Latest Autumn ‘In Touch’ Newsletter

No doubt you will have seen us out and about around Ramsbottom, Holcombe and Shuttleworth over the last week, delivering our latest Autumn In Touch newsletter, and speaking to as many residents as we could about issues here in our town and villages.

If you have not seen a copy, then here is a link to the latest edition: Ramsbottom Autumn Intouch 2018

Remembrance Sunday – #ArmisticeDay100

It was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I so we were expecting a higher than average turnout for the Remembrance Sunday Parade and a Service at St Paul’s Church but we were overwhelmed to see several hundred Ramsbottom residents lining the streets of our town.

As your local Councillors, we laid a wreath on your behalf at the War Memorial outside St Paul’s to pay our respects to those Ramsbottom, Holcombe and Shuttleworth men and women who have laid down their lives in the service of our country.

Many of the town’s voluntary groups, cadets and emergency services were present.

Thanks must always go to the Ramsbottom Branch of the Royal British Legion and its volunteers for organising this important service of remembrance for those who have fought, and fallen, in conflict.

Lest We Forget.

Planning Application for Hotel and Country Club is re-submitted

A planning application for permission to build a 23 bedroom Hotel & Country Club on land off Ripon Hall Avenue, Ramsbottom, has been re submitted by the land owner, after previously being withdrawn last year, just days before planning officers were expected to refuse permission.

Ripon Hall 3

We understand that the planning officers had some major concerns about that application and were set to reject it based on a number of factors—the closeness of the adjacent woodland, trees under threat covered by Tree  Preservation Orders, traffic and noise concerns.

The planning officers cannot stop another application, and the applicant can re-submit it at no extra cost, but we understand that it would need to have been substantially different in terms of building, location etc, as these are major hurdles to get over.

Cllr Rob Hodkinson commented “As your local Councillor I have consistently opposed development on our green field sites such as here on Ripon Hall Avenue on the Whittingham Drive estate.

Ramsbottom’s green spaces need to be protected from developers and I will strongly oppose this planning application.”

The previously withdrawn application attracted over 500 objections after a successful campaign by local Conservative Councillors.

Unfortunately, these will no longer be taken into account for this re-submission.

Cllr Rob Hodkinson added “I therefore urge residents to make their views known to the Planning Department at Bury Council as soon as possible.”

The deadline for objections is 22nd November 2018 although objections will still be considered after this date.

The link to this application is:

Alternatively, you can email the planning Department Case Officer Helen Longworth:

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

Please quote reference: 63344

Planning application for an electricity generation plant at Fletcher Bank Quarry

Fletcher Bank Quarry, Shuttleworth

UK Power Reserve Ltd have lodged a Planning application for a gas-fired standby electricity generation plant on land at Fletcher Bank Quarry in Shuttleworth.

This follows on from the refused planning application for an Anaerobic Digestion Food Waste Plant on the site which local residents group Ramsbottom Against the Waste Site (RAWS) and your local Councillors successfully fought against.

The lifetime of the proposed Electricity Generation Plant is for a maximum period of 25 years.   The site is located within the Green Belt and is approximately 110m from the nearest residential home on Green Acre Close and can be seen here:

62903 Plan 3

62903 Plan 2

The purpose of the Electricity Generation Plant will be to contribute electricity to the National Grid.  There will also be a battery container which will be charged by the gas generators and will feed electricity, via a private wire, to the cement manufacturing plant.

The Proposed Development will be powered by mains natural gas.

On site there will either be 14 x 1.4MW gas generators, or 10 x 2.0MW generators.

Each proposed generator will be housed within an individual metal container approximately 12.2m x 3.0m x 2.6m and will be finished in a matt fern green. Each container will include a bank of radiators located on the roof, approximately 3.0m high, for cooling the generators together with an exhaust stack of 8.0m from ground level to allow for the dispersion of exhaust gases.

