Jonathan Reynolds MP

Campaigning for the communities of Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Longdendale, and Dukinfield

STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has welcomed the decision to fund transport improvements around Longdendale

 The stretch of the A57 - which runs between Hollingworth and the end of the M67 in Mottram - is one of the busiest roads in the country. It is frequently grid-locked and heavy traffic causes significant levels of noise, dust and disruption. Residents were first promised a bypass more than 30 years ago, but in 2010 - following the collapse of a public inquiry - the plans were shelved.

 Since then local MP Jonathan Reynolds, working with neighbouring High Peak MP Andrew Bingham and local councillors for Longdendale, has continued to push for the transport problems in the area to be recognised at the highest level.

 Today (Monday 1 December) the Government is expected to announce £170million to address the problem directly.

 

Mr Reynolds said: "This will be welcome news for people living in Mottram and Hollingworth and the surrounding areas. They have put up with unacceptable levels of road congestion and pollution for far too long.

 "The road that links the two villages was never designed or intended to take the high levels of cross-regional traffic that run through it every day. The queues through Longdendale are notorious.  The daily gridlock could not be allowed to continue and it has been clear to me for some time that a bypass would be an essential part of the solution.

 "I have been committed to making sure that the case for a new road was made at the highest level.  I am delighted that the funding promised by the Department for Transport will now make this possible.

When we began this process in 2010, we were told there was no chance whatsoever of achieving funding for a major scheme. But I promised local residents when I was elected I would fight hard on their behalf - and I have."

 

Mr Reynolds - who was formerly a councillor for Longdendale - has been pushing for a solution to the traffic problems in the area since his election to Parliament in 2010. He has worked with neighbouring High Peak MP Andrew Bingham and organisations across the Transpennine corridor in a bid to ensure the situation could be properly assessed.  During this process a wide range of options have been considered, from an HGV ban on the Woodhead Pass to a tunnel under the Pennines.

 A full announcement is expected to be made to the House of Commons today, after which work will begin to determine a specific route for a new road. 

 Mr Reynolds is committed to ensuring residents are kept up to date with the developments as they occur.

Funding decision for bypass in Longdendale

STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has welcomed the decision to fund transport improvements around Longdendale  The stretch of the A57 - which runs between Hollingworth and the end of...

DSC_0242.JPGMORE than 100 volunteers at Homestart have ‘befriended’ families across Tameside to help make the daily struggle a little easier.

The team of specially-trained volunteers offer flexible and practical support to children and their families who are referred by health or social work professionals – or simply ask for help themselves.

Typically support might involve help to become more organised or to access services, playing with the children or helping parents to attend appointments.

And at their AGM, MP Jonathan Reynolds joined staff and volunteers to help them celebrate their ongoing success.

Stalybridge and Hyde MP Mr Reynolds said: “Homestart is a remarkable organisation that gives real and practical support to help families with young children.

“While most of us, most of the time can rely on the support of friends and family when we go through tough times, Homestart is there when that’s not possible.

“The families think of the volunteers as new friends – and the volunteers get a great deal of satisfaction from the experience too.

“I was delighted to be invited to the Homestart AGM and to hear about their ongoing successes.”

Over the past 12 months 117 volunteers at the Audenshaw-based charity – which covers the Oldham, Stockport and Tameside areas - have worked with 180 families.

And in addition, this year, they have launched a project designed to encourage women to breastfeed.

After the formalities of the AGM staff, volunteers and guests celebrated the successes of the year – with volunteers being recognised for volunteering for 50,100 or 150 hours during the year.

Nationally the network of Homestart UK organisations has 16,000 family support volunteers who help 32,000 families every year.

Homestart – which began in Leicester – now operates in 22 countries in five continents.

For more information about Homestart go to www.homestartto.org or call 0161 344 0669.

 

MP joins celebrations to mark Homestart success

MORE than 100 volunteers at Homestart have ‘befriended’ families across Tameside to help make the daily struggle a little easier. The team of specially-trained volunteers offer flexible and practical support...

Big_Ben.jpgMP Jonathan Reynolds has backed a parliamentary Bill designed to reduce the amount of competition in the NHS.

