It would appear that certain Tameside councillors are, on the whole, totally unaware, utterly confused or simply duplicitous in their grasp of the local loyalty that’s deeply ingrained in the hearts of the families of the towns they claim to represent.

Back in the day, friendly rivalry between dozens of various schools in terms of academic and sporting prowess used to be the norm in the towns of Denton, Droylsden, Hyde, Stalybridge, Denton, Dukinfield, Mossley, Audenshaw and Ashton. It was an integral part of growing up which generally manifested itself in a competitive drive to one up each other with both participants developing their talents.

Team sports, particularly football, were a popular focus point for inter-town rivalry, especially since cattle rustling and pillaging were emphatically discouraged!

But more and more these days we are subjected to letters written by councillors who seem unclear as to the proud history of their areas.

This week, once again John Taylor; that man of vision and sartorial elegance, was metaphorically wandering down a non-existent memory lane, where he told us that ‘Tameside’ was at the epicentre of the Industrial Revolution, which was turning Britain into the world’s dominant economic and military power!

Really, John?

Well considering that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the late 1700s and Tameside was only created by bureaucratic consensus in 1974, it’s difficult to take the Dukinfield councillor seriously on his historical text, or indeed, taking his position as Tameside council’s Deputy Leader, on any other spurious facts, figures or statistics he frequently purports to spew out!

If he must put his name to articles on local history, then in future, will his writer include a little local geography into the sophomoric pieces; after all ‘time and place’ do go hand in hand!

However, John Taylor is not alone in this creeping trend to replace our individual local towns’ priorities with those carrying the dreaded Tameside Label. Too many times our local councillors put their place on the borough council first, before challenging the ‘leader’ by standing up for residents and dealing with local issues and insisting on receiving an equal share of the council spend.

Not too long ago, I overheard one of our councillors suggesting that all the local towns’ football clubs should all disband, with all the ‘best players’ forming a combined Tameside team!

Could you imagine a football team run by Tameside council? Its ground no doubt would be based in Ashton, with its team chosen by executive committee! Several months of arguing about the gender of the team mascot with the deciding vote going to the ‘chair’ of the local government leagues “Diversity Committee” who’s responsibility may also include the scheduled rotation of wheelie bins?

They would preside over a game where there would be no winners or losers, just teams of “politically correct, community representatively mixed ability players” that must be weakened if they are seen to be winning too easily! 

Not that they could actually run and kick a ball with all the silly health and safety rules because it would be difficult to play wrapped from head to toe in reams of padding, whilst stuffing themselves with a Big Mac and tweeting!


With all the talk of ‘cuts’ it’s not gone unnoticed that council chiefs have seized on an political opportunity to consolidate a great proportion of their funds to lavish on Ashton, much to the denigration of all the other towns; who these days must rely more and more on the residents volunteering to take up the services that used to be paid for out of council taxation.

Ironically, this blinkered Labour administration is carrying out locally the same unfair distribution of funding throughout Tameside, that they never cease accusing the Government of doing throughout the country, with their North/South divide mantra!

How many times have we heard the mighty Quinn bemoan spending in the South as opposed to the North?

Look at investment locally however, and you'll discover that spending gets even worse when you look at the imbalance in terms of council expenditure. Just overlay the amount that our council spends in Ashton, with that of Hyde, Denton or Stalybridge and you’ll discover a borough wide divide!

By allowing this unequal investment of funds, local ward councillors have taken a stubborn and entrenched position that has to be of considerable concern for everyone living in their local communities.

These career councillors seem to have forgotten that a sense of rivalry between some of our towns helps residents feel good about their home town. 

In the not too distant past, town rivalry prompted by competition was instrumental in securing and developing key infrastructure that could significantly improve a towns growth prospects, and even ensure its survival. Today, by lavishing vast amounts of money in Ashton, whilst encouraging out-of-town retail developments and closing facilities like Markets, Libraries, Leisure Centres and Colleges in rival surrounding town centres, the outcome can only be one of diminishing returns.

It’s high time some of our local councillors realised that unlike that encountered in the false world of petty politics, not all rivalries are bitter. Some are actually quite friendly with both parties getting along just great - and seeing as we all pay into the same council tax pot, equal investment should be the norm in every corner of the borough.



Kieran Quinn, opened his recent blog with the following sentence: “Every so often I find out that, despite my long years in politics, I still have the capacity to be surprised.”

"I have the capacity to be surprised!"
Paradoxically, and speaking for myself, I find the opposite to be true!

As a consequence of living in Tameside, nothing that Kieran Quinn and the rest of the Labour controlled Tameside Council does or says ever surprises me!

Let’s look at the twisted statistics that our leader is trying to get us to swallow regarding the ‘Budget Simulator’ - the council’s excuse for turning their inability to priorities their funding by getting a few of their acolytes to complete the ready set questions contained in their latest edition of their online budget consultation.

Last year, he tells us, “… they knew that the people of Tameside would be willing to take part, and they absolutely delivered. By the end of the consultation period they (the council) had received over 1,000 responses through the online budget simulator alone, and nearly 3,000 responses if you include other ways of getting in touch like e-mail, letters and social media.

To put that into perspective, the population of Tameside is over 220,000 people. So, even if we assume that half are under the age of voting, it still remains the case that only 0.83% bothered to take part in the simulator scheme.

He went on to proclaim that “…the truly important thing is what you told us.”
Firstly, 73% supported rolling out the bin swap as a way to protect vital services and the environment by reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill.

Sounds convincing, doesn't it?

But that means that 730 people thought it a good idea, whilst over 219,270 didn't pass a comment!

So, based on that we are supposed to believe they had our blessing to go ahead and do it!

Next he tells us that when faced with the choice, 78% of us supported an average council tax increase of 4.2%. That’s over twice the amount they were legally allowed to raise council tax by without having a costly referendum.

"What colour is it this week Gladys? 
Again they pressed ahead by allegedly taking the say so of 780 people, whilst 219,220 said nothing!

He then goes on to say:

“Honestly, if somebody had told me that would be the outcome at the start I don’t think I would have believed them!” 

– And I thought satire was dead!

So now, undeterred he is launching the council's second online budget consultation. Where from now until 22nd December anybody in Tameside can give their views on how to manage the cuts imposed on us by the government.

Now here he starts to get ironic, because he tells us that in order to help as many people as possible reply they’ll be putting on over 150 budget simulator events and drop-in sessions throughout Tameside in libraries, Active Tameside centre’s, community groups, children’s centre’s and more.

The problem with this simulator scheme is it only gives those attempting to take part a pre-set group of answers to budget saving areas.

For instance, I’ll bet a pound to a pinch of salt, nowhere will there be a facility to ask how much could be saved by cancelling 150 needless simulator events and drop-in sessions, along with the unnecessary literature, videos, and personnel needed to man these already cut and dried council concluded shows.

Nor the facility to ask the powers that be why they have spent over £2million building a 240 space multi-story car park in St Petersfield that has been open since Christmas 2014 yet is only open to permit holders, whilst every street and alleyway in that vicinity is cram packed with cars on yellow lines?

In his dramatic Press Release back in July 2014 he told us: "the new car park will provide 'much needed' parking in this expanding business quarter." So why is it closed to the general public?

It could have been open to taxpaying drivers for 12 months and making money? 



Over the coming months, we the British people will be subjected to points of view, diverging opinions, and veiled threats and promises regarding the consequences we may face if we vote one way or another in the approaching EU referendum.

This video is worth watching.