enforcement teams, and work with the major institutional producers of food waste in the Borough (Schools, colleges, hospitals, other major employers) to encourage strategies that achieve a significant reduction of food waste.


Lib Dem Councillors Mary D’Albert and Tim Pickstone taking the issue of food waste to the Town Hall

Bury Council currently collects 15,000 tonnes of brown bin waste each year, which costs taxpayers nearly £1 million in charges.

We can all do our bit to reduce the amount of food waste we produce – put simply not buying too much and not making too much!

The website ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ has lots of helpful tips.

Save the Last Bank!

Local Lib Dem councillors in the Holyrood Ward in the Prestwich area have been campaigning with local residents to save the last bank branch in the ward, the Royal Bank of Scotland on Bury Old Road near Heaton Park.

Although many people recognise that banking has changed significantly over recent years, we also need to recognise that bank counter services are important for many people, including small businesses, local community groups and some more elderly and vulnerable members of the community.

The nearest RBS branches are on Cheetham Hill and in Bury Town Centre. The cash machine (on the corner of Bury Old Road and St Margaret’s Road) would also be closed is the ONLY free cash machine close to Heaton Park, a rather popular destination!

Thank you for everyone who has supported the campaign so far. We need to keep up the pressure and have a meeting with RBS in a couple of weeks.

If you can please sign the online petition at or you can sign in person in the Fresh Cookie sandwich shop on St Margaret’s Road.

We’ve made this short video to highlight the problems from the bank closure.

Screenshot 2015-06-24 09.21.20

Tim Farron is the new Lib Dem Leader

The local Lib Dems have welcomed the election of Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Tim Farron said that under his leadership, the party would oppose the cuts to tax credits and other benefits in the Conservative’s budget and push for greater spending on infrastructure such as transport and broadband.

At his first speech as leader, Tim said “If you care about human rights join us. If you think you shouldn’t have your emails snooped on join us. ‎If you think everyone deserves a decent home join us.” You can watch Tim’s inspirational speech here.

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Cllr Tim Pickstone, who leads the Lib Dems in Bury said: “These principles are at the heart of what drives the Liberal Democrats, our members and activists. More than ever Britain needs a party that will stand up for what we believe in, so we’re continuing our fightback and I’m asking local residents to be part of it.”

There has never been a more important time to join the party.

Across the Country since the General Election 17,000 people have joined the party. Locally we have been joined by dozens of new activists and members this year, including a large number since it was announced that Tim Farron was elected. The Liberal Democrats have also seen stunning election victories at local council by-elections across the UK, beating both Labour and the Conservatives.

If you would like to join please go to and join the FOCUS teams fightback.

Campaigning for a fair deal from our local NHS

The NHS in Greater Manchester is currently consulting with members of the public about its proposals for the future of some aspects of healthcare in Greater Manchester.

This is a very important consultation which will affect how we receive healthcare in future years. In particular it will affect which hospitals we need to attend for some services.

We arse keen to ensure the best possible deal for Bury residents and are asking residents for their views on these proposals by taking part in this short survey.

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Much of the emphasis in the review is about trying to ensure that as much healthcare as possible can be delivered sensibly outside of hospitals and closer to people’s homes. This has been a long term ‘direction of travel’ for the NHS and many of us will be familiar with accessing services in health centres.

The most significant changes relate to some hospital based services. At present Greater Manchester has 12 hospitals. At 10 of these hospitals (including Fairfield and North Manchester) a full 24/7 service is provided.

The proposal is to reduce the number of hospitals with the capacity for full emergency surgery to just 3-5 hospitals.

Crucially for us in Prestwich, Whitefield and rest of Bury, these 3-5 hospitals will NOT include EITHER of our local hospitals – Fairfield and North Manchester.

In the proposals:
Manchester Royal Informary (MRI)
Salford Royal (Hope)
Royal Oldham
will definitely have the full emergency surgery service.

There is a consultation on which one or two of:
will have the full service.

In the consultation there are NO options which allow for the full service at:
North Manchester
(Rochdale and Trafford who already do not have the full 24/7 service)

What is proposed
To designate 4 or 5 hospitals in our region as specialist hospital for patients needing an emergency or complex operation.

In simple terms my understanding is that this means life-threatening things which could require emergency surgery – e.g. a blue light ambulance incidence, but could be anything up from a complex appendicitis. Apparently this is about 1 in 30 current attendances at A&E.

The majority of patients needing emergency care and patients needing routine operations will continue to receive their care locally in local General hospitals.

More detail on these proposals can be found in our Consultation Document and
our Guide to Best Care.

