MP Jonathan Reynolds joined staff at packaging manufacturers Smurfit Kappa, in Stalybridge, to celebrate the arrival of a new £3 million machine.
The two-metre, fast-set, high-speed flatbed die-cutting machine, with camera recognition is part of an £8million investment package at the site, which has a 170-strong workforce.
Investment in the machines – some of the most up-to-date and efficient carton-making equipment available in the UK - will enable the Stalybridge team to offer even better products.
And it is hoped it will help the company further develop the knowledge and expertise base it has already built up in the town.
Since 2005 production at the Knowl Street plant has increased by 50 per cent, which the company puts down to successfully capitalising on the changing demands of retail, including the move towards online shopping.
Following the visit, Mr. Reynolds – who was asked to officially ‘open’ the newest machine – said: “It’s easy to look at the Victorian mills around Stalybridge and think that manufacturing belongs to the town’s past. However, companies like Smurfit Kappa continue to make sure it has an important role to play.
“This is an incredibly successful business that has adapted to meeting the changing demands of its customers – and I am delighted that they are continuing to invest in the future of Stalybridge.”
Lynne Case, general manager of Smurfit Kappa Stalybridge, says, “The most important factor in the ongoing growth of Smurfit Kappa Stalybridge is the continued investment in the development of the quality of our staff.
“Supporting them with the best equipment available is just part of why Smurfit Kappa Stalybridge has become the centre of excellence it is today.
“Having creative and innovative staff, with an eye for detail that can see the bigger picture and find ways of applying their knowledge for the benefit of our customers is why Smurfit Kappa Group continues to invest in the Northwest.
“What better vote of confidence can there be in the future of this plant and the personnel that operate it.”
The Stalybridge production facility specialises in packaging for the retail supply chain, and its staff are recognised as being at the forefront of developing and supplying sustainable decorative packaging that delivers logistical savings to its multi-national customer base.
The investment includes the installation of
• A four-colour RRP case-maker, replacing three pass printing with a single pass for speed and economy
• A glue detection quality control system to ensure consistent volumes of high-quality, bespoke products
• A two metre, fast-set, high-speed flatbed die-cutting machine with camera recognition ensuring pin-point accuracy
MP Jonathan Reynolds joined staff at packaging manufacturers Smurfit Kappa, in Stalybridge, to celebrate the arrival of a new £3 million machine.The two-metre, fast-set, high-speed flatbed die-cutting machine, with camera...
A COMMUNITY centre in Hyde turned back the clock with a feast of Lord Woolton Pie and Ginger Sponge, as part of celebrations to mark Older People’s Week.
The Grafton Centre runs a series of events five days a week – including singing, dancing and dining - designed to bring older people together.
On Friday (October 3, 2014) they turned the clock back to the 1940s, with a special performance of a war-time drama and a lunch of war-time dishes.
The special event – attended by around 60 regular users of the centre – was organised to celebrate Older People’s Week and to showcase the work of the Grafton Centre.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds dropped in to mark the centre’s ongoing success, along with Mayor Cllr Dawson Lane and local councillor Phil Fitzpatrick.
He said: “Too often older people can feel isolated and even retreat within their own homes – but, in Hyde, the Grafton Centre offers a safe and welcoming place to go.
“As well as the chance to drop in for a coffee and a chat or even something to eat, there’s a wide range of activities and events.
“The Grafton Centre is at the heart of the town and I was delighted to be able join the celebrations to mark the important role it plays, as part of Older People’s Week.”
On Friday, members of the centre’s drama project performed a piece about the women left behind in the town during the Second World War.
And visitors tucked into Lord Woolton Pie and Ginger Sponge Pudding, which were favourite dishes when food was rationed.
The food was prepared and served by catering students from Tameside College, who offer an a la carte menu to users of the centre every Friday.
“The partnership between the college and the Grafton Centre is remarkable,” said Mr Reynolds.
“It means the quality of the food on offer to those who use the centre is very high and it also gives students the chance to experience a working kitchen away from the college environment.
“More than that it brings together different generations of people, offering them the opportunity to learn from each other and enjoy each other’s company.”
The Grafton Centre has been operating for a number of years and has a strong reputation in the Hyde community.
