Update from Yvonne

The fundraising fashion show I organised to raise funds towards the refurbishment of St Johns Church in Kirklees Street was very successful raising almost £2500 ! Lots of surplus stock I then distributed between several local charities.
I assisted with refreshments at an event for Bury Hospice Art Week at the Art Gallery.
I joined St Hilda’s Mothers on a day trip to Derbyshire.
I supported Bury Blind Society at a fundraising fashion show.
I have attended several meetings at Communicate  ( The Deaf Society )
I continue to spend Monday mornings volunteering in the Blind Society and have also attended a Board  and Events planning meeting.
I have attended monthly Planning Control Meetings and training sessions.
I attended the  annual Mayor Making Council meeting and was delighted that at long last Joanne Wilcock of Affetside was at last  recognised  with an award for all her hard work and dedication in helping to make the village  full of community spirit with all the events Joanne helps to organise.
I attended the annual Gallipoli service at the Parish Church,always a moving service and one I never miss.
Yet again I have submitted complaints regarding the shocking potholes in Holly St  which have now been inspected and are to be repaired.I have requested the street is fully resurfaced  but am doubtful this will happen.
Very pleased that the new table tennis table  we requested is now in situ in Townsmeadow Park,unfortunately the last table was vandalised ,the new table is much sturdier and I hope enjoyed by many.
IMG_5545 (2)
It’s now almost 4 months since Tottington Cllrs started  campaigning to keep the Library open.
We continue to meet weekly with the committee and have held several meetings with Council Officers.
We have been actively fundraising and have raised several hundred pounds .We have now enlisted 60+ volunteers. This week we are holding a fundraising quiz night .Should the Council not agree to us taking over the Library ,all monies raised to date will be donated to Bury Hospice however we are hopeful that we will be allowed to operate the Library and hope to hear the decision when we attend the meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday 28 th June.
We feel the Library is essential to Tottington and we  can assure residents that we are doing all we can to ensure we keep it OPEN!
See us at Tottington’s Big Day Out where we will be recruiting volunteers on our stall as well as selling fashion jewellery.Your support will be much appreciated.
Yvonne 19th June


Blog Update April 17th 2017


Apologies that it has been a while since my last update….a busy workload of late !


Listed are meetings and events I have attended recently.

 2 Planning Control Meetings—no contentious issues in our Ward of late, however Victoria Mill at Walshaw now has Planning approval for conversion into 13 apartments. I am very supportive of creating homes from defunct employment sites.

PACT meeting (Police and Community together) Residents warned to be vigilant as a spate of burglaries in various areas north of the borough.

Council Budget Meeting.

St John’s AGM

BRIF (Bury Rural Inequalities Meeting)

The Deaf Society AGM

Events Group for the Blind Society.

Attended weekly meetings of the newly formed Friends of Tottington Library to fight the closure.

Township Forum (Proposals to close Tottington Library was the main issue, more details on this topic later in my update)

The Police were present and distributed booklets on “scams” …..coincidently that day I had been informed that my credit card had been used fraudulently!   Thank goodness I did not have to pay for the criminals spending spree!



My recent efforts for local charities have included:

Attending meetings and helping to organise a Lancashire Night for Bury Hospice. It was a big success raising over £2300. Name the ferret and the Black Pudding raffle brought a few laughs!

Monday mornings spent as usual at Bury Blind Society preparing for events. I volunteered on a Mothers Day Gift Wrapping stall and helped to raise over £500.

Busy collecting and preparing for Halloween Tombola for the Deaf Society. 

I have spent many hours over many weeks collecting second hand clothes and planning for the charity fashion show this coming Friday at Elton Liberal Club commencing at 7 pm.Pay on the door as a few tickets@ £5 still available. Lots of bargains for sale on the evening. All proceeds to help with the refurb of St John’s Church.

I accompanied Blind Society Members on a social evening to a local restaurant.

I attended a Celebration Party for Blind Society members and volunteers at the Fusiliers Museum.

I assisted with a Blind Society fundraising Quiz Night.

Ward Case Work

Concerns over the lack of any consultation re the withdrawal of the toning tables at Castle Leisure.

Dustbins being missed at various locations including Booth Street and Ash Grove

Application for a tipping Licence in a residential area, refused.

Complaints of lack of street cleaning and maintenance on Boothway-ongoing.

Residents repeatedly sneakily using neighbours skip.

Complaints re Island Lodge being contaminated –ongoing in the hands of United Utilities.

Complaints of parking on yellow lines on Bury Road near the corner of Sunnywood Drive.

