By Councillor Ian Bevan
It seems a long time ago since I was first elected to represent Ramsbottom on Bury Council. In fact, it was 8 years ago – in May 2010.
My first official ‘event’ was ‘cutting the ribbon’ at the opening of Ramsbottom’s new Children’s Centre opposite the Library. An awful lot has happened since then – both in Ramsbottom and on Bury Council.
I have introduced proposals – adopted by the Council – to improve transparency and accountability – by publishing online council spending to encourage financial responsibility, improve accountability, and be of substantial benefit to Bury and Ramsbottom residents.
I have consistently asked questions about our town in the Council Chamber, helped fight off the planned fourth supermarket in the town centre, and helped fight numerous planning applications to protect our green spaces and green belt.
The most high-profile of these was the two-year fight against the proposed Anaerobic Digestion Waste Plant planned for Fletcher Bank in Ramsbottom with residents group Ramsbottom Against the Waste Site (“RAWS”). I would like to personally thank all those involved in that battle with Peel Holdings and Marshalls. It was worth all the hard work.
I have worked with local residents groups and volunteer groups who strive to enhance our town and I would like to take the opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all those volunteers who give up their spare time, week after week, to benefit our town and villages.
I have helped hundreds of people with local casework – housing issues, planning, neighbour disputes, parking etc.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone in the Ramsbottom Business Group, Ramsbottom Markets and would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the town – organising events such as the Chocolate Festival and 1940s weekend.
In my spare time, apart from my full time job and my young family, I have spent as much time as possible undertaking residents’ surveys, street surgeries and knocking on the doors of people in Ramsbottom with my colleagues, Cllr Rob Hodkinson and Cllr Ian Schofield so that we can take your views back to the Council.
We have had tens of thousands of “hits” on our blog, and thank everyone that has taken the time to read it.
I have tried to listen, to talk and to engage with as many Ramsbottom residents as possible. That is the real reason why I have thoroughly enjoyed being one of your local Councillors for Ramsbottom. I have been immensely proud to have done so.
Turning to the local elections tomorrow, you will have the chance to decide who is going to replace me as one of your local Councillors here in Ramsbottom, Shuttleworth and Holcombe.
I always encourage people to spend those few minutes putting their “X” in the box on their ballot paper – whoever they choose to vote for.
Jamie Hoyle, your Conservative Candidate, lives here in Ramsbottom, the town that he grew up in. Jamie is standing for election because he loves this area.
I, along with my fellow Ramsbottom Councillors, and Ian Schofield are proud to endorse him at this election.
We 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.
It really does disappoint me that the Labour Party, and their candidate in this election, try to run down our town. They say that it needs “regenerating”. 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 fully supporting Jamie Hoyle in this election. If you elect Jamie Hoyle this Thursday, he pledges to work tirelessly with Cllr Rob Hodkinson and Cllr Ian Schofield to:
■ Get our crumbling potholed roads repaired. Residents have said that they have never seen the roads this bad – caused by neglect from our Labour-run Council in Bury;
■ Protect our Green Belt from development, whilst securing additional homes on our brownfield sites. The Labour Candidate says that in his opinion, “building on the Green Belt is not the end of the world”. Our view is that it should be protected at all costs, not just for us, but for future generations;
■ Promote a long term solution for the Mondi Paper Mill site on Bridge Street, including a long stay car park. We have had extensive meetings with the site owners to bring about a mixed development of housing and much needed additional car parking spaces;
■ Secure a new, state of the art Pool and Leisure Centre in Ramsbottom through the development of a Community Interest Company that can attract investment and re-develop the facilities; and
■ Promote a vibrant town centre with a long term future.
The reception we have had on the doorstep during this election campaign has been fantastic. Residents share our positive vision for our town. On Thursday, you have a clear choice.
Don’t just hope for a better Council. Vote for it on Thursday. Vote for Jamie Hoyle.
Finally, I would like to thank my ward colleagues and our volunteers for their invaluable help over the last 8 years – for their pounding the streets, delivering newsletters, and obviously for their kind donations to our campaigns; to everyone in Ramsbottom that kindly voted for me and have supported me during my two terms of office, and most importantly to my family for their support.
Promoted by Ian Bevan on behalf of Jamie Hoyle, both of 438 Whalley Road, Ramsbottom, BL0 0EG.