Family Events to make World Book Day

Two events for young families are taking place at Prestwich Library to mark 20 years of World Book Day.

A story time session for pre-school children and their parents will take place on Thursday 2 March (10.45am to 11.30am). Come dressed as your favourite book character to listen to fantastic stories, songs and take part in crafts!

The cost is 50p per child, and children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Meanwhile, a World Book Day story writing competition is taking place, and youngsters are invited to drop off their amazing stories at Prestwich Library no later than Saturday 4 March. There are two categories: one for those aged 5 to 8 (maximum story length: 500 words) and one for those aged 9 to 11 (max 700 words).

Prizes for both categories will be presented at a World Book Day celebration at Prestwich Library on Saturday 11 March (10.30am to noon).

For more information, call Prestwich Library on 0161 253 7214.

Why not see what titles are available on the World Book Day £1 shelf? Go to www.worldbookday.com

Bury’s Library Review – Formal Consultation

Bury Council is now formally consulting on its proposals to close 10 or 11 of our 14 libraries.

Consultations run until 27 April.

There are two options are:
1) to retain the following library buildings: Bury (plus Archives), Ramsbottom, and Prestwich;
2) to retain Bury (plus Archives), Ramsbottom, Prestwich and Radcliffe.

You can read the proposals online at http://ift.tt/2lBjC00 or read a hard copy at any library or at Bury Town Hall, Whittaker Street in Radcliffe, and 3 Knowsley Place in Bury.

How to have your say:
Online – go to http://ift.tt/2l2Jlex
By post – to Bury Library, Manchester Road, Bury BL9 0DG
By email – to library.suggestions@bury.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats across Bury are campaigning to save our libraries – you can sign our petition below.

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Update: Unaccompanied Child Refugees

Last week, when media attention was focussed on the Article 50 vote in Parliament, the Government quietly back-tracked on the previous commitment to help unaccompanied child refugees.

Previously the ‘Dubs amendment’ had secured a commitment, with all-Party support, to take in 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees. The Government is now closing the door on child refugees with only 300 in the country.

Bury, along with 22 other North West Local Authorities, responded to a request from the Home Office and agreed to oversee 4 of these vulnerable young people whom were being moved from France under a National Transfer Scheme for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children.

These young people are being supported in appropriate accommodation to access health, education and build on their independence and life skills. These young people are now Looked After Children by Bury and we are their corporate parents.

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron MP has written the following open letter to the Prime Minister on this change of policy:

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Tim Farron – Click to play

Dear Theresa,

Yesterday during your statement on the Informal European Council I asked you if you would guarantee that your Government would continue to take unaccompanied child refugees from Europe under the Dubs scheme (section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016). Your failure to give this reassurance in your response yesterday was concerning and I hope that in your response to this letter you can clarify the Government’s position on the Dubs scheme.

As you will know the DUbs amendment was borne out of cross-party support for Save the Children’s call for the UK to take 3000 children, our fair share of unaccompanied child refugeees who had fld conflict and arrived in Europe. The narrow criteria offered in the guidance on how to implement Dub was not in the spirit of the amendment in Greece and Italy, where many children continue to languish is far wider.

Whilst the number of arrivals to Greece and Italy have declined from their peak the crisis continues and we can expect arrivals to rise as the weather improves this year. It will therefore be of the utmost importance that the Dubs passage continues to be open to these vulnerable children throughout the rest of this Parliament.

I would appreciate if you could offer this guarantee in no uncertain terms in your response, anything less will be viewed as a betrayal by your Government of Parliament, the public and the unaccompanied child refugees who have risked their lives to reach safety and now face homelessness, exploitation and a lack of safety in Europe.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Farron MP

Answers to Questions: Bulky Waste Collections

On 10 April 2016 the cost of a bulky waste collection increased from £15 for up to 3 items, with up to 2 additional items for £5 each, to £30 for up to 5 items – that is the minimum charge has doubled from £15 to £30. Given the number of residents that have been in touch about this, this price increase has come as a shock to some.

One of the most frequent issues that you contact us about is fly tipping, sometimes this is large scale fly-tipping in semi-rural areas, but often it is waste left in ‘back alleys’ or between flats that is not normally collectable.

We wanted to see if there had been a REDUCTION in the amount of collections requested since the price increase. There has – in the 8 months May-Deceber 2016, 611 LESS collections were requested from the Council since the price increase. (Though apparently the average number of items in each collection has increased.)

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Obviously not all of these items will have been fly-tipped – no doubt many people have taken items to the nearest tip (not that we have one in Prestwich anymore….), however not everyone can do this easily.

We all know that Councils have to save money, and sometimes this mean increasing charges to residents – but we do need to find a balance between providing a good service and ensuring that the appearance of our local communities is not blighted by illegal fly-tipping.

Let us know what you think on the issue!

 

 

Walk-In Centre Closure Formal Consultation

Bury’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Group is now formally consulting the public on the closure of Prestwich and Bury Walk-In Centres.

The Governing Body of NHS Bury CCG have agreed a ‘redesign of urgent care services’, which includes closing the Walk-In Centres at its last meeting – following the initial public consultation.

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Members of the public will be able to give their views until Monday 20 March 2017.

