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

Parking to Cost 50% More in Hazel Grove

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.

Hazel Grove A6 One of Most Congested in the Country

In a new report the A6 through Hazel Grove is again shown to be one of the most congested stretches of road in the country.  This time, only seven roads across the whole of the country, other than London, are worse.

The average total number of hours people waste stuck in the traffic through Hazel Grove is 32 hours a year !

The total cost to the UK for all the queueing in 2017 was £37.7 billion.

The A6 to M60 Road would connect with the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road

Cllr Jon Twigge said, “The proposed A6 to M60 road would completely bypass most of the congested stretch of the A6 transforming the centre of Hazel Grove and allowing us to regenerate the town much more easily.”

More details from the report for the UK are at: http://inrix.com/press-releases/scorecard-2017-uk/

Local Elections Coming Soon – Many People Help The Lib Dems

There are normally elections for local councillors for Stockport Council three out of every four years.  This year there is an election in Hazel Grove Ward (most of the the town itself) on Thursday May 3rd and as normal here it will almost certainly be a Liberal Democrat or Conservative winner who takes the seat.

Our Lib Dem candidate this year is Paul Ankers who lives locally, close to the centre of Hazel Grove.

If you would like to help Paul become a new Liberal Democrat Councillor for Hazel Grove here are a few things you can do to help:

  • Make sure that you are registered to vote – if you normally vote and have not moved house you should still be registered but if not, you can register on the government website at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
  • As a percentage, far more people with postal votes actually vote, especially for local elections, than people who go to the polling station.  Please consider getting a postal vote to make sure that you can vote whatever happens on the day,especially if you may be on holiday or working away, or even if the weather is horrible.  You can request a form to register for a postal vote from Stockport Council’s website but you need to fill it in and send it back as early as possible.  The form is here: https://interactive.stockport.gov.uk/contents/VoterPostalVote/
  • Don’t forget that if you don’t want a Conservative to win, voting Lib Dem for Paul is the safe way to avoid that in Hazel Grove.
  • As we get closer to the election we always have a few more leaflets than the rest of the year and we need all the help we can get to make sure we deliver them to as many people as possible.  Where we deliver leaflets regularly telling people about the work we do in Hazel Grove and Stockport we get more votes.  Even a small round of leaflet delivery that only takes half an hour each time really helps so please let us know if you can help a little.
  • We are proud of all the posters we put up each year and it lets everyone know that Hazel Grove is a traditional Lib Dem area.  The more posters we put up the more people are reminded how important it is to vote for us.  Please let us know if you would like a poster in your garden this year.
  • Lib Dems are famous for all the work we put into local elections – if you can’t deliver leaflets we have plenty of other things to do in Hazel Grove and in the office in Romiley where they organise all the deliveries and phoning.
  • Phoning people to remind them to vote for us can even be done from your own home using our clever web based system.
  • Election day itself is always the busiest day of all – if you could spare time on the day itself we will always be very grateful.

However you can help, you can let Paul know by emailing him at: [email protected]

Thank you !

Jon

 

Stockport Lib Dems pledge to freeze parking charges in district centres

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.”

Update on Speeding – Good News

Following my email to the Mayor of Greater Manchester I received a telephone call from a Chief Inspector of Greater Manchester Police about the questions I had raised.  The call was very positive with some good news on Speeding and Dashcam videos.

Dashcam Footage – Operation Considerate

The main web pages on the GM Police website indicate that video from dashboard cameras (Dashcams) can only be sent in using a physical device and only after a crime has been reported via 999 or 101. However, the Chief Inspector tells me there is a new service available as well that has not yet been widely advertised, only via twitter, Operation Considerate.

The instructions on how to use Operation Considerate is at: http://www.gmp.police.uk/content/triage-category?ReadForm&l2=76596&l3=27969

When you have read the instructions you can report cases of moving traffic offenses to an email address: [email protected]

Please note that you must provide all the information described on the web page and that you will then be sent instructions for how to upload the video itself afterwards.

Speeding

The very good news on speeding generally is that Greater Manchester is going to begin to issue radar speed guns to some neighbourhood police officers and PCSO’s. Hopefully, resources permitting, the extra chance of being caught speeding will over time make some people think twice before speeding in our area.

Community Speed Watch

The Chief Inspector was also keen to promote Community Speed Watch. I do know that some people are worried about being seen to be policing their neighbours but the Inspector tells me that Community Speed Watches can be especially useful for cut throughs or rat runs where the local community feel that people from other areas are not respecting their safety.

Community Speed Watch is a national scheme where members of the public can be trained to use radar speed detectors. Drivers caught breaking the speed limit cannot be fined but the police write letters to the owners of the vehicles and where there are a number of offenses can use this to show that police enforcement would be beneficial in the area.

If you would be interested in learning more about Community Speed Watch there is a website at https://www.communityspeedwatch.co.uk. Individual sites have to be checked for safety but if you would like to get involved in the Community Speed Watch and create a new watch you can select Create New Group on the left of the website. And, please let us know if you do so we can support you and let others know who may want to join you.

jon

Road Repairs on Torkington Rd (Overnight Working)

Stockport Council will be carrying out carriageway resurfacing works on London Road from Torkington Road to Church Grove and Torkington Road from London Road to Avondale Avenue. The works started on  the 31st January 2018 and are expected to take approximately 2 weeks to complete, weather permitting. The working hours will be between 8pm and 5am. 

Local Campaigner Paul Ankers said, “This is one of our busiest roads but repairs are vital. I am glad work is taking place overnight. LibDems, when running the Council, prioritised road repairs and schemes like this are part of our £100M investment plan that will still run for another three years.”

During the times stated above it will be necessary to restrict traffic movements along London Road using temporary traffic signals with a road closure notice on Torkington Road. As the work progresses any adjoining roads will also be restricted through closure notices prohibiting traffic entering and exiting onto both London Road and Torkington Road with signed diversions in operation during working times. These measures are in place to minimise disruption to residents and businesses and to allow safe working operations to take place. 

Access to properties and businesses in the working area will be maintained where possible however, they may be restricted for certain periods as the work progresses.

Dog Fouling Update – Thank You

Following our story on dog fouling last week we had a number of comments about problem areas – thank you !

Council officers have already been out and put up signs at some of the sites and more will follow.  Please keep telling us about the worst areas.

One of the Glow-In-The-Dark Signs

Unfortunately, some of the signs quickly go missing!  The ones on the passage between the parts of Peter Street, leading to Sainsbury, fell foul of this.  When this happens they will not be replaced immediately or they would go even faster but in bad areas they will be back at some point.

We are still asking if we could get more varied signs up as well – perhaps designed by children or the community.  Some areas of the country have had very positive results when local people are behind signs and the community works together to combat the problem.

Fiveways Junction Regularly Blocked

With the growing traffic along Macclesfield Road the junction with Dean Lane and Mill Lane has been getting steadily busier.

At busy times there are often queues at the junction and more people are failing to keep it clear.

Recently talking to the residents of Mill Lane a number of people all commented on how difficult it can be at times with the junction blocked.   To try to alleviate the problem we are calling for a yellow box junction to keep it clear for people travelling across Macclesfield Road.

Box junctions are designed to keep junctions clear.  The highway code says that you should only enter a box junction if your exit road is clear or if you are waiting to turn right.