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.”

Traffic chaos predicted following green light for large-scale development at Handforth Dean

Lib Dem Group Leader and Cheadle Hulme South Councillor Mark Hunter has slammed the decision of a planning inspector to give the go ahead to controversial plans for large-scale development at Handforth Dean.

The decision just announced will allow Conservative controlled Cheshire East council to build more than 2000 new homes at Handforth, the vast majority of which will be opposite the Marks and Spencer Store at Handforth Dean.

The development planned has already been vociferously opposed by local residents, who will be desperately disappointed that the inspector has allowed the plans to go ahead.

Speaking on behalf of the Lib Dem Group at Stockport Town Hall, Cllr Hunter said: “This is an appalling decision and I know many local residents will share my anger at the green light for this scheme given the traffic chaos that will ensue as a result.

“This whole project has been mired in controversy from the start and represents a nice little earner for Tory-run Cheshire East Council, who own the site. They are apparently unconcerned about the impact it will have on traffic flows, I suspect because most of the traffic will be flowing through Stockport rather than the other way in to Cheshire.

“The A34 is jammed at peak times already and these plans will only make matters much worse. We agree that new homes are needed but they must be in the right place and the need for new homes is not the same thing as a licence to concrete over the countryside.

“I shall seek an assurance from Stockport Council that they will be pressing Cheshire East to meet the cost of any and all mitigation measures necessary to ensure the A34 can flow freely.”

Stockport Lib Dems call for fire safety reassurance

Stockport Liberal Democrats have demanded a speedy response to concerns over the safety of tower blocks in the borough following the heart-breaking tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London.

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at the Town Hall said: “I welcome the fact that Stockport Homes, who manage these homes for Stockport Council, have invested almost £5m in the last 5 years upgrading fire safety measures including fire doors, smoke alarms and door closers.

“But it is perfectly understandable that, following the disaster in London and as several of our tower blocks have external cladding, our tenants here in Stockport should want re-assurance that their homes are safe.

“Liberal Democrats welcome the council’s announcement of a review of safety in the light of these concerns – but it must be, and be seen to be, fully independent of the contractors involved in delivering the property improvements in question, and it must be conducted promptly.

“We are also concerned that the ‘stay in your property’ guidance is not appropriate for a fire of the type seen in London and thought must be given to how the actions of fire crews and advice to residents may need to change in the light of this recent tragedy. Lessons must be learned.”