Lib Dems enjoy Stockport Pride

Stockport Lib Dems enjoyed taking part in the first Stockport Pride last weekend. The event was very well attended with lots of people enjoying the variety of stalls and the food and drink on offer.

Pictured below are Councillors Iain Roberts and Lisa Smart with Lib Dem activist Richard Flowers, all enjoying the sunshine at Stockport Pride.

Pictured below is the Most Reverend Libby Lane, the Bishop of Stockport, visiting the Liberal Democrat stand with Cllr Lisa Smart.

Over half 101 calls going unanswered in GM

A survey by the Liberal Democrats has found that 53% of people who called 101 – the non-emergency Police phone number – gave up before speaking to the Police.

Most people who did get through waited for more than five minutes, with some waiting for 30 minutes or more for the call to be answered.

The scale of the problem was uncovered by Claire Halliwell, Stockport Liberal Democrat spokesperson on crime.

“Thousands of crimes are going unrecorded and people are wasting hours sitting on the phone. It also means the Police are missing half the picture on crime. Important intelligence is being missed, meaning the Police may not be targeting their efforts efficiently,” said Claire.

Helen Foster-Grime, Lib Dem communities spokesperson, emphasised concern about the affect this is having on victims of crime when they are at their most vulnerable.

“The Conservative government must take the blame for ill-advised cuts to police funding since 2015. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has responsibility for how the police budget is spent and we will be writing to urge him to sort this out. Cutting funding for the 101 number is a false economy,” said Helen.

Lib Dems welcome first Pride festival in Stockport

The Liberal Democrat Group on Stockport Council welcome the first Pride festival which will be taking place in the Market Place from 10am to 4pm this Sunday 30th July.

There will be a main stage at Castle Yard with acts including two former participants in the X-Factor and a line-up of local performers along with craft stalls and food and drink. There will also be information and support from organisations including the LGBT Foundation, Lifeline, Stockport Mind and Age UK.

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Lib Dem Group at Stockport Council and Councillor for Cheadle Hulme South, said: “We are proud that Stockport is an open and inclusive borough and the Liberal Demorats will be enthusiastically supporting the Pride festival, with a number of local councillors and campaigners attending.”

Cllr Lisa Smart, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group and Councillor for Bredbury Green and Romiley, said: “This is a true community event with musical acts and other entertainers accompanied by great food and drink.

“Pride events elsewhere have been a really successful way to bring together the whole community and we encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the festival.”

Stockport Liberal Democrats welcome national party Leader to the North West

Just hours after becoming party Leader, Vince Cable attended a meeting of North West Liberal Democrats in Manchester.

Stockport Councillors Mark Hunter, Lisa Smart, Christine Corris, Geoff Abell, Stuart Corris and Iain Roberts were all on hand to welcome him and to discuss our plans to become the largest party on Stockport Council again next year.

Councillor Mark Hunter, North West Regional Chair and Leader of the Lib Dem Group in Stockport, said “It was great to welcome Vince to the region so soon after he became national party Leader. It was great to have the opportunity to hear about his priorities and to raise important issues with him such as investment in the North, the impact of Brexit and how to improve mental health services, especially for young people.”

Pictured are Cllr Mark Hunter and Vince Cable at the event.

Stockport Liberal Democrats welcome Love Parks week

Stockport’s Liberal Democrat Councillors are encouraging residents to join in with the 100 million visits to UK parks during Keep Britain Tidy’s eleventh annual “Love Parks Week”, which runs from Friday 14th to Sunday 23rd July.

Lisa Smart, Councillor for Bredbury Green and Romiley and Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Stockport Council said: “Love Parks Week is Britain’s biggest celebration of these valuable spaces. During Love Parks Week, we are encouraging as many people as possible to go out and enjoy their local park. Take a photo, video or simply post on social media, using the hashtag #LoveParks, telling the world why you love your park.

“Lib Dems have always valued our parks and greenspaces and the work done by our many Friends of Parks groups. Despite the need to make significant cuts to services, the Lib Dem budget in 2016 set aside £430,000 to be invested in our parks and play spaces, for which Labour have since taken the credit.

“We welcome Keep Britain Tidy’s campaign to secure the quality of parks for future generations to enjoy.”

Stockport sleepwalks into further traffic chaos

The Liberal Democrats warn that Stockport could be sleepwalking into further traffic chaos as the Labour Cabinet are unable to provide reassurances about the imminent closure of the A6 in the town centre, even at the second time of asking.

Lib Dem Group Leader Councillor Mark Hunter first raised this issue at a Town Hall Meeting on 21st June, when he sought assurance from the Labour Cabinet member that roadworks, scheduled for 12 weeks from late July and which will see the A6 closed where it crosses the River Mersey, were to be handled as efficiently as possible.

Cllr Hunter said “We need the road closure to be as short as possible to minimise inconvenience and I wanted assurance that the contractors were being directed to work overnight, or at least late into the evening, and that work would be continuing across the weekends. Nothing infuriates residents more than seeing road closures with no roadworks actually happening.

“An officer present at the meeting told me that the contractor had been asked to work late, but no one was able to tell me for certain what has been agreed.”

Having failed to receive these assurances, Cllr Hunter again raised this issue at the Full Council meeting on 29th June and, once again, the Cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration was unable to give any detail about what has been arranged.

Cllr Hunter said: “It is frankly shocking that, over a week since my first enquiry and just a few weeks before the complete closure of this major arterial route, the Cabinet member still doesn’t seem to know what is going on and could only promise to write to me with the details.

“The closure of the A6, alongside other ongoing roadworks, has the potential to have a huge impact on thousands of residents and many businesses. Labour clearly aren’t taking this seriously and are simply sleepwalking towards traffic chaos.”