Once again in the latest history lesson from our leader Kieran Quinn, it would appear that he too has changed the facts of antiquity by alluding to an undoubted act of bravery undertaken by Andrew Moynihan during the Crimean War.

In his blog, http://www.tameside.gov.uk/blog/leader/he tells us that originally the brave soldier was born in Wakefield in 1831, and moved to Dukinfield at a very young age and lived near Crescent Road and up until he joined the army at 17 his life was typical for most young ‘Tameside’ men of that time.

However, as the councillor well knows, ‘Tameside’ is just a made-up name for a borough that came into existence in 1974 as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972. Therefore could poor Andrew’s life could not be typical of a man from a non-existent place!

Dukinfield maybe, Tameside, no!

However, the most extraordinary fact that ‘he who never makes a mistake’ tells us, is in his next paragraph, where he writes that ensign Moynihan’s career did not end with Sevastopol and the Crimea, as he served with the forces that suppressed the Indian Mutiny in 1857 and was then stationed in Ireland and Gibraltar.

Now here’s a strange anomaly; Kieran then tells us that by 1965 he was a Captain and appointed musketry instructor for the island of Malta!

If this man was still in the army in 1965, he would have been 134 years old and if so, deserved more than a VC, but another medal for the longest serving government employee in the world, beating Roy Oldham by some 90 years!

Check your facts Kieran; the secret is, don’t leave proof reading to your Deputy who's prone to frequent confusion!

Remember his 'Frankie Abbott' moment, when he got a little confused with which country The Mercian Regiment was defending, us or Spain?



It’s little wonder that we have heard not but a peep from all but one of our local councillors (Oliver Ryan – Yvette Cooper) regarding for their choice of Party Leader, as it has been said by prospective candidate Andy Burnham that more than 500 Labour councillors risk losing their seats in next year’s local elections if Jeremy Corbyn becomes their ultra-left wing leader.

The rest of our councillors have got until next Saturday to tell us their preferences and explain their reason of choice, but seeing as they've had months to tell us, they have chosen to embrace silence.

It appears that as a dominant Labour controlled council they are not interest in addressing any sensible questions regarding the boroughs future should the newly led opposition produce policies like nationalising the railways, controlling rents, introducing a National Education Service, following the NHS model, ending public schools’ charitable status”, nationalising the power companies which will involve printing even money or plucking it from their magic money tree!

We should not be kept in the dark over this!

As long as we pay our council taxes, we have a right to know the views and policy preferences of those who decide where our tax pounds are spent, so that we can then react accordingly.

These councillors must realise it’s time for a political reality check. Apart from themselves; their party supporters and activists, very few people in Tameside have any interest in local politics. I suspect most of think of Tameside councillors as a necessary evil.  All we ask is a bit of honesty and a degree of competence. And not lying too often. No smoke and mirrors. And not treating constituents as if we are all fools.

However, until next week, I expect that we’ll get more news and views about Trainspotting, Local History or from the likes of Kieran Quinn who cannot resist pressing the current populist button, blogging a piece on how Tameside council, are acting with others to find a lasting solution to the Syrian refugee crisis, by advocating taking in large numbers of refugees when Labour never stop complaining (rightly) about our housing shortages.

Something they should and could have sorted out during their 13 years in office!

Mark my words, regardless whoever wins, next 



This week we were presented with a perfect example of situational irony when Cllr John Taylor, (AKA WAG Taylor) allegedly penned a letter praising the recent educational achievements of many of the students from secondary schools across Tameside.

Now there’s nothing wrong with passing a sincere sentiment, but coming from such an ‘uncut stone’ as the self-decorated councillor, well, it’s like a marriage counsellor filing for divorce or as daft as launching an anti-technology website!

What John Taylor knows about the rigours of sitting exams, let alone passing them, one could write on the back of a postage stamp! 

In all probability he didn't earn the nickname John ‘WAG’ Taylor for his exceptional school attendance record, or, paradoxically, maybe he did!

Now to change the subject.

This week saw ‘The Carbuncle Cup’ awarded to ‘the Walkie-Talkie’ building in London.

This accolade was  granted for being voted the ugliest building in the country! - But hold the front page here, for it would seem that Tameside College in collaboration with the council; who chase every award going, no matter how ridiculous its origin, could well sweep the board next year when they unveil the first phase of the Collage upgrade.

Located on Stamford Street, we are told that when finished the Centre will be an iconic five storey building providing a cutting edge learning facility!

Here it looks like the architect took the ‘cutting edge’ part of the brief rather too literally and has not only given the structure a cutting edge, but has thrown in an enormous ‘cheese grater’ to boot!

My great fear is that this blot on the landscape is merely the beginning not the end, as future carbuncles appear to be mushrooming across the borough at astonishing speed.

There are many local architects who have endured the familiar frustration of having minor planning applications refused on spurious grounds; submitting plans that the authority have refused stating that they were considered of ‘unacceptable detriment to local character’ yet here we have the local planning authority passing designs that appear to be trying to provide the next logical progression in the Prince Charles pastiche by inflicting a strange wedge, a giant multi-coloured oil filter on stilts and a large shoebox of a building on the urban landscape.

Perhaps Cllr Taylor in his role as the chap responsible for all that’s wrong with Tameside can explain in his next letter the architectural intent of these monstrosities for our edification.

What is now becoming increasingly clear is that Tameside’s planning system that is spawning these urban monstrosities is entirely unfit for purpose.