The *NiCE* committee

Well done to Emma on getting this new committee formed and chair it! Particularly agree with her eloquently views on the localising of decisions/control “…We don’t need neatness to feel in control..because actually control can be shared.” This will be my approached in the work county councillor colleague and I are doing on changing how we ‘DO’ local government services in Derbyshire – different in each area is good if it works for local people!


The Committee I am chairing is brand new to the Council, the Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee. We will have our first meeting in July and I felt it might be helpful to share the purpose of this committee in delivering for the city. It has already been nicknamed the NiCE committee and I love that nickname.

The nickname might be nice but the remit isn’t fluffy and we will need to deliver blueprints for meeting the challenge of the council being a much smaller organisation by the next elections. This committee will be pace setting for a relationship change with local government away from a corporate style service provider back to a civic and democratic relationship that I believe people want:one of working mutually with the council as equals not customers. Not aspassive recipients of services but as citizens.

I believe the cuts we face are too deep and…

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Thank you Howard Town

We would like to take this opportunity to simply say thank you to the many hundreds of people who voted for us on May 7th in the elections to High Peak Borough Council.

But we also want to say to all residents of Howard Town, irrespective of how you voted or if you didn’t vote, that we have been given a great responsibility in being elected to serve as your councillors and we consider it a privilege to serve the people of Glossop.

If you would like to meet us and talk about a problem you think either of us can help with, we will be at our regular surgery in the Market Arcade every last Saturday in the month, except December. Or you can contact us direct by phone or email by getting our details from the Council website.

We look forward to meeting you.

Godfrey Claff and Damien Greenhalgh
Borough Councillors for Howard Town Ward

Station Road – Final piece of the puzzle

The final piece of the puzzle in the drive to revamp Station Road, Hadfield started today.

Borough Council workers starting their preparatory works ready for contractor to paint  all street furniture (bins, bollards and lamp-posts) in the borough’s familiar green and gold heritage colours.

This come on the back of the County Council relaying the pavement flags and re- tarmacking last year to improve the look and feel of Hadfield’s high street. Not forgetting that (in)famous campaign to get the shabby post box repainted!

This is a great example of local councils working together to improve peoples lives and promote our high streets.

Also another Labour promise, delivered.

Campaign Launched. Candidates Announced.

This Sunday, 29th March, saw the launch of High Peak Labour’s election campaign at Chapel Street’s Glossop Labour Club. This was a great evening of speeches, good-cheer and antidotes. Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Caitlin Bisknell was joined by special guest speaker and Derbyshire MP, Dennis Skinner – known as the Beast of Bolsover. He used his famed oratory skills and sharp whit to mark the start of the campaign proper – referred to as the short campaign.

7th May will not only see the High Peak electorate heading to the poll to elect their next MP, but also will be electing a new High Peak Borough Council for another four year term.

And I am very please to announce that in Glossopdale the Labour Party as a full slate of candidates (unlike other political parties contesting the elections).

Caitlin Bisknell and Dennis Skinner MP (centre) with Labour’s local election candidates.

I also take delighted in informing you that I will be one of those candidates standing for HPBC.  I will be standing in the Howard Town ward. The ward covers the central areas of Glossop including the town centre itself and the mainly Victorian terraced houses up either side of the valley. The ward is a two-member ward, with my fellow candidate being the current councillor, Godfrey Claff, who is seeking re-election.

Wish us luck!

ClaffGreenhalgh 2015

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

An American doctor experiences an NHS emergency room

Dr. Jen Gunter

You know it’s going to be one of those days when one of the first tweets on vacation inquires about the closest hospital.

IMG_8896Victor, one of my 11-year-olds, had something in his eye courtesy of a big gust of wind outside of Westminster Abby. He was complaining enough to let me flip his eyelid and irrigate his eye on the square in front of Big Ben. (I’m sure several people thought I was torturing him).  Despite an extensive search and rinse mission no object or relief was to be found. I fretted about going to the hospital. It wasn’t the prospect of navigating a slightly foreign ER, but simply the prospect of the wait. While I am a staunch supporter of the British NHS in the back of my mind I envisioned a paralyzingly full emergency room and an agonizing 18 hour wait only to find he had nothing in his…

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People’s March for the NHS

I was very happy to have been able to join the Derbyshire leg of the People’s March For The NHS yesterday. The march, inspire by the 1936 Jarrow Crusade, is led by a group of mums concerned and outraged at the assault by this coalition government on our NHS. Glossopdale County Cllrs Dave and Ellie Wilcox and I  joined the march with friends from Derbyshire Labour in Old Whittington into Chesterfield town centre where speakers highlighted the many threats to our country’s our most prized possession chiefly the wholesale fragmentation and privatisation of services.

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

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”.