It is proposed to install two storage tanks; one for waste oil and one for fresh oil. Both directly piped into the engine containers with a storage capacity of 5,000 litres. The tanks will measure approximately 2.7m x 1.8m x 1.5m.

In addition there will be three other buildings including a control room and workshop.

We are urging residents to make their views known to the Planning Department at Bury Council as soon as possible as we are very concerned about the rows of potentially noisy and polluting generators that could operate for up to 25 years within the Green Belt and metres from the nearest homes on Green Acre Close, Whalley Road and nearby Peel Brow Primary School.

We have been liaising with the Chairman of Ramsbottom Against the Waste Site (RAWS), Dr Peter Jackson and his colleagues regarding the plans.

A sample objection letter can be found here:

Power Station Objection Letter Bury Planning

The deadline for objections is 13th July 2018.

The link can be found on the Bury Council website here:

Alternatively, you can email the Planning Department Case Officer at:

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

Please quote reference: 62903

If you do have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or complete the contact form below.  You can also keep updated by regularly visiting our website:







Tomorrow is Polling Day … our Positive Vision for Ramsbottom

Cllr Ian Schofield, Cllr Ian Bevan and Cllr Rob Hodkinson

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.

Cllr Ian Bevan with parents campaigning to save the crèche at Ramsbottom Leisure Centre

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.

Residents at the Town Hall Planning Committee Meeting

Ian Bevan being interviewed by TV reporters at the AD Planning Meeting at Bury Town Hall

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.

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

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.

Cllrs Ian Bevan (l) and Rob Hodkinson (r) at Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival

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.

Street Surgery in Morrisons

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.

Jamie Hoyle with local Councillors

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.

Conservative Campaigners on Whittingham Drive

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.

Thank You.




Promoted by Ian Bevan on behalf of Jamie Hoyle, both of 438 Whalley Road, Ramsbottom, BL0 0EG.

Councillors welcome the Transport Secretary to the East Lancs Railway

Rt Hon Chris Grayling with Cllr Rob Hodkinson and Jamie Hoyle

Ramsbottom Councillors, Rob Hodkinson and Ian Schofield, welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, on his visit to the East Lancashire Railway today.

Councillor Hodkinson said:  “Ramsbottom has regularly been named as one of the best towns to visit and live in the country. It has become one of the top tourist destinations in recent years. Our town’s regeneration began several years ago with the opening of the East Lancashire Heritage Railway.

We were delighted to welcome Chris Grayling to the ELR today where we had the opportunity of discussing how the heritage railway has helped transform our town centre.

We also stressed the need for towns such as Ramsbottom to have additional transport infrastructure, including much needed extra parking, and highway repairs.

Mr Grayling was very receptive to our discussions and we hope that this will help inform the Government about how strong transport links and infrastructure can help small towns, such as Ramsbottom, prosper in the future.”

Chris Grayling with local Conservative Councillors

Referendum on Town’s Potholes

Bury and Ramsbottom Conservatives have outlined their four year plan to invest over £25million into urgent repairs to our town’s pothole-ridden roads.

Jamie Hoyle, Conservative Candidate for Ramsbottom in the May 3rd local elections said “Wherever you go in Ramsbottom, Shuttleworth and Holcombe, our roads are in a terrible state. Everyone is saying that they have never seen them this bad before. Residents have had enough.”

Bury Conservative Leader, Cllr James Daly, added “The Borough’s roads are in an appalling state as a result of inept management and chronic under-investment by the Labour-run Council.  If elected in May, a Conservative-run Council would deliver the funding needed to fix pothole and full re-surface more of our roads.”

Jamie added “The Labour Party say they are “investing” an extra £10million.  What they conveniently do not say is that this money is being borrowed, repayable over 40 years with an eye-watering £7million in interest, that we, as local tax payers, have to pay back. Furthermore, the borrowing facility was approved in early 2017 by Bury Labour but none of it has been drawn down yet – over a year later. It is simply outrageous and shows how incompetent this Council really is.”

