St George’s Church Simister Centenary

Three activities to mark the centenary of St George’s Simister which are hopefully of interest to people:

Centenary Service of Celebration
Wednesday 14th October 7:00pm
The service will be in the form of -:‘Songs of Praise’
Included will be readings about the church through the years.
Light refreshments will be served in Lady Wilton Hall after the service

Besses Boys’Band Centenary Concert
Friday 16th October 7:30pm
St. George’s Church
All tickets £5:00
Light refreshment included
Available from church contacts
Call or ring:- 07885942277 / 07733347173 or Band Members

The Eden Singers Presents Magic of the Musicals
Friday 23rd October 7:30pm
St. George’s Church
All Tickets £5:00 available from J. Knott 01617736879

Metrolink Bridge Pigeons Update

Just to give people an update on the issue of the pigeons causing a nuisance on the bridge at Fairfax Road.

The netting, which was repaired at our request about 18 months ago, seems to have become damaged (perhaps by traffic) and as a result the pavement underneath the bridge has become both unpleasant and treacherous.


Metrolink have agreed to appoint contractors to inspect the site with a view to repairing the netting or installing new if required.

We’ll keep residents informed with progress on this.

Best wishes


90 and 91 Buses – Feedback Required

A number of local residents have been in touch about the 90 and 91 bus services, since their introduction in the summer.

This the bus from Simister to the village/Tescos, which now continues to Bury (a long way round) via Radcliffe and Ainsworth village.


We are hoping to work with Transport for Greater Manchester and the operator to see how the service can be improved, but please let us know if there are reliability issues on the service so these can be fed back in.

Many thanks


Plastic Bag Levy – Facts!

On 5th October, new plastic bag charges came into force across England. This was something which was was pushed by the Liberal Democrats during the Coalition Government, but has only just come into effect.

In the last year that stats are available (2013) supermarkets handed out 8.3 BILLION plastic bags – that is an average of 300 bags per household.


Plastic bags are highly visible litter on our streets and in our countryside, they pose a threat to wildlife and their disposal contributes to our green house gas emissions. Shockingly a plastic bag can take 500 to 1,000 years to degrade.

None of the money raised by the 5p levy will be going to the Government. Supermarkets have to distribute the money collected to charitable good causes. The levy is expected to raise £730m for good causes and £60m savings a year in litter clean-up costs.

Your Lib Dem team of Councillors have proposed a motion to Bury Council asking the Council to work with our local supermarkets and charities to make sure that as much money as possible goes to local good causes in our area.

Some bags are still free, including:
– Multiple use ‘bags for life’
– Bags without handles
– Woven plastic bags
– Bags for unwrapped food
– Bags for prescription medicines
– Bags for uncooked meat
– Paper bags

Small businesses are not being forced to take part in the scheme, but can do if they wish.

“Get Online Week” – Local Events

Next week (12-16 October 2015) is ‘Get Online Week’. This is the annual week which encourages people to see how much can be done online – from saving money, finding a new home, keeping in touch with friends and family, and opening a bank account.

Free sessions are being held to help Bury residents ‘go digital’ and use the internet.

There are four free ‘drop in’ sessions, all from 10am to 1pm in Radcliffe and Bury (unfortunately none in Prestwich!)

Monday 12 October – Whittaker Street, Radcliffe
Tuesday 13 October – Radcliffe Library
Wednesday 14 October – Bury Library*
Friday 16 October – Bury Library*

Visitors can get advice about using their tablet, iPad or smart phone, and tips on how to use price comparison websites, do their shopping online, and use apps and Skype.

Staff will also show you how to use Bury Council’s website for all manner of things, from checking your bin collection date to renewing a library book, booking a sports session or reporting a problem.

*EE and Bury Job Centre will be at both the Bury Library Events. The Job Centre will deal with any employment related queries, while EE will be bringing tablets and smart phones for people to try out and will answer questions on using these or other devices.

Housing is top Lib Dem priority: Tim Farron

It was Lib Dem conference this week in Bournemouth. Our membership has grown by more than a third since the election and it was the first Conference speech from our new Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron MP.