Hyde Newton councillor Philip Fitzpatrick, who is a regular volunteer at the centre, said: “The Grafton Centre is at the forefront of measures to support older people in Hyde. I am proud to be involved with its work – and hope it will continue to be at the heart of our community for many years to come.”
The Grafton Centre can be found off Clark Way, in Hyde. It is open between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. The Grafton Centre can be contacted on 0161 368 4110.
Published 7 October, 2014
A COMMUNITY centre in Hyde turned back the clock with a feast of Lord Woolton Pie and Ginger Sponge, as part of celebrations to mark Older People’s Week.The Grafton Centre...
Students and staff at Astley Sports College showed off their new look classrooms and brand new Science block when MP Jonathan Reynolds visited to mark the official completion of the £7.2m refurbishment.
The school's new state of the art science block will enable students to have much broader access to practical science than in the past. It was built as part of a package of improvements that also included a new entrance hall, new windows, new furniture and new carpets.
Today (September 19) Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds was given a tour of the school, to mark the official completion of the refurbishment. Then he was quizzed by the school's team of Junior and Senior Prefects about his role as MP and as Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change.
Commenting on the visit to Astley Sports College, Mr Reynolds said: "Schools are at the heart of our communities and their facilities should inspire and enable the next generation to fulfil their potential - in and out of the classroom.
"I am delighted to have been asked to officially mark the completion of these new facilities at Astley Sports College, which teachers, parents and pupils are rightly proud of.
"The laboratories in the new science block will offer state of the art learning to pupils, that will encourage them to look at Science in an exciting way.
"I believe practical Science brings the subject to life - and I hope these laboratories will ignite a life-long interest in Science for pupils at Astley.
"Indeed, I also hope that these facilities will equip pupils with the skills needed for many of our emerging industries who will be looking to recruit bright and talented young scientists in the future."
Whilst the Science block is the only new building within school, the work that has been completed has been designed to create a positive learning environment around the rest of school will help Astley build on its GCSE exam results.
This year the school recorded the highest percentage of students leaving with five or more A*-C grades, with even better results being forecast for 2015.
Associate Deputy Headteacher Adi Smale said: "Following the opening of half of the refurbishment earlier in the year, students took immense pride in their classroom environment and we can only see this sense of pride developing into every lesson every day. This feels like a very exciting time to be part of Astley's school community.”
Published 30 September, 2014
Students and staff at Astley Sports College showed off their new look classrooms and brand new Science block when MP Jonathan Reynolds visited to mark the official completion of the...
MP Jonathan Reynolds joined hundreds of Stalybridge residents to enjoy live music and a choice of real ales at the town’s annual Beer Festival.
Around 650 people flocked to Stalybridge Civic Hall to sample some of the 36 beers and cask ales that were on offer as part of the two-day festival – with many people popping in on both days.
The event – organised this year by the Rotary Club of Ashton-under-Lyne and the Dukinfield and Stalybridge Rotary Club – raises funds for local and international charities.
This year organisers believe the event could have raised as much as £7000, which will be shared between Willow Wood Hospice, in Ashton-under-Lyne, and Disaster Aid UK, which provides emergency relief following disasters.
Following the event, Stalybridge and Hyde MP Mr Reynolds said: "Over the past four years the Stalybridge Beer Festival has gone from strength to strength and is now at the heart of the town's calendar.
"Hundreds of people visited the civic hall this year - including myself - to enjoy the wide variety of real ales, the live music and the wonderful atmosphere.
"The event is only possible because of the commitment of local Rotarians, who put in considerable hard work for the good of others.
"This year's beer festival not only brought the Stalybridge community together, but it has raised thousands of pounds that will support Willow Wood Hospice and to help humanitarian efforts around the world.
"I am delighted to support the work of the Rotarians and hope the success of events like this one will encourage others to play an active role to help others, whether that's on a local or global level."
Published 23 September, 2014
MP Jonathan Reynolds joined hundreds of Stalybridge residents to enjoy live music and a choice of real ales at the town’s annual Beer Festival.Around 650 people flocked to Stalybridge Civic...