The National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill includes measures that would restrict the amount of income a hospital could generate from private patients and end the routine practice of compulsory competitive tendering for NHS contracts.

It is designed to counter many of the measures in the Government's controversial Health and Social Care Bill. And the Bill – a Private Member’s Bill - received its second reading in Parliament on Friday, when it was overwhelmingly backed by MPs, by 241 votes to 18.

Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds believes the measures in the Bill would ensure patient care was put before profit in the NHS. And he says the funds saved by scrapping the market framework could be re-invested in the NHS.

He said: “The Government’s reorganisation forces doctors to open up services to competition from the private sector – but this wastes millions of pounds on legal process and tenders that could be better spent on patient care.

“The measures in this Bill would scrap unnecessary competition red tape that costs the NHS millions of pounds – and that could be invested to make sure people can get a GP appointment within 48 hours.

“The changes to the NHS implemented by this Government have made it more vulnerable than ever before. But the Labour Party is committed to the NHS and this Bill is a step towards securing its future.”

According to data supplied to the Labour Party under the Freedom of Information Act, NHS hospitals are now spending more than £20 million a year complying with the Government’s competition requirements for NHS reconfigurations and mergers & acquisitions. Releasing those funds could pay for more than 600,000 GP appointments.

Following its second reading, the Bill will now be committed to a Public Bill Committee, where it will be scrutinised line-by-line. No date has yet been announced for the committee to meet.

Backing for Bill that puts patients first

MP Jonathan Reynolds has backed a parliamentary Bill designed to reduce the amount of competition in the NHS. The National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill includes measures that...

STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has backed measures that should deliver a fairer deal for pubs.

Under the current system landlords sign a deal with pub owning companies – so-called ‘pubcos’ - which can compel them to pay rent and to buy supplies from them, as well as purchase financial and other services too.

There have been claims that the prices charged for goods and services by some pubcos can be disproportionately high, with data suggesting that 57% of landlords who are tied to a large pubco earn less than £10,000 a year.

And the practice has been largely blamed for the significant number of pubs that close every week.

However the amended Small Business Bill – which was debated by Parliament on November 18 - gives licensees the option of going free of tie.

And it is expected that this measure would have a significant impact on the viability of pubs nationwide.

“Pubs continue to be at the heart of our communities – but across the country there are 27 are closing every week,” said Mr Reynolds, who conducted his own survey of local pub landlords last year.

“Clearly one of the biggest pressures facing landlords is the unbalanced nature of the relationship they have with pubcos.

“So, I was pleased to be able to support the new clause to the Small Business Bill, which gives licensees the option of going free of tie.

“I believe that giving landlords this greater independence will mean the large pubcos will offer fairer terms to their licensees, which will safeguard the future of more of our pubs.”

The Labour Party has been calling for greater protection for pubs and for an end to the restrictive practices by pubcos since the publication of a report into the industry by the BIS Select Committee in 2010.

Members have campaigned alongside a broad coalition of groups in the industry including the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum of Private Business, CAMRA, FairPint, the GMB and UNITE.

And they are delighted that – despite government opposition – the new clause to the Small Business Bill was accepted, by 284 votes to 269.

Following the parliamentary debate, Labour’s Shadow Pubs Minister Toby Perkins said: “Labour has led calls for a proper statutory code with teeth on pub companies, giving tenants the protection they need and putting an end to the unfair treatment they’ve received from large pub companies.

“Our plans have won support from a broad coalition of campaigners including CAMRA, the Federation of Small Business, trade unions and the cross-party BIS Select Committee.

“Ministers must now act immediately to ensure there is a proper statutory code with a free-of-tie option to protect local pubs, and must not ignore the will of the House of Commons, after their desperate and shambolic attempts to stave off defeat have failed.”

Greater freedom for pub landlords backed by MP

STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has backed measures that should deliver a fairer deal for pubs. Under the current system landlords sign a deal with pub owning companies –...

MSC_1905_Jonathan_Reynolds.jpgStalybridge and Hyde MP and Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Reynolds has launched Labour’s Green Paper on energy efficiency, calling for an end to the scandal of cold homes.

