Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Town Events

Imagine walking around Hyde town centre; minding your own business, just looking to search out another fabulous bargain, when around the corner you suddenly come face to face with a live-sized dinosaur.

No, not one of our town councillors, but an enormous dinosaur – a creature that weighed over seven tonnes, which at 13 feet tall and 40 feet long was one of the largest land predators to ever to stalk the subtropical forests of ‘Tameside’ millions of years ago.

Well, if you get down to Hyde’s Civic Square on Saturday April 13th 2019, don’t forget to take your cameras, because that’s day when a dinosaur will be making a popular return to Jurassic Hyde.

Building on the tremendous success of the day when ‘dinosaurs’ last roamed the town; Hyde Town Team have once again arranged for a huge dinosaur, to meander around the town centre, as part of the town’s Dino Event.

As a further addition to the ‘Dino’ event, the Town Team have also teamed up with The Tameside Reporter and Findel Education’s Philip Harris Brand, who are a leading supplier of equipment for school science; to invite young primary school children and year 7 secondary students to get involved in the event by entering a ‘create a model Dinosaur’ competition.

This will be judged on the day by Hyde & Stalybridge MP Jonathan Reynolds and the Philip Harris Brand Manager

It’s a great way for the kids to show off their creative modelling skills, with the best model maker winning £100 of equipment for their science programme together with a winner’s plaque to be permanently displayed in the winning model maker’s school.

So mark Saturday 13th April 2019 as a day to bring your little dinosaur hunters to Hyde …. It promises to be a pretty awesome sight with one of the largest walking Dinosaurs roaming the town’s markets ready to amaze the adults and children; – but don’t worry the Town Team’s Rangers will keep a close eye on him.

And after you’ve, enjoyed your Dinosaur Adventure, what better reward than a coffee, tea or hot chocolate with cream and a homemade cake in one of the Hyde many cafés, or perhaps make it a lunchtime visit and enjoy a hot meal, or a glass of wine or beer.

   

Make Hyde Town Centre your number one shopping town this April where visitors and shoppers can expect plenty of Easter activities and fun across in the Indoor and Outdoor Markets and within The Clarendon Shopping Centre.

A local group of walkers are swapping the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside for Manchester City Centre this April.

The team from across the North West has signed up to take part in this year’s Manchester Midnight Walk to raise money for St Ann’s Hospice.

Jackie Oldham, leader of the team ‘Awelonites’, is also Chair of the hospice.  She explained:  “The Manchester Midnight Walk is such an iconic event in the city’s annual calendar and even before I was involved with the hospice I was aware of how important it was in raising money for local patients.

“Our team is made up of walkers aged between 25 and 65.  We usually enjoy heading into the Welsh countryside to walk together and relax, but we’ve decided to put our walking boots to use in aid of a good cause and take part in the Midnight Walk this year.

“As volunteer Chair of the hospice’s board I’m privileged to see first-hand the amazing, holistic care provided to local people, right when they need it most.  St Ann’s needs to raise £20,000 a day to keep that specialist care provision going for patients and their families, and I know that every penny raised in our sponsorship for the 10km walk will make a real difference to their lives.”

The Manchester Midnight Walk, which will take place on Friday 26th April, has become a staple on the city’s fundraising calendar, with last year’s event raising £163,795.09 for St Ann’s, bringing the total raised since its launch to more than £2million.

The event has pulled in the crowds every year since it began in 2007, creating a unique late-night party atmosphere.

Manchester Cathedral has supported the event, along with headline sponsor BetFred.

The walk leaves Manchester Central at midnight, with music and entertainment on the event stage starting at 9pm.

The 10km route covers landmarks such as Manchester Cathedral, St Ann’s Square and Spinningfields.

Organisers are urging anyone interested in taking part to register as soon as possible.

Many fundraisers walk in memory of loved ones, with others happy to join the fun at this family event.

*To register please visit www.mmwalk.org.uk or call the hospice on 0161 498 3631.

