Ian chosen as Prospective Conservative Candidate for Ramsbottom Election

Ian Schofield

At a meeting of Bury North Conservative Association, Ramsbottom resident, Ian Schofield, was unanimously chosen as the Prospective Conservative candidate for the forthcoming local elections to be held next year on 5th May 2016 where the seat of Cllr Luise Fitzwalter will become vacant following her announcement that she is due to step down.

Ian lives on Cheshire Court, off Peel Brow, in Ramsbottom. He is married to Ann, and has two step-daughters and four grand-children. He is semi-retired after a long career in the Motor Trade – twenty-four years of which was spent working for the Automobile Association. Ian currently works for the National Centre for Social Research.

Ian gave the following comment:-

“Both my wife and I have always felt part of a strong, close-knit community.   Ramsbottom is a wonderful place to live.   I take full advantage of everything the town has to offer – friendly people, independent shops and excellent restaurants, a fantastic park. We are so lucky to have a swimming pool, leisure centre and library in the town and fantastic countryside around us.

I have spent many happy years as a Committee Member at Ramsbottom Cricket Club. My wife and I are also patrons of Summerseat Players.

I want to ensure that Ramsbottom remains a safe place for young and old, and that parents consider it a good environment in which to live and bring up their families.

The former Mondi Paper Mill site on Bridge Street is derelict and has become something of an eyesore. I am pleased that our Conservative Councillors have been working closely with the developers to bring forward plans for a mixed development of residential properties and craft workshops.

Ramsbottom has become a popular tourist attraction with the East Lancs Railway, annual festivals and events, but car parking provision in the town does not reflect the numbers visiting at weekends and holidays. I welcome the moves by Bury Council to review car parking in our town – although I am wholly opposed to the introduction of car parking charges.

I remain strenuously opposed to the proposed Anaerobic Digestion Waste Plant at Fletcher Bank.

Since being selected, I have already been meeting people around the town and I have been overwhelmed with the support I have received. I look forward to meeting you over the next few months.

If elected I will work hard with Councillor Ian Bevan and Councillor Rob Hodkinson to ensure Ramsbottom has a strong voice on Bury Council.”

Ramsbottom War Memorial Project

On this Remembrance Sunday, we wanted to remind local residents of the Ramsbottom War Memorial Project.


The Project Team has been working hard to design and build a new memorial to be placed at St Paul’s Church on Bridge Street.  The memorial will include the names of the World War 1 war dead.

Overall, there are in the region of 500 service personnel from Ramsbottom and its surrounding villages who gave their lives for their country.  The aim of the project is to have the names of the fallen engraved on a new memorial as a lasting tribute to recognise their sacrifice.

Please spend a minute or two having a look at their website and if possible make a donation.  Their website is here:  Ramsbottom War Memorial Project

It is a project that we are very happy to support.

Local Election Result – 7 May 2015

The results of the local council elections are now in.  One third of the 51 council seats on Bury Council (including one here in Ramsbottom) were up for election.

Labour gained 1 seat from Independent Labour.  The Conservatives took 1 seat from Labour, as did the Liberal Democrats.  Labour now have a majority of 19 seats on Bury Council.

The new balance on Bury Council is: Labour 35 seats, Conservatives 12, Liberal Democrats 2, and Independent 2.

The result here in Ramsbottom was:

Ramsbottom ward
Candidate Party Votes polled
David Barker UK Independence Party 753
Laura Chepner Green 404
Rob Hodkinson Conservative 3090
Karen Leach Labour 2308

Effective electorate: 9,129. Spoiled votes: 26. Poll: 72.3%. Conservative hold.

Local Election Campaign underway

On Thursday 7th May, there will be an important election here in Ramsbottom.   You will have two votes this time around. One to elect a Member of Parliament in the General Election, and another vote to decide who is going to be one of your three local Councillors representing Ramsbottom on Bury Council.

You might recall the publicity the last time that this seat was fought in the by-election in March 2014.  I was absolutely delighted that Rob Hodkinson was elected in that by-election to join me on the Council.

Rob Hodkinson is now seeking re-election.  He is a good friend and colleague of mine and I wholeheartedly support his campaign for re-election.

Your Ramsbottom Councillors - Ian Bevan and Rob Hodkinson

Your Ramsbottom Councillors – Ian Bevan and Rob Hodkinson

As you may know, Rob lives with his wife, Mary-Ann on Whittingham Drive in Ramsbottom and he has two grown-up daughters. You may know him from his business on Bridge Street in Ramsbottom town centre – Murrays Family Clothing – where he has traded for many years.

Rob has also been one of the driving forces behind the Ramsbottom Business Group where he volunteers his time with other local traders to help organise the many events and festivals in Ramsbottom.

This time round you will appreciate that your votes couldn’t be more important.   The opinion polls show that the General Election is going to be very close – as will the local elections here in Ramsbottom.

I know that Rob has been campaigning on the issues that matter to us in Ramsbottom including our campaign for a Ramsbottom Town Council; for more money for Ramsbottom’s crumbling roads; our fight against the proposed Anaerobic Digestion Plant, and our pledge to reintroduce two-weekly grey bin collections.

Rob and I have had such a warm reception on the doorstep over the last 12 months and I do hope that you will support him on 7th May to help maintain our town as one of the top places to live in the country.