Flooding concerns mid March on Sunnybower, thankfully no damage.

Blocked grids on Harwood Road.

Reported pot holes in various locations including High St, Holly St and Rhode St.-some repaired…more complaints regarding the poor standard of repairs.

Assured new signage for Kirklees Trail to be sorted by a volunteer.

Supported an appeal for a Blue Badge- successful outcome.

Tottington Library

This very important issue has taken much time over the past couple of months. After an online petition and hard copies in village shops we collected over a thousand signatures.

I and Ward colleagues had meetings with Council Officers who painted a very bleak picture…however your Tottington Cllrs are prepared to work hard to SAVE OUR LIBRARY!

 Council Officers informed us that we shall need in excess of £22.000 per annum for overheads. The Council also informed us that the building needs £100.000 in repairs over the next 3 years. One of our committee members is a Quantity Surveyor and is eager to see the breakdown of the figures to advise us accordingly. However as a Grade 2 listed building we are confident that we could apply for funding to Trusts Funds for necessary repairs.

We appealed for volunteers, organised meetings and set up a committee of local residents with a variety of skills and Friends of Tottington Library was formed. We have met weekly.

My Ward colleague Iain has drawn up a constitution and a bank account has been established. Iain has also put together a business plan. Members of the group have organised a street collection licence and collection boxes will be in many local shops.

We and committee members delivered an IN TOUCH leaflet throughout the Ward updating residents with campaign progress re the Library.

Recruiting volunteers shall be constant; there are a variety of roles available. Just a few hours a week are required .Want to know more? Contact us or our Volunteer Coordinator Janis on 01204 882490 for more details and application forms.

We have now organised 2 fundraising events, a Wine Tasting Evening on Thursday May 18th in the Library. Tickets are limited and are £18.50 each.

On June 23rd we are holding a Quiz Night at Elton Liberal Club. £5 each includes tasty supper. Teams of 4.

For tickets again please contact Janis.

Our thanks to The Village Butcher Mark who is to sponsor a banner which shall be proudly displayed at Greenmount Village Day…with our collection buckets!

Residents have suggested a Cafe in the Library….do you know of anyone who would be interested in this business opportunity?

A self contained office could be available for rent. Do you know a company who could be interested? Please pass on and contact us with any questions.

Finally the very best of news came this week……we have received a donation of £15.000 YES FIFTEEN THOUSAND POUNDS for our first years overheads….BUT we shall have to constantly fundraise to keep the Library open.

We can only succeed with the support of the community !

Yvonne      17th April 2017

Have Your Say On Tottington Library This Monday 20th March.

*To Sign the “Save Tottinton Library” Petition please scroll down to Blog Entry dated 22nd January 2017.

Also, at 7pm this coming Monday at Tottington Methodist Church, Market St, the Township Forum will be discussing the libraries review with senior Council Officers

There will be 2 opportunities to have your say at the meeting on the proposed closure of Tottington Library. Agenda Item 5 library Review Update and also Agenda item 7 Public question time.*

Update from Yvonne

Tottington Bowlers  have  collected waste paper to help raise funds for the club  for many years but have recently been moved from their usual pitch at The Toby Carvery ( former Bulls Head car park ).

They will now be in the far corner of The Robin Hood car park on the first Saturday of the month between 9 am and 11 am. Any donations of paper would be gratefully received. Green bin getting full?….bag it up for the Bowlers !

Update from Iain

*To Sign the “Save Tottinton Library” Petition please scroll down to Blog Entry dated 22nd January 2017*

32 Labour Councillors Vote Down a Plan to Save Tottington Library

The Labour controlled Bury Council seem set on closing our much valued Tottington Library which is located in the historic listed building that used to be Tottington Town Hall.

At a the Budget Council meeting  last Wednesday,  Conservative Councillors put forward a fully costed plan, including efficiency savings, which would have safeguarded the future of the Library.  Unfortunately, all 32 Labour Councillors refused to consider it and voted the proposal down against all 16 Conservative Councillors who supported it.

It is now clear that Bury Labour Party are not interested in the future of our much loved Library and are intent on closing it!

As a last ditch attempt to prevent closure, your 3 Tottington Conservative Councillors are looking to set up a Social Enterprise Group that could potentially take over the running of the Library.  We have already recruited some volunteers who would help run the Library but are looking for many more if you are interested in putting yourself forward then please fill out the contact form below.

The project would also need to be financially viable so if anyone knows any interested companies that would consider sponsoring the Library then please let us know.

