Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Yvonne Carty & her giant fist
In recent weeks employees working for Tameside Council have received letters from the council inviting them to apply for voluntary redundancy. Around 800 staff are facing redundancy as the council seeks to make savings of £100 million over the next four years.

But the council have recently been criticised for squandering thousands of pounds of tax payers money on a barmy scheme to teach council employees how to walk safely. Although libraries, swimming pools and museums could be facing closure in Tameside, several days ago, the Daily Mail Online reported that the council had spent money on a scheme which gave guidance to staff and councillors on how to walk as part of the council`s 'wellbeing strategy'.

Responding to a FOI request made by a member of the public, the council said that since 2006, £30,000 had been spent on staff 'lifestyle' schemes including £4,995 paid to a private firm called 'Urbanwalks' for leaflets which identified 6 routes which council employees could walk along. A further £450 was spent over two years on 'singing for health and enjoyment' sessions at lunchtime. Money was also spent on training for two staff to become 'walk leaders'. When asked what the training involved, the council replied:
"The course comprises of theoretical study including health and safety implications of leading a walk as well as a practical element where an example walk will be undertaken by all course participants." 
It is also understood that the council have appointed 16 'Wellbeing Champions' who promote wellbeing.

We understand that two individuals who have made inquiries about taking voluntary redundancy, are Ashton-under-Lyne Town Centre Manager, Frank Travis, and the GMB union representative, Yvonne Cartey. Both Ms. Cartey and Mr. Travis (the husband of Tameside councillor, Lynn Travis) have also, we believe, expressed an interest in becoming Tameside Labour councillors after they leave the council with their severance payments.

Mr. Travis, recently failed to win the nomination to succeed councillor Jack Davies, in St. Peter`s ward after securing only two votes. Councillor Davies, who we believe his standing down for health reasons, is to be replaced by councillor Denise Ward`s husband, who will stand in the May elections. Yvonne Cartey, we understand, is keen to replace councillor Bill Harrison, in the St. Michael's ward.

Originally from Milton Keynes, Ms. Cartey, a soroptomist ("best for sisters"), fled to the north some years ago,when she was offered the job of Tameside Council`s Trades Union Liaison Officer. As one might expect in the incestuous world of Tameside Labour politics, she turned out to be the live-in lover, of councillor Philip Wilkinson who was also a Tameside councillor. In 2006, Ms. Cartey, was savaged by a mad dog while out canvassing for the Labour party. She told the Tameside Advertiser"It locked its jaws around my hand and bit my index finger." We understand that the dog was later inoculated for lockjaw.

As the council divests itself of more and more responsibility by getting rid of its council housing, old peoples homes and leisure facilities, people are beginning to question whether we need all these Tameside councillors which cost the tax-payer over £1 million per year. Despite this, cronyism and jobs-for the-boys, seems as rife as ever within Tameside.

NB: Northern Voices was recently contacted by Ann Winstanley, the Ashton Soroptomist Website Manager, stating that our use of this photograph to illustrate the story (which features Yvonne Carty on the left) was subject to copyright (despite the fact that copyright has not been asserted on any of the images on their site). We are happy to replace the image with one that seems more apt to the storyline.


Anonymous said...

Is it correct that Tameside Council as more more married couples on the council than any other council in the North West? Nowadays, being a councillor in Tameside, seems to be a way of augmenting the family income.

Tameside Eye said...

Yvonne was in Ashton the other day boasting that she's bought a new house to all and sundry. She now proclaims that it's wrong for someone on her money to be living in social housing (Cavendish Mill).

So I take it she's got the money from her redundancy payment at Tameside Council where I am told she was paid in the region of £28k as a GMB Union Rep.

Don't you think the idea of giving Labour candidates a golden goodbye from the council is wrong considering you know they will be taking home a nice sum post election time?

Dick Dutch said...

You don't get paid £28K for having been a Union Rep: you get paid that because you've put in a lot of years as an employee of the Council, according to the terms and conditions of employment.

Redundancy money isn't a 'golden goodbye', it's statutory and/or contractual compensation for dismissal (which is what being made redundant is)