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/

West Pennine Moors declared an “SSSI”

Holcombe Moor above Ramsbottom has been confirmed by Natural England as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) following a public consultation.

The area is known for being a diverse mosaic of upland habitats, bogs, heathlands, woodlands and grasslands. These habitats support often rare breeding birds and a number of nationally Rare and Scarce plant species.

Land owners and occupiers, in particular livestock farmers, will now require consent before undertaking some operations in the SSSI area.

For more details, visit: www.naturalengland.org.uk

Manchester Arena Attack – Bury Vigil

To share our sympathy and our thoughts with everyone affected by the Manchester Arena attack, Bury Council are hosting a vigil at 6pm to 7pm this evening (Wednesday 24 May) at Whitehead Gardens (underneath the Clock Tower next to Bury Town Hall) Knowsley Street, Bury.

The vigil will be led by the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Dorothy Gunther, together with the Leader and Interim Chief Executive of Bury Council.

Representatives from all faiths and the local community are invited to come together to show their support for those whose lives have been affected by this tragedy.

A book of condolence has been set up at Bury Town Hall, which anyone can sign and leave messages between 9am and 5pm on weekdays. A digital book of condolence is at www.manchester.gov.uk

We hope you will be able to join us at the vigil and show our unity at this difficult time.

Fundraising for Bury Hospice

We were delighted to be able to join local residents at a fundraiser for Bury Hospice on 24 March at Ramsbottom Cricket Club.

The ‘Lancashire Night’ fundraiser, organised by the Ramsbottom Support Group for Bury Hospice was a tremendous success and raised £2,300 for the Hospice.

Our thanks go to the organisers, especially Yvonne Wright of Shuttleworth, for all their hard work and effort.

Update on Crime in Ramsbottom

Last night we had a meeting with Police Inspector Russell Magnall, who is responsible for the Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor township. The meeting followed concerns expressed by residents about crime in our town.  We also asked Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, who is responsible for Policing in Crime, to respond to us about these concerns.

In particular, we asked about reported crime rates for Ramsbottom which record the following number of offences in our town by year:

2011 – 902

2012 – 879

2013 – 704

2014 – 647

2015 – 775

2016 – 880

The figures show that whilst recorded crime fell for 4 years, it has increased over the last two years back to 2011/12 levels.

Inspector Magnall reassured us that recorded crime continues to be at low levels and that the bulk of the increase in recorded crime from 2014 onwards is predominantly due to a change in how crime is recorded by GMP. In 2014 the National Crime Recording Standards were introduced and many incidents which had not previously been recorded as crimes, now had an automatic registration as a crime as soon as a report is made to 999.

We know that every crime can have terrible effects on victims and Greater Manchester Police and the Police & Crime Commissioner always need to put effort into reducing crime. Even one criminal can have a devastating effect on an area.  There have been several spates of burglaries across Ramsbottom.  A total of 9 local burglars were caught in the autumn of 2016 thanks to the hard work of GMP officers.  All have recently been sentenced and imprisoned.

GMP remind us that crime levels generally in Ramsbottom are very low compared to other areas around Bury and indeed, they tell us that Bury is the safest borough to live in Greater Manchester.   Radcliffe, for example, had approaching 4,000 crimes reported in 2016 – well over 4 times that of Ramsbottom.

GMP Officers are using more forms of technology (hand-held IT devices) and are much more mobile – being more innovative despite funding pressures.

As Councillors we will continue to impress on GMP and the GMPCC the need to ensure that we receive the same level of attention as do other areas.

Ramsbottom … one of the best places to live in Britain … ‘The Sunday Times’


Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival

Ramsbottom has been named among the ‘Best Places to Live in Britain’ by The Sunday Times.

The accolade comes in Part two of ‘The Sunday Times Best Places to Live’ guide, which is published on Sunday March 19 2017.

They have considered a wide range of factors, from jobs, exam results and broadband speed to culture, crime levels, community spirit and local shops, transport links and property in order to compile the definitive top locations in Britain.

The Sunday Times Best Places to Live: North West

Place County
Alston Cumbria
Ancoats Manchester
Baltic Triangle Liverpool
Chorlton-cum-Hardy Greater Manchester
Clitheroe Lancashire
Kendal Cumbria
Kirkby Lonsdale Cumbria
Knutsford Cheshire
Lymm Cheshire
Ramsbottom Greater Manchester
Saddleworth Greater Manchester
West Kirby Merseyside

NB: The above table does not represent the ranking order for the region

‘The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain’ Part 2 is the second in a two-part series. This weekend it reveals the best places to live in the Southwest, East, London, Scotland and the Northwest, as well as the overall best place to live in the UK. Last weekend it revealed the top places in North and North East, Midlands, Northern Ireland, South East and Wales.

Commenting on ‘The Sunday Times Best Places to Live’, Home Editor Helen Davies said: “This is the fifth year we have compiled the list, and this year’s is even bigger and better – the guide is more personal, more detailed and more comprehensive than ever before. The list weighs up everything from considering the likely impact of the local plan, to whether the post office is still open, the range of housing, and the quality of the coffee. Numbers on a spreadsheet can only tell us so much, so we carefully balance statistics with our writers’ decades of knowledge and expertise to create the definitive list of the best places to live in the UK.”

Councillor Ian Bevan commented “Ramsbottom has quite rightly become the top “foodie” town in the north west over the last few years. We have a tremendous number of good restaurants, gastro-pubs, tea rooms and independent shops selling a whole range of food.   We have events such as the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival that put our town on the map.  In addition, we have the surrounding pennine hills, good housing and transport links and we cannot forget our top asset, our local residents, who are friendly and go out of their way to help their family, friends and neighbours.”