Special Scrutiny “Call In” Meeting on the Bury Libraries Report

Update from Iain

Further to our previous blogs on this subject – many of you will be interested to know that the Libraries report which has suggested that Tottington Library and 9 others in the Borough are to close has been “Called In” for review by the Council’s Scrutiny Committee Chairman Cllr Bob Caserta.

Whilst we were assured last week that the Council will help us to take over the running of the library through the Friends of Tottington Library, this meeting and the decisions it takes could have an impact on how long the Council will give the group to become ready to run the building.

If you are interested in attend the meeting, which will be looking at all the libraries threatened with closure in Bury, it is taking place at Bury Town Hall, Knowsley Street, Bury at 7pm on Tuesday 18th July.

Tottington Library Update

The Committee of Friends of Tottington Library are delighted to announce that Tottington Library will remain open for the time being.
Cllr Iain Gartside said ” Although the decision was taken last week to close 9 Libraries including Tottington’s Library, we have been assured by the ruling Group that although no finances are available they will support the idea of Volunteers operating Tottington Library”.
Committee member David Conway said “We are delighted that the Library building will remain open and intend to expand on present activities. It is used by residents of all ages and in particular more teenagers use it compared to most other libraries in Bury and we feel we owe it to them and indeed all residents to work hard to keep it open “.
The committee who have met weekly for the past 4 months now have 3 months to prepare before the 1 st October hand over and will be meeting with Council Officers, all groups who currently use the Library and with all those who have volunteered.
Cllr Yvonne Wright said ” The Council have informed us that we will need £22.000+ each year for the overheads plus £105.000 is required over the next 5 years for repairs . We realise that we have a big challenge ahead but with the support of local residents we can keep this much valued facility open.
The Committee have already held several fundraisers including street collections,
bag packing ,Wine Tasting evening , collection boxes in local shops and a Quiz night and have raised over £1300 . A Pitch application has been submitted to the Council for £1000 grant towards computers as the present PC’s will be removed when the Council no longer operate the Library.
The Committee are now planning a full programme of fundraising events which will be publicised in due course

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.