Report from Sheila Spink, Stockport Branch Organiser.
The Metropolitan Borough of Stockport is a much maligned yet dignified suburb of Greater Manchester. We are the butt of many a joke which we take with good humour.
We have one of the oldest market places in the North West of England, on the old A6 route from Scotland, and our town played an important part in the English Civil War.
What most people don't realise is that we represent one of the last remaining indigenous strongholds in the North West and the LibLabCon Council are determined to rectify this disgrace to their diversity agenda.
They have already waived through the conversion of an industrial unit in Heaton Mersey into a mosque, despite opposition from local traders due to its inappropriate location and contravention of the Council's own planning laws, and now they planned to give the same treatment to a de-licenced pub, The Bull's Head, on Gorton Road, Reddish, which is right on the boundary with Marxist Manchester.
Fortunately, the residents of Reddish have more 'bottle' than their neighbours and swiftly swung into action.
At the beginning of the week, they heard about the planning application. Within hours, a few local women printed off multiple copies of a protest petition and collected 300 signatures. We got to hear of this and went over to help.
We talked to the owner of the building who was already backing off and looking at other possible tenants.
On Wednesday evening, the local Labour councillors held a surgery in the library. One tried to have me banned from this public event on the grounds that I do not live in this precise ward.
He is so ignorant of Council procedure that he does not realise that the decision on this application will be made by the whole area team for Heatons and Reddish, which includes both my home and the ward in which I stand as a candidate and that any resident of the whole borough can oppose any planning application.
The leader of the Labour group was backed up into a corner and can only parrot, "I am here to listen to what the people say" to any question put to him. Eventually, the librarian hit the fire alarm to clear the building as the hostility to this plan reaches danger level.
The scene was repeated in a nearby pub the next evening with shouts of "liar" to all the excuses put by the Labour councillors who now claim to oppose the application themselves.
Next day we heard that the application has been withdrawn, but we set up our stall anyway and collected signatures to oppose any mosque application in the future.
The owner, a genial family man, came out to tell us that he has refused this use of his building. He is a decent bloke who does not need this kind of aggro.
The pizza house next door gave us a piping hot pizza to sustain us. The support is overwhelming.
On Saturday, we went over with the Greater Manchester team to do some leafleting, and set up the stall again. The support is still positive.
On both occasions, the police dropped by but did not harass us, other than to warn against obstruction and public disorder. We don't allow any shouting on our stall, particularly from our own members.
Our efforts are rewarded by a visit from the Chairman who responded to our call for help given the importance of this location.
All is calm for now, but we have no doubt that a new application will be lodged in the future, probably when the current owner has retired and moved on. We will be there for as long as it takes.
We signed up new members and lots of supporters which we aim to turn into voters. The deceit and hypocrisy of Labour was all too clear to the local residents.
The lesson we learned is that we can protest and win, the enemy are afraid of us and we should never be afraid of them.
This is our country and we will maintain the dominant voice in the social and political agenda.
We are right, and they are wrong.
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