High Peak top of Tory cruelty table

A benefits sanction map of the UK shows how High Peak claimants are being treated with cruelty, according to the charity homeless Crisis – as reported on the BBC News website today.

The High Peak is one of worst areas for these punitive sanctions, with 11.4% of claimants having their payments stopped – the 6th worse in the UK!

The payments – which can be stopped for four weeks, or as much as three years depending on how many times the rules are broken – have contributed to the ever increasing numbers of people relying on foodbanks  and presenting to local authorities and charities in crisis, such as Glossopdale’s Bare Necessities foodbank and the Glossopdale Furniture Project.

This simply cannot go on. The High Peak cannot survive another 5 years of Tory-led ideological driven cruelty and cuts.

We need change. We need compassion. We must vote for it on 7th May.

Vote Caitlin Bisknell!
Boot Bingham Out

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Tory cuts force police station closures

Tory Government cuts have forced the closure of nearly all the High Peak’s police stations, including two in Glossopdale. They are: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Fairfield (Buxton), Whaley Bridge, GAMESLEY and HADFIELD as reported in the Buxton Advisertiser today.

Derbyshire Police’s Chief Constable and Police & Crime Commissioner are saying these “debilitating” funding cuts imposed by the government are going to take the force back to the 1980s. Hitting the community/safer neighbour team policing work hardest!

And whilst his government is slashing money from frontline policing to prop up bureaucracy, the High Peak’s Tory MP Andrew Bingham has the bare faced cheek in his weekly newsletter to pat himself and his colleagues on the back for amongst other things “…freeing the police to fight crime by cutting red tape…“. You could not make it up. Is he just out of touch or downright delusional?!

One of the last Labour Government greatest achievement was to create, champion and fund community policing. I’ve seen and heard first hand how its transformed policing in our communities and help crime rates fall over the last decade but now that’s now at risk.

There is only one way to stop the rot and that’s to elect a Labour Government with a local Labour MP better able to stand up for our communities in Westminster. There is a lot at stake.

So I say ‪#‎BootBinghamOut‬ and vote Caitlin Bisknell for High Peak – 2015 in May!

Boot Bingham Out

New Library Plan Pledge from Labour Leader

Ellie Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh start to shred the new library plan.

Derbyshire County Council Labour Group Leader Anne Western has today confirmed that the planning application for a new Glossop Library “will not see the light of day” in the event of Labour being elected to run the County Council in May this year.

In a message to the people of Glossopdale, she confirmed that Derbyshire Labour will consult on the best ways to sustain library provision in the Victoria Hall and make best use of the “campus of buildings” that cluster around the library, following suggestions that the planning application for a new library would be reconsidered in the near future.

She has already given an assurance that the £2,000,000 which Labour set aside more than five years ago, will still be available for a fully-costed, value for money project that can enhance both library and adult education provision.

“If, after consultation with Ellie Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh, the people of Glossop have an unexpected and unlikely

change of mind, then we would look again. But whatever we propose will be complementary to the work we commissioned when we renovated the adult education centre, rather than the unsympathetic modern structure that the local Conservatives continue to confirm they support.”

Padfield and Hadfield Councillor Ellie Wilcox said that discussions need to focus on a sympathetic internal refurbishment of the Victoria Hall Library.

“From visits to the Royal Exchange in Manchester, and from the refurbishment that is taking place on the Central Reference Library, people in Glossopdale know that older buildings can be retained and modernised sympathetically,” she says.

“Of course, we won’t be able to afford enhancements of that scale, as £2million can quickly disappear on a listed building, but it is nonsense to suggest that the Victoria Hall cannot provide a 21st Century library and community resource.   The idea of the proposed supermarket-type design has met such strong resistance from locals, it would be reckless to still go ahead, especially since there have been no formal consultations surrounding library provision.’

Labour’s other County Council candidate Damien Greenhalgh has said that he wanted to be part of a mature discussion with the community on the way forward.

