Budget Highlights

There were some important changes in the final Coalition Government Budget this Parliament.

There are some great Liberal Democrat policies put into practice in the budget:

Help for lower and middle income earners by increasing the Personal Allowance by further £200 so that from April 2016 the tax threshold increases to £10,800 and from April 2017 to £11,000. By 2017/2018, 27.2 million workers will have benefited from increases in the personal allowance and we will have lifted over 3.7 million out of income tax altogether.

Help for children with mental health problems by providing £1.25bn of new funding over the next five years to treat 110,000 more children with mental health issues, and provide rapid access to treatment for new mothers.

Help for motorists by cancelling Labour’s fuel duty increase for September, so that fuel duty will have been frozen for 5 years – the longest freeze for more than 20 years.

Help for people buying a house with a new Help to Buy ISA providing up to £3,000 for first time buyers using their savings to buy a home.

Help for savers by creating a new savings income allowance so that 95 per cent of individuals can now save completely tax free.

Help for pensioners by introducing Steve Webb’s proposal to give people who have already bought an annuity greater flexibility over how they access its value.

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And it is all fully paid for by delivering on Liberal Democrat policy:

By reducing the lifetime allowance for pension contributions that benefit from tax relief from £1.25m to £1m – affecting only the top 4% of wealthiest individuals.

By increasing the bank levy which will raise £4.4bn over the next five years.

By cracking down on off-shore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance on those who are serial avoiders, and ensuring capital gains tax entrepreneurs’ relief is well targeted and only available when someone is making a meaningful withdrawal from that business.

More information on the Budget from the BBC here. More information on the Liberal Democrats own plans and balanced budget here.

Bus Route Changes to Start 12 April

T4GM and First Manchester have now confirmed the start date for the changes to buses on the Manchester to Bury corridor, which particularly affects buses on the Bury New Road corridor, together with buses that go down to Carr Clough and Rainsough, and also up to Pillsworth.

There is also a minor routing change to the 135 in Manchester city centre.

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There one addition to this schedule, introduced too late for this document, which is that there will be an additional shuttle on the route of the 95 from Rainsough to the Village to make this section of the route every 30 minutes.

These services are commercially run services operated by First Manchester, rather than subsidised services paid for by Transport for Greater Manchester. There are a lot of people who are very concerned and significantly affected by these changes. We have already written to First Manchester explaining the significant loss of journey opportunities lost to their customers and asking them to think again.

Stop Loan Sharks – ‘Week of Action’

The Greater Manchester charity ‘Mancunian Way’ which aims to tackle anti-social behaviour and improve local communities is organising a week of awareness around loan sharks in the Prestwich area.

Loan Sharks are individuals who do not have a Government License to lend money and can sometimes use violence and intimidation to collect the debt they are owed. The charity is working in partnership with the Government’s Illegal Money Lenders Team to raise awareness of Loan Sharks and the pitfalls of using such lenders.

If you have used a Loan Shark then you have not broken the Law; it is just the Loan Shark that has broken the Law.

The Illegal Money Lenders Team can help you, or your friend, if you are trapped in a cycle of debt with a Loan Shark then there is a free Government helpline – 0300 555 2222.

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The week of action in Prestwich is 23-28 March 2015 and the charity hopes to raise awareness of the problem and educate people on what to do if they need help and support. This includes leafleting and visits to popular venues.

More information from Manchurian Way on their website here, or send an email from here.

RSPCA Dog Microchipping Event

There will be an RSPCA £5 Microchipping Event
25 March 8.30am-1.30pm St. Mary’s Park, Prestwich

This low cost microchipping event is for everyone!

As from 2016 it will be law to have your dog microchipped. The RSPCA are helping local communities by offering very low cost microchipping services to encourage as many people as possible to have their pets chipped before the law comes into force. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity for both your cats and dogs. Remember, microchipping also helps you find your pet if they are lost or stolen….

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Pennine Care seeks Governors

Pennine Care, the NHS Trust which provides some of the mental health and community health services in Bury, is currently starting the next round of elections for public and staff members to join its Council of Governors. NHS Foundation Trusts includes a ‘Council of Governors’ in their set up – Pennine Carehave three Public Governor vacancies in Bury this year.

Any Public Member can be a Governor so if you are interested please see the flyer with more information here

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They will be holding a series of governor pre-election roadshows to familiarise potential candidates with the role of the Governor. Dates and venues are below.

If you would like to attend any of the roadshows, please contact the Membership office Tel: 0161 716 3374/3960 or Email: donna.wrigley1@nhs.net.

Pre-election Roadshows

Date: Thursday, 19 March
Time: 10.30 to 12.30
Venue: Lancaster Suite, Bury Town Hall, BL9 0SW

Date: Tuesday, 21 April
Time: 1.00 to 3.00
Venue: Lancaster Suite, Bury Town Hall, BL9 0SW

More information here

National Apprenticeship Week 9-13 March 2015

National Apprenticeship Week takes place from 9th-13th March 2015. The local Lib Dem team has been celebrating the news that 2 million apprenticeships have been created during the current parliament, thanks to the Lib Dems in Government.

Across Bury this means that:

– 8,150 apprenticeships have been created in Bury during the current parliament
– 190 local businesses in Bury have received the £1,500 apprenticeship grant from the Government.

Apprentices play an important role to help people, especially young people, develop new skills and qualifications whilst working and earning money. Apprenticeships are available in over 170 industries including aerospace, fashion, broadcast media and finance – with 1500 different job roles available. 88% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship, with 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer.

The Office of National Statistics has confirmed that there are now more people in work since records began.

In Bury that means 1800 more jobs than in 2010.

