Hi Leaders and Supporters,

New Year has started I hope you have recovered from all the parties and events of last year, we are now in 2024 and hopefully it will be a great year for us all. Some of us may not have a happy new year but remember there are many services out there to help us to cope, not be on our own and take part in many activities (a compulsory one being Scouting). Take a look at the Together centre attached or https://www.tameside.gov.uk/bewelltameside or tasfund.org.uk they all can help you and ask me any easy Scouting questions to save you reading our updated POR (Policy Organisation and Rules our Scout Bible of 241 pages and more to come this month)

Shop report. Well the scaffolders came to put more scaffolding up on Wed, builders should be here on Monday to take all the slates off the roof so they can check the roof beams and trusses to see if ok, in Flat 3 bedroom in the loft the main trusses have parted about 2″. I presume after the slates have been removed the trusses can be put back in the correct places, but knowing my luck the roof will all have to be replaced.

Recruits. We are still looking for a Secretary and Treasurer for the Trustee Board (Dist Ex)


10/1/24 19.00 GSLs Meet at 3rd

17/1/24 19.00 Trustee Meet at 2C

17/1/24 20.00 SASSY Meal at Wetherspoons The Ash Tree good cheap meal and cheap drinks.

Yours Alan.

As you are likely already aware, over the Christmas and New Year break, areas of Stalybridge were hit by a T5 category tornado which reached winds of 160mph causing substantial and devastating damage to around 100 homes.

Tameside Tornado

This has been one of the worst weather catastrophes Tameside has had to endure and I am thankful that there were no casualties as a result of the incident. We have currently issued a total of 89 dangerous building act notices and originally advised 32 households they cannot return to their home until works are carried out to ensure they are safe. A few hundred trees also came down or needed urgent safety work and at least another three weeks’ worth of clean-up is required. Our emergency control centre has dealt with over 1,000 calls relating to this incident and we continue to provide advice and support to residents where needed.

Around 75 staff and contractors were brought in to assist with the response over the holiday period who responded at pace and continue to support in the aftermath.

High fencing is in place around all dangerous buildings to make the areas safe and we have been prioritising the clean-up and felling of dangerous trees along our highways to ensure they have been safe and accessible as soon as possible. We will soon move over into our parks, greenspaces and other accessible land, and so we are urging residents to please be careful in these areas in the meantime and bear with us while we carry out work.

Our call centre is available for anyone requiring support or advice from the council on 0161 342 8355 during working hours. We also have an emergency control centre for out of hours emergencies which is available on 0161 342 2222.

Liability for repairing homes sits with either Jigsaw as the landlord or for home owners their building insurers and we have been supporting residents to get the necessary help from their insurers.   If residents affected by the recent tornado are having difficulties with their insurers they can contact the Council and local MP to see if we can offer any further advice or assistance. The local Citizens Advice Bureau, are also expert at advising on insurance contracts. They are located in the Council Offices, Ashton-under-Lyne and can be contacted on 0808 278 7805.  As a local authority, we don’t have any specific grants/funding for damaged home contents and would recommend where residents are seeking funds or looking to donate funds, that they do so through registered charities and organisations.

I have personally thanked our staff who did an amazing job to respond so quickly in very difficult circumstances especially in the middle of a national holiday.  I would also like to thank the ward members, Jonathan Reynolds MP and his office who have worked across party lines collegiately to support residents through this very challenging period – especially as the work is not over yet.

Local Government Association (LGA) Peer Challenge

From 16-19 January we are undergoing the LGA Corporate Peer Challenge. All Local Authorities are expected to take part every five years and this will provide us with an opportunity for external peers, from other Local Authorities,to assess how effectively we deliver our services and measure our ability to deliver on our plans and vision for the future.

