The ruling Liberal Democrat Group on Stockport Council is proposing to spend almost all of a £1m government grant on improving our play areas, cleaning our town and village centres and helping charities and voluntary groups.
The £1m is part of a £300m transition grant from government for the financial year 2016/17, with most of that money targeted at Conservative councils.
Councillor Sue Derbyshire, Liberal Democrat Leader of Stockport Council, said: “This one-off grant has come very late and in no way offsets the tens of millions of pounds central government has cut from our funding. However, any money is very welcome and we are determined to make the best use of it for the people of Stockport borough.”
Councillor Iain Roberts, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of Stockport Council, added: “We have considered different ways to spend this money including a lower council tax increase but, because it is a one-off grant, that would actually cost tax payers more over the next five years.
“The Liberal Democrats are committed to good financial management. Stockport is a low spending authority. We spend less per head than Conservative Trafford and I believe we deliver better value for money.”
The Liberal Democrats will bring a detailed proposal on spending this money to the Budget Council Meeting on 3rd March. The proposals are:
- £400k on improving the play areas identified by a recent independent play review as being the most in need across the borough.
- £150k transition funding to help the organisations that work with the council to care for our vulnerable, elderly residents.
- The remainder would be used to support the excellent work of local community groups and to give our towns and villages a “spring clean”.
Borough Care plays a key role in the delivery of residential care in Stockport, providing over 400 beds, a fifth of the total. But most of Borough Care's homes are over 20 years old and are in need of investment for renovation and refurbishment. The council - which owns the buildings and leases them back to Borough Care - has agreed to invest around £20 million in the homes, to ensure that they will continue to meet residents' needs for many years to come.
Borough Care is working with residents, their families, and staff to minimise the disruption to residents. Where residents do have to move homes, wherever possible the staff they are used to will move with them.
There is no cost to the council taxpayer in Stockport. The council is able to borrow the money at a very low rate, and Borough Care's payments to the council will cover the interest and repayment.
Local businesses like pubs, restaurants and shops can choose to work together with the Council to make more clean, safe and accessible toilets available to the public by joining The Community Toilet Scheme.
Members of the public can use the toilet facilities during the normal opening hours and without the need to make a purchase - the council has already paid on our behalf!
The Community loos in our area are Bredbury Library, Hewitts Cafe in Romiley, the Romiley Arms pub, Etherow Country Park visitor centre, the Chadkirk Country Estate, Start Point Cafe in Woodley, the Navigation Pub on Hyde Road and Bredbury Public Toilets by the Rec.
Romiley holds a market in the precinct on the 1st Saturday of every month.
Traders sell home made cakes, bread, skincare, jams, cheese, pies, clothing, jewellery, cards, and other arts and crafts.
The market takes place in the precinct on the first Saturday of every month, starts at 10:00am and wraps up by 4.00pm.
Leyfield Avenue residents who went out early this morning and left a grass verge at the end of their road will return this evening to find a ditch in its place.
This morning, the driver of a large wagon attempted to find a route which didn't involve using Stockport Road (the height restriction on the railway bridge made it impossible for him to go that way) and got stuck in Leyfield Avenue.
Driving into and reversing from Leyfield into Guywood Lane over the grass verge has left it in a right state as you can see in the photo.
Lisa Smart said, "The grass verge no longer exists. A muddy ditch now lies in its place. I've been straight onto the council to get it cleared up as soon as possible and am looking into ways to stop this from happening again. "
Many people have raised concerns over speeding vehicles across our area. We're looking at ways to address this and so we would like to hear from you.
Let us know where you’ve spotted speeding, or any other local issues by emailing email@example.com.
Thank you to everyone who has helped Stockport stay as one of the greenest boroughs in the country. Last year, Stockport residents recycled more than 60% of our household waste, putting us in the top 2% across England and Wales.
We can do even better though: here are five green resolutions for 2016
- Resolve to begin recycling if you don’t already. You can start small. Try putting aside your plastic bottles for your brown bin. Plastic bottles can take up to 500 years to decompose if they’re not recycled! Remember the only plastic we can recycle is plastic bottles.
- If you already recycle, then recycle more. Did you know, Aluminium foil may be easy to scrunch up and throw away but every last bit of it can be recycled in your brown bin.
- Resolve to purchase more items made from recycled materials. Paper towels, toilet paper, aluminium cans, cereal boxes, and many other paper products fall into this category. Even the clothes you wear can be made from recycled materials – Did you know, fleeces are made from plastic bottles?
- Resolve to recycle in all rooms, don’t just recycle in the kitchen, sort it in the bathroom too! You can help to boost your recycling by putting the right items in the right bins from your bathroom including shampoo bottles, shower gel containers and cardboard toilet roll inserts.
- Resolve to recycle all your paper and card in your blue bin, including all those unwanted Christmas cards. Recycling a tonne of paper spares 17 trees! If you’ve been inundated with junk mail this Christmas, contact the Mailing Preference Service to remove your name from mailing lists. Visit the website to register online or call 0845 703 4599.
For the third time, Stockport Air Raid Shelters and Hat Works Museum have received the prestigious Sandford Award for heritage education.
The Sandford award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the UK. It focuses on formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools by heritage sites such as the Air Raid Shelters and Hat Works, as well as informal learning such as family programmes.
The Sandford Award, which is valid for five years, offers a kite mark which confirms high-quality education provision which is widely recognised and respected by schools, education institutions and the heritage sector.
The Stockport Museums’ Learning team collected their awards at the London Transport Museum this weekend. The judges’ citations were as follows:
Stockport Air Raid Shelters: “Here you can take part in an exemplary, evocative, emotional and engaging history session. From the moment the door is first opened by the WVS Air Raid Officer, children dressed as evacuees step back in time to wartime Stockport in the 1940s. Brought to life by excellent costume interpreters, children discover, imagine and explore through handling objects from the period including gas masks and air raid sirens. They journey through the network of Stockport tunnels singing wartime songs to keep their spirits up, touching the sandstone walls and reflect on real life wartime scenarios. The highly experienced costume interpreters bring history alive in this unforgettable experience. By the end of the experiential learning session, life in wartime Britain is embedded in children’s minds and they have gained deep knowledge and understanding of their local history.”
Hat Works Museum: “This museum continues to play to the strengths of its important site and collections, offering high quality teaching and learning about hats and the important place of Stockport in the history of hatting. Skilled and experienced learning staff inspire and engage visitors of all ages through a mix of demonstrations, role play and practical workshops and the service continues to develop and grow with new opportunities for babies and toddlers as well textiles courses for adults.”
Councillor Martin Candler, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Supporting Places, said: “I am immensely proud of the Learning Team at Stockport Museums. To receive the Sandford Award for the third time demonstrates that our museums continue to offer a high-quality educational experience to school children who visit our sites.”
For more information about the education programme at Staircase House, please contact the Education Team on 0161 474 4449 or visit www.stockport.gov.uk/museums
Stockport Council and Stockport Homes have been working to improve the energy efficiency of Council owned homes since 2008, with thousands benefitting from new insulation measures and green energy.
Improvements include loft and cavity wall insulation, installation of domestic solar panels and efficient biomass boilers, removal of old electric storage heaters and the creation of a biomass district heating scheme.
For more information on energy efficiency visit www.stockport.gov.uk/energyefficiency
Local Liberal Democrat Lisa Smart has called on local health chiefs to join the fight to improve local mental healthcare services.
It is part of an initiative led by Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Norman Lamb, working together with Alastair Campbell and Andrew Mitchell, which calls for the Government to improve mental healthcare.