Petite VIP pour Le Tour

WP_20140706_005I was delighted to have been able to enjoy the company to our little VIP for the day, Niamh Brown.

I invited Niamh and her family along to Derbyshire County Council’s Distinct Derbyshire tent as a community champion to enjoy a afternoon tea (and lots of sweeties!). I was delighted she was able to join us for with her dad, Darrell, and baby sister Martha.

Niamh is a truly brave girl – after enduring a year of treatment for a rare childhood strain of ovarian cancer.

She has inspired the Glossopdale community into raising lots of money for good causes*, schoolmates at Dinting Primary with her determination to get into school when she could and for raising awareness of childhood cancers.

Speaking to dad, she took all this in her stride and always remained laughing and smiling.

Amazing young woman.

* including Dad, who’s doing the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride for charity next weekend – Good luck Darrell!!

UPDATE:- If anyone would like to donate to Niamh’s fund-raising page/sponsor Darrell on his 60 miles charity bike ride please visit

Lights, workmen, action!

Local county Councillors, Damien Greenhalgh and Ellie Wilcox, have welcomed news that Derbyshire County Council is to upgrade the traffic lights a busy crossroads in the town.

The project is set to begin next month and will see the renewing of traffic signals and tactile paving where Victoria St, Norfolk St and the High Street intersect.

The money to fund the project has come from the developer as part of an agreement set out by the County Council prior to the commencement of the Howard Town Mill development.

Cllrs Ellie Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh at the town's busy crossroad.

Cllrs Ellie Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh at the town’s busy crossroad.

Commenting, Cllr Damien Greenhalgh said: “Ellie and I have been working with officers to improve this busy junction, especially due to bottleneck that Victoria St has become since the Howard Town Mill opened.”

Cllr Ellie Wilcox added “that these improvement will bring benefits not only vehicle users, but pedestrians and in particular those with visual impairments.”

A spokesperson for DCC’s Highways Department said “We expect the disruption to be minimal, with temporary traffic signals in place for the duration of the works.”

The works are expected to take four weeks to carryout and commence on 7th April

Glossop Youngster’s Personal Safety Postcards

It was great to meet the euthusiastic young Health and Social Care students from Glossopdale Community College today, who had been working with Volunteer Centre Glossop on a personal safety project in their lunchtimes and even over the holidays.

Damien with the young people and co-ordinators from Glossop Volunteer Centre

Damien with the young people and co-ordinators from Glossop Volunteer Centre

The project, funded through Derbyshire CC’s locality funds, aims to improve the health of young people with a particular emphasis on personal safety and developing safer communities for young people.

There was some great artwork and ideas how best to spread the message to other young people in the area.

So look out for their information postcards around the town!

Councillor’s dismay at care home closure

A Hadfield care home is to close with some 33 residents forced to move elsewhere.

Following an announcement last Thursday evening (6th February) the privately-owned Merseybank Care Home will shut on 10th May 2014.

Residents, families and staff have been given a little over three months’ notice of the closure, and up to 50 people will lose their jobs.

The surprise announcement on Thursday comes just weeks after The Priory Group run care home on The Carriage Drive failed to meet any of the standards required by the Care Quality Commission in their latest inspection.

It is thought that the home’s owners decided to shut due to the significant amount of investment required – thought to be in the region of £3 million – to bring the grade-2 listed home up to the required standard.

Cllr Greenhalghat the Hadfield care home that is due to shut

Cllr Greenhalgh outside the Hadfield care home that is due to shut in May.

County Councillor Damien Greenhalgh commenting on the closure said “It’s a crying shame that the company couldn’t make the investment in the people of Hadfield and Glossop and those whose workplace and home this has become.

“This closure is truly awful for all those involved. Many of the home’s residents are frail and elderly and are now going to be moved which will be very traumatic for them and their nearest and dearest.

“A lot of these people have lived in Hadfield and Glossop all their lives and now they could end up being moved elsewhere.”

Cllr Greenhalgh added “I am just thankful that Derbyshire County Council’s wonderful Talbot Street-based Adult Social Care team is doing a great job in difficult circumstances to help re-home residents and offer advice and support to their relatives and the staff in the home – with many going above and beyond the call of duty”.

Merseybank care home to close

Merseybank SignAbsolutely awful news about the Merseybank Care Home’s owner, Amore Care part of The Priory Group [of the rehab centres fame] choosing to close the care home due to poor inspection results and their lack of commitment to invest in the home to bring it to the standards expected for quality care of its residents. Not enough money in it for them presumably!?

Now as a result there are now 33 very old and frail residents being forced to be re-homed and potentially up to 50 job losses too – some of which have been through the same shoddy situation before, when the Partington Care Home on North Road closed back in 2011.

Thankfully all affected are being helped by Derbyshire County Council’s WONDERFUL Adult Social Care team in Glossop as much as they can. Many of which are going above and beyond the call of duty!

Update 11/02/2014
The home’s Deputy Manager confirmed to me the number of jobs that will be lost when I visited the home today to speak with residents and staff. Sadly its worst that I first thought as 55 jobs will in fact be lost.

Three local businesses close

I have been extremely sad to learn of three Glossop businesses which have closed this week, being:

  • Va Bene restaurant, Norfolk Street
  • TopStore, High Street
  • Sage Green Interiors, High Street

Particularly feel for the staff, customers and local suppliers that will be adversely affected as a result – particularly in the case of Va Bene which went into Liquidation quickly leaving member of staff and local traders such as Mettrick’s the butchers seeking payment of monies due to them.

