A to Z of services          A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z

Archive for November, 2014

Reduced car parking charges will boost our economy

Monday, November 10th, 2014

I FIRMLY believe that supporting a strong local economy is, and has to be, a key priority for this Council if we are to keep our town centres busy, vibrant and appealing.

For me, this goes hand in glove with another cornerstone of any well run local authority – listening to what its public has to say – something we do on a constant basis.

It’s because of feedback from residents, businesses and the shopping public that the Council moved to significantly reduce the cost of car parking in prime town centre car parks to make them even more attractive and affordable for shoppers. This will of course support the local economy and, in the run up to Christmas, should significantly benefit everyone.

Once in place, Tameside will have the lowest tariffs for long stay car parking in Greater Manchester as well as being one of the cheapest for short stay town centre parking.

From 24 November, parking in the town centre inner zone Council owned car parks will be just £1 for up to three hours and just £2 for all day. The cost of up to 30 minutes will remain the same at 50pence. All other Council car parks within the outer zones already charge cheaper rates.

Our car parking rates were already competitive when compared to Greater Manchester’s nine other local authorities but we recognise they also need to be attractive when compared with the privately-run car parks which populate our borough.

I feel confident these new and reduced charges will make it more convenient and attractive for shoppers to visit our town centres and support our local economy by shopping here. The link below contains more information on Tameside’s car parks including their locations, zones and prices:

www.tameside.gov.uk/carparks

Lest we forget

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

There will be a special poignancy to this weekend’s remembrance ceremonies.  Not only do they come 100 years after the start of the First World War, but also as Britain ends its 13-year commitment in Afghanistan.

At first glance there seems to be little similarity between the two conflicts.  One was a total war in which the country’s entire resources were devoted to victory and the other was part of a Nato-led international security operation supporting the Kabul government.

However, they have one major factor in common. Although a century apart they both highlight the professionalism, dedication and sacrifice which are the hallmark of the British armed forces.  In two world wars and in many other conflicts such as Korea and the Falklands they have never been found wanting.

For that reason I believe we need to be doubly reflective this year.  It may be 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War ended but the international situation remains as uncertain as ever.  There is fighting in Europe and on Europe’s borders and the RAF is back in action over Iraq.

We owe a huge debt to the men and women of our armed services. It is our duty to remember and recognise their selfless sacrifice.  So I hope you will buy a poppy and over the next few days I hope you will find time to at least pause for reflection.

You can find full details of Tameside’s many ceremonies and services by visiting www.tameside.gov.uk/mayor/remservices

At 11am on Tuesday, 11 November – the anniversary of the moment the guns fell silent on the Western Front – there will be a short act of remembrance on the steps of Ashton Town Hall.

Why I support devolution

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

This week has been a truly momentous week for Greater Manchester. After arguing the case for devolution for Greater Manchester for some 30 years (with successive governments) the agreement signed by the 10 Greater Manchester leaders and the Chancellor marks the start of an historical shift of powers from Westminster to Greater Manchester. I have long argued that we should be the drivers and shapers of our own destiny in Tameside and Greater Manchester. Surely the area where the first industrial revolution was born should be trusted with greater devolved power and resources.

This agreement is not about taking power and resources away from Tameside and transferring them to the Combined Authority. I have ensured that this is enshrined in the agreement. The shift in power from Whitehall to our town halls will help to create more jobs, deliver more homes and improve our transport networks. It will ensure that Tameside people are able to access jobs and progress through work to fulfill their potential. It will equip our people to have the right skills so that businesses have the talent to grow. It will improve the health and social care services that people receive and help to give our children the best possible start in life.

It is important to state that this agreement is a foundation block on the roadmap to devolution in Greater Manchester, the first in the UK outside of London, to deliver increased economic growth and improved public services. The ultimate prize as far as I and the other Greater Manchester leaders are concerned is to take responsibility of the annual budget of £22 billion budget of public expenditure in the city region. In monetary terms the current agreement amounts to around an additional £1 billion. A start and £1billion more than we had prior to Monday, but we still have a considerable way to go.

Doing this in practice will require Greater Manchester to build on and extend the role of the Combined Authority to which existing Government functions will be devolved. Many residents and councillors have felt remote from this distant body called the Combined Authority. It is now time to open up those structures and connect it with the communities it serves. The agreement will introduce a new elected mayor with a unique Greater Manchester model. Unlike Greater London the GM mayor will work as part of the Combined Authority having one vote as part of a cabinet of 11. Not only will there be a mandate from the electorate but also the check and balance of collective government.

The first directly elected mayor election for Greater Manchester is proposed to be in 2017. Much has to be done before then but this deal is good for Tameside and Greater Manchester.

Everyone deserves a living wage

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work should be a cornerstone of any civilised society, this is one of the many reasons why I and Tameside Council supports the Living Wage and are committed to trying to achieve for everyone.

Today marks the start of Living Wage Week (3–9 of November) as well as the day that the UK Living Wage rate has been set at a new rate of £7.85 per hour outside of London and £8.80 for those working in London.

The living wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It’s calculated on the basic cost of living in the UK.

We know that many residents are not paid the living wage, and as a result, cannot afford the basics to live on and often rely on payday loans to get through the month.

Yet we also know that whilst some employers find setting such rates challenging, it’s good for workers, good for employers, and good for society – getting everyone out of a benefit trap.

Paying the living wage benefits everyone. It means people can provide for themselves and their families while employers find significant improvements in all sorts of areas including recruitment and retention.

For more information, help and advice on issues surrounding the minimum wage follow this link: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/migrantworkers/nmw.htm

Tameside Logo