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This week in Denton & Reddish
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Dear Constituent,

At the end of another busy week, here's your latest edition of Denton and Reddish Weekly News.

I will always do my best to keep you informed about everything I do in Westminster, but if you wish to speak to me further about any issue, please phone my constituency office on 0161 320 1504 for an appointment, or visit one of my regular surgeries which you can find the details of below.

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Headlines

Gwynne urges residents to again make objections known to green belt-grab

 
 

Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne is encouraging residents to once again submit their objections to the Bredbury Industrial Estate planning application after the application was amended by developers.

The application was initially submitted in September 2019 and proposes a significant extension of Bredbury Parkway industrial estate in Stockport, which would impact on large swathes of the Tame Valley in both Stockport and Tameside.

This week, the site’s developer Quorum has amended its application to fast-track two the 25 proposed units “in response to market conditions for the industrial sector”.

Andrew Gwynne has long objected to the proposal to remove the land out of the protection of greenbelt designation and has instead called for a brownfield site elsewhere to be used.

When the initial outline proposals were submitted, Gwynne encouraged residents to make their objections known formally to Stockport Council. Now that the application has been amended, the Council has re-opened the neighbour consultation (closing date: Saturday 7 March) and Gwynne is urging constituents to again submit their comments.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“Whether or not you submitted your comments to Stockport Council last year, I would strongly encourage you to reassert your objections to the Bredbury Parkway development – on the impact on the greenbelt, air quality, noise nuisance in the Tame Valley, protection of the river valley, the detrimental effect to the leisure amenity to Haughton Dale and Hulmes Wood nature reserve, increased traffic on Ashton Road in Stockport and Stockport Road in Denton – and the particular impact in Denton as a result of the low bridge.

 

“It is also essential that the units specifically proposed in the updated application aren’t considered in isolation. These units represent just the start of an incremental process and Stockport Council needs to make a decision based on the overall outline proposal.

 

“As Tameside Council outlined in its submission to the initial planning application, there is ample employment land available across Greater Manchester – including at Ashton Moss – for this use without the need to encroach on greenbelt in the Tame Valley.

 

“These plans would have a substantial negative impact on residents in Tameside and I will work to ensure that they are heard during this process.”

To object, people should submit their comments formally by Saturday 7 March, quoting the planning application reference: DC/074399

By post: Stockport MBC, Planning Services, Stopford House, Piccadilly, Stockport SK1 3XE

Online via: http://planning.stockport.gov.uk/PlanningData-live/

Gwynne calls on the Government to tackle sexual harassment at work

 

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is calling on the government to take immediate action to end sexual harassment in the workplace as part of the Heart Unions week organised by the Trades Union Congress.

Trades Union Congress research has found that:

  • 1 in 2 women have been sexually harassed at work
  • 2 in 3 or 68 percent of LGBT+ workers have been sexually harassed at work
  • 4 out of 5 victims do not report their sexual harassment to their employer

The existing laws rely upon individuals reporting their sexual harassment to their employer. Currently, there is no legal duty for employers to take proactive action to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Andrew Gwynne MP is pressing the government to ensure that the new Employment Bill requires employers to take reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation. This includes setting up an independent regulator which will allow employers to make anonymous complaints about their workplace.

It is also important that employers work with their local trade unions to review their workplace policies, providing staff with proper training so that sexual harassment in the workplace can be stamped out.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“Workers deserve to feel safe and free from sexual harassment at work, but research shows that this is still a huge problem that is affecting millions of people across the UK.

 

“The current legislation is clearly not working, and we need to do everything we can to press the Government to do everything it can to stop it.

 

“I am urging all of my constituents to join me in signing the petition of the Trades Union Congress which is calling for the changes to end sexual harassment in the workplace.”

Justice for the victims of the Horizon scandal

 
 

One of the main reasons that I got into politics – firstly as a councillor in Denton and now as MP for Denton and Reddish – was to fight against injustice wherever it might be found. There are, unfortunately many injustices that need to be fought – the situation facing the WASPI women, people living in unsafe housing and the scourge of homelessness to name but a few.

One great injustice that I feel has received far too little attention is the scandal facing hundreds of subpostmasters – including one of my constituents – who found themselves criminalised and thousands of pounds out of pocket as a result of a flawed computer system.

This system, called Horizon, was initially introduced in the 1990s and it wasn’t long before issues were reported. For example, one subpostmaster found that the system generated a £9,000 shortfall over the Christmas period of 2009 when her branch wasn’t even open.

However, the Post Office continued to use the system and began accusing thousands of subpostmasters of dipping into the tills. They were threatened with prosecution unless they paid back the supposedly missing money and some were indeed imprisoned or pleaded guilty to avoid this outcome, whilst others paid back thousands that they did not actually owe.

It’s easy to see how this scandal ruined the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people. In addition to those who ended up in prison or lost their life savings, others ended up homeless and there was tragically one reported suicide related to this issue. For those who ended up falsely convicted of crimes like theft or false accounting, getting a new job was made far more difficult and they lost out in thousands in earnings as a result. Some people are working well into what should be their retirement because of the financial hardship that the Horizon system has caused.

The Post Office finally accepted that software defects had occurred in July 2013, but it wasn’t until last year that 550 of the subpostmasters affected settled a legal case with the Post Office. However, the amount that these individuals got in this case goes nowhere near compensating for their losses.

I’m sure that you’ll agree with me that this is absolutely not a satisfactory resolution to this scandal. Many hundreds of people have been living a nightmare for the past decade or so and the Government needs to do far more to support them to get justice.

Read More of This Week's Stories
Andrew in the Constituency

It was good visit to Denton Community College this morning. Always nice to return to the successor to Egerton Park High (which I attended 1985-90).

And then a small team out on my Friday:Reconnect session in Audenshaw. It’s always good to spend time each week talking to residents.

Andrew in Westminster

📺 WATCH: Here's your latest GwynneSide Parliament, covering climate change, sentences for animal cruelty, the exciting plans for Stockport town centre and the Horizon scandal.

I attended a fantastic briefing from the Leader of Stockport Council, Elise Wilson, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Lord Kerslake to MPs and Lords about the ambitious plans to transform Stockport Town Centre through the new Mayoral Development Corporation. An exciting time for our town!

Always proud to support animal welfare causes, including the current Battersea Dogs and Cats Home's campaign to strengthen sentences for those who neglect or abuse animals.

I’m joining my Denton and Reddish constituents and The Climate Coalition to Show The Love for the places we want to protect. Let’s support a future where we no longer contribute to climate change and get on track to achieve Net Zero.

I'm proud to support the Stop The Off Payroll Tax IR35 campaign. Freelancers don’t receive work benefits such as sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay or a pension – yet this change to the law will see them taxed as employees whilst pushing them into ‘zero rights employment’.

Andrew in the Shadow Cabinet

Great to be at the Labour North West Conference in Southport with the fab Denton and Reddish contingent, George Jones, Charlotte Martin and Holly McCormack. I spoke about the importance of electing Labour Councillors, Mayors and Police Commissioners in May.

Andrew in the media

📰 READ: I joined Syria Relief, a non-profit organisation based in Denton, in writing a letter to the Guardian calling for people to get angry about the terrible situation in Idlib, Syria, where 600,000 have been displaced and hundreds murdered since the start of December.

Read the full letter here.

Community Board
Please click here to book your tickets for Made in Manchester Dukinfield through this link as a donation from ticket sales will go to Fundraising for Florence and cure GM1.
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