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:

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:

Leaflet delivery in Shuttleworth

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.”

Councillors welcome increase in school funding

Your local Councillors have welcomed the news that schools budgets in the Borough of Bury, including Ramsbottom, are to increase significantly over the next 3 years, despite recent scaremongering in the media.

The Budget report considered by the full Council meeting of Bury Council on 21st February provided details of the schools budgets for 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.

This highlighted overall schools funding will increase as follows;

2017/18 £170.5m
2018/19 £176.1m
2019/20 £178.6m
2020/21 £181.1m

The 2020/21 figures are based upon the introduction of a new National Funding Formula.   The 2018/19 and 2019/20 figures represent the transition to this formula.

Funding is therefore increasing overall, however there is a variation in terms of the impact on individual schools.  Some schools are seeing reduced pupil numbers over the next few years and this will therefore attract less funding.

All schools in Bury have now had a copy of the Department for Education’s proposed funding levels for the next 3 years which shows the increases in monetary and percentage terms that individual schools will receive.  Please contact us, or your school Headteacher or Chair of Governors for further details.


Ramsbottom Neighbourhood Engagement Event

Residents are invited to attend the first ‘Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor Neighbourhood Engagement’ event.

This is an opportunity for residents, community groups, businesses and anyone who lives, works or has an interest in the area to get together and help shape new ways for us to work together to improve our Neighbourhoods.

The event takes place on:

Monday 20th November, 5pm – 7pm

Ramsbottom Cricket Club, Acre Bottom, Ramsbottom BL0 0BS

The event will be an informal ‘drop in’ session providing an opportunity for you to find out more about what is going on in our area and connect with other members of our community.

Exhibitors will include:

  • The Bury Directory
  • Helping Yourself to Wellbeing
  • Street Soccer/Hitz
  • Engagement HQ – online community tool
  • Carers
  • Branding
  • Adult Learning courses
  • Bury Volunteer Rangers
  • Safe Place Scheme
  • Community Help and Information Service
  • GM Police
  • NHS Community Services Bury
  • DCaff
  • Greenmount Village Association
  • Friends of Tottington Library
  • Friends of Nuttall Park
  • Friends of Ramsbottom Civic Hall
  • Incredible Edible Ramsbottom
  • Physical Activity and Sport Development
  • Making Space
  • Speakeasy
  • Home Instead Senior Care Bury
  • Recycling and Waste Management

…and more

There will be an opportunity to talk with service providers and community groups and speak with your local Councillors and Council Officers about how we engage with you and our community – working together addressing the issues that matter most to us all here in our area.

Outrage as Council close 10 libraries but Ramsbottom library is saved.

Councillors welcome decision to save Ramsbottom library

Opposition Councillors on Bury Council have been unsuccessful in halting the Labour-controlled Council’s decision to close 10 libraries across the Borough and keep open 4 libraries (Bury, Ramsbottom, Radcliffe and Prestwich).

The plans followed a lengthy consultation to which your local Councillors, local groups and the “Keep Rammy Library Safe” group all contributed to save our local library here in Ramsbottom.

Opposition Councillors had “called-in” the decision for review in an attempt to reverse the decision, but were outvoted 5-4 at a meeting of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday evening.

Details of the final decision to close the libraries can be found here:


Call in of Cabinet Decision – Library Review – Outcome of Third Public Survey on Proposed Options an

The library closures will be implemented on 30 September 2017.

Cllr Ian Bevan added “We are very disappointed that the decision has been made to close so many libraries, but I have been assured that Ramsbottom library will gain additional books and adult learning provision may be extended.  I would urge everyone to support Ramsbottom Library to ensure that it remains open in the future”.

Funding for Ramsbottom Groups and Organisations

To all local Groups and Organisations:

For your chance to secure £1,000 of community funding for a project in Ramsbottom, please go to and complete an application.

Please then send your application to BEFORE FRIDAY 30 JUNE 2017.

All successful applicants must attend ‘The Pitch’ event on 11 July, 5pm at the Derby High School to secure funds.

The Pitch

Positive reception on the doorstep around Ramsbottom …

We have visited over 1,000 houses across Ramsbottom over the course of this week.  We would like to thank residents for the very warm reception we have had on the doorstep discussing local issues, concerns and the General Election.

If you were out when we called and would like to discuss any issues, then please use the contact form below …


Ramsbottom Library Review – Stage 2

Cllr Ian Bevan outside Ramsbottom Library

Cllr Ian Bevan outside Ramsbottom Library

Bury Council’s Cabinet have released the results of the first round of consultation into the review of the library service across the Borough of Bury, including Ramsbottom.

There are currently 14 libraries across the Borough.

The proposals are to close 10 libraries and keep open 3 libraries (Bury, Ramsbottom and Prestwich) and perhaps retain a fourth (Radcliffe).

The plans, which will go out for a 12 week consultation, are set to be approved for consultation by the Cabinet at its meeting on 25 January 2017.  Details can be found here:


If the proposals go ahead, they would be implemented in July 2017.

To give your opinion, then please contact us, or visit the Bury Council website here:



Bury Council – Budget Consultation 2017

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Bury Council’s annual budget currently amounts to £448 million.

Since 2010, local authorities along with other public bodies have been subject to funding reductions so that the Government’s budget deficit can be reduced.

In February 2017, Bury Council must produce its budget for the 2017/18 financial year.  The Council is seeking comments as part of a budget consultation.

It is estimated that Bury Council will have to make cuts of around £32 million over the next three years in order to set a legal, balanced, and sustainable budget.

To provide certainty and stability, Bury Council intend to set a 3 year budget in February 2017, recognising that many service reform measures cannot be implemented in a single financial year, and will need time to develop and bed in.

Gross Budget

Bury Council’s annual budget is £448 million. 

The large budgets are for schools, who receive £163 million; Housing Benefit accounts for £51 million; and Public Health £12 million.

Of the remaining budget, Social Care (for Adults & Children) accounts for up to 60%.

The Council delivers over 150 different services to a population of over 186,000 (approximately 80,000 households) across.

How is the Council’s budget spent?

Costs of key services are summarised below:

  • £2.4 million operating 17 Libraries
  • £460k on Museums, Galleries & Culture
  • £4.0 million collecting your bins;
  • £12.5 million on Waste Disposal
  • £46.8 million on Adult Social Care
  • £10.6 million on Looked After Children
  • £1.2 million supporting sport and leisure facilities
  • £2.2 million maintaining Parks & Open Spaces
  • £6.4 million maintaining the borough’s highways.

Proposed Cuts

Resources & Regulation Directorate – £20 million annual budget.

Services provided by this Department include:

  •  Finance, Human Resources, IT
  •  Housing Benefits / Council Tax / Business Rates
  •  Highways Assets Management
  •  Planning Department
  •  Trading Standards
  •  Property Services

How is it proposed this will be achieved?

  • Reconfiguration of back office services (£900k); the Council operate a range of back office services including Finance, HR, IT, etc – all will be reviewed to ensure that structures deliver increasingly efficient and resilient services making best use of technology.
  • Collaborative Working (£800k); the Council will examine areas where services can be provided collaboratively – working with other local authorities and partner organisations.
  • Rationalisation of Council Property (£500k); the Council will continue to rationalize properties, making further use of technology and agile working practices.
  • Income Generation (£600k); the Council will seek to provide services to Public Sector Partners, trading services inside & outside the Borough (e.g. Payroll & Legal Services).
  • Highways Asset Management (£500k); the Council will review its approach to managing highways, ensuring structures are efficient and resilient, and investment levels are appropriate and affordable.
  • Investment in the Digital Agenda (£400k); the Council will secure process savings through continued investment in new technology.
  • Facilities Management (£750k); the Council will develop a more corporate approach to facilities management, ensuring assets are managed in a more coordinated manner and statutory obligations continue to be fulfilled.
  • Enforcement Functions (£300k); the Council will review enforcement activity.
  • Treasury Management (£1.35m); the Council will continue to generate surpluses by actively managing day to day cash flow, and management of longer term debt / investment portfolio.
  • Other Initiatives (£1.2m); further cost reductions will be generated by reviewing all budget areas over the period to 2020.

