Lib Dems win cash boost for Stockport Schools

As schools receive their budgets this week there will be an additional £2m cash boost for Stockport to help those children in less advantaged areas because of the campaign of Lib Dems in government.

Stockport schools will be able use the extra money from the Government’s ‘Pupil Premium’ Grant to support individual children or bring extra resources into the school.

Stockport Academy (pictured) will get an extra £91,744, and Adswood Primary an extra £47,824.

The pupil premium is designed to direct early help to children from poorer backgrounds and was a key part of the Liberal Democrat party manifesto in 2010.

Key to the funding is the Lib Dem insistence that the schools decide how to spend the money – not bureaucrats.  It is designed to be spent on what the schools need to help kids form the poorest backgrounds, whether it be extra tuition or staff.

Stockport Council has also been working with schools and will be providing an additional £1m to support schools raising standards.

Councillor Stuart Bodsworth, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Children & Young People, said: “I am delighted that extra money will be available for our schools. The Pupil Premium Grant is very welcome investment which schools will use to particularly support children on free school meals and help them improve their results.”

Residents vote YES to Lib Dem Woodbank Plan

Manor's Lib Dem team have been fighting for the consultation of residents

Manor councillor Sue Derbyshire and her Lib Dem team have thanked residents for backing a Lib Dem plan to let a local charity use the former nursery site in the park for fruit and veg production.

Stockport Council asked Electoral Reform Services to carry out an independent poll of 8,084 residents in a designated area near Woodbank park.

Residents were asked the following question:

There is a proposal that the site of the former Woodbank nursery is to be used by a not-for-profit organisation. The proposal involves the growing of market produce by a charity which supports people who are in recovery from alcohol problems. Is this proposal acceptable to you?

Yes, I would accept this proposal

Or

No, I would not accept this proposal

A total of 61.8% (1,535 people) voted Yes and 38.2% voted No (947 people), with 35 votes invalid.

As well as the independent poll, a wider consultation was carried out with park users and Friends of Woodbank Park on a range of issues including the question about the future of the nursery site.

The consultation with Friends of the Park received 34 responses. The question about the proposal for the nursery site received 76.5% responding Yes and 23.5% responding No.

In face-to-face interviews in the park, 214 visitors were asked a series of questions and in relation to the proposal for the nursery site, a total of 83.6% said Yes and 16.4% said No.

The next stage is for more work to be carried out on the development of the not-for-profit organisation which will be responsible for this project, and in particular their relationship with the Friends group for the park.

“This is a great result for the park which will get new investment as a result of this vote,” said Sue.  “But also for this excellent charity that helps rehabilitated ex-addicts with practical skills, at the same time as providing a market for fruit and veg that is much cheaper than elsewhere – helping local families put off by supermarket prices.”

Lib Dems win tax cut for Stockport workers

103,400 ordinary workers here in Stockport will get a £130 annual tax cut from April 2012.  And 4,300 of Stockport’s lowest paid workers will now pay no income tax at all.

This will mean that people who work full time at minimum wage will have their income tax halved.  A massive difference from when Gordon Brown doubled their tax from 10% to 20% during the last Labour government.

This is just this year’s part of the Liberal Democrat work to get tax cuts for the low paid, which when complete will mean people not earning the top rate of tax taking home an extra £60 a month.  More than 2 million people across the country will benefit from this decision next month.

Ann is pleased with the Lib Dem tax win, and wants to go even further in cutting tax for low paid.

Local councillor Ann Smith is in favour of raising the tax threshold to around £12,000, taking anyone earning only the minimum wage out of tax altogether.

“I am pleased that this extra help has been secured for hard working people in Stockport faced with higher petrol and energy bills,” Ann said.

“If anyone is to have a tax cut it should be the low paid.  I’m pleased that the work of Lib Dems in the coalition means that it will be a tax cut for millions, not millionaires.”

Residents Support Lib Dem stance on future of Offerton School site

Sue Derbyshire and Offerton School
Councillors Sue Derbyshire and Daniel Hawthorne are looking for residents' views on the future of the site

Residents have said ‘no’ to a proposal to allow the Offerton school site in Manor ward to be used as a gypsy and traveller site.

Residents were consulted for their views, and backed the view of Councillors Sue Derbyshire and Daniel Hawthorne that it was not suitable for a gypsy/travellers’ park and also that the entire site should remain in the Green Belt. 

Further consultation will be held with residents during this year to develop a planning brief that will define what would be suitable for the site.

Ann Gets Quick Action on Stockholm Mess

Ann Smith acted quickly after flyers were strewn over Stockholm Road recently.

The littering had been caused following a break in at the local ‘Dairy Crest’ dairy.

Ann got action from the Council to ensure it was cleaned up immediately, and an agreement from Dairy Crest that they will clean up any similar incidents in future.

“The flyers were strewn all over the road and needed to be resolved quickly,” said Ann. “Residents can let the local Lib Dem team know if anything similar happens on their street and we will do our best to get a solution as quickly as possible.”

Sue Derbyshire: 1,000 Doors and Counting

Sue Derbyshire has knocked on 1,000 doors in Manor ward since September speaking to residents about their views

Since September, Manor councillor Sue Derbyshire has been knocking on Manor ward’s doors with her local Residents Survey – listening to local people’s priorities and concerns.

Sue told residents:  

“Thank you for the friendly reception and for taking the time to fill in the survey. I am hoping to cover most parts of the Manor Ward over the next few months. 

● “Potholes” and “dog fouling” were the most common issues mentioned as requiring action. 

● A remarkable 90% of you say you feel safe in your local neighbourhood – although there are small pockets where crime or anti-social behaviour causes concern.

● Many of you have no major concerns and expressed appreciation at what I and the FOCUS team are trying to do.”

Sue has been working hard to deal with local concerns, with much success – although some problems will take longer to sort out. These will of course be reported in the regular issues of Focus that are delivered by volunteers in the local area.

If you can spend some time to deliver some Focus newsletter, use the Contact form to get in touch or join the team on the section above!