Melford Road Unauthorised Occupations

We have seen a series of unauthorised occupations in Melford Road by various different groups of travellers over the years but hopefully there will be an end to the problem soon with the council to make extensive changes to the site – more below.

The last year has seen probably more than ever and we have an occupation by a number of people at the moment.

The End of Melford Road Has Wide Open Streets – Google Street View

Every visit is unpleasant for local businesses and residents, especially those closest in Kyle and Tannock Roads, with the physical mess that they leave behind, the feeling of intimidation that their presence can cause for some and the worry of crime in the area that some feel may come with their presence.

Stockport council have a great team of people that deal with these incursions, along with the police. As soon as it is reported to them they go to visit to assess the level of the problem and then follow a strict legal process to remove them. It is difficult to assess the total cost to Stockport when you add up all of the staff, police, court time and other costs but it really adds up for every visit.

The Removal Process

Often travellers will move on within two weeks but sometimes it can take longer. The first delay can be welfare needs of any travellers present, for example children that are not well. Stockport council has to follow legal procedures in this respect to ensure that these immediate welfare needs are met. As frustrating as it can be seeing travellers stay any longer officers have to respect these needs.

Once it is clear that immediate welfare needs are ok then the formal legal process can be followed from the Criminal and Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Travellers are issued with a Section 77 notice from this act that directs them to leave within 24 hours.

Unfortunately some groups ignore these notices and the council then has to apply to the Magistrates’ Court for a Section 78 Order of this act. This takes a few days longer but it can then be enforced.

While everyone in the council works hard to keep the process running as quickly as possible, they must follow national laws.

Future Prevention

As part of the A6MARR scheme Hazel Grove received a sum of money for complementary measures because we will see a small decrease in traffic though the town when the road opens. This money can be spent on transport related improvments. As the travellors park on the public highway we can use some of this money on measures to prevent the illegal occupation problem.

We wrote about the complementary measures in an earlier post here:

The changes to be made at Melford road include improvements to the pavements and installation of barriers which will restrict unauthorised access while allowing local businesses to continue to operate.

Frightening Effects of Not So Savvy Government Cuts

One of our local charities, Stockport Action for Voluntary Youth or SAVY, is closing its doors in March after nearly 30 years of helping local young people.

Due to ever more austerity from the Tory government and the savage cuts to local government funding SAVY can no longer get core funding that would allow it to keep running safely.

We also here of constant anti social behaviour (ASB) here in Hazel Grove where the police simply do not have the resources to deal with it quickly and effectively. The recent Lib Dem crime survey showed large numbers of people have suffered from ASB and are worried about crime in general.

THe ongoing cuts to our services in so many areas are leaving staff stretched and stressed just when we need better social and community engagement.

Jon Twigge, local Lib Dem Cllr said, “It has to be time to put the brakes on austerity and recommit to a fairly funded society to educate and support everyone. The alternative, without great organisations like SAVY, is a devastating and ever growing insecurity in many services and areas of society.”

SAVY manager, Vicky Bloomfield, put out the official statement:

“Stockport Action for Voluntary Youth, or ‘SAVY’ to those who know us best will be closing our youth centre doors for the last time on Thursday 29th March 2018. This is due to difficulty in securing core funding that we need to run the charity in a safe and professional manner.

Since 1991 SAVY have had young people’s needs at the heart of all that we do and it is with deep regret, we announce an end to our Youth Work delivery across the borough of Stockport.

With an amazing team of professional Youth Workers we have enjoyed seeing young people flourish and develop in to young adults, becoming active citizens in their local communities.

On the behalf of the team and our Executive Committee, thank you to the partners and volunteers who have supported us throughout and to the children and young people who have put their faith in us for almost 30 years.

We will be sharing our achievements and memories in our final newsletter, March 2018. For more details please visit www.stockportsavy.org.uk

Have Your Say on Community Policing

The Manchester Mayor is currently developing a new police and crime plan which will set the strategic direction for the police and other organisations with responsibilities for keeping our communities safe. The name of the draft plan is ‘Standing Together: A Plan for police, community safety, criminal justice services and citizens in Greater Manchester’ which reflects the range of people and organisations working together to keep us safe.

The draft plan has been developed by talking to people working in neighbourhoods, those who have been victims of crime and the people who support them, businesses and various organisations active within Greater Manchester’s different communities.

Please visit their website to view the draft police and crime plan and to take part in a short survey to let us know

They don’t ask for your name and so all responses are confidential. The survey will close at midnight on 14 January 2018.

All your responses will be used to finalise the plan, which will be published later in January 2018. If you have any questions about the draft plan, please email [email protected]

Christmas Bin Collections

Lots of us produce extra waste over the Christmas period (wrapping paper, parsnip peelings and one or two bottles…) and it can be easy to lose track of what day it is so check the collection calendar on the Council’s website here:
https://www.stockport.gov.uk/news/christmas-bin-collections

It has useful information in case of a disruption of service (for example if the weather gets really, really bad).