Children, Young People & Culture – £35 million annual budget

Services provided by this Department include:

  •  Schools
  •  Children’s Social Care
  •  Cleaning & Caretaking
  •  Culture
  •  Libraries

How is it proposed this will be achieved?

  • Optimisation of External Funding (£600k); proposed changes to external funding arrangements will enable some services currently directly funded by the Council to continue to be operable within these funding regimes.
  • Development of Early Years provision (£1.0m); restructure service provision currently available to all, to a targeted provision available to those in greatest need, mainly through an outreach service.
  • Looked After Children/Fostering (£1.2m); reducing costs of Looked After Children through investment initiatives, such as the Adolescent Support Unit, recruiting additional foster carers / adopters to reduce reliance on independent fostering agencies.
  • Service Reviews (£2.6m); reviews of many services within the department with a view to further cost reductions and service reorganisation.
  • Review of Management and Administrative structures (£730k); reduced costs through further restructuring of management and administrative functions.
  • Other Initiatives (£720k); includes changes in working practices/arrangements and further central relocation of services from outlying buildings.
  • Reduced Pension Liability (£500k); declining number of former employees eligible to belong to the teachers/lecturers’ national pension scheme.
  • Changes to school funding regime (£350k); the Government are devolving the funding for services such as the School Improvement service directly to schools and academies so they can make their own arrangements from their own school resources.

Communities & Wellbeing – £70 million annual budget

Services provided by this Department include:

  •  Adult Social Care
  •  Waste Management
  •  Highways Repairs
  •  Sport & Leisure
  •  Public Health
  •  Environmental Health
  •  Strategic Housing

How is it proposed this will be achieved?

  • Health & Social Care Integration (£5.7m); closer alignment with the NHS to jointly manage demand and future service costs.
  • Review of Operational Services (£2.1m); all operational services to undergo reviews, ensuring services are increasingly sustainable, affordable, and in line with the Council’s vision
  • Review of Leisure & Wellbeing Service (£900k); development of a Wellbeing Service, and working actively towards a significantly reduced reliance on Council support in respect of Leisure Services and Civic Halls.
  • Review of Transport Arrangements (£300k); reviewing the Council’s transport fleet requirements in light of service reviews. Ensuring the most economic approach to procurement and deployment of vehicles.
  • Public Protection & Enforcement (£500k); consolidation of public protection functions, e.g. Environmental Health, Public Health, and optimisation of external grants
  • Housing Related Services (£350k); review of the Council’s housing related services to reduce costs whilst still maintaining appropriate levels of service.
  • Review of Organisational Infrastructure (£2.3m); department-wide review of management structures in light of new service delivery models to reduce costs.
  • Devolution Transformation Funding (£4.0m); use of funding available from Greater Manchester to support delivery of new working models partnering with the NHS.
  • Other Initiatives (£850k); review of other service areas to reduce cost and maximise income generation opportunities.

Extra Income from Council Tax?

The ruling Labour Party on Bury Council anticipate that Council Tax will rise by 1.94% for each of the three financial years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20.  In addition, there will be an extra 2% rise to fund Adult Social Care pressures; giving an assumed Council Tax increase of 3.94% per annum.

A 3.94% equates to an increase of £53 per year (roughly £1 per week) for an average “Band D” property.

How can you get involved in the consultation?

Attend a public meeting – Ramsbottom/North Manor/ Tottington Township Forum (Public Meeting) at 7pm on 10 January 2017. Tottington Methodist Church

More details can be found on the Council’s website where you can comment online:

Email –

Write – Budget201720, Bury Council, Knowsley Street, Bury, BL9 OSW.

Close of Public Consultation – 31 January 2017