Lib Dems second across the borough

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THANK YOU

Across Tameside the Lib Dems came second in Thursday’s election. The results in the election for Police & Crime Commissioner in Tameside council area were:

Labour 12083
Lib Dem 3361
Conservative 2782
Independent 2623
UKIP 2316

(Read the borough by borough results here)

Lib Dem candidate Matt Gallagher wrote on his blog earlier today:

“I would like to thank everyone for their support, best wishes and kind remarks.

“We came third, just 2,160 votes behind the Tory machine, and with 40,318 first preference votes and an estimated 60,000 second preference votes (more…)

MEP crowned UK ultra distance running champion

Chris Davies MEP

Chris Davies MEP

Tameside Euro-MP Chris Davies has been crowned UK over-50 ultra-distance running champion for 2012.

The national ‘Runfurther’ championships take account of the best four results in a series of up to 12 off-road races over distances of between 31 and 61 miles.

Davies (58) took a commanding lead after winning outright a 56 mile Peak District race in September, and securing one of the best ever times for his age in a 50 mile Yorkshire race last month.

He finished the season in fifth position overall and first in the over-50 category.

The Liberal Democrat MEP, who is a member of Saddleworth Runners and has been competing since he was 14, describes himself as “just a good club runner”.

Chris Davies said:

“I’ve never had the speed of the great runners but I seem to be able to just keep going when others start to fade.  It’s what every Liberal Democrat has to do to survive in politics!

“So far my old knees haven’t let me down.  Maybe that’s because these days I do most of my training in a gym, either in the basement of the European Parliament or in Greenfield, the village where I live.”

Former copper Matt Gallagher selected as Lib Dem candidate for Police Commissioner for Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Liberal Democrats have selected retired former police Inspector Matt Gallagher to be their candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner.

Matt Gallagher said today, “I have 30 years police experience, and a detailed knowledge of the Greater Manchester Police. That is why I am best candidate to work with police officers and cut crime across Greater Manchester.”

He added, “Survey after survey shows that the public would prefer to see a former copper as Police Commissioner than a failed former politician. The people of Greater Manchester now have that choice.”

Matt has a strong public service record. His grandfather was a police officer, his wife and daughter are mobile carers and his son is a Royal Marine Commando.

Mr Gallagher served for thirty years with GMP, six as a front line inspector in the force’s elite Tactical Aid Unit, where he confronted the city’s drugs gangs and organised football hooligan’s, and targeted anti-social behaviour and gun crime.

South Manchester MP John Leech added, “I supported Matt because he was made for this job. 30 years a copper, six years in the Tactical Aid Unit. Better a copper with an understanding of the job that a failed former minister.”

He beat former Councillors Jackie Pearcey and Qassim Afzal polling over half of the first preference votes.

Manchester Pride 2012

Manchester Liberal Democrats were out in force during last weekend’s Manchester LGBT Pride Festival. Marc Ramsbottom, the Lib Dem candidate in the Manchester Central By-Election and local Lib Dem MP John Leech led the Lib Dem contingent on the Pride parade.

Around 20 Liberal Democrat Councillors and activists from around Greater Manchester marched in the parade  to promote Liberal Democrat campaigns for Equal Marriage and John Leech MP’s campaign to pardon Alan Turing, the Gay WW2 Hero and Father of Computer Science.  Many other Liberal Democrat activists were also taking part in the parade with organisations ranging from Manchester University to the Village Manchester Football Club. Manchester City Centre Liberal Democrat Cllr Elaine Boyes who is the current Lord Mayor of Manchester proudly represented Manchester City Council on the parade.

Liberal Democrats have a proud history of fighting for LGBT Equality and supporting Manchester Pride. You can view pictures of Manchester Liberal Democrats supporting Manchester Pride over the years on our new Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.127045040770988.25252.126036720871820&type=1

Thanks to everyone that came to watch the parade, came to support our stall and thanks to the Pride organisers for such a wonderful Festival. We’re already looking forward to Pride 2013!

Local police crack down on cannabis cultivation

Chris Davies MEP

Chris Davies MEP

A campaigner against Britain’s drugs laws has welcomed the crackdown on cannabis factories being launched by police forces across the North West from Monday, March 5th.

Tameside’s Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies says that a targeted campaign against serious criminals has his full support, although he believes the law on drugs is an ass.

According to government figures, more than one third of the British population have used illegal drugs at some point in their lives. The number of cannabis ‘farms’ detected across the UK has increased from 3,032 to 6,866 over the past four years. Often located in private houses, many are said to be run by criminal gangs. Chris Davies says that the police crackdown on criminals makes more sense than arresting drug users who may be causing no harm to anyone other than themselves.

But the Liberal Democrat MEP says the production and sale of drugs should be legalised, licensed, taxed and accompanied by health warnings.

He said: “We celebrate the owners of breweries and distilleries as captains of industry, yet their products are every bit as harmful as cannabis. Drugs prohibition has failed across the world because it puts their production and supply into the hands of some evil people. The criminality associated with the drugs trade causes vastly more harm to society than their use. Drugs use should be matter for health professionals not law enforcement officers.”

A new law in Switzerland allows any citizen to grow up to four cannabis plants for their personal use, an approach to destroying the criminal supply chain that Chris describes as making good sense.

Guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers says that cannabis ‘farms’ are usually located in private dwellings. While some are of little commercial value the largest ever discovered, in Cambridgeshire in 2010, led to the seizure of 7,600 plants with a value of £2.5 million.

The number of plants is not relevant. A property will be treated as a ‘farm’ if it possesses either high intensity lighting, ventilation, a hydroponics system or is bypassing an electrical
meter.

Commercial cannabis production has been associated with trafficking of adults and their children from China and Vietnam.

ACPO says: “It is believed that there are a small number of teams who specialise in specific aspects of the cultivation chain. Higher level criminals are coordinating these teams and are highly organised.

Thank You!

Across our three constituencies of Ashton-Under-Lyne, Denton & Reddish, and Stalybridge & Hyde, we had six Lib Dem candidates in the council elections this year.

None of our candidates were elected on what was a difficult night for the Lib Dems across most of the country, but our thanks to everyone who gave us their support – and to our candidates, agents and campaign teams for their hard work.

Live Music Bill? Cheers!

Today the Government announced that it would be supporting Liberal Democrat peer, Lord (Tim) Clement-Jones’ Live Music Bill, which seeks to remove the bureaucratic burden from small venue owners, such as pubs and community halls, who want to have live music play for their guests

Lord Clement-Jones said: “There is clear support across all parties to reform the current system as the Licensing Act has had a deadening effect on the performance of live music in small venues.

“The Live Music Bill will benefit hundreds of small pubs, restaurants and church and community halls who want live music at their venue by generally removing the need to apply for a complicated licence.”

“I’m glad the Government has responded so positively to this Bill and I look forward to working with them to fulfil the Coalition Agreement’s pledge to put an end to red tape and bureaucracy.”