Labour’s pledge, to make at least five million homes more energy efficiency, follows last year’s commitment to freeze energy prices up to 2017 while reforming the energy market.

Mr Reynolds said: “Energy bills have increased by a staggering £300 in the past four years. Investing in energy efficiency is the best way to keep bills down and to lift people out of fuel poverty.

"In Tameside, there are nearly 10,000 households living in fuel poverty while across Greater Manchester, this figure is almost 130,000 – this scandal has to stop.

“Our commitment, to help low income and fuel poor families, in our local area will save households on average, an estimated £270.”

Under a Labour Government, at least five million homes will be made more energy efficient over the next 10 years – cutting heat loss and bills for low income families. Labour will also provide half a million personalised home energy reports a year as well as offering up to one million interest-free loans to cover the costs of energy efficiency during the next Parliament.

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP said: “Millions of households are struggling with a cost-of-living crisis in Britain with many on low incomes or in fuel poverty struggling to heat their homes because of David Cameron’s failure to stand up to the energy companies.

“The best way to help households manage their energy bills is to invest in energy efficiency. That’s why the next Labour Government has committed to insulating at least five million homes over the next ten years, saving people on average around £270 of their bill.” 

Labour’s Green Paper on energy efficiency can be found here: http://www.yourbritain.org.uk/agenda-2015/policy-review/policy-review/an-end-to-cold-homes-labour-s-energy-efficiency-green-paper

The Green Paper was launched on November 10, 2014.

Labour launches pledge to end cold homes

Stalybridge and Hyde MP and Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Reynolds has launched Labour’s Green Paper on energy efficiency, calling for an end to the scandal of cold...

MP Jonathan Reynolds toasted Stalybridge Labour Club’s growing reputation for real ales at the weekend, when he opened the inaugural beer festival.
The club, on Acres Lane, has recently been voted CAMRA’s best club in High Peak and Cheshire for the second year running – coming 1st runner-up in the wider Greater Manchester region too.
Plans for the Stalybridge Labour Club Beer Festival were drawn up by club officials and staff to highlight their growing reputation for real ales.
And during the three-day event (October 24-26) hundreds of people visited the club to taste some of the collection of more than 30 brews that were on offer.
There was a distinctly local flavour to the festival, with ales included from local micro-breweries Tickety Brew, from Stalybridge, Millstone, from Mossley and Green Mill, from Broadbottom – as well as a wider range of beers from across Greater Manchester.
The event was so successful that there are now plans to make the Stalybridge Labour Club Beer Festival an annual event.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds said: “Staff and officials at the club are clearly proud that all their hard work has brought them such prestigious recognition from CAMRA – and there can be no better way of celebrating their success than with their own beer festival.
“Hundreds of people turned out for the event – seizing the rare opportunity to taste so many of the beers brewed locally. And I was delighted to be amongst them.
“The Labour Club continues to be a popular venue for public and private events in the town – but the festival has instantly become a favourite on the club’s calendar.
“I know there will be a significant number of people who are already looking forward to visiting the festival again next year – and I hope to be there again.”
The festival was officially opened on the Friday by Mr Reynolds. And later Cllr Kevin Welsh and Stalybridge North candidate Adrian Pearce presented Lord Tom Pendry with the presidency of the club.
Commenting on the success of the event, Stalybridge North councillor Kevin Welsh, who is a trustee of the Stalybridge Labour Club, said: “Stalybridge Labour Club has begun to really excel with its range and quality of real ales – and it was to celebrate that success that we set up the first beer festival.
“Of course, it’s been a lot of work – but clearly it attracted hundreds of people who appeared to have a great time, so it’s been worth it.”

Pint and politics for Stalybridge Labour Club

MP Jonathan Reynolds toasted Stalybridge Labour Club’s growing reputation for real ales at the weekend, when he opened the inaugural beer festival.The club, on Acres Lane, has recently been voted...

new_charter_solar_panels.jpgHUNDREDS of tenants across Tameside are now looking forward to lower energy bills, after landlord New Charter fitted their homes with solar panels.

