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.

Getting our roads ready for winter

Living here in Ramsbottom, our winters can sometimes be pretty harsh, and this year the forecasters are predicting a period of very cold weather.

That’s why we’re calling on local residents to help make sure that our roads are repaired, our grit bins are re-filled and gullies and drains cleared of any blockages before the winter sets in.

The easiest way to get these reported and sorted is by using Bury Council’s online reporting tool here: http://www.bury.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=10377

It’s quick, easy and means that the Highways Department will know straight away about any issues.

Alternatively, you can use the “Fix My Street” website here: https://www.fixmystreet.com/

The Greater Manchester area receives over £34,000,000 a year from the Government for repairing potholes and maintaining the local highway infrastructure.

If you have any concerns, or have reported issues that have not been dealt with, then contact us here:

 

Planning for Floods …

Cllr Ian Schofield, residents and Club Members cleaning up the Cricket Ground after flooding

A six-week consultation has been launched by Bury Council on a draft “Local Flood Risk Management Strategy”.

The consultation runs from 30 October to 11 December 2017.

Ramsbottom, Shuttleworth, Holcombe Village and Hawkshaw has seen flooding in recent years, so your views are particularly important.

Areas of Ramsbottom are now in the Environment Agency Flood Zone, and include Stubbins Lane, Kenyon Street, Crow Lane, Nuttall Park, Ramsbottom Cricket Ground and Ramsbottom United Football Club, and other areas such as Carr Street, Moor Road, Branch Road, Manchester Road/Whitelow Brow are known for surface water flooding.

The Strategy will complement the Environment Agency’s national flood risk management strategy.  Bury Council also works alongside the other Councils in Greater Manchester to prevent flood risk.

The draft consultation document covers the main sources of flooding as well as focusing on the council’s specific responsibilities for local flood risk from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses.

The rivers that run through the Borough such as the Irwell, Roch and Kirklees Brook are the responsibility of the Environment Agency.

The three main aims of the Bury Local Flood Risk Management Strategy are to:

  • Increase awareness of local flood risk issues
  • Identify how partners such as the Environment Agency and United Utilities are working together to reduce flood risk
  • Provide an overview of ongoing flood risk management within the borough, together with an action plan and a programme of schemes

A number of potential schemes have been identified to help reduce flood risk, and whilst it isn’t possible to prevent all flooding, the Council needs to consider the risks faced and ways in which the risks and potential consequences can be managed.

“This consultation gives people an important opportunity to have their say on the schemes we have identified to help address potential flood risk in our borough.”

To view the consultation document and find out how to comment visit www.bury.gov.uk/floodriskstrategy

For advice on what to do before, during and after a flood visit www.bury.gov.uk/flooding-advice

Fatality leads to calls for urgent pothole inquiry

Cllr Rob Hodkinson and Cllr Ian Bevan with local resident

Ramsbottom Councillors, Ian Bevan, Rob Hodkinson and Ian Schofield, have called on the leaders of Bury Council to address concerns about dangerous potholes in our town and villages.

This follows the recent Inquest into the death of Ramsbottom resident, Roger Hamer, who tragically lost his life last year when his bicycle hit a pothole on Bury New Road in Ramsbottom.

Following the three day inquest, the jury concluded that Mr Hamer probably hit a large pothole which caused him to come off his bike in March 2016 and caused a fatal brain injury.  The pothole had been reported to the Council earlier in the year.

Councillor Hodkinson added “I would like to take this opportunity to express, on behalf of the Ramsbottom Councillors, and no doubt the full Council, our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Roger Hamer who tragically lost his life last year when his bicycle hit a pothole on Bury New Road in Ramsbottom.

Roger had lived in Ramsbottom for most of his life and was well known within the local community.  The recent inquest verdict concluded that Mr Hamer probably hit a large pothole which caused him to come off his bike and sustain several skull fractures. The cause of his death was given as severe brain injury.  The inquest into his death did hear that the pothole identified by the police officers on the day of the incident had been reported earlier in the year to the Council by a local resident.

The assistant coroner stated that “The practices set out by the highway authority are not dealt with consistently. For example the use of spray paint and recording tools such as photos and measurements”.

It was stated that lessons could be learned by this Council, and this is the reason for this call for a review into the Council’s Highways maintenance regime.

Bury Council, as a highway authority, has statutory obligations and duties under the Highways Act 1980 to ensure that it takes reasonable care to ensure that the highway is maintained and is not dangerous for pedestrians or vehicular traffic.   The Council should also comply with national Codes of Practice.

If a road or footpath falls into a dangerous condition due to the failure of the Council to maintain or repair the highway, then it can become liable to anyone injured or who suffers financial loss.

