A message from John Fitzpatrick to all Stockport County fans

”The Liberal Democrats have consistently been the only party in Stockport to stand by County over the last five years. I personally feel that without such strong support from the Liberal Democrats at local government level the Clubs very existence could have been at risk. Dave Goddard is a real friend of Stockport County FC and his party the Liberal Democrats have been true supporters of Stockport County FC.”

The statement above was made by Jim Gannon last Monday in response to Labours behaviour regarding a request by Labour leader Cllr Verdeille and Cllr Bailey for an article to promote better relationship with the club and the local community in Edgeley.

Jim supplied the following article in good faith. Labour promptly deleted the first paragraph and put the rest on every Labour leaflet in Stockport claiming he was writing for Labour.

I sat in the public gallery with many of you at Stockport Town Hall last year and listened to Labour councillor after Labour councillor rubbish this great club, claiming we add no value to Stockport, and saying Edgeley would be better without us on match days, then voting not to support a vital sponsorship deal to help us financially.

Later Cllr Harding who is Cllr Bailey’s husband reported me to the Police for holding a Help the Hatters car boot on Booth street.

This is not about national issues, not about the coalition government, this is about local issues, local councillors, and which ones will stand up for Stockport County, it’s as simple as that.

One day the full story of how much Dave Goddard has done to keep this club alive will be revealed, and that’s why I am backing Dave in Offerton with his fight against a party that will go to any lengths, distort the truth, misrepresent the facts and try to drag our club through the mud for a few grubby votes.

It has to stop, we need all the friends we can get and Dave Goddard for all his faults is a Stockport lad who will do everything he can to support us which is more than can be said of any other party.

John Fitzpatrick, Director Stockport County FC

This is Jims article in full.

Article for Labour Edgeley Newsletter

“I am delighted to be invited to write a piece for this newsletter. During my time as a player at Stockport County I lived in Edgeley for more than ten years. I still bank, shop and use the amenities of the area. I have always loved the sense of community in Edgeley and never wanted to leave.  I am so pleased to be able to return to work in Edgeley, albeit now in the more unaccustomed role of Director of Football at County.

We have all been saddened by the recent fall from grace of our proud Club, and also how it has become a little detached from its supporters and local community. But we are determined to turn its fortunes around, and much of the driving force will be to the new energy the club has been given by ‘Your Town Your Team’ group. My return to Edgeley Park was primarily due to their desire to resurrect the Clubs fortunes, and build a stronger, more fan driven and community orientated football club.

I believe Stockport County has a huge part to play in the sense of civic and community pride within Stockport, and can also play a vibrant role in the provision of community interest projects within Edgeley. It is my main role to create a dynamic young team that can excite and entertain our fans and represent this town with pride and honour. However, in tandem with our work on the pitch we hope also to bring a greater interconnection between ourselves and the local community.

I hope you can all play a part in our rise, and more importantly, share in the enjoyment of the return of the ‘Friendly Football Club’ to Edgeley Park.

Kindest regards and best wishes.”

James Gannon

Unemployment down in Stockport

The national decrease in unemployment in the UK is mirrored in Stockport, where the number of people claiming job seekers allowance decreased by 1.9% this month – and by 2% in Adswood & Bridgehall.

This fall in unemployment was one of the largest in the area, with the overall Greater Manchester fall being 0.9% and the national fall being 1.1%.

Stockport also has more job vacancies per-claimant than the national or Greater Manchester averages.

Sue Derbyshire supported the Lib Dem young apprentice plan - Labour threatened it by voting for a Tory plan to direct money to a sports club with 400 members.

Stockport also achieved the highest number of new 16-18 Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships in Greater Manchester.

A total of a 307 16-18 year olds started an Advanced (L3/A Level standard) Apprenticeship in the borough from July 2010 to July 2011 – a 77% increase on the previous 12 month period.

The figure is the highest in Greater Manchester, and Stockport’s increase is higher than both the North West (23.9%) and national average (23.3%) over the same period.

This success comes on the back of new Council initiatives such as the 50:50 Apprenticeship Scheme which increases apprenticeship opportunities with employers by grant funding.

Ann Smith Praised forHelping Davenport Commuters

Ann has been praised for her work in helping secure Sheffield stands for local rail stations.

Work from local Councillor Ann Smith means that Hazel Grove rail station is to get 50 secure cycle spaces, to be provided by a special Government grant.

Hundreds of residents in Davenport and Cale Green ward use Hazel Grove station for commuting around the North West and beyond.  Ann has been fighting for extra capacity for cycle spaces so local residents can cycle to Hazel Grove station in confidence.

Sheffield stands (pictured) will be installed at Hazel Grove as well as cover, lighting, CCTV and swipe card access.

Craig Wright, Stockport’s representative on the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, praised Ann’s campaign work, saying “This has only happened as a result of the persistence of Kevin Hogg, Wendy Orrell and Ann Smith.”

Sue Confirms: No Traveller Site at Offerton School

Sue Derbyshire and Offerton School
Sue Derbyshire has reassured residents about the future of the site

Sue Derbyshire reports to residents in the latest Manor FOCUS that following a local consultation there is no possibility that the Offerton School site would be used for a gypsy or traveller base.

There will be a use of a temporary sports hall for the groups displaced by the Dialstone development.  Work on a Planning Brief begins this summer to explore uses for the site and will include a public consultation.

Sue will lead the fight against any large-scale plans like major housing development as the site is in the green belt and has limited access.

Stockport Council Tax: Frozen Again

This month Stockport residents are seeing the benefits of their Council tax having been frozen after a decision by Lib Dems on Stockport Council.

The decision is common with all Lib Dem-led authorities throughout over the country.  Both Labour and Tory councils have raised taxes this year.

In freezing the tax frontline services were kept – despite Labour scaremongering. No library services have been cut, and additional money has been put into repairing potholes and other services.

“More is going into social services for older people and those with learning difficulties  – a crucial extra £1.5m,” said Sue Derbyshire.

‘I am particularly pleased that when other councils nearby are announcing cuts to their services to vulnerable people, we are investing.”

Labour Betray Young People

Sue was astonished that Labour prioritised a Heatons club with 400 members over Stockport's apprentice scheme

Local Councillor Sue Derbyshire has criticised local Labour councillors for voting on a Tory plan to spend £750k of local money on a sports club in Heaton Moor.

Labour kept their own budget plans secret, but Labour councillors did vote with Tories from the Heatons to divert £750k of local money to a sports club with just 400 members.

Sue said “this £750k Labour wanted would have come from wards such as Manor, and from vital local services throughout Stockport.”

One project that would have been lost if the Tory/Labour proposal had succeeded is the excellent work being done to establish a Construction Academy and to help unemployed young people get into apprenticeships.

Manor’s former Labour Councillor Patrick McAuley slammed the vote:

“I am absolutely furious to be honest. To vote for a Tory budget and against getting people on the jobs ladder to win a few votes in the rich areas of the Heatons is not just a disgrace, it is sick.”

“I will never forgive Labour’s betrayal and treatment of those young people.”