*To sponsor Jackie’s team, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/awelonites

 

Specsavers is once again supporting Comic Relief and the Hyde store is getting in on the act by selling funny frames which are sure to raise a smile.

It is the third Red Nose Day that Specsavers has supported the charity by launching the frames in store, with this year’s red glasses jester theme in keeping with the charity’s comic ethos.

Since 2015, Specsavers stores have raised £848,000 and have pledged to raise £250,000 this year in their quest to break the £1million mark.

This will be done through the sale of the Comic Relief frames which cost just £2, with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity. They will be available to buy in stores and, for the first time, the Comic Relief website.

Diane Wood, retail store director, says: ‘Our glasses this year are fantastic and we hope everyone gets into the fundraising spirit by picking up a pair in store and help us smash our £1 million fundraising mark. We are really proud to support Comic Relief and all the good causes they fund.’

Catherine Cottrell, fundraising and partnerships executive director at Comic Relief, adds: ‘We’re so pleased Specsavers is continuing to support us for the third year. It’s great to see people having fun wearing their Comic Relief specs to help us raise much needed funds on Red Nose Day and we’re thrilled to now be offering these on our online shop too.’

Frames are available in your local Specsavers store in Hyde now ahead of Red Nose Day on Friday 15 March. Customers who would like to recycle the glasses after Red Nose Day will be able to return them to their local store and they will be sent onto a specialist recycling company.

 

For more information visit www.specsavers.co.uk or www.comicrelief.com

 

 

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has unveiled proposals that put firefighters at the heart of the work that we do and lay the foundation for a stronger organisation, focused on keeping communities safe and delivering a sustainable, affordable, frontline-first emergency service.

Like all fire services, Greater Manchester is continuing to have make savings because of Government cuts and pressures on council tax. The package put forward rises to this challenge but without compromising frontline safety or response times.

Since 2010, central government has cut funding to GMFRS by more than £20m, 17.5% of its total budget. The grant accounts for 55% of funding for the fire service, as compared to 64% in 2010. The rest of the funding comes from precept. These proposals will ensure that the service is on the right financial footing to be able to continue to serve the people of Greater Manchester.

Firefighters sit at the heart of these proposals. They will be supported by an organisation which has a culture of trust, respect and accountability, with improved working conditions, modern facilities and better training and equipment.

Proposals include:

  • A refocus on frontline delivery
  • Integration with place-based teams in every locality, targeting resources and meeting needs of communities
  • Maximising fire cover across Greater Manchester within available resources
  • More devolved power to the frontline
  • Re-investing in local stations and improved facilities
  • Investment in fire engines and equipment
  • Improved training and development
  • Investment in supporting technology and systems

The ‘root and branch’ review of the service was announced last year following the publication of the Kerslake Report and also in response to concerns raised with the Mayor by firefighters.

As part of the process, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have visited every fire station and team to get the views of staff about the organisation. The proposals announced today respond to that feedback.

A key part of the work has been the Fire Cover Review, which has seen a range of options analysed to optimise fire cover in Greater Manchester.

This includes the following proposals:

  1. Mergers of 6 fire stations into three, establishing new state-of-the art fire stations with opportunities for collaboration with blue light partners and for facilities for the communities.  Initial consideration is being given to mergers at Bolton, Manchester and Stockport – the detail will be examined during the consultation.
  2. Crewing levels of 4 firefighters on all engines, reflecting current practice in Greater Manchester and services across the country.
  3. Removal of 8 second fire engines from stations currently with two engines.
  4. Maintenance of our position as one of the fastest responding fire services nationally, our average response times will still be more than a minute better than the national average.
  5. A new delivery model for Prevention, Protection, Youth Engagement and Administration.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who is also Greater Manchester’s Fire Commissioner said: “Despite the continued austerity we are doing everything we can in Greater Manchester to maintain the level of service that our fire service provides. As a result of these changes GMFRS will still be able to boast some of the fastest response times in the country.