The housing association has installed the panels to hundreds of properties in the past two months alone – with plans to fit panels to 4500 properties across the borough by next August.

The project has been praised by Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds, who is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change.

And today he joined New Charter chief executive officer Ian Munro and Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne to mark the completion of the 1000th property on Keddlestone Walk, in Denton.

The renewable technology – which generate energy from the sun – will work in conjunction with the Government’s Feed-In Tariff scheme and could cut tenants electricity bills by between £200 and £400 a year.

It’s been estimated that over the next 25 years it could save tenants around £40million – and could cut carbon emissions by 112,500 tonnes.

“This is a project that not only makes sense for the environment – it makes financial sense too,” said Mr Reynolds.

“The installation of solar panels allows tenants to generate their own energy – and by generating surplus electricity I understand they could save as much as £400 a year.

“Too often it’s those living in the rented sector that face higher energy bills because of a landlord’s failure to address heat loss.

“However this is a ground-breaking scheme that highlights the positive measures that can be adopted by responsible landlords.”

The project was made possible after New Charter Homes signed a deal worth more than £18m with solar installation partners.

Installations – which will involve New Charter’s own building company – will continue over 12 months.

Once complete New Charter Building Company is looking to undertake all on-going maintenance of the systems.

Speaking after the launch of the £18m scheme in August, chief executive of the New Charter Group Ian Munro said: “Our tenants will benefit massively from cheaper fuel bills provided by the technology while reducing our carbon footprint considerably.

“While this technology will help a large number of our tenants, we know that not all homes will be suitable, so we’re looking at other energy saving possibilities for those homes not suitable for solar panels.”

New Charter install solar panels to 1000th property

HUNDREDS of tenants across Tameside are now looking forward to lower energy bills, after landlord New Charter fitted their homes with solar panels. The housing association has installed the panels...

hyde_clarendon_panto_2014.JPGAS STUDENTS at Hyde Clarendon College start the countdown to Christmas, MP Jonathan Reynolds joined local councillors to give their annual pantomime a £5000 boost.

In recent years students at the college, in Hyde, have put on a show for hundreds of local schoolchildren.

And now they have started planning for a week of performances of the festive favourite, Dick Whittington, in December.

To help with the costs, councillors in Hyde have raised funds from the district assembly, local businesses and other organisations to go towards the town’s Christmas costs.

And on Friday Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds and Hyde councillors Philip Fitzpatrick and Jim Fitzpatrick handed a cheque for £5000 over to the college.

Mr Reynolds said: “The pantomime at Hyde Clarendon has now become an annual highlight for primary schools across the town – with 1000 youngsters able to watch the show every year.

“Putting on a show like this is a tremendous amount of work and I am delighted that the college has taken on the challenge yet again.

“Having the support of the district assembly and so many local businesses just shows how good its reputation is – and I can’t wait to watch it myself in December.”

In addition to the pantomime, local councillors have also raised funds for the Christmas Lights Switch On, which will include an ice skating rink in the town centre and fireworks display.

Among those who have contributed to the town’s Christmas fund are the District Assembly, the Hyde Town Team, New Charter, McDonald’s, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lee Print.

“Pantomime is one of those traditions that make Christmas a magical time for children and I am pleased the town has been able to support it,” said Hyde Newton councillor Philip Fitzpatrick.

“In recent years I’ve been really keen to make sure as many children as possible are offered the chance to go to the pantomime – and every year it has been heart-warming to see their reactions.

“This year the people and businesses of Hyde are working harder than ever to make sure there is plenty of Christmas cheer – and I think this year will be better than ever.”

Panto re-'turns again' to a Hyde college with Dick Whittington

AS STUDENTS at Hyde Clarendon College start the countdown to Christmas, MP Jonathan Reynolds joined local councillors to give their annual pantomime a £5000 boost. In recent years students at...

MSC_1905_Jonathan_Reynolds.jpgMANY thousands of households could be missing out on compensation from their energy suppliers, according to newly released data (October 22).

Under current rules the energy companies are expected to answer consumer complaints within eight weeks – after which the Energy Ombudsman can direct them to pay compensation.