As you are no doubt aware, Parliament was recalled today by the Prime Minister in order to consider UK involvement in the coalition against ISIL in Iraq.
Over the last four years, these votes have come to affect me much more than I anticipated when I first became our MP. There are few comparable situations to casting a parliamentary vote in matters of this kind, when - whichever way the vote is cast - there are ramifications affecting tens of thousands of people, and very possibly more. These are not decisions which can be taken easily or lightly.
I stand by my vote last year against military action in Syria. At the time the Government had no coherent strategy for what it wanted to do, and the timescale seemed to be determined by the existing schedule of the US military. Crucially, we did not know whose side we would be joining by taking action against the Assad regime. In retrospect, it seems to me that we would have effectively been fighting on the same side as ISIL if we had attacked Syria. I am aware however, although I disagree, that some believe ISIL is a product of not intervening in the region earlier.
In addition, since 2010 I have become more sceptical of some of our foreign engagements, particularly in Afghanistan where I think we have many lessons to learn. This is primarily because, having entered Parliament from a background as a solicitor and local councillor, I have taken some time to become more familiar with our armed forces. I have been to Afghanistan, spent time at UK bases and at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham, and been to our training facilities in some remote parts of the world. I believe that too many times, we have deployed our forces without a clear mission, or on the basis of poor intelligence or bad advice from our senior military personnel.
So I entered the House of Commons today uncertain as to which way to vote. Like everyone else I am revolted by the actions of ISIL. It is an outrage that they claim allegiance to the Islamic faith, when their activities are of the most un-Islamic kind. Their politics, in so much as they have any, are a form of ultra-fascistic piracy. We have little chance of taking to them, as there is nothing we can talk to them about. They have brought terror, death and horrific atrocities to the areas they have conquered. The further expansion of their influence is untenable.
The request for the UK to join the coalition against ISIL has come directly from the Iraqi Government. The form our intervention would take would be the involvement of RAF as part of a coalition air campaign, in support of Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces. The coalition already includes five Arab countries, including Jordan and the UAE.
I therefore voted for the UK to join the coalition, but not without reservation. I do not believe we can ignore ISIL and if we did I believe we only end up intervening at a later date, when they would be stronger and the danger to us would be greater. And the prospect of Kurdistan, one of the few functioning democratic societies in the region, being overrun by ISIL is unconscionable. Many times as an MP, the choice is not a binary one between a good decision and a bad one, but a considered choice between two equally difficult courses of action. This is one of those occasions.
Long term, I believe the only way to achieve a full resolution to this conflict is to understand that at its heart is the conflict between Sunni and Shia Islam, i.e. between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Only by bringing these countries into negotiations can we end the cycle of conflict, and this is what I believe must be central to the UK's policy in the region.
The House of Commons voted 524-43 in favour of the UK joining the international coalition. I expect military operations to begin immediately.
As you are no doubt aware, Parliament was recalled today by the Prime Minister in order to consider UK involvement in the coalition against ISIL in Iraq. Over the last...
Commenting on the news that Monitor, the sector regulator for health services in England is to commission a team of experts to work with Tameside Hospital on their integrated care plans, local MPs Andrew Gwynne, David Heyes and Jonathan Reynolds said:
‘Today’s announcement builds on the hard work already undertaken by staff over the last eighteen months.
‘We support the view that the local health system should work in a more integrated way, so that our constituents can receive a standard of healthcare that Tameside can be proud of.
‘We will continue to work closely with patients, staff and local health partners throughout this process to ensure that any future plans are in the best interest of our constituents.’
Published 12th September 2014
Commenting on the news that Monitor, the sector regulator for health services in England is to commission a team of experts to work with Tameside Hospital on their integrated care...
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority have today published my annual claim for expenses for the financial year 2013 - 2014. The publication can be found here: http://parliamentary-standards.org.uk/AnnualisedData.aspx
The figures published today include claims for running my parliamentary and constituency offices, for employing my staff and for rental of accommodation in London.
As the figures show, there was in increase in expenditure over the last 12 months compared to the previous year. This is due to a claim for additional staffing funds from IPSA to cover the long-term absence of a member of staff. All claims for contingency payments have been paid in line with Business Costs and Expenses Scheme guidelines which are published on an annual basis.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority have today published my annual claim for expenses for the financial year 2013 - 2014. The publication can be found here: http://parliamentary-standards.org.uk/AnnualisedData.aspx The figures published today...
