Funding – Ambition for Ageing

Ambition for Ageing in Bury is part of a Greater Manchester programme to create age friendly places with strong community connections and empowering people to live fulfilling lives as they age. The programme will enable people aged 50 plus to be at the heart of designing the places they live. Groundwork will be delivering the programme in Moorside, Radcliffe North and St. Mary’s wards.

How can you help make your community more age friendly? We can offer investments in your projects, existing and new of up to £2000. Local people aged 50 plus will design and direct small investments which build on existing strengths and try out new ways of working. We believe that a series of small changes within our communities will bring about practical and sustainable changes that will ultimately help to reduce social isolation.

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All you need to do is submit your idea and we will be in touch within 14 days to discuss your ideas before inviting you to complete an application form and help make your project a reality.
All we ask is that your project:

• Makes an area more age friendly
• Builds on the skills, knowledge and experience of older people in these areas
• Involves older people in your idea
• Is something that older people want and need
• Creates increased social connections in your community
• Is willing if necessary to work with other groups, individuals or businesses to try new ways of doing things
• Takes steps to involve new older people in the activity/project
• Has a lasting impact once the investment money has been spent

Once the form is complete please contact us to let us know on 07867 354 440 or email We will review your idea and be in touch within 4 weeks to arrange to co- design your project.

Steering Group
Groundwork are looking to put together a steering group of older people from each of these wards with a view to them being the selection panel for choosing which projects the money should be invested in. If you work with anyone aged 50 plus who you feel would like to be part of this steering group then please contact Rhys on

Victoria Wood’s Brother at Bury Council Meeting

THE brother of the late comedian Victoria Wood, Chris Foote Wood, addressed councillors at the most recent full meeting of Bury Council.

Chris Foote Wood has been leading a campaign to raise £20,000 for a lifelike statue of the Prestwich-born comedian who died in April aged 62 after losing her battle with cancer.

The latest total for the ‘crowdfunding’ appeal for the statue in Bury’s Library Gardens is £18,000, including £1,000 from Dame Judy Dench. He hoped the statues would be a lifelike representation in a typical pose of Victoria — like the very popular statue of Eric Morecambe on the sea-front in Morecambe.

Donate to the crowd funding appeal here. (Photo Bury Times.)

Reporting Back: Obesity and Sports Participation

The media has been full recently of reports of an increase in obesity, particularly childhood obesity, across the country. We have also seen the brilliant success of Team GM athletes in both the Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio.

Following on from this, at the last full meeting of Bury Council the Lib Dem team of councillors used our two two formal questions to ask about obesity and sports participation, and how Bury is doing compared to the rest of the country:

Given recent reports of continuing increases in obesity, including amongst children, could the Leader inform members on how Bury compares on this issue with the regional and national figures, and what work the authority is doing under it’s public health function to tackle the issue.

Answer from Bury Council:
In Bury 67.1% of adults are overweight or obese. This almost matches similar authorities to Bury (statistical neighbours) but is greater than the England figure of 64.6%. For children, around 20.75 of 4-5 year olds have excess weight and the trend is very slightly worsening. This is below the national figure of 21.9% and comparable authorities (22.6%). Excess weight in 10-11 year olds stands at 32.9%, with the trend recently improving. This figure is lower than similar authorities (34.1%) and England (33.2%).

The response them went on to detail the current work of the Council to tackle obesity, which included:
– Commissioning the Health Visiting Service and the
School Health Service to deliver the national Healthy Child Programme which incorporates healthy weight.
- BEATS – a GP Exercise Referral Scheme for those with a chronic condition including where obesity is a factor
-  A Bury Healthy Schools Programme which will incorporate healthy eating and physical activity
 Development of an Active Travel Plan for Bury to promote walking and cycling as part of daily routines

We are meeting with the Director of Public Health shortly to raise our concerns about these very high figures for Bury and what more can be done. (Views and suggestions appreciated! – email

In the light of the success of Team GB at the Olympic Games, could the Leader inform members on how Bury compares with other areas both regionally and nationally for sports participation. What is the authority doing to encourage sport participation in the Borough?

The response from Bury Council was:
The Sport England ‘Active Peoples Survey’ for 12 months to April 2016 showed that 32.6% of females took part in sport each week for at least 30 minutes compared with 31.7% females nationally and 41.8% of males took part in 30 minutes of sport once per week compared with 40.7% nationally. Therefore Bury is above the national average for both females and males. Bury is also above average when compared with our statistical neighbours for sport participation.

The Bury Sport And Physical Activity Service (SAPAS) helps to increase the participation of the Borough of Bury through increasing the awareness and number of opportunities in Bury for people to become more active more often whether they live, work or study in Bury. For example, SAPAS provides a very successful Exercise Referral Scheme called BEATS for people with a recurring illness or medical condition who would benefit from a personal exercise programme. It is a partnership between NHS Bury and Bury Leisure. Doctors, practice nurses and specialist health professionals within Bury refer suitable patients to join the BEATS programme.