What does this mean to us
The main impact to us in Prestwich, Whitefield and the rest of Bury is that we will need to travel further for a major medical condition – most likely to either MRI, Hope or the Royal Oldham.

The proposals make the very valid point that what matters is getting the very best medical care, and that lives could be saved if there were fewer specialist hospitals.

However, the pre-consultation document identified that around 50% of people could be adversely affected by a longer public transport journey AND by a longer car or ambulance journey. MPs from across the region have raised concerns about the consultation in Parliament. Bury South’s Labour MP did not speak in the debate

The consultation is currently underway, and we are really interested in your views, and in particular on the transport impact to people of having to use MRI or Hope as opposed to Fairfield or North Manchester.

We’ve done a short survey to ask you about access and transport to our local health services. The results of this can be fed into the consultation by local councillors.

Please take a minute to fill the survey in.


Bury Council Budget 2014-2015

Liberal Democrats welcome Council Tax Freeze

The Liberal Democrat Group on Bury Council have welcomed the decision to freeze the Council Tax in Bury 2014-2015.

The freeze is possible thanks to a £772,000 grant from the Coalition Government – equivalent to a 1.2% increase in Council Tax for 2014-2015.

Councillor Tim Pickstone, Bury’s Lib Dem Leader said:

“These are difficult times for many people and it is great that the Coalition is helping with the cost of living by enabling councils to freeze Council Tax.

“It is only a shame that Bury’s Labour Council didn’t take this free money last year and instead made us all suffer a 2.5% rise (6.8% for over 60s).”

Labour Councillors voted down Liberal Democrat proposals to invest more money in roads and to provide additional help for young people finding work.

“Bury’s roads and pavements are at breaking point with pot-holes and uneven surfaces wherever you look. It is a disgrace that Labour Councillors voted against £4 million of investment in roads, even though they seem happy to pay out £3 million in compensation for uneven roads and pavements in the last three years!”

The Lib Dem Councillors also welcomed, and fully supported, the decision to invest £500,000 in Bury New Road through Prestwich.

Councillor Donal O’Hanlon, who represents Prestwich Village, said:

“Bury New Road urgently needs attention to improve both traffic flow and parking for local businesses. We have been campaigning for this for years and wrote to the Council’s Executive Director only a month ago asking for just this. It is great that the Council has finally seen common sense”.

“Prestwich remains at the bottom of the list for investment for Bury Council. £1/2 million is great, but is nothing compared to the £25 million being invested in Radcliffe”.


Bury Council Budget Highlights

– Council Tax rise (the Bury Council element) will be 0% for 2014-15. (There will be a small rise as the Labour Police Commission has put up his element of the Council Tax.)

– Council (Six Town Housing) house rents will go up by an average of 2.5%

– The Council has decided to spend £12.4 million on improvements to council (Six Town Housing) houses over the next three years.

– £500,000 to improve Bury New Road through Prestwich.

Liberal Democrat Proposals (voted down by Labour)

– £2 million investment in repairing roads and pavements (taken from balances)

– £200,000 to improve Bury New Road through Prestwich

– £200,000 a year (for three years) to pay for a a shop unit (e.g. at the Longfield) to be converted into an centre to help young people into employment.

– £200,000 LESS spent on management costs – by changing the way that the Council is structured (not having a ‘Directorate’ structure.


Campaign to end 15 Minute Care Slots in Bury

Bury Council provides nearly 38% of all home care visits in slots of just 15 minutes for elderly and disabled people. This high level of ‘short care’ visits, revealed by research by local Lib Dems, has been condemned by care charities like Leonard Cheshire and Trade Unions like UNISON.

Sign our Petition to end the use of 15 minute care slots in Bury 

Leading charities, like Leonard Cheshire, have called for an end to 15 minute care slots.

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BBC News 7 October 2013

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of social care services to disabled people. As they say: “As a charity that has been providing high quality care for over 60 years, we know that 15 minutes is insufficient time to give disabled people high quality personal care and support. To put it clearly – it’s not care if the support worker does not have time to take their coat off. Let alone have a proper conversation.”

‘Care workers are telling us that they cannot properly support disabled people to get up, to bathe, get dressed and to have breakfast in 15 minutes. This is not care. It is box-ticking. The situation has become critical. This is why we are going to stop bidding for 15-minute home care contracts, unless the person specifically requests a short visit, for example to receive medication.

‘In the most extreme cases we have seen a tender for visits of only 10 minutes. This is entirely unacceptable.”

Find out more about Leonard Cheshire’s national campaign here. 

Trade Union UNISON have also joined the campaign nationally to end 15 minute care slots. 