“We are not doing this by making unfair demands of our firefighters. The frontline remains our focus. I have asked the new fire chief to adopt a frontline first ethos throughout the organisation and make sure our firefighters have the right training, modern equipment and facilities.”

Deputy Mayor, Baroness Beverley Hughes said; “These proposals, by reverting to the core business of rescue, prevention and protection will enable our firefighters to make an even better contribution to the safety, security and wellbeing of people in communities across Greater Manchester.

“I am grateful for the spirit in which staff from right across the organisation have been willing to engage with us and tell us what they think. Their views are at the heart of these plans and whilst the transformation will be challenging it is essential to put GMFRS on a better and sustainable footing to deliver services.”

Chief Fire Officer, Jim Wallace said: “These proposals outline some of the most progressive changes in the history of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service but they are important ones to make sure we are a service fit for the future.

“This will put us in a position where we can continue to keep people safe, but also ensure that we are a sustainable, efficient service. There will be tough decisions to make going forward but all of this will be informed by staff feedback and with the use of a robust evidence base.

“We want to use place-based working to make a real difference in preventing fires and other emergencies but also to work with partners to allow them to focus on those who require specialist assistance.

“By working with our partners we can make sure we are doing the best we can to keep the people of Greater Manchester safe.”

No final decisions have yet been made on these proposals as we are consulting with staff and trade union representatives. We will also be launching a public consultation around the plans and details will be released in due course.

You can read the full Outline Business Case here.

The full to capacity £24m Glossopdale School is so popular there’s no room for all the children hoping to start studying there in September.

Some parents who put the Hadfield School down as first choice in their placement application to Derbyshire County Council were instead offered a place in New Mills.

The result was a surge of resentment and anger from parents who want their children taught at Glossop’s high school.

Families who failed to get a place at Glossopdale School for September are demanding answers. They say the offer of St Philip Howard, Longdendale and New Mills schools are unacceptable.

They called the Chronicle, High Peak MP Ruth George and turned to social media with complaints that DCC built the school too small.

Gareth Wilson was fairly confident of getting son Freddie a place at Glossopdale School. But Gareth and his wife were in for a shock despite putting it as his preferred option.

He said: “He’s been told to go to New Mills; we can’t get him a place in Glossop at all. I’m livid – my own town’s got no room for my son and loads of people are in the same boat.”

Gareth went on: “The 2019 secondary school placements announcements have revealed the new ‘Glossopdale School’ is a school only for Hadfield and those living on its periphery.

“Children living in central and east Glossop have been refused places at Glossopdale School and instead offered places at Longdendale, Philip Howard and even New Mills eight miles away.

“Glossop has effectively been rendered outside the catchment area and is left with no non-denominational school at all.

“No consultation was undertaken at the time of Glossopdale School’s move to make residents aware of these consequences.”

High Peak MP Ruth George has written to Derbyshire County Council asking why so many local students have been refused a place at the new Glossopdale School.

She told the Chronicle: “Lots of parents in Glossop have contacted me, very upset that their child has not been allocated a place at Glossopdale School, in spite of their being in the catchment area.

“Some have been allocated to St Phillip Howard when it was a lower choice of school for them, or not on their list as they do not wish to attend a faith school.

“Others have been assigned to New Mills School, which involves considerable travelling.

“I’m pleased the newly-built school is popular but it can be very unsettling for children facing a long journey to a school they didn’t choose, or being separated from friends.

“Glossopdale School was designed with space for an additional 240 places.

“Given the clear demand for places at the school, I’ve asked the county council to look at expanding the number of places as soon as possible, preferably so that the children refused a place on the basis of current capacity can be accommodated.

“I know how worrying the move to secondary school can be for children.

“Even more so if they’re being sent to a school they didn’t choose or they have the uncertainty of a lengthy appeal.

“That’s why I’ve asked the council to look at this urgently and I hope they’ll act quickly for all the children and families who are affected.”

Replying to the concerns, a Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the issues arising from the number of applications received for places at Glossopdale School and can understand the disappointment of any parent or carer and their child who has not been allocated a place at this school.