“I Will if You Will” (IWIYW) is a programme, led by Bury Council with the support of Sport England and other partners, to encourage more women to be more active, more often. The project was originally conceived to address the gender gap that exists between males and females, with almost 2 million fewer women than men taking part in sport and physical activity regularly. The programme set out to encourage behavioural change amongst women and girls in Bury, with a view to monitoring the throughput, frequency and retention of participants and generating learning on what works. The programme has been in Bury since 2013.

Our view is that, given the significant investment in I Will If You Will, it would have been hoped that we were a bit more than 0.9% higher than the national average. Please do let us know your views on these issues.

The full answers to both questions are on the Council’s Website here.

Reporting Back: Bury Council heading for £6.5 million overspend

Last week was the regular meeting of Bury Council’ Cabinet. A key point on the agenda was Bury Council’s financial outlook, which at present shows the Council heading for a £6.4 million overspend in the current financial year.

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This summary actually hides an even more worrying picture, with overspend in various areas totalling over £10.5 million but addressed partially met by savings or other income elsewhere.

The Council has drawn up an ‘Action Plan’ to partially address the issue (recruitment freeze, no new spending, etc etc), but this only amounts to around £1.5 million. The remainder of the overspend would need to be covered by spending the vast majority of the Council’s ‘free reserves’ (roughly £5 million, leaving the council with under £1 million left in ‘free reserves’ at the end of the year.

The point we raised at the meeting was whether the Council was ‘too optimistic’ when it set the budget back in February. Much of the overspend relates to:
– changes in the way services are delivered (e.g. changes are either taking too long to happen, or they are not delivering the savings that were expexted)
– income not as much as expected (for example income from parking, from leisure centres, from comercial rents are all down on budget)
– demand driven areas, such as adult care, or children in care, where costs are expected to be over budget.

The impact of this projected overspend could well be very significant. What it means for the Council is that for next year (2017-18) the starting position is that an extra £6.4 million of cuts will need to be found (it was going to be £11 million, now add £6.4 million to that). We are very worried on the impact this will have on services for residents.

A full copy of the report is here.









No more Bury South Constituency?

Bury South Parliamentary Constituency would disappear under proposals announced today by the Boundary Commission for England. Instead we would see Prestwich paired with Middleton, to create a new “Prestwich and Middleton” constituency.

Middleton and Prestwich existed as a constituency for most of the last century, abolished in 1983 when Bury South was created.  The good news perhaps is that Prestwich is ‘kept together’ for Parliamentary purposes (other towns fare less well with both Whitefield and Radcliffe divided down the middle between two constituencies). And, of course, Prestwich gets its name into national politics as the lead part of a constituency name.

These are FIRST proposals, subject to change when the final proposals are made next year….Have your say in the consultation here.

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Holyrood Road Empty Properties

Just to update residents on the empty property on Holyrood Road (between Heys Road and Bury Old Road). This property has been providing a nuisance to neighbours both on Holyrood Road and also behind on Willingdon Drive for some years.

The Council has recently had significant success in the courts with the owner of the property with the courts siding with the Council as it has taken action to get the property tidied up. The process is not yet finished, and ultimately the Council can take action to do the work itself.

We will continue to keep residents informed as this progresses.

Kingfisher Trail Event 24 September 2016

Saturday 24 September 2016 sees a free event in Clifton Country Park as part of the ‘Kingfisher Trail’

The free event is from 11:00am – 4:00pm, organisers say:

“Join us at Clifton Country Park as we gather together our friends from across the Kingfisher Trail and Greater Manchester for a day of fun in recognition of the wonderful Kingfisher Trail.


Activities include folk musicians, costumed storytelling, animal handling, guided walks, heritage information, green woodworking, willow weaving, scavenger hunts and wildlife surveys.

There will also be the grand uncovering of an old longboat from the canal by Salford Council volunteers, after decades buried in the mud.

No need to book, just turn up and join in the celebration!”

More information on the Kingfisher Trail here.

Bury 10K Road Closures 18 September 2016

There are significant road closures and restrictions on Sunday 18 September 2016 for the first every Bury 10K Run. More than 1,000 runners will start and finish close to The Rock. The run gets under way at 9.30am and the majority of the closures start at 8.30am. Routes will open on a rolling timetable as soon as it is safe to do so.

Among the roads affected are Angouleme Way, Bolton Street, Bury Street, Cross Lane, Dumers Lane, Haymarket Street, Manchester Road, Radcliffe Road, Redvales Road, Silver Street, Spring Lane, Tarn Drive and Whitefield Road.

A full list of road closures and parking suspensions is available here.

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