By letter to, NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group, Communications and Engagement Team (Urgent Care Redesign), 21 Silver Street, Bury, BL9 0EN
By e-mail to buccg.communications@nhs.net

Please do let us know your views (comment on this post, or ‘cc’ us into your email to the CCG as we have a meeting coming up with the CCG about the closures, and will also be making our own submission to the CCG, based on public opinion.

New drop-in support for Bury young people

Young people in Bury can now benefit from new drop-in health sessions twice a month at Townside Primary Care Centre.

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Bury School Nursing Service, run by Pennine Care, is providing the sessions for 16 to 19 year olds to come along without an appointment for support.

The sessions will be held in Room 333 at Townside Primary Care Centre, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on the second and fourth Monday of each month.

Trained nurses will be available to give confidential advice on long term health conditions, emotional health, sleep support, healthy eating, exercise and weight management, sexual health, drugs and alcohol, stopping smoking and more.

More information about Bury School Nursing Service is available at: http://ift.tt/2l84Uh4

Reporting Back: Full Council and the GMSF Debate

Last Wednesday (1 February 2017) was the regular ‘Full Council’ meeting of Bury Council, the one meeting where all 51 councillors meet to discuss the main issues facing the area.

This was a very busy meeting of the Council, with a full public gallery – mostly people concerned about the proposals in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework to build 12,500 new houses in Bury, including many on green belt land.

Because of the number of members of the pubic there, we proposed that on this occasion we move straight to the debates on motions, rather than the usual 90 minutes or so of questions to the Leader and joint authorities. This was agreed – most questions were therefore answered in writing which we’ll report on over the coming weeks.

Voter Pilots
We supported a motion (in an amended form) which noted the Government’s current proposed pilot schemes to ask for ID at polling stations. The Government is proposing to pilot this in some areas (not Bury). In general we support proposals to make sure voting is always fair and without fraud – as long as whatever is proposed does not exclude people from voting (ie making sure that many different forms of ID are acceptable, as not everyone has a passport or driving license).

NHS Funding
We were happy to support a motion raising significant concerns about the current crisis in the NHS, particularly around funding and the acute pressures on emergency care and hospital beds.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
The Liberal Democrat group proposed a motion asking Bury to withdraw from Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF). This is the plan, currently being developed by the 10 Greater Manchester Councils, to build 227,000 new houses in Greater Manchester over the next 20 years.

We said:
– We recognised the need for more housing – but that this needs to be housing that people need, including young people getting their first homes and housing suitable for older people who might want to ‘downsize’
– We recognised the need for more jobs – but that these need to be high quality jobs.
– We DON’T think that the GMSF is a good deal for Bury. Across Greater Manchester the GMSF proposed to build houses on 8% of Green Belt land – in Bury it is 20% of Green Belt land (and in Prestwich and Whitefield nearly 50%).
– We DON’T think that the GMSF has made the right approach – we think local people should be in the driving seat about deciding the future ‘shape’ of our local communities, but the GMSF has started with asking land owners and developers about where they want to build.
– We are very concerned about issues like traffic congestion, air pollution and loss of green space that should be at the forefront of any new plans.

Our proposal was:
– That Bury should instead develop its own Bury Plan – recognising that we will still need to make difficult decisions, but that they will be decisions closer to Bury.
– The the plan should be a 15 year plan, not a 20 year plan, which means that 1/3 less land for housing needs to be identified at this stage.
– We support higher levels of development in our town centres, which are close to existing public transport and facilties.

Unfortunately our proposal was defeated, by 31 votes to 19 votes. Every single Labour councillor voted to remain in the GMSF.

There were some concessions made, which in some ways are a small victory, which was the Council agreed to remain in GMSF pending:
– The Government’s Housing White Paper
– The Greater Manchester Metro Mayor election result (some of the candidates are opposed to building on the green belt)
– The GMSF stage 1 consultation outcome.
In addition the Council is to proceed in developing its own Bury Plan alongside GMSF, with all-Party involvement.

We’re going to continue to fight these proposals. We do need more housing, but we must protect our green spaces too.

You can read our Group Leader, Cllr Tim Pickstone’s speech to the meeting here. The meeting is available to watch online – the GMSF debate starts at 1 hour 57 minutes….

 

 

 

 

Bury running group launches to help beginners go from 0-5k

A team of trained volunteers is helping aspiring runners across Bury to go from 0-5k in just ten weeks, thanks to a free dedicated running programme. Designed in partnership with I Will If You Will (IWIYW), the eight 0-5k running programmes are split across all six townships of Bury to reach as many people as possible over the coming months.

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The ten-week running groups are at:
Nuttall Park, Ramsbottom – Mondays at 12pm (already launched)
Clarence Park, Bury – Wednesdays at 1pm (starts 8 February)
Burrs Country Park, Bury – Saturdays at 4pm (starts 25 February)
Philips Park, Whitefield – Sundays at 11am (starts 12 March)
Prestwich Clough – Sundays at 11am (starts 26 March)
Burrs Country Park, Bury – Thursdays at 7pm (starts 13 April)
Nuttall Park, Ramsbottom – Fridays at 7pm (starts 21 April)
Close Park, Radcliffe – Tuesdays at 7pm (starts 2 May)

For more information about the running programme and to book a place, call Maria Cranston on 0161 253 6396 or email m.cranston@bury.gov.uk