“One of the biggest mistakes of the present incumbents has been their failure to consult and listen. People need to know what the money set aside could buy. We hope to make discussion and dialogue with the wider community our basis for future policy, helping to properly address the needs of local people.”

Library gets cold shoulder from Glossop Residents

 

Mr Greenhalgh says that having combed the Derbyshire website he could only find one local supporter, which was Conservative Cllr Jean Wharmby, who “offers her full support for “the relocation of the existing library to the Talbot Street site.”Labour County Council candidate, Damien Greenhalgh, has today written to County Council planning chiefs asking how much public support there has been for the building of the new library from the Glossopdale public.

In an open letter to planners regarding the consultation, Mr Greenhalgh has asked how many other people have taken Mrs Wharmby’s supportive position. He said “just looking at the other responses currently entered on the website, it looks like Jean is a lone voice in supporting the plan.”

He has also sought further clarifications about what other replies the planners are awaiting, as the formal consultation ended on the 14th February.

He goes on to say that the planning application: “pays no attention to the local area, and is equivalent to proposing to build an aircraft hangar in the traditional Victorian setting.”

Labour’s other County Council candidate, Ellie Wilcox, promises a new consultation if Labour is elected and shares her concern that a contract could be rushed through before 2nd May. She said a “signed contract would be a disaster for Glossop.”

Link to Cllr Jean Wharmby’s Letter – Click here

Damien’s letter to DCC Planners – Click here

DamienGreenhalghLabour’s candidate for the May County Council elections in Glossopdale has accused the leader of Derbyshire County Council of reneging on his promise that information days at the Victoria Hall Library would be held when the County Council submitted plans for it’s new Library on the site of the Old St. Lukes School site.

Damien Greenhalgh said that the failure to put into action a specific pledge represented another letdown on the part of the County Council to pay regard to the feelings of local people.

In his open letter published on 8th November 2012, County Council Leader Councillor Andrew Lewer said “We are keen to work alongside local people.”

LewerLeter

He then went on to write that he “would urge local people to get involved by commenting on the plans when the Council seeks planning permission over the next few weeks, or by attending one of our information days at the library…”

With consultation due to end on 14th February, Mr Greenhalgh said there appeared to be no intention to hold a realistic and reasonable discussion with the Glossopdale community.

“When a senior Borough Councillor phoned the Library on Monday afternoon (4th. Feb), staff confirmed that no consultation had so far been held, but that a senior manager would return his call. A very senior officer rang back to confirm that there was no intention to hold any information days at the library until after the planning application had been granted.”

“If they do end up holding a meeting, it will be as a result of this intervention rather than because they intended to listen to the people of Glossopdale.”

Damien Greenhalgh said that an additional Derbyshire planning committee had been called for 13th March. He suspected that this was to allow the application to go forward would not consider whether people wanted investment in Victoria Hall or in the demolition of the old St Lukes building.

Derbyshire County Council Labour Leader Anne Western has already promised a new consultation will be undertaken in conjunction with High Peak Council if Labour take over at the May elections.

Doorstep Update – Croft Manor/Shirebrook Drive/Silk St/Thomas St/York St

A big session this afternoon with six of us out on pounding the streets of Old Glossop today, gaining a healthy amount of Labour promises for 5th May as a result.

The team in Old Glossop

We covered a lot of ground including Silk St, York St, Thomas St, Birch Green, Croft Manor, Shirebrook Drive, Slant Close, Cross Rise, Carr Bank, Holly Bank, Bramble Bank and Rushmere.

We found there to be a  lot of disgruntled residents in these streets, some stating that they had never met their  local councillors for the last eight years, Chris Webster or Ivan Bell.

With one resident who felt severely let down by her local councillors Cllrs Chris Webster and Ivan Bell; but also by the local resident and Conservative Executive Member on the Borough Council  for Social and Community Development Cllr Jean Wharmby.

A particular gripe of this resident and her husband was how they dealt or rather didn’t deal with a bad case of fly-tipping – the dumping of a three piece suite and a mattress on Council owned land – that she had reported to them six months ago.