Let us hope the sake of the town that the prime-location in which they occupied are filled soon by strong and independent businesses which are the backbone of our High Street #ShopLocal

Roadwork shortcut caution

Howard Town High Peak Borough Councillor Colin Waude, and Glossop Derbyshire County Councillor Damien Greenhalgh are asking drivers to take care if using the short cut across the Glossop Municipal Buildings Car Park to avoid the longer official diversion whilst Victoria Street is closed for sewer repairs.

Cllr Colin Waude said “If you’re determined to short-cut the roadworks at the bottom of Victoria Street, please be careful: it is a pedestrian route, and there’s been lots of near misses. Ideally, go round.”

The two observed many vehicles using the shortcut on Saturday morning with some near misses causing pedestrians and drivers exchanging irrate comments to one another – with one of the vehicles seen being driven by Old Glossop Borough Councillor Chris Webster.

2014.01.11 - Victoria St works shortcutting 2

Cllrs Greenhalgh and Waude at the point of concern by the roadworks.

Victoria Street Travel Disruptions

GLOSSOPIANS are being reminded by a local councillor that a busy route into the town will close for a fortnight while United Utilities works on the sewers below it.

Victoria Street is currently shut to traffic between Howard Town Mill and Collier Street and is due to remain closed until 20th January.

County Councillor Damien Greenhalgh warns “This road closure is causing traffic congestion during rush hour and significant disruption to bus services.”

“The 69 and 390 bus services are being diverted down the High Street and then via Primrose Lane and those wanting to use the 61 service are having to take a shuttle bus between Henry St and Whitfield where the service is running from for the duration of the works.”

“Passengers I spoke with on the first day of the closure (Monday 6th) are already saying services are already running significantly late.”

Cllr Greenhalgh went on add “Water companies usually provide funding in advance of their works to enable public transport providers to put on additional services on to compensate for the disruption. On this occasion United Utilities has decided not to do this, this is very disappointing”.

Working Together Saves Footpath

An important footpath in the centre of Glossop is receiving a much-needed make-over due to the close co-operation of three Glossop councillors.

The footpath links Market St with High St West and follows a pleasant route along the river through Harehills Park. It is heavily used by people as a route to and from the town centre as well as dog-walkers and other leisure walkers.

But the path has only a compacted shale surface which it lost a long time ago and any rainfall creates long stretches of mud.

HPBC Cllr Godfrey and County Councillors Damien Greenhalgh and Ellie Wilcox speak with the DCC workmen on the path.

HPBC Cllr Godfrey and County Councillors Damien Greenhalgh and Ellie Wilcox speak with the DCC workmen on the path.

High Peak Councillor for Howard Town Ward, and Executive Member for Regeneration, Godfrey Claff, took up the story. ‘For much of the year, especially in winter, the path is impassable without the right footwear.  The Borough Council owns the path but two years ago the County offered to re-surface it with an all-weather surface. I was asked if the Borough could contribute but budgets were so tight due to Government cuts that it was not possible. So the County Council did half the re-surfacing work in 2012. I was determined that this work should be completed and this year the Borough found the money for most of the remaining work if we could get the County to finish the job. That is when County Cllrs Ellie Wilcox, Damien Greenhalgh and I started talking about a joint approach.’

County Cllr Wilcox said, ‘This is work that really had to be completed. Cllr Greenhalgh and I talked to County officers about how much it was needed and we have managed to get the footpath team onto the site and we have found the rest of the cost. It is a really good example of what can be done when Borough councillors and County councillors work together.’

Cllr Greenhalgh added, ‘This may not be a large project but it is often the small improvements that can make a real difference and this is one of those. People will be able to walk right along the river without any difficulty in future.’

The work is due to be completed on Friday.

Councillors dig deep for Women’s Aid

A charity supporting victims of domestic abuse in Glossop and the High Peak has received a £1,000 from Glossopdale’s three County Councillors.

The money provided by Councillors Damien Greenhalgh, Ellie Wilcox and Dave Wilcox from their community leadership funds is to help with the charity move to more suitable accommodation.

Glossop-based High Peak Women’s Aid which provides counselling, support and accommodation to children and adults who have suffered from domestic violence and controlling behaviour in their relationships, has welcomed the generous donation.

The cheque was presented at the charity’s Annual General Meeting held in Bradbury Community House where supporters heard about the roller-coaster year for the support organisation. From the financial crisis after losing their service’s tender to the way the community rallied around raising £100,000 in a short few months.

Glossopdale County Councillors Dave Wilcox, Ellie Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh hand over their cheque to Chair of HPWA, Linda Rundle and Service Manager, Pam Whittle.

Glossopdale County Councillors Dave Wilcox, Ellie Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh hand over their cheque to Chair of HPWA, Linda Rundle and Service Manager, Pam Whittle.

Cllr Greenhalgh said: “High Peak Women’s Aid has been providing a vital service for 30 years, a service which our community and we value highly”

He added: “We’re extremely pleased to be able to help towards their costs of relocating to more suitable accommodation with rooms for the volunteer counsellors, group work and office space.

Pam Whittle, Services Manager for High Peak Women’s Aid said: “High Peak Women’s Aid is delighted to accept the generous support from Damien, Ellie and Dave”

“The money will help us relocate and which will make a huge difference to way we are able to deliver our vital services for women, men and children experiencing domestic and help us produce positive outcomes for them.”

Pam went on to add “It has been an extremely challenging but successful year, as we have continued to keep our services open and have developed new areas of work. The community and councillors have really supported us. However the next 12 months will be even more challenging as we now have to raise much more money to keep our Harmony Project going at a time when two other funding streams come to an end. We welcome all donations, no matter how small”.

To support High Peak Women’s Aid, call Pam on (01457) 856675, or visit which offers easy-to-follow links for people willing to make a pledge.