Merry Christamas and a Happy and Healthy New Year

We would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the very best wishes for 2019.

This year has been an interesting one and I hope you have a restful and peaceful festive season.

There is a lot to do in 2019. The team and I are looking forward to continuing to stand up for our area and making it the very best it can be.

We will continue to fight to make Balderstone and Kirkholt FREE from FRACKING or the the threat of Fracking.  We will fight to get the best for our local schools, hospitals and green spaces.

We will work to get our fair share from the Labour Council for our area.

Please do get in touch if there is anything we can do for you.

With festive wishes

Mark Alcock
Liberal Democrat Campaigns officer for Balderstone and Kirkholt

If something’s troubling you, get in touch with:

Rochdale Samaritans

If in crisis pls call 116 123 (this number is free to call)

Email Samaritans: [email protected] (UK)

Visit our branch:

Samaritans Rochdale 5 Caton Street Rochdale OL16 1QJ

Usual hours open to receive callers at the door:

Check with us before you visit the branch.

Our opening times for face to face visits are:
Monday 15.00-20.00
Tuesday 18.00-22.00
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 18.00-22.00
Friday 18.00-22.00
Saturday 09.00-12.00
Sunday Closed


Matthew Calderbank
published by LEP  Tuesday 11 December 2018

The Caudrilla fracking site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.

A tremor measuring 1.5 magnitude has forced Cuadrilla to halt fracking at the Lancashire site. The British Geological Survey (BGS) recorded a series of tremors this morning at the controversial fracking site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.

The exact location of the tremors, according to the British Geological Survey.

Nine tremors were detected at the site within 90 minutes this morning, with the latest tremor measuring a magnitude of 1.5ML. Regulations state that fracking must be halted if tremors exceed 0.5ML. According to the BGS database, the 1.5 magnitude tremor is the largest detected at the site since monitoring began. It has been claimed the tremor was felt in the Blackpool area.
The nine tremors recorded today are also the most recorded at the site in a single day.
The earlier eight tremors measured magnitudes between – 0.4 and 0.0, between 9.35am and 10.18am this morning.  But the latest 1.5ML tremor, which occurred at 11.21am, exceeds the maximum magnitude allowed for fracking.  Caudrilla has now been forced to take immediate action and halt fracking at the site for 18 hours.

A quake measuring a magnitude of – 0.3 was also recorded at the site yesterday.  They are the latest in a series of minor tremors since Cuadrilla began fracking at the site in October, after spending two years exploring the site.  Cuadrilla issued a statement in response to the 1.5ML (local magnitude) micro seismic event detected within their Lancashire operational area this morning.

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said: “A series of micro seismic events in Blackpool have been recorded on the British Geological Survey website this morning following hydraulic fracturing at our shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, Lancashire.

“The largest recorded was 1.5ML (local magnitude) at about 11.20am. This occurred after hydraulic fracturing had finished for the day.

“According to recent research by the University of Liverpool the impact would be like dropping a melon.

“A series of smaller micro seismic events occurred during hydraulic fracturing, beginning at about 9.40am.“Cuadrilla will pause and continue to monitor micro seismicity for at least the next 18 hours, in line with the traffic light system regulations. Well integrity has been checked and verified.”

READ MORE: Fracking halted again as biggest earthquake yet recorded at Lancashire site Tony Bosworth, a Friends of the Earth campaigner, reacted to news of the largest earthquake to take place in Lancashire since fracking started. He said: “Within a day of Cuadrilla re-starting fracking in Lancashire, there has already been another earthquake which means they’ve had to down tools. 

“It appears that they cannot frack without triggering tremors. And instead of acknowledging that fracking needs to end, Cuadrilla are instead urging for regulations around earthquakes to be relaxed.

“We’ve always said that fracking poses risks for our climate and environment. After today’s quake, and with the effects of climate breakdown already happening around us, isn’t it time to put a stop to fracking once and for all?

”Cuadrilla is obliged to stop fracking for 18 hours if a quake of more than magnitude 0.5 is detected, which has happened several times since October.

