Andrew Gwynne MP News
Posted by Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, at 13:28, Mon 13 June 2011:
Welcoming new bus fleet for Tameside
Andrew has welcomed the news that Stagecoach Manchester has launched an investment of more than £2 million in its fleet, with the launch of 15 brand new buses at the company’s Tameside depot. He joined the Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester and a number of staff at the depot to officially launch the 15 single decker buses. The new buses will replace 13 year old vehicles currently stationed at the depot, and will run on the 346 and 347 routes, serving customers in Hyde, Dukinfield, Ashton, Denton and Haughton Green. Andrew Gwynne MP said: “It is good news to see a range of new top quality buses for the people of Tameside. In this current difficult economic climate, for many people, public transport is the only option for getting around the region.”
Andrew encourages children for Walk to School Week
Families across the UK left their cars at home to take part in National Walking Month. As part of the month, children across Tameside said goodbye to the school run and strode out for Living Streets' Walk to School Week. Andrew joined residents walking to Russell Scott Primary School to celebrate the start of the week. Over the past two decades, the number of children walking to school has dramatically dropped from 62% to 50%. 42% of children are driven to school in cars, despite the fact that the majority of primary school children live within a 20 minute walk of their school.
As part of National Walking Month, they encourage children, parents and teachers to leave their cars in the driveway and make the journey to school on foot. Andrew Gwynne MP said: "I was thrilled to be take part in Living Streets' Walk to School Week this year and was glad so many parents and children from across Tameside & Stockport joined in. Walking is key to fighting childhood obesity, but it can also be beneficial to children in other ways, helping them learn vital road safety skills, to interact with their local environment and to become 'streetwise' and develop independence."
Andrew Raises concerns over finances of Reddish Incubator
In a parliamentary debate Andrew has raised a number of concerns about the financial dealings of the Reddish Business Incubator. Some of the ongoing problems with the scheme include business rents on the incubator units had not been collected, serious structural financial problems with the project and a complete lack of transparency in how it operates financially.
These series of failures have ultimately led to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council having to offer additional financial assistance and take over the project just to keep it afloat. The project started in 2008 as a social enterprise owned 50% by Stockport Council and 50% by Broadstone Mill Ltd, with almost half a million pounds of public money invested in establishing the project.
It was only through Freedom of Information requests by Stockport Labour group that the dire financial state of the scheme was revealed. Minutes show that in March 2010 the project was expected to break even, but by September 2010 an emergency payment of £38,500 had to be made to keep the project afloat, and it will need a further payment from the Council of £160,000 just to clear its current debts. Leaked reports also recommended that the Council directly oversees the future management of the incubator facility with a business plan that makes the facility viable by 2012, and that it takes a new lease with the Landlord over a 25-year period. Andrew Gwynne MP said: “I decided to raise this issue in Parliament because the scheme has been so badly run from its inception. Stockport Council should frankly be ashamed that they have squandered so much public money on this financially inept Community Interest Company.” “They have failed to collect rents and failed miserably to cover the costs of the project. Instead they have had to write ever more blank cheques of tax payer’s money just to keep the project running. It completely stinks! I want to know what measures they will put in place to make sure that this project is now run in a financially transparent manner.”
Backing Plans for Audenshaw Park
Andrew has joined with Audenshaw Councillors to lead the campaign to improve Shepley Wood Park. There has been a recent announcement that potential plans are being drawn up for new play equipment in the park following consultation with local residents.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“I was dismayed when the government axed the cash for some of Tameside’s parks to be upgraded, but am really pleased that Tameside Council have listened to my representations and to residents’ concerns and agreed to fund a new children’s play area at Shepley Wood. Local people deserve a proper play site here and not just a brick wall. I hope now that local children will get involved and let the Council know what sort of play equipment they would like to see here.”
Taking part in the Redd Fest
Andrew was delighted to take part in awarding certificates for art work done by Reddish pupils, as part of the Redd Fest.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“I was thrilled to present the certificates at the recent Schools Art Competition, the standard was really high and I would like to congratulate all those who took part, they all did very well. I am also very pleased that the winners will have their work displayed at the ReddFest.”
Helping to save EMA for local students
Under threat of legal challenge the Tory-led Government have agreed to honour their commitments to students who are halfway through their course. Andrew and the Save EMA campaign forced the government to back track due to the threat of legal action on behalf of students who believe their two-year contracts for study had been breached by the decision to axe the EMA.
This means that 250,000 of the poorest students in England can breathe a sigh of relief. But the fight goes on to secure better support for other young people who have lost out as a result of the Government’s broken promises. Working with the national campaign group Save EMA, local MP Andrew Gwynne has been raising the issue of EMA at Westminster and voted against scrapping the scheme in Parliament on Wednesday 19th January. Andrew Gwynne MP said: “The government's reckless decision to scrap the EMA will really hurt students and their families in Denton and Reddish , but thanks to the Labour Party and the Save EMA campaign over a quarter of a million students will not have to worry about whether they can continue at college next year. “We had to really push for this - it’s not enough but at least young people and their families in Denton and Reddish will get some support next year. Six months ago this government was saying under no circumstances were they going to reverse their decision. “Before the election both the Lib Dems and Tories promised not to scrap the EMA. They have broken this promise, but at least Labour has forced them to honour their commitment to those students halfway through their course.”
Supporting Local Sports Clubs
Andrew has thrown his weight behind the Red Card to Red Tape campaign, which aims to reduce the burden of regulations on small sports clubs.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
"Sports clubs form a vital part of the social fabric here in Tameside. They can do a fantastic job of bringing communities together and help keep people fit and healthy at the same time. Most of them are run by volunteers who put in a lot of time and effort to give their members the chance to take part in sport.
"They deserve more support, and cutting all the unnecessary bureaucracy that small clubs face would be an excellent start. We need to free up the restrictions on grass roots sport if we are to boost sports participation in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic Games."