The Conservative proposal to invest £25million over 4 years would come from a variety of sources.  Conservative Councillors would facilitate the building of 1,000 new homes, generating £2million from the sale of Council owned brownfield land. This will also generate a “new homes bonus” of £7.6million over the next 4 years for our roads. Further funding would come from the use of available capital receipts this financial year, future years savings from a plan to set up a Community Interest Company to manage the Borough’s leisure facilities and using £9 million previously agreed by the Council.

Bury and Ramsbottom Conservatives also pledge to maintain the general roads budget of £2million a year for the next 4 years.

Councillor Daly commented “It is pathetic that Bury Labour did not propose any new money for Bury’s road network at this year’s Council budget meeting. Labour have got us into this mess, but only the Conservatives have a plan to invest the monies needed to improve our crumbling road network.”

Jamie Hoyle said “The Labour Party running Bury Council has neglected this town for too long. It is time for us to change that on 3rd May by sending a strong message to the Town Hall that Ramsbottom residents will not stand for this neglect.”

Only by voting Conservative on 3rd May can residents be assured that Ramsbottom’s roads will be given priority. This really is a referendum on Bury Labour’s pothole crisis.”

Cllr Rob Hodkinson and Jamie Hoyle on Nuttall Lane, Ramsbottom

An Update on the Nuttall Lane Potholes Saga …

By Cllr Rob Hodkinson

For the past three months your local Councillors, along with residents of the Whittingham Drive and Nuttall Road estates, have been constantly complaining to Bury Council’s Highways Department to repair the numerous, dangerous, potholes on Nuttall Lane.

Nuttall Lane is the only access route to over 1,000 homes and cannot be avoided.

Drivers using Nuttall Lane are faced with a daily slalom trying to avoid pothole after pothole.

We were advised that repairs would commence on the week commencing 19th March.  This date came and went with no sight of the Council.

In desperation that nothing was being done, a well meaning resident recently took matters into their own hands and filled some of the potholes. Unfortunately the materials used were inadequate and are already starting to break down.

Residents’ repairs to Nuttall Lane

We contacted the Highways Department yet again only to be told that a date for the repairs could not be given due to the significant backlog of this type of work.

So, for the past three months, our Labour-run Council have taken no action to repair Nuttall Lane, despite the efforts of your local Councillors and local residents.

As a local Councillor and resident, I feel outraged that Bury Council have taken no action on ours, and local residents concerns about the repairs until those residents have taken matters into their own hands.

The Highways department have now said that the repair work to Nuttall Lane will commence the week of 9th April.

Let’s hope they fulfil their promise this time.


Figures show dramatic 50% fall in recorded crime in Ramsbottom

The latest crime figures published for Ramsbottom (February 2018) show a dramatic fall compared to last month.

The figures show that there were 43 recorded crimes in Ramsbottom, a fall of 50% on the month before.

Of note, is a large fall in the number of burglaries and vehicle crime. GM Police have had much success in recent months in that several people have been caught and convicted for burglaries in the Ramsbottom area.

The number of reported crimes for February 2018 are broken down as follows:

  • Anti-Social Behaviour – 7
  • Violent / Sexual Offences – 16
  • Burglaries – 1
  • Vehicle Crimes – 2
  • Thefts – 2
  • Criminal Damage – 2
  • Public Order – 8
  • Bike Thefts – 0
  • Drug offences – 0
  • Shoplifting – 3
  • Robbery – 1
  • Weapons – 0
  • Other crime – 1

Over the last 2 years, crime has remained fairly static so the fall last month is certainly welcome.

We will continue to hold regular meetings with Inspector Russell Magnall, Sgt Simon Ward and other beat officers for Ramsbottom, Shuttleworth and Holcombe.

If you have any concerns or issues, then please contact us, or Greater Manchester Police at or alternatively contact the Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor for Policing who is the elected representative responsible for crime and policing at police,


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.