On average, consumers who refer their complaints on to the Ombudsman receive a compensation payment of £100.

But with just five per cent of eligible customers – that’s one in 20 – actually pursuing their complaints with the Ombudsman, Labour estimates many thousands of consumers are missing out on compensation they are entitled to.

Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change Jonathan Reynolds MP says consumers deserve to receive an effective service in response to their complaints.

He believes action should be taken to ensure customers – households and small businesses - know they have the right to refer their complaints to the Energy Ombudsman. And he says action is needed to ensure consumers are not mistreated by their suppliers.

He said: “The fact that the number of complaints about gas and electricity services has shot up this year indicates that this is a market that is failing to meet the needs of its customers.

“The vast majority of registered complaints relate to billing errors – which can cause serious and extreme hardship to consumers.  Yet the energy companies are failing to deal with complaints quickly or effectively enough.

“Data suggests that many thousands of people could be eligible for compensation as a result of delays or poor customer service, but they are simply failing to claim.

“A Labour Government would take urgent action to reform the energy market – but in the meantime I would urge consumers to pursue their complaints with the Ombudsman to ensure they receive the redress they are entitled to.”

In the year 2013/2014 the most common cause of complaints to the energy companies were related to billing (82 per cent), followed by transfers (13 per cent) and then sales (3 per cent).

So far this year there have been 37,061 complaints accepted by the Energy Ombudsman. However a report commissioned by the regulator Ofgem in December 2013 concluded that just five per cent of eligible cases were referred to the Ombudsman – which means the actual number of eligible complaints could be as high as 741,220.

Last year 95 per cent of complaints to the Ombudsman were upheld – with 76 per cent receiving financial compensation too.

At the Energy UK conference today (October 22), Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Caroline Flint, who uncovered the figures, warned that companies who repeatedly mistreat customers could lose their licences under a Labour Government.

She said: “It’s bad enough when the public have cause for complaint with their energy supplier, but for energy companies to refuse to compensate consumers or string out the complaints process for months on end is completely unacceptable.

“These figures lay bare the full scale of poor customer service and public dissatisfaction with the energy market.

“That’s why the next Labour Government will freeze energy prices until 2017, reform the energy market and create a tough new regulator with the power to strip energy companies of their licences if they repeatedly mistreat customers.”

 

MP: Energy consumers miss out on compensation

MANY thousands of households could be missing out on compensation from their energy suppliers, according to newly released data (October 22). Under current rules the energy companies are expected to...

PREFERRED_JR_Pic.jpgMP Jonathan Reynolds has called on the Government to take a long-term approach to energy efficiency to enable businesses to adopt effective strategies.
Speaking at the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum, Mr Reynolds – who is Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change – said the short-termism of current Government thinking prevented businesses from making the investment decisions necessary for the longer term.
He highlighted the failure of the Government scheme to make a single Commercial Green Deal Loan and the absence of a response from Government to the minimum energy performance standards. “Businesses in the commercial sector need to make investment choices into the long-term,” said Mr Reynolds. “But this Government’s policy smacks of short-termism, with no long term strategy in place.”
Mr Reynolds told delegates that the Government’s approach to energy efficiency in the domestic sector was similar too.
But he said that in government, the Labour Party – which has already committed to measures that include an energy price freeze, energy efficiency improvements for low income households and reform of the energy market – would recognise the importance of longer-term planning.
He said: “For our part in the Labour Party, when it comes to energy efficiency we know the value of long term planning, providing certainty and consistency for both consumers, which includes SME’s and businesses, and also installers.
“We have our Green Paper that will be published in the next couples of weeks which set out our proposals in detail.”
Mr Reynolds was speaking at an energy efficiency conference hosted by the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum.
Also speaking at the conference was Amber Rudd, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Climate Change. The conference was co-chaired by inquiry co-chairs Lord Whitty and Heather Wheeler MP. The conference was held on October 21, 2014.

MP stresses need for long term approach to energy efficiency

MP Jonathan Reynolds has called on the Government to take a long-term approach to energy efficiency to enable businesses to adopt effective strategies.Speaking at the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum, Mr...

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