Welcome to Hyde's bustling new £1.3million 'Market' Place

Have you ever watched a lively 'Market Town' prosper and then watch it slowly starve itself to death? 

Have you ever wondered why it’s failed? Or do you know what has gone wrong?

Maybe, like many of Hyde’s residents you even offered constructive feedback to the council and its councillors only to get a nasty look in return. 

How is it that we can see the self-destruction - while the council seem to be oblivious

Why? - Because we see it from the perspective of a customer. The council is engulfed in an emotional world of "It's ours - it must be beautiful". Or maybe they keep telling themselves, "There’s now’t wrong w’it Market, we spent a lot of money fixing up this place - people will see it our way - eventually".

So why has Hyde’s market failed?

Well, I suspect that the market’s owners; Tameside council, followed a marketing strategy of hope.

Well, hope is an admirable personal quality councillors, but it’s a lousy marketing strategy.

The campaign to encourage smokers to move smoke away from children seems to be going well too!



The lack of effective opposition from other parties means that town hall bosses think they are 'untouchable' and are given 'carte blanche' to act as they wish.

The situation in Tameside, with its one party rule, could be changed by employing the self-same tactics that Labour councillors and prospective replacement candidates adopt at election time.

To have any chance of changing the status quo, the opposition and their supporters need to specifically target the members of the cabinet and flood the key areas with concentrated campaigning to remove those career councillors who make up the body of the inner-circle; the cabal; those who surround the leader. However, because of the way the councillors are elected and their periods of office are staggered, it would take a 3 year concerted effort to remove the inner sanctum.

Nevertheless, there might be a’ chink in their armour’ in 2015. This is when both ‘The Leader’ and the ‘Deputy Leader’ are due to retire (Up for re-election) along with another executive cabinet member.

This would present a golden opportunity for Tamesiders’ to take back some control and begin to change the face of the draconian Labour council.

Presently, nearly all our Labour councillors to a man are cultivating an atmosphere of fear.

A common use of fear occurs when leaders create an "us versus them" mentality. We have seen this used by political leaders when they create an atmosphere of fear from threats outside of the group. (e.g., every week we read scaremongering stories from Cllr Taylor. This week it the fear of crime because of economic cuts, fear of reduced services; statements like "millions being wasted on so-called experts to advise on how we sell-off our health service). 

How often have we heard the phrase "power corrupts"? Actually, power only corrupts when it is used for self-serving ends. Often leaders become "intoxicated" by the increased power that their position gives them. Bad leaders let that power go to their heads and do things that are in their own best interests without considering the interests of the collective.

Corporate leaders who ensure that their numbers, allowances and pensions are secure, while increasing council taxes, freezing employees' pay or using lay-offs to decrease expenses are also recent examples of the self-serving use of power.

Although there is nothing wrong with creating "A teams" of top performers, or favouring your best employees, there is a delicate balance between creating healthy internal competition and blatantly playing favourites. Bad leaders, however, reward in-group members not because they are top performers, but because they show loyalty or "brown-nose" the leader.

(Husband and wife teams spring readily to mind; as they’re highly unlikely to disagree with, or take a principled stance against their spouses.)

Therefore by cultivating their sycophants and placing them in supporting roles, it makes it difficult for the public to identify poor leadership, or for talented ‘up-starts’ to dislodge the leader from the position of power. One only need recall the longevity of tenure of the last ‘Executive Leader’

This is because the in-group members defend the leader and work to keep them in power. Bad leadership often exist because their underlings allow them to remain.

So to remove them, one will have to fight fire with fire!




Tameside is supposed to be a democracy; however capitalism has taken a huge amount of political power away from individuals and given it to big businesses. 

Basically, a vast number of our politicians have been bought and paid for by big businesses, and the influence that companies have over the democratic process is still increasing. 

Some people might even say that companies have more political control than that of the citizens. …But I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

*Not content with owning one of the North Wests largest Social Housing Associations, an Educational Academy, a Radio Station, a Local Newspaper and integrating their services with The Lottery Fund with a ‘Local Trust’ scheme, rumours abound that one of New Charters senior bosses (AKA The ‘Codfather') has now set his sights on taking over, more than 50 of Tameside’s traditional Fish & Chip Shops!

And where better to launch their ‘Flagship’ chippy, but next door to Ashton’s new M&S. 

In an exclusive interview, the ‘Codfather’ said, "Let's face it," he explained, "there's lots of folk out there who visit Ashton’s new M&S just to buy a packet of sweets; just so they can have it put in a M&S bag as proof they shopped there. Now we all know that because the council has put up their Council Tax, most people couldn't afford anything else in the big shop, but they just want proof they'd been there. So where better? After walking all the way there from the Bus Station, they’ll be ready for something good to eat, so we, at New Charter, have put forward plans to provide a decent place to buy a decent fish supper.

Speaking outside New Charter’s swanky modern offices, a senior Director said, “it was when we, in conjunction with Tameside’s refuse investigators, analysed what and where our residents were eating, we decided that we should take a bigger ‘pizza the action’ 

So after putting together a business plan we applied a little muscle for urgent planning permission to ‘our friends’ on Tameside’s council and with that 'The Tameside Star Chip Enterprise' scheme, was put in motion.

