Our Candidates for 2016
Meet our fantastic candidates for the Trafford 2016 Local Council elections. Click here to see a full list of candidates or by ward:
Altrincham Ward, Ashton Upon Mersey Ward, Bowdon Ward, Broadheath Ward, Brooklands Ward, Bucklow St Martins Ward, Clifford Ward, Davyhulme East Ward, Davyhulme West Ward, Flixton Ward, Gorse Hill Ward, Hale Barns Ward, Hale Central Ward, Longford Ward, Priory Ward, Sale Moor Ward, St Mary's Ward, Stretford Ward,Timperley Ward, Urmston Ward, Village Ward
Trafford Labour - Standing Up, not Standing By
What's happening here?
Many of you will have seen reports in the media that thousands of firefighters are about to be sacked:
Just to be clear the fire service has not issued notices on anyone and not made anyone redundant, and we are presently in a consultation period.
We have merely agreed, as an Authority, to slightly change the shift pattern for firefighters - whereby we propose to reduce the night shift from 13 and half hours to 12 hours and increase the day shift from 10 and half hours to 12 hours. By having equal length 12 hour shifts enables flexibility to have more firefighters and fire engines on the run at the peak demand of incidents which occur during the day time and evenings - The least busy time for incidents and call out times is during the night shift.
Due to Government cuts to GM Fire Authority we have had to make savings of £28m over the last 6 years, which has resulted in over 400 firefighters posts being lost (We have also significantly cut the back office).
We now face a further Gov cut of more than £14m over the next 4 years, which will result in a further loss of 253 firefighter posts (and further cuts to back office staff)
The severity of the cuts means we simply cannot stay as we are and we have to make changes if we want to keep the people of Greater Manchester as safe as we possibly can.
The new proposed shift pattern will actually mean fewer firefighter posts need to be lost compared to keeping the same shift pattern as we have at present. (the present shift system would mean a loss of 285 firefighter posts).
Under the severe financial restraints we find ourselves in, the new shift pattern will mean the fire service can provide a better and safer service to the people of Greater Manchester than sticking with the present shift pattern.
The discussions with the FBU and firefighters started at the back end of last year regarding this matter when we were informed by Government of the further severe cuts to our budget. The Official negotiations started early in January with the FBU. Unfortunately the FBU flatly refused to engage with talks on the new proposed shift pattern - They have made it crystal clear they want to maintain the present shift pattern, and over the six month period of negotiation their position has never shifted.
For your information a 12 hour shift pattern is acceptable within the Terms & Conditions of the Grey Book, yet the Greater Manchester FBU refuse to discuss any change to a new 12 hour shift system. Also it is interesting to note the 12 hour shift system is worked in other Fire Authorities, for instance in Merseyside and Cheshire.
GMFRA is a good employer who cares deeply about all our employees. In these horrendous times of severe Government cuts we have managed to have no forced redundancies or station closures.
I and the Fire Authority has opposed austerity measures for the fire service - we have tirelessly lobbied Government not to make these cuts. I personally have lobbied Leaders, MPs, Ministers, Civil Servants and others to stop the cuts. Unfortunately the Tory Government has not listened.
Finally, I have a duty to keep the public as safe as I possibly can and also remain a good employer for all our staff in these extremely difficult times. This I will continue to do.
I hope this explains the situation to you. However please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to do so.
Cllr David Acton
Trafford Labour Group strongly believes that councils need statutory funding to maintain parks. Without dedicated funding, our parks will continue to deteriorate. Parks are important to our health and wellbeing, standard of living and to our sustainability agenda. They are free at the point of use and as such should remain in LA control. Many of our local Parks in Trafford are in urban areas some with high density housing and local parks can be the only real green space in these communities. It is vital therefore that parks are fully protected from any form of development or encroachment and we believe this should be enshrined in law.
Elected Councillors in Trafford take great pride in the parks in their Wards and often belong to the Friends Groups, so important do they believe in the parks in our communities. We believe that local authorities should be encouraged to work with friends groups and support them to help enhance parks for the benefit of local communities.
Parents know the relief of taking children out of the house to a park for them to have freedom and fun. There is nowhere else like your local park.
Older people often just want to socialise and sit on a park seat, enjoying the open air; and then there are the dog owners, and youths using the skateboard and playing games and people using the gym equipment not to mention the events, the plays, the local brass band and local choirs.
Given the growing concerns about obesity, parks can and do play an important role in helping to encourage physical activity, access to funding from health based organisations’ could be made available to help both the health issue and encourage the greater use of our parks.
Local Councillors are uniquely placed as they are involved in monitoring the maintenance of their parks and involving local people to volunteer with small projects in their Parks through groups like Friends group who can often be successful applying for grants.
Parks are so important to the increasingly diverse life of Trafford; our parks are obviously a huge asset as well as massive benefit for all our residents.
The LA can plan a strategy for its parks calling on local knowledge which is so invaluable.
Budget cuts over recent years are having a dramatic effect on our parks and green spaces; in some cases this is beginning to limit the diverse nature and use of our parks, to the detriment of the local community. We hope that the Government, local authorities, sports bodies and health agencies and companies and Friends groups can come together to solve the long term funding problem but is our view that only Statutory funding will ensure the long term future of our parks.