In a statement from bosses who dwell within Tameside council’s inner sanctum, we are informed that our town hall chiefs are to upgrade Tameside’s Crematoria and Cemetery walls, despite costs soaring by £1.06m more than predicted.

They say that plans to replace the three cremators at Dukinfield Crematorium have been signed off by the borough’s executive cabinet.

The work had initially been priced at £1.5m, but now this figure has risen to an indicative cost of £2.5m, which could increase again during the process of tendering for a contractor.

They then go on to explain why this work is needed, but carefully avoid explaining how an initial estimate of £1.5million could possibly increase to £2.6million. Neither do they shine a light on the increased estimate of £60,000 to restore and repair a number of cemetery walls across the borough!

The council’s report reveals that the cremators – which are 20 years old – are at the end of their life expectancy, and are susceptible to ‘mechanical breakdown’ and maintenance costs are increasing ‘all the time’.
This impacts on families as it can cause ‘inevitable delays’ when trying to make appointments for funerals, and increase costs to the authority, officers say.

Dukinfield is the third busiest crematorium in Greater Manchester and currently bereavement services bring in income of around £1.2m for the town hall.

(NB: over 20 years income to the council has been £24million)

But charges could rise for families in the future, as bosses are proposing to introduce an ‘environmental levy’ on each cremation which would create a financial reserve used to maintain the cremators.

They estimate this would be around £100,000 a year, which based on their usual annual figure of more than 2,000 cremations annually would increase charges for grieving families by an extra £50.

A ‘heat recovery’ system would also be fitted which would be used to capture the energy from the excess heat in order to heat the crematorium.

Ian Saxon, director of operations and neighbourhoods said: “The cremators were last replaced in 1998 with a 15 year life, so it is well overdue, but there is clearly an income stream that will payback that service.”

(An understatement if ever I’ve heard one!)

He went on to say,“The other element of that report is that we create a sinking fund, or whatever you want to call it, from the income generated so long term it is building a pot to replace these in the future rather than be a one-off call on the capital programme.”

He added: “Obviously it’s a sensitive area but the replacement of the cremators is significant for ensuring that the cremation process is as environmentally sensitive as it can be.

“And that will be a significant step forward, as well as the heat recovery in there so that there is little or no wasted heat.”

The town hall has also agreed to restore and repair cemetery walls across the borough, at a cost of £260,000 – which is £60,000 more than had been originally earmarked.

The bill has risen following an inspection of Tameside’s eight cemeteries by structural engineers.

(So who inspected the eight cemeteries which gave rise to the original £200,000 figure and why was it £60,000 underestimated?)

Mr Saxon told cabinet members that they had identified a number of retaining walls that are in ‘poor condition’ and need to be repaired and maintained.

“The risk of not carrying out the repairs and restoration could result in jeopardising the safety of residents and aesthetics of the cemetery.

“In addition it would lead to on-going revenue costs,” states a report presented to cabinet.

(A Report presented by who and what was the council’s brief?)

“Workers will now repair and make safe the boundary walls highlighted at ‘high and medium risk’ at Ashton, Dukinfield, Mossley, and Mottram cemeteries.

They will also carry out limited masonry work on defects on boundaries – such as metal railings and fencing – at Audenshaw, Denton and Droylsden cemeteries.

The oldest cemetery managed by the council is Mottram Cemetery, which opened in 1861 and is still being used for interments in new graves, as are all the other sites.”

NB: So according to the councils own figures, over the last 20 years, they have enjoyed an income stream from Dukinfield cemetery of £24million. (£1.2million per year)

They now need to spend £2.4million on replacing the cremators and a further £260.000 on securing dangerous cemetery walls and other infrastructure maintenance.

Let’s be generous and assume that they have spent £100,000 per year, every year, for the last 20 years on what they call ‘maintenance’ - that totals another £2million.

Let’s also recognise that another major expenditure for the crematorium is gas; and based on the council’s figures of 2000 cremations per year-the average gas bill (which directly correlates to the number of cremations) we could confidently predict an approximate figure of £55,350.00 per annum; -over 20 years that adds approximately £1.17million to the council’s costs.

Removing all these past expenses and the estimated future refurbishment and maintenance figures (which total: £4.660.000.) Tameside council have still enjoyed an income of £18,270,000. - Over a twenty year period, on this one crematorium. Tameside council operate a further, albeit smaller crematoriums’, which would add significantly to the council coffers.

Despite the considerable income the council generates from these cemeteries, they now intend to add more Tameside residents hard earned money to their bottom line by creating and adding an ‘environmental levy’ of approx £50.00 on around 2000 grieving families; which will add a further £100.000 per year to the council’s coffers, plus a ‘sinking fund’ which in effect is purely ‘council speak’ for ‘ring-fencing’ a portion of the crematorium income for essential maintenance!

Whilst local authorities remain the largest providers of crematoriums throughout the UK, because of their failure to invest in their crematoriums coupled with the continuing rise in cremation fees, has attracted a new wave of private companies into the British market that are keen to win business from council-run services hit by local government cuts; - a threat that could hurt them financially.

Let’s not forget, crematoria, along with council car parks, are probably the two of the larger income generators for local authorities, so it’s little wonder that they are constantly increasing their fees to offset cuts elsewhere.

NB: It’s useful to know that the average ‘Cremation costs’ in the North West is £1121.00.

Plus, let us not forget additional costs NOT mentioned by the council are the fees they charge for burials; which again the average costs throughout the North West is £1674.00.

Research shows that 77% of funerals in the UK are cremations, while 23% are burials.

Taking these figures into account we can add an approximate figure of £27,600 per annum into the council’s coffers. (over 20years that’s £520.000) from this crematorium alone!

Don’t you just love this council?




PUT YOUR TRUST IN US …You are joking?

On May 7, 2014 the Home Secretary Theresa May brought forward a bill to deprive those fighting with ISIS of their citizenship. The legislation would allow them to be deprived of their citizenship, lose their passport and become stateless. Essentially exiling those fighting for ISIS.'

The bill suggested, "if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the deprivation is conducive to the public good because the person, while having that citizenship status, has conducted him or herself in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom… "

Those that voted against this legislation included Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Dianne Abbott.

These are the three individuals that would be at the head of a Labour government, should they win the election!

God help us all.



It’s the usual Labour mix of banning, scrapping or making things compulsory whilst amassing massive debts.
And by the way, it is illegal under current EU law to nationalise anything. So, that’s it for at least two years until Brexit ! ...What a shower! 



"Of course I can bloody count, what do you think these are for?"
What a balls up!

The frightening thing is, this woman is the Labour Party’s choice for Shadow Home Secretary!

So, according to today's radio proclamation, ‘if we elect them, they’re going to recruit 10,000 extra police to patrol our streets and they're going to fund this by reversing Conservative cuts to capital gains tax (CGT).

In the now infamous Radio interview, she announced, “If we recruit the 10,000 police men and woman over a four year period we believe it will be about £300,000,” the shadow home secretary said.

But when LBC’s Nick Ferrari questioned the figure. “£300,000 for 10,000 police officers? What are you paying them?” he asked.

Abbott corrected herself. “No. I mean... Sorry.... They will cost.... It will cost.... About £80million. We get to that figure because we anticipate recruiting 2500 police officers year at least, over a period of four years,” she explained. “We’re looking at what average police wages are generally, but also specifically police wages in London.”

By lunchtime, good old Jeremy had ridden into to help her with her maths.
Labours professor of hard sums

But even he got it all wrong! He told Sky News that their policy would actually cost £300 million and denied that Diane Abbott had caused any embarrassment to the Labour Party's latest policy!
The fact is, if you recruit 2500 additional officers each year the cost goes up exponentially.

It's basic mathematics! - In year 1 at an average wage of £30,000 per recruit, the cost will be £75 million for 2500 recruits.

Year 2 the wage bill will be £150 million, as you now have 5000 officers!

In year 3 it will be £225 million and in year 4, £300 million, creating a total wage bill of £750 million.
A bit more than the £80 million announced by the bungling dyscalculia affected Abbott or the £300 million spouted by the equally challenged Costello!

Then of course there’s the added expense of training these 10,000, extra officers, which neither politician thought to mention; - nor the other costs associated with this initiative, like their pension contributions, their uniforms, their radios, cameras, and numerous bits of essential equipment. (Not to mention the ubiquitous 4x4 BMW apiece) - which, all in all, will well exceed £1 billion in additional funding over and above the added funding needed to keep police forces at current levels.
I can't wait till the next fully costed policy announcement. Perhaps this time from Stan & Ollie? 

Yep' Another fine mess they're getting us into!



So, let’s get this right.
A Labour government would seek to create four new UK-wide bank holidays, according to the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Those holidays would be on each nation's patron saint day - St David's Day on 1 March, St Patrick's Day on 17 March, St George's Day on 23 April and St Andrew's Day on 30 November.

According to the statement he made this morning on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Corbyn believes the move would "celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations".

If that policy had been in place this year (2017) that would mean that St David’s Day (1st March) would have been a Wednesday, St Patrick’s Day (17th March) would have been a Friday, St Georges Day, (23rd April) would be today, Sunday and St Andrew’s Day (30th November) would fall on a Thursday!

Not very convenient for shops and businesses to close down and stop production mid-week. So invariably the days would be shunted around to different dates and tagged on to the nearest weekend! – Making a mockery of “celebrating the national cultures of our proud nations”, as Jeremy puts it!

