Tory and Labour councillors join together to vote FOR yet another council tax increase and AGAINST more local power and resources

At last night’s Budget Council Meeting at Stockport Town Hall, Conservative and Labour councillors voted together again to increase the council tax and block Liberal Democrat proposals to put more spending decisions in the hands of local residents and to make more money available to tackle the climate emergency declared by the council nearly two years ago.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “We wanted to make more money available for each community to be able to tackle the climate emergency locally, and put more power in the hands of local residents through their area committees on things like local regeneration schemes and improvements to parks and open spaces.

“Several opposition members commented on these being good ideas, but it was not enough to make them vote for our amendment. The Labour administration remains propped up by a rump of Tory councillors and anything the Lib Dems suggest is simply voted down by this unholy alliance.”

Cllr Lisa Smart, Deputy Leader and lead on budget matters, added: “We were disappointed, but not at all surprised, that Tory and Labour councillors worked together to block this well thought out proposal. The next time any of them complain about flooding in their ward, a lack of influence over decisions being taken at the Town Hall, or a lack of money to support a local project, local residents should feel free to remind them that we tried to put the money and power in their hands and they threw the opportunity away.”

Lib Dems participate in virtual commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day

Cllr Mark Hunter, as Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Stockport Town Hall, gave an invited reading at the civic commemoration event for Holocaust Memorial Day, recorded yesterday evening.

Speaking after the recording, Cllr Hunter said: “It was a great honour to represent the Liberal Democrat Group at the civic Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration.

“We must never forget the six million Jews murdered in the holocaust and the millions of others murdered under Nazi persecution, nor those killed in subsequent genocides in places such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. By marking this day we remind each other that we must remain prepared to guard against genocide happening again in the future.”

The recording of the event is available here.

Vaccination scam email warning

We have been made aware that emails are being sent out purporting to be from NHS England, with a similar logo and document heading, telling people to register on the site link for the Covid-19 vaccination.

The recipient is asked for personal details, including bank details, before they can “register” for the vaccination.

The reality is:-
– There is no need to “register” as people will be informed in turn
– There is no cost to the vaccination
– There is no need to give bank details for “proof”

People should obviously never disclose bank or personal details in response to an email.

Unanimous support for Lib Dem initiative to stand up for carers

At its meeting last night, Stockport Council unanimously backed a Liberal Democrat initiative to do more to support carers.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Lisa Smart, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems at Stockport Town Hall and parliamentary spokesperson for Hazel Grove constituency, said: “I was delighted to be able to draw attention to the needs of carers, who perform an invaluable role in our society but whose own needs too often go unrecognised. The council will now lobby the government to raise Carer’s Allowance by £20 a week immediately, in line with the increase in Universal Credit.

“More locally, the Cabinet have been tasked with reviewing what more the council can do to support carers and move towards being a Carer Friendly Borough. I await with interest their report, which is due to come to the relevant council committees in April.”

Lib Dems call for urgent action following damning police report

‘Urgent action’ was demanded last night by Stockport Liberal Democrat councillors to improve the performance of Greater Manchester Police (GMP). Highlighting the recent damning report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) which placed GMP in special measures, the Lib Dems condemned the lack of urgency in tackling the problems by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the elected Mayor.

The HMIC report found that some 80,000 crimes had gone unreported across Greater Manchester in a single year and that reports of domestic violence being ignored were of particular concern.

Criticising the absence of any immediate scrutiny of the failings, Lib Dem Group Leader at the Town Hall – Cllr Mark Hunter – pointed out that the last meeting of the GMCA Police & Crime Panel had been held in mid-November and the next was not scheduled to take place until the end of January. Cllr Hunter said the delay in even considering such an important matter was completely unacceptable and pressed for an urgent action plan.

“This is a failure of leadership at the very top and is no reflection of the excellent job done by thousands of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us all on a daily basis, but this is a matter of great concern to local residents and the problems need to be properly addressed now,” Cllr Hunter commented.

Cllr Tom Morrison, the Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet spokesperson, added “We have invited the Deputy Mayor responsible for Policing, Baroness Bev Hughes, to join an extraordinary meeting of the Communities & Housing scrutiny committee so that questions can be asked of the GMCA’s approach which, frankly, has not been good enough so far.”

“Policing is far too important to be allowed to fail and a more robust strategy is required to restore the confidence of the general public. I hope that all political parties can work together on this and make sure GMP is well supported and well run,” concluded Cllr Hunter.

Stockport Lib Dems call for better support for carers

Stockport Council’s Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion for the council meeting this Thursday which calls for more support for carers.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Cllr Lisa Smart, deputy leader of the Lib Dems at Stockport town hall and parliamentary spokesperson for Hazel Grove constituency, said: “As part of our national campaign, Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to raise the Carer’s Allowance by £20 per week, in line with the increase in Universal Credit. More locally, we are calling on the council’s cabinet to review how we support carers and what can be done to make Stockport a Carer Friendly Borough.”

Cllr Keith Holloway, Lib Dem spokesperson for health and adult social care, added: “Carers play a vital role in our community yet they are too often taken for granted and their own needs overlooked. We are calling on the council to act to put this right by looking at what more we can do locally to support them, as well as calling on the government to increase the allowance they pay this largely undervalued group.”

The motion being debated can be accessed below: