THEY say a picture can paint a thousand words, but Jonathan Reynolds is looking for one image that will say just two . . . ‘Happy Christmas!’
The Stalybridge and Hyde MP has launched a competition challenging local residents to come up with a suitable image for his parliamentary Christmas Card.
The winning design will be selected by a panel of judges, including cartoonist Tony Husband, photographer Paul Wolfgang Webster and Jonathan Reynolds.
And once made into a card, it will then be sent to hundreds of recipients, across the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency and beyond.
Last year Mr Reynolds selected an image of Hyde Town Hall, decorated in festive lights and covered in snow for his parliamentary Christmas Card. And this year he is hoping to find a similar image that will put the spotlight on a part of the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency, which includes parts of Dukinfield, Longdendale, and Mossley.
He said: "I am proud to represent the people of Stalybridge and Hyde – and I am always looking for opportunities to highlight our strengths, our successes and our achievements.
"Those of us who live here already know there are areas of the constituency that are truly picturesque. And I believe a Christmas Card is the ideal opportunity to highlight the beauty of our area more widely.
"Last year I featured a photograph of Hyde Town Hall taken by a local resident. And this year I’m challenging residents to submit a wintry or festive image that’s just as good.
"I know there are many talented photographers in our area – and I can’t wait to see the images that are entered."
To enter the competition complete the entry form by clicking here and send it with your photograph to Office of Jonathan Reynolds MP, Hyde Town Hall, Market Street, Hyde, Cheshire, SK14 1AL.
If you wish to submit an electronic image to the competition, fill in the form below accepting the competition's terms and conditions, then email your image to firstname.lastname@example.org The closing date for the competition is Thursday 25 October, 2012. There is no upper or lower age limit, but entrants who are under16 will need to have permission to enter from their parents.
LIBRARY staff across Tameside have been encouraging children across the borough to read at least six books over the summer holidays, as part of a national reading campaign.
Today (Wednesday) MP Jonathan Reynolds arranged to pop down to his local library, in Stalybridge, to hear from the children about their favourite books.
And while he was there he also took part in one of the many fun activities organised for young readers over the summer, which involved making a pyramid out of plastic cups.
The staff at local libraries have been actively promoting the Summer Reading Challenge – launched by The Reading Agency – which sets children between the ages of four and 11 a mission to read six or more books from their local library over the summer holidays.
They have held sessions at libraries across Tameside encouraging children to read and rewarding them with a small prize every time they returned to library after completing a book.
Every child who has achieved the six-book target has been presented with a medal and a certificate, marking their completion of the Summer Reading Challenge.
The summer campaign has been backed by leading children’s authors including Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson.
And on Wednesday MP for Stalybridge and Hyde Mr Reynolds leant his support to the scheme, when he visited a session at Stalybridge Library, on Trinity Street.
He said: “The reading habits that we develop as children can stay with us for the rest of our lives – so it’s really important for youngsters to be encouraged to read.
“If children enjoy reading, they are likely to continue reading for pleasure when they are adults. But learning to read is also a gateway to greater knowledge – and those who fall behind in reading may find it difficult to keep up at school.
“The Summer Reading Challenge actively encourages children to read books and to visit their local library – and I understand it has been a great success here in Tameside.”
Last year 2827 children took part in the challenge in Tameside and this year the number taking part is expected to be even higher.
Published 23 August, 2012
STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has welcomed moves that should lead to the redevelopment of a burnt-out health club in the heart of Stalybridge.
Since it was gutted by fire in 2005 the former Casablanca gym and health club has remained derelict and has been widely considered to be a blot on the town centre landscape. But now there are hopes that the site will be redeveloped, following action taken by Tameside Council.
It is in the past few days that the site has been secured by Tameside Council and then sold on to the housing association New Charter. And Mr Reynolds believes the move will help to breathe new life in to the area of the town centre around the canal.
Last year Mr Reynolds highlighted the problems caused by the state of the health club during a debate in Parliament, where he referred to it as a ‘bombsite’.
And since his election in May 2010 he has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure the building was not allowed to remain in a derelict site.
Welcoming the sale of the site, he said: “Derelict buildings like this one in Stalybridge are eyesores that can have a detrimental impact on town centres – deterring businesses from trading and shoppers from visiting.
“Yet too often the powers to force landlords to take any action can be cumbersome and difficult to enforce.
“Residents and traders have been campaigning to get rid of this particular eyesore for a number of years – and, as the local Member of Parliament, I have been just as determined that it should go.
“I believe the area around the canal in Stalybridge is so picturesque that it has the potential to be a magnet for those looking simply to wander by the water on a lazy weekend afternoon or to catch up with friends in a cafe or bar.
“And now – after years of complaints from residents and traders - the removal of this eyesore will finally offer the opportunity to breathe new life and vibrancy into this part of town.
“The action taken by Tameside Council will make a real difference to Stalybridge. And I hope their success will encourage similar progress in other areas.”
Tameside Council used the Law of Property Act 1925 to take ownership of the former health club, on Armentieres Square. It is the first case of its kind in the borough.
The problems caused by derelict buildings are among the issues highlighted by retail expert Mary Portas in her Portas Review that has been considered by the newly-formed Stalybridge Town Team.
In a debate in Parliament on the Portas Review earlier this year, Mr Reynolds backed proposals to put more pressure on town centre landlords to maintain their properties and to keep them tenanted.
Mr Reynolds is a member of the Stalybridge Town Team, which brings together traders, community leaders, councillors and residents with the common purpose of ensuring the town centre fulfils its potential.
Published 20 August, 2012
MP Jonathan Reynolds has sought assurances that investment in railways in Greater Manchester will not lead to fewer local train services.
Earlier this week Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening announced a further £4.2 billion for a range of improvements to the rail network across the country.
The Government has previously announced plans to electrify the railways from Manchester to Liverpool, Preston and across the Pennines.
And now they have given the go-ahead to other track and capacity upgrades, that make-up the so-called Northern Hub proposals.
In general terms the planned improvements should increase rail capacity and speed up journey times. However decisions about rail services are determined independently from the decisions about infrastructure. And that means there is no certainty that the newly electrified line between Manchester and Leeds will mean a better service for users of stations in Stalybridge and Mossley.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has been made aware of some concerns that increasing inter-city services between Leeds and Manchester could mean fewer services stopping at local stations, such as Stalybridge and Mossley.
So on Monday – following the latest funding announcement - he raised the issue with Secretary of State Justine Greening. Following the exchange in the House of Commons Mr Reynolds said: "Transport links are vitally important to our region – so I am delighted that the proposals that make up the Northern Hub have now got the green light.
"At the heart of these plans is the electrification of the train lines between Manchester and Leeds – which could lead to six trains an hour running through the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency.
"Stations in Stalybridge and Mossley are particularly well used by commuters travelling to Manchester and to Leeds. And I hope that these plans will increase the capacity and the frequency of the service.
"However like many local people I am concerned that more frequent inter-city services might be at the expense of local services which stop at each station.
"Indeed it has been suggested that an increase in the number of faster inter-city services could have a detrimental impact on the number of services stopping at local stations, such as Stalybridge and Mossley.
"In the House of Commons I sought an assurance from the Secretary of State that this investment would improve rail services for everyone.
"And in the coming months I will continue to call for a guarantee that the investment will mean a better service for people in our area – who have had to put up with over-crowded trains for too long."
Mr Reynolds raised the issue with the Secretary of State following her announcement about Rail Investment on July 16, 2012.
Published July 17, 2012
MORE than 100 bags of rubbish were cleared from the streets and towpaths around Stalybridge – as dozens of volunteers proved they really do love their town centre.
The ‘I Love Stalybridge’ action day was organised by the Stalybridge Town Team, at the weekend.
More than 40 volunteers – including residents, business owners, council representatives and the police – helped collect stray litter from around the town centre. And they were helped on their way by members of Stalybridge Old Band – and a special barbeque.
The success of the ‘I Love Stalybridge’ action day meant the town was clean and tidy when visitors turned up the next day for the annual Stalybridge Motorcycle Club show, which also coincided with the regular Farmers’ market.
Event organiser Rev Tom Parker, who is a member of the Stalybridge Town Team, said: "It was great to see so many people take part in ‘I Love Stalybridge Action Morning’ and it was fantastic to see what was achieved in such a short time.
"We concentrated our efforts on cleaning up the town centre and canal and there was a great atmosphere. Everyone got stuck in and really enjoyed themselves."
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathon Reynolds, who also took part in the clean-up, said: "The success of the ‘I Love Stalybridge morning’ is the strongest indication yet that there is a real determination to breathe fresh life into the town.
"A whole army of people turned up on Saturday morning to help with the clean-up – picking litter and clearing areas that needed attention.
"And the events that followed throughout the weekend – the bbq, the appearance by Stalybridge Old Band, the Farmers’ Market and the Motorcycle Rally – showed that Stalybridge can still draw the crowds.
"The clean-up was a practical way to make a difference. And many of the people who took part told me how proud they were to play a part in ensuring a brighter future for Stalybridge.
"The Town Team can’t transform Stalybridge overnight, but they are already making a difference – and events like these show that they have the backing of the community."
Published July 17, 2012