Vote Conservative Today

The polling stations are now open to elect the first ever elected Mayor for Greater Manchester. The Conservative Candidate is Sean Anstee the Leader of Trafford Council. You can read more about Sean here at

Because a different voting system is being used to elect the Mayor voters can express both a first preference and a second preference. Lots of people have said that they only want to vote Conservative and what should they do with the second vote. The answer is that you need not use your second vote if you do not want to.

The polling stations are open until 10pm this evening.


Re-adoption Meeting

Rather unusually Bury Conservatives because it is a snap election Bury Conservatives will be holding their special meeting today. I will be seeking adoption as their Candidate for the election on June 8th. All across the Country there has been a flurry of adoption and selection meetings as constituency associations rush to secure a candidate. A candidate will also be selected to contest Bury South.

When I returned on Thursday I attended the preview evening of the Bury Art Festival which is organised in aid of Bury Hospice. It is always well worth a visit and this year is no exception. On Friday I had my last day of surgery appointments and casework in the Parliament.


Gallipoli Sunday

I will be attending the annual commemoration service of the Gallipoli Landing in World War One this morning at Bury Parish Church.

This afternoon I will be attending the Cubs and Scouts St. George’s Day Parade and Service.

Bury Local Plan Consultation Final Chance

The Consultation by Bury Council on the proposed local plan closes at 5pm today so what better opportunity on a Bank Holiday than to make your views known.

You can read about what is proposed and how to submit your views here:

The submission I have made is follows:

This submission is made in response to the ‘Notice of Intention to prepare the Bury Local Plan and invitation to make representations on what the Local Plan should contain’ issued pursuant to Section 18 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning)(England) Regulations 2012.

  1. It is clear from the said Notice and in particular the following statement:

Given that the GMSF will form an integral part of Bury’s development plan, it is important to note that the approach set out in the GMSF will need to be reflected in the Bury Local Plan. In particular, the Local Plan will incorporate and reflect the levels of growth, the strategic policy approach, strategic site allocations and any revisions to the Green Belt that may evolve through the GMSF.


that the scope for any local determination of planning policy will be severely constrained by the decisions taken by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and /or the Elected Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Consequently, I wish to place on record that I oppose the present proposed Greater Manchester Spatial Framework as set out in my submission to the consultation on that document.

  1. I believe Bury should make it clear they do not accept the premises on which the GMSF is based. The timeframe is unnecessarily long. The projected size of households is too low based on both historical records and the official projections of household size. The use of both a shorter timeframe, a more realistic projection of the size of households combined with greater housing density on existing brownfield land and future brownfields sites which can reasonably be expected to arise during the timeframe of the plan would remove the requirement for development on the existing green belt land.
  2. I believe Bury should make it clear to the GMCA that they will not approve any plan which involves the erosion of Bury’s existing protected green belt land. This position could be completely defended by the use of the official projections for population growth and household size.
  3. Subject to the above I believe that the Local Plan should require all the infrastructure to be in place before any new development is permitted. This must include roads, drainage and telecommunications (including the provision of superfast broadband). In the case of residential development it must be demonstrated that there is sufficient capacity in public services in particular GP’s and schools both primary and secondary to cope with increased demand.
  4. Given the recent problems with flooding throughout the Borough specific and additional consideration must be given to the risk of flooding not only to the proposed new properties but to the existing properties who may be adversely affected.

Coffee Morning

One bonus of having the whole of Easter Recess before Easter is that I was able to attend the monthly Committee meeting at Tottington St. John’s Cricket Club last night. The first County Championship fixtures start tomorrow and not long before the first local fixtures get under way. A sure sign winter is over and summe ris on the way. Just need to see the first swallows now!

In between more newsletter deliveries, house jobs, emails …and more emails……..I am attending a RNLI charity coffee morning today.

Easter Recess

The House of Commons has begun its Easter Recess, I specifically say the House of Commons because I think the Lords are sitting this week. So, instead of the weekly trip to London I will be catching up on the continuous stream of constituency cases, briefings,meetings and visits – not to mention catching up with a myriad of jobs at home.

Catch up news from last week  as soon as I returned from London I attended the AGM of Bury Conservatives. The usual annual meeting fare with elections of officers, reports and the concluding speech from yours truly.  I have no personal knowledge of how other parties operate but I guess all AGM’s are pretty similar. I think we should all be grateful that there are people who are willing to participate in the democratic process. Not in any way for personal gain but to campaign for what they believe in.

Greymont Road

It was a great pleasure yesterday to open the Greymount Road housing scheme for St Vincent’s Housing Association. The small development of 8 dwellings will be offered for sale on a shared ownership basis. This is where buyers can start off by buying as little as 25% of the equity and making a reduced rent payment. This is a great way of helping people onto the housing ladder.

This month also sees the launch by the government of the Lifetime Individual Savings Account for the under 40’s which will provide a flexible way for people to save and get a contribution from government (or other taxpayers if we take it as read that the government has no money of its own).