“Our aim is to ensure that every child in Derbyshire has a place in a local school, but unfortunately not every request for a place at a chosen school can be accommodated. A high number of applications were received this year. In common with many other areas in the country it is a large year group.

“The investment in the new school has made it more attractive and fewer people have sought places outside the town than in the past.

“In 2017, 73 per cent of pupils remained in the area but in 2019, 85 per cent have opted to remain in the Glossop area. Also fewer people have been able to secure places at out of area schools, for example Chapel-en-le-Frith.

“All these factors have come together, and although 20 extra places were allocated, 39 Derbyshire pupils have not received their first choice of Glossopdale and been offered alternatives, either at St Philip Howard, New Mills or Longdendale. Parents whose children will have to travel outside their local area will be able to apply for support with transport.

“While there is expected to be a couple of years of high numbers of pupils at Glossopdale School, the forecast intake is expected to decline significantly over the medium term, from 220 this year to a forecast of 202 by 2024.

“We believe that over the medium and long term the school has capacity to meet the needs of the local area.

“In the short term it is necessary to carefully manage the intake to ensure that classes and timetabling are manageable for the school and class sizes are not too large, as this would have a detrimental effect on learning.”

Gareth Wilson responded to the incident by creating a petition, telling DCC “to address their capacity problems urgently” – which has quickly garnered 1,009 signatures in three days.

You can sign the petition here.

 

Homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley is gearing up for a special evening charity sale on Thursday 21 March at their Second-hand Superstore.

The ‘Emmaus Spring Sale’ will kick-start a week-long sale of vintage, retro, modern and pre-owned clearance items. The event will be a real showcase of all things Emmaus – ideal if you’re interested in unique furniture, retro fashion, bric-a-brac, bargain tools, project pieces or something interesting for your home.

Paul Barnes, one of the people supported at Emmaus Mossley, said: “Turn your spring into summer and come along to our next event. These evenings are a great introduction for those who have never visited Emmaus before. I enjoy the events as its good to welcome new faces along with seeing lots of our passionate Emmaus regulars.”

Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The charity runs a social enterprise in Mossley, selling donated and upcycled furniture, household goods, clothes and vintage wares.

Hazel Hodkinson, Retail Manager at Emmaus Mossley, said: “Like many people, here at Emmaus Mossley we’re planning to have a big spring clean. We’ll be raiding our sorting rooms, making space in our stores and collecting together some of the long-lost treasures that have been donated to us over the years.

“At our Emmaus Spring Sale event, all these items will be out for sale and Emmaus Mossley will be full of unique displays, themed areas and rummage boxes to inspire and excite. Hopefully many of our supporters will be able to attend, bag a bargain or few and help to support our charity.”

The ‘Emmaus Spring Sale’ event will take place on Thursday 21 March from 6pm at Emmaus Mossley, Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.

To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to www.emmaus.org.uk/mossley. If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01457 838608 or visit the store at Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.

 

Staff at the LEAP Centre in Ashton are appealing to local tradesmen to volunteer their time and help refurbish the centre’s Child Contact Centre.

The family contact room at the centre, which is to keep separated families in touch, is in need of a facelift.

Joanne Parry-Gee, Chief Officer at the LEAP Centre explained: “Any children who have lost contact with a parent through divorce, separation or other issues, it’s a place where they can come and meet their parents safely in a neutral, child-friendly setting.

“It’s very, very child-focused. It’s all about the best outcomes for the child and it’s all about making sure that children have the opportunity to stay in touch with their absent parent.

“We are accredited with the National Association of Contact Centres. We are a charity, so we do charge for the service but it’s not for profit.”

Some of the jobs that need doing in the family contact centre include removal of electrical trunking, new shelves fitted, new flooring installed, a false ceiling fitted and some plastering & decorating.

The LEAP Centre has received help in the past with developing its pre-school nursery and garden.

