Update from Greg
The event which most remains in my mind is the collecting of dog muck from around Booth Way. It is quite disgusting that people will leave that lying in the street for their fellow residents to walk into. Especially so when it is known that the bacteria in it can be so harmful to children. Residents should report any dog owners who leave this mess on public land to the council so that action can be taken against them.
There was a Council meeting on Wednesday which all three Tottington Councillors attended. As usual the Labour majority held sway over the proceedings. I am at a Youth Cabinet meeting on Monday evening.
News From The Townhall – Update from Iain.
It was a packed agenda this past Wednesday Night at Bury Town Hall. The meeting lasted for just under 3 and half hours and we just about got through every agenda item. Residents from Tottington Ward asked questions from the Public Gallery at the start of the meeting about the Council’s response to flooding on Harwood Road and how two gullies at the bottom and at the top of the road can be unblocked. The Leader of the Council, Mike Connolly, explained that engineers have been up to survey the problem but stated that at lest one of them is not situated on Council land. However, he assured residents that the Council was working on it and do everything the can to resolved the problem.
Another resident from our Ward, raised the on-going Dog Muck problem on Booth Way (see article below from Yvonne). The Leader of the Council responded by saying he would send up extra dog fouling patrols who are able to issue fines of up to £1000.00 to offenders.
In the main debate, I asked the Leader if he thought that Bury tax-payers money should be used to pay for full-time Union employees salaries, especially when one Union has recently given money to the Council to renovate the Councillors Members Room! If they are so flush with money, isn’t it time for them to pay their own staff? They resounding response I got was No! The Council currently pays somewhere in the region of £100,000 in Union staff salaries and I think your money should be spent on front line services instead.
We then debated the flooding over Christmas and the Government’s financial assistance of 1.5 million to Bury. Whilst the Labour Group welcomed this direct funding in the press a week earlier – they criticised it in the debate and said the Government should have applied for EU funding instead which would have taken several weeks to be processed. We need assistance immediately and that’s why the Government provided the assistance immediately. They have said that they will pursue all forms of other additional funding sources to help strengthen our food protection systems.
We then moved onto a debate on tackling Rogue Landlords and how Bury Council can improve access and conditions in private sector rented housing by getting more landlords signed up on the “Landlord Accreditation Scheme”, offer “Paperless Bond Facilities” and fining Landlords who do not comply with the law.
Finally, I moved a motion welcoming the Governments Northern Power House investment in rail services and the successful appointment of the new rail franchises. Since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party, it has been interesting to see how aligned the Labour Group on Bury Council are with their Party leadership. Over past few Council meetings it hasn’t been clear given their motion which called on Bury Council to run a “Stay in the E.U” campaign, regardless of what the people of Bury views are on the EU Referendum! They have also been outsourcing council services which I’m sure isn’t exactly what Mr Corbyn would approve of.
However, at this week’s Council meeting, the Bury Labour Group astounded everyone present in the Council Chamber and the Public Gallery by calling for a return to the bad old days of full re-nationalisation of our rail services. Have they gone completely mad? Rail services under Government ownership was a national embarrassment with trains rarely running on time and poor levels of customer service.
Re-nationalisation is simply not a realistic or political concept. The proposal by Jeremy Corbyn would run into tens of billions of pounds. Since privatisation, passenger journeys have shot up from 761 million in 1995/96 to 1.58 billion in 2013/14. Under British Rail, the safety record as lamentable, regional routes were often ignored and suffered chronic underinvestment and it was not unusual for fares to rise by 5 or 6% per year. Since privatisation fares have been pegged back on average below the level of inflation. So now we know what the Labour Party in Bury stand for – empty Nuclear Submarines and Train carriages!
The next Council meeting on the 24th February at 7pm is the most important of the municipal year – Budget 2016/17 Council. Bury Conservatives and I currently awaiting the Budget Report to scrutinise and suggest better alternatives in terms of making savings and prioritising front-line services.
If you have any comments or suggestions on making efficiency savings and spending them on certain front-line services then please feel free to leave them on the comments section of this BLOG.
Thanks for reading!
Update from Yvonne – A Councillors role can be “mucky business”
Since our last update I have attended the Township Forum Meeting. Vague proposals were discussed regarding Council budgets ,however the amount of Council Tax that residents will pay from April is unknown as yet until the Budget Council Meeting on 24th February.
I have attended a board Meeting of Bury Shopmobility, successful fundraising events are helping this charity enormously. I have also attended a Board meeting of Communic8te (The Deaf Society) . My regular Monday morning Volunteer sessions in the Blind Society continue, we are preparing for the Valentines Gift Wrapping event in the Millgate on 12th and 13th of February. Saturday mornings are taken up with campaigning for the May elections…we will be on a street near you sometime soon. As our new colleague Greg was elected due to a By- Election, Greg has to stand for election again in May.
I attended a meeting of the Planning Control Committee. An application was approved for a new warehouse building at Cormar Carpets which is just outside our ward.
I am busy organising a quiz night for REMINIS-SING a social support group for dementia sufferers at Elton Liberal Club on 12th Feb . Tickets £5 includes a sweet treat, teams of 4 max. Interested? Please contact me.
Also starting to plan a fundraising Lady’s Day for Age UK Bury including a fashion show at The Jubilee Centre in April. I will be selling tickets in March so more on that later.
I have written to Transport for Greater Manchester to complain about the new leaflet they distributed locally last year on the Local Link service. This is the subsidised taxi service for those with no or little public transport. The new leaflet has no local detail on it at all and woefully inadequate. Many who can use the service choose not to even though we have in the past hand delivered timetable info to residents in the approved areas. Unsure or interested ? contact me for info.
Council Officers have this week been out to visit victims of floods living on Harwood Rd and Sunny Bower St.
Help has again been requested from Council Officers with an issue around flooding from Sunnywood Lane.
A request from a resident of Sunnywood Close for “adoption” of the development is now being considered by the Legal department. This small development is certainly completed and to a very good standard too so I am hopeful for a positive outcome on this.
Complaints again from Boothway re the dreadful state of the pavements due to irresponsible dog owners not “picking up”. I requested a clean up and the Council sent a truck round. To sort this out we need residents to report this behaviour to Environmental Health at the Council. Evidence is required and heavy fines will follow.
Tottington Cllrs are going to again lead by example and come round the estate and clear up the mess this week…..what a mucky job ! One solution to a cleaner estate is that to keep the area clean, we could turn back the clock and adopt the house proud habits of our mums and grans and clean up our own patch of pavement, which would keep Boothway dog poo free. I have requested more bins for the estate and hopefully they will be in place soon.
After receiving a complaint, I have requested that Scobel St pavements are cleaned but have been advised that due to the Christmas floods there will be a wait for this.
I have received another complaint regarding the impact on privacy of the new Elton Scholl presently under construction and waiting for the outcome of a Governors Meeting.