Bury Directory – Great New Website

At the last meeting of the Prestwich Township Forum residents were shown a demonstration of the new ‘Bury Directory‘ website.

This is a new website which has been set up to help local residents find information about services, groups, charities in their local area – and to help local groups promote their activities.

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The Directory includes:

– search for local services – you can search by category or by the local area
– search for events coming up – by category or by the local area
– full integration of the NHS Choices services – to find local health services

If you are a local group, or organising a local event then it is easy and free to use the Directory to promote your group or event. You can do this online yourself.

From what we’ve seen a great service, and one that will only get better as more people put information up there.

Please let us know if you have any feedback we could pass on to the team behind the website.

Parklife – Dates and Heaton Park Confirmed

Manchester City Council and event organisers are ‘confirming’ that the Parklife Weekender 2015 will take place in Heaton Park on June 6 and 7 (though we probably all knew that when the additional Friday concert of the Courteneers was announced in Heaton Park a few months ago!).

Parklike have also announced the establishment of a dedicated ‘Community Impact Taskforce’ – apparently inspired by operations run at Glastonbury and other leading festivals – to prepare for this year’s Parklife event and to support the effective management of people to and from the area over the weekend.

According to an announcement from Parklike:

“The taskforce, made up of representatives from Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Police and the Parklife organisers – supported by the neighbouring local authorities – will be responsible for implementing additional security measures to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in areas surrounding the park. The group will also look into enhancing existing arrangements to improve cleaning, parking and noise management, and make sure there are effective travel arrangements in place to minimise disruption to residents, including putting an effective taxi operation in place to support the Metrolink and the Parklife Express shuttle bus services.

The taskforce will also review how local businesses can benefit from the festival as well as how the local community can benefit from educational, employment and volunteering opportunities, such as arranging visits to the festival site by schools and colleges before the event.

Other measures are also being developed including investing in ground drainage to make sure the park recovers quickly following large events.”

Jon Drape, Parklife event director, said: “Parklife Festival values the views of the local community and takes on board the feedback from last year. Through setting up the Community Impact Taskforce and working closely with the Local Authorities and Greater Manchester Police, Parklife Festival aims to strengthen its relationship with the surrounding area and minimise any potential negative impact from the festival, as well as generating greater benefits to local businesses, colleges and charities.”

Heaton Park have told us that there will be opportunities to feed into this ‘event taskforce’ in advance, to make that residents views and concerns are heard and taken account of. There are a lot of points that we know need to be raised, but please do not hesitate to get in touch if there are particular issues that need to be discussed with the event organisers.

Metrolink – Victoria closure and opening

Metrolink services to and through Victoria station will stop for four days over next month’s half-term – the stop will close from February 14 to February 17.

For passengers travelling from Bury, Oldham and Rochdale, there will be replacement buses running from Crumpsall, Central Park, Shudehill and Piccadilly Gardens.

The stop is expected to re-open to passengers by February 18. On this date, trams from Bury and Rochdale will terminate at the stop.

On February 21, services through Victoria to Shudehill, Market Street and beyond, are expected to resume.

That will mean the restoration of the six-minute service from Bury to the city centre and a direct Victoria to Piccadilly link, which I know a lot of people have been waiting for!


Diary Dates for Farmers/Artisan Markets

I know people in the past have been sorry to miss our local Artisan (Farmers) Markets:

Prestwich Artisan Market
The Longfield Shopping Centre, off Bury New Road

22 February 2014

Longfield Shopping Centre is located off Bury New Road, Prestwich. There is plenty of free parking on town centre car parks and on-street, and the Metrolink is just a 3 minute walk away. SatNav Postcode M25 1AY.

Whitefield Artisan Market
Hamilton Road Park, off Bury New Road
UPDATE – the Whitefield Market for this Sunday has been CANCELLED
22 March 2015

Hamilton Road Park is located off Bury New Road. There is on street parking (park side only), however, there is 2 hour free parking at Morrisons (top tier) on Stanley Road opposite at the main junction. SatNav postcode M45 8QN.
(polite notice: please respect our neighbours on Hamilton Road).

Age UK Cold Weather Advice

We do not need to tell you about the very cold weather at the moment. Please do take care of yourself and also think about neighbours, particularly those who live alone or people who might be more vulnerable.