After being inundated by applications from several members of the council who craved fish-and-chip shop executive status, the family, sorry, the board decided, that in order to appear totally legitimate, ideally we would need to employ a ‘husband and wife team to front up the operation!

We chose Barrie and Ann because we assumed the family link with the Pie family could prove useful when putting together our supply network. At first they refused, but, after pointing out to Ann just what happens to gobby councillors, with a chip on their shoulders, they both saw sense. It was then that we made them an offer they couldn’t refuse!

Joining the press conference and wearing their matching ‘We hate Maggie’ aprons the devoted councillors explained, “We now plan to work together at lunch time, which will be really nice, and then again in the evening. But we will have a part-time fryer, so we’ll get a couple of evenings off as well so we can get to the council meetings. We don't plan open Sundays, because we don't want to be too rich, and also it would be nice to spend time with the family."

Our initial outlet will be called ‘A Salt N Battered' and phase two based near the New Mosque on Katherine Street , will be launched as,'Balti Towers' and once established we will be ‘partnering’ with other  successful Tameside Fish & Chip Bars to enable the company to expand by force-franchising the business plan, going forward, throughout the borough.

The ‘Codfather’ finished off his remarks by saying, “We've always maintained, that if you can control their food source, then a feverish, blind and irrational allegiance to the rest of the business, can easily be achieved.

So, despite this invasion into the control of Tameside’s food source, it appears that no amount of personal pain, errors on the part of their leadership, family problems or valid criticisms of the group can sway Tameside residents’ allegiance away from 'the cult.'

* The story above is complete satire. In other words, it is entirely fictitious!



"The writing is on the wall for Cllr Philip Fitzpatrick!"
Now here’s some striking news …according to the council’s latest Press Release, Hyde’s Indoor market is no longer a ‘hidden gem’ thanks to its eye-catching new entrance!

To illustrate the fact, we saw a grinning councillor Philip Fitzpatrick in last week’s local press, standing in front of a sequence of 3D boxes; arms akimbo, gesticulating dramatically, in a style which could only be described as reflecting his sense of irony, humour and ambiguity to what appears to be, nine hastily commandeered and carefully choreographed passers-by.

In his press statement; in which he revealed the raison d’étre behind the artistic production, councillor Fitzpatrick described the artwork as ‘stunning’ to the accidental audience, which, if he is to be taken seriously, heralds my fear that it can only be a matter of time before some other well meaning innovative aesthetics committee is subsumed into the meaningless world of art drivel, to act as gullible foils for our artistically inept councillors.

This will once again expose the good people of Tameside, to yet another barrage of art, consisting of refuse-piled-on-refuse, then-painted!

The article went on to feature what can only be prescribed as ‘the bleeding obvious’ comments from Mr Malcolm Angus, Clarendon Square’s Manager, who said: “As a family friendly shopping centre which welcomes more than 4.1 million shoppers each year, we are an ideal location to host this fantastic sculpture, which is the result of a lot of creative thought and hard work! – Well they would be in an ideal location, being in Hyde, wouldn’t they! …But 4.1 million visitors a year! - 78,846 shoppers per week! …In his dreams!

Now, although this politically constructed groups’ work provides the most identifiable starting point for this crap-on-crap art, we should really attribute the inception of the pairing together of banal objects in alphabetical boxes, squarely at the feet of Hyde Ward Member councillor Philip Fitzpatrick, who has apparently helped to organise the project, and to which he attributed the rational “This stunning piece of artwork, gives Hyde Indoor Market the entrance it deserves. - A sentiment to which, I couldn’t agree more!

The 3D ‘sculpture’ spells out ‘Hyde Indoor Market’ in a collage of different materials – from buttons and keys to comics and even dog chews – apparently, all items that can be bought on the market stalls; - although leaving off a hooded jacket, orange face make-up, an electric mobility scooter and a couple of pound-pies, is surely a big aesthetic mistake.

So, if one adds this trite new-age artwork, to the removal of the majority of traditional market stalls and replacing them with £1.3million of paving slabs, it would seem that Hyde market is gaining something of a history of ‘Combining Crap with Crap’, but I suggest that it might have been better understood if the councillor concerned tried combining Crêpes with Crêpes as an opening menu in a new family catering business or some other meaningful enterprise which might have created a quantifiable business opportunity. 

But of course I could be wrong. Maybe this radical idea could end up as a fascinating footnote in future art history books, however, I’m pretty sure I passed by a pile of discarded rubbish at the rear of Paul’s Carpets the other day, that looked strikingly similar to councillor Philip Fitzpatrick’s’ ‘stunning’ artwork.



Baroness Thatcher must be reposing in a little more discomfort after hearing the devastating news that Labour supporter Sally Bercow, the publicity craving wife of the House of Commons Speaker, has said she will not be attending her funeral.

Sally Bercow, who lives in a taxpayer-funded apartment overlooking the Thames, had been invited to attend the ceremonial occasion along with husband John, but she said, she did not want to take part in the “attempted canonisation” of the Iron Lady. 

However, I suspect that the real reason for her snub is despite the ceremonial funeral being held in Sir Christopher Wren’s mighty St. Paul’s Cathedral, it probably would not be quite big enough to accommodate this egotistical creature’s sense of self-importance.

I feel sure her absence will be sadly missed by all!