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Archive for August, 2013

Outstanding GCSE results buck national trend

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Tameside’s greatest resource is its young people. If we invest in them, making sure they acquire the skills they need for adult life, we can be sure our borough will prosper in the future.

That’s why education is so important, and why I’m delighted Tameside’s schools have achieved their best-ever results for pupils achieving five or more top A*-C grades including English and maths. What’s more they have done it in a year when the average pass rate has declined nationally.

Provisional results show virtually six out of every 10 of Tameside youngsters got five or more A*-Cs including English and maths and provisionally, more than eight out of 10 pupils achieved five or more A*-C grades in Tameside, which is considerably better than the national average of just less than seven out of 10.

These are wonderful results for our borough and testament to the hard work of everyone involved – pupils, teachers and parents.

The good news doesn’t end there. It is particularly pleasing to see that those schools maintained by the Council have made such excellent progress, with 7% more pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades including English and maths than last year.

Of course this Council will continue to work with all the schools in Tameside to build on these results and to offer support wherever it may be needed.

Tameside pupils are getting a great start in life so that they can move on to future learning, training or employment. So it only leaves me to congratulate them on their achievements and to wish them well.

99 years since 1914

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Ashton War Memorial

It’s 99 years since Drummer Edward Thomas fired the British Army’s first shots of the 1914-18 conflict at a village near Mons called Casteau. Over the next few months, Tameside Council will be drawing up a list of events to mark the centenary of the First World War’s start.

The many memorials across our borough bear witness to Tameside’s involvement in those four bitter years of fighting. It is a sobering experience to look at the lists of names and think about all the individual stories they represent. On the Ashton Memorial there are so many Smiths and Joneses that some can only be differentiated by service number.

Several thousand Tameside men were killed – most of them ordinary factory workers who wanted to do their bit – and I believe it’s only right that the borough recognises their sacrifice as well as the effect the Great War had on Britain, Europe and the world.

Among the ideas being considered are exhibitions at Portland Basin Museum and the Museum of the Manchester Regiment, a heritage trail, and a life-size replica trench so that people can get an idea of the conditions troops had to endure in France and Flanders. In addition, we have plans to get involved in the National Theatre’s War Horse project which is based on the film and theatre adaptations of Michael Morpurgo’s books.

I’m also excited about the Government’s scheme to lay special paving stones in memory of Victoria Cross winners. Four Tameside men won the VC in 1914: Lt William Forshaw, Lt James Kirk, Pte Ernest Sykes and Pte Albert Hill, as well the Rev AH Procter who was vicar at St Mary’s Church, Droylsden, and St Stephen’s Church, Hyde.

If you want to do your own research ahead of the centenary, I would recommend you visit the Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre on Cotton Street, Ashton, or the Museum of the Manchester Regiment at Ashton Town Hall.

Take advantage of the opportunity

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Tower Mill

Like a blast from the past textile production has returned to a Park Road, Dukinfield, mill for the first time in many years and I, for one, am absolutely delighted.

A UK-based company, backed by German investors, called Culimeta Saveguard, has been granted a £730,000 loan from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to expand into Tower Mill, from their current base next door in Tame Valley Mill, Wainwright Street. As well as the economic benefits that this will bring, it will mean the regeneration of a Victorian building that had lain derelict for so long it was becoming an eyesore.

The company – which manufactures high-performance technical fibres used in the automotive industry or for insulation and protective clothing – expects to increase turnover and create 50 new jobs by 2016.
This news comes just a few months after another Tameside company, Hill Biscuits of Ashton, also received RGF funding with the potential to create an additional 45 jobs.

Employment and prosperity are a top priority for Tameside Council. This is brilliant news and just shows what this Council is able to achieve when it works with the private sector, despite the hardship generated by the current financial climate.

The Greater Manchester Investment Fund was set up to support projects that generate economic growth and create jobs. I would encourage all Tameside companies to take advantage of the opportunities that are available.

You can get full information of what’s on offer from the Tameside Business Family. Just visit www.tamesidebusinessfamily.com

Well worth the wait

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

I was proud to help unveil the commemorative plaque at the recent opening of the new £1.3 million Droylsden Community and Sports Centre on Lewis Road. What an inspirational place it is. From the minute I walked through the gates I was impressed and excited.

The building is the culmination of years of work by Alan Bradbury MBE (above right) and Charlie Grice BEM (above middle). They are the people who turned this dream into a reality. Droylsden owes them a huge debt of gratitude and I can’t speak too highly of them.

Thanks to their herculean efforts, Droylsden’s young people now have a first-class facility where they can hone their skills in football or boxing.

I’m delighted that Tameside Council and the Droylsden ward councillors were able to help them realise their vision – a vision that has helped thousands of youngsters.

Considering the coaches were able to produce talent such as former Manchester United and England midfielder Nicky Butt at the old pre-fab building, I can’t wait to see the stars who might come through from the new set-up.

Thanks to what Alan and Charlie have done – and their fund-raising – the youngsters have a floodlit all-weather pitch, proper changing facilities and a multi-use room. There’s also a reception area and office and the entire building is accessible to the disabled.

I would also like to thank the Football Foundation, Fairshare Trust (Droylsden) and the Greater Manchester Federation of Clubs for Young People for their support.

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