INCENTIVE [in-sen-tiv] noun

If you want to arrange a drinking session in a place that produces beer, then don’t for God’s sake ask a Tameside councillor for advice!

In the middle of March, Tameside council issued a Press Release in which Cllr Jim Fitzpatrick, Tameside Council’s first deputy, said: “At Tameside Council we are acutely aware of the pressures under which retailers have had to operate over the last six years. We are committed to reviving our town centres and have been working closely with town teams.”

So, what do they do? They craftily increase the Car Parking charges by 80% – from £1.00 to £1.80 for an hour - 5 to 10 minutes of which is spent queuing at the pay-station whilst people rummage around trying to find the right money, as NO CHANGE IS GIVEN; another way of screwing shoppers and visitors!

Next, in a bid to encourage residents to support their local traders, we have the announcement of a Loyalty scheme which the media reported as being ‘the brainchild' of Stalybridge councillor Claire Reynolds, - a strange claim considering the plethora of loyalty schemes featuring points or stamp collection requirements that have been around since the early 60’s!

Her suggestion being that these ‘points or stamps’ could then be cashed in for ‘rewards’ such as tickets to events or a free swim!

However, typical of Tameside council, they announce a scheme that on the face of it would appear to have merit, but as usual, the finances have not been thought through! No mention of how this scheme is to be paid for!

In the 60’s, Green Shield issued 1 stamp for every 6d spent with participating retailers. The equivalent today would be 1 stamp or loyalty point for every 50p spent.
In the 60’s, each book contained 1,280 stamps and to collect enough stamps to fill it, one would have to have spent £32.00.

To fill the equivalent of 1 book today you would have to spend £640.00.!

So, to get an adult ‘free swim’ in Tameside, normal cost: £5.10p you would need to spend £81.00. – That’s after you've just paid another 80p for the privilege of parking your car!

Now if our creatively challenged councillors think that is an incentive to visit Ashton, Hyde, Droylsden or Stalybridge, then they probably still believe in the tooth fairy and that the moon is made of cream cheese!



I often read the blog of Tameside council’s Executive Leader Kieran Quinn, not because I’m a fan, but I like to keep a watchful eye out for the first signs of madness; which someone said, was hairs growing on the palms of your hands. …The second sign is looking for them

However there are many types of mental imbalance; an example of which is here:

In his piece on Tameside’s 40th Anniversary, Cllr Quinn waxed on about how in the 70’s local government was based on a Victorian template, and because of this, the nine towns of Tameside were at the very fringes of their own counties and felt neglected! – So, nothing has changed there then!

He also told us how ‘places like Ashton and Hyde struggled to get their voice heard among so many communities with which they had little in common’ ….. sounds familiar!

Of course, despite the fact that the borough has plenty to be proud of. He couldn't resist riding his favourite hobby-horse by reminding us how it has weathered some very stormy economic times during which society – and how indeed local government – has experienced a staggering amount of change. …Not noticed much change in the personnel who make-up the main body of the executive council!

So, having told us how proficient they are with our money, he then announces, that over the next few months the council will start the process of leaving its 34-year-old Ashton administrative complex so that the construction of a new, multi-million pound, smaller and energy-efficient building it will share with Tameside College and other partners can begin…. One can only hope they look after this new building better than they have the present one. Let’s be honest, we are surrounded by iconic buildings, some dating from the 15th to the 18th century, so, for a multi- million pound building to be condemned after a mere 34 years, should be a major concern to us all.

But the passage that made me fear the worst and one that must put a chill up the backbone of every Tameside resident was, “I don’t know what the next 40 years will bring, but I can assure you that that Tameside Council – and by that I mean all 57 members – will continue to serve you to the best of their abilities.”

My god! That must be the most dreaded sentence of the modern era! “I’m from Tameside council and I’m here to serve you for another 40 years!”

"Give us my our money back..."
…Now I don’t know about you, but the thought of a 115year old Jim Fitzpatrick, still spouting threats like “…Although taking people to court is always our last resort, we will not hesitate to do so if this is the only we can recover the money that has been fraudulently taken from us.”

Or an 100+ year old Ann Holland,
 Still refusing to apologize for
"You don't have to answer for me!"
wishing The late Baroness Thatcher permanent blindness, or the ghastly sight of an aging John (the Sherriff) Taylor riding at the head of his Labour posse, to instill voting suggestions into unsuspecting  townships, whilst still picking up doggy-doo’s in Dukinfield and opening his 43rd ‘successful’ yet financially disastrous Christmas Market, will send the ‘phone lines at The Samaritans into melt-down

"It's a shitty job, but someones got to do it!"

Personally speaking, I think rather than looking for hairs growing on the palms of our councillors hands, I suspect that ‘believing you can do no wrong and that you are perfect and others are very imperfect. Never questioning your judgment or feelings, and many variations thereof, could be considered a more accurate measure of madness!



Councils are responsible for providing local services and facilities. 

Your elected representatives, or councillors, are also supposed listen to your concerns and represent you at a local level. This system is known as local government.

Here in Tameside, your present council is responsible for all of the following areas:

  Council housing
·         Education services
·         Electoral registration
·         Environmental health
·         Leisure and recreation facilities
·         Libraries
·         Local planning
·         Local transport
·         Parks and public places
·         Regulation of local business
·         Roads and footpaths
·         Social services
·         Waste and recycling                  

Look at the list above and give a mental mark out of ten how efficient you think our current councillors are at servicing, providing and maintaining those services.

Now consider that the vast majority of our current councillors have been administering these services for well over 35 years. Have they got better or worse?

Each councillor is elected for four years. However, Tameside council votes by thirds, this means that only a third of councillors are elected every year over a four year cycle (with no elections in the fourth year) this results in the fact that even if every councillor presently serving on the council is voted off in the upcoming election, the councils remaining two thirds will still rule the council!

True democracy is not just about ballot papers, it’s about inspiring people to take part in the democratic process.  The fact that the overwhelming majority of Tameside voters take no part whatsoever indicates not just a democratic deficit, but a disease at the heart of the ruling Labour council that acts as a barrier to their claims of representation.

People, please wake up!

Tameside’s current councillors don’t want you to vote!

Mass abstention encourages the current councillors to maintain the current state the borough is in – it serves these career councillors just fine, allowing them to claim a democratic mandate to keep on ruining our towns, whilst pursuing their own personal agendas.

To remove Tameside council from its existing political grip, it would take a minimum of 8 years!

This is not democracy!

Personally, I really don’t care which councillor or political party you vote for, but if we are to claim real democracy in Tameside, we must demand that the council changes the way we vote and that is that all of the councillors are elected every 4 years.

If they truly believed that the people of Tameside have voted them into office on merit, then they should have nothing to fear from a full council election every 4 years.