Read more at:   

Greater Manchester councils investing £1 BILLION into fracking industry

Councils in Greater Manchester are investing £1 billion into the fracking industry, the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

Manchester Council is a leading member in a regionwide £1bn investment into the fracking industry, despite a policy opposing the controversial drilling.

The region’s councils invested more half a billion pounds into global fracking giants BP and Shell, whilst companies like Statoil, Exxon, Chevron also received hundreds of millions each.

A total of 6% of the £17bn pension fund went into fracking, making it the second largest investment by proportion of its fund but the largest overall investment in the country,

Public support for fracking has been consistently low, with the recent polls suggesting just 18% of people in the UK support the drilling.

But a 2014 poll run by the Manchester Evening News found that 73% of Greater Manchester residents opposed fracking.

Despite this, Greater Manchester Labour Councils are supporting the fracking industry by investing nearly £1bn into it.

In the last full Manchester council meeting, Labour refused Lib Dem Cllr John Leech’s questions to clarify their position on the investment.

The revelation follows the Government’s recent decision to allow fracking in the UK, with Cuadrilla the first company to begin the controversial practice on the Fylde.

Commenting on the shocking investment, Mark Alcock said:

“Fracking is widely unpopular across the country and in Manchester, some polls even indicate that up to 80% of local people oppose it.

“Climate change is the single biggest threat we face and rather than leading the fight for our environment, Labour councils in Greater Manchester are investing in the most unpopular, dirtiest and most damaging industry imaginable.

“Imagine the difference this £1bn could make if redirected into renewable and clean energy.

“Liberal Democrats take the fight for environment seriously and this revelation is another example of Labour’s stranglehold on Greater Manchester and why electing Liberal Democrat Councillors in Rochdale and across the region is more important than ever.”

Remembrance Sunday parade and service

LEST WE FORGET – Wear your Poppy with PRIDE

Today, tomorrow, wear your Poppy with pride for the sacrifices so many of our service personal have made in the past and are making today and everyday in OUR name – show your support by wearing your poppy with pride!!!!

Rochd​​ale Remembrance Sunday parade and service

Sunday, 11 November 2018

ALL WELCOME TO ATTEND to show your appreciation and support

10.15am: meet on Yorkshire Street at the St Marys Gate End.
10.45am: the parade will depart to the Cenotaph by heading down Yorkshire Street and on to The Esplanade.
10.45am: ward councillors, magistrates, officers and other civic guests will assemble in the Town Hall Exchange.
10.50am: the Mayor, Chief Executive, MP, Leader of the Council, Opposition Leader and Church leaders will leave the main entrance of the town hall for the Service at the Cenotaph. At the end of the march, the Mayoral Party will return to the town hall and the parade will go to Packer Street.
12midday: Rochdale will commemorate the centenary of the end of World One War One with a carousel, swing boats and other family entertainment. 

National School Meals Week

Between the 12-16 of November hundreds of schools across England will be taking part in National School Meals Week – the biggest healthy eating awareness week for children.

The free school meals programme was introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government. With £1.2billion given each year and £150million for kitchen upgrades for schools across England.


Research shows that a nutritious meal at lunch helps children concentrate, get more out of school and do better academically. Offering free school lunches to every child means better concentration in the whole class and results improve even more. But that’s not all, helping young children to enjoy a range of healthy foods means they’ll have a healthy relationship with food as they grow up.

Commenting Mark Alcock said, “Eating a healthy and nutritious meal at school means better health for our children and better results at school.

“With the help of hard-working teachers and staff, thousands of infant children locally are getting a free healthy meal at lunch time – saving parents a huge £400 a year.

“National School Meals week is a chance for schools to really get stuck in and embrace school meals. Using the creativity and talents of their cooks to the full.”

Mark Alcock added, “During National School Meals week we should also reflect on our schools as a whole. We need to demand better for our schools and reverse damaging budget cuts to get the best for our children.”

Crawshaws will still honour Christmas savings stamps if you can get to one of these stores

Crawshaws on Yorkshire Street closed on 31 October after the company went into administration

Date published: 02 November 2018 in Rochdale online.

Whilst our local branch of Crawshaws closed on 31 October, you can still redeem your Christmas stamps at several stores in the north west.