The contact centre at the LEAP Centre is the only such facility in Tameside and helps bring families together from all across the borough.

“We do get a very high number of referrals coming into the centre,” Joanne said. “We work with a lot of families and we have got evidence that it makes a real difference. There have been plenty of success stories where children and parents have continued to have a relationship after that initial reintroduction.

“We would be extremely grateful to anybody that can offer any help. It’s not a cash injection we’re looking for, it’s time and resources, but it will make a huge difference to local children and families.”

Anyone who can help the LEAP Centre with time or resources can contact the centre directly on 0161 214 8300 or e-mail leanne.bold@stpeterspartnerships.org.

 

One of the borough’s biggest and best loved fundraising events is returning as part of Willow Wood’s twentieth anniversary celebrations – the Midnight Wander.

There was always an incredible atmosphere as the pink-clad Wanderers set off on the 10km walk at the stroke of midnight.  At its peak, over 1,900 walkers took part, and as Chris Hayden, event organiser said: “I’ve been asked since I joined Willow Wood if it’s coming back, and I can tell you that online registration is now open for our Midnight Wander on Friday 20 September.

“We’re aiming to make this the biggest and best ever, and it’s open to everyone, men, women, boys and girls.  There are no age restrictions, so the whole family can join in.  Although we are providing special T shirts, we do hope that everyone will get in the spirit of the Wander and dress up.  Anything goes – so long as it’s pink!’

While the main elements of the walk will remain the same, this year it will set off and finish at the Astley Sports Centre, who are very kindly sponsoring the event.  There’ll be face painters, music, food and merchandise stalls and a raffle before the walk starts, plus a mass warm up session to get everyone raring to go.  On arrival back at the Centre, walkers will be presented with a medal and a very welcome hot breakfast bap.

Chris said: “We do know that it can be difficult for some people to raise sponsorship so we can provide one of our themed fundraising cards, which enables you to easily raise £100 – plus a cash prize for the winning answer.  The Midnight Wander is a very important part of our fundraising calendar, as we need over £6,800 each and every day to maintain our services, and the registration fee only covers the costs of the event.  We’re also offering to refund the fee for those who raise over £250; our super supporters!”

Those who have taken part in the Midnight Wander before will know just how much fun it is, with many supporters attending every one of the walks between 2007 and 2015, and Willow Wood staff and volunteers are really looking forward to seeing some familiar faces on the night.  If you’d like to be involved but don’t want to take part in the walk itself, could you be a marshal along the route?

Contact Chris to find out more at: chris.hayden@willowwood.info, or ring 0161 330 7788.  And for everyone who does want to be part of the Pink Parade, register now by going to www.willowwood.info – there’s an early bird discount until the end of March.

Hundreds of residents took part in a ‘Save our Greenbelt’ protest walk in Hyde on Sunday.

Organised by Save Tameside Greenbelt in conjunction with other groups across Greater Manchester, around 200 locals of all ages marched from Hattersley roundabout, down Mottram Road, Green Lane and Stockport Road through Gee Cross to the Joshua Bradley pub.

They were demonstrating their opposition to plans in the revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework to build 2,350 homes in the Godley Green ‘garden village’ proposal, plus a combined 440 homes on sites at Apethorn Lane and Bowlacre Lane.

Charlotte Castro of Save Tameside Greenbelt said: “The greenbelt march in Tameside on Sunday has shown that the commitment and resolve of local residents, and residents across the boundary in Stockport and Glossop, to call for radical changes to the GMSF plans remains unaltered.

“We want to see a renewed focus on redeveloping the town centres and using brownfield sites first, with affordable non-executive houses built as a priority for local people.

“Greenbelt should only be looked at once all brownfield sites are redeveloped and a measured reassessment of housing need completed at that time. A decision cannot be taken now that we need to build upon greenbelt when the figures for housing need – used to calculate the GMSF demand – remain under scrutiny, under questioning by MPs and their validity called into question in Westminster at the highest level.