There research show that  73% of councils in England, Wales and Scotland still commission 15-minute home care visits to elderly and vulnerable people.

UNION say: “In the government’s own words, 15 minute home care appointments ‘risk stripping people of their dignity and jeopardising their human rights’”

Home carers repeatedly raise concerns that elderly people are suffering because 15 minutes is not enough to provide even the most basic care. Frail elderly people cannot move quickly, making it impossible to carry out the range of tasks that often have to be completed in 15 minutes – feeding, bathing, administering medicines and getting people up or into bed. People with dementia find the rush of such a short visit particularly distressing.

Care workers are also deeply concerned that they do not have time to talk to people in their care. This is especially worrying given that home carers can be the only source of social contact in an elderly person’s day. The impacts of loneliness on health and wellbeing are well documented. The rush of a 15 minute call also makes the risk of mistakes with medication higher, say care workers.

UNISON is calling on the government to ban 15 minute care slots, and for councils to sign up to its Ethical Home Care Charter, which sets out basic standards for home care. The charter also provides guidance for councils to use in the commissioning process – 80% of homecare is provided by the private sector and paid for by councils.

Find out more about UNIONS’s campaign to end 15 minute care slots. 

15 Minute Care Slots are happening today in Bury

Bury Council last year provided 4790 15 minute care slots – nearly 38% of all care.

Total Number of visits per week Number of 15 minute visits Number of 30 minute visits Number of 45 minute visits Number of 60 minute visits Number of visits over 60 minutes
12782 4790 5796 1433 578 185
100.00% 37.47% 45.35% 11.21% 4.52% 1.45%

Sometimes 15 minutes might be right for someone, as part of a proper package of care, but we don’t believe this applies to 38% of all care provided.

Sign our Petition to end the use of 15 minute care slots in Bury 

Liberal Democrat Candidates – Local Elections 2011

Liberal Democrat candidates across Bury for the Local Elections on 5 May 2011:

Besses:  Julie Baum
Church: Andrew Garner
East: Maureen Davison
Elton: Zadok Day
Holyrood: Wilf Davison
Moorside: Tim Boaden
North Manor: Ewan Arthur
Pilkington Park: Wayne Burrows
Radcliffe East: Michael Bell
Radcliffe North: Fiona Davison
Radcliffe West: Kamran Islam
Ramsbottom: Helen Herd
Redvales: Emma Davison
Sedgley: Steve Wright
St Mary’s: Richard Baum
Tottington: David Foss
Unsworth: Joanne O’Hanlon

One Your Side – Information for Bury

See the above posting about the national picture – but here’s the information just for Bury!

Bury’s share of the country’s debt now stands at a dangerous £6.38billion and something needs to be done.

Over the last seven days in Bury, thanks to Liberal Democrats:
68000 people are getting a £200 income tax cut – benefiting 23 million people across the country
2100 people have been lifted out of paying income tax altogether, with more to come
£625million extra has gone to our schools, aimed at the most disadvantaged pupils – rising to £2.5billion a year by 2015
35800 pensioners have been given an extra £4.50 a week – and those retiring from today will be on average £15,000 better off over their retirement.

Councillors spread Christmas cheer at Longfield Centre

Christmas Saturday Surgery at the Longfield

Local Councillors were out in force spreading Christmas cheer at the Longfield Centre on Saturday 18th December, as the regular Liberal Democrat Saturday Surgery took on a decidedly Christmassy flavour.

Councillors from all three Prestwich wards were on hand as usual on Saturday morning, but donned Santa hats and handed out free mince pies to shoppers and local people who came down to take part. Richard Baum, Liberal Democrat Councillor for St Mary’s ward, said “We have a surgery at the Longfield Centre every Saturday morning from 10.45 – 11.45 come rain or shine. The snow didn’t deter us on Saturday and we were in the festive spirit with our hats and pies. There was even some mulled wine to keep us warm.”

Richard continued “There’s a serious purpose to these Saturday Surgeries. We are here to listen to local people and try to help with any problems they’ve got. We’ve also got the “Scrap Prestwich Parking Charges” petition for people to sign, and over 2,000 people have done so far. We’re also asking people their priorities for Prestwich so that we can make sure we let the Council know what needs protecting when they make cuts to deal with the deficit and debt. But we’re also here to wish everyone in Prestwich a merry Christmas, and I was pleased that so many people went away smiling with a mince pie and our Christmas best wishes.”

The Saturday Surgery series will commence again in early January after a fortnight off for Christmas and New Year. In the meantime, Councillors are available by phone or email over the holidays.