Update on Mondi Paper Mill Site, Bridge Street

Holcombe Mill (former Mondi Paper Mill) before it was demolished

Residents will be aware that the former Mondi Paper Mill Site at the end of Bridge Street, Ramsbottom, has stood empty since it closed in 2008.

Since partial demolition in 2013, concerns have regularly been raised by residents and businesses alike about it being a “blot on the landscape” right in the centre of Ramsbottom.

Former Councillors, Ian Bevan and Rob Hodkinson, had several meetings with the site owners and Bury Council over a number of years to get them to develop the land, but issues regarding safety of the site, and a reluctance from the Council to get involved in the site were preventing the owners from doing so.

The site owners had received a number of approaches from developers. The most controversial was from Netto Supermarkets (Sainsbury’s) for a food store on the site which was opposed by businesses, residents and Councillors’ at the time.  The proposal was dropped after this campaign.

Discussions also took place for the site around the chimney to be turned into a much needed car park for the town.  Again, there was reluctance from Bury Council to engage or compulsory purchase the site.

After extensive discussions, the site owners agreed that the most sensible option, and one which would gain our support, would be to pursue a proposal for mainly mixed residential housing (including retirement and low cost housing) with an area around the chimney and existing stone buildings earmarked for commercial use – craft workshops, units etc. Indeed, a number of local businesses looking for small sites have already expressed interest to us with potential for job creation on the site.

We understand that that local homebuilding firm, Eccleston Homes, has now secured an option to purchase the site for housing with plans to keep the chimney in place.  Important infrastructure will be required for local roads etc.

As the site is still “employment land” in the Bury Unitary Development Plan, an alternative use might still need to be found for the area around the chimney.  We would urge Bury Council to engage with them for a possible car park.

We have always promoted Ramsbottom to the site owners as a unique thriving town centre of small independent shops and have previously secured agreement from the site owners that any development should not undermine the hard fought success created by existing businesses.

We will keep you updated with developments but feel free to let us know your views on this issue.

X41 Bus Service rescued

****Breaking X41 news****

Residents across Ramsbottom can celebrate after news that local MPs have succeeded with the campaign to keep the X41 bus service running.

The service, operated by Transdev was due to cease service on January 26th after the company stated that it could not afford to continue operating the route.

A petition, signed by over 4,000 people, supported by local Members of Parliament, called on the decision to be looked at again.

After a meeting with Transdev, last week, Ramsbottom Councillor Ian Schofield has been working together with Bury North MP, James Daly, Christian Wakeford MP for Bury South Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Sara Britcliffe and Rossendale MP, Jake Berry, to take the campaign to the very highest levels to come up with a rescue package.

Cllr Ian Schofield, James Daly MP with representatives of TfGM and Transdev Buses

Following further meetings with officials and Lancashire County Council, Transdev have agreed to continue running the service until the package is formally signed off.

We promised that we would do everything that we could to keep the X41 running and we are delighted that we’ve succeeded.

Working together with Ramsbottom’s Conservative MP and other colleagues, it is great news that we’ve been able to save this vital link to Manchester which so many Ramsbottom residents rely on.

Local Conservative MPs discussing the X41 issue with Lancashire County Council


Update on X41 Bus Service

James Daly MP has confirmed he has written to the Mayor of Greater Greater Manchester, TFGM and Transdev requesting urgent meetings to discuss the X41 bus service. He told us … ‘The loss of this route impacts many of my constituents and I will be asking that this decision be reconsidered.’

Transdev have previously said they were scrapping the X41 and the Red 4 services from Ramsbottom to Bury because low passengers numbers meant the two routes combined are losing £300,000 a year.

James Daly MP


Update on Ripon Hall Avenue flooding

Ripon Hall Avenue during recent flooding

Councillor Ian Schofield has made further representations to Bury Council about the flooding on Ripon Hall Avenue.

Council engineers have undertaken investigations to confirm that the blockage on the culvert is on adjacent private land and have subsequently issued a legal notice to the land owners requiring them to take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

The legal department have not received any response to this notice, or seen any indication of any works taking place.

It has been agreed that a grit bin will be provided temporarily to reduce the risk due to freezing water whilst the Council’s legal department continue to pursue the land owners.

Residents should be aware that the cost of the required works could potentially be substantial.

The Council have powers to intervene and once correct procedures have been followed, any works undertaken in default would be likely to result in a charge on the land. This would represent a significant investment by the Council to resolve this issue, with no immediate likelihood of recouping the investment.

Councillor Ian Schofield understands that this matter will be discussed at the next portfolio meeting before deciding on a course of action. He will continue to push for the work to be undertaken urgently.

