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Archive for July, 2010

Why the census is important

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Census

The latest census is coming and I’m using this week’s blog to urge people to fill it in. It only comes around once every decade with the next one in England and Wales due to take place next March, so when it arrives people really need to reply straight away.

To us at the council it’s much more important than simply telling the Office of National Statistics how many people live in Tameside. The Revenue Support Grant we get from central government is based on the number of residents taken from the census, which means the higher the number of residents who fill it in and send it back, the higher the grant. Obviously in the current economic climate, every single penny we get from government is going to be crucial for us as we move forward.

There have been plenty of changes since the last one in 2001; not least the way they are delivered. Last time all forms were hand delivered whereas this time around the majority of the census forms will be posted out with a small proportion hand delivered.

I hope I’ve impressed upon readers the importance of filling in the census so like I said at the start I would urge everyone to fill it in and send it back as quickly as they can.

Walking in the footsteps of a giant

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

I was going to write about the importance of the up and coming census and why it is crucial that we all fill it in, but that changed on hearing the sad news that former council leader Cllr Roy Oldham lost his battle against cancer just after 9am on Wednesday at Tameside Hospital. Although I was always more than aware of what he did for our borough and its residents, it was only when I became leader that I began to fully understand just what a huge job he did. I’ve said before that it was also with a sense of humility that I accepted the position as leader knowing that I was following a man who has dominated the political scene in this area for over three decades. I used the phrase ‘Walking in the footsteps of giants’ recently to describe what it was like taking over from a man who had been at the helm for 30 years. Roy’s legacy is that Tameside is now among the best run local authorities in the country. I’m sure I speak for the whole Labour group when I say that our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Audenshaw School

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

I must say it saddened me to hear Audenshaw School’s decision to opt for the government’s Academy status programme. We have two successful academies already in Tameside and they both play a full part in the Tameside Campus arrangements, participating in Tameside protocols for vulnerable pupils, buying back high quality services from the council and working proactively with other schools. I was surprised to read that one of the reasons for Audenshaw’s application to become an academy was the quest for ‘achieving greater autonomy’. We have always worked well with all our schools; for example we supported Audenshaw’s recent bid for an extension, even making a financial contribution and when the school recently attracted national press coverage we were on hand to offer advice and support. I sincerely hope this ‘greater autonomy’ will still enable the school to have regard for the wider network of schools which form the Tameside Campus, which over the years, has delivered year on year improvement for all the young people across Tameside.

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