The national charity Age UK has produced a number of advice articles about winter – obviously aimed at older members of the community, but with some useful advice for all of us!

The full range of information pages are here. The below advice is on keeping your home warm:

Keeping your home warm

Low temperatures increase the risk of flu and other respiratory problems and can raise blood pressure. Blood pressure takes longer to return to normal in older people after being out in the cold and this puts us at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes. The colder your home, the higher the risk to your health.

The recommended temperature for your main living room is around 70°F/21°C, and the rest of your house should be heated to at least 64°F /18°C. If you feel cold, turn the heat up regardless of what the thermometer reads.
Get to know how the timer and thermostat on your heating system work. If you have individual thermostats on your radiators, make sure they’re set at the right temperature in the rooms where you spend time.
Close the curtains at dusk and fit thermal linings if you can. This will keep the heat in.
Put guards on open fires, and be careful not to hang washing too close to the fire.
Don’t block up air vents, as fires and heaters need ventilation.
Test your carbon monoxide alarms. If you don’t have any alarms, you need to get one fitted in each room that has a gas appliance, as there’s a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if air vents become blocked.
Contact your local Age UK for a benefits check and advice on any financial support you may be eligible for. If you’re having difficulty paying your heating bills, Charis Grants can direct you to grants to help with utility debts.
Keeping warm indoors and out

You’re at risk of a heart attack, a stroke or even hypothermia if you’re exposed to a cold environment for a long time, or to extreme cold for only a short time.

Keep your bedroom window closed at night when the weather is cold.
Make sure you keep your hands and face warm. As well as wearing gloves and a hat, always wrap a scarf around your face when you go out in cold weather. This helps to warm the air you breathe.
Several thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer, as the layers trap warm air. Clothes made from wool or fleecy synthetic fibres such as polyester are a better choice than cotton. Start with thermal underwear, warm tights or socks.
If you’re sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide a lot of warmth. Try to keep your feet up, as the air is cooler at ground level.
Wear warm clothes in bed. When very cold, wear thermal underwear, bed socks and even a hat – a lot of heat is lost through your head.
Use a hot-water bottle or an electric blanket to warm the bed, but never use the two together as this can be dangerous. Check whether your electric blanket can be kept on all night or whether it’s only designed to warm the bed before you get in. Get it checked every three years by an expert. If you have continence difficulties, talk to your doctor before using one.
Don’t sit or stand outside for long periods, as you’ll quickly get cold.
Keep your feet warm. Choose boots with non-slip soles and a warm lining, or wear thermal socks.

Yet more funding for Radcliffe

Two more major pieces of investment have recently been announced by our local Labour-run Council.

New Bus Station
Bury Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have now submitted plans for a significantly upgraded bus station in Radcliffe. Under the new plans, the station will have increased capacity, while passengers will benefit from new purpose-built shelters


Artists Impression of new Radcliffe Bus Station (Bury MBC)


Works on the new bus station – subject to planning permission – will start in late March or early April 2015 with the new station being fully operational by November.

‘Temporary’ Swimming Pool
Bury Council have announced that it will spend £1.2 million of it’s ‘spare’ money (e.g. reserves) on installing a temporary swimming pool for Radcliffe on the site of (what was) Radcliffe Riverside School. The temporary swimming pool, which will also feature gym facilities, is to open because of maintenance requirements at the existing facility have meant it has to close.


(Bury MBC)


These investments follow on from the recent £1 refurbishment of Radcliffe Market Hall, and a £2 million refurbishment of Radcliffe Hall Primary School.

It is important to say that we have nothing against Radcliffe, and wanting it to be a succeed as a great place to live.

What we do want is a fair deal for Prestwich. At present it is IMPOSSIBLE to get something as simple as a grit bin for a steep road in Prestwich, or a litter bin outside of busy bus stop because the Council says it has no money.

Please let me know what you think on these issues.

Tackling Suicide Rates

In Britain last year 4,700 people committed suicide. Three quarters of them were men, and suicide is the largest cause of death for young people and young men in particular.

The North West has the second highest numbers of suicide rates in Britain. Last year 567 men and 146 women took their own lives in the North West.

Yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, made an important announcement as part of a major commitment to ensuring mental health services get the same commitment as other health concerns:

Nick Clegg said: “Suicide is, and always has been, a massive taboo in our society. People are genuinely scared to talk about it, never mind intervene when they believe a loved one is at risk.

“This isn’t about blame. It is about doing more in every area of our society to ensure that people don’t get to that point where they believe taking their own life is their only option.”

In some areas of the the USA, health services have managed to get to a situation where there are zero suicides for people receiving healthcare support. Some areas of the UK already have plans in place to achieve this by 2017 (Liverpool, South West, East of England).

We believe this is something that should be tackled in our area, and we have today asked for this to be raised with the NHS in Greater Manchester.

You can join our campaign to stamp out stigma in mental health by signing up here.

NHS Advice – Choose Well

Residents will no doubt have seen news about the extreme pressure Accident and Emergency (A&E) services are experiencing at the present time. With the weather getting colder this is likely to get worse.

Our local NHS hospital provider has seen it’s busiest time at A&E ever in the last month and staff will be working very hard to meet the demand. Pennine Acute does report that in the year since last April that 94% of patients at A&E are seen, treated, discharged or admitted within 4 hours.

The NHS in Greater Manchester has produced a website to give us all information about which services we should use in different circumstances. This includes when it is right to ‘look after ourselves’ at home.

I know a lot of people do struggle to get GP appointments which can be very frustrating. There is some good news GPs in Bury have been awarded £2.9 million to develop improved access to GPs right across the Bury Borough, including appointments later in the day and at weekend. More information on this as soon as it is available.

The following information is from the NHS in Greater Manchester – click on the buttons to access the full information:

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Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries. A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.

This section on the ‘Choose Well’ website has lots more information on which illnesses and injuries can be safely managed at home, how to do it and what signs to look out for that tell you it’s time to get help from NHS services in your area or at hospital in an emergency.
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There is a range of NHS services and NHS professionals that work in your neighbourhood. From GP practices and pharmacies to dentists, health visitors, community nurses and midwives. These are the people who can help you when looking after yourself at home isn’t enough.


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Sometimes, you may be so unwell that you need to go to hospital. When self-care and NHS services in your area can’t make things better, or when something is so serious that you need an ambulance, going to Accident and Emergency might be the best thing to do.

Accident and Emergency is for serious, life-threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention.

Heywood Road / Bury Old Road pedestrian crossing

Some good news for pedestrians who cross Bury Old Road at its junction with Heywood Road.

A number of people have been in touch telling us that crossing on the ‘northern side’ can be a challenge, because when the Bury Old Road lights are on red, traffic still comes up off Heywood Road at speed and cannot easily be seen because of the corner.

We have raised this with the Highways team at Bury Council. In an ideal world it might be useful to remodel the whole junction, but that is not something that is immediately on the cards financially. In the meantime TfGM Urban Traffic Control have agreed to extend the intergreen period following the Bury Old Road stage, which will give pedestrians a longer time to cross Bury Old Road before traffic starts coming round the corner from Heywood Road.

This will be done on a trial basis and we would be grateful if both pedestrians and drivers could let us know if there are any issues or things to feedback.


Schools Parking Prosecutions FALLING

At the last meeting of Bury’s Full Council before Christmas, my Lib Dem colleague Cllr Tim Pickstone asked a formal written question about the levels of prosecutions for illegal parking outside Bury’s schools.

Could you Leader please provide details of the number of prosecutions made or penalties issued for illegal parking outside of schools so far this calendar year, and in each of the last three years?

It would seem that the number of prosecutions in Bury is FALLING:

2014 -2015 (to date) – 18 PCNs issued
2013 – 2014 – 28
2012 – 2013 – 32
2011 – 2012 – 34

To us this seems strange, as one of the main things that residents talk to us about is the problems with illegal and unsafe parking (by a small minority) outside of schools. In many areas this causes nuisance for residential neighbours, and can cause serious safety issues – including sometimes serious accidents.

In the past we’ve suggested to the Council that it uses it’s Camera Car (the one that you see policing bus lanes on the main roads) to tackle illegal parking outside schools. A few years ago the Council agreed to consider this, but nothing has happened.

Let us know what you think about this issue in our ‘Safe Around Schools’ consultation website.

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Prestwich Lib Dem team campaigning for safety around our local schools