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Lib Dem campaigner Mary D’Albert learning from one local apprentice.

 

Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy. We have taken the tough decisions to clean up Labour’s mess, and thanks to these choices, we are now beginning to see the economy recover and growing
confidence.

But we are making sure the recovery is fair too. That’s why we have prioritised creating jobs and apprenticeships.

The Labour party can’t be trusted on the economy. They borrowed and borrowed and nearly bankrupted Britain. Now they have no answers on how to fix the mess they created.

Find out More

Employers
If you are an employer the Government is helping you with the cost of apprentices.
From April 2016, employers will no longer be required to pay employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 on earnings up to the upper earnings limit.
If you’re a small business, you may get a £1500 grant to help cover the cost of starting a new apprentice aged 16 to 24 years old
Find out more at
www.apprenticeships.gov.uk Apprentices

Apprentices
Find out more about opportunities in the Bury area including a list of current vacancies from Bury College’s website – www.bcsolutions.co.uk.

Websites like Manchester College have apprentice vacancies over a wider area, including the city centre. There are a number of local events to support National Apprenticeship Week – look at our websites for information.

Bus Changes Agreed – 92, 93, 95, 97, 98

As reported last week Transport for Greater Manchester met last Friday to consider proposed changes to the bus network – mainly this affects the south west of Prestwich, but will also be of interest to residents who travel to these areas and use these bus routes for other journeys. Although here have been a couple of changes which do slightly improve the situation, the changes will now unfortunately happen.

The changes are:

92 (Manchester – Carr Clough – Pilsworth – Bury)
CLOSED

93 (Manchester – Carr Clough – Whitefield – Bury)
Changed to just Manchester – Carr Clough ONLY – but increased to every 20 minutes (currently every 30 minutes and the original proposal was for every 15 minutes)

95 (Salford Shopping City – Whitefield)
This hourly service is being extended to run through to Bury via Stanley Road, Parr Lane, Ribble Drive, Mersey Drive, Kennedy Drive, Parr Lane, Hollins Lane, Hollins Brow and Manchester Road.
In Prestwich the route is being amended from being along Hilton Lane, to along Butterstile Lane.
An ADDITIONAL service will now run along this route from Rainsough to Prestwich Village to make this part of the route half hourly.

97 NEW SERVICE (Manchester – Prestwich – Unsworth – Bury)
New service 97 operating between Manchester and Bury via Bury New Road from Besses o’th’ Barn, Thatch Leach Lane, Oak Lane, Ribble Drive, Parr Lane via Unsworth and Hollins and Manchester Road, Parkhills Road, Market Street to Bury Interchange.
The service will operate every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 30 minutes Sunday daytime.

98 – Manchester – Prestwich – Radcliffe – Bury)
Reduced from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes – however the 97 and 98 combined will mean an every 10 minute service from Manchester to Whitefield up Bury New Road.

The good news is a good 10 minute frequency up Bury New Road from Manchester to Prestwich AND a good 15 minute service from the Carr Clough and Rainsough areas to Manchester.

The BAD news is
– less buses from south west Prestiwch to Prestwich village – currently these is a bus every 15 minutes from Carr Clough to the village and beyond, now these will only be every 30 minutes. In addition the buses will only run along Buttersitle Lane, so there is no service from the ‘bottom’ of Carr Clough at all.

– no through buses at all from the Rainsough/Carr Clough areas towards Hollins and NO service at all to Pilsworth.

Please do get in touch if you are affected by these changes – it may be that we need to highlight to First Bus and to T4GM just how important these bus links are to people.

Existing Bus Routes
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New Bus Routes
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Council says no to the ‘Village Haul’ Markets – Sign the Petition

The ‘Village Haul’, vintage fairs that have been taking place for two years now at the Church Lane Community Centre have been told by Bury Council that they can no longer have a license to operate.

Village Haul have been told by Bury Council that they have granted an exclusive franchise for vintage markets (apparently for Prestwich and Ramsbottom) to one organisation, with the result that nobody else will be granted a licence to hold fairs for the duration of the tender.

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The team from Village Haul say:
“We were given no notification about this vintage tender (although we had previously held Council licensed events in Prestwich) and were only told of this decision when we applied to hold another Village Haul. With this franchise in place, we will have no choice or variety of vintage fairs/markets in Prestwich.

We really enjoyed filling our Community Centre with talented traders and happy, enthusiastic locals and feel our village fair has a lot of social value. We are asking for signatures on a petition to present to Bury Council in the hope that they will rethink creating a monopoly in this way, that restricts diversity and business in Prestwich and stops us from enjoying a village fair.”

If you would like to save The Village Haul and disagree with Bury Council giving one organisation a franchise to run vintage fairs/markets in Prestwich, please share this post and sign our petition:

https://www.change.org/p/bury-council-save-the-village-haul-stop-the-vintage-fair-franchise-in-prestwich

More information at www.facebook.com/thevillagehaul

Metro link Overnight Works

Metrolink have written to local councillor’s informing them that there is a rolling programme of overnight working between midnight and 5am from Sunday 8 March until Friday 8 May, 2015. The following locations will be affected at various times during this period:

· Bury Metrolink stop to Radcliffe Metrolink stop
· Radcliffe Metrolink stop to Heaton Park tunnel
· Heaton Park tunnel to Queens Road Metrolink stop.

This work, to install trackside equipment and cabling, forms part of the new Tram Management system which will provide essential service improvements and improved public information.

No work will take place between 5am on Fridays and midnight on Sundays.

This work can only take place outside normal working hours when the trams are not in operation.

This letter has been sent by TfGM has hand delivered to 3,500 affected properties adjacent to the Metrolink line.

If you require any queries please get in touch.