The LGA Peer Team will meet with a wide variety of officers, members and partners through a series of interviews or focus groups before producing a narrative report. This is not an

inspection and there is no scoring or rating given at the end but there will be a publicly available report published

We are in challenging times both locally and nationally, compounded by the Cost-of-Living crisis which in turn drives demand for Council Services amid diminishing resources. Following a

period of listening and reflecting over the past 12 months we have set about laying the foundations for developing and delivering major plans. 2023 has seen a raft of important strategies developed alongside a portfolio of inclusive growth programmes with more on the horizon. And so this is an opportunity for us to take learning and shared best practice which will help inform and shape our improvement journey.

New Year, New You

Do you want to kick-start 2024 be being the best version of yourself? Whether that be to join in with Dry Januaryquit smoking, move more or make healthier decisions in your day-to-day lifestyles, Be Well Tameside is here to support you.

Be Well Tameside is a free service for all Tameside residents, those who work in Tameside or are registered with a Tameside GP.  The service offer one-to-one appointments, regular contact and support to achieve you goals and practical tips.

Additionally, Be Well Tameside offer FREE NHS health checks for those aged 40-75 with no pre-existing health conditions. These take place at a range of locations, during the day, evenings and even weekends! You can book here or by scanning the QR code below.

If you would like to contact Be Well Tameside, call 0161 342 5050 or email bewelltameside@tameside.gov.uk

Challenge yourself by signing up to Veganuary 2024

Another way you can challenge yourself this year is to Think Green and sign up to join Veganuary with the aim to support the environment and improve your health and wellbeing.

Veganuary runs through January and is a personal challenge to make simple swaps with food to try to eat vegan for the month. A record-breaking 700,000 people took part in 2023.

By switching to a plant-based diet, it will reduce large amounts of air, soil and water pollution, and cut the need to use a great number of natural resources that it takes to provide meat and fish to the population.

Additionally, it is proven that participants in Veganuary have experienced a number of health benefits too such as, increased energy, improved mood, lower cholesterol, lower chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

So, by making greener choices wherever possible and signing up to join Veganuary  will help slow the threat of climate change and help protect our planet for generations to come, as well as, boost your wellbeing.

For more information and to sign up to Veganuary for free, click here.

If you would like free support with improving your health, please contact Be Well Tameside by calling 0161 342 5050 or emailing bewelltameside@tameside.gov.uk

Tameside Family Hub’s Survey

We’re looking to get a wide-range of views about Tameside’s family hubs, so that we can ensure they are as accessible as possible and we are delivering the services that our children and families want and need to thrive. We would like your feedback through our online survey which you can complete here. It won’t take long to complete and all those who do will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a £25 Tesco voucher.

Please complete the survey by Sunday 21st January and share with anyone you know it is relevant to.

Date set for eligible working parents to apply for free childcare – reminder

On 29 November 2023, the Department for Education announced that applications for free childcare for working parents would open from 2 January 2024.

From January, eligible working parents of two-year-olds will be able to register to access 15 hours free childcare per week from April 2024. The recommended time to register is between mid-January and the end of February.

From 30 November, funding will also be available for new childminders who join the profession or who completed their registration on or after 15 March 2023, or those re-registering at least 12 months after the cancellation of a previous registration.

Child benefit moves online

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that new parents can now claim Child Benefit online for the first time.

HMRC started accepting fully digital claims for Child Benefit on 10 May 2023 for families with children under 6 months old.

HMRC is advising that:

·       parents can claim Child Benefit from the day after a child’s birth has been registered; and should make sure to have the birth certificate to hand when claiming

·       parents should create a Government Gateway account when making a claim for Child Benefit, with a passport and other proofs of ID. A full list of the documents needed for proof of identity can be found on GOV.UK.

·       when creating a new account, HMRC will send parents an activation code via email.

Pathway for zero emission vehicle transition by 2035 becomes law

The Department for Transport announced new laws have commenced which will ensure 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain will now be zero emission by 2030, increasing to 100% by 2035.

Schemes to lower the upfront and running costs of owning an EV includes the plug-in van grant of up to £2,500 for small vans and £5,000 for large vans until at least 2025 and £350 off the cost of homeplace chargepoints for people living in flats.