Councillors Iain Gartside, Yvonne Wright and Greg Keeley at Tottington Library

Update from Yvonne


BLOG UPDATE 18 th February 2017
Since my last update ,the proposed closure of the Library has of course been the major issue of concern in our Ward.Yesterday myself and Ward colleagues Iain Gartside and Greg Keeley met with the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Libraries ,Cllr Sandra Walmesley and the Assistant Director for Learning and Culture Klare Rufo. 
Although we had been forewarned that the basic for operating the Library annually is £21.200 this was just the starting point and a figure of 100 k was mentioned yesterday in relation to ongoing operating and maintenance over the next few years.
This was initially extremely daunting news, however Tottington Cllrs are still working on a way of keeping the Library open beyond August of this year when the shocking proposals if finally agreed would take effect.
Over 1000 local people have signed the petition and  20 people have now offered to volunteer to work in the library which is very heartening news but only part of the problem, the finances are the big problem we have to solve. Funding bids are an option but time is now tight.A  Committee would have to be formed who would be fully responsible for the Library….this is a huge undertaking.
Would local companies be interested in sponsorship ? Would a community cafe be viable staffed by volunteers to help make the Library financially viable ? A fighting fund? A Freiends of The Library Membership ?
The library means so much to so many,collectively we have to do all we can to save it.Do you have any comments or suggestions to safeguard its future?

It’s been a busy few weeks and I have dealt with lots of very diverse issues in our Ward.

Fly tipping of tyres on the approach road to Miller Brook occurred again and the Council agreed to remove them a few at a time so as not to incur tipping costs at the tip.✅
Damaged guttering reported at Harwood House reported to Six Town Housing.This 2 year problem had led to dampness in a residents flat…still ongoing.
Six Town gave reassurance that the bench on Wesley Street will be reinstated when the building development is completed.✅
The bench on Market St on the site of the Christmas tree has now been reinstated.✅
I have requested that yellow lines are repainted on a stretch of Bury Road.Beware those parking illegally  near corners on yellow lines ,traffic wardens are on the way !👨��‍✈️
Ongoing work on Harwood Road to stop homes flooding has at last been ✅ completed 
A protruding section of pavement which I reported on Tuesday was repaired this week✅
Lack of lighting on Harwood Road  for many months is now in the hands of United Utilities,delays but unfortunately further delays expected due to land registering  enquiries.
I have requested that the road sweeper visits Harwood Road after residents contacted me.
After complaints on the patchwork 
 of potholes on Moorside Road, I have requested that the Road is inspected and considered for resurfacing as the patching is clearly not working here.
The serious matter of raw sewage entering Island Lodge is a longstanding problem, and it has now been included for future improvements and  in the hands of United Utilities. Please keep your pets and children away from this polluted areas, pets have become ill after drinking the water.
Flytipping on the edge of Townsmeadow Park was promptly sorted ✅
Received an enquiry regarding school travel.
Are you aware that those with a disability who need to use taxis can apply for  annual vouchers worth £120 and pay just £30. Further details from transport for Greater Manchester 0161 244 1050
After turbulent times hopefully Bury Hospice has turned a corner.I have joined the Ramsbottom Support Group and am helping to organise a Lancashire Night at Ramsbottom Cricket Club.Tasty supper,entertainment and fun for £20 per ticket.Please contact me if you would like to attend.
A Planning application has been submitted regarding changes to the conditions of existing approval at x Tottington Motors.I am awaiting more details .You can access details yourself on the Councils website application number 61118.
Gossip upsets residents if it’s about planning applications near their home .If you want clarity on Planning applications ,contact me and I will check for you.
I was happy to be able to suggest that Bury Volunteer Rangers maybe able to assist with the gardens at Bury Hospice and delighted to hear they are helping out with some work.
Busy collecting Tombola for The Deaf Society COMMUNIC8TE .
I am embarking on another fundraising fashion show with ladies bad buys almost new clothes and appealing for clothes,shoes bags jewellery accessories .I can pick them up from you ,it’s  all for a great TOTTINGTON cause this year….to help with the refurbishment of St John in Trinity on Kirklees Street. Tickets are £5 and the show will be held at Elton Liberal Club  on April 21 st as the church is not yet ready to take big numbers.Please email or ring me should you wish to donate  clothing or buy tickets y.s.wright@bury.gov.uk. 01706823536
Since my last update I have attended a Planning Control Meeting,some controversial applications but none in Tottington Walshaw or Affetside.
I attended the Holocaust Memorial service which as always was very moving.
I have attended a Board Meeting of the Deaf Society COMMUNIC8TE and also sub committee meetings to interview potential Trusteees.
Each Monday morning I have spent in The Blind Society preparing for future events ,if you like a good quiz come along on Friday 24 th Feb .We hold our annual quiz at Elton Liberal Club.Tickets £5 includes Pasty and peas. Just turn up for a 7.30 start.
I attended a full Council Meeting when the Greenbelt issue was debated at length.
I have attended an Events Meeting and a Board  Meeting at The Blind Society.
Should you have any issues of concern please contact your Councillors.
Surgeries are held on request.