MP Jonathan Reynolds has highlighted the growing need to support non-league football clubs, in a parliamentary debate to coincide with national Non-League Day.
The Stalybridge and Hyde MP pointed to the important community role played by Hyde FC, Stalybridge Celtic and Mossley FC.
And he said there was a need to address the increasing financial gulf between the Premier League giants and those clubs in the lower leagues to safeguard their survival.
“Unsurprisingly, money is a real cause for concern at that level, with many clubs constantly struggling to survive,” said Mr Reynolds.
”. . . Given that we have just seen a transfer window where in excess of £800 million was spent, it is fair to say that non-league clubs feel forgotten, that the money does not trickle down to the grass roots of the game, and that those at the top all too often come across as being too focused on themselves.
“That was no more apparent than in the ludicrous proposals for the A and B teams of premier league clubs to play in the lower leagues—something that would kill non-league football.”
He contrasted the high wages paid to Premier League footballers, with non-league clubs that struggle to survive and rely on an army of volunteers.
Mr Reynolds also called for greater attention to be paid to the travel costs incurred for aspiring non-league clubs to meet their fixture commitments.
“Travelling to mid-week matches on the other side of the country can be a logistical and financial nightmare for semi-professional teams; greater consideration is needed,” said Mr Reynolds.
“Travelling distances can also hinder clubs’ progression, as the costs involved put them off taking promotion, even if they have earned it, as often happens in the northern league.
Mr Reynolds said he was proud that the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency was home to the three non-league clubs – praising their contributions on the pitch and in the community.
He said: “Non-league football may not be seen as the glamorous end of football, but it is real football, it is the grass roots and it keeps the game alive. Without it, football would lose its soul.”
The debate was held in the House of Commons Chamber on September 4, 2014.
MP Jonathan Reynolds has highlighted the growing need to support non-league football clubs, in a parliamentary debate to coincide with national Non-League Day. The Stalybridge and Hyde MP pointed to...
Stalybridge & Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds and High Peak MP Andrew Bingham have this week reassured local residents that a solution to the traffic problems between Mottram and Tintwistle is still very much on their agenda.
The pair spoke just after attending the latest meeting of stakeholders for the Trans-Pennine Feasibility Study in Sheffield. The study was set up last year following personal representations to the Chancellor, and a dedicated team of officials from the Highways Agency and Department for Transport have been working on it ever since.
As part of the Government’s Action for Roads strategy, the study is looking at congestion on the roads along the Trans-Pennine route - including the A57 through Glossop and the A628 through Mottram, Hollingworth and Tintwistle - and also looking at identifying potential solutions.
The work is now in its third and final stage and should report in time for the Chancellor's Autumn Statement later this year.
Speaking after the meeting, Jonathan Reynolds said:
“When I and Andrew Bingham first decided to work together on this in 2010 we were essentially told that we had no chance. The Highways Agency had officially ditched the plans for the Mottram-Tintwistle bypass and, as far as they were concerned, this wasn’t their problem anymore.
“Working together with our local council’s in Tameside and Derbyshire, we have spent the last few years lobbying Ministers and other MP’s to support us and we were delighted when the Government announced they would fund the feasibility study last year.
“What we have now is a clear indication that the Government is taking this problem seriously, and evidence of the disruption that the congestion in our areas causes throughout the Trans-Pennine corridor. We will have to wait and see what the final report proposes but it is clear we have come a long way since 2010.
"Whatever the outcome, solving the traffic problems in Mottram and Hollingworth will continue to be one of my main priorities, and I am determined to find a solution that will improve the quality of life for people in the area.”
Andrew Bingham said:
"On being elected back in 2010, one of the first things in my sights was a bypass for Tintwistle and a spur-road to Glossop. I have spent four years pestering the Chancellor and various Ministers about this issue and highlighting the major traffic problems, so I was pleased to finally see some movement earlier this year in the form of this feasibility study.