One of the largest areas of concern raised to me by residents is damage to vehicles caused by potholes. According to a recent Bury Times article -Bury has more vehicles damaged by potholes than any other borough in Greater Manchester.

A total of 292 claims for damage to vehicles were made to Bury Council during the 2015/2016 period – more than double the previous year.

There are numerous more residents and visitors injured due to tripping in potholes or falling on the highway, including many elderly residents whose confidence is then lost – and who become housebound through fear of falling again.

In my view, that is simply unacceptable.  Bury Council need to ensure that its inspection and repair regime is fit for purpose and has the confidence of local residents and tax payers.  The Council should ensure that reports of potholes from residents are actioned at the earliest opportunity to mitigate the danger they pose to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Far too often, potholes and issues on the highway are reported by Councillors and residents – and nothing happens. Weeks and months can go by without repair.   This is unacceptable.

Our resolution to be heard at the full Council meeting on Wednesday 13 September, if successful, would instruct the Cabinet Member for Environment to carry out a full review of the Council’s highway inspection and maintenance programme to ensure it is delivering an efficient service in tackling the blight of potholes and minimising the risks posed to road users and pedestrians and to report its findings to Councillors at the next Full Council meeting in November.

But what else can we do to improve the situation bearing in mind that it usually tops the list of complaints in local surveys that we undertake?

There should be better communication with residents about pothole filling and maintaining roads, especially after a report by a resident.

There should be greater clarity on decision-making by Highway Officers so that residents having a better understanding of the timescale for repairs and what can, and cannot be repaired.

The increased use of technology should clearly help all this, and it will help Highway Inspectors spend more time assessing and commissioning repairs together with checking the quality of work, and less time dealing with correspondence or complaints.

One of the most important issues is involving and encouraging residents, Council staff and Councillors to report potholes and issues on the highway.

Why can’t the refuse operative, or social worker visiting a property report problems with potholes on a local street?

What about volunteer “street champions”?

Devon County Council have successfully established a “Community Road Warden scheme”.  Each warden is a highways “champion” for their designated area – whether one street or a few streets or village.   They are responsible for reporting potholes and other issues to the Council – and can do it far more frequently that a Highways Inspector can visit.

They could organise volunteers and carry out minor works such as weed control, and sign cleaning, before they become a safety issue.  To ensure they can work safely on the highway Devon County Council provide free training for the volunteers, equipment and third party liability cover for properly completed volunteer work.

Street Champions could be rewarded for their work – with a council tax reduction – for the effort they are making in their community.

We already have a wealth of volunteers – from homewatch, to residents and tenants associations. Why not tap into their potential – to help the Council and improve their communities?

As part of the overall review and as a tribute to Roger Hamer we ask that Bury Council look at the scheme adopted by Devon County Council and consider a pilot scheme in Ramsbottom. It’s three Councillors are more than happy to work with the Council and residents in that respect.”

Your views sought on local Planning – Bury Local Plan

Bury Council is in the process of preparing a new Local Plan that will guide future building and development in the Borough, including Ramsbottom.

Bury Council are now seeking your views on the key issues that you think the plan should address – including housing, Green Belt, infrastructure etc.

Alongside this, they are undertaking a ‘Call for Sites’ exercise.

 

WHAT IS A LOCAL PLAN?

The Local Plan should address the needs of our area and opportunities in relation to housing, the local economy, community facilities and infrastructure.

They should also safeguard the environment, enable adaptation to climate change and help secure high quality accessible design.

The new Bury Local Plan will set out a range of planning policies that will seek to support or restrict building and development up to 2035 and will zone land for specific uses, such as housing, employment and Green Belt.

The Local Plan will be used as the basis for determining future planning applications once it is in place.  It will replace the current Plan which dates back to 1997 and is out of date.

The Local Plan will sit alongside the Greater Manchester Minerals and Waste Plans and the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) when that is finalised.

 

 

VIEWING DOCUMENTS

All relevant documentation can be found at www.bury.gov.uk/localplan.  You can also view the Key Issues and Policy Framework report at Ramsbottom Library during their normal opening hours.

COMMENTING ON THE KEY ISSUES AND POLICY FRAMEWORK

Sometimes there will have to be difficult (and possibly unpopular) decisions and trade-offs need to be made.

For example, about a housing policy, green belt review; if jobs growth are part of the strategy, where houses go to meet the needs for employees; how infrastructure will be funded?

One of the most important national requirements set out in the National Planning Policy Framework is the Council’s plan to meet housing need in our area (and sometimes overspill from adjoining areas as well). It should take into account population and household growth projections, migration and also market and economic conditions.

Local plans translate these into policy, including identifying land for housing and employment uses.  Bury Council is required, again by national policy, to identify a five year supply of specific, deliverable housing sites.  This can be the subject of much debate and it will often involve difficult decisions about where it is appropriate for housing to go.

