"People, it's time to take stock - vote me out!"
In his latest blog, our intrepid leader suggests that as the year ends, it’s often a time to take stock of everything that has happened and work out what you want for the future.

He goes on to say, ‘Sometimes that can be as simple as an individual deciding to kick a bad habit.’ And here he speaks nearer the truth than he thinks, because that is exactly what our years of Labour’s domination of Tameside council has become, - a very bad habit!

Undeterred, he expands his message by telling us that ‘Here in the council we’ll be thinking about how we can make life better for our residents next year.’

Now here I believe I can help him.


...And take all the other unqualified hangers-on who currently benefit from Tameside’s system of political patronage, and whose ‘special responsibility allowances’ continue to escalate whilst they close, and reduce ‘politically advantageous’ public services.



Big Wheels may well keep on turning, but at Ashton’s Christmas Market, it appears to have come to a grinding halt!

Cllr John Taylor, deputy leader of Tameside Council, who claims total responsibility for this financial fiasco, continues to tell us: “That many ‘thousands’ of people from all across Tameside have been out to support the festivities and that the atmosphere and community spirit has been wonderful and how sure he is that thousands more people will be visiting to ‘shop’ and ‘enjoy everything’ the Christmas market has to offer over the coming days.”

However, the photographic evidence tells a different story. 

These photographs were taken at midday on the 16th December and show an un-manned ‘Big Wheel’ - the only person on the plastic Ice-rink was the chap running it! There were also many ‘Closed’ Chalets and those that were open; mainly purveying large ‘German style Sausages’ - no one was buying!

Yes, councillor, shoppers may well come and look, but the problem with speculating 

£69,500 building 30 ‘wooden chalets, and committing the taxpayer to a 10 year project when one could have conducted a ‘market test’ by hiring them for a little over £7000, - you might have discovered a little-noticed characteristic of Christmas markets, in that no-one ever buys anything.

However, by total contrast, the indoor market was heaving!

There were large queues at the Pie stall, the Christmas Gift Shop, the Booze stall, the Cheese stalls, the Delicatessens and the Jewellers and Cafes, so it would seem that the dismay generated by the Christmas market is not due to it not being visited, but to the sort of stuff it is selling!

That seasonal attack of terrifying flashing trinkets, overpriced wire jewellery, boxes of strange looking tomato-scented soap, miniature pottery animals, candied fruit - and thousands of other things for which no-one anywhere; let alone in Tameside, will ever have the slightest use; all this from 30 jerry-built sheds, is a total failure!

At last, as these photograph show, this theory of ‘The Emperor’s got no clothes’, appears to have finally dawned on the local populous and common sense has finally triumphed over the egregious outbreak of ‘Christmas Cabin Fever’ in favour of those places which sell produce that people actually want!

As we end this year, let us hope that as we approach the Christmas of 2015, the ‘brains trust’ who occupies the palatial portals of the Town Hall, will put an end to the way this festive financial disaster is organised.

As it stands it would be a kindness if some of our ‘local council heroes’ could take time off from their BBC TV appearances and sweep all the sheds, the mulled wine, hand-crafted seasonal toys (‘made in China’), the scented soap-for-a-dope and the inevitable Bratwurst and Mulled wine; in short – the whole sorry event, including councillor Taylor's next brain-child, into their appropriately colour coded bin wagons, thus cutting out the middlemen.

Now you may think this musing is just the jaundiced view of typical generalised seasonal misanthropy, but I assure you it’s not! 

I embrace with gusto Christmas and almost everything which goes with it: baubles, knitwear, family, trees, children, carols, Buck Fizz at 11am and turkey with all the trimmings sometime later.

What I can’t abide is the shear waste of money, deceptive council speak and seeing a potential success, done badly!

Merry Christmas!



Last week, after commenting on the letter allegedly written by CllR Taylor, I predicted that this week, the prolific penster would confine his words to the relatively safe subject of ‘local history’

Unsurprisingly, I was right! He treated us to a walk down memory lane (Penny Meadow) to where the Ashton Fair once stood during wakes week and meandered on from the Big Wheel to take in the ‘Bobs’ at Belle Vue

He then then segued from Belle Vue to the current Christmas Market where he hopes we’ll enjoy the ‘fast food’ and ‘mulled wine’ before trying out their ‘not so big wheel’

He’s nothing if not predictable.

However, with local decisions now in the hands a small cabal of ‘career councillors’ you really don’t need a crystal ball to predict the boroughs further demise.

We can only hope that there is sufficient time to inform the electorate in time to avoid repeating the mistakes of re-electing these people in 2015!