"At the latest meeting I was pleased to see the work that has been done on looking at all possible solutions and testing them against various criteria, and that these solutions will now be tested in greater detail.
"Whilst I don't know what the final report will say, I remain hopeful that it will officially confirm what we all know - that there is a major problem here - and I am also hopeful that it will propose real solutions for the Government to look seriously at."
Stalybridge & Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds and High Peak MP Andrew Bingham have this week reassured local residents that a solution to the traffic problems between Mottram and Tintwistle is...
As I have reported previously, the Government has begun the process for the refranchising of train servicesw currently operated by Northern Rail and TransPennine Express, which serve all the stations throughout Hyde, Stalybridge, Longdendale, and Mossley.
To start that process the Government have issued a consultation document which sets out some of the guiding principles they want to include in the invitation tender, which will be issued in the near future.
I have made a submission to the consultation process which sets out my concerns about this initial document, and shares some of my priorities for rail services in our area.
The letter I have submitted as part of the consultation process can be read below:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing in response to the Rail Executive’s stakeholder consultation document in relation to the Northern Rail and TransPennine Express rail franchises.
The fate of rail services in my constituency and throughout the region is a matter of great concern to me and something that I know is high on the list of priorities for both constituents and businesses alike. It is crucial that the franchises deliver the best possible services so as to ensure the greatest possible economic benefit for the region, and a high quality service for the passengers who rely on the railway on a daily basis.
The consultation document leaves me with some serious concerns about whether the Governments tender proposals will achieve those ends, and I know that these concerns are shared by transport campaigners and passenger groups throughout the region.
In my constituency of Stalybridge and Hyde many people’s experience of the railway is not overwhelmingly positive. I regularly hear complaints about overcrowded trains, old, poor quality carriages, and infrequent services with regular delays. Commuters at Stalybridge and Mossley stations don’t feel that there are currently enough services to meet the demand of their busy commutes, and there is unhappiness about the fact that when you do board some of these services you are unable to get a seat.
The consultation document seems to acknowledge many of these problems too but seems to insinuate that the only way they will be resolved is to increase fares, reduce the number of services and cut back on jobs. This does not seem to me to be a good deal for commuters in my area who already feel that they are not getting good value for money.
I agree that improving rolling stock needs to be a priority for the new franchises, especially on the services where outdated and overcrowded stock is still being used. Tackling this issue is crucial to ensuring that the services are able to cope with the predicted growth in passenger numbers and to improve passenger satisfaction for those already using them. Investment in rolling stock and stations is my overwhelming priority for the railway in my area.
Secondly, maintaining affordable fares for passengers using these services is crucial. The argument that fares need to be increased in line with the national average seems to avoid any explanation for why fares are below the national average in the first place. The reason that some fares are slightly lower is because services in the region benefit from much less investment than those in parts of the South, particularly London, and people here have, on average, lower incomes. If this logic was to be taken to its natural conclusion investment would have to increase substantially to justify the resulting fare increases.
My third major point of concern is regarding the proposals to reduce services on parts of the network. Whilst I’m glad that there is a consensus emerging on the need for new investment on the franchises it seems counter intuitive to bring in new money and then reduce services. For instance, I find it difficult to see how there could be an argument for reducing the number of calls at Stalybridge – particularly during in peak hours – and I would have serious concerns about passengers at more isolated stations such as Godley, and Flowery Field losing out from any push to reduce calls at smaller stations.
The only specific suggestion I would make regarding changes to the individual services that serve my constituency would be to increase the number of night time services to and from Manchester city centre. If some flexibility over timetabling is going to be devolved to the operators as part of the new franchises then this could be rearranged to suit demand as long as a final service was guaranteed on each of the services.
In conclusion, I am clear on the need for new investment, particularly in infrastructure and rolling stock, and am keen to explore the possibilities on how this can be done. I want to ensure that passengers in my constituency receive a service that continually improves and benefits from greater connectivity as a result of increased investment across the network. I look forward to engaging in this discussion throughout this process and am keen to hear the Government’s comments on the consultation responses.
Jonathan Reynolds MP
As I have reported previously, the Government has begun the process for the refranchising of train servicesw currently operated by Northern Rail and TransPennine Express, which serve all the stations...