Tim spoke passionately about his main priority housing. Stating that we have a national emergency when it comes to housing. There are 90,000 children in the UK who donít have a place to call home because there simply isnít enough social†housing with 1.6 million people on social housing waiting lists.

Thatís why the Liberal Democrats oppose the Conservatives plans for the forced sell off of housing association homes. Liberal Democrat MPs and Peers will vote against any measure that encourages the sell-off of housing association homes when it comes to Parliament.

Tim and the Lib Dems also want to see more homes being built, introducing a target of building 300,000 homes a year, by lifting the borrowing cap for local authorities so they can build more houses as well as establishing a Housing Investment Bank to boost house-building.

As Tim said: Housing is the biggest single issue that politicians donít talk about. Well, we are going to talk about it, campaign on it, go on and on and on about it, and make a difference to the millions who have been ignored.

Communities up and down this country have spent 25 years building†housing†association homes, picking up the pieces of Mrs Thatcherís destruction of council†housing, and we will not allow David Cameron to destroy that work too.

Importantly, Conference highlighted the Lib Dem difference. Since May, David Cameron has taken the Government veering off to the right, undoing many vital Lib Dem achievements in Government while, at the same time, the Labour Party has resigned from all responsible opposition ñ choosing instead to elect a leader who believes in the kind of fantasy economics that will only lead to more austerity, more disappointment, and more suffering for the poorest in our country further down the road.

Labour are clearly incapable of standing up to this Conservative government, and it has fallen to the Liberal Democrats to fill that gap. That is a responsibility that we must meet, for the sake of our party and the future of our country, but if our Conference is anything to go by I can tell you we are more than up for the fight!

Watch Tim’s full speech, below:

You can join the Liberal Democrats here.

Legal Highs Action Demanded

At the last meeting of Bury’s Full Council, I asked the Council’s representative on the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Panel for an update on what we can do to address the abuse of so-called ‘legal highs’.

The full answer is below, which hopefully gives us all important information on the work that the local police, and our local council’s are doing to address this issue.

We know this is an issue that people might be worried about, and in particular if these poorly regulated items are easily available. The issue has been raised at recent meetings with the Police in Prestwich, with people concerned about local use and also the proximity of such a large event like Parklife in the summer.

Mary asked the Leader of the Council if he would in particular work with school head teachers to ensure that schools are addressing the issue both in terms of education and also preventing any supply in schools. This was agreed.

If people are worried about ‘Legal Highs’there is more information on the drugs advice website ‘Talk to Frank’.

Here is the full response from the Police and Crime Panel Rep:
In recent months, the PCC Tony Lloyd has supported a Greater Manchester wide crackdown on legal highs.
Greater Manchester Police, trading Standards and other partners joined forces for a day action to target the sellers of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), which are also known as ‘legal highs’.
Operation Ramsey as the day of action was named was the first of its kind for GMP and tackles the growing concerns regarding NPSs. GMP have also produced two documents as part of their crackdown. One to support operation Ramsay, and the other is to be used as an awareness raising tool for professionals working with Young People.

Over 150 officers and partners from across Greater Manchester visited more than 100 premises as well as visiting areas associated with the use of NPSs.
It is extremely difficult to control NPSs using existing drugs legislation and new versions of substances develop at a fast rate in an attempt to avoid current controls. As a result of this, new policies to target these substances have been introduced, including ‘temporary class drug orders’ and the use of alternative legislation.
The government is currently exploring introducing a new law that would see a ‘blanket ban’ on legal highs. The law which is currently going through Parliament will prohibit the production, distribution, sale and supply of legal highs or new psychoactive substances, with offenders facing a maximum penalty of seven years.

GM Drug & Alcohol Leads are currently exploring a joint approach to NPSs and are looking to adopt a GM ‘Early Warning System’ to which partnerships have already signed up. Partnerships are also planning to host a series of workshop events aimed at raising awareness amongst professionals and the public.
NPSs have the same or similar effects as drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy for example, but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Side effects can include heart palpitations, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, panic attacks and psychosis although specific effects are not always known In many cases, they are designed to mimic class A drugs, but are structurally different, enough to avoid them being classified as illegal substances.