Under the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, Tameside has been set a target of building an average of 466 homes a year over the next 20 years – the lowest target of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs.

Save Tameside Greenbelt have put forward a number of brownfield sites, such as the former ABC Waxworks site, which they say should be developed before any rural land is built on.

But the Godley Green development has been backed by Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds and Tameside Council Executive Leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington.

Jonathan Reynolds MP said: “The latest proposals for the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework reduce greenbelt loss considerably, and remove some inappropriate sites for housing, which is good news. It is still right that as a city region we have a strategic housing plan, though – if we don’t we simply hand power over to developers.

“There’s no disputing the need for more housing, but we must get it right, we a mix of housing types -including affordable homes and new social housing- and supporting infrastructure. Residents have until 18th March to have their say via the consultation and I would encourage anyone to have their say.”

Speaking when the revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework was released in January, Cllr Warrington told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “What is more important is people want to live in Tameside, people want to work in Tameside and we have the means for them to do that.

“Godley Green is a really exciting prospect for the future, where we hope to create a brand new settlement for people that we can actually design to ensure that we fulfil all of those needs from the different parts of the community.”

The local Conservative group is against the plans. Cllr Phil Chadwick helped lead the parade alongside other greenbelt campaign groups.

The Conservative councillor for Hyde Werneth said: “Regardless of everyone’s political affiliation, those who are in favour of saving the greenbelt and within the Save Tameside Group (who are apolitical), are ALL united in saving the greenbelt from destruction.

“Not only does it prevent urban sprawl into our semi-rural area, but the health benefits the greenbelt brings are irreplaceable. Once you concrete over it, it is lost forever.”

Prospective Conservative candidate for Hyde Godley Andrea Colbourne also joined the march. “We’ve been supporting Save Tameside Greenbelt from the start,” she said.

“We just haven’t got the infrastructure to cope with the number of houses they want to build on Godley Green.

“Residents struggle to get a doctor’s appointment already and just last week, parents were left disappointed when their children didn’t get into their first-choice school.

“The additional traffic would also be a problem and with that comes an increase in pollution. The council are trying to make people aware of pollution but at the same time are trying to take away this big green lung in Godley.

“I really hope people’s concerns are listened to and they get a chance to explain their concerns.”

The public consultation on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework closes on March 18. You can take part by visiting www.gmconsult.org/communications-and-engagement-team/gmsf/consultation.

Pictures courtesy of the Save Tameside Greenbelt Facebook page.

Grandmother Brenda Jones has been a busy bee enjoying a passion for knitting since she was a little girl.

Her latest handy work will be on show at the Manchester Midnight Walk on Friday, April 26, organised by St Ann’s Hospice.

Brenda’s stylish bee badges will be worn by entrants at the moonlit 10km walk, famed for its yellow and black theme.

Organisers are adopting a bee theme this year, recognising the working bee motif which symbolises the city’s industrial heritage.

Brenda has close links with the hospice apart from living near its Heald Green site.

She was a volunteer at St Ann’s when it opened in 1971 and older brother Bill Farrell was a patient and died there in 1998.

Ruth Labrow, Creative Therapist at the hospice, suggested that Brenda’s knitting skills could help raise funds for the charity.

Brenda said: “I sit next to Ruth in the Decibelles Ladies Choir and made the brooches to wear when we sang at a concert to mark the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena tragedy.

“The florist where my daughter works also sells them to raise funds for the charity and they were on sale at the hospice summer fair. I also make woollen bees to hang in cars. It just took off and I didn’t realise how popular they would be.”

Brenda’s badges are being sent to team leaders organising groups in the walk. They will also be on sale on the night at Manchester Cathedral where the walk starts and ends.

The popular event has raised more than £2million since it began 13 years ago, and the money raised helps St Ann’s continue to provide specialist care to local patients and their families.

The walk starts at midnight with warm up entertainment from 9pm, with music, disco and refreshments available.

Interested walkers can sign up by visiting www.mmwalk.org.uk or call 0161 498 3631.