Save Tottington Library!

Councillors Iain Gartside, Yvonne Wright and Greg Keeley at Tottington Library

Bury Council have released the results of the first round of consultation into the review of the library service across the Borough of Bury, including Ramsbottom.

There are currently 14 libraries across the Borough.

The proposals are to close 10 libraries and keep open 3 libraries (Bury, Ramsbottom and Prestwich) and perhaps retain a fourth (Radcliffe). The will go out for a 12 week consultation. Tottington Library is currently not mentioned in any of the options to be retained.

The building situated on Market Street, is currently home to many community groups and is a valuable asset to our local community. Apart from the schools in the area, it is the only real link that Tottington has with Bury Council and Bury Council services.

Details of this and the 2nd round of consultation can be found below on Bury Council’s Website:-


If the proposals go ahead, they would be implemented in July 2017.

Please sign the petition below and feel free to add your comments:-

We the undersigned believe that Tottington Library is a much valued community asset and should not be closed as part of Bury Council’s 2017 Libraries review.

Update From Yvonne

I also attended the Cabinet meeting and was hoping an opportunity would arise to ask a question but unfortunately it did not. I am keen to know if it is too late to consider operating Tottington Library with Volunteers.

Hundreds of libraries throughout the country operate this way.I myself have benefited from volunteering and would again offer my time to volunteer in the library if we could enlist enough volunteers to make this viable. I feel sure my Tottington colleagues would also give their time.

I know hundreds have already signed the petition, if you have neighbours who wish to sign the hard copy petition ,these will soon be available in shops and businesses in the village.


Tottington Ward Update

Update From Iain

It’s been a very busy few weeks in the run up to Christmas.  I have been helping residents with many issues in the Ward including unblocking girds and gullies, street light repairs, unjust parking ticket fines and looking at possible traffic calming measures.

I have continued to campaign to protect Our Greenbelt collecting hundreds of more signatures for my petition (an online version is on this Blog).  I recently presented it to the Council’s Democratic Services and they have since verified it at 2,195 signatures. So A BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SIGNED IT!

You may have noticed on social media there are many other campaign groups from across the Borough who are now starting up across the Borough to oppose The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. I was invited to a public meeting last week by the “Bury Folk” Facebook Campaign Group.  It was packed meeting at the Old White Lion pub in Bury, which was chaired very well by a Radcliffe resident, Mr James Mason. I addressed the meeting on a few occasions and made it clear that, together, we have everything to fight for as the final document is not due for publication until late 2017. They are organising many more public meetings in 2017 and are delivering leaflets to residents across the Borough informing them of what is going on, as many residents are still unaware. If you wish to help them then join this group at “Bury Folk” on Facebook.

The GMSF consultation is still running at the GMCA website (greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk) so if you have not already done so please register your views on their website immediately.

I recently attended the Council’s Cabinet meeting and raised my grave concerns over the the 4.9 million projected overspend in the Council’s 2015/16 Budget. I asked the Cabinet member responsible for finance if they had a plan to bring it down by the time of the next quarters report but unfortunately she couldn’t really say she had one. I then attended the Council’s Corporate Parenting Panel which is concerned with protecting young and vulnerable people in our Borough.

Last Sunday I attended the annual Affetside Christmas Carols on the Millenium Green. The music was provided by the Tottington Brass Band and mince pies and mulled wine was on hand.  However, this was a very special occasion as BBC Northwest Tonigh were filming the proceedings and presented local Affetside residents Mr Tony and Mrs Roseanne Davis (pictured below) with a “Star For Christmas” award for all the hard work they have done for the Affetside community over the past 14 years since they moved there. An award richly deserved!!

I then attended the carol concert at St John’s Free Church in Tottington. The church, over some period of time now has been ungoing extensive renovations and in past years the service has been conducted outside. But we were inside this time, and work to make this a great community asset for Tottington is almost complete. The friends of St John’s Church group have done a terrific job and deserve much praise!