Now, as a man who never lets an opportunity go by to criticize the current educational policies of opportunities for all, one would assume that the Labour leader would be emphasising the importance of regular education and the effects of a child ‘missing school’ may have on their future successes.

According to the Department for Education, they are adamant that: "It is irresponsible to take a child out of school without good reason. Every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil's chance of gaining good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances. Following our reforms there are now 200,000 fewer pupils regularly missing school compared with five years ago."

In fact, as it stands, parents who defy the law and take their children off on holiday or allow day’s off can, and frequently are, fined by their local authorities.

Department for Education figures show councils dished out 157,879 fixed penalty notices in 2015/16, and 151,125 the year before for unauthorized term-time absences (so not just holidays).

But now, with an election on the near horizon, Jeremy is desperately looking to the popular vote by promising them anything!

Suddenly, children’s education is flexible and taking another 4 days off their schooling really takes second place to getting his feet through the door of No10!

If he really wanted to put the education of our children back on the right track he should start by creating policies that prevent the ability to fire useless teachers and the inability to exclude seriously disruptive students. We all know of schools where teaching is first and foremost an exercise in crowd control.

Freedom of choice for the schools and the especially the parents is what is needed.

So it begins, weeks of concocting half-baked ideas and yielding, for the sake of popularity, to the selfish emotions, passions, and greed of sectional groups, that, together with Labour’s crackpot Marxist economics would bankrupt the economy.

Chris Leslie, the former Labour shadow chancellor, said of John McDonnell’s economic policy: “It’s the magic money tree that will make all our dreams come true. You’d have to double income tax, double National Insurance, double council tax and you’d have to double VAT as well.”

And that comes from someone in his own party!

God help us if this chap ever the key’s to Downing Street.



IF A JOB IS WORTH DOING, IT'S WORTH DOING WELL …unless you live in Tameside!

Local councils have a duty to maintain the roads, but they can only fill a pothole if they know about it.

A good friend of mine emailed me yesterday to tell me how he had contacted ‘the council’ regarding a series of pot-holes that had presented themselves outside his house.

The problem was, every time they filled with rainwater, passing vehicles splashed the water across his front door.

To his amazement, two days after leaving a message on the council's website, he returned home to find ‘the men from the council’ had apparently dropped everything and effected urgent repairs, seemingly by dropping lumps of tarmac in the holes and stamping the black stuff down with their size nines!

It's now worse!
The sad truth is the road was only in bad condition because they did such a shoddy job the last time they patched it up.

Still, it’s good to know where our 4.99% council tax increase is going!



On the Saturday 15 June 1996, a massive bomb devastated the busy Arndale shopping area in the centre of Manchester.
Many of you will remember it and I suspect many will know of friends, neighbours or loved ones who were caught up in the carnage and massive devastation.
Thankfully, no one was killed, but over two hundred people were injured in the attack, mostly by flying glass, and seven were hospitalised, who at the time were said to be in a serious condition.

The two Jerry's
The attack was carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and to this day the 1,500-kilogram (3,300 lb) truck bomb holds the iniquitous record of being the biggest bomb to be detonated in Great Britain since World War II.

Shortly after the cowardly atrocity, the then rebel Labour backbencher; now Labour’s Leader in opposition, was interviewed on radio, where he refused several times to condemn the attack.
This is the real Jeremy Corbyn. The man our Labour councillors now follow as their ‘party leader’ and who the voters of Tameside have, albeit in diminishing numbers; have voted to run our borough council since 1979!

During that time we have seen massive council waste, they’ve presided over deteriorating town centres, orchestrated the demise of our towns’ markets, roads deteriorate, libraries lost, iconic buildings left vacant and allowed statutory services to diminish. All this while we see our council taxes raise!

In Tameside it's not 'Do more for less' its Do less for more'

Their biggest trick is to get armies of unpaid 'volunteers' to fill the void, whilst blaming their inefficiencies on others.
This just illustrates how ordinary people in the street have been left so apathetic and existing in a state of total indifference that they can’t be bothered to say, ‘enough is enough’ and vote to invoke a change.  
They just don’t realise the true nature of the type of people who have, after years of infiltration, taken over the Labour Party, both nationally and locally!
These so called socialists have seemingly lost contact with their roots. They appear to have lost touch with their core values and listen only to so called policy experts from 'London based think-tanks' rather than listening to the concerns from ordinary men and women from small towns throughout the UK, who are struggling.

Today’s Labour politician not only wants to tell working class people what's best for them, but what they should and shouldn't think.

Well, this lack of meaningful political opposition, party infighting and general lack of ideas backfired greatly in Copeland, where incidentally, the Denton & Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne was Labours campaign manager!
This May, as the local elections come round again, it’s your opportunity to start to stop the rot here in Tameside, where we need fresh, common sense thinking from new people who display civic pride in our towns and put the local needs of their constituents first, rather than passing the baton of office to other members of their dynasty!