This is the last edition of Denton and Reddish Weekly News of 2020. It's been a very long and difficult year, but I hope that you all have a safe and happy Christmas and here's hoping that 2021 is better for all of us!
Take care and stay safe.
** Statement on Greater Manchester remaining in Tier 3
Commenting that Greater Manchester is to remain in Tier 3, Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Two weeks ago I voted against the tiering system because I don’t think it’s the right approach to defeating this virus. We now seem trapped in Tier 3, no matter what.
“It arbitrarily closes hospitality businesses who were responsible for just 3% of transmissions whilst keeping open many of the settings we know are responsible for the spread of the virus. I really feel for those pubs, bars and restaurants who were hoping for a chink of light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
“Our rates in Tameside and Stockport are falling, thanks to the efforts of so many, but this feels like the Government is so nervous about the mess they’ve made of the Christmas relaxation rules, that we are being pre-emptively punished ahead of any new year spike.”
** Gwynne slams new Bredbury industrial plan
Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has reacted angrily to revised plans for the Bredbury Industrial Estate extension submitted today to Stockport Council by developer Quorum.
The developer has again proposed environmentally damaging industrial sheds deep into the Tame Valley on the border of Stockport and Tameside.
Speaking out, the Labour MP said:
“What part of leave, go away, you’re not welcome – our shared Tame Valley is not for grabs, don’t they understand?
“We will not allow this environmental rape of our cherished narrow strip of green space separating Denton, Bredbury and Woodley at the River Tame. The Tame Valley is for recreation and nature, not HGVs, pollution and tin sheds.
“Stockport might be out of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, but the planning sequential test still applies. The fact is there are other suitable sites to relocate displaced businesses from the Mayoral Development Corporation area in Stockport. In any case, there is nothing in the MDC area which requires such large-scale logistics premises.
“Furthermore, there is an oversupply of sites for logistics warehousing in Greater Manchester. There is no justification for taking green belt land for this use at this site.
“The sooner Quorum understands there’s no fast buck to be made at Bredbury and that we will fight them all the way to save our Tame Valley from their grubby money grabbing mitts, the better. I reiterate: our Tame Valley is not up for grabs.”
In November, Tameside Council, led by the Denton South Labour Councillors, had passed a motion opposing the development because of the destruction of the river valley, the negative impact it would have on the Haughton Dale and Hulmes Woods Local Nature Reserves, and on traffic and air quality in Denton.
Tameside’s motion was sent to Stockport Council as a formal objection and to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, asking for him to ‘call-in’ any decision.
People can object to the latest planning application by writing to Stockport Council at Planning Services, Place Directorate, Stopford House, Picadilly, Stockport SK1 3XE
or online at [link removed]
And quoting reference: DC/074399
** Better buses on their way?
Over half of all bus journeys in England take place within just one city. It won’t surprise you to know that the city in question is London, but that statistic is still shocking. In 2018/19, 2.2 billion bus journeys were made in the capital compared to 2.12 billion in the whole of the rest of the country. And each year the gap in bus use between London and the rest of England grows. Over the past decade, bus use in London has decreased by just 1.4%, whilst elsewhere it has shrunk by an incredible 11.4%.
There are, of course, many reasons for this imbalance between London and the rest of the country, but they are all linked. The fact is that London has the best bus system in the country – the buses are cheaper, more frequent, there are more routes and they are integrated with other public transport. That London has better buses is no accident. It all comes back to Margaret Thatcher’s Tory Government in the 80s, which deregulated buses everywhere in England… other than London.
I’ve written about how immensely damaging this deregulation has been for Greater Manchester previously. Our buses are far too expensive (all bus journeys in London are just £1.50, including unlimited changes within 90 minutes), too irregular and we have to fight to keep vital routes running as some private operators focus on profit over service.
Unfortunately, this deregulation has created something of a vicious circle. The worse our bus services become, the fewer people use them, which leads them to get even worse and even fewer people to use them, and so on and so on. We need to break this cycle.
Luckily, our Metro Mayor Andy Burnham gets this and wants major reform of our buses, bringing them under local control. There is a consultation on the proposals for a new franchising system and I’d encourage you to take part at www.gmconsult.org ([link removed]) before the 29 January deadline.
Buses are a vital lifeline for those without access to private cars, but they should be much more than that. In the future for transport that I’d like to see, buses would be the preferred method of transport for local journeys by those both with and without cars. For this to become a reality though, we urgently need a better bus system where taking the bus is a cheap, convenient and pleasant experience. Thankfully, I think Greater Manchester is heading firmly in that direction.
Read More of This Week's Stories ([link removed])
Andrew in the constituency
A quick visit to Ashton on Sunday to help the amazing ladies from Kush Amdid drop off quantities of curry, rice and gifts with Pauline Town, who does marvellous work supporting Tameside’s homeless.
A big thank you to all, from me, Angela Rayner and Jonathan Reynolds for the work they do!
** 🏆 CITIZEN'S AWARD 🏆
This morning I dropped in (with another food donation) to thank the fantastic volunteers at Re:dish Foodbank and then to the Re:dish Charity Shop. A massive thank you to all the volunteers who keep this local charity running.
Sometimes it’s the small wins, but after 15 months, several emails and a Parliamentary Question, FLOZ has been removed from the Windmill Lane rail bridge at the gateway to Dane Bank.
Thank you Network Rail - it’s looking much tidier (and FLOZ needs to have his crayons removed!)
Andrew in Parliament
Here are videos of some of my contributions in the House of Commons this week:
📺 WATCH: Many MPs remain extremely concerned about the reported atrocities against the Uyghur population in Xinjiang, China.
I thank Iain Duncan Smith for highlighting this scandal and ask what actual measures the British Government can take (beyond statements) to ensure the UK brings actual pressure on China over this issue.
One thing is that we can ensure British businesses don’t use their supply chains to source products from China that are produced by enforced slave labour in Xinjiang.
📺 WATCH: They’ve been found out by the National Audit Office. The Government has wasted billions of pounds handing out COVID contracts to their mates without any due process. Given that, this isn’t just an absolutely woeful answer from a Minister, it’s a disgrace!
Andrew in the media
📰 READ: My comments on the Government's decision to keep Greater Manchester in Tier 3 were picked up in a number of publications including:
* Manchester Evening News: Tameside MP says Tier 3 measures are a 'heavy blow' for Greater Manchester ([link removed])
* Mancunian Matters: “Unbelievable!” Greater Manchester stuck in Tier 3 despite a fall in cases ([link removed])
There are collection boxes in Reddish Morrisons, Re:dish Charity Shop and Knit 2 Tog Wool Shop.
Christ Church is part of the community of Reddish providing church services and community events along with being home to the longest running drama group in Reddish ‘The Green Group.’ Christ Church is an old building with substantial upkeep costs the majority of which are funded by the income from the Green Group’s shows. Covid has meant these shows couldn't take place. Christ Church and the Green Group are running a GoFundMe to keep the church open.
You can find out more and donate here. ([link removed])
Our mailing address is:
139 St Annes Road
Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY
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Andrew Gwynne . 139 St Annes Road . Denton . Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY . United Kingdom
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