Jonathan Reynolds

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

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...

visit_to_smurfit_kappa_(supplied_pic).jpgMP 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 welcomes investment at Smurfit Kappa

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

Hyde centre turns back clock to mark Older People's Week

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

 

MP sees £7.2m improvements at Astley Sports College

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

Cheers!! Here's to the Stalybridge Beer Festival

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...

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