The Council are therefore seeking your views on whether:

  • the “Key Issues” are the right issues that the Local Plan should be seeking to address?;
  • there are any other “Key Issues”;
  • the “Vision” is an appropriate reflection of how the Borough should be in 2035; and
  • the proposed “Policy Framework” is appropriate.

CALL FOR SITES

In addition, the Council are also undertaking a Call for Sites exercise to try and identify land that is suitable for a range of developments and/or for protection.

In particular, they are keen to gather local evidence on any brownfield sites that they may not be aware of that could be used for development.

RESPONSES

Responses by email should be sent to planning.policy@bury.gov.uk.

Alternatively, responses can be returned by post to the following address:

Development Plans Unit, Strategic Planning and Economic Development, Department for Resources and Regulation, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury BL9 0EJ

DEADLINE

The consultation runs over an eight-week period until Monday 2 October 2017.

NEXT STEPS

The next stage will be consultation on a draft Local Plan in early 2018.

 

 

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:

Cabinet_Report_(28_June_2017)_-_Outcome_of_third_public_survey_on_proposed_options_and_recommendatio

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”.

Government turns down expansion of Scout Moor Wind Farm

Scout Moor Wind Farm

The Government has refused planning permission for a massive expansion of the Scout Moor wind farm following a public inquiry.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid,  turned down planning permission for a further 14 wind turbines on Scout Moor, above Ramsbottom.

The wind farm is already the largest onshore wind farm in England.  The plans, if approved, would have taken the whole site to 42 wind turbines.

Mr Javid cited the main issues being the character and appearance of the landscape, and heritage assets as the reasons behind his refusal in that the proposed turbines sited near to the edge of the moor would have a “significant adverse effect on the landscape character and visual amenity”.

Mr Javid did not believe the proposed layout would ‘integrate well’ with the existing turbines as the turbines would infill between the existing ones.

Proposed Scout Moor Wind Farm Extension

The plans drew hundreds of objections from residents, Jake Berry MP (Rossendale) and David Nuttall (then MP for Bury North) together with local Councillors and community groups.

Councillor Ian Bevan gave evidence to the planning inquiry on behalf of Ramsbottom residents objecting to the industrial scale of the proposed wind farm when viewed from Ramsbottom.  His speech can be found here: Scout Moor Statement

Further details can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/recovered-appeals-a-b-land-at-scout-moor-wind-farm-rossendale-lancashire-ref-a-3139740-b-3139737-6-july-2017

 

Cllr Ian Bevan at the Scout Moor Wind Farm Extension Public Inquiry

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 www.theburydirectory.co.uk/thepitch and complete an application.

Please then send your application to socialdevelopment@bury.gov.uk 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 …

 

Plans for more homes in Green Belt

Cllr Ian Bevan (centre) with residents and members of the Tanners Area Residents Association

A planning application has been lodged for outline planning permission to build 9 residential homes on Green Belt land off Eccles Street, Tanners.

As residents had concerns about the proposals, a meeting was held of the newly-formed Tanners Area Residents Association at the Rose & Crown on Carr Street last  week to see what could be done to object to the proposals.  Cllr Ian Bevan attended to assist residents.

The site is in the Green Belt and the Ramsbottom Conservation Area. Concerns have also been raised that the proposed homes will create extra traffic and other problems for residents.

Councillor Ian Bevan said: “As someone who is a strong opponent of building on the greenbelt, I object to this planning application for residential homes on land off Eccles Street.”

“Greenbelt policies were designed to prevent the loss of open land, and an area such as this, should be worthy of protection in its own right.

“It is clearly the case that the site plays an important role in safeguarding the countryside in Ramsbottom from encroachment and becoming over-developed.

“It is a valuable piece of land that helps separate this urban area of Ramsbottom from the outlying areas and that its loss to development will significantly harm our town.

“The development would not preserve or enhance the conservation area, and would indeed detract from it.

“My view is that approval of this application would entail serious breaches of the National Planning Policy Framework and policies in the Bury Unitary Development Plan and should be refused by Bury Council.”

I would like to thank all those residents who are organising against this planning application for their hard work and dedication. 

I am urging residents to make their views known to the Planning Department at Bury Council as soon as possible.”

Objections will be accepted right up until the day before the planning committee meets.

The link can be found on the Bury Council website at: https://planning.bury.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application

The Planning application number is 61212.

Alternatively, you can email the Planning Department Case Officer, Tom Beirne: t.beirne@bury.gov.uk

You can also write to: Bury Council, Planning Control, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury, BL9 0EJ.

If any resident does have any queries, please contact Cllr Bevan.

We will be in touch as soon as we have some more news.

 

**Update … Bury Council have refused planning permission for this development. Great news and thanks to everyone that took the time and effort to object to the planning application!