Rob, like me, is independent-minded and always put Ramsbottom first.  His latest leaflet can be found here: Rob Hodkinson For Ramsbottom

Road Re-Surfacing on Bolton Road West and Nuttall Lane

Bury Council have announced that work starts on Sunday (19 April) to repair the surface of Bolton Road West in Ramsbottom between Hope Street and Garnett Street.

Resurfacing works will also be carried out along Nuttall Lane between the junction of Bolton Road West and Spencer Street.

These improvements are being carried out Bury Council as part of its regular programme of highways capital maintenance.

The works will take place on three consecutive Sundays – 19 April, 26 April and 3 May – during which Dundee Lane will be closed to traffic.

Vehicles will be diverted via Bolton Street, Carr Street, Tanners Street and vice versa, while multi-way signals will be in place at the junction of Bolton Road West and Nuttall Lane.

A council spokesman said: “Road works of this nature will mean that some disruption is inevitable; however, we will try to keep this to a minimum.”

Gritting Update


There were some difficulties with road conditions in Ramsbottom over the weekend.

Gritters were out regularly over the course of the weekend. Separate gritting runs were undertaken at the following times:

Friday 16th January -17:00 and 22:30

Saturday 17th January – 08:00, 11:30, 13:30, 16:30 and 22:30 (sometimes with snow ploughs attached)

Sunday 18th January – 02:00 (2 routes), 13:00 and 19:00.

I understand some gritters got caught up in traffic and in the icy conditions but Bury Council assure me that they are doing everything possible to keep our roads open in the winter weather.

Urgent Gas Repairs on Ramsbottom Lane

National Grid have informed us that they have a gas leak on Ramsbottom Lane in the town centre, in the vicinity of Sanminis Restaurant.

They have been venting the area but now wish to carry out some rock drilling on Sunday (11 January) to locate the leak. They will then need to return on Monday (12 January) to hopefully carry out the repair.

National Grid have been requested to use stop/go boards which will give greater flexibility to the traffic control at this very busy location.

However, when they return on Monday they will be using temporary two way traffic signals as they cannot guarantee that they will have the repair completed in one day. If this is the case the signals will remain in situ and will be manned at peak periods.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Ramsbottom Remembers

Remembrance 1

Ramsbottom fell silent on Sunday when a two-minute silence was held on Remembrance Sunday to remember members of the armed forces who lost their lives during the various conflicts around the world.

Veterans’ representatives laid wreaths at the Cenotaph on Bridge Street, Ramsbottom before ex-servicemen and women marched past to commemorate their fallen comrades. They were joined by Councillors and members of the Police, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Army and Fire Cadets and members of the numerous voluntary groups that operate in Ramsbottom.

Remembrance 6

I was honoured to lay a wreath on behalf of the Mayor and Residents of the Borough of Bury and Ramsbottom. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester also joined us as Her Majesty The Queen’s representative. Cllr Khalid Hussain laid a wreath on behalf of David Nuttall MP.

Remembrance 4

There was silence from the crowd of residents as the parade marched past the war memorial.  The town observed a two-minute silence as the Church Bells of St Paul’s struck the eleventh hour.  There followed a service led by Rev Anthony Barnshaw in St Paul’s.

The numbers of residents coming to pay their respects is increasing every year.  This year, as it marked the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1 and the 70th anniversary of D-Day, saw record numbers again in Ramsbottom.


Mayoral Chains stolen in violent attack

I just wanted to let you know about an appalling incident that happened last night (30 October).

As the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Michelle Wiseman, was being dropped at home following an engagement, the Mayor’s Attendant, was attacked from behind with a hammer and the Mayoral Chains were stolen.  Also in the car were the Deputy Mayor and Consort.

The Mayor’s Attendant was taken to hospital and after treatment has been discharged.  The Mayor and Deputy Mayor were shocked but unhurt.

The Police are investigating and due to the priceless nature of the Mayoral Chains the Council is intending to offer a substantial reward for their safe return.

I’m sure you will join me in sending thoughts and best wishes to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Consort and Mayor’s Attendant.

The Council are undertaking a review of the incident to see what more can be done improve security.

I will keep you posted as matters develop but if anyone has information, they can contact the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Consultation begins on future of Ramsbottom Children’s Centre

Cllr Ian Bevan and Cllr Rob Hodkinson at Ramsbottom's Children's Centre.

Cllr Ian Bevan and Cllr Rob Hodkinson at Ramsbottom’s Children’s Centre.

Bury Council have now started a 12 week consultation on the future of Ramsbottom Children’s Centre which is listed for closure.

Bury Council have made a decision that parents will be best served by closing Ramsbottom Children’s Centre, increasing the number of outreach workers and linking Ramsbottom families to a ‘hub’ centre at Elton/Brandlesholme.

Unfortunately, this centre is far too small to accommodate the extra children from Ramsbottom and surrounding areas.

Presently, there are 13 outreach workers who handle around 15 families a week each.  The proposal is to increase this to 35.

However, many parents tell me that they need a Centre and staff which offers them support, comfort with a place to meet other parents, access services and facilities.

Cllr Rob Hodkinson and I are currently delivering 2,500 surveys on this issue to local parents.  Please do fill these in and return them to us when you receive them. The results will be fed into the Council’s consultation.

In the meantime, please do spend a few minutes giving your views to Bury Council by completing the Council’s online consultation.  The link can be found here: