Stockport Lib Dems get £1million for green and priority schemes

Sue announced the spending on key schemes in Stockport

Stockport Council’s Lib Dem Executive has announced £1 million to be spent on priority and green spending in the borough in 2012/13.

Councillor Sue Derbyshire, Manor Councillor and Deputy Leader of the Council said: “This funding will support Stockport’s businesses and build on a strong and sustainable economy and strong levels of educational attainment and skills. The Council aims to lead the way in creating a sustainable future for our environment and economy.”

“In difficult times for local authorities being able to bring additional investment into jobs and environmental projects to benefit our communities shows our commitment to the future of Stockport,” Cllr Derbyshire added.

The money will be used for:

–  Portas Pilot Bid (£100,000 match-funding): Stockport is bidding to be a ‘Portas Pilot’, seeking government funding to support the regeneration of the town centre. £1m is being offered nationally to be shared between 12 pilot town centres. The aim is to increase footfall across the town centre and support existing and new businesses.  Successful bids will be announced in May.

–  Develop a Construction Academy in Brinnington (£250,000 contribution):  The Council, working with Stockport College, Stockport Homes and other partners, is proposing a Construction Academy/Learning Centre in Brinnington to reduce youth unemployment and improve skills of local residents. The proposed Academy/Learning Centre could, for example, help local, unemployed people work towards a Level 2 certificate in Construction Operations and gain literacy and numeracy skills.

–   Replacement of trees (£150,000): Stockport has 15,000 street trees maintained on an on-going basis. Trees play an important role in enhancing the urban environment, and bring a sense of the countryside into the heart of the town. Around 800 new trees will be planted in 2012-13.

–   Green Regeneration Fund (GRF). Following the excellent recycling efforts by Stockport residents, the Waste Disposal Levy will be much lower than originally forecast.  The savings have been re-invested in the GRF and used for:

–   Eco-neighbourhoods (£125,000): The aim is to build on existing community led initiatives in the Heatons and Marple, and the Big Lottery short-listed ‘Eco-Plan’ for Brinnington, Reddish and Lancashire Hill and Heaton Norris. Neighbourhood eco-plans will be developed for priority areas. This will support the setting up of new resident-led sustainable living groups and community projects.

–   Sustainable Energy (£375,000). Funding will be invested in viable renewable electricity and heat schemes and providing local training and employment for priority groups. Stimulating demand for training and employment in green jobs is through delivering specific schemes. Specific project areas to be developed include local biomass supply chain development, solar PV and small scale hydro schemes.

Lib Dem Campaign Victory: More Police on Stockport Streets

Liberal Democrats on the local Police Authority have successfully fought for a budget that will put 100 more Police and 50 more PCSOs onto the streets over the next 2 years.

Sue also welcomed the decision not to force long serving officers with much-needed valuable experience into retirement.  Sue says ‘Stockport is a very safe place to live thanks to the partnership between the Council and the police.

“I welcome the new officers and the retention of our experienced officers – policing should be done by the police – not the private sector as in some parts of the country.”

“I am proud of the part Stockport Lib Dems played in these decisions.”

Ann Updates Residents on Davenport Station

Councillor Ann Smith has e-mailed residents about improvements to the service at Davenport station.

If you would like to receive these e-mails, just send an e-mail to ann@stockportlibdems.org.uk with the words “Davenport updates” in the subject.

In her e-mail Ann told residents that there will be an extra train every two hours on Sundays serving Davenport, Woodsmoor or Hazel Grove, and that electrification of the Manchester-Preston line will see electric trains returning to Davenport and Woodsmoor over the next four years.

Ann said “Since the 2008 timetable changes our line has had older trains, shorter trains, more overcrowding and less reliable services.

“Progress is slow but the Lib Dems are fighting for our train services. Labour appear happy to accept what their Manchester bosses tell them, which rarely favours Stockport.”

Labour councillors missed the importance of a controversial report back in September which caused concerns a reduction in Davenport’s service was being smuggled through.

Predictably, they are now trying to blame  on ‘government cuts’ and downplay the report they missed.

Labour even distributed a flyer with a quote supposedly from the ‘Chair of TfGM’ without mentioning that it was actually from a Labour councillor!

Residents can still see for themselves a copy of the report on Davenport station campaign section above and see why doing nothing was not an option.

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.”