I am having a few days holiday for the next week. Starting with a couple of days at the Scarborough Cricket Festival. Yorkshire are playing Nottinghamshire. Yesterday was a great day’s cricket with Yorkshire fighting back after being 51 for 6 to make 282 and taking two Notts wickets before the end. Today looks set to be another good day with lovely summer weather.
A view of the harbour:image

I will be heading back to Lancashire to spend the next week in Morecambe if I can get through passport control at the border.

New 105 Number

On 6th September a new national phone number “105” will be launched by electricity network operators for customers to call should they need to report or get information about a power cut.

Key points to note about the new service are:

· Dialling 105 will put you through to our local electricity network operator – the company that manages the cables, power lines and substations that deliver electricity into homes and businesses in our area.

· 105 is just one of the ways that you can contact your electricity network operator. You can also contact them by existing 0800 numbers or via their website, and most network operators are on social media too.

· 105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales.

· You can call 105 no matter who you have chosen to buy your electricity from.

· You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put anyone in danger. If there is a serious immediate risk, you should also call the emergency services too.

Rio 2016

Many congratulations indeed to Team GB. I doubt many people would have predicted that our Olympic team would succeed in winning more medals than they won on home territory in London four years ago. 67 medals and behind only the USA in the medals table is a magnificent achievement. Funding. Coaches. Attention to detail. All play a part, but nothing would be achieved without dedication from all those who seek to represent Team GB. Years of sacrifices and preparation are behind this success and we all owe our thanks to them for making that sacrifice. Let us hope they have inspired a new generation to make that sacrifice in the pursuit of Olympic success.

X35 bus service

As no doubt regular users will know the future of the much relied on X35 to Manchester has been in doubt after First announced they were withdrawing the service next month.

I have been informed that First have announced a new revised timetable for the X35. The revised timetable replaces the original proposal to completely withdraw the service and instead the X35 will run four limited stop journeys  – two in the Manchester direction during the morning peak and two back to Ramsbottom during the afternoon peak. The changes are subject to the approval of the Traffic Commissioner . The new timetable will remain in place until January to allow discussions to take place about the long-term viability of the alternative options.

Whilst not ideal this is better than the complete withdrawal of the service. The bottom line is that First say the service is not viable. The feedback I get is that the bus is pretty full at peak times and it seems to me with so many relying on the service to get to work there must be scope for such a service.


Overweight children

Childhood Obesity is the latest target of the health police. Seeing limited career opportunities in anti-smoking campaigns a whole new field of meddling opens up if you start to try to dictate what people eat. It seems the new government are continuing with the plan to introduce a new tax on soft drinks and with their latest Childhood Obesity Plan they want to cut sugar in other foods so they probably won’t taste as good.

My view is simple: people should be left to their own devices when it comes to deciding what to eat and drink. Of course schools have a part to play on educating children about nutrition and what constitutes healthy and unhealthy eating. The main job lies with parents and there is a real danger some parents may understandably abrogate responsibility for children’s eating habits if they think the government have now taken that job on. It will be something else to blame the government for. If only the government were spending more there would not be as many overweight children around.

New Trans-Pennine Route

As someone who, over the years, has traversed the Pennines between the White Rose and the Red Rose Counties more times than I care to remember I should declare an interest in the subject of cross Pennine travel at the outset.

I am in favour of a new route across the Pennines and I was pleased to see the Government yesterday published the first results of the official study they have commissioned to investigate whether a new route across the Pennines is achievable.

The report can be read in full here:


Of course, it will be years before such an ambitious project will see the light of day but we have to start somewhere.

July 2016 Unemployment figures

According to the official figures there were 1,389 unemployed claimants in the Bury North constituency last month. This figure includes both those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit. The total is 23 lower than the previous month.

The position locally mirrors the national situation which show there are a record 31.75 million people in work – an increase of over 600,000 in the last year. Over the last year almost two-thirds of the new jobs have been in full-time employment. The rate of employment at 74.5% is the highest since comparable records began in 1971. There are close to three-quarters of a million vacancies across the country.

I know from the emails I receive from the unemployed how disheartening it can be to keep being rejected but there are companies who are hiring and there are vacancies that need to be filled. I fully appreciate that if someone is unemployed and looking for work the unemployment as far as they are concerned is 100% and it is not much comfort that others are finding work. It is important to remain positive and optimistic.