Despite the efforts of the Liberal Democrat group with an amendment to the Labour budget that included a call to block the increase in parking charges in Stockport District Centres the increase was approved by a vote in the full council.
The cost of one hour in our council car parks will increase from 20p to 30p. When you consider that there are some large shopping centres within around half an hour’s drive from Hazel Grove where parking is free this is another blow to our hard pressed local traders.
Traders Under Ever More Pressure Despite A Long History of the Town
“I was disappointed that our amendment to the budget was blocked despite support from local councillors here in Hazel Grove. Personally I would really have liked to see the increased funds for the business rates staff as well – I know from the local business I work in they are always very busy indeed,” said local Lib Dem Councillor, Jon Twigge.
Stockport Liberal Democrats have pledged to freeze parking charges in district centres if they regain control at the Town Hall following this summer’s elections.
Speaking about Labour’s proposals, Cllr Mark Hunter, leader of the Lib Dem Group, said: “Labour are proposing a huge hike in parking charges in some places. In the district centres, they want to scrap the one-hour charge and replace it with a minimum two-hour charge instead, whilst in certain car parks near to railway stations they want to replace the current free parking with hefty charges.
“Labour’s own figures suggest this will mean over a third of the visits to our district shopping centres will cease, which would be a huge blow to our already hard-pressed local traders. The local representative of the Federation of Small Businesses has written to all councillors in protest, highlighting the dangers of this folly.”
Local Cllr, Jon Twigge said, “Here in Hazel Grove, our local shops are already really struggling and we hear about more problems regularly. Increases in local car park charges like this could be devastating for some businesses. They might as well put up no shopping signs as implement these huge increases.”
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.”
You probably know about the exciting changes happening across Stockport Town Centre.
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:
30/31 Market Place
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]
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.”
The second Hazel Grove Ward Committee took place on Wednesday night. We are happy to say it had a larger number of residents than the first!
There was one question submitted about fears about Housing developments behind Sandown Rd on the racecourse estate. The short answer, given by the Tory Chair of the Committee, was that there were no current plans for development there. However, the longer answer is that that site does appear on a wish list connected to the Greater Manchester Spacial Framework – a project partly aimed at tackling lack of housing. There is no developer or project in the pipeline. But somebody wants to build there one day. So it is worth being vigilant.
The main item was more of a workshop, with local residents putting forward ideas for a wish list of road & traffic improvements following the A6 MARR road opening. There were lots of good ideas. Some of which are listed below.
Fixing the filter lane bottlenecks on Torkington & Commercial Rd
New cycle lanes
Potential rerouting of one way system on Grundey & Chester Rds
20mph zone for racecourse estate
Let your LibDem team know what you think…
Local LibDem Campaigner Paul Ankers has reported two damaged bollards outside the shops on Hazelwood Rd.
Paul said, “Wooden bollards don’t serve their purpose. Metal ones would be more of a disincentive to cars hitting them. They would also be reflective at night.”
Stockport Liberal Democrats have continued their campaign against cuts to our Health Service by tabling a motion to be debated at the meeting of the Full Council next week.
Cllr Iain Roberts, Leader of Stockport Liberal Democrats, said: “Having raised the issue of increases to staff car parking charges, the wider cuts to hospital services and, most recently, the increased patient and visitor parking charges at Stepping Hill Hospital we are bringing a motion to the Council which highlights our concern about the way the Conservative Government is failing to provide fair and transparent funding for our health service.
“A key issue is the continual cuts to preventative budgets including Public Health, which will only lead to ever more demand for expensive and unnecessary hospital admissions.”
Cllr Keith Holloway, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Stockport Together, said: “The under-investment by the Conservative government in both NHS and non-NHS Health Spending puts at risk our efforts to save money by pooling our budgets with the Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver preventative health care and makes it more likely that the NHS will face a major crisis in the near future.”
The text of the motion follows and will be debated by the Full Council on Thursday 15th September:
Health Service Cuts
This council meeting notes with grave concern:
- Stepping Hill Hospital’s budget deficit, which has led to proposals to close a ward, to lose 350 full-time equivalent staff, to increase parking charges for staff, patients and visitors and to sell off part of the hospital site;
- The £30bn black hole in NHS funding, acknowledged by all parties in the run up to the last election;
- That £22bn of this funding gap is to be tackled through spending cuts in the NHS;
- That KPMG have been brought in to Stepping Hill Hospital and University Hospital of South Manchester Foundation Trusts under the NHS Improvement Programme to support local managers to find savings, at a reported cost of £2m per hospital;
- The draft Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), which are likely to result in further cuts to services in hospitals; and
- The Conservative government’s cuts to the local public health budget, including in-year cuts totalling well over £2m for the current and previous financial years, with a further 2.5% cut announced for next year.
This council meeting believes:
- The medium-term solution to these issues is the Stockport Together approach of local services delivering preventative health care and avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions;
- To achieve this, it is imperative that in the short-term we have sufficient investment for both the hospitals and the local provision; and
- That under-investment by the Conservative government in both NHS and non-NHS Health Spending such as Public Health makes it less likely that the Stockport Together-style approach will work and makes it more likely that the NHS will face a major crisis in the near future.
This council meeting resolves:
- To reaffirm its commitment to Stockport Together and the use of pooled budgets with the Clinical Commissioning Group; and
- To ask the Chief Executive to write to the Health Secretary, calling for fair and transparent funding for our NHS and non-NHS Health Spending.
Moved: Cllr Iain Roberts
Seconded: Cllr Keith Holloway
A campaign against big increases to the cost of staff parking permits at Stepping Hill hospital has gathered more than 500 signatures in just a few days.
The campaign by Stockport Liberal Democrats began after information was received from a member of staff that the hospital were planning to triple staff parking fees. The hospital initially declined to comment, but later said that the proposal was to nearly double the cost of parking.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign so far,” said Mark Weldon, Lib Dem councillor for Stepping Hill. “Getting 500 signatures so quickly is amazing. Our next target is to get 1,000 and send a strong message to hospital management. We all know the Government is under-funding our NHS, but it should not be up to hospital staff to fund that gap by paying more for parking at work. Hospital management needs to think again.”
“Hospital staff who can’t afford the higher fees will end up parking on local residential roads, already crammed with cars,” added Jon Twigge, Lib Dem councillor for Hazel Grove. “That’s unfair on residents. We are calling for Stepping Hill hospital to scrap this proposal and instead work with us and the Council to find better alternatives. The Lib Dems will continue to campaign for fair NHS funding from the Government.”
The Liberal Democrat campaign has attracted 500 signatures in less than five days. People can sign the petition at https://goo.gl/nu6hL3
Update: Stepping Hill Area Committee have been briefed by Ann Barnes, Chief Exec of Stepping Hill, on the increase and the problems they face with parking: the increase in charges looks set to go ahead but they do have plans to provide a lot more on site parking in the longer term.