Time to scrap GMSF

  • Mayoral Candidate Jane Brophy has called on the Greater Manchester Spacial Framework to be scrapped, withdrawing support from the process.

jane-brophy-spring-2017

Jane Brophy, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester, is calling for the Greater Manchester Spacial Framework (GMSF) to be scrapped.

Jane, who is running on an unapologetically pro-EU ticket, said: “Everything in Greater Manchester is underpinned by our place in the European Union. My top priority is to halt this aggressive Brexit agenda which will have an enormous and detrimental impact on our housing, health services, transport, air pollution and climate change crises.”

The GMSF process will only go ahead if all ten councils in Greater Manchester and the newly elected mayor vote in favour of it. If any one of the eleven deciding vote against the plans, then it will fall – and the Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate is now pledging to do just that.

Jane Brophy continued: “The Government and Greater Manchester Combined Authority should have worked together with local councils, local people and local communities to ensure no more houses were built on our greenbelt until all other options were exhausted.

“There was no attempt to have any conversation with local people and their voices have been ignored. We now risk blindly destroying our green spaces and depriving our children of the areas to grow and play in.

“Before we open up the greenbelt for development we must bring empty homes back into use, develop every old mill building, empty warehouse, factory, brownfield space and derelict piece of land that we can.

“Only when all those options were exhausted should we have considered moving onto the greenbelt. But our voices have gone ignored for long enough and it’s now time to scrap this GMSF process.

“There was no discussion about where was going to be developed, and clearly no intention to begin any discussion.

“The GMSF has been top down, rather than from the bottom up. We need a plan that fully involves local people and their communities right from the start.

“This should have been about responsibly building affordable homes in areas that are near public transport and existing links, and it should be for local people in each area to decide the future of their community, not for a secret group at Manchester Town Hall to present a completed plan.

“Therefore, I am now withdrawing my support from the GMSF process and if elected I will vote to block the process, and work to ensure each and every local resident and local community is involved properly in the process to build the much-needed homes.”

GMP Reported to Police Watchdog

Lib Dem Leader in Rochdale, Councillor Andy Kelly has reported Greater Manchester Police to a police watchdog for failing to log calls. Greater Manchester Police has failed to log more than 38,000 calls – including an astonishing 25% of violent crimes. Now the Lib Dems are calling for a thorough investigation by the Independent Police Complaint’s Commission. The force, run by Labour politician and current Mayor Tony Lloyd, has been slammed as ‘inadequate’ by national watchdog – Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary .

Andy said, “I have not taken this decision lightly. It is clear that a thorough investigation is needed though. People need to have confidence in policing. In the fight against crime – every penny counts. The Police distribute funding and officers based on the crime rates. It’s clear that Labour’s police bosses have absolutely no idea what’s going on out there. It’s inconceivable that we won’t be losing out on officers. The blame lies squarely with Labour. It was only last year that they were claiming crime was going down. Now we find out that at best they have failed to do their job in recording crime. At worst, it is a deliberate manipulation of figures. We need answers.”

Lib Dem Mayoral candidate for Greater Manchester Jane Brophy said, “If the public are to have confidence in the Police, we need to know that all the calls are being logged. No-one calls the Police just to have their concerns ignored. Tackling rising crime is a priority for me.”

Councillor Andy Kelly continued, “My complaint against Greater Manchester Police relates to the failure to log 38,000 calls a year. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) have reported that GMP recorded around 85 per cent of crimes BUT the force was under-recording some serious offences. A quarter of violent crimes, equivalent to more than 16,800 offences, went unrecorded in a year according to the HMIC. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was graded “inadequate” at recording crime. HMIC also found officers were also wrongly cancelling recorded violence, robbery and sex offences.

“This is an extremely serious matter and could skew how resources to fight crime are distributed across Greater Manchester. It is my view that Greater Manchester Police are letting down victims of crime across Greater Manchester. I would like to see an investigation into the reasons why such a huge number of crimes have not been recorded. Statistics are crucial when allocating resources and it is clear that as a result of failing to record accurate crime figures, Greater Manchester Police have no idea about the true picture regarding crime across our area.

“It is crucial that the public have confidence that their complaints to the Police are taken seriously. I cannot, say hand on heart that this is currently the case. I would like to see an investigation into the training provided to staff. Further to this, I would like to see the rules with regards to the previous training of staff that has led to the under reporting of crime.”

#LibDemFightback in the North West elections

After bruising elections for the Lib Dems, losing seats each May for the past eight years, this year we were the party making the most gains nationwide. And many of those were here in the North West.

Labour’s one-party state in Manchester was brought to an end as John Leech won in Didsbury West.

In Burnley we gained 3 seats – Gannow (Cllr Mark Payne), Rosehill with Burnley Wood (Cllr Christine White) and Whittlefield with Ightenhill (Cllr David Roper)

Knowsley was another Labour one-party state but we gained three seats – congratulations to the three new Prescott North Councillors Carl Cashman, Ian Smith and Mike Wynn.

In Sefton we won every seat in the Southport constituency for the first time since 1858, as local MP John Pugh tweeted last night. That’s another council seat gained from the Tories.

In Liverpool we held Church ward (with new candidate Andrew Makinson) and gained Allerton & Hunts Cross (new Cllr Mirna Juarez) and Woolton (new Cllr Malcolm Kelly). We are now joint largest opposition party on the council.

In Liverpool‘s mayoral contest we moved up to second place and from 6% to 21% – a brilliant result even if not the winner.

In Rochdale we gained a seat in Milnrow & Newhey, congratulations to new councillor Irene Davidson.

In Bury we gained a seat in Holyrood ward. Congratulations new councillor Steve Wright.

Warrington council had all-up elections on new boundaries. We emerged with two more seats – up to 11 from 9.

It can’t all be good news though and next-door in Oldham we lost one seat and another was lost in Pendle.

In Stockport we sadly lost Manor ward, making Labour the largest party on the council, though as for many years it is in no overall control. Commiserations to former council leader Sue Derbyshire.

Nationwide, the graphic here shows the overall result. Lib Dems up 45 seats, UKIP up 25, and the others all falling back.

In the Police & Crime Commissioner elections we moved from fourth to third place in Cumbria.  For Merseyside we went from 7% to 11.5%. Our Cheshire support went up half a percent – and 8,000 votes. And in Lancashire we gained an extra 5,000 votes compared to 2012. There was no ballot in Greater Manchester because we have the new elected Mayor for Greater Manchester to be elected next year instead, incorporating the PCC role’s powers.

Liberal Democrats select Jane Brophy for Oldham West and Royton

Oldham-HQOnly the Liberal Democrats will defend families in Oldham West and Royton from the scourge of tax credit cuts, by-election candidate Jane Brophy said today. The party said it would fight the by-election with a firm message: Labour is in disarray and only the Lib Dems will stand up for local people in the face of brutal Tory cuts.

Jane said: “The people of Oldham West and Royton need someone to stand up for them and the Liberal Democrats are the only party that will do that. Labour had the chance to oppose tax credit cuts and failed to do it.

“The Tory tax credit cuts will affect 8,000 families in this area alone and it was only the Liberal Democrats who stood up for people by trying to stop these cuts completely in Parliament.

“When it came to a crunch vote in the House of Lords, Labour just voted to delay cuts to child tax credits and UKIP’s one MP voted in favour, while the Conservatives just cheered them on. We deserve better than that.

“Michael Meacher was a well-respected MP and it would be an honour to succeed him representing local people in Parliament.

“On issues like Tax credits and like the Conservatives plan to wipe out council homes with its Housing Bill the message is clear: If you want a real opposition to this Conservative government only a Lib Dem MP can deliver that.”

Jane is an experienced local campaigner and has been a Councillor in Greater Manchester for over 15 years. She has worked for the NHS in Greater Manchester and been involved in public health nutrition in Oldham.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron MP said:

“Jane is a hardworking campaigner and would be a fantastic local champion for Oldham West and Royton.

“We look forward to an energetic campaign highlighting how Liberal Democrats are now the real, credible opposition to this Conservative Government on issues like housing and cuts to tax credits”

Greater Manchester Growth Deal set to boost Jobs, Skills & Economy

The Greater Manchester Growth Deal, which will see over £450million invested into Greater Manchester over the next few years, was strongly welcomed by Greater Manchester MPs Andrew Stunell, John Leech & Mark Hunter when it was announced today.

The deal will help to create 5,000 jobs, support over 75,000 people learning new skills and generate up to £80million in private and public investment.

Commenting, Hazel Grove MP Andrew Stunell said, “This is very welcome news for our area. The money for the transport interchange in Stockport is an excellent signal of support for regeneration in the town centre, which is vital for long-term prosperity.”

Manchester Withington MP, John Leech said, “This is welcome news for Greater Manchester and demonstrates the Government’s strong commitment to developing the prosperity of Manchester. We have already seen hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in Greater Manchester from the Government, improving infrastructure, creating jobs and allowing Manchester to reach its potential.

Devolving power and funding to Greater Manchester will allow the region to shape its future and deliver the changes needed to improve the infrastructure and create thousands of jobs.”

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle said, “The Greater Manchester Growth Deal is terrific news for Cheadle constituency and the wider region. Along with the redevelopment of the public transport hubs and the additional support for local businesses, I am delighted that there will be new money to enhance local further education colleges – it is imperative that we continue to invest in our young people by providing more apprenticeship opportunities.”

The Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership today agreed an historic Growth Deal with the Government which will see £476.7million invested in Greater Manchester, £169.7million has been confirmed in the first year, and as part of the Government’s on-going commitment to the Greater Manchester LEP it has provided an indicative aware of a further £307million of funding from 2016/17 onwards.