Both Bury and Rochdale branches closed earlier this week, but you can still redeem your Christmas stamps at the following North West stores:

  • Manchester Arndale
  • Salford
  • Wigan
  • Stockport
  • Liverpool

Unfortunately, if you are unable to get to one of these stores, a refund isn’t possible, a spokesman for the company told Rochdale Online.

For any further enquiries regarding Crawhsaws, please ring: 01709 369 600.



Movember 2018 – Stop men dying too young

Do you know the reason behind the month of the moustache?

The Movember Foundation exists to help prevent early death for men across the world and Movember itself was created to highlight some of the most common illnesses that affect men’s lives. Mental health, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. You can help protect our fathers, brothers, sons and friends by helping to draw attention to these health problems.

This Movember the foundation are asking you to grow, move or host your way to saving lives. Go to to find out more about how you can get involved this Movember.

Mental Health

3 out of 4 suicides in the UK are men and it is the biggest killer of men aged 20-49 in England and Wales. Liberal Democrats have been calling for more funding for mental health services for years, delivering new maximum waiting times and trying to raise the profile of these often overlooked services. Luckily open conversation can help us to tackle this extremely common problem. Raising awareness through Movember and removing the taboo from how you talk about mental health could help someone you love.

Globally, one man takes his own life every minute, of every day.

This Movember, why not make your Move – for them.

Commit to walking or running 60 kilometres over the month. That’s 60 kilometres for the 60 men we lose each hour, every hour – the men who should still be here today.

People from every walk of life can suffer from poor mental health and too few keep quiet about it. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 people in the UK will have mental health problems in their lives. You are not alone!

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK. It kills 1 man every 45 minutes here. Over at the Prostate Cancer UK website you can find out if you’re at risk and what to do if you’re worried –

Testicular Cancer

2,400 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year in the UK. It is the most common cancer for men under 40. If you have any questions you should visit this NHS website –

If you notice something, do something

You know your body better than anyone else. If something feels wrong get to the doctor. Both Prostate Cancer and Testicular Cancer can be treated more successfully the earlier they’re found.

Don’t risk it, go to the doctor.


Clocks change this weekened!

The UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time at 2am on Sunday, October 28 when all clocks are turned back to 1am at that time.

Mark Alcock said, “Most electronic devices these days will change the time for you, so you’ve no need to worry but I want to make sure residents do not miss that extra hour.”

“Evenings will become noticeably darker, with dusk falling as early as 4pm – just as schoolchildren are traveling home and rush hour in our area begins.”

When changing your clocks manually, it is also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.

Mark Alcock added, “Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can save your loved ones’ lives as well as your own.”

“Early detection of fires saves lives and can reduce damage to house and contents. Smoke alarms provide the best early warning system in the event of a fire by combining smoke detection and alarm sounding in one unit. Statistics show that fewer deaths or serious injuries occur in households where smoke alarms are installed and maintained.”


National Hate Crime Awareness Week


This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

The week aims to bring people together, to stand with those affected by hate crime, to remember those we have lost, and support those who need our ongoing support.

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s: disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation
or transgender identity.

More information about the week and what it stands for here.

How can I report hate crime?
In an emergency call the police 999, if it is not an emergency call 101

World Mental Health Day 2018

World Mental Health Day: 10th October 2018

This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on young people in a changing world.

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. Depression is one of the most common diseases in teenagers and suicide is the leading cause of death for people between 5-19 years old.

Being young can be difficult, with changes in every part of your life. From exam pressures, social media, getting to grips with dating, to moving away to uni or getting a new job, young people deal with many different pressures while growing up. Often at the same time they are starting to use drugs, like alcohol, which can make problems worse.

Unfortunately there’s still a taboo around mental illness that means problems are too often kept secret rather than shared with friends and family. Luckily many of our schools have already got the message about the importance of helping youngsters build the mental resilience from early life. This World Mental Health day is all about improving communication between young people and parents, teachers and friends, to let everyone know that, like physical health, mental health is something to work at and to talk about openly.

If you are experiencing mental health problems or need support, there are lots of places you can go to for help.