Jon and Paul Welcome Phase Three of Stockport Exchange

Phase 3 of Stockport Exchange has been launched, with a new office block to be built on the site of the former Cineworld cinema by Stockport station.

This is phase three of six that was agreed by the Lib Dem administration on Stockport Council. A few years ago, anyone coming out of Stockport station would see the back of the closed Heaven and Hell nightclub and the bowling alley. It wasn’t a great advert for the town.

The Lib Dem administration have brought about a transformation. We now have a new hotel, grade A offices, a new cinema complex at Redrock, numerous road improvements and more on the way. There’s still a long way to go, but Stockport is changing for the better.

“While Hazel Grove won’t see development on the scale of the one Billion Pounds that was planned by the Liberal Democrats in the Town Hall a bypass would allow us to invest and regenerate right along our patch of the A6 once a majority of all the dirty and heavy vehicles that are just passing through could go around us,” said Lib Dem Councillor Jon Twigge.

Free Parking in Hazel Grove On Next Two Saturdays

All Council Car Parks in Hazel Grove will be free of charge for the next two Saturdays. In addition to this, there will be free parking in Stockport Town centre on the following days:

  • Monday 11th December to Friday 15th December, free after 3pm
  • Sunday 17th December, free all day
  • Monday 18th December to Friday 22nd December, free after 3pm
  • Sunday 24th December, free all day

Car parks where this offer applies: Merseyway, Redrock, Heaton Lane, Newbridge Lane, Churchgate, Knightsbridge.

The initiative, first introduced by the Liberal Democrats when they ran Stockport Council is intended to help bring in people to shop locally.

LibDem Paul Ankers is supportive “Christmas is an important time for shoppers & local businesses. Local Councils should support them. This is standard now. Town Hall bosses should be looking for new ways to strengthen Stockport.”

Redrock Cinema Complex Opens in Stockport

Stockport’s new Redrock cinema complex opened this week. The Light have opened a ten screen cinema. There are a range of restaurants either open already or coming soon include Zizzi, Pizza Express, Gourmet Burger Company and Loungers. A gym opens in January and the new car park – accessible directly from the A6 for the first time – is open for business too.

Redrock is a great addition to Stockport, putting the cinema and restaurants right in the heart of the town for the first time. A new public square connects them to Merseyway and through there to the Old Town. The Light is a different kind of cinema – plush, reclining seats are just part of the offer.

Redrock, which has all-party support at the Council, isn’t costing taxpayers any money. It’s an investment in the town which is expected to either break even or deliver a profit to council taxpayers. The old Cineworld cinema near the station will soon be demolished and replaced with Grade A offices, adding to the successful Stockport Exchange development.

“More people are coming into Stockport now.  There are new restaurants, Foodie Friday and the hotels are full; Stockport is changing. We are proud of what the Lib Dems have done to improve Stockport over the last few years. There is more to be done, but we’re making good progress.” said Cllr Jon Twigge

Fairtrade Christmas Fair

Recent confirmation from the Fairtrade Foundation ensures that Stockport’s Fairtrade Borough status has been successfully renewed, through the work of the Stockport Fairtrade Group in collaboration with Stockport Council.

The renewal recognises the commitment going forward to supporting and promoting fairtrade.

This years Christmas fair is on Saturday November 25th.

Bold Lib Dem Response to Stockport Local Plan Consultation

The Lib Dems have submitted our response to the first stage of Stockport’s Local Plan consultation.

“At the heart of the Lib Dem response is a two stage approach to house-building across the next 20 years – brownfield in the first years and green belt only later, if at all.

“Major changes in the UK due to Brexit and new transport technologies including driverless cars may mean we never need to release those Green Belt areas that the GMSF proposed to give away forever” said Cllr Jon Twigge.

“Everyone knows we need infrastructure to be in place for new homes, but often it does not happen. The A6 through Hazel Grove is already heavily congested and it can only get worse with a lot more housing before we get a bypass,” Jon added.

For a lot more detail and our reasoning behind the two stage planning you can see the Lib Dem response here.

This is the first of three consultations on the Local Plan. The next stage is for the Council to work up the details of what is being proposed where. That means that we’ll be seeing specific proposals for where homes should be built, along with all the other parts of the plan.

Pubs in Hazel Grove still waiting for business rates relief

Dozens of pubs in Hazel Grove hit with crippling hikes to their business rates still haven’t received any funding from the government’s flagship relief scheme, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The government announced last March that pubs in England hit with higher business rates would receive a one-off £1,000 annual discount. But six months on, Stockport still hasn’t begun distributing the funds,  blaming a delayed software update.

Across England, four in ten councils still haven’t even been able to start distributing the relief.

The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to protect pubs by introducing a 12.5% cap on business rate increases, as is currently the case in Scotland.