Finally, fingers crossed we don’t have a repeat of the flooding last year – I have been assured that Bury Council and the emergency services will be on stand-by – however, the weather forecasts suggests that we should be ok.  Going forward we do need much more investment from United Utilities to cope with these periods of unprecedented rainfall that we have been experiencing over the past few years. Councillors and Bury Council have been in contact with them to request more investment in our Borough’s sewage systems.

Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year!



Update From Yvonne

I was sorry to have to miss the Remembrance Sunday  service as  I was away on a special holiday with my husband.It was very interesting to be in America on their Election Day and speak to supporters of both candidates.

The traffic problems continue on Church St near the school.Council Officers and the Police have investigated but unfortunately at present do not have any solutions. I am hoping that soon we will be given a date for the next PACT  ( Police and Community together) meeting when the subject can again be discussed by residents who are affected by the daily gridlock.

You will soon be invited to receive your Council Tax bill online .

The controversial subject of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework  and the potential loss of Greenbelt land for Housing will be included on the agenda at the next Township Forum. This will be held on Tuesday 10 th January 7 pm at the Tottington Methodist Church and is open to all.

The refurbishment of St Johns Church in Kirklees Street is progressing well  and we received a warm
welcome last Sunday for the Carol service. The church is not yet complete but is now useable.

Affetside was featured on the BBC Look North  programme this week when 2 residents received an award for all their voluntary work with village events, helping to make  it such a lovely place to live…the presenters said as much.

There were no objections to proposals to introduce no waiting / loading on a short stretch of Walshaw Road near Elton High School.

After complaints I passed on to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport regarding the erratic frequency of  468 and 469 and new service 467,comments are to be passed to First bus and Rosso so that buses do not arrive together.

Monies from new developments  in our Ward ( 106 monies ) have been earmarked for the following:
£10.000  for improvement to Towns Meadow Park
£5305 for the Tennis Courts refurb.
£5000 for improvements to the infrastructure to Kirklees Valley.

We continue to receive requests for pothole repairs. Do notify if repairs are needed in your area.

Work was undertaken in late November to  sort out the problem on a stretch of Watling St which has been wet for months.

I have given assistance to local residents who need to move into Housing Association accommodation  due to declining health.

Residents of Harwood Road continue to be anxious with the threat of flooding. Special flood prevention measures are to be fitted early in the new year but the cause of the flooding has yet to be resolved.

I have attended a  full  Council Meeting and a meeting of Planning Control.No controversial applications in the Ward .

I have as usual been busy with my voluntary work with local charities and attended meetings of both the Deaf and Blind societies. At present I am working on The Blind Societies Luxury Gift Wrapping stall in the Millgate. We are next to Lekerbys cafe ( former Chocoholics ) in Minden Parade.

I helped organise an afternoon tea with the remaining funds I raised last year for a group of local people suffering from severe and enduring mental illness. I joined a group of Carers for a Christmas Lunch and also attended  2 Blind Society Christmas social events with their members.
I supported a concert raising funds for Dementia support Group Musical Memories .

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
Yvonne Wright

Draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Document

Update From Iain

*To Sign the On-Line Petition to “Save Our Greenfields” then please scroll down a few pages to it*

The GMSF is a joint statutory development plan produced by the ten Greater Manchester districts.  It provides a policy basis for determining planning applications through to 2035. The 225 page document can now be viewed on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Web-Site – https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk

The GMSF sets out a strategic vision and policy context for the sub-region and identifies:-

–        Level of housing and employment across Greater Manchester

–        Strategic sites to meet needs

–        Land for protection

–        Infrastructure requirements to accommodate growth

–        New Green Belt boundary

The public consultation on the document will take place between the 31st October and the 23rd December 2016.  Bury Council will also be holding an “Open Day” to the public so all the sites identified in the framework can be viewed at The Elizabethan Suite, Manchester Rd, Bury from 12pm -7pm. 

All stakeholders, including members of the public, are encouraged to have their say and views will be considered before a final draft is published in 2017 when another period of consultation will be held. The link below is where you can register to participate in the draft consultation. If you can’t click on it on your laptop/tablet/smartphone then just copy and paste it into your URL address bar.


Also, if you haven’t yet signed my petition to stop further building on the Greenbelt in Tottington and Walshaw please scroll down to it on this Web-Site. I’m planning to present it to Bury Council no Monday 21st November at 2pm when the open day mentioned above is running.  Regardless of what the final GMSF document says, it is my understanding that Bury Council’s Planning committee will ultimately be responsible for approving or declining planning applications in the areas that have been identified.

Best Wishes

Iain Gartside

Councillor for Tottington, Walshaw and Affetside