Support Worker Recruitment Roadshow 

On January 16 the next Adult Social Care Recruitment Roadshow for Support Workers takes place at Hyde Town Hall. 

This event allows interested candidates to find out more about the role and service, chat with the team and take part in role-related exercises. There is also a possibility of being offered an interview taking place the same week.

Interested candidates are encouraged to attend one of three sessions taking place throughout out the day. Find out more information, session times and how to register interest here. And again please do share with anyone that you think may be interested. These events are a great way to speak to our fantastic team and learn more about the role of Adult Support Workers.

Helping Hand Roadshow around Tameside

The Helping Hand campaign is running a series of sessions over the next week to provide support, information and advice to residents being affected by the cost-of-living. Our Welfare Rights team has been running events at both our Family Hubs, to target parents of young children and in Ashton Indoor Market to share information about Pension Credit.

January dates:

  • Tuesday 9 January, 10am – 12pm, East Family Hub, School Crescent, Ridge Hill, Stalybridge, SK15 1EA
  • Friday 12 January, 10am – 12pm, South Family Hub, Old Road, Hyde, SK14 4SQ
  • Tuesday 16 January, 1pm – 3pm, North Family Hub, Trafalgar Square, Ashton, OL7 0LL
  • Wednesday 17 January, 10am – 12pm, West Family Hub, Greenside Lane, Droylsden, M34 7RA

If you would like the Helping Hand stall to visit a particular event or venue in the borough, please email communications@tameside.gov.uk

A&E pressures

You may have seen in the news this week that health services and emergency departments (A&E) at our local hospitals are all extremely busy owing to the junior doctor strike. The first week in January is always exceptionally busy across the NHS and social care, and strike action is also having a significant impact on all services. Although this has been planned for, it is nevertheless a very challenging time. People can help by ensuring they are seeking help from the most appropriate health services, and only attending A&E for serious accidents and emergencies. If people need help, they must come forward. NHS 111 can help people if they aren’t sure which service to use.

NHS 111 – NHS Greater Manchester is urging members of the public to use NHS 111 Online for all non-emergency healthcare needs, in the first instance, unless the issue concerns a child under 5, when they should call 111. Deaf people or people with hearing loss can dial 18001 111 on a textphone or use the Relay UK app (which can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store).

GP – Contact your GP surgeryfor appointments about illnesses or injuries that won’t go away. Many GPs offer an out-of-hours service later in the evening and early morning. If you phone your GP during this time, please listen to the answerphone message for information on how to access GP out-of-hours.

Pharmacy – Lots of illnesses can also be managed safely at home, or with a trip to a local pharmacist. Find your nearest one here: Find a pharmacy – NHS (www.nhs.uk).

Urgent dental care – The Greater Manchester Urgent Dental Care Service is available from 8am to 10pm every day including weekends for severe dental pain and infection. People can call 0333 332 3800 to be assessed by a healthcare professional, who can provide self-care advice or book a face-to-face appointment, if needed.

Urgent eye care – Free urgent eyecare is available across all 10 areas of Greater Manchester. If you have a sudden and urgent problem with your eyes, you can contact a local practice to get an appointment: NHS Greater Manchester Community Urgent Eye Care Service (CUES) – Primary Eyecare Services.

Mental health – For free urgent mental health support, people can contact 0800 014 9995– this is available 24/7 to anyone of any age. If there’s an immediate risk of danger to life, you should ring 999.

People can also help themselves and others by:

  • Ordering repeat prescriptions in plenty of time so they don’t run out of medication or other essential items.
  • Avoiding hospital if suffering Norovirus-type symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting, or with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home including painkillers, indigestion relief, antihistamines for mild allergies, and anti-diarrhoea (diarrhoea relief) tablets.
  • Having the flu vaccine if eligible.

That’s all for this week. 


Councillor Gerald Cooney

Executive Leader