Bright Ideas Fund – Grants for Community Businesses

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund aims to give your community group the support and tools to start setting up your community business. It will also give your group the early stage finance that you need need to carry out consultation with local people and feasibility studies to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs.
Round 2 opens on 19 April 2017 and closes: 31 May 2017 (at 23:59)


More information here.

New Course: Reading to your Child

Bury College are delighted to offer the opportunity to enrol on the following course. The ‘Reading to your Child’ course is a ten-week workshop, accredited through the English Speaking Board. It is being offered free of charge and may appeal to parents, carers, teaching assistants or volunteers.

“Reading to children on a daily basis gives them the best start to life. Storytelling introduces structure and language patterns that help form the building blocks for reading and writing skills. Reading aloud combines the benefits of talking, listening and storytelling within a single activity and gets parents and carers talking regularly to young children.”

More information click on the flyer.

Heaton Park Update

Last month local Lib Dem Councillors had a regular ‘catch up’ with the Manager of Heaton Park, joined this time by the Community Impact Manager for the Parklife Festival. There is a lot happening in the Park at the moment which we wanted to feed back to you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or comments you would like us to pass on.

Tree Top Trek
People may be aware of the ‘Tree Top Trek’ which is being contracted in the area of woodland to the south of the reservoir. The trek is being run by an independent contractor with a lot of experience in this sort of attraction with different activities for children of different ages. A mid-June opening is planned and tickets will be between £10 and £40.

Pay and Display
Pay and display parking has been planned in the park for some years now, but quite a lot of work to enable this has been required. The hope is to introduce this from the school holidays this summer. Parking charges would start at 10am each day and start at £1. A separate discussion has been taking place around parking in some of the neighbouring streets (St Margaret’s area, Milton Road etc) and we are working with the park, residents and the Council to see if more can be done here. Double yellow lines have also been installed on the ‘outside’ of St Margaret’s Road and St Margaret’s Close to help alleviate parking and safety issues near to this entrance to the park.

Heaton Hall
A lot of work has been taking place on Heaton Hall, to preserve this important historical building. The volunteer-run Friends of Heaton Hall have been running tours every second Sunday through the summer months and a number of theatre and musical events have taken place in the Hall.

Phase 4 of the works have now begun following £357,000 of grants from Historic England which is focussed on the Orangery part of the building. Consideration is at an early stage about working with an independent operator to bring the Hall back into use for weddings, functions and events, but the Park is very conscious of the need to maintain the historic nature of the Hall and ongoing public access.

Physical Works
Quite a few things happening to improve the park:
– relaying of the Grand Lodge Drive
– main toilet block refurbishment (adding hot water, baby changing facilities, and now going to be open all year round 7 days a week once Treetop Trek opens)
– looking at an additional play area near to the lakeside

A number of residents had asked about the tiles that were created at the Somme Commemorative event last year. The Park has received a small grant to make some of the tiles into a permanent display, and is currently considering options about what would work best.

Parklife takes place on 10-11 June 2017.
We discussed a number of issues around traffic, parking and anti-social behaviour in areas surrounding the park, and the measures that Parklife put in place to stop or minimise these.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with ideas or comments.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

A small, but important, measure which was championed by the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government, came into effect last week. When Jo Swinson was Minister for Equalities, she introduced the requirement for companies with more than 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap (the difference between what men get paid and what women get paid).

In this article in on the Huffington Post website, Jo Swinson explains that the gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay:

“The media often mangles the distinction, so it’s not surprising many people confuse the two concepts. Equal Pay is when men and women are paid the same for doing the same work, and this has been a legal requirement for more than four decades. The Gender Pay Gap compares the average hourly pay for men and women. So most companies have a Gender Pay Gap driven by a concentration of men in senior, higher paid roles and women in junior, lower paid roles, but may not have an Equal Pay problem.”

She goes on to say:
“Transparency on the numbers means staff, shareholders and customers can hold companies to account on progress, so communicate with them your analysis of the problem and what you plan to do.

Gender pay gap reporting is not a panacea, but it is an important and helpful tool to bring urgency and accountability to efforts to tackle the entrenched problems of gender inequality in the workplace”.

Happy Easter, Happy Passover

Just to wish residents a Happy Easter, and a Happy Passover.

Passover started last night (Monday, 10 April and ends in the evening of Tuesday, 18 April 2017).

All of our local churches have special services and activities over the weekend. More information: Our Lady of Grace, St Mary’s, St Margaret’s and St George’s (Simister),  both Methodist Churches and the Studio Church. Information on St Gabriel’s and St Hilda’s can be found at this Church of England Website.

There is information on pharmacy and NHS opening times below.

NHS – Know what’s open this Easter

Only on weekends and bank holidays are GP services limited. On all other days surgeries are open from 8am to 6.30pm as normal.

Saturday, 15th April is normal working day for pharmacies and so pharmacists will be open as normal. Pharmacists offer expert health advice and recommend over-the-counter medicines that offer relief from the most common illnesses such as colds, headaches, cuts or an upset stomach. Patients are advised to telephone their usual pharmacy before travelling, as opening hours may vary during the holiday period.

Click here for opening times and phone numbers for pharmacies and GPs over the Easter weekend.

Interview Skills Classes

As part of the Big Lottery funded project ‘No Barriers’ there is a short course in Interview Techniques being offered at Radcliffe Works, staffed by Bury College staff. This course is offered free of charge for unemployed adults. Details of the course and the No Barriers project are attached for information.

If you would like to refer a client or to discuss further please give them a call on 0161 280 8645.

Mental Health Awareness Week – Surviving or Thriving

Good mental health is more than the absence of a mental health problem, say the Mental Health Foundation.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, 8-14 May 2017, is going to look at mental health from a new angle. Rather than ask why so many people are living with mental health problems, they will seek to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health. With people struggling to cope with the demands of life and stuck on getting through the day, they will explore:

– how many of us are surviving or thriving, and the difference between the two
– why some communities are under strain and what government can do to support them to thrive
– what steps we can take to look after our mental health, building resilience to cope with the demands of life.

Throughout the week they will also highlight the personal stories of people who are surviving or thriving.

More information about the national Mental Health Awareness Week is on their website here.

There are also a lot of activities planned locally. These include:
Wednesday – 10 May 2017 – Stall / gazebo at Bury Market:
Wednesday – 10 May 2017 – Open Day at Creative Living Centre Prestwich

GMSF Phase 2 Consultation DELAYED

The Council Leaders who sit on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority have delayed the next phase of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

A revised version of Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, due out in March, has been delayed by six months. The proposals, which at present include plans to decimate Greater Manchester’s greenbelt, will now be out in <strong>September</strong>, with consultation period extended from six to 12 weeks.

There was a massive public response to the first stage of consultation with over 25,000 responses received. Many local people have campaigned against the proposals to destroy so much green belt land. Liberal Democrat councillors across Greater Manchester have used their local Council meetings to propose that the GMSF process be scrapped.

More information on this as soon as we have it.

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The full report being considered by the GMCA is <a href=”; (it’s not very detailed). (Page 25)

Highlights are here.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Phase 2 DELAYED

Greater Manchester Councils have annoyed that the Phase 2 consultation on the “Greater Manchester Spatial Framework” is to be delayed until September 2017 – partially due to the huge number of the responses from members of the public received (over 25,000).

Although the delay is good news, it certainly doesn’t the issue has been won. There is no indication yet that the current (Phase 1) proposals to build on 47% of Prestwich’s green belt will be changing. More information in the story below.