Welcome to the latest edition of Denton and Reddish Weekly News.
I hope that you all had a happy and peaceful break over Easter. As you'll all know, we're starting to see restrictions being lifted. You can find out what is currently in place here:
Lockdown restrictions ([link removed])
Here's a reminder of the roadmap. Fingers crossed we stay on course!:
Roadmap out of lockdown ([link removed])
Take care and stay safe.
** One step at a time
The lockdown restrictions have been tough for everybody, but particularly here in Greater Manchester. Even as most of the rest of the country was starting to unlock last Summer, we were placed under local restrictions. It seemed like every few weeks these were tightened more and more, and it was sometimes hard to keep track of what the Government would or wouldn’t allow here.
Thankfully, we’re now starting to see the signs of life starting to return to normal. We’ve seen people braving all sorts of weather to be able to sit in a beer garden with friends and queues around the block to get rid of our lockdown hair. With the vaccine roll-out going extremely well – and I’d like to thank Tameside Council and our local CCG for their fantastic work on this – we seem to be on course to stick to the road map for unlocking, which should see the vast majority of measures stopped by the summer.
Whilst we might be looking at holidays in Morecambe rather than Malaga this year, regaining freedom and normality will be welcome for everybody. In particular, being able to spend time with friends, family and colleagues that we haven’t been able to see for well over a year is priceless.
However, whilst not wanting to be a party pooper, I think it is essential that we take things carefully. COVID-19 is still out there in the community, people are still getting very ill and unfortunately people are still dying. Whilst the vaccine has been an absolute game-changer here as with everywhere else in the country, infections in Tameside are still above the national average at time of writing, at around 50 cases per 100,000 people.
So whilst we should all enjoy the freedoms that are being restored, it’s still important to do so in a sensible way and keep to the rules. The last thing we need here is to be plunged back into any kind of local restrictions. Not only is it important for our mental and physical health that we avoid another lockdown, our local businesses – particularly those in hospitality – are relying on it.
I am confident, though, that people in Tameside will by-and-large stick to the rules as restrictions lift. This, combined with the brilliant vaccine programme here, should mean that we see the back of the vast majority of restrictions over the next few months. I, for one, can’t wait!
** Gwynne joins with cross-party MPs to call for action on puppy smuggling
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has joined with MPs from across the political spectrum to call on the Government to take action against puppy smuggling.
Members of Dog’s Trust parliamentary Puppy Smuggling Taskforce send a letter to Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith urging the Government to introduce legislation to put a stop to the illegal importation of dogs into Great Britain.
This follows a Dogs Trust report, ‘Puppy Smuggling: Puppies still paying as Government delays’, launched in December 2020 which exposed the cruel puppy smuggling trade.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Puppy smuggling is an abhorrent practice and criminals have been getting away with it for far too long.
“The Government have delayed for far too long and it’s time that they brought forward the legislation needed to bring this to an end.”
** Making tracks
Reddish South has the unfortunate honour of being one of the quietest train stations in the UK. This shouldn’t really be a surprise when the station has just one return journey each week – what is known as a parliamentary service. For many years, I’ve been supporting the Friends of Reddish South Station in their campaign to properly reopen the station with a regular passenger service from Stockport to Manchester Victoria via both Reddish South and Denton.
It has been a long campaign, but I’m hopeful that we can make some real progress now through the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railway Fund, which is intended to support proposals to reinstate axed local services. Our bid was not successful in the first 2 waves of funding, but has been submitted for the third round. I have submitted the application with support from 3 other MPs (Navendu Mishra, Angela Rayner and William Wragg) and the bid has been drawn up by Transport for Greater Manchester and Stockport Council, with additional support from Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation and Tameside Council.
The scheme that we’ve put forward would not only see reopening of a passenger line from Stockport through Reddish South and Denton to Ashton Moss and then on to Manchester Victoria, but also a link from Rose Hill (Marple) to Stockport via Reddish South.
The line could also be used for light rail as part of an eastern-orbital loop, which would link Reddish South with Stockport, Didsbury, Manchester, the Etihad Campus and Ashton Moss. This idea was also submitted as part of the application to the fund.
This is a really strong application, which would really improve transport connectivity for Reddish and the Heatons, and I hope that the Department for Transport recognises the huge positive impact of the scheme and signs off the funding.
Read More of This Week's Stories ([link removed])
Andrew in the constituency
I arrived home to some great news in the post last week: the award of £2,000 from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester to the Friends of the Tame Valley (of which I’m secretary) towards our restoration plans.
If you'd like to get involved in the group, please just get in touch via email: [email protected]
Andrew in Parliament
Here are videos of some of my contributions in the House of Commons this week:
📺 WATCH: This week the Chancellor was asked an Urgent Question about the grubby lobbying by David Cameron to the Treasury for a business loan for Greensill. Now the Chancellor is running from scrutiny, sending a junior minister from a different department to face the fire.
📺 WATCH: At this week’s Home Affairs Select Committee we took evidence from the Association of Convenience Stores and shopworkers’ union Usdaw about violence in the retail sector. I’ve long been a supporter of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign. Nobody should face abuse from the public at work.
Andrew in the media
📰 READ: My tribute to Prince Philip following the very sad news of his death was covered by the Stockport Express and the Tameside Reporter, along with tributes from other local figures.
* Stockport pays tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh ([link removed])
* Tameside Reporter: Tributes to Prince Philip ([link removed])
Local author Leanne Brown has started writing a fantastic series of books to promote, help and raise awareness for mental health in children. Leanne wants to bring these books to schools, parents and organisations to help promote mental health in children.
You can find out more, including how to buy the books, on her website. ([link removed])
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Andrew Gwynne . 139 St Annes Road . Denton . Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY . United Kingdom
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