A year on - Our Plan for Cheadle
It's been just over a year since I was elected with Our Plan for Cheadle. Since then, and despite the pandemic, lots of progress has been made.
It's vital that we safeguard precious green spaces for future generations to come
Protecting green spaces
In the last year, we've managed to pull Stockport out of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham's much delayed plan for jobs and housing), and the thousands of potential developments being imposed upon our area and precious green spaces.
It was clear that the Mayor's plan to sacrifice so much green belt in Cheadle through the Spatial Framework was not the right one, and I am looking forward to working with our local councillors to get a plan in place that is right for us, and protects our green belt.
Cheadle Hulme ticket office has had a refurb!
Investing in roads and railways to get Cheadle moving
Not only is public transport is the green alternative, it is what people in our area want to see improved.
In 2019, the Government announced its multi-million-pound Towns Fund, to revitalise and give areas a boost. After lobbying and putting forward Cheadle for this, Cheadle residents overwhelmingly said in the consultation that they wanted to see a new station opened to better connect our area.
These reasons are why I am supporting and putting forward our Towns Fund bid of £25 million to open a new station in Cheadle to improve rail connectivity.
Over the summer the Government committed £600 million to kickstart rail improvements in the North. A council for the North to oversee improvements working directly with the Government has also been formed. There is currently a consultation into rail improvements in our area - please do have your say here. This funding will improve capacity and get rid of local bottlenecks where delays are occurring, ensuring people can get where they need to be and connecting us with opportunity.
2020 also saw Cheadle Hulme Station refurbed, and the last pacer train removed from our rail network!
I met with senior leadership and new recruits at Cheadle Heath Station in Summer 2020
Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour
Tackling crime is a priority of our Government, and funding has been put forward to support the goal of eradicating its impact in our communities. This funding has enabled us to recruit more than 200 new police officers in this year alone for Greater Manchester Police.
After the commitment to bolstering our forces, it's great that new police are coming through on the ground to tackle local issues, and I look forward to spotting them on the beat around Cheadle.
As well as this, we've had a wave of funding for tackling organised crime, as well as successful raids in the region over the last few months. Just recently, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, committed £148 million to tackle crime that results from illegal drugs.
Over the last year, I have met with residents to hear about their crime concerns and taken this up with the Home Secretary. I've also visited Cheadle Heath Police Station to discuss our local concerns with senior officers, and met new officers stationed in our area, too. From this month, you will also be able to see a named officer for your area, and be able to contact them. Local and community policing is so vital - being part of the community and having that local knowledge ensures that police can make us feel safe.
Policing in Greater Manchester is not where we - the public, and our officers - want it to be, and I have been saying this for some time. Our officers do a fantastic job and must be supported by their leadership teams and those with overall responsibility for policing in our area. I'll continue holding Mayor Andy Burnham, who is our elected Police and Crime Commissioner, to account, asking for further transparency and accountability for decisions made.
Stepping Hill Hospital - we've welcomed a new Chief Exec in the last few months
Supporting local NHS services
The pandemic has highlighted just how important our local NHS, and how well it can work when the NHS, local council and political structures all work together.
Remembering back a year when our local hospital was struggling with standard winter pressures has led me to ensure our NHS is not overwhelmed by supporting the restrictions we need to see Covid case rates fall. As a result, although faced with strong pressures, Stepping Hill Hospital has been able to cope.
Throughout the pandemic I have been supporting and working closely with our local NHS services. I have liaised on a regular basis with Health Ministers on issues such as maternity care during the pandemic, local mammogram screenings as well as general standards at our local hospital and how it copes with winter pressures and Covid. I've argued in Parliament for more mobile screening units - so that people don't have to travel long distances and take-up is higher as a result.
Thank you so much to everyone at local hospitals, the CCG, local GPs and surgery staff who have been a part of keeping us safe during the pandemic.