Councillor Ian Schofield

General Election 2019 – A message from James Daly MP

Thursday 12 December 2019 was a long day!

We were up at 4am and out at 5am with activists from across Ramsbottom, Tottington and Bury, delivering last minute reminders to voters about polling day.

The weather was dreadful but we were determined to push the message to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and elect James Daly as the new Conservative MP for Bury North.  At some polling stations, the turnout was the highest that staff had ever seen.

Conservative Activists in the rain in Bury North

By the close of polls at 10pm, it was evident to us that the election in Bury North would be very close.  The exit polls showed a large Conservative majority.

Election Count at Castle Leisure Centre

At the end of the Count, James Daly was very slightly ahead by just 61 votes over Labour incumbent, James Frith, so a recount was undertaken.

At the end of the first recount, the Conservative vote had increased slightly.  A second recount was ordered.

The final result, showed that James Daly had won by just 105 votes.


James Daly and his wife with supporters on the announcement of the Bury North result

Politics can be cruel sometimes and James Frith accepted defeat graciously – hampered by his support for Jeremy Corbyn and his votes against Brexit in Parliament – he saw his majority of 4,375 in 2017 wiped out.

Today sees James Daly sworn in as the Member of Parliament for Bury North.  His local office is just being established and his contact details are below.

James Daly MP has given us the following message for Ramsbottom residents:

It’s the honour of a lifetime to be elected as the MP for Bury North, and I’m so grateful to everyone who put their trust in me on Thursday.  I believe that politics starts when you walk out of the front door, and I’ll work hard to ensure Bury is the best it can be. Thank you.”

James can be contacted at:

James Daly MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

James Daly and other newly elected MPs welcomed to Parliament by Boris Johnson

Bury Blind Society Christmas Fair 2019

Ramsbottom Councillor Ian Schofield and Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Bury North, James Daly, visited the Bury Blind Society annual Christmas Fair at Ramsbottom Civic Hall this week.

Cllr Schofield and Cllr Daly at the Bury Blind Society Christmas Fair

Councillor Schofield expressed his thanks to the hard working volunteers who give up their time to help the blind and partially sighted residents of Bury and Ramsbottom.

Should anyone like to volunteer to help, or need advice and assistance, then the Bury Blind Society website can be found here: https://www.buryblindsociety.org/

General Election campaign gets underway …

The General Election campaign here in Ramsbottom got under way with a week of intense campaigning including door knocking and leaflet delivery for James Daly, the Conservative Candidate for Bury North, which includes Ramsbottom, Shuttleworth, Holcombe and Hawkshaw

Conservative Campaigners on the Whittingham Drive estate

Conservative Campaigners on Peel Brow

James Daly is the local Councillor for Holcombe Brook, Greenmount, Summerseat and Hawkshaw.  He is a partner in a business in Bury and Chair of Governors at Hoyle Nursery School.

He is seeking to win the seat back for the Conservatives from James Frith, who took the seat from the Conservatives in 2017.

You can find out more on his facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/jamesdalyforburynorth

Conservative Campaigners off Nuttall Lane

Should residents require a postal vote or proxy vote for the General Election on December 12th, then they should contact Bury Council’s election office hotline on 0161 253 5252 or by email to: electionservices@bury.gov.uk

Leaflet delivery in Shuttleworth

Ramsbottom Election Results 2019

Local Election – Count of Votes

It was a very disappointing night for Ramsbottom Conservatives on 2nd May, losing the seat by 186 votes.

We would like to send our congratulations to Clair Cummins the newly elected Councillor for Ramsbottom and wish her every success in representing our town at Bury Town Hall.
It was clear to the us on the doorstep and from the vote results that Conservative voters stayed at home or protest voted due to the national situation, despite this being a local council election. However, we will take that message back to our Party Leaders in Westminster.
We would like to thank our fantastic candidate, Gregg Fletcher, and his entire campaign team who worked tirelessly over the last few months despite difficult national circumstances.
The full results can be found here (in alphabetical order):
Candidate Party Votes poll
Bancroft, Louise Stephanie Green Party – Save Our Green Space 363
Cummins, Clair Ann Labour Party 1645
Fletcher, Gregg Dennis The Conservative Party Candidate 1459
Foss, David Henry Liberal Democrats 160

Effective electorate: 9011
Spoiled votes: 55
Poll: 41%

Vote Gregg Fletcher on Thursday 2nd May

By Gregg Fletcher, Conservative Candidate for Ramsbottom Ward

We are now in the closing stages of the local election campaign here in Ramsbottom.