Emergency Contacts For The Festive Period

Christmas is almost upon us and is a wonderful time. But often it can be a difficult time if you need Council or emergency services.

Stockport Council is urging residents to be be prepared this festive period and make a note of useful numbers should they face a crisis.
The information available on the Council’s Winter Web Pages includes emergency health and social care contact numbers as well as contact numbers should households be faced with a gas leak or power cut.

Stockport People a handy Local NHS/.Local Authority guide for over the winter season has also been published on line and includes helpful numbers and opening times for local pharmacies, dentists and other services as well as guidance on how to stay well this winter, caring for yourself and others.

Get Involved in Your Local Community

“Stockport Local” is the place to find out about community groups, services and activities. It’s the easiest way to find out what’s on, when it’s on and how to join in.

Thanks to the involvement of hundreds of local groups, Stockport Council have launched ‘Stockport Local’, an online directory of community groups and services on their website. It’s the answer to a problem that has long faced both Stockport communities and residents – the need for a single source of information on groups and activities across the whole of Stockport.

Stockport Council is committed to finding new digital ways to engage and work with communities, to connect people and places and help to reduce loneliness and isolation, particularly among older and more vulnerable people.

Whether you’re looking for something specific or are open to suggestions, or if you’re looking for opportunities to volunteer and become more involved with your local community, Stockport Local is really easy to search with four main search options:

For those who know exactly the type of group they are looking for there is also a list of group categories which vary from arts to adventure, fitness to theatre. And all the results can be filtered to display the groups closest to where you live or work.

Stockport Local is growing all the time and new groups are welcomed. The Council is encouraging any community groups that aren’t yet listed to use the ‘Add your group or service’ button and add themselves for free.

For more information, visit www.stockport.gov.uk/stockportlocal

Stockport Local is part of a circle of support the Council is building around Stockport’s communities, alongside a community investment fund to stimulate social action, workforce and peer support networks to help people contribute to their community and access to resources, time and spaces so people can engage in social activities.

Further Council Cuts to Affect More Services

With government austerity set to massively reduce council budgets once again next year Stockport is no exception and will have to make further cuts.

As part of budget planning the council is asking residents for their views on five sets of cuts in:

  • Cuts to apprenticeship events for young people
  • Closure of the Apprenticeship’s Store
  • Removal of free school transport for some families that receive Working Tax Credit
  • Changes to advice services provided by the council in libraries and Citizens Advice centres
  • Significant changes to Sure Start Children’s centres

Andrew Stunell visited local Sure Start Centre’s in 2013 when they were protected

You can let the council know your views on these cuts in a series of consultations that run until November 10th at https://www.stockport.gov.uk/showcase/have-your-say.

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.

MacMillan Coffee morning – HG Methodist Churcvh

The Hazel Grove for Health Group are having a ‘Fund Raiser’ event on 28th (Thursday) September 2017 in order to raise funds for the Macmillan Nursing Service. For an entry of £2. there are plenty of refreshments and a Raffle. Coffee/Tea’s, Cakes, biscuits etc . Raffle also available. So if you get chance ‘POP-In’ and enjoy a nice brew and cakes whilst enjoying a chat with locals. Maybe catch up with old friends and times. Possible go home with a nice prize too. Al proceeds to the Macmillan Nursing Services. The event is being held at:—————– The Hazel Grove Methodist Church Hall. Wesley Street, Hazel Grove. SK7 4JQ. Event starts at 13:15. Should you require any further information you can mail here OR email the secretary of the Tai Chi for Health Group at……..>>> [email protected].

Have Your Say on Stockport’s New Local Plan

The Council is inviting residents to join the conversation on the Stockport Local Plan, a plan for the future of the borough through to 2035.

There are big challenges and opportunities facing the borough. People are concerned about housing, both in terms of numbers and where they are built. We also know that while Stockport is a well-connected place, our roads are often very congested.

It’s not just about housing, jobs and transport though. People rely on services such as health, education, shops and enjoying our green places and spaces.

The Local Plan will set the rules for development and land uses which will have an impact on the way we live and work in the future.

You can take part in the consultation by coming along to one of our public drop-in events or by responding online.

Upcoming events:

  • Stepping Hill AreaMonday 25th September From 6pm to 8.30pm at Hazel Grove Civic Hall, London Road, Stockport, SK7 4DF;
  • Cheadle AreaThursday 28th September From 6pm to 8.30pm at Kingsway School, Foxland Road, Stockport, SK8 4QX.

At these events, residents will also be able to learn more about the current and future transport priorities that are part of a review of the 2001 South East Manchester Multi-Modal (SEMMM) Strategy.

Residents will also have the opportunity to let us know what they think the current transport issues are across the borough and how we should address them.

The online consultation is available at www.stockport.gov.uk/localplan. It will run until 8th October 2017.