Budget 2017: Money For Brexit (and Changes to UC)

East of the M60‘s frank verdict on Philip Hammond’s 2017 Budget

  • Brexit department biggest winner of 2017 Budget;
  • Slight changes for Universal Credit claimants;
  • 16 – 25 Railcard extended to cover persons born from 1986 to 1991;
  • Stamp Duty scrapped for first time buyers.

More than anything, today’s budget was a disappointment. Firstly, we are no clearer as to whether the Trans-Pennine electrification work is going ahead in its unabridged form. Secondly, it seems as if the money for the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena has gone to the Department for Exiting the European Union. Thirdly, those good eggs have cut the waiting time for Universal Credit (but don’t all rush at once). Continue reading “Budget 2017: Money For Brexit (and Changes to UC)”


The Case for Stalybridge: Andy Burnham’s Vision for Six Forgotten Towns

Stalybridge as one of six ‘forgotten towns’ in Mayor of Greater Manchester’s revitalisation plan

The polycentric nature of Greater Manchester and each of its boroughs can be a blessing and curse. It is a blessing in the sense where each of the ten boroughs have a character of their own. For example, with my borough [Tameside], the virtually unbroken urban sprawl of Manchester ends in the western part of Stalybridge, Dukinfield, and Hyde. East of the said places, suburbia meets the Pennine foothills alongside charming small towns and villages (Mossley, Broadbottom, Mottram, and Hollingworth in our case). Continue reading “The Case for Stalybridge: Andy Burnham’s Vision for Six Forgotten Towns”

Public Libraries: As Good Today As They Have Ever Been

For National Libraries Week, East of the M60 looks at why public libraries have an important role in the 21st century

Dukinfield Library, Concord Way, Dukinfield
The first love for many bibliophiles: your local library, such as Dukinfield Library on Concord Way, which opened in November 1984.

Thank goodness for public libraries. With a parent or primary school teacher, they have helped ten of millions of Britons (or billions around the world) to get hooked on reading. Some, like this gentleman, have chosen the TV Times or the Manchester Evening News as their gateway drug (prior to borrowing their first book). Each day, many people call in for their literary fix. They come back for more every three weeks, sometimes carrying up to twelve items with them.

Whether Jackie Collins, Lewis Carroll or O.S. Nock, they can get sucked into a world of uncharted lands, plot lines, or travel back in time. Its mind altering substances, in hardback, paperback, or large print forms, are the written word. A psychosomatic substance for the theatre of the mind, dependent on one’s chosen interests.
Continue reading “Public Libraries: As Good Today As They Have Ever Been”

We Need to Talk About Bi-Mode Trains

What are Bi-Mode Trains, and why are they being hailed as a cheaper alternative to fully electrified systems?

At this moment in time, Network Rail are in the midst of realigning The Old Lanky line from Stalybridge to Miles Platting. On completion, it is hoped that overhead line equipment would follow shortly. By 2018, it is claimed that the new timetable will see Ashton trains terminating at Stalybridge. Plus, the possibility of Mossley and Greenfield passengers having to use Manchester Piccadilly and a skip-stop service. Therefore, passengers from the two stations wanting a direct Ashton link would have to get the bus! Continue reading “We Need to Talk About Bi-Mode Trains”

It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Tameside’s General Election Results

East of the M60‘s look at the borough’s General Election results

  • Tameside constituencies remain solid Labour;
  • UKIP vote hammered by increased Labour majorities and modest Conservative swing.
View towards Eastwood bird reserve, Cheethams Park
Set in stone. Even more so with increased majorities for Tameside’s MPs.

At the start of April, any talk of a General Election would have filled many voters with dread. It was expected that Theresa May’s Conservative Party would have a landslide victory. Instead, what happened on the 08 June flew in the face of many predictions. This was scuppered by Jeremy Corbyn’s campaigning in the month up to the election. Not least the crowds and how the agenda switched from Brexit to the state of our public services.

Continue reading “It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Tameside’s General Election Results”

It’s Up the Poll! 2017: How the General Election Affects You

It’s Up the Poll! looks at how the parties will affect your lifestyle

Bargain Buys opening day, Ashton-under-Lyne: front entrance
Whether it’s our version of Brexit or domestic policies, the next five years could have ramifications for the people of Ashton-under-Lyne, a town that has been at the sharpest end of the DWP’s reforms.

As the General Election nears, we look at how the main parties’ policies will affect your lifestyle. Will your public services be properly funded? Is sealing the Brexit deal your biggest concern?

Continue reading “It’s Up the Poll! 2017: How the General Election Affects You”

It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Business and the General Election

It’s Up the Poll looks at how the parties fare on business issues

Tower Mill, Dukinfield
The reopening of Tower Mill has seen the return of cotton spinning to our area. Will its interests be considered in the next parliament?

Theresa May and Co have called this General Election on the grounds of sealing the Brexit deal. Is there more to this than our status outside the European Union? Will there be a good deal for small businesses as well?

Continue reading “It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Business and the General Election”

It’s Up the Poll! 2017: The Environment and the General Election

It’s Up the Poll looks at how the parties fare on environmental issues

Chew Valley Reservoir Panorama
Chew Reservoir, seen in July 2011.

Continuing where we left off last time, we are looking at the parties’ environmental policies, and how they affect our area East of the M60 motorway. As with our previous instalment on transport policy, we shall condensing some hundred or so words into Haiku form.

Continue reading “It’s Up the Poll! 2017: The Environment and the General Election”

It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Transport Policy and the General Election

It’s Up the Poll looks at how the parties fare on transport issues

Taking ad-Vantage of the sunshine in Leigh, Lancashire.

With a week to go till the polling stations open, East of the M60’s It’s Up The Poll is in full steam. In the 2015 General Election, we looked at each party’s manifesto over a single day. This time, we are going to do things differently. Using the same themes we came across in the Greater Manchester Mayoral Election, East of the M60 shall do the same with the 2017 General Election.

Continue reading “It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Transport Policy and the General Election”

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