The key features of the deal are:

  • Major investment in public transport and roads, including 12 new Metrolink trams, a new Quality Bus Network Route 8 from Bolton to Manchester, new transport interchanges in Ashton & Stockport Town Centres
  • Securing Greater Manchester and the North West’s place as a major centre for Life Science in the country with a new fund to be spent locally developing the industry.
  • Reforming public services so that vulnerable people are provided with targeted employment support and Greater Manchester Leaders have more control over how the ASB is spent in the city region

The Greater Manchester Growth Deal is part of a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are the latest and greatest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said – “The Greater Manchester Growth Deal will create thousands of jobs, provide incredible new training opportunities for young people, and improve transport links across the region for people and their families; building a stronger economy and a fairer society.”

“We’re placing the power and money in the hands of people in Greater Manchester who know how to spend it best, making a real difference to local communities.”

Davies welcomes launch of million job campaign

Chris Davies MEP

Chris Davies MEP

Tameside Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies has welcomed the Liberal Democrat Million Jobs Campaign, which was launched by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg today. More than one million private sector jobs have been created since the Coalition Government came to power. Liberal Democrats now want to create a million more.

This will build on what Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have already achieved. Business Secretary, Vince Cable has overseen a record rise in apprenticeships, including over 207,830 in the North West. To support jobs in manufacturing, £5.5bn extra has been invested into science, high-tech manufacturing and renewable energy and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander has introduced £2,000 cash back on National Insurance contributions for employers who take on more staff.

The Liberal Democrats are aiming to create more jobs outside London and have invested £2.6 billion in a Regional growth fund that is already benefiting northern England.

Commenting, Chris said: “The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

“That’s why Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have helped businesses create more than one million private sector jobs, and now we’re working to help them create a million more. I am also working to bring more European investment to the area, to invest in new skills and give new businesses the premises and capital they need to get going.

“I look forward to me and my fellow Liberal Democrats working with local businesses, community groups and schools and colleges to turn this ambition into reality in Tameside.”

Budget boost for North West

Chris Davies, the Lib Dem MEP who represents Tameside and the rest of North West England, has welcomed the budget for the help it provides to his constituents.  He said, “2.6 million of my constituents will get a £700 tax cut compared to 2010 when Labour were in power – and it is the lowest paid that are getting the benefit with 286,000 people taken out of tax altogether.

“279,231 families in the region could benefit from tax free childcare and 95,000 businesses will benefit from the changes to National Insurance, creating and preserving jobs.

“A typical motorist will save £7 per tank of petrol compared to Labour’s plans and I am working in the EU to try and increase that number by making  sure new cars use less fuel to travel the same distance – delivering savings for working people as well as benefits to our environment.

“There is even good news for Tameside pubs with 6,714 pubs across the region set to benefit from the cut in beer duty.  Even the serial complainers of UKIP should be happy with that, after all their MEP did promise to hold surgeries in pubs.  Personally I shall be enjoying my cheaper pints outside work hours.

“The Liberal Democrats are trying to build a stronger economy and a fairer society and this budget proves our influence in government.”

High Speed 2 the route to a stronger economy

Responding to the Judicial Review of High Speed 2, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Transport Parliamentary Committee, Alan Reid said today, “Liberal Democrats were the first political party to back a new High Speed Rail Network in the UK. This is a fantastic investment in our infrastructure and will help to build a stronger economy.

“The first phase will support the creation of more than 40,000 jobs, while phase two will support around 100,000 jobs across the country, regenerating areas around the route and bringing new services and amenities for local communities.

“Increasing rail capacity is also good for the environment and is expected to dramatically reduce our reliance on domestic flights and transfer nine million journeys from road to rail. Even those cities not directly on the network after phase two will benefit, with journeys between London and Edinburgh reduced by almost an hour.”

Liberal Democrats gear up for Euro campaign

Chris Davies MEP

Chris Davies MEP

Liberal Democrats in Tameside have picked Euro-MP Chris Davies to lead their campaign to hold on to their European parliament seat.

The list was chosen by party members in a postal ballot. Chris will be joined by businesswoman Helen Foster-Grime, economics professor Jo Crotty and community activist Qassim Afzal on his team of candidates for the eight places up for grabs in Brussels.

In 2009 the North West of England constituency returned 3 Conservative MEPs, 2 Labour and one each of the Lib Dems, UKIP and the BNP.

Chris Davies has represented Tameside in Brussels since 1999. He is the environment spokesman for the 85 Liberal Democrat MEPs from across the EU. He claims credit for introducing a billion euro funding mechanism that is supporting research into new renewable energy technologies.

Chris said “I’ve been proud to have represented the people of the North West in the EU for 13 years and I want to use this experience to drive forward environmental improvements and promote EU reform.

“Firms across Tameside depend on the EU for access to markets and thousands of jobs here depend on us staying as members. If UKIP got their way and we pulled out, any benefit we got by reducing our membership fee would be wiped out and more by the jobs we would lose to countries like China.”

Often outspoken, the MEP has campaigned for a change in the law to allow patients suffering intolerably to seek medical help to die. His call for drugs to be decriminalised and for their supply to be taken out of the hands of criminals will also be an issue for opponents of the Lib Dem team.