I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many people across our area with my campaign team.  We have been out in all weathers – wind, rain and sun – but it has always been a pleasure to speak to local residents on the doorstep about issues of concern and also our positive campaign.

Gregg and his campaign team

Part way through the campaign, I had to break away from electioneering to devote my time to the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, which I organise along with my wife Terri.

We were so pleased that this year’s festival was such a success and brought thousands of people to our fantastic town.

Gregg and Terri Fletcher, organising at the Chocolate Festival

Quite rightly, Ramsbottom has become one of the best places to live in the country and I am proud to have had a helping hand in my role as Chairman of Ramsbottom Business Group for many years, and lately as the organiser of the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, Farmers Markets and other events.

I am standing for election because I love this area and have a positive vision for Ramsbottom and our villages.  I have lived here in Ramsbottom with my wife, Terri, and young family on the Whittingham Drive estate for many years.

When the Polling Stations open this Thursday, residents of Ramsbottom, Holcombe, Shuttleworth and Hawkshaw will have the chance to decide who is going to be one of their local Councillors.

If you elect me this Thursday, I pledge to work tirelessly to:

■ Stop a 4th Supermarket being built in the town centre;

■ Find a long-term solution for the old Mondi Paper Mill site on Bridge Street with affordable housing, extra car parking and a new, state of the art Pool and Leisure complex;

■ Protect the Green Belt and green spaces in Ramsbottom, Holcombe, Hawkshaw and Shuttleworth from being developed and concreted over;

■ Secure CCTV and extra lighting for our town centre to ensure it is safe for visitors at night.

Gregg with Councillor Rob Hodkinson and Councillor Ian Schofield

Bury has a Labour Council and we need a strong opposition.  Residents have a clear choice between our positive vision for our area or more years of Labour neglect.

Don’t just hope for a better Council. Vote for it.

Don’t sit this election out. Make certain your voice is heard by either completing your postal vote and returning it to Bury Town Hall or taking a few minutes to call in at the Polling Station on Thursday.

Best Wishes.

Gregg Fletcher, Conservative Candidate

Published by Dene Vernon on behalf of Gregg Fletcher both of Conservative Campaign Headquarters, 1 Manchester Road, Bury, BL9 0DR.

Chocolate Festival organiser selected to fight election

Coun Rob Hodkinson with Gregg Fletcher

We can announce today that Councillor Robert Hodkinson has decided to retire from Bury Council at the local elections in May 2019 for family reasons.

Coun Hodkinson has served Ramsbottom since 2014 and has been a strong advocate for the town.

Coun Rob Hodkinson has given the following comment: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Councillor and it has been an honour to serve the residents of Ramsbottom. I have consistently asked questions about our town in the Council Chamber and helped fight to protect our green spaces and green belt.

I have been active within Ramsbottom Business Group, helping to organise events such as the Chocolate Festival and 1940s weekend and have helped hundreds of people with local casework – housing issues, planning, neighbour disputes, parking etc..”

As a result, at a meeting of the Bury Conservative Association, Ramsbottom businessman, Gregg Fletcher, has been unanimously chosen as the Conservative candidate for Ramsbottom Ward at the forthcoming local elections to be held in May 2019.

Gregg, who lives on Stanford Hall Crescent, on the Whittingham Drive estate in Ramsbottom, is a well-known resident of Ramsbottom, having established his business in the town many years ago.

Gregg was for many years Chairman of Ramsbottom Business Group and now devotes his spare time to organising the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, Farmers Markets and other events in the town.

Gregg is married to Terri, and has two daughters.

He gave the following comment: “I am delighted to have been selected by the Conservatives to stand in the elections next year for Ramsbottom. I have lived in the town for 18 years and have run a local business here during that whole time.

Rob Hodkinson will be a hard act to follow, but I know that I can be a strong voice for Ramsbottom. I have the commitment and energy needed to fight for the issues that matter to the residents of Ramsbottom.

I have always had a positive vision for Ramsbottom, Shuttleworth and Holcombe. Quite rightly, Ramsbottom has become one of the best places to live in the country and I am proud to have had a helping hand in my role as Chairman of Ramsbottom Business Group for many years, and lately as the organiser of the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, Farmers Markets and other events.

Towns always adapt to change and Ramsbottom has done better than most in attracting new investment into the town centre. It has built a solid reputation as a food destination of choice. This is down to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in our town, from residents, retailers and volunteers.

I am looking forward to the campaign. Residents I believe share my positive vision for our town. If elected, I will work hard with Councillor Ian Schofield to ensure Ramsbottom has a strong voice on Bury Council.”