Reporting back: Police and Communities Meeting Prestwich

A ‘PACT’ (Police And Communities Together) meeting was held at the Longfield Library on Monday 21st September – my brief report is below:

In attendance were approximately 20 members of the public – the aim of the meeting is to allow the public to ask questions of the police, and to highlight problems the police may not be aware of.

The police also produce crime figures for the Prestwich area, and gave a report on current cases. The figures show that overall the number of crime is down compared to the same time last year

The meeting is used to help the police to target their resources in the most effective way. The police confirmed that a number of youths have been arrested for the violent attack on 2 youths at Bowker Vale Tram station. It was confirmed that the CCTV at the station helped in identifying the youths concerned, which led to their arrest. The Bury police are working with the dedicated Police Unit on the Metrolink to try to insure that all passengers travel safely on the network.

Also an illegal motor bike had been sized and crushed; this had been seen driven on 2 wheels on the main roads in Prestwich
A group of teenagers, riding their bicycles on Bury New Road (in the wrong direction) over the past few weeks appear to have moved to another area.

The members of the public that attended the meeting had two main concerns in Prestwich, St Marys Park – and behind the shops on Heywood Road (near to the bridge).

There were concerns that drug dealing maybe taking place behind the shops, and that groups of youths in the Park had been intimidating to other Park users.

It was felt that the Police should have more of a presence in the Park.

The police said they would increase their visits to the park, and mark it as a priority. Other items mentioned were some ‘ASB’ at Prestwich Tennis and Bowling Club, and youths found in St Andrews Church.

The police want to encourage residents to attend the meetings, if the police and residents work together they can make Prestwich a safer place to live.

The next meeting of the PACT is in October, it will be advertised locally in both the press and the library and on social media, and via our regular meeting.

Bus Lane Review should come to Prestwich too!

Bury Council at it’s last full meeting agreed changes to the three bus lanes that operate around the Bury Town Centre, following serious concerns about the flow of traffic and congestion causes in some places.


Three major changes are to take place as a result of the review:

In light of the current Lidl proposal to realign Bolton Road and Victoria Street that the sections of bus lane on Bolton Road are left in situ. The bus lane at Victoria Street will be realigned and the new layout should make the bus lane easier to negotiate by drivers. It is recommended that the new layout is reviewed after 6 months.

The termination point of the bus lane is moved approximately 20 metres south. In addition the bus stop at the end of the lane is also relocated further south.

The bus lane on Rochdale Road is experimentally suspended for up to 18 months and reviewed after 6 months. In addition to this the effects of the experimental suspension are reviewed after 6 months.

At the meeting my Lib Dem colleague Cllr Tim Pickstone asked the Council Leader if this review could now be extended to the bus lanes in the south of the Borough, which is principally the bus lanes on the 135 route near to Heaton Park and in on the A56 in Whitefield. The Council Leader agreed that the review would be extended to these areas.

If you have any thoughts on how we could improve our bus lanes (or if these lanes are indeed helpful in these places) please do not hesitate to let us know and we can feed this into the review.

The full report is here.


Police Launch Campaign to help Students stay safe

Across Greater Manchester there are over 80,000 students. Over the coming weeks students will be starting at local colleges and universities, and many local young people will be starting college either nearby or away from home.

Greater Manchester Police are urging new and returning students to stay safe as the new term begins.

The police say: “Starting university is an exciting time for new students, and their arrival each year is what makes Greater Manchester such a vibrant and dynamic city to live in. Unfortunately, students are also susceptible to becoming victims of crime because each term they bring valuables worth thousands of pounds. We urge them to both look after one another and consider their own safety.”

“Simple steps such as being discrete when using mobile phones in public, locking windows and doors at the front and back of properties as well as keeping valuables out of sight in the home are simple steps that can prevent them from becoming a victim of crime. We want this campaign to give students the best start to their university life, by giving some simple tips that mean they can concentrate on getting settled and having fun.”

Screenshot 2015-09-23 08.51.33

For more information on student safety visit or ‘like’ GMP’s specialist Facebook page The page includes updates on crime in your area and features useful information and advice on how to stay safe.