Liberal Democrat campaigner Paul Ankers commented:

“Pubs have been closing in Hazel Grove, like the Royal Oak or White Hart. Local pubs have been hit with crippling tax hikes are now being left in the lurch. The scheme was rushed and is yet another blunder by our government. I don’t want more closed pubs in Hazel Grove.

 We need to properly protect pubs by capping business rate rises at 12.5%.

Hazel Grove Retail Experiencing Some Difficulties – The Local Plan

It won’t come as a surprise to many here in Hazel Grove that our retailers are experiencing some difficulties.

Stockport Council is preparing a new local plan at the moment – you can find out more about this at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/localplan.  The purpose of the local plan is to make Stockport and the surrounding areas as prosperous as possible in several ways including health, education, jobs, housing and infrastructure.

One of the first stages is to produce an issues document.  You can download the full issues document at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/get-involved-slp/issues-paper-sustainability-appraisal.

You can comment on the local plan issues document on the same page above.  (It is a rather fiddly system to use but if you keeping selecting next page through the report you eventually get to the questions.  You can then add comments for each question).  There will also be opportunities to comment on the full plan later.

 

Part of the report is about our retail centres with Hazel Grove identified as one of those centres experiencing some difficulties.  This is not a surprise with the main A6 through the town an ongoing problem of heavy traffic, noise and pollution – not the best combination for a busy high street.

Most people would agree that taking a lot of the through traffic off the A6 onto a bypass would help a lot – something also covered in the local plan under transport and infrastructure.  The bypass is part of the proposed next stage of the Greater Manchester SEMMMS traffic strategy – to continue the new road to the Airport over to Bredbury and the M60.  The bypass part of the scheme is a spur off this new proposed road going back to the A6 at Sainsbury’s and therefore allowing a lot of the traffic on the A6 to completely miss the centre of Hazel Grove.

A bigger vision for Stockport is to eventually pedestrianise some of the town centre but that heavily relies on major improvements to other roads and the A6 to Bredbury road, our Hazel Grove bypass, being built too.

There will also be some events where you can hear more about the local plan and give feedback.  Details should appear at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/events/?tag=stockport%20local%20plan soon.

 

Shout About Stockport – Have Your Say

You probably know about the exciting changes happening across Stockport Town Centre.

Redrock Investment

New investment, transport improvements, leisure opportunities, better spaces and places, cultural programmes and a host of big brand names and independent businesses are moving to Stockport. It’s all part of the complete reinvention at the heart of our town.

Now we need your help to spread the word and get others on board with the dynamic changes taking place.
Creative Concern, working on behalf of Stockport Council and its partners, is planning a major campaign to wake up the world and tell everyone about this transformation. We want to bust myths, open minds and see a good few jaws drop, too.
To make sure we get this right, we want to involve the people who matter most, the residents of Stockport. That’s why we’re recruiting a selection of community volunteers to take part in a small and informal group workshop. We want to know what you think about Stockport – what you like and what could be made even better.
If you are interested in taking part in the workshop we’d love to hear from you. Please send us your details, including your postcode so that we can make sure people from across the whole of Stockport are able to give us their views. We’ll then be in touch to let you know if you are selected.
The session will take place from 6:00-7:30pm on Wednesday 14th June at:
Staircase House
30/31 Market Place
Stockport
SK1 1ES
We’ll be putting your feedback to great use as we work on a new campaign to promote Stockport and all of the exciting things going on here.
As a big thank you for taking part, we’re offering a £25 incentive for those who attend.
Please register your interest and RSVP to [email protected]
We look forward to seeing you there. If you are not selected to take part, or are unable to attend, we would still like to hear your comments. Please get in touch to find out the other ways you can get involved and have your say.
For more details or enquiries, please contact: [email protected]

Cooke St Residents Petition For Residents Parking

Local residents on Cooke St have called for an increase in the number of residential permit parking spaces on the street to accommodate the increased number of residents with permits wishing to park.

Local Councillors on the Stepping Hill area Committee, including local LibDem Jon Twigge, will hear the petition on Tuesday evening (5th June). That meeting will also see plans for parking restrictions on Douglas Rd & Grenville Rd.

Local LibDem Campaigner Paul Ankers said, “The Council needs to tackle the parking crisis in Hazel Grove. We need a fully thought out plan for the effects of a Hospital with exorbitant parking charges & a very large town centre.”

 

Stockport Market in Decline Under Labour

A year after the new Labour administration ‘saved’ Stockport Market, Council figures show the market is in serious decline.

A report to the Council’s Scrutiny Co-Ordination Committee forecasts a fall in visitors by 9% over the last financial year.

The Labour group squashed a consultation into the market’s future, but have show no sign of a vision to revive the market. Instead, they seem to be managing its decline.

Paul Ankers said, “These figures are alarming. I am fond of the market, but other markets in Manchester & Gorton have been revitalized. The last LibDem administration had a plan but this Labour